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Thanksgiving - what to expect?

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Scotland
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Thanksgiving - what to expect?

Hi

I'm going to be in St Pete Beach this year over Thanksgiving. This will be my first time in America during this holiday. What can I expect - will shops, restaurants etc be open or will they be closed?

Also, I understand there are sales the day after Thankgiving - I think it's called Black Friday?? Are these the sort of sales you need to turn up at midnight in order to get any bargains. I was thinking of driving down to Ellenton outlet mall.

Any advice welcome.

Thanks

James

St. Pete Beach...
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1. Re: Thanksgiving - what to expect?

I'm a middle aged guy who lives on the beach so here is my take...it is likely different than others (specifically women) who love to shop.

What can you expect on SPB at Thanksgiving...I'll bet you got a pretty good deal on your hotel as its not the time of year Americans associate with a beach holiday. Thankgiving is a quiet week here on our beach as it is a time when the kids are out of school, the weather is touchy (cool wise) and people are visited by out of town family.

Thanksgiving itself is a serious family day. Almost everything is closed, it is very similar to Christmas day. Family spend the day together having a large meal. Thats not to say that there will not be places to eat or drink open, just fewer and shorter hours.

The Friday after the Holiday does have a lot of retail promotions, usually a small collection loss leaders to generate some excitment to start the Christmas buying season and make the newspaper. You might spend the night in a line-up outside a store to get something to bring back to Scotland if you don't mind blowing a day of your Hoilday to do it. (remember the differance in electrical current renders much electronics useless to you upon your return)

Also, don't be misled by the whole outlet Mall thingy. They are just very large strip style shopping centers that focus on name brands (the only name brands I care about are gun makers, pick-up trucks and macaroni & cheese). They are jammed with tourists. Lots of traffic and short tempers and sprawl. The days of them being "true outlet" (cheaper as they are dated styles, seconds or overstock) disappeared with the introduction of the first home computers. Thats not to say that there are not some reasonable prices to pay for stuff, and I've seen many visitors from the UK get excitied about some of the things that they can buy here....but by local standards, nothing special.

Standby for the out shop-o-holics chime in about the retail glory of Black Friday.

Have a safe Holiday!

Brandon, Florida
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2. Re: Thanksgiving - what to expect?

The midnight lines are usually for the stores that sell computers and electronic items. Always interesting to see on the tv news.

Portadown, United...
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3. Re: Thanksgiving - what to expect?

Ellenton is an excellent place to visit and there are bargains to be had there.

We visited St Pete over Christmas last year and found most restaurants and bars open.

The weather might not be as hot as summer but believe me it will be a lot better than here in the UK.

Enjoy your trip.

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: Thanksgiving - what to expect?

Most everything is closed on Thanksgiving Day. There will be certain restaurants open, but not all. Places like Sea World, Busch Gardens and Disney World are open. Walgreen's drug stores are usually open and sometimes a few grocery stores are open for the morning hours for those cooks who forgot a key ingredient for their feast.

If you want to have a Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant while here, you should check to make sure it will be open and then call to see if reservations should be made. A place like Cracker Barrel will not require reservations, and while not gourmet, it has a typical meal for a reasonable price. Hours at some restaurants may be reduced, perhaps only serving during the midday. If you will have your own kitchen facilities, you can order pre-cooked meals from local grocery stores to be picked up the day before. Publix has various options, but you must pre-order. The Turkey will be cooked and need to heated through before serving, as well at any side dishes.

Shopping the day after Thanksgiving.

Buy the local newspaper on Thanksgiving Day and review the store advertisements in the paper for Friday. These ads will show you what deals will only be available for limited hours on Friday morning, possibly as early as 4 or 5 a.m.

Ellenton Premium outlet shops will open at midnight after Thanksgiving. It is already posted on their web site.

www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/hours.asp…

My understanding is they get a good crowd for midnight shopping.

I purposely avoid, if at all possible, the streets and roads near any major shopping mall on Black Friday.

St. Pete Beach...
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5. Re: Thanksgiving - what to expect?

Its your first trip to America and I've tried to provide a locals take on Thanksgiving week. Christmas week, especially the week after is considered high season, all of the seasonal residents return, people are in a more festive mood with everyones homes decorated and the upcoming new year celebrations. The theme parks in Orlando make a big thing about the Christmas season. Thanksgiving is just not the same thing. It would be very hard to convince me that Thanksgiving week is truly business as usual on our island. Many hotel workers are "guest workers" and take advantage of Thanksgiving to return home to thier home countries to visit their families. Our economy has suffered this year (especially today), and I've noticed several places I expected open at 8:30 tonight (Monday) closed up for the night. I'm not saying that you will go hungry, but many places will have special holiday hours. The Beach just feels different that week to me. Last Thanksgiving the kids were skateboarding out of the school parking lot onto a ramp they set up on Blind Pass Road (normally unheard of)

Shoppers from the UK are very welcomed here. They have a higher tolerance for pricing that Floridians have. They also buy warmer weather merchandise (as do other visitors from the north). I suppose thats the way it is in most tourist places. I travel to the UK every 8 months, (for years) and continue to be astounded by the pricing structures. The cost of shoes, liquor in a bar, a meal seems very high to me. There is no doubt that you will find some items that you think will be well priced.

Also being a local I get a little impatient with crowds and traqffic, and you will be sure to find one at Ellenton.

Scotland
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6. Re: Thanksgiving - what to expect?

Thanks for the replies. This will be my fourth time staying at St Pete Beach but I usually visit slightly earlier during October. It sounds like a day by the pool and a meal from Publix will be how I spend Thankgiving!

Unfortunately, I won't be able to avoid shopping. My girlfriend's a 'shop till you drop' kind of girl and visiting the midnight sales at Ellenton is now planned...

Portadown, United...
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7. Re: Thanksgiving - what to expect?

If you check there will probably be restaurants taking bookings for Thanksgiving dinner

Portadown, United...
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8. Re: Thanksgiving - what to expect?

Dolphin Beach Resort will be open for dinner

Millersville...
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9. Re: Thanksgiving - what to expect?

We just got back from Scotland ..and we loved it....now we are headed to st. pete beach for thanksgiving ...was searching for thanksgiving meals like you are. or were..Hope you have or had a great time

KK

Addlestone, United...
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10. Re: Thanksgiving - what to expect?

The shops will be closed all Thanksgiving day and start t open up at midnight. You need to try and get the local paper, i.e. St Petersburg Times (preferably on Sunday 17th) for coupons and info. Restaurants are open but if it;s a good one you need to book (we're booked in to Salt Rock Grill in Indian Rocks and can highly recommend it). Have a great trip

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