Thanksgiving is a uniquely American time for families to get together, stuff themselves with turkey and commemorate the country's beginnings.
It is also the focal point of a certain kind of holiday golf vacation. Whether you want to combine your turkey with your tee times or hop on a plane with a bellyful of bird to work it off somewhere warm, here are what some top destinations are serving up this season.
Las Vegas offers golfers some of its lowest hotel rates of the year Thanksgiving week, and it's not hard to find an appropriate holiday feed. Almost every hotel on The Strip offers a traditional Thanksgiving spread, and plenty of untraditional options as well.
"You can get a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings three or four times," said Scott Bowles of vacation packager Las Vegas Golf Travel.
Don't laugh. Tourists have been known to spend turkey day grazing from one big Thanksgiving casino spread to another.
As for the golf, this is your chance to play The Falls, Reflection Bay, Badlands Golf Club, Paiute Resort or some of other high-end tracks without much congestion on the tees. Painted Desert Golf Club is a good value play for a larger group.
"You have more people coming to Vegas around the holidays in general," said Eileen Crawford, senior sales manager at the Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas.
"Now people decide to have the whole family meet in Vegas rather than all traveling to some cold-weather location to get together. You've got the golf, the spas, the gambling and some decent weather. The secret's getting out."
There's only one tee time - a 9 a.m. public shotgun start - and a full-dress Thanksgiving feast waiting in the large clubhouse restaurant. You get your turkey and a round on a course that can contend for the Arizona top 10 for less than $100.
Many of the major Scottsdale golf resorts also offer holiday meals. Remington's at Scottsdale Resort Plaza adds some elegance to turkey day with live piano music in the evening. The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa has three nines of golf and different meal options in each of its three restaurants.
For the truly decadent Thanksgiving weekend, though, it's hard to beat a round at Troon North followed by a meal at the linked Four Seasons Resort's Acacia restaurant.
Westin Mission Hills Resort is a good place for a Thanksgiving getaway with two golf courses right on site, a Pete Dye and a Gary Player - and plenty of usual and unusual food options, including a ton of good, cheap Mexican restaurants in a nearby strip mall for those looking for something different than turkey.
For a truly unusual Thanksgiving, the clothing-optional Morningside Inn is hosting a special holiday meal for guests. And no, nudists do not dress for dinner.
The Blue Monster Golf Package includes two nights in a garden-view room, 18 holes each on the Blue Monster and Great White courses, unlimited driving-range privileges, a one-day golf clinic and a $25 gift card. Rates start at $309 per person per night based on double occupancy and must be booked 60 days in advance. The same package for three nights starts at $289.
The Championship Golf package is one night in a garden-view room, 18 holes at one of the five Doral courses and the gift card. It costs $219 per person.
The Tee for Two package, starting at $183 a night, includes play on any of the resort's four courses and tea at the Magnolia and Ivy tearoom. Play Where the Pros Play offers two nights in a villa and a round at Sandestin's Raven Golf Club from $127 from Nov. 13 through Feb. 15. (Restrictions apply, including a minimum of two nights and two rounds.)
The Golf and Gumbo getaway at Baytowne Golf Club starts at $145 per person per night, while a Golf Digest 4½ star golf package starting at $131, which includes rounds at the Raven and Burnt Pine clubs.
Canadians for Carolina
If you're Canadians you can get some good deals in the Carolinas, like lessons for four people for the price of three at the Pinewild Golf Academy at Pinehurst's Pinewild Country Club. Canadians can also get a seventh-night-free deal at the Longleaf Golf and Country Club and the Pit Golf Links Vacation Villas.
The Renaissance Orlando Resort at Sea World recently completed a $7.5 million renovation and through the end of 2006 visitors can get 25 percent discounts on its 778 guest rooms and suites, which amounts to rates of $99-$189.
Be aware, there is continuing renovation on ballrooms and in the atrium, lobby and food and beverage areas.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.