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Is it time to travel again? Weekend getaways are the best! We’re all looking for the best weekend getaways in the US. Because your time is short, you want to pack as much in as possible and the best way to do this is to plan your trip well. Do your research before you go so that you are spending your time well and avoiding any pitfalls that will take up your precious time. If you’re getting a rental car, get yourself a sat nav and keep your eye on the local traffic events. There’s a great system called Connecticut Travel Events that has similar information for other cities in the US too.
Travel lovers share their favorite destinations for great weekend getaways in the US, arranged from west to east:
THE BEST WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN THE US
Recommended by Constance of The Adventures of Panda
Located in the middle of the Pacific Northwest is the river side city of Portland. Spend 3 days in Portland, Oregon and you’ll be in for the perfect long weekend trip! Though it is a chill town, Portland has got some of the best things to see and places to eat.
Take a walk along the Willamette River and explore the Waterfront Park Trail. On weekends, the best place to go is the Portland Saturday Market. Contrary to its name, the Saturday Market occurs on Saturdays and Sundays. Here, you’ll find a variety of local vendors selling artwork, crafts, and food. Don’t forget to check out Mill Ends Park towards the southern end of the trail, it holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest park in the world.
Check out more of Portland’s quirks by exploring downtown and the Pearl District. Get lost in Powell’s City of Books, the world’s largest independent new and used bookstore, with stacks and stacks of books throughout the entire building. Downtown also has some of the best shopping in the area ranging from traditional department stores, discount stores, and local shops.
Try Blue Star Donuts and Stumptown Coffee for some of the best eats in town. For a larger variety, be sure to visit 5th Avenue Food Cart Pod and try out some of Portland’s most famous street carts. In the Pearl District is also Deschutes Brewery, one of the most popular breweries in the Portland area. Their burgers and their craft beer are to die for!
Portland is a great weekend destination to see, you’ll get to experience its quirks and delicious eats all in a quick trip!
Recommended by Francesca of Homeroom Travel
Seattle, Washington makes for a fabulous weekend trip within the United States. Not only does it have interesting sites to visit, but it also has a ton of delicious food options. It is Washington’s largest city, with a population of around 800,000 people and an easy hop from anywhere on the West Coast. A weekend in Seattle is the perfect amount of time to explore the main areas and have a great getaway.
There are a variety of things to do in Seattle. Visiting the top of the Space Needle is one of the main attractions, especially since it has recently had a new glass floor installed. The floor to ceiling windows offers spectacular views of Seattle and the surrounding area. On a clear day, visitors can even see Mount Rainier. Opt to buy a duel ticket that includes the Chihuly Gardens and Glass, a museum full of colorful glass-blown exhibits. Pikes Place Market is another popular must-see site in Seattle. This market spans 24 buildings and is one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the United States. It is a great area to grab some souvenirs to take home with you.
History lovers should opt to visit the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, a museum that covers the history of Seattle and explains the gold rush in the area. Make sure to walk through Pioneer Square, the location of Seattle’s first establishment in 1851. For people who enjoy hiking, the Seattle area offers a ton of hiking options especially in the Snoqualmie Pass and Mt. Rainier National Park. Seattle offers such a variety of activities to keep any visitor entertained for an entire weekend.
San Diego, California
Recommended by Noel of Travel Photo Discovery
If you are looking for a cool and fun weekend getaway in the United States consider San Diego. There are so many fantastic things to do in San Diego to satisfy any type of visitor to the city. If you love museums, there are over 40 fantastic museums to explore. History and culture visitors will enjoy seeing the historic Old City center, San Diego Mission, and even Balboa Park. For outdoor adventurers, you can sail, bike, hike, surf, kayak even swim in beautiful year-round conditions that make this a perfect adventure getaway.
