Unlock Efficiency: Save Time with Gunther Mazda's Digital Showroom! Ask Us How Today

Turkey Travels: Americans Are Willing To Travel 4.6 Hours For Mom’s Thanksgiving Cooking, Finds Survey

From the aromatic allure of roast beef at Christmas, the sizzle of BBQs on Labor Day, to the tender succulence of Easter lamb, American home cooking is a variation of traditions that kindles anticipation throughout the year. Yet, it’s the Thanksgiving holiday that captivates the hearts of many as the quintessential culinary celebration. A time when turkey, stuffing, and pies transform dining tables into centers of gratitude and togetherness. In a bid to capture the essence of this festive spirit, Gunther Mazda commissioned a nationwide survey of 3,000 people to gauge the lengths Americans are willing to go to savor their mother’s home cooked Thanksgiving feast. The survey revealed some rather interesting results!

The findings paint a vivid picture of American dedication to family and feasting: the average American is willing to embark on a 4.6-hour journey for a taste of home. Wyomingites, with their legendary spirit, top the charts, willing to drive an astonishing 14 hours to reunite with family and feast. Contrastingly, Rhode Islanders show a preference for proximity, with a maximum travel threshold of one hour. Interestingly, when asked how far Americans would be prepared to travel for their in-laws’ Thanksgiving cooking, the average respondent said 2 hours was the maximum travel time. 

Gunther Mazda created an infographic to show how far people are willing to travel for mom’s Thanksgiving cooking in each state:

How far are Americans willing to travel for Thanksgiving Dinner? Survey of 3,000 answers

When survey respondents were probed about which Thanksgiving dish motivates them to pack up and hit the long road, a hearty 62% voted for the turkey, that glistening centerpiece that commands the holiday spread. Not far behind, with a 24% slice of the pie, were the pumpkin pie enthusiasts, ready to cross state lines for that perfect blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and creamy pumpkin goodness. The humble stuffing, often a mosaic of family recipes and secret ingredients, enticed 10% of the folks to gear up for a gastronomic pilgrimage. And in a surprising twist, a dedicated 4% professed their willingness to travel for the sweet, marshmallow-topped indulgence of sweet potato casserole, a dish that brings a touch of dessert to the dinner plate. Moving away from the culinary canvas, the poll also revealed that Americans’ favorite post-dinner pastimes include settling into the couch for some football, lining the streets for parades, sinking into a well-earned nap, or mapping out the best routes for the Black Friday sales — each a beloved act in the great Thanksgiving day pageant.

Gunther Mazda has provided some tips on how to stay safe on the roads over Thanksgiving, particularly on long trips:

  • Embark With Preparation and Patience: Anticipate a symphony of engines on the highways as families converge from all corners. Be the maestro of your journey by planning for the unexpected. Remember, the road is a stage for the unexpected performance of delays and detours.
  • Chart Your Course By The Skies: Let the weather be your guide. Consult the skies to choose a day when the sun presides over clear roads, reducing the drama of travel and ensuring an encore of safety.
  • Stay Connected With Care: The call of kinship is strong, but let it not be a siren song while driving. If the urge to update loved ones becomes irresistible, choose the interlude of a rest stop to indulge in digital catch-ups.
  • Curtain Call for Car Care: Like any star performer, your vehicle deserves a rehearsal before the big day. A thorough check ensures that you’ll be remembered for your timely arrival, not a roadside encore.
  • Encore for Flexibility: Sometimes, the best performances are unscripted. Allow for improvisation in your travel plans to dodge the peak-hour chorus and find the path less traveled.

“As we gather around the Thanksgiving table this year, let’s remember that the journey is an integral part of the celebration,” says Joseph Gunther IV at Gunther Mazda. “It’s a time-honored passage that reunites us with those we hold dear. We at Gunther Mazda encourage every traveler to embrace the road with joy and caution, making the pilgrimage itself a cherished part of your holiday tradition.”


Gunther Mazda 26.0980935, -80.2006174.