Photo of Miami skyline with a US flag in the right corner and a causeway built over the water. Miami is easily one of the best weekend getaways in the USA!

15 Cool Cities Perfect for Weekend Getaways in the USA

Looking to get away for a weekend? Well, you’re in luck: there are so many incredible weekend getaways in the USA!

The more we travel in our home country, the more we appreciate how its enormous size and incredible diversity mean that city breaks in the United States can cover just about any interest.

Want to lay out on one of the best urban beaches in the world, drink craft beer, attend an unforgettable festival, go hiking, hit a casino, or simply experience some of the most iconic tourist sites in the world in quick succession?

2 Days in Boston Itinerary: Fanieul Hall

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Or, maybe you want to dig into a unique and delicious food scene, learn a bit of American history, or engross yourself in a walkable area and leave driving behind for your whole weekend trip?

No matter what you like to do, there’s an American city (or six) for that.

Here are 15 of the best cities for weekend getaways in the USA.

Table of Contents

Southern Weekend Getaways in the USA

Western weekend getaways in the usa, eastern weekend getaways in the usa, central weekend getaways in the usa.

Top of the Rock or Empire State Building: Photo of Girl in a Dress at Top of the Rock

New Orleans

It’s often said that there’s nowhere like New Orleans–and that is completely true.

Spending a weekend in New Orleans ( or even a single day ) means lots of jazz, lots of delicious food (gumbo, beignets, po’ boys, muffulettas, and more–oh my!), and lots of good times.

Be sure to make time for a ghost tour to take a look at the more mystical part of the city (even if you’re not the superstitious type, I promise a ghost tour is worth it in NOLA!), and a bayou tour to check out southern Louisiana’s incredible landscape.

And, while it’s easy to have nothing but good times in New Orleans, you can (and arguably should) add more depth to your trip as well: consider a day trip out to somewhere like the Whitney Plantation to learn a bit about NOLA’s dark past, or even a Katrina-themed tour discussing the serious impacts of the 2005 hurricane.

Where to Stay in New Orleans

  • Best Western Plus French Quarter Landmark Hotel : The hotel itself is beautiful in that classic New Orleans way, and the (included) breakfast is varied and tasty. Best of all, this hotel is situated right on the edge of the French Quarter, meaning that all of the French Quarter and some areas beyond are within easy walking distance.
  • Omni Royal Orleans Hotel : Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this beautiful hotel is known for its gorgeous building, attentive service, and lovely ambiance–plus its ghosts. Yeah, that attentive service? It just may come in the form of the ghost maid who likes to tuck guests in at night!

Romantic Getaways in USA: Jackson Square New Orleans

If you’re hoping to soak up some fun in the sun during your USA weekend getaway, look no further than Miami.

South Beach is often considered one of the best urban beaches on the planet, and we’d have to agree! 

Don’t limit yourself just to the beach, though: be sure to explore Miami Beach’s impressive Art Deco architecture, eat your way through Little Havana, admire street art in Wynwood, and check out the views from Biscayne Bay.

For those who want to experience some unique nature in south Florida during their trip, consider also planning a trip out to the Everglades–or if you have a few extra days, road-tripping your way all the way to Key West , the southernmost point in the USA!

Where to Stay in Miami

  • Hotel Impala : We love staying here! The room was clean, the shower divine, the customer service lovely, and–most importantly–the location on Collins Ave. was absolutely  perfect.  Located in the heart of the Art Deco district and a five-minute walk from South Beach while still offering a quiet place to sleep at night, Hotel Impala had a location you just can’t beat in Miami Beach.
  • The Marlin Hotel : This hotel offers the chance to stay in one of Miami Beach’s historic art deco buildings! Boasting a fantastic location on Collins Avenue, impeccable customer service, incredible reviews, and spacious suites, the Marlin Hotel is the perfect hotel for those looking for a luxury experience while also seeing a side of Miami Beach’s Art Deco history that not every visitor to the city gets to.

Kate in a pink dress standing in front of a blue art deco lifeguard stand on South Beach in Miami Beach.

Dripping with Spanish moss and home to one of the most stunningly beautiful historic centers of any city in the United States, Savannah is the perfect place to head for a weekend trip : not too big, not too small, and positively packed with some of the best southern food you could ever hope to find.

Come here to wander through all 22 of Savannah’s remaining town squares, tour a house museum or two, pay a visit to Forsyth Park, and to wander along gorgeous Jones Street.

Shoppers will love all the boutiques on Broughton Street, River Street, and in City Market, and those looking to indulge their taste buds will find limitless incredible food in Savannah , from classic southern meals at the Olde Pink House to tasty ice cream at Leopold’s.

If you’re a former Girl Scout like me, or just interested in their history, be sure to also pay a visit to the home of the organization’s founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

Where to Stay in Savannah

  • The Marshall House : Featuring a popular included breakfast, a fantastic location in the heart of Savannah’s historic district, and phenomenal reviews, you can’t go wrong with a stay at The Marshall House!
  • Foley House Inn : Easily my favorite hotel that I’ve stayed in while in Savannah, the Foley House Inn is absolutely beautiful inside and out, and has a perfect location right on Chippewa Square.

The Best Things to Do in Savannah: Fountain in Square

Of all of the weekend getaways in the USA covered here, Asheville is one of the best options for a group divided on whether to visit a city or the great outdoors.

Home to an epic craft beer scene, the incredible Biltmore Estate, plenty of street art, and delicious food options, there’s no doubt that Asheville appeals to the city lovers among us.

Its location right next door to the Pisgah National Forest and Great Smoky Mountain National Park, however, make it a fabulous US weekend destination for outdoor enthusiasts, as well, and there are plenty of easy hikes near Asheville that allow travelers of all skill levels to enjoy the beautiful mountain setting.

No matter what your interests are, try to make time during your trip to Asheville to drive a small piece of the Blue Ridge Parkway–especially if you’re visiting in the fall and can enjoy the changing colors. Often considered one of the most beautiful road trips in the United States, it’s a sight not to be missed.

Where to Stay in Asheville

  • Cedar Crest Inn: This pink 1891 mansion house is a perfect place to base yourself in Asheville. Packed with historical details and stunning architecture you can imagine it as a mini Biltmore.
  • The Applewood Manor : Located within walking distance of downtown via a greenbelt trail, The Applewood Manor feels like it’s in a peaceful, quiet location–but it’s still in a perfect location to make the most of Asheville.

kate storm in a blue dress in front of the biltmore house asheville north carolina

Home to country music, hot chicken, street art, and plenty of barbecue, there’s no doubt that Nashville, Tennessee is an excellent place to let the good times roll on your weekend away.

While Nashville is extremely popular as a bachelorette party destination and for other girls’ getaways, large groups are far from the only types of travelers who will enjoy a weekend in Music City, USA.

The best places to visit in Nashville include visiting the Grand Ole Opry (both for the show and for the backstage tour!), checking out the Johnny Cash Museum, seeing the Country Music Hall of Fame, and exploring Gulch, the street art neighborhood home to, among many other things, the #instagramfamous Nashville wings.

Be sure to save some time to enjoy the city’s famous nightlife when exploring the best things to do in Nashville . Its tasty food is also an important ingredient on any Nashville bucket list –be sure to try the hot chicken at least once, but be aware of your heat tolerance before ordering!

Where to Stay in Nashville

  • Hutton Hotel: Book into this stylish hotel for your romantic trip, relax on the hotel balcony, or stroll 10 minutes to Music Row.
  • Virgin Hotels: Part of the Virgin Group and with all the luxury details you might expect, with plenty of red and white details.

Skyline of Nashville Tennessee at sunset overlooking the river, one of the most romantic getaways in the United States

Located just a couple of hours north of Savannah, Charleston shares a lot of similarities with its neighbor to the south: fantastic southern food, Spanish moss dripping from the trees, beautiful architecture, lots of history to uncover–but it absolutely has its own distinct personality as well.

Be sure to visit the beautiful and photogenic Rainbow Row, check out the tea-making process at the Charleston Tea Plantation, visit the gorgeous and interesting Angel Oak Tree, stroll through Waterfront Park and Battery Park, and check out City Market.

Those interested in US military history will no doubt want to visit Patriots Point to tour the former US naval ships docked there and Fort Sumter for its history (and views).

Even for non-military-history buffs like us, these sights can still be an interesting way to spend some time!

Beach lovers, don’t miss the chance to check out nearby Folly Beach!

Where to Stay in Charleston

  • Market Pavillion Hotel : This hotel is a stunning choice in the heart of the historical district. Rooms feature four poster beds and charming classic decor, but the hotel amenities are really special with a mosaic pool and even its own Executive Pastry Chef whipping up delicious pastries for breakfast.
  • French Quarter Inn : Another fabulous historical hotel is this one in the french quarter overlooking Charleston City Market. You are welcomed with champagne on arrival, there is also a port wine and cheese reception and freshly baked cookies with milk are served every evening. The perfect treats for your trip! Rooms are vintage inspired and really beautiful. This is the loveliest spot in Charleston.

Rainbow Row in as seen during 3 days in Charleston SC

Set right on the water with the dramatic backdrop of Mount Rainier, it’s no wonder that busy and beautiful Seattle is one of the most popular west coast weekend getaways in the USA.

A weekend trip is the perfect amount of time to eat your way through Pike Place Market, head to the top of the Space Needle, visit the famous Chihuly Museum, and  check out the fun and interesting Museum of Pop Culture.

Looking for interesting neighborhoods? Head to Fremont, where the self-proclaimed unofficial motto is “des libertas quirkas”, aka “the freedom to be quirky”.

Hoping to spend some time outside? Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Pacific Northwest, endless waterfalls, trails, and mountains–even Mount Rainier itself–are located within day-tripping distance from Seattle.

Where to Stay in Seattle

  • Gaslight Inn : Located on Capitol Hill this historic building is a great option for Seattle. Recognized as a historic landmark and beautifully preserved but with all the modern luxuries.
  • MarQueen Hotel: Another historic hotel, built in 1918 in the Queen Anne neighborhood. Rooms all have hardwood floors and period features, as well as huge beds perfect for your romantic trip.

Seattle Waterfront with space needle visible through the ferris wheel

Much like Austin, Portland proudly embraces its weirdness, celebrating the eclectic and bizarre in all possible ways–and that makes it endlessly fun to visit!

Bookworms like me will immediately head to Powell’s City of Books–I still think it’s the biggest bookstore I’ve ever visited–while foodies will want to head directly to the local ice cream obsession, Salt & Straw. 

Voodoo Doughnuts, now with a few locations nationally, also originated here and remains popular with tourists (though depending on who you ask, not locals–for what it’s worth, we’d rate the doughnuts 7/10).

During your weekend trip to Portland, make time to visit the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Garden, especially if you visit when everything is in bloom.

Plenty of incredible parts of the Columbia River Gorge, including famous Multnomah Falls, are also within easy reach of Portland and deserve to feature on your list of things to do in Portland !

Where to Stay in Portland

  • Portland Regency Hotel & Spa : This historic hotel offers a hot tub, steam room, full-service spa, and other luxurious amenities that will truly make your vacation to Portland one to remember!
  • Portland Harbor Hotel: Located on Portland Waterfront is this luxury and stylish hotel. With beautifully designed rooms and a great restaurant, you are also well located to explore more of Portland.

Photo of steal sign stating "portland oregon" in front of a blue sky, a must-see during 3 days in portland or

Possibly the most iconic of all these weekend getaways in the USA, Las Vegas is a prime destination for short trips.

First-time visitors will certainly want to hit the Strip, even if only to check out the hotels, fountains, malls, and generally see what all the fuss is about–but there’s more to Vegas than the Strip (if you want there to be, that is).

Whether you want to hit the casinos to gamble and soak in some shows, check out Las Vega’s interesting (and far less touristed) downtown area, or get out and experience the fantastic natural highlights of the Southwest, Las Vegas has something to offer.

While the more-famous southern rim of the Grand Canyon is really too far away from Las Vegas to make a practical day trip, options like Valley of Fire State Park, Red Rock Canyon, and the Hoover Dam are all possibilities.

Where to Stay in Las Vegas

  • The Venetian: As one of the most iconic hotels on the Las Vegas strip this is a fabulous choice for your romantic trip. Everything about this resort is luxurious and huge, from the 1.2-acre pool deck to the in house shopping mall. Book a suite and feel like a real star.
  • Bellagio: Fans of the Ocean franchise will know this hotel and its fountains, although almost any Las Vegas fans know the fountain show of the Bellagio! Stay in this famous hotel for the ultimate treat.

Welcome to Las Vegas sign, one of the most popular weekend getaways in the USA

San Francisco

The city of hills, ocean views, and the famous Golden Gate Bridge is at the top of many people’s lists of best USA weekend getaways–and with an endless list of things to do that cater to all interests, why not?

Be sure to pay a visit to the touristed highlights that most interest you–Fisherman’s Wharf (and its adorable sea lions!), Alcatraz, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting the Painted Ladies (of Full House fame), and checking out Lombard Street.

Once you cross those highlights off your list, though, make time for a few less-obvious attractions, like San Francisco’s Japanese Garden, the Land’s End Labyrinth, and Fort Point.

And, of course, you can’t forget to go for a walk in the woods while visiting San Francisco: the Muir Woods are an unforgettable experience worthy of your time on any weekend trip to the area!

Where to Stay in San Francisco

  • Petit Auberge: This adorable hotel in Nob Hill is the perfect place to base yourself for a romantic trip. Styled like a French Auberge with cozy furnishings and fireplaces in the rooms, opening onto pretty terraces, the hotel also has private parking. Essential in the city.
  • Beacon Grand: Opened in 1928 as a hotel for the creators of San Francisco society and recently reopened after restoration preserving architectural details and artisan crafts. Stay in a stunning piece of history and feel like a star.

Man standing in front of enormous Redwood trees with a sunflare in the top left corner of the photo

New York City

How much of New York can you see on just a USA weekend getaway? Enough that you’ll want to come back immediately.

New York certainly can’t be “done” in a weekend–nor can it be done in a lifetime–but the great thing about New York City is that no matter who you are or what your interests are, whether you want to track down iconic spots, explore the best food in New York , see a show (or three), or discover offbeat NYC , you can find something to captivate you.

For tourists hoping for the classic NYC experience like we were on our first few visits, a weekend in New York is certainly long enough to see all those sights we’ve seen in movies and shows throughout our lives!

Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Grand Central, Times Square, the Public Library, a Broadway show or two, a visit to Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge–in a weekend, you can see all of that and more.

If you’re into museums, we also recommend hitting just one (no more–too much else to do!) during your weekend in New York: the Met, MOMA, and the Natural History Museum are all great, classic choices.

Where to Stay in New York

  • The Plaza Hotel : For a memorable place to stay, this is one of the most classic and luxurious hotels in New York. It is located right by Central Park, the Rockefeller Center, and some of NYC’s most popular museums.
  • The Renwick: Offering stylish residential style accommodation, this beautiful hotel is equipped with plenty of amenities and high class comfort. It is also a short walk to the Empire State Building and Bryant Park for exploring.

4 Day New York Itinerary: Manhattan Skyline with Brooklyn Bridge

Incredibly beautiful and steeped in both American history and its own distinct, modern culture, Boston is one of those cities you visit for a weekend and fall in love with for a lifetime (we would know–we’ve been crazy about it ever since our brief 3-month stint of living there!).

While you’re there, be sure to visit the picturesque North End, fashionable Back Bay, and grand Beacon Hill–three Boston neighborhoods you absolutely can’t miss.

Also consider strolling through the Boston Public Garden (one of our favorite spots in the city) and the Boston Common, visiting the penguins at New England Aquarium, meandering along the Freedom Trail, and hitting the water with a whale-watching cruise .

Bibliophiles like us shouldn’t miss the Boston Public Library (check out the Reading Room on the second floor!), nor Brattle Bookshop.

Sports fans, head directly to Fenway Park for a tour and/or a game.

Where to Stay in Boston

  • Found Hotel Boston Common: This boutique hotel in the Theatre District is perfect for exploring Boston. Rooms are bright and comfortable, and there is access to public transport a short walk from the hotel.
  • Revere Hotel Boston Common: Also in the Theatre District and close to Boston Common is this stylish hotel with a stunning rooftop terrace and bar, perfect for afternoon drinks. Rooms are spacious and have a coffee machine for those of you who need coffee the moment you wake up.

2 Days in Boston Itinerary: Beacon Hill

Washington DC

Our country’s capital city is not only the seat of our national government, it’s also a fabulous place for a weekend trip in the United States, and an incredibly popular stop for visitors from other countries who are planning a trip to the USA !

Museum-goers will be delighted with the enormous array of impressive options to choose from in Washington DC–everything from the many Smithsonian Museums, to quirky options like the International Spy Museum, to meaningful stops like the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, are available–far more than you can visit in a single weekend.

Those interested in US History and government will also have plenty to keep them busy along the National Mall, including iconic stops like the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and those looking to enjoy the city’s magnificent food scene will love taking a DC food tour .

Touring the US Capitol is always an interesting experience, and if you plan ahead, you may even be able to tour the White House!

While DC has plenty to offer year-round, there’s no doubt that cherry blossom season in Washington DC is one of the best (and most popular) times to visit.

As a bonus, many of the things to do in Washington DC , including all of the Smithsonian museums, are free to enter.

Where to Stay in Washington DC

  • CitizenM Capitol : Another stunning example of CitizenM hotels is this location in Washington DC Capitol. Expect all the style and comfort these hotels are known for.
  • Riggs Washington DC : Located in the former home of Riggs National Bank this iconic building is now home to a classic and beautiful hotel. Rooms are huge and comfortable and offer views of Penn Quarter.

Washington Monument in Washington DC framed by cherry blossoms in the foreground. Washington DC is one of the best places to visit in the United States

The self-proclaimed live music capital of the world, the home of the world-famous SXSW festival, and a city full of classic American charm with a country flair: when you’re looking for the best weekend getaways in the USA, it would be a shame to leave off the gem that is Austin, TX.

I have lived in Austin as both a child and an adult, and when I wasn’t living there, returned at least 1-2 times a year for most of my life due to family living in the area–and I never, ever get tired of visiting to tuck into a plate a delicious breakfast tacos, general TexMex, or barbecue.

During your weekend trip to Austin , head down to South Congress for fabulous food, eclectic boutiques, and incredible street art, and “Dirty Sixth” for some unforgettable nightlife (or alternatively, Rainey Street or Guadalupe Street for a different vibe).

Of course, this is the capital of Texas, so save some time during your weekend trip to Austin for some more typical cultural highlights, like visiting the Texas State Capitol and the historic (and possibly haunted) Driskill Hotel.

Plus, as Austin is surrounded by the stunning Texas Hill Country, no trip there is complete without going for at least one hike in Austin and taking a day trip to beloved nearby towns and wineries– Wimberley and Fredericksburg are both favorites.

Where to Stay in Austin

  • The Driskill: Originally built in 1886, The Driskill elegantly combines old-world charm with all of today’s modern luxuries. Dine at the award-winning on-site restaurant and enjoy the luxury of this iconic Austin landmark.
  • Hotel Saint Cecilia: This hotel set in pretty gardens is a great oasis in the city. There is an onsite pool with private bungalows, perfect for relaxing.

south congress austin texas looking toward the capitol

Visiting Chicago means it’s time for pizza, pizza, and more pizza… and okay, probably some sightseeing as well.

The sprawling city of Chicago, set right up against beautiful Lake Michigan, is certainly worthy of being included on any list of the best weekend getaways in the USA–and there are definitely plenty of fun things to do in Chicago to keep you busy while you’re there, including plenty of opportunities to explore the culture, enjoy delicious food, and even get outside in Chicago .

Come to Chicago for the weekend to snap selfies at The Bean, test your fear of heights on the famous Chicago Skydeck, pay a visit to Navy Pier, and of course, to eat a lot of deep dish.

Art lovers will find plenty of museums to devour in Chicago, including the incredible Art Institute of Chicago, and baseball fans will enjoy seeing the Cubs play a game at the famous Wrigley Field. 

For animal lovers and family travelers, head directly to Shedd Aquarium (and for family travelers, make note of the American Girl Place as well–the highlight of my first visit to Chicago long, long ago!).

Where to Stay in Chicago

  • Warwick Allerton: Situated on the Magnificent Mile in Downtown Chicago, the hotel is perfect for shopping and discovering iconic architecture.
  • Staypineapple: This oddly named hotel was designed by a world renowned architect and features stylish details such as mosaic floors and marble ceilings. No detail is spared and rooms are a testament to the thought that has gone into each part of the hotel.

Set of 4 photos, from top left: life guard stand in Miami, Acorn Street in Boston, Jones Street in Savannah, Manhattan Skyline in NYC. There's white text on a red background in the center of the image that reads "15 Epic Cities Perfect for USA Weekend Getaways"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

18 thoughts on “15 Cool Cities Perfect for Weekend Getaways in the USA”

Safely, Detroit is not on your list. Detroit is a fabulous city and Michiganders are very friendly and likeable.

Austin is not the country music capital — it’s the live music capital.

Well isn’t that an embarrassing typo for someone who has owned a Keep Austin Weird shirt for 20 years! Lol. I’ll get it fixed.

Very interesting

Or Madison… both have their own unique quirks that can keep a weekend enjoyable

You forgot Richmond Virginia, which would probably run circles around half of these cities on your list.

Not even close Tony!

absolutely incorrect

Umm Philly????

Will go on the list when we expand it! We love Philly. 🙂

Boise is an awesome city in the west too!

Love what you do, just curious, how do you make ends meet?

Thanks, Priti!

We’re professional travel bloggers, so this website is our job.

We earn money through the display ads that you see while scrolling and sometimes get a commission (at no cost to you) if a reader books a tour/hotel/attraction through a link on our website. 🙂

How did Dallas not make the list

Cause it sucks.

Great ideas, thank you!

Personally, I absolutely loved San Antonio what a great little weekend get away!

We love it too–one of our former homes and one of our favorite places to eat in the country!

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The best weekend trips in the U.S. for 2024

The best weekend trips in the U.S. help you see the country one unexpected destination at a time

Virginia Gil

We love a European vacation as much as the next person, but perhaps less so these days. Despite the many flash sales luring us abroad, there’s just too much to see and do right here in America. The rise in low-cost airlines expanding their routes throughout the U.S. has also refocused our wanderlust, nudging us toward short escapes closer to home. And with limited time and budgets, a weekend getaway in the U.S. is just the vacation we all need right now.

Our picks bypass the obvious choices, say New York or L.A., in favor of smaller cities with booming art scenes, lesser-known towns with incredible restaurants and coastal spots with plenty of room to spread out on the sand. You’ll find fewer crowds and plenty of small-town charm at these unexpected destinations. Looking for someplace to go in 2024? These places should absolutely be on your travel radar this year.

RECOMMENDED: The best cities to visit in the U.S.

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Best weekend trips in the U.S.

Cape May, New Jersey

1.  Cape May, New Jersey

Fun travel fact: “America’s Oldest Seashore Resort” can be found on the southern tip of the Garden State. Yes, Cape May is technically on the Jersey Shore but it’s the antithesis of the Jersey Shore you see on MTV—in lieu of Snookie sightings, nightclubs and tanning parlors, you’ll find Victorian mansions, horse-drawn carriages, gas-lit cobblestone streets, blooming hydrangeas and a famous lighthouse.

So why should you visit Cape May? Most people will tell you the long stretches of beaches and colorful architecture alone are reason enough to come. But locals will opine it’s about the passionate community, walkability to everywhere, the parks peppered with grandiose trees, bangin’ local music scene, mom-and-pop shops, the Coast Guard base, well-manicured lawns, family-owned restaurants, impeccable homes and its charm. Cape May is also a gourmand’s dream where perfectly seasoned, fresh-caught seafood dots the menus of all the town’s best haunts. 

Where to stay: If modern and minimalist are your vibe, look no further than La Mer Beachfront Resort . The family-owned property recently underwent a major renovation and the hotel offers the island’s most swanky accommodations, swathed in beige and white hues and replete with traditional-yet-contemporary furnishings.

Don’t miss it: The Lobster House is Cape May’s most popular restaurant and the dining experience here beside the Fisherman’s Wharf is a must. Order a cold beer with steamed Maryland crabs and fried clams dockside and soak in the sights of the wharf.

Nearest airport:  Atlantic City International Airport (ACY)

Burlington, Vermont

2.  Burlington, Vermont

Burlington’s charm as a waterfront university town is well known, but with two Vermont chefs and eateries in the running for the 2024 James Beard Awards, it’s a necessary getaway for food and drink lovers. From pastry chef Amanda Wildermuth’s tahini sundae (think sesame caramel and crumbled halva) at the Eastern Mediterranean-influenced Honey Road , to spicy brussels sprouts with a cult following (hello, citrus-garlic chili sauce, golden raisins and sunflower seeds) thanks to chef Mojo Hancy-Davis’s farm-to-table menu at May Day —plus a rotating selection of craft beers from the small experimental brewery Foam Brewers —Burlington’s restaurant and bar scene is bustling. 

Where to stay: Rustic ski lodge meets bougie boutique property at Hotel Vermont , where wood-burning fireplaces, stone walls and views of Lake Champlain are the perfect backdrops for sampling the hotel’s long list of craft beers and cocktails.

Don’t miss it: The killer onion soup and maple creme brulée at Leunig’s , Church Street’s iconic bistro.

Nearest airport:  Burlington Airport (BTV)

Bentonville, Arkansas

3.  Bentonville, Arkansas

More than 100 miles away from a major city (if you can call Tulsa, Oklahoma that), you'll find charming Bentonville, Arkansas at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. The birthplace of Walmart (by way of Sam Walton’s first Five and Dime, opened in 1950) has flourished beyond its retail reputation, becoming a destination for art enthusiasts, cyclists, and curious travelers interested in an equally charming and albeit less crowded, alternative to nearby Southern capitals.

Your weekend in Bentonville, which celebrates its 150th anniversary , starts with the familiar—a visit to downtown’s Walmart Museum , because why not?—before venturing to the popular: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a sprawling cultural institution whose permanent collection of works spans five centuries and is always free to visit. Plus, its onsite chef offers a host of unique dining experiences.

Then, it’s time to head to the woods. With a trail system that wraps around the museum’s 120-acre park and a host of paved paths throughout the city, Bentonville’s natural landscape is ripe for exploring on foot or two wheels. Airship Coffee at the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve is a delightful open-air cafe where you can power up or cool down between runs. 

Where to stay: 21c Museum Hotel  is equal parts boutique hotel and hip gallery with a dedicated exhibition space. Contemporary artworks and sculptures are sprinkled throughout the property.

Don’t miss it:  The Bentonville Film Festival , chaired by Academy Award Winner Geena Davis, celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer. The annual event screens shorts, docs, features, animated movies and more films, focusing on diversity and inclusion.

Nearest airport: Fayetteville, Arkansas (XNA)

4.  Rockland, Maine

This small but vibrant coastal town is quintessentially Maine. Rockland packs a punch with stunning views from its rocky coastline plus cultural offerings and top-notch dining. Art enthusiasts can visit The Farnsworth Art Museum  or the Center for Maine Contemporary Art  while those in search of local bounty can hit up the weekly  farmers' market  and gems like Rock City Coffee . There’s waterfront dining aplenty, but few might think to venture inland to the nationally-lauded Primo . Have a night out at the historic Myrtle Street Tavern, Liberator Brewing Company  or The Strand Theater . As one of the biggest lobster shipping centers in the world, Rockland celebrates the coveted crustacean each August at the hugely popular Maine Lobster Fest . Explore Penobscot Bay on a cruise and you’ve completed a true Maine adventure. 

Where to stay: Overlooking the harbor, the luxurious, design-forward 250 Main Hotel  is in the perfect location for exploring Rockland.

Don’t miss it: Walk the mile-long granite breakwater path to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse for a panoramic view of the city from the water plus the chance to explore the 100+ year history of the lighthouse.

Nearest airport:  Knox County Regional Airport (RKD)

Topeka, Kansas

5.  Topeka, Kansas

As an under-the-radar capital, Topeka’s got a surprising number of hipster brewpubs, including the Blind Tiger Restaurant & Brewery , the Norsemen Brewing Company , Iron Rail Brewing and the Happy Basset Barrel House —which includes an attached dog park and a flamingo scavenger hunt to keep humans entertained between pints. Downtown is walkable, and neighborhoods are parkable with a selection of locally owned eateries like the Blue Moose Bar & Grill . Check out NOTO , the arts and entertainment district with art studios, antique stores and a monthly First Friday ArtWalk. At Gage Park, ride a mile-long mini-train and visit the new giraffe exhibit opening March 10 at the Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center . Don your jumpsuit for the Evel Knievel Museum before it moves to Las Vegas, and catch a show at Topeka Civic Theatre , which hosts (they say) the country’s oldest, continuously-running community dinner theater. Topeka was founded in 1854 by antislavery colonists, and the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site commemorates the landmark Civil Rights case that ended legal segregation in public schools. 

Where to stay:  The  Cyrus Hotel pairs luxury with Midwest charm in a century-old building with striking city views from upper stories.

Don’t miss it: The capitol with its mural of abolitionist John Brown roaring with his rifle and Bible. Stay downstairs to roll a quarter down the sloping tile tunnel, then ascend to the cupola through a series of terrifying stairs and landings suspended in the middle of the vast dome.

Nearest airport:  Kansas City Airport (MCI)

6.  Mendocino, California

Located a couple of hours north of the Bay Area, Mendocino feels like a storybook out of a romance novel. The area blends charming New England architecture with a dramatic California coastline. And Mendocino’s remote nature means it never feels like it’s trying too hard or overcrowded. Imagine charming inns with roaring fires, homemade breakfast, and views of waves crashing on the rocky shore. Restaurants that serve fish caught nearby earlier that day. A quaint downtown with Victorian buildings turned into independent shops. Trails that lead you through redwoods and onto the beach. 

Where to stay: SCP Mendocino Inn and Farm , a recently refreshed bed and breakfast that features an 1867 country manor, a modern lodge, adorable onsite llamas and homemade breakfast delivered to your room.

Don’t miss it:  Town favorite   Fog Eater Cafe  is a fully vegan , New Orleans-inspired eatery that draws a crowd. 

Nearest airport:  Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS)

— Clara Hogan

Covington, Louisiana

7.  Covington, Louisiana

Just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans is the charming city of Covington, where you can discover Louisiana culture at a slower pace. The quaint downtown, dotted with oak trees and historic buildings, is packed with independent boutiques and lively art galleries. Restaurants like Del Porto , Lola’s  and The Gloriette  stand up to the best in New Orleans, and there's no shortage of spots serving up boiled seafood or po' boys. Outdoor enthusiasts can bike the Tammany Trace , paddle the Bogue Falaya River or visit a gator ranch . There’s entertainment aplenty too: spring and fall bring outdoor concerts, the Three Rivers Arts Festival  is a draw in November and monthly block parties from March through October on Columbia Street celebrate what makes Covington unique.

Where to stay: The historic, family-owned Southern Hotel  offers luxurious accommodations, fabulous food and plenty of Southern hospitality.

Don’t miss it: Head to the Abita Brewing Company  for locally brewed beers featuring local ingredients. Take a tour and stick around for a bite, and maybe catch a band at one of the brewery’s frequent weekend events.

Nearest airport:  New Orleans Airport (MSY)

Lenox, Massachusetts

8.  Lenox, Massachusetts

An enchanting New England town tucked away in a particularly gorgeous section of the Berkshires, Lenox is the perfect home base for a trip spent exploring Western Massachusetts. Culture vultures have long flocked to the town thanks to Tanglewood , the summertime home of the Boston Symphony, and the innovative local theater group Shakespeare & Company . Now, upscale accommodations like 33 Main and the recently renovated Cornell Inn are providing a more luxurious mountain escape. (Those looking for true luxury should pencil some time in at Miraval Berkshires .) History lovers can arrange to tour nearby architectural stunners like Ventfort Hall and The Mount , the one-time home of author Edith Wharton. A day spent taking in the past can also be complemented with some more of-the-moment culinary offerings in downtown Lenox, like the intimate wine bar Brava .

Where to stay: The Lenox Collection is a trio of historic inns in the heart of the city.

Don’t miss it: A picnic spent taking in a live concert at Tanglewood is a local tradition for a reason. Check out this summer’s offerings , including highlights like James Taylor and En Vogue (on separate nights).

Nearest airport:  Bradley International Airport (BDL)

9.  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tucked in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh offers a getaway combining city amenities, lots of green space and plenty of charm. The city dazzles in the springtime with beautiful parks (meander through Point State Park and visit Blue Slide Park made famous by rapper Mac Miller). On a rainy day, head to The Warhol Museum dedicated to Pittsburgh’s own Andy Warhol. A ride on the incline , a funicular, is a must for a thrilling city view. Eat pierogies (and lots more) at the renowned Apteka , which specializes in central and eastern European cuisine, then grab tiki drinks at Hidden Harbor .

Where to stay:  Kimpton Hotel Monaco  is located Downtown within walking distance of bars and restaurants as well as transit access.

Don’t miss it:  Picklesburgh , this summertime food festival celebrates all things pickled—the weirder, the better. (2024 dates TBA)

Nearest airport: Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)

10.  Greenville, South Carolina

Just one hour from bustling Asheville lies the charming city of Greenville, which tends to fly (mostly) under the radar—for now, at least. Its walkable downtown area is chock-full of quaint shops like the nostalgia-inducing Mast General Store, diverse dining options (ranging from delectable Mexican street food at Pap’s Tacos  to contemporary Italian at Jianna ), and abundant local artwork. We recommend grabbing coffee at Methodical Coffee  and heading to Falls Park on the Reedy , which offers excellent views of the surrounding falls. In the afternoon, refuel with an ice-cold beer at Southernside Brewing Co . as you stroll or bike along the 22-mile-long Swamp Rabbit Trail .

Where to stay: Situated right on the banks of the Reedy River, the luxe Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville  is the perfect place to stay when in town.

Don’t miss it: Greenville hosts over 300 events each year, including the trademark Fall for Greenville , a three-day festival that puts the city’s many food, drink, and entertainment offerings on full display.

Nearest airport: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)

11.  Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

If you like miles of beachfront living, an expansive boardwalk, and an adorable town center with lots of quaint shops, then President Biden’s favorite summer retreat should be yours, too. Rehoboth Beach sits along Southern Delaware’s culinary coast, an area rich in agriculture and aquaculture contributing to the cluster of award-winning restaurants that includes DRIFT and One Coastal , run by James Beard Semifinalist chef 2024 Matt Kern.

Where to stay: Book a room at the waterfront Bellmoor Inn & Spa , an elegantly understated property less than a 10-minute walk from the beach.

Don’t miss it: Dogfish Head Brewery originated in these parts and has sprawled out quite a bit since launching the first brewery in the nation’s first state. Check out the Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth, where you can grab a bite just next door to Dogfish’s original location.

Nearest airport: Philadelphia International Airport

Mystic, Connecticut

12.  Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic, a small coastal Connecticut town once known for its shipyard and seaport, is now a quaint New England getaway full of destination-worthy dining. Metro-North trains directly from New York City and a fully walkable downtown make Mystic an easy weekend getaway, no car required. The scenic walks by the water, small shops and boutiques, plus a longstanding independent bookstore  make for an excellent few days of entertainment between eating pizza at  Nana’s Bakery , noshing on pastries at  Sift Bake Shop , sipping craft brews at  Barley Head Brewery  or slurping up oysters during happy hour at  The Shipwright’s Daughter .

Where to stay:  The Whaler’s Inn , a historic 45-room boutique property in the heart of town that’s dog-friendly and welcomes guests in the lobby with a fireplace, warm beverages and cookies.

Don’t miss it:  Book dinner at  Oyster Club , a locally beloved and owned restaurant serving farm-to-table upscale fare (don’t skip the cornbread with honey butter, or anything with seafood), plus high-end cocktails.

Nearest airport:  Providence T.F. Green International Airport (PVD)

13.  Kingston, New York

Kingston, NY, may have a rich history as the state’s first capital, but it is so much more than its past. Located 91 miles outside of New York City, it offers a fun weekend getaway with great hikes, historic landmarks, trendy stores and hangouts like Milne Antiques and Kingston Standard Brewing Co. , good food at restaurants like Ship to Shore and Lola Pizza , and a robust arts scene centered around the Ulster Performing Arts Center that operates inside a restored 1926 theater. The city is also home to festivals, including the Artists Soapbox Derby (August), and the Trolley Museum of New York , which offers a 1.5-mile ride on weekends and holidays along the Rondout Creek waterfront to Kingston Point Park.

Where to stay:  The  Hotel Kinsley  for a beautiful, historic stay or  the Newkirk , an entire 1856 home you can rent on Airbnb.

Don’t miss it:  Rough Draft , a bookstore and taproom, where you can enjoy a pint with a good book and friends.

Nearest airport: Newburgh Airport (SWF)

14.  Narragansett, Rhode Island

The seaside town of Narragansett is just 22 minutes by car from the Gilded Age glamour of Newport, but you’d never know it. Narragansett is beloved for its laid-back and low-key vibes. It’s also a popular spot for surfing, and travelers of all experience levels can sign up for lessons and/or rent gear from local businesses like Narragansett Surf & Skate Shop . Whether or not you choose to actually explore the water—you can, alternatively, simply walk along the beach and soak up the sun on your own—hit up neighborhood faves like Cool Beans Cafe for acai bowls or Fuel Coffee Bar for a cold brew and a fresh pastry.

Where to stay: The 31-room Shore House  blends nautical charm and Victorian elegance; plus, we’d be remiss not to highlight the beachy-chic accommodations and Instagram-worthy ocean views.

Don’t miss it: Snag a table at The Coast Guard House Restaurant and savor fresh seafood like freshly shucked oysters, hearty New England clam chowder, and gooey lobster mac.

Nearest airport: Westerly Airport (WST)

Saugatuck, Michigan

15.  Saugatuck, Michigan

This welcoming West Michigan town combines local charm with a beautiful lakefront setting to provide visitors with the platonic ideal of a midwestern beach getaway. Long known for its vibrant arts community thanks to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts and the Chicago Art Institute’s Oxbow School of Art and Artists’ Residency, the laid-back destination is now emerging as a culinary hot spot. Virtue Cider , founded by the former brewmaster of Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery, turns out award-winning cider while Pennyroyal Café & Provisions , helmed by former Chopped winner Missy Corey, serves elevated takes on local specialties like fried perch. Meanwhile, James Beard-nominated eatery The Southerner serves dangerously (in a good way) spicy fried chicken sandwiches. The town has also been long known for welcoming LGBTQ+ travelers thanks, in part, to lively party spots like The Dunes Resort .

Where to stay: The Lake Shore Resort , just north of Saugatuck, provides stunning views of Lake Michigan from a dramatic bluff.

Don’t miss it: Tulip Time , a weeklong festival dedicated to all things tulips, kicks off on May 4.

Nearest airport:  Muskegon County Airport (MKG)

Sarasota, Florida

16.  Sarasota, Florida

Nestled between Tampa and Fort Meyers, Sarasota boasts nearly 40 miles of white sand beaches and wildlife along Florida’s balmy Gulf shoreline. But this quaint beach town also touts a quirky history and some serious urban amenities. Circus mogul John Ringling moved his shows here for the winter in 1927. Since then, the city’s become an eclectic cultural hub, home to the renowned Sarasota School of Architecture, numerous respected art programs, museums and performance venues.

Work up an appetite exploring Sarasota’s galleries, botanical gardens and famed keys like Siesta and Longboat, then bounce around its bustling waterfront downtown for dinner and nightlife—but not before indulging in homemade pies from Yoder’s Amish Village . This spring, Circus Sarasota celebrates its 26th anniversary.

Where to stay: The Lido Beach House ’s charming mid-century modern digs are a short, scenic bridge away from downtown.

Don’t miss it: John Ringling's former home, Ca’ d’Zan , is a Venetian Gothic-style stunner with ornate interiors and sweeping views of Sarasota Bay. It also served as the location for Miss Havisham’s dilapidated mansion in the 1996 film  Great Expectations.

Nearest airport:  Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ)

17.  Laughlin, Nevada

Located 90 miles south of Las Vegas, Laughlin, Nevada is a smaller, quieter version of Las Vegas with a small-town feel. With less than 10,000 permanent residents, Laughlin boasts eight casinos, dozens of casino resort restaurants like the Western-themed Claim Jumper, and bars with live bands like Losers Lounge along the Colorado River. Surrounded by the Mojave Desert and boasting a beautiful mountain backdrop, Laughlin is a paradise for gamblers and outdoor enthusiasts who can kayak or river cruise along the Colorado River that runs through the heart of town, hike the Colorado River Heritage Trails that runs parallel the water, explore stone mazes at Laughlin Labyrinths , and chill in a poolside cabana at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort and Harrah’s Laughlin Beach Resort & Casino. Nearby, sunbathers can enjoy Lake Mohave’s 200 miles of shoreline and explore its coves and wildlife, drive Route 66, visit Hoover Dam , and visit Arizona’s oldest distillery, Desert Diamond Distillery .

Where to stay: Most of Laughlin’s 9,000 hotel rooms are less than $50 a night. Aquarius Casino Resort is the largest.;

Don’t miss it: Stroll along Laughlin Riverwalk , a paved walkway along the Colorado River that connects most of the casinos.

Nearest airport:  Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport (IFP)

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The Best Weekend Getaways to Take Right Now

Here's where to spend a few blissful days for that well-deserved break.

best weekend trips 2020

Every item on this page was chosen by a Town & Country editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

Stowe, Vermont

best weekend trips 2020

Stowe may be a popular ski destination, but it's equally appealing in the fall with its abundance of outdoor pursuits. And, obviously, the foliage alone is reason enough to visit. The 68-room Topnotch Resort sits on an expansive 120 acres with views of Mount Mansfield. Hotel activities include horseback riding, ATV tours, biking, wagon rides, and, for something a little more relaxing, a lovely spa.

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

best weekend trips 2020

Want to escape to a quaint New England seaside village? Look no further than Martha's Vineyard, with its miles of beaches and historic houses. Stay in Edgartown, a former whaling port, and you'll have access to shops, galleries, and restaurants galore. The Christopher is a chic boutique hotel with just 15 rooms that mix modern design with a classic New England aesthetic. For a seamless—and fast (read: no traffic)—trip from the New York area, book a flight on Tradewind Aviation.

Read Reviews The Christopher

Telluride, Colorado

best weekend trips 2020

It is a bit of a trek to get to this Colorado hideaway, but so worth it for its unlimited supply of fresh mountain air. The Madeline Hotel & Residences, an Auberge Resort , is surrounded on three sides by the majestic San Juan Mountains. Horseback ride through Colorado's backcountry, go fly fishing, cycle the mountains, or simply let the hotel set up a picnic feast for you in the middle of a scenic alpine meadow. However you choose to spend your days, you're guaranteed to return home refreshed.

Read Reviews Madeline Hotel & Residents, Auberge Resorts Collection

Washington, Connecticut

best weekend trips 2020

A quick two-hour drive from New York City, Washington, Connecticut has long been a retreat for a very discerning, moneyed crowd, because of its rolling hills, historic architecture, and proximity to the city. Soak that all in at the grand Mayflower Inn & Spa, an Auberge Resort , set on 58 acres of manicured gardens and woodland. There's plenty to do, including hiking, fly-fishing, archery, tennis, and croquet. In 2021, for its 100th anniversary, the hotel was refreshed by celebrated designer Celerie Kemble.

Read Reviews Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection

Whitefish, Montana

lone mountain and big sky montana at night

For a more adventurous weekend getaway, the mountain town of Whitefish, Montana offers four seasons of activities—from skiing Whitefish Mountain to hiking through Glacier National Park. Book a stay at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake , a classic mountain lodge that offers suites in the main building as well as standalone luxury homes on the property.

Read Reviews Lodge at Whitefish Lake

Malibu, California

best weekend trips 2020

This 27-mile stretch of sparkling ocean and beach is the epitome of barefoot luxury, which is why so many Hollywood A-listers own homes here. Hotels are pretty scarce, all the more lending to Malibu's locals-only vibe. Stay at the 47-room Malibu Beach Inn , located right on the water on a strip of coastline nicknamed Billionaire's Beach for all of its famous homeowners, like Larry Ellison, who owns 10 properties. For a real splurge, book a room at the intimate 16-room Nobu Ryokan , an oasis like no other that marries serene Japanese minimalism with the iconic California coast.

Read Reviews Malibu Beach Inn

Read Reviews Nobu Ryokan Malibu

Annapolis, Maryland

annapolis, maryland

Just 45 minutes outside of Washington, D.C., Annapolis feels a world apart. Yes, it's home to the United States Naval Academy, but it's far more than a college town. Embrace its nautical legacy with a visit to the Annapolis Maritime Museum, followed by an afternoon out on the water. And then enjoy Maryland's famous crabs for dinner before retiring to 134 Prince , a luxury inn in a Dutch Colonial home.

Read Reviews 134 Prince

The Berkshires, Massachusetts

autumn colors

Massachusetts' Berkshires are a year-round destination full of scenic hikes, stellar art museums, like MASS MoCA and the Clark Art Institute, and fun seasonal programming, like the region's famous Tanglewood concert series. It's also a hotbed for wellness resorts, including Canyon Ranch Lenox , which is centered around a Gilded Age mansion, and Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa , which is home to a 29,000-square-foot spa.

Read Review s Canyon Ranch Lenox

Read Reviews Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa

best weekend trips from us 2020

For East Coasters, Bermuda makes for a perfect weekend getaway. It's just a two-hour flight from NYC and Washington, D.C., meaning it basically takes less time to get there than it does to drive out to the Hamptons. Once you're on the island, head to The Loren at Pink Beach if you're in the mood for a little solitude. The property's one- and three-bedroom villas have their own private pools, making them prime spots for lounging and sipping on Bermuda's famed rum swizzles.

Read Reviews The Loren at Pink Beach

Bar Harbor, Maine

bar harbor,acadia national park,maine

A gateway to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor is everything you'd want from a coastal New England town, from stellar seafood restaurants to a bustling harbor from which you can easily hop on a boat for the day. The Primrose is a cottage-style inn built in 1878, but completely refreshed with new decor in 2020.

Read Reviews The Primrose

The North Fork, New York

mitchell park  marina greenport, new york

The South Fork of Long Island (aka the Hamptons and Montauk) may be buzzier, but for a more low-key, quiet, and down-to-earth alternative, head to the North Fork. Oysters at Little Creek Oyster Farm in Greenport are a must, as are the homemade pies at Briermere Farms in Riverhead. Then spend your afternoons visiting the area's many wineries, such as Bedell, Sparkling Pointe, and Kontokosta before retiring to the Sound View Greenport , a chic hotel where every room looks out onto the Long Island Sound and has direct access to the private beach.

Read Reviews Sound View Greenport

Asheville, North Carolina

asheville north carolina aerial view at sunset

Drive the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway on your way to Asheville—the fall foliage is particularly spectacular, though the views are majestic no matter the season. There, you'll want to spend plenty of time at the impressive Biltmore Estate, the largest private home in the country, built by George Vanderbilt at the end of the 19th century. While you can't stay in the home itself, you can stay on the property at the Inn on Biltmore Estate , which grants you access to the Biltmore gardens, Antler Hill Village, and the Biltmore Winery.

Read Reviews Inn on Biltmore Estate

Asbury Park, New Jersey

best weekend trips 2020

When the Asbury Hotel opened in 2016, it promised to bring about a much classier era to the oft-maligned Jersey Shore—and, in particular, the city of Asbury Park. It's just an hour away from New York City, but will feel like a proper vacation. Aside from the beach, which is a block away, the Asbury has plenty of al fresco spaces fit for play, including an expansive rooftop space that screens outdoor movies.

Read Reviews The Asbury Hotel

Texas Hill Country

texas bluebonnet field

Easily accessible from both Austin and San Antonio, Texas Hill Country is filled with quaint towns, wineries, and, in the spring, fields of blossoming bluebonnets. Treat yourself to a wellness weekend at the Sage Hill Inn & Spa , a 16-room luxury property set on 88 acres just 25 miles outside of Austin. Spend your days meandering the hiking trails, getting a massage at the spa, or playing a game of pickleball on the courts.

Read Reviews Sage Hill Inn & Spa

Golden Isles, Georgia

Wood, Property, Real estate, Outdoor furniture, Furniture, Interior design, Hardwood, Daylighting, Fixture, Balcony,

Located along Georgia's Atlantic coast between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida, Jekyll Island is one of the barrier islands comprising the Golden Isles. Here, you can summer like the Vanderbilts, Morgans, Pultizers, and Rockefellers once did at the Jekyll Island Club Resort . There are loads of leisure activities, 20-plus miles of paved bicycle exploration, and two open-air restaurants. It's easy to see why some of the great American dynasties returned here year after year.

Read Reviews Jekyll Island Club Resor t

The Finger Lakes, New York

waterfall and bridge at watkins glen state park, new york

The West Coast might get the lion's share of attention when it comes to wine regions, but the Finger Lakes is perfect for a weekend away for East Coasters or Midwesterners. Explore the eleven lakes, the charming towns that surround them, and the scenic gorges. Make your home base Aurora on Cayuga Lake. It's home to the Inns of Aurora , a collection of five boutique hotels in historic buildings.

Read Reviews Inns of Aurora

Mackinac Island, Michigan

aerial view of mackinac island, michigan, usa

Retreat to Michigan's Mackinac Island for a leisurely weekend in what might feel like a bygone era. The island, located in between the state's Lower and Upper Peninsulas on Lake Huran, has banned cars, resulting in quite a peaceful atmosphere. Stay at the historic Grand Hotel , which bills its 660-foot-long porch as the world's longest.

Read Reviews Grand Hotel

Sedona, Arizona

cathedral rock near sedona

Sedona has the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation—the hiking is superb, as are the spa resorts. The 70-acre Enchantment Resort has the best of both worlds, with 50 hiking trails and an extraordinary destination spa called Mii Amo. (As of September 2022, the spa is closed for renovations, but will reopen in late 2022 or early 2023.) The property is also close to downtown Sedona, where you can get your fill of shopping between art galleries and funky boutiques.

Read Reviews Enchantment Resort

Lexington, Kentucky

horses grazing in pasture, elevated view

Kentucky has two major claims to fame: horse racing and bourbon. You'll find both in and around Lexington, between the city's famous Keeneland Race Course and the 15 distilleries within 45 miles of the city. While in town, stay at the ultra-modern 21c Museum Hotel Lexington , which also functions as a museum.

Read Reviews 21c Museum Hotel Lexington

Cape May, New Jersey

cape may beach ave

Cape May is perhaps the most charming of all of New Jersey's beach towns, thanks to the colorful Victorian-era houses that line its streets. Spend the day at the beach or peruse the shops of the Washington Street pedestrian mall, which is particularly festive in December. Congress Hall is the grande dame in this seaside resort town, and it's been hosting guests since 1816.

Read Reviews Congress Hall

Headshot of Leena Kim

Leena Kim is an editor at Town & Country , where she covers travel, jewelry, education, weddings, and culture.

Headshot of Stefanie Waldek

Stefanie Waldek is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, design, and travel. She's worked on staff at Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and, a TripAdvisor company, and has contributed to Condé Nast Traveler, The Washington Post, Design Milk, and Hunker, among others. When she's not dreaming about midcentury chairs, you can find her re-watching The X-Files,  likely in an airport lounge or on a plane.

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18 of America’s Best Cities for a Long Weekend

Author image: Portrait of Dara Katz

You have one long weekend and a suitcase full of wanderlust. Whether you want to escape the commotion for the mountains or leave your quiet town for the action of a buzzing metropolis, here are 18 U.S. cities—ranging from Colorado ghost towns to coastal cultural hubs—where three or four days is just enough. Let’s go.

5 Unexpected, but Totally Worthwhile, American Wine Trips

ann arbor michigan best long weekend cities

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Visit in the fall for a game at the Big House or in the summer to explore the renowned city art fair . Either way, Ann Arbor is so much more than your average college town. Get your nature fix by exploring the arboretum , nosh on some Cuban-inspired street food at Frita Batidos and embark on a scavenger hunt for the tiny fairy doors built into buildings and trees around the city.

Where to stay: Stay right on campus at the Inn at the League , a university building with lots of charm.

asbury park nj best long weekend cities

Asbury Park, New Jersey

This funky resort town is experiencing a major resurgence at the moment. In the summer, start your morning with sunrise yoga on the Asbury Hotel’s Baronet roof space, and then head to the famous Asbury Park Beach before you do dinner and movie back on the Baronet. Want a night out? The city has a surprisingly robust LGBTQ scene (check out Paradise for a drag show) and rock music culture (the Stone Pony, aka the birthplace of “The Boss,” is a must).

Where to stay: Stay in a former Salvation Army building turned hip hotel, The Asbury Hotel .

asheville north carolina best long weekend cities

Asheville, North Carolina

This southern city dropped in the Blue Mountains is a breathtaking little enclave for artists and hippies. Peruse the River Arts District to find something unique for over the mantel, and replenish at funky eateries like The Admiral (which transforms into a dance party post-dinner). Hike the three-mile Pisgah Trail for the best views of the city and wind down with a beer (there are more breweries in Asheville per capita than in any other U.S. city).

Where to stay: Instead of merely visiting the famous Biltmore House , why not stay there?

bozeman montana best long weekend cities

Bozeman, Montana

This cowboy town is seeing lots of development in a very short amount of time; but locals are committed to maintaining its original character. The outcome? Plenty of buildings dating back to the 1890s, galleries, shops, restaurants and coffee shops ( lots of coffee shops) to peruse. Meander around Main Street’s independent book shops, and then splurge on a pair of custom kicks from Carter’s Boots . And if you want to get your Ansel Adams on, take a photography workshop at F11Photo (just don’t forget to pack your camera when you hike Drinking Horse Mountain ).

Where to stay: Designed to help you get the most out of southern Montana, The LARK is all about bringing old and new Bozeman together.

how to do a 3 day weekend in cincinnati ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio

Beer lovers may flock to Asheville or Seattle, but Cincinnati is a treasure trove of brews. In fact, it’s home to more than 40 breweries with its very own beer trail: The Brewery Heritage Trail. Once you get your buzz going, make sure to save ample time for the Over-the-Rhine district, one of the largest, most in-tact urban historic districts in the U.S. Oh, and it’s got some really great food, too.

Where to stay: Right across the Ohio River is the waterfront  Hotel Covington . Sure, it’s technically in Covington, Kentucky, but its rates will make the short trek so worth it.

how to do a 3 day weekend in charleston south carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

With its waterfront promenades, iconic architecture and cobblestone streets, this seaport city is brimming with things to do over a long weekend—and much of it involves food. Make sure to make a fancy dinner reservation at FIG, Husk or the Charleston Grill. And no trip to Charleston would be complete without a visit to nearby Boone Hall Plantation—where countless movies have been filmed. And if you have extra time on your hands, island hop to Kiawah Island, where you’ll undoubtedly stumble upon your own private beach.

Where to stay:  Charleston is all about elegance. So do it up in style at the Belmond Charleston Place .

Your Guide to Charleston, South Carolina

how to do a 3 day weekend in columbia south carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

If Charleston is Marcia Brady, Columbia is Jan. But that’s fine by us. As Soda City experiences its urban revival, we’re fine keeping this best-kept secret to ourselves. With old gems like the Robert Mills House & Gardens and Lula Drake , a cozy, historic wine bar, this super-walkable, charming city feels like a small-town getaway within a big city.

Where to stay: The brand-new Aloft Columbia Downtown is walking distance to everything.

litchfield hills connecticut best long weekend cities

Litchfield Hills, Connecticut

One word: antiquing. From estate sales to flea markets and barn-inspired stores that would make Chip and Joanna Gaines’ hearts flutter, a weekend in Litchfield means discovering hidden gems. Need a break from the dust? Take to the skies and get a bird’s-eye view of it all from a hot-air balloon .

Where to stay: The 18 luxury cottages at Winvian Farm each have their own unique spin—like a whimsical-chic tree house, a refurbished helicopter and a nautical lighthouse.

how to do a 3 day weekend in louisville kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Even if you don’t make it there for the famed Kentucky Derby, there’s so much do in Bourbon County, including, of course, the Urban Bourbon Trail , where you can spend a buzzy afternoon hopping between distilleries. Of course, there’s also baseball, bluegrass and mint juleps (c’mon, you have to have one here).

Where to stay: Art lovers: You must try the 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Louisville.

how to do a 3 day weekend in nashville tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

From honky-tonk bars up and down Broadway to the Grand Ole Opry , there’s really no escaping live music when you’re in Nashville. If you want real-deal country, head to Robert’s Western World. Want to spot the next big thing? Make sure you get to the 90-person venue at Bluebird Café early. Bring home an epic keepsake from Hatch Show Print , the letterpress design shop known for its iconic posters.

Where to stay: For some straight-up Southern hospitality, The Hermitage is a must (they’ll even walk your dog for you).

Your Guide to Nashville, Tennessee

long weekend citites palm springs

Palm Springs, California

Desert sunsets, mountain views and perfect weather—it’s no wonder this SoCal city has been an old Hollywood escape for years. Sip on a martini at Johannes and be transported back to the 1950s, take an architecture tour of the mid-century modern homes and, most importantly, enjoy the weather poolside.

Where to stay: The hotel scene in Palm Springs is legendary, and the Saguaro Hotel is a fresh take on a classic, replete with lots of bright color, a pool and mountain views.

Your Guide to a Long Weekend in Palm Springs

petaluma california best long weekend cities

Petaluma, California

The sleepy town across the Golden Gate is a wonderful little reprieve from the hustle and bustle of SF. Book a walkabout in the olive tree fields at McEvoy Ranch (save time for an olive oil tasting!); eat duck confit cassoulet at The Drawing Board and follow it up with a cocktail at Barber Cellars , Petaluma’s first tasting room for small-production, single-vineyard wines. Mmm .  

Where to stay: The revamped Art Deco Hotel Petaluma , which dates back to 1924.

Petaluma’s the New Hot Spot (We Promise) and Here’s Where to Go

how to do a 3 day weekend in philadelphia pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philly may be stoked in history, but it’s currently booming, and no, we’re not just talking cheesesteaks or the Liberty Bell (although, hey, nothing wrong with either). The thriving food scene sates even the snootiest East Coast foodies. (OK, we’re looking at you, New Yorkers.) From classics like the tomato pie at Marchiano’s Bakery to newbies like Danlu, a smart-looking Taiwanese street food restaurant, there’s no shortage of interesting things to taste or do. Book your rezzies accordingly.

Where to stay:  Aloft Philadelphia Downtown blends the city’s rich history with contemporary vibes.

how to do a 3 day weekend in portland oregon

Portland, Oregon

The dream of the ’90s is alive in Portland! Well, at least according Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. But it’s time you checked out this hipster paradise for yourself. Feast on craft coffee, cider, doughnuts and all the farm-to-table cuisine you can stand in line for (we kid, we kid). Beyond the city’s quirky culture, you’ll also have to make time to explore the beautiful Pacific Northwest landscape.

Where to stay: Get the best of both worlds at the River’s Edge Hotel , right at the junction of downtown Portland and the tranquil Willamette Valley.

how to do a 3 day weekend in san antonio texas

San Antonio, Texas

While all the bachelorette parties are heading to Austin, you should make way to this riverside city (even if all you recall about this Texas town from history class is “Remember the Alamo!”). Start with the River Walk . It may be touristy, but we’re suckers for the water taxis that let you hop between food, drink and shopping. There’s also the Pearl District , the 1881 brewery turned sprawling development that’s become a trendy hot spot with live music, farmers markets and so much more. And of course, nothing beats a picturesque picnic in Hill Country.

Where to stay: For rooftop pool and complimentary Electra cruiser bikes, you should most definitely stay at Hotel Emma .

sante fe new mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

It’s the city where art meets nature. Hike amid the aspen trees (which turn a gorgeous orange come fall) and meander through the city’s countless galleries, sculpture gardens and artisan turquoise shops. If you’re a fan of George R.R. Martin, or the avant-garde, you must take time for Meow Wolf , the multilevel interactive art museum filled with VR, audio engineering and a strong dose of mystery.

Where to stay: For a historic and iconic getaway, try the Inn and Spa at Loretto .

how to do a 3 day weekend in sonoma california

Sonoma, California

Sure, there’s lots to do in this glorious West Coast region. But we all know why you’re here: wine. Sip your way through the city at tasting rooms like La Crema or the 140-year-old cellars at Simi . Make sure to make time for—drumroll, please—more wine at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards , where you can drink wine and play croquet on the courts.

Where to stay:  Want a bargain? This tiny house-style cottage is a Sonoma steal priced at $140 a night.

how to do a 3 day weekend in st petersburg clearwater florida

St. Petersburg-clearwater, Florida

Sure, everyone’s going to Miami, but if you’ve only got the weekend, why not try to beat the crowds? This Gulf Coast city has everything you could want in a Florida vacay: perfect weather, gorgeous beaches and some great indoor activities to keep you busy when you need a break from the sun— the Salvador Dali Museum or vintage shopping , anyone?

Where to stay: Go for classic at The Don CeSar , aka the "pink palace." 

100 Free Things to Do in American This Summer


Executive Editor, Frazzled Mom, Bravo-Holic

All-American Atlas

25+ of the Best USA Weekend Getaways ( + Hidden Gems)

Whether you’re looking for a city excursion to a historic area or a relaxing weekend in the middle of seemingly nowhere, the best USA weekend getaways all have something in common: fun.

These are the best weekend trips to take in the US, places that you can see in 2 days and still feel like you had an experience to remember, including getaways in some of the most beautiful states in the US .

Choosing weekend getaways in the US isn’t always easy, because it’s hard to know what deserves just a day trip and what deserves a full week-long stay, but weekend travelers everywhere will fall in love with this list of where to go in the US for the weekend.

So book your flights (Spirit Airlines offers some cheap ones), grab a hotel or AirBnb, and let’s start dreaming!

Pin for later!

great weekend city trips

1. Washington D.C

great weekend city trips

Washington DC is a great place for a weekend getaway (check out the best tour here so you can make the most of your time). 

If you love having a variety of things to explore, DC will not disappoint. 

There is history, art, and architecture everywhere you turn.   

There are so many things to do in Washington DC. 

Check out any of the 17 Smithsonian museums. 

This includes the famous National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History,  as well as galleries, and the National Zoo.

If you love museums you are set for the entire weekend!

 However, after spending a day in a museum  visiting the National Monuments at night  is the perfect way to enjoy your time.

The Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial are incredible sights to see.  

There are some fabulous restaurants located in DC. 

The oval room is a must if you want to rub shoulders with a congressman or woman.

Don’t forget to stop by Georgetown Cupcakes for a fabulous treat.  

One benefit of Washington DC is the fact that you do not need a car. 

The metro system is fabulous. 

It is safe and will get you everywhere you need to go.  

Contribution by Lisa from Planning Away

2. Moab, Utah

great weekend city trips

If you love the outdoors, then a weekend getaway to Moab, Utah should be on your bucket list – check out this tour to make the most of your time.

Moab is the perfect home base location for exploring and photographing Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Dead Horse Point State Park.

The landscape at these three parks features amazing rock formations where you can enjoy world-class hiking and biking trails.  

There are even more outdoor activities to do in Moab once you’re done visiting the parks like hiking, rock climbing, biking, river rafting, paddleboarding, and 4×4 off road driving.

You can do guided adventure tours, or strike out on your own. 

The Moab area is well known for its dark skies.

The two national parks and one state park are designated as International Dark Sky Parks.

Be sure to plan an evening where you drive away from the city a bit and look up! 

After a full day of outdoor fun, you’ll find restaurants offering a variety of food in Moab.

The famous places to eat there include Moab Diner, Moab Brewery, Zax and Jailhouse Cafe.

It won’t be hard to find a place to stay in Moab.

There are all types of lodging options from budget-friendly hotels to higher-priced resorts as well vacation rentals, a hostel, campgrounds and RV parks.

The affordability and location close to the national parks makes the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Moab a popular accommodation.

If outdoor adventure is your idea of an awesome weekend getaway, then Moab, Utah is the place to go! Contribution by Jamie from Photo Jeepers

3. Salt Lake City, Utah

great weekend city trips

Looking for the perfect weekend getaway destination in the USA?

Look no further than a visit to Salt Lake City, Utah (check out the best Salt Lake City tour here to make the most of your time).

With a large, conveniently located, Delta-hub airport, there are many direct flights to get you to Salt Lake City for a quick trip. Salt Lake City has plenty of convenient hotel and Airbnb options.

And while there is reliable public transportation, it is best to rent a car to maximize your time if you are only in town for the weekend.

There are many things to do in and around Salt Lake City.

If you are coming in the summer, consider visiting one of many Farmers Markets or checking out these  Salt Lake City hiking trails .

Go for a scenic drive in one of the many canyons surrounding the city if hiking is not your thing but you want to experience some of the beautiful nature.

You can also take the Snowbird tram to the top of the mountains of Little Cottonwood Canyon for a birds-eye view.

In the winter, you could ski, snowboard, snowshoe, go snow tubing, or go snowmobiling all within an hour of the city.

The nearby town of Midway offers the chance to see ice castles in the winter and soak in an underground hot spring crater.

Year-round, consider visiting the Great Salt Lake, Temple Square, or going shopping.

Salt Lake City, Utah is a great place to visit for the weekend.

It is an outdoor lover’s paradise and has many activities located within an hour of the airport so you can spend more time doing fun activities and less time in transit.

Contribution by Andrea Cannon at BeaUTAHful World

4. Seattle, Washington

great weekend city trips

Seattle  is the largest city in Washington State and is surrounded by water, mountains, and forests.

It is the perfect place for a weekend getaway, especially in the summer months – check out the best Seattle tour here to make the most of your time.

There is much to see and do – apart from the headquarters of Amazon and Microsoft and the very first Starbucks!

The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World Fair and has an observation deck at 158 meters and a popular restaurant at 152 meters.

Next door is the Experience Music Project (EMP) – a music museum with a very lively bar.

Other fun places include Pikes Place Farmers’ Market which overlooks the coast and has some great fish and fruit stalls

If you like hiking, there are great trails to the Snoqualmie Falls, just out of town.

The falls have an impressive 82-meter drop that is best viewed from the observation deck.

In contrast, the Japanese Gardens, near Madison Park are absolutely stunning and the perfect place to walk.

Gasworks Park is interesting as it incorporates structures from the original cooling plant.

For fun, why not rent a boat or canoe to explore Green Lake.

Whilst you are on holiday what better than enjoying dinner somewhere special like Wild Ginger and then enjoy good jazz at the Triple Door Jazz Club next door.

If you have something to celebrate, El Gouchois is a really good steakhouse.

Contribution by Chrysoula from Travel Passionate

5. Charleston, South Carolina

great weekend city trips

Charleston, South Carolina, is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway – check out the best Charleston tour here to make sure you make the most of your time.

With so many historical sights to see downtown, top-notch restaurants and delicious southern food to enjoy, and unforgettable day trips from Charleston , you’ll find plenty to keep you busy during a weekend in the Holy City.

Since Charleston is a quaint, walkable city, it’s an ideal location for a weekend trip.

The day trips from the Charleston area are only 30-45 minutes from Downtown Charleston, and many of them are located close to each other.

The proximity makes it easy to cover a lot of territory in one day so that you can see the best of Charleston during your weekend getaway!

Here are some of the top things to do during your weekend in Charleston:

  • See where the Civil War started at Fort Sumter National Monument.
  • Stroll through Waterfront Park and relax by the Pineapple Fountain.
  • Take a photo at historic Rainbow Row.
  • Visit Boone Hall Plantation to learn more about Charleston’s history and admire the beautiful architecture & scenery.
  • Relax on one of Charleston’s beaches— Kiawah Island, Folly Beach, and Sullivan’s Island are popular choices!
  • Stay at The Vendue or Mills House for a comfortable stay in the heart of Charleston.

Don’t miss these fantastic places to eat during your trip to Charleston!

  • Order chicken and waffles for breakfast at Poogan’s Porch.
  • Enjoy a modern take on the traditional southern fare at Husk or Fig.
  • Grab a drink at The Vendue or Prohibition.
  • Savor a sweet treat at Jeni’s Ice Cream !

Contribution by Brittany from Travel by Brit

6. Santa Fe, New Mexico

great weekend city trips

History, art, and hiking can all be enjoyed during an exciting weekend trip to Santa Fe (check out the best Santa Fe tour here to make the most of your time).

Located 1-hour north of Albuquerque International Airport, Santa Fe is accessible from anywhere in the United States.

Once in Albuquerque choose between renting a car or utilizing the Rail Runner train which travels between both cities a few times a day. 

Renting a car provides more flexibility and the opportunity to hike at a few spots on the way to Santa Fe.

The Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a family friendly hike with easy terrain and stunning views.

Another short hiking option is La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs. 

If opting to travel by Rail Runner, start your weekend by exploring the Santa Fe Railyard.

Home to great food, brews, and the Santa Fe Farmers Market (open every Saturday).

Next head downtown, with a stop at the New Mexico State Capitol.

The only round State Capitol building, designed after the Zia symbol found on the New Mexico state flag. 

There is a lot of history to be discovered in Santa Fe including the oldest church in the United States, the oldest public building in the United States, and a miraculous stairway found inside the Loretta Chapel.

The Santa Fe Plaza is the heart of downtown and always buzzing with community gatherings and events.

Finally, Santa Fe offers a range of art options including the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and the Georgia O’Keeffe museum.

The most unique art experience in Santa Fe is an interactive experience called Meow Wolf. Arrive early and plan to spend several hours exploring the strange exhibits and discovering the storyline. 

Some of the best food and drink in New Mexico can be found in Santa Fe, so be sure to fill your weekend with plenty of hatch green chile, sopapillas, and wine. 

Contribution by Meg from Have Toothbrush, Will Travel

7. Boston, Massachusetts

great weekend city trips

History fans looking for a weekend getaway in the USA should consider Boston, a charming city with a relaxed vibe and one of America’s most beautiful cities .

Boston is a fantastic place to explore on foot. Check out this Boston tour to make the most of your time.

Exploring the Freedom Trail, visiting museums and enjoying the waterfront can easily be done in two or three days.

Home to Harvard University and the impressive Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston also has lovely parks, and Boston Harbor is great for a boat trip.

You can quickly fill up your itinerary with museums, such as the Paul S. Russell Museum, Fine Arts Museum, and the Mapparium.

Wandering around the streets of Boston, it’s easy to imagine you are somewhere in Europe.

Boston is the place to eat seafood and is home to excellent restaurants and bars.

Make sure to taste the clam chowder at Ye Old Union Oyster House.

Ask for the ‘Kennedy booth’ where JFK once dined. Faneuil Hall, a historic spot that is now a marketplace of food stalls, shops, restaurants, and bars is a fun place to wander around for yummy treats and buy souvenirs.

If you’re looking for an action-packed few days, Boston is perfect because there are plenty of things to do in Boston at night as well as during the day.

The city is compact and safe to move around after dark.

Boston is perfect for a short stay because it is an easy city to get around using the subway, buses and railway.

The best months of year to visit for beautiful photographs are around April and May when the spring blooms in parks and green spaces are enchanting or October and November for fall foliage.

Contribution by Christina from Travel 2 Next

8. Amelia Island, Florida

great weekend city trips

Amelia Island is the perfect weekend break away.

It’s somewhere to visit and relax, see the sights and just feel like you’re away from the world for a couple of days.

Named after the daughter of King George II, Princess Amelia, this lovely Floridian island is two hours north of Orlando but feels a world away.

Made for a timeless vacation ( Florida in the winter is awesome!) and a chance to relax and enjoy outdoor pursuits the beaches here are one of the top reasons to visit.

With 13 miles of beautiful beaches it’s an ideal place to enjoy beach time without the crowds of many of the busier resorts in the state.

There are some great activities here to enjoy too from horse riding and golf to mountain biking.

The Fort Clinch State Park has 1400 acres of parkland and beaches to enjoy.

There’s a fantastic farmers market in the downtown area which is perfect for picking up local produce and wonderful meals.

If the weather takes turn then head to the state’s oldest lighthouse which was built in 1838 and perfect to explore.

The Maritime Museum of Amelia Island and the Amelia Island Museum of History are also fantastic places to visit to learn more about the history of this interesting island, particularly the former which is run by real treasure hunters who can tell you all about their finds over the years.

There are some fantastic  family resorts in Florida here on the island so it’s a great place to come and stay for a few days and really relax.

Contribution by Nichola from Family Hotel Expert

9. Nashville, Tennessee

great weekend city trips

Nashville is a great city for a weekend getaway due to its food scene, music nightlife, sports arenas, and overall ambiance.

Check out this best Nashville tour to make the most of your time.

There are plenty of things to do during your weekend in Nashville, but here are some options that are perfect for a couple of days in Music City. 

If you are a country music fan, then Nashville is the place to visit.

It is considered the birthplace of country music and tourists can visit famous locations such as the RCA Recording Studios, the Grand Ole Opry, and Ryman Auditorium. 

At night, head on over to Broadway’s bars and lounges to grab a few drinks and listen to country music or cover bands.

During the day, you could visit the Vanderbilt University campus, take a tour of the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home, or stroll around the Parthenon, a replica of the temple in Athens.

The Belle Meade Plantation is another place to stop to soak in some history, and if you enjoy a glass of wine, a visit to Arrington Vineyards, owned by famous country duo Brooks & Dunn, is the perfect way to spend the afternoon. 

If you’re a sports fan and the home team is in town, you could catch a Tennessee Titans football game or a Nashville Predators hockey game. 

Another thing Nashville is known for is being a “foodie city”.

With many gastropubs, farm to table restaurants, and popular brunch spots, this city will not leave you hungry.

There are many Southern food options and variations of their signature hot chicken, barbeque, and biscuits at restaurants around the city. 

A weekend getaway in Nashville is perfect for those who would like to kick back, eat, drink, listen to music, and enjoy some well-earned rest and relaxation or good ole’ fashioned fun. 

Contribution by Margie from DQ Family Travel

10. Zion National Park

great weekend city trips

Zion National Park is one of the most stunning national parks in the country, and is perfect for a weekend trip. 

Located in southern Utah, less than a 3-hour drive from Las Vegas, Zion is made up of red rock canyons and spectacular vistas.

Check out the best Zion National Park tour here .

Some of the most epic hikes in the US are located at Zion, making this park a must visit destination!  

Even with only 2 or 3 days in the park, you can still see some of the best that Zion has to offer.

Start your adventure in Zion by hiking The Narrows, an epic hike through where you’ll be surrounded by canyon walls a thousand feet tall and a river 30 feet wide. 

For stunning vistas, check out Angels Landing – a strenuous, adrenaline pumping hike that rewards you with epic views. 

One of the easiest hikes in the park is the Canyon Overlook trail, a short, one-mile round trip hike with outstanding views of Zion’s red rock scenery and greenery. 

Due to its sheer natural beauty and close proximity both to Las Vegas and Southern California, Zion is popular and crowds can, especially during the peak summer months. 

To beat the crowds, head over to the Kolob Canyons.

This side of the park has crimson red canyons, and almost no people.

It’s definitely worth the trek. 

When planning your trip, check out this  2-day itinerary for Zion National Park  to know the best things to do, where to stay, and tips to make the most of your visit to Zion! 

Contribution by Ale from Sea Salt & Fog

11. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

great weekend city trips

One of the best American destinations for a weekend trip is Fort Lauderdale, Florida (check out the best tour here to make the most of your time).

It’s well-serviced by discount airlines, making it an affordable getaway to plan.

The year-round warm weather also makes it among the best choices for a few days of leisure.

In Fort Lauderdale, you can spend your days relaxing on the white sand and splashing around in the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Most hotels and resorts also have pools for those who prefer to soak without the sand of the beach.

There are other ways to have fun on the water in Fort Lauderdale, like by booking a boat ride through the intercoastal waterway that weaves through the city.

A sunset cruise makes any weekend getaway unforgettable. Fort Lauderdale is also loaded with delicious seafood restaurants and beach bars to enjoy the nightlife.

LGBTQ+ travelers can head to Sebastian Street Beach or Wilton Manors, the adjacent village, to enjoy gay Fort Lauderdale .

It’s a vibrant part of town with an active community and plenty of gay-owned businesses. 

Visitors also love to shop on The Strip, Fort Lauderdale’s oceanfront promenade.

The Strip is full of high-end boutiques and seaside restaurants.

A natural oasis in the city of Fort Lauderdale is the lush Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, a 180-acre state park that’s just a short walk from the beach and full of hiking trails and picnic spots.

Contribution by Derek and Mike from Robe Trotting

12. Roanoke, Virginia

great weekend city trips

Set in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke sparkles as a weekend destination, particularly for outdoor enthusiasts (check out the best Roanoke tour here to make the most of your time).

Conquer single-track mountain bike trails at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve or tackle the  Roanoke Star hike  to the world’s largest man-made star that stands 100 feet tall.

The overlook wows with gram-worthy views across the Roanoke Valley.

A drive along the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, which skirts to the east of downtown, is a must-do while in Roanoke.

In spring, colorful wildflowers and flowering shrubs, like rhododendrons and mountain laurel, stun motorists on the scenic byway. Stop in the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center at milepost 115 to explore topographical area maps and browse regional crafts and souvenirs in the gift shop.

In downtown Roanoke, plan to stop in Center in the Square, which is home to popular attractions like the Harrison Museum of African American Culture, the Roanoke Pinball