If you’re into good food and beer, you can enjoy all the amazing and abundant craft breweries and eat at fantastic restaurants in Little Italy, the Gaslight District, trendy Hillcrest, and upscale Kensington for some great eating venues. Needless to say, there are endless beaches, gorgeous coastlines, and fantastic coastal hiking and biking activities. There are even fun boardwalk areas to enjoy like Mission Beach with its fun amusement park and large pedestrian promenade. San Diego has so many historic attractions and interesting places to experience including the famous zoo, Coronado area, Sunset Beach area, and the gorgeous Cabrillo national monument with fantastic views of the bay and entire city and skyline. You will definitely have an active and fun experience exploring the entire city, filling your schedule with so many things to do in the city.
Napa Valley, California
Recommended by Sarah of Lets Grow Cook
Visiting Napa Valley for a weekend really is the perfect getaway. This wine-growing and agricultural region combines magical vineyard experiences, glorious landscapes, and perfectly formed boutique bed and breakfasts along with fabulous food options.
Of course, the first thing you should do is plan a visit to a vineyard and we recommend, first of all, getting a designated driver or taking the Napa bus or wine train between different locations. When it comes to which vineyard to visit you’re spoiled for choice, but there’s one that is extra special and that’s Sterling Vineyards, as you arrive at this winery by cable car. So if flying in for a wine tasting experience is something you’ve never done, get it on your weekend bucket list. Self-guided tours of the winery, access to the fabulous terrace, and a current release tasting are included within your entrance fee – with, of course, your cable car ride too!
You’ll want to plan ahead for your evening in Napa too – the valley is a foodie delight with artisan cheese, fresh, in-season vegetables, olives and olive oil, and crusty home-baked bread. For a real treat head to the three Michelin starred French Laundry (you’ll need to reserve 2 months in advance at least), but the chef’s tasting menu (at US$300) is an absolute delight. On the second day of your weekend stay in Napa, we recommend getting up early to see way more of Napa than most people do. Sunrise balloon trips provide stunning views and an unbeatable experience. Launch just after dawn and spend around 60 minutes drifting through the valley and watching the sunrise over the valley. Most balloon companies include breakfast and champagne – after the trip.
Recommended by Cath of Passports and Adventures
A great US city for a weekend getaway is Missoula in Montana. Located along the Clark Fork River, it is a small city with a population of less than 100k but is a great place to visit.
Whether you are visiting Missoula as a couple, solo or as a family, there are plenty of things to see and do both in Missoula and in the surrounding areas. Caras Park located in the city along the river is a great recreational park where you can join the Riverfront Walking Trail, watch kayakers on the river or enjoy a picnic.
If you are visiting Missoula with kids, there is a great playground at Caras Park beside the Carousel for Missoula. Both will be a hit with the kids. You could also visit the Fort Missoula Museum, the Missoula Art Museum, and the Missoula Natural History Centre.
Venture outside of the city a little and if you enjoy the outdoors, why not go hiking in Lolo National Forest. North of the city you can find the National Bison Range where you can see animals such as prong horned sheep, elk and of course, bison. There is also a little oasis in Arlee to be found which surprised us. Ewam, Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is a Buddhist garden with one thousand buddha statues of all sizes. It is a tranquil place to visit. And finally, you could also visit the Ghost Town at Garnet, just an hour away from Missoula. This town is what remains of a mining town.
There are a host of hotels to choose from for your weekend getaway and if you want a great meal, we can highly recommend the China Garden Restaurant. Missoula is a great city in the northwest to visit for a weekend getaway.
Recommended by Nicole of American SW Obsessed
Sedona is known for its red rocks and stunning landscapes. Sedona is located two hours north of Phoenix and makes it the perfect place to get away for the weekend. There are so many hidden gems in Sedona to check out.
One of the most popular activities is to go hiking in Sedona. Sedona has breathtaking hikes and two of its most popular hikes are Cathedral Rock and Devil’s Bridge. In my opinion, you cannot go to Sedona without doing Cathedral Rock Hike and Devil’s Bridge.
