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Top 10 Off-Road Getaways for Thanksgiving

Our list of the top off-road getaways for AAA's top 10 Thanksgiving destinations.

Mike Grasso
Nov 20, 2017
If you’re anything like us here at Four Wheeler, you’ll want to be getting as far away from the crowds as possible for the holidays next week; due to family obligations though most of us will probably be joining 45.5 million others taking to America’s highways this Thanksgiving. Whether you’re headed to grandmas or a sunny, warm-weather destination with the family, you can be sure of one thing: it’s going to be a busy holiday for road travel this year. According to AAA’s Thanksgiving travel forecast, 89 percent of all travelers are planning a Thanksgiving road trip, an increase of 3.2 percent over last year. So if you’re headed to one of AAA’s Top 10 Thanksgiving destinations this year, we want to make sure you know what the closest 4x4 getaways are—in case you get the chance to slip away from the family and enjoy some outdoor adventure amidst all the holiday chaos.
AAA’s Top 10 Thanksgiving Destinations for 2017 (Based on AAA.com bookings.)
    1. Orlando, Florida
    2. Anaheim, California
    3. New York City, New York
    4. Honolulu, Hawaii
    5. Las Vegas, Nevada
    6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
    7. Cancun, Mexico
    8. San Francisco, California
    9. Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
    10. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Photo 2/11   |   Thanksgiving Croom Trail Orlando Florida
Four Wheeler’s Top 10 Off-Road Getaways for Thanksgiving
1. Croom OHV and Motorcycle Trails, Orlando, Florida
There are a lot of cool-looking, unmarked mud holes and short trails around Oralndo, but they’re not all legitimate, and diving in may result in a legal violation of some sort. The Croom trails, however, are totally legal. The main loop is rated as a moderate 9.3-mile OHV trail in Brooksville, Florida. The Croom OHV area features abundant mud, dirt, and water crossings for dirt bikes and 4x4s, about an hour from Orlando. Source: Alltrails.com
Photo 3/11   |   Thanksgiving North Main Divide Road Anaheim CA
2. Main Divide Road, Anaheim, California
Main Divide Road is a scenic 20.4-mile, point-to-point trail located near Lake Elsinore in Corona, California. It’s an easy dirt road with several moderately difficult to challenging 4x4 side trails for vehicles of varying abilities. A great scenic trail to take the family on, it’s located 20-45 minutes from Anaheim. Source: Alltrails.com
Photo 4/11   |   Thanksgiving Pine Barrens New Jersey Ney York
3. Pine Barrens / Wharton State Forest, New York City, New York
More well known as a body dump for Tony Soprano’s cronies than a circuit of unpaved forest roads, the Pine Barrens in Wharton State Forest New Jersey, has long been a popular OHV haven not far (about two hours) from New York’s urban sprawl. While the dirt roads are easy for most vehicles and Stay The Trail rhetoric is strictly enforced, when it rains these roads become a muddy delight for 4x4 enthusiasts. Photo Credit: Serge Sviridenko
Photo 5/11   |   Thanksgiving Kaena Point Honolulu Hawaii
4. Ka’ena Point Trail, Honolulu, Hawaii
Ka’ena Point Trail is on the northwestern tip of Oahu, about an hour from Honolulu city. It’s a moderate off-road trail that takes you through rocky passes and over sandy, muddy beach frontage trails. If you want to see the beauty of Hawaii and have some fun in your 4x4 or rented Jeep, this is the place. Source: Alltrails.com
Photo 6/11   |   Thanksgiving Mormon Well Road Las Vegas
5. Mormon Well Road, Las Vegas, Nevada
There’s a lot of great off-roading around Vegas, given the vastness of the surrounding desert and mountain ranges. About 30 minutes from the strip you’ll find Mormon Well Road, a moderately rated 45.2-mile out and back trail featuring beautiful views and fun, high-speed desert 4x4 features. Source: Alltrails.com
Photo 7/11   |   Thanksgiving Puta Cana Dominican Republic
6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
If you’re lucky enough to get out of the states for Thanksgiving, and you’re going to be in a beautiful place like the Dominican Republic, chances are you won’t be taking your 4x4 along with you. Out of endless ATV and buggy tours in this tropical paradise, we’ve found what appears to be the most authentic, and relatively inexpensive, DR off-road experience: a 9-hour day trek though jungle trails and along remote beaches devoid of resorts in a lifted Jeep Wrangler. You’ll have the opportunity to wheel yourself through the Dominican backcountry to remote villages and experience truly typical Dominican life with Jeep Safari Punta Cana.
Photo 8/11   |   Thanksgiving Jeep Safari Cancun Mexico
7. Cancun, Mexico
Another beautiful place to spend Thanksgiving with the family, Cancun is a well-known tourism spot for Americans traveling out of the country for tropical vacations. Jeep Safari Sian Kaan is a self-drive tour service that takes you on an adventurous Jeep tour of the Mexican coast, featuring water crossings and sandy beach wheeling. Also included in this day-long adventure package are a snorkeling boat cruise and a fancy lunch. If you’re in the area and have the time to try it out, this adventure will not disappoint.
Photo 9/11   |   Thanksgiving Cow Mountain Rec Area San Fransisco
8. South Cow Mountain OHV Area, San Francisco, California
South Cow Mountain is located about two hours north of San Francisco in Ukiah, California, and the drive is well worth the reward. More than 120 miles of OHV roads and upwards of 60,000 acres, this area is a day-tripper’s 4x4 paradise. Beautiful views and a variety of terrain taking you from 800 to 4,000 feet, these easy-to-difficult trails are a blast and a great way to get away for the holidays.
Photo 10/11   |   Thanksgiving Maui Hawai Off Road
9. Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
While scouring the web for off-road trails on Maui didn’t produce many valuable results, our partners at Truck Trend once posted an article about Maui’s Route 360. This drive provides classic scenic views of the Maui coastline from cliffs high above the water. Back in 2005 when the Truck Trend article was written, 360 had several side routes to fishing spots and viewpoints, whether they’re still passable is something only locals will know, but if you’re out there this November it’s definitely worth a shot.
Photo 11/11   |   Thanksgiving Big Cypress Florida
10. Big Cypress National Preserve, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Big Cypress National Preserve is only a short hour-and-forty-minute drive from Ft. Lauderdale, and it’s a blast. Swampy, tropical, and wet, the trails that run through Big Cypress offer endless fun and excitement for 4x4s, ATVs and UTVs. As an added bonus you’ll probably get some up close and personal looks at some of Florida’s 1.5 million alligators. Photo Credit: Emmanuel Peraza – Youtube.com

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