Need a change of scenery or have a long weekend coming up? Why not plan a weekend trip to somewhere new? These 21 destinations are some of the best places for weekend getaways in the US, with plenty to do, see and eat no matter how long you’re staying!
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Best Weekend Getaways in the Northeast
1. Portland, ME
Portland, Maine is a perfect summer weekend trip in New England, with a compact downtown offering plenty of shopping, local boutiques, delicious food and a great craft beer scene (if you’re 21+). The charming downtown and nearby beaches will definitely leave you wishing you had more than just a few days.
Best thing to do: Enjoy fresh lobster and other seafood with the abundance of waterfront restaurants. In between eating, explore the super-walkable Old Port downtown center or take a trip to see some of the nearby coastal lighthouses.
2. Burlington, VT
Burlington, VT may not be on your radar as much as cities like New York or Philadelphia, but it’s small-town charm lends the perfect vibe for a weekend getaway. From live music and hip restaurants and shops to beautiful waterfront views of Lake Champlain (plus plenty of water activities and rentals during the summer months), Burlington has lots to keep you busy for the weekend without being overwhelming.
Best thing to do: Eat! Burlington is quickly becoming known as a foodie destination, with tons of unique and local restaurants, from food trucks to waterfront cafes to speakeasies and outdoor markets.
3. Catskills, NY
Although the stunning fall colors and mountain views make autumn the best time to visit the Catskills, it’s a great weekend trip any time of year. From skiing in the winter to hiking, ziplining, mountain biking and other adventures the rest of the year, the Catskills Mountains are an easy getaway from New York City to enjoy some time in nature.
Best thing to do: Enjoy time outside, especially in the fall! Giant Ledge is one of the best hikes in the region (and it features, not surprisingly, a giant ledge with insane views of the surrounding valley).
4. Boston, MA
Boston is one of the most charming cities in New England and perfect for weekend getaways on the East Coast. Easily walkable and the perfect size for exploring over a weekend, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in Boston, rain or shine.
Best thing to do: Head downtown and hit many of the major historical sights in downtown Boston by walking the Freedom Trail. Head to the large Museum of Fine Arts on a rainy day, or have a picnic in the Historic Boston Common and Public Gardens if it’s sunny.
Best Weekend Getaways in the South
5. Charleston, SC
Charleston, a hip, artsy coastal city, offers plenty to do for students and is perfect for weekend getaways. There’s a lot of free things to see and do—including some of the major historical sites and attractions downtown—and even free walking tours. If you’re in town the first Friday of the month, join in with the Art Walk downtown to explore the galleries and shops of local artists while enjoying free drinks and refreshments.
Best thing to do: Watch the sunset (and spot some dolphins) at the Bridge to Nowhere. Also, don’t miss exploring the Charleston Historic District and the Saturday Farmer’s Market.
6. New Orleans, LA
What better way to spend a weekend than filling up on delicious food and enjoying tons of live music in NOLA? Even if you can’t visit for Mardi Gras, there’s plenty of culture, music, food and drinks year-round to create an amazing weekend trip. Need a little more adventure? A swamp tour will get you up close to the crocs.
Best thing to do: Catch live music and indulge in tons to eat and drink with a walk down Bourbon Street and the (only slightly) quieter Frenchman Street. Both are in the French Quarter. Then try some beignets at Cafe du Monde or Cafe Beignet.
7. Austin, TX
Austin is quickly becoming known as one of the most hip and eclectic cities in the US, perfect for students, music-lovers and anyone needing a good weekend getaway. From the incredible BBQ to never-ending live music options, there’s plenty to do for a weekend (or more) in this sunny city.
Best thing to do: Go for a swim in Barton Springs Pool, a 3-acre pool in the middle of Austin naturally filled with water from nearby hot springs. Then immerse yourself in the live music scene downtown.
8. Key West, FL
Needing a weekend getaway that involves plenty of sunshine and also a beach…or twelve? Key West, FL is a great getaway, with the added benefit of being much less crowded than Miami. Located in the Florida Keys, it makes for a perfect weekend road trip from Miami, with the scenic Hwy 1 giving you ocean views on both sides.
Best thing to do: Obviously, a beach day. Key West is famous for its coral reefs, so grab some snorkel or scuba diving gear and explore life under the sea.
Best Weekend Trips in the Midwest
9. Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati is home to some unique downtown architecture, weekend markets and plenty of museums, so you’ll have just enough options to fill a weekend trip. It’s also home to numerous sports teams and—a bit less-known—home to the largest Oktoberfest in the US!
Best thing to do: Explore the sprawling Findlay market for food, crafts and more; then check out one of Cincinnati’s many museums (we like the Cincinnati Art Museum—it’s free!)
10. Chicago, IL
Chicago is one of the best cities for weekend getaways in the US—with its iconic skyline, impressive museums, energetic downtown area and a food and drink scene to please basically every appetite (and budget), Chicago is a must for your weekend bucket list.
Best thing to do: Take a selfie with the giant bean at Millenium Park (you know you want to), grab some deep dish pizza and take a long walk along the river on the Chicago Riverwalk—the long pathway is lined with cafes, shops and restaurants.
11. Nashville, TN
Nashville makes a great spot for a weekend getaway, as it’s just a few hours away from many major cities in the US. Nashville is most famous for being home to country music, but it has a lot more to offer as well, if that’s not your jam. Wander down Broadway for all kinds of live music and places to eat, or check out a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Centennial Park.