They are both very popular trails in Sedona and for good reason. They have great views of the red rocks that are famous in this area.
Did you know there are vineyards near Sedona? You can follow the Verde Valley Wine Trail and visit 10 vineyards near Sedona. The Verde Valley is a lush canyon located outside of Sedona. Sedona Verde Valley has something for everyone from jeep tours, great shopping places, wellness spas and so much more.
Lastly, you should stop at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts to pick up unique arts and crafts. This is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir from Sedona. There are several art galleries and jewelry shops plus great places to have some lunch.
Sedona is the place for a nature lover who also enjoys a good glass of wine and great food!
Recommended by Megan of Red Around the World
Moab, Utah is the perfect little town in the middle of the Utah desert. It’s the perfect mix of art and outdoors with a lot of awesome local businesses. Whether you want to rough it and do some camping or spend the weekend in luxury, they have it. The best time to visit is the fall since the weather is perfect and everything is still open, but there really is no bad time.
Make sure you visit Arches National Park and at least hike to Delicate Arch. Landscape Arch and Park Avenue are two other great options. Visit Canyonlands National Park nearby and head to Mesa Arch for sunrise (or sunset if you want to avoid the crowds) and admire the view os the canyons below from all the lookouts. If you want to do some things out of the parks, hike to Corona Arch on Potash Road, look for petroglyphs around Moab, drive the La Sal Loop Road, try canyoneering, or rafting, and wander around the shops downtown. You’ll be able to see quite a bit in a weekend, especially if you prioritize what you really want to see and what is close to each other.
San Antonio, Texas
Recommended by Tori of Tori Leigh
When searching for exciting weekend getaways, don’t overlook San Antonio, Texas. In addition to its rich Texas history and Southwest culture, San Antonio is a lively, walkable city offering restaurants, bars, museums, and more!
Most famously, San Antonio is home to the Alamo. Still standing after much reconstruction, the site is part of the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site and is remembered as a turning point in the Texas Revolution. History buffs will also enjoy visiting San Antonio Missions National Park, which is dedicated to preserving the city’s four other Spanish missions.
In a short weekend getaway, visitors should be sure to spend time on the San Antonio Riverwalk, featuring dozens of shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels. Take a narrated boat ride to delve deeper into the city’s and the Riverwalk’s history, or walk the footpaths at leisure. Casa Rio, the iconic umbrella lined restaurant, is the Riverwalk’s oldest restaurant, serving up classic Mexican fare. A stroll along the Riverwalk isn’t complete without a margarita, chips, and guacamole.
A short walk from the Riverwalk, the Tower of the Americas boasts the best views of San Antonio. Located in Hemisfair Park, the 750-foot landmark features an observation deck, bar, and rotating restaurant.
Also ideal for a quick family getaway, San Antonio offers a lot for families. Kids will love the San Antonio Zoo, Legoland, the hands-on DoSeum, or the Witte Museum, featuring Texas history, culture, climate, and more. If time permits, Natural Bridge Caverns lies just outside San Antonio and can widen even the smallest of eyes with its impressive limestone caves.
While there is so much more to do in San Antonio, a quick weekend will leave visitors inspired and wanting more!
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Recommended by Stephanie of History Fangirl
Oklahoma City is a great place for a quick getaway since you can see many of the city’s best sites in two or three days (though there are tons of things to do here).
Start with a somber morning at the Oklahoma City National Memorial where you can visit the museum to learn about what happened during the Oklahoma City Bombing and pay your respects to the victims. Afterward, you can enjoy a delicious lunch in Bricktown at one of the neighborhood’s many great eateries. There’s also some really fun shopping to do here, plus you can enjoy a ride on the water taxis on the canal. Some of the greatest street art in the city is here as well. In fact, you might enjoy walking between Bricktown and Downtown so much you do it a few times since each of the passages has a different motif. These are some of the most Instagrammable places in Oklahoma City, and they really can’t be missed! Other fun neighborhoods to visit include the Plaza District, the Paseo, and Automobile Alley.
If you love Route 66 kitsch, make sure to visit the Milk Bottle Building and the Gold Dome, which are both popular Route 66 attractions.
Sports lovers should try to make their visit coincide with a home game for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chesapeake Energy Arena is considered one of the loudest and proudest sports venues in professional basketball. Games are exciting no matter where you sit in the arena, so even if you get cheap seats you’ll have a fabulous time!
Recommended by Danielle of Rambling Companion
Known for its 10,000 lakes and “Minnesota nice” locals, Minneapolis is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. Throughout the weekend, explore the lakes, eat the iconic Juicy Lucy and shop till you drop at the Mall of America.
Minneapolis has several great lakes to enjoy! A great place to start is the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park which features five lakes connected by walking and biking paths. Each lake has its own charm. Lake Harriet offers live music at its bandshell throughout the summer while Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun) rents kayaks, paddle boats, and bikes.
For waterfalls and hiking trails, head over to Minnehaha Regional Park. A majestic 53-foot waterfall is the highlight of this Minneapolis park. There are also several hiking trails that wind throughout the grounds. After admiring the picturesque falls and hiking along the riverbed, enjoy lunch at the popular, Sea Salt Eatery.
To further expand on the Minneapolis food scene, the choices are diverse and delicious. Minnesota has a heavy Nordic and Scandinavian influence which is reflected in a few of its restaurants.
The most iconic dish in Minneapolis is the Juicy Lucy. Basically an inside-out cheeseburger, melt cheese oozes out of the middle of this legendary burger. The Juicy Lucy was created in Minneapolis in the 1950s and remains a local favorite.
The most popular attraction in Minnesota is the Mall of America. It is the largest mall in America. In addition to the usual stores and restaurants, it features a theme park, aquarium, and movie theatre. As an added bonus, Minnesota doesn’t have sales tax on clothing!
New Orleans, Louisiana
Recommended by Annick of The Common Traveler
A list of best weekend getaways wouldn’t be complete without including New Orleans, Louisiana. With a motto like “laissez les bons temps rouler!” (let the good times roll!), a weekend in New Orleans will certainly be a memorable one.
Foodies will find their happy place in New Orleans’ food scene. Not only has New Orleans’ French history and bayou locations provided some unique culinary history, but its chefs have been at the forefront of cuisine adventures. Weekend visitors to New Orleans have an opportunity to try unique items that are immediately recognized as NOLA favorites, like eating bananas foster at Brennan’s and enjoying beignets at Cafe du Monde.
The city is well-known for its music scene and especially for its jazz venues. Live music can be found in the French Quarter as well as along Frenchmen Street. Visitors shouldn’t miss Bourbon Street, the bloodline of the French Quarter. Some groups enjoy spending the weekend going from bar to bar drinking, listening to music, and partying the entire weekend.
For those that prefer exploring, New Orleans enjoys a rich history. Visitors can either walk the historical areas or take the streetcars to explore the different neighborhoods. Visit the Garden District’s majestic homes, where many celebrities have now settled. Learn the city’s history by visiting its cemeteries. Explore some of the city’s dark side by taking a fun voodoo tour.
But most of all, a weekend getaway to New Orleans offers fun in a fantastic Southern setting!
Recommended by Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan
The small southern city of Mobile, Alabama makes the perfect weekend getaway for those who want something a bit quieter and more manageable than its brash neighbor, New Orleans. Although, the two cities do have lots of similarities. Even though Mobile is now part of Alabama, it was the original capital of the French Louisiana Territory.
You will recognize this French heritage in its architecture (look up to see the wrought-iron balconies) and in its culture and traditions. For example, it’s a little-known fact that Mobile is home to the oldest Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States! Since Mobile was founded in 1702, a few years before New Orleans, Mardi Gras happened here first and has been going strong ever since.
Another local celebration you should try to catch is the Azalea Trail Festival, which takes place each year in the second half of March. The azalea bushes that are in front of nearly every house in the city burst into blooms of pink and white, and many of the antebellum mansions open up for special tours at this time of year. Senior students from local high schools dress up in hoopskirts in pastel colors trimmed with lace. Known as the Azalea Trail Maids, they charm visitors with their Southern hospitality and serve as ambassadors for the city.
But even if you miss these local festivals, there’s plenty to see and do at any time of year. The weather is pretty mild year-round, so you can usually go for walks along the nearby beaches even in winter. And there are some great local restaurants in Mobile as well, including several offering vegan options.
Recommended by Ashley of My Wanderlusty Life
One of the best American weekend getaways is Memphis, Tennessee–a city most famous for Elvis Presley and BBQ but that is so much more than that. There are so many things to do in Memphis but it’s a city in which you won’t feel overwhelmed even if visiting for just a weekend.
It’s true that a visit to Elvis Presley’s mansion, Graceland, and its many museums is the perfect place to start. Here you can visit Elvis’s house, a museum dedicated to his incredible music career, another with his collection of fancy cars and motorcycles, and you can even go inside his private airplanes.
In addition to Graceland, Memphis is bursting with music history. Known as the “home of the blues and the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” you can also visit such places as the Blues Hall of Fame, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Stax Museum, and Sun Studio, the music studio where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and so many more famous names were discovered.
Other than music, Memphis is world-famous for its food culture. Here in the BBQ capital of the world, you’ll find some of the best you’ve ever had at places like Central BBQ, Corky’s, Interstate, and Rendezvous (for their famous dry ribs). Memphis is also home to some of the country’s best fried chicken at Gus’s and a handful of award-winning cajun restaurants.
Memphis is a lovely city with a beautiful riverfront along the Mississippi River. It’s home to a giant pyramid you can go to the top of for awesome views and the longest pedestrian bridge over the Mississippi. It’s got a charming, pedestrian-friendly downtown featuring a historic trolley system and some of the best southern hospitality around.
Recommended by Liliane of My Toronto, My World
Detroit is a city that’s had some rough times and often been labeled negatively. In the last few years, however, this has been changing for the positive. While the city has always had a ton of things going for it, more and more people are now realizing it’s a great city to visit. While there is a ton to do in the city, a weekend in Detroit is a good start to get a feel of what the city has to offer.
There are a number of things to do in Detroit. Highlights include visiting the Motown Museum (make sure to book a tour ahead of time as they do book up!), the Detroit Institute of Arts (one of the best museums in the United States), checking out the street art in Lincoln Street Art Park and checking out the architecture of the Detroit Public Library. If the Detroit Tigers are in town then you can also catch a baseball game at Comerica Park.
Something that absolutely can’t be missed is picking up some local goodies at the Eastern Market and while you’re there you need to walk around the buildings and down the alleyways to see some of the absolutely stunning murals that were created for the Eastern Market Murals project.
Detroit’s also got its own nature haven for those craving a little touch of nature in a big city. Head over to Belle Isle Park which is actually an island located in the Detroit River. There’s a ton of things to do on the island itself including hiking, spending time on the beach, a conservatory, an aquarium, and exploring a lighthouse.
Recommended by Karen of Family Travels on a Budget
Sandusky, Ohio on the Lake Erie Shore is well-known roller coaster enthusiasts going to Cedar Point. Enjoy a day at the theme park, even the wait in queue for Steel Vengeance. But then, take some time to explore this charming city in northern Ohio.
There are so many fun things to do in Sandusky, Ohio to make it a great weekend vacation destination. History enthusiasts can visit places like the Merry Go Round Museum or Facer Park, which honors the city’s role in the Underground Railroad. Take a Goodtime boat tour to learn even more about the area’s history. Sunset dinner cruises make this an especially memorable experience.
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore Sandusky on bike or on a Segway tour. Explore the waterfront parks on kayaks or paddleboards. Bike, kayak, and paddleboard rentals are available to make this easy. There’s even an indoor rock climbing wall in town, great for beginners or a rainy day.
Foodies can eat their way through the town, enjoying a diverse array of food at locally-owned restaurants. Lake Erie Shores & Islands has a great wine trail, too. And those with a sweet tooth will enjoy Ice cream at Toft Dairy, a local favorite, serving generous scoops of homemade ice cream in a variety of traditional and unique flavors.
For those with extra time, nearby Put-in-Bay offers even more to explore. This island town is accessible only by ferry, and most explore by golf cart. Historic Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial, Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center, the marina, and the walkable downtown with its expansive park space offer plenty to do in a day here. With so many fun things to do in and around Sandusky, Ohio, this is a great weekend getaway destination.
Asheville, North Carolina
Recommended by Christina of Live a Wilder Life
One of the best spots for a weekend getaway in the US is Asheville, North Carolina. While a trendy and hip city, it’s not always the first place people think about when making travel plans, so it remains a bit of an under the radar feeling. Asheville has become synonymous with great food, amazing nature, and a bohemian artist culture that is fiercely devoted to its unique style. There is so much to offer in Asheville that you’ll have to decide if you want to explore its abundant nature, try out the farm to table food scene, check out the thriving art community or perhaps dabble in a little bit of everything.
Popular things to do in Asheville include trying out a wild foraging tour, tubing down the French Broad River, driving along the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, hitting up one of the many microbreweries, strolling through the local art galleries in the River Arts District, or visiting the largest privately-owned home, The Biltmore Estate.
For us, the highlight of our time living in Asheville was sliding down the natural rock slide known as Sliding Rock. It’s located 45 minutes outside of Asheville in the incredible Pisgah National Forest. It’s a 60-foot rock slide that lets you out into a pool of clear blue water. If you’re visiting in the warmer months, it’s a great adventure activity to include along with the hundreds of hike in Pisgah Forest. If you’re looking for something more low key, you can’t go wrong strolling through Downtown to check out all the locally owned shops and dining at the original Tupelo Honey or the highly-rated Curate.
Recommended by Sydney of A World in Reach
The beautiful, historic city of Savannah is one of the best cities for a weekend getaway in the US. With its gorgeous historic squares, trees draped in Spanish moss, and delicious Southern food, it’s easy to spend a long weekend in Savannah.
Savannah’s Historic District is one of the most beautiful in the country. You can easily spend a day wandering around the historic district, admiring the historic squares, antebellum homes, and churches. In Savannah, it’s legal to walk around the historic district while drinking an alcoholic beverage, so grab a delicious frozen daiquiri from Wet Willie’s for the walk through the historic district. Make your way to Forsyth Park, a perfect place to relax after the walk.
Did you know that Savannah is considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the United States? Learn more about Savannah’s haunted history by taking a Savannah ghost tour! There are several different tours throughout the city, including adults-only tours, family-friendly tours, and even tours given while riding around the city in a hearse! Another spooky Savannah activity is roaming around Bonaventure Cemetery, known for being featured in John Berendt’s novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Hungry yet? Savannah is the perfect city to sample traditional Southern comfort foods. One of the most popular places to eat in Savannah is Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, which serves up family-style Southern home cooking. For a more fine-dining experience, make reservations at The Olde Pink House. For dessert, head to Leopold’s for the best ice cream in town – the line might look long, but it moves pretty quickly and is worth the wait!
Key West, Florida
Recommended by Lori of Travlinmad
One of the most fun weekend getaways is to the Conch Republic, Key West Florida. If you’re driving it’s the last stop on Highway A1A in the Florida Keys and is the Southernmost Point in the USA.
Key West is home to year-round sun and many a colorful character. For a first-timer to Key West, there are water sports galore like snorkeling, scuba diving, boat rentals, fishing excursions, and a local favorite — a sunset snorkeling cruise aboard a sailing catamaran. There is excellent dining but nothing too formal, and lots of fun street food. How many places serve a hefty slice of key lime pie on a stick that you can eat as you walk and take in the sites?
There is a festival during every month of the year and the entire town comes alive with partiers along Duval Street doing the famous “Duval Crawl”. No doubt the two most famous of these are Captain Tony’s and of course Sloppy Joe’s Bar which celebrates the spirit of Papa Hemingway nightly.
Morning is a great time to wander the still quiet streets. You can grab breakfast and a Bloody Mary or fresh-squeezed orange juice at Pepe’s Cafe, a local favorite. Or maybe a Cuban coffee from Cuban Coffee Queen is enough to enjoy the start of the day in a tropical paradise. After some beach time or just lazing around the pool, when afternoon turns into evening, it’s time to head for Mallory Square to enjoy the sunset, honor the day, and have some of the best street food in town. There are so many things to do in Key West and plenty of time to relax on a tropical weekend getaway.
New York, New York
Recommended by Kate of Our Escape Clause
Of all the cities to explore over a weekend trip in the USA, there is none as iconic as New York City.
Home to many of the most famous landmarks and tourist destinations in not just the United States but in the entire world, putting together a New York City itinerary is less about finding things to do than it is about deciding what you can bear to leave off!
Over a weekend in NYC, be sure to enjoy a show on Broadway, marvel at Times Square (and consider visiting after dark to get the full effect), stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge and through Central Park, admire the Statue of Liberty and the interior of Grand Central, and check out the Highline.
Of course, no visit to New York would be complete without taking in the stunning views of the skyline from above: the Empire State Building is the classic choice for soaking in skyline views, but Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center and the One World Observatory down in the Financial District have incredible views as well.
Exploring at least one museum during your trip to New York is almost a must during a weekend trip: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art are all absolutely iconic, but if you’re looking for something more offbeat, NYC literally has hundreds of museums to choose from.
Overall, there is absolutely no chance you could possibly run out of things to do in NYC during a weekend getaway there, so pick out your biggest bucket-list wish list items to check off this time… and be prepared to leave NYC already wondering about how to plan your next trip back.
Recommended by Julie of Wandering Sunsets
Portland, Maine is an amazing weekend getaway destination in New England. Portland has one of the most vibrant foodie scenes in the US and is packed with premium craft breweries. The summertime is by far our favorite season to visit Portland. There is nothing quite like enjoying a delicious lobster roll by the waterfront on a warm summer night in Portland.
You can easily get to Portland by flying into Boston and renting a car, but you can also fly directly into the small Portland airport. You don’t need a car if you are staying in downtown Portland and can easily explore the city on foot. But if you’d like to check out the picturesque lighthouses outside the city, and stop at some of the most famous breweries in Portland, you will need a vehicle to get around.
You can explore the highlights of Portland in a weekend! On your first day, take a leisurely walk around Old Port. Admire the historic buildings and take in the ocean breeze on the waterfront. Make sure to stop by Holy Donut to try a famous Maine potato donut. After grabbing a lobster roll for lunch, take a drive to the scenic Portland Head Light and walk along the coastline for beautiful view of the lighthouse. For dinner, treat yourself to a meal at Even Tide or Duck Fat – there are so many amazing restaurants in Portland you really can’t go wrong.
On your second day, take a cruise on a lobster fishing boat or the ferry to Casco Islands. Then head to Rising Tide and Bissel Brothers to try some of the best beers in Portland.
What about you? Are you looking for a quick trip? We hope these best weekend getaways in the US have inspired you to consider a fabulous trip to either a place you’ve explored before or a new location. Do you have a favorite weekend getaway you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments!
Annick, The Common Traveler