Best thing to do: See a show at the Ryman Auditorium or some free live music basically all over the city. There’s more than just country music!
12. Hocking Hills, Ohio
Hocking Hills is a bit more off-the-beaten-path, but if you’re looking for a quiet space in nature to get away while still staying in the midwest, Hocking Hills is a great choice. The small region is home to Hocking Hills State Park and other forests and nature preserves—the perfect place for a weekend in a cabin with some hiking and other outdoor adventures.
Best thing to do: Go hiking in the incredibly beautiful gorges and canyons at Hocking Hill State Park and you’ll forget you’re even in Ohio. The gorge and rim trail at Conkle’s Hollow are two of the prettiest trails.
Best Weekend Getaways in the Northwest
13. Olympic National Park, WA
Olympic National Park is one of the easiest getaways in the Pacific Northwest, due to its close proximity to Seattle—just two hours away! It’s the perfect place to spend a weekend exploring quiet rainforests and Pacific coastlines. Stay in a small cabin, go camping or spend the weekend in a nearby town and you’ll feel a world away from the nearby city life.
Best thing to do: Go for a hike! The Hoh River Trail, Hurricane Ridge and the Sol Duc Falls trails are some of the most popular, but there’s loads of options. A drive around the perimeter of the park on US-101 will also provide plenty of scenic views.
14. Lake Tahoe, CA
The perfect escape for Northern California’s city life or Nevada’s desert, Lake Tahoe is a stunning oasis any time of year. Head up for world-class skiing in the winter or paddleboarding and lake days in the summer. Plus, there’s plenty of hiking trails (or snowshoeing trails) to explore year-round.
Best thing to do: Enjoy the lake! Emerald Bay State Park is a popular (and beautiful) spot, but our favorite beach is Secret Harbour. Pope Beach has kayak and paddleboard rentals available right on the beach, too!
15. Jackson Hole, WY
Jackson Hole, Wyoming is a bit more off-the-beaten-path, but in this case, it’s definitely a good thing! It’s home to some incredible ski resorts and is just south of both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. For a weekend trip with plenty of outdoor adventure—in any weather—Jackson Hole is a great jumping-off place.
Best thing to do: Get outside! From skiing to rafting to National Parks, there’s something to suit every type of outdoor adventurer. Or, if you just need a break, the Granite Hot Springs off a natural way to relax and unwind.
16. Portland, OR
Portland’s town motto is “Keep Portland Weird,” so you’ll find plenty of unique and quirky places to explore here! Since it’s a somewhat small and very walkable city, it’s easy to get around and explore in a weekend, and has tons of local and small-town charm while having plenty to explore. It’s a great place for foodies and has an amazing craft beer scene (if you’re of age), plus has a hip downtown and arts scene.
Best thing to do: Head to one of Portland’s beautiful city parks (like the Portland Japanese Gardens) then head to the Portland Saturday market to sample some of the city’s best food trucks, art and other shopping. Powell’s City of Books (the largest independent bookstore in the world) is also a great place to explore—especially on a rainy day.
Best Weekend Trips in the Southwest
17. Las Vegas, NV
If you need a break from real life for a weekend, Las Vegas is the perfect place to let loose and indulge! With cheap flights from a number of West Coast (and beyond) cities, it’s an easy place to get to for a weekend getaway with friends.
Best thing to do: Explore the hotels. This may sound boring af, but in Las Vegas it’s definitely a must-do. The Venetian has canals with real gondolas inside—just like Venice, Italy!—and the Bellagio has some iconic fountains with light shows. There’s no shortage of shows and entertainment to enjoy once you’re in town, too.
18. San Diego, CA
Get away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles for the weekend and enjoy the more relaxed vibes of San Diego. From the massive parks to hip, artsy vibes downtown to some of the best beaches in California, you can’t go wrong with a weekend getaway to San Diego. And with over 300 sunny days a year, there’s never a bad time to visit.
Best thing to do: The massive Balboa Park is gorgeous, super fun to explore and home to museums, art galleries, a zoo and more. Plus, visit some of the best beaches in California—Coronado Beach and La Jolla Cove are two of our favorites.
19. Santa Fe, NM
Sante Fe is known as a creative hotspot and is nestled in the scenic foothills of Northern New Mexico. Visit for a weekend to gain some new scenery and a lot of inspiration, plus delicious food around every corner, a historic downtown and some fabulous hiking nearby.
Best thing to do: Eat some real New Mexican food at The Shed and then go for a hike among the slot canyons and tent rock formations at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.
20. Zion National Park, UT
Utah has some of the most beautiful National Parks in the US, and there’s a handful to explore all within a day’s drive of each other—perfect for a road trip over a week or for weekend getaways. Zion National Park is the most well-known, and it’s definitely worth a visit (especially if you can visit during non-peak season).
Best thing to do: Go for a hike! Angel’s Landing and the Narrows are two of the most popular, but they involve some daring sections. If you’re feeling a bit less adventurous, there’s lots of shorter hiking options too.
21. San Francisco, CA
This geographically small city packs a major punch and is perfect for weekend getaways. From iconic sights like the Golden Gate Bridge to amazing food, beaches and nearby hiking, SF has something for everyone.
Best thing to do: Definitely make some time to see the Golden Gate. Drive across, walk across or just snap some Insta-worthy pics from a nearby beach. Then stroll through Golden Gate Park, down Market Street and out to Pier 39 and the other waterfront shops and restaurants. And chocolate-lovers: don’t miss the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory.
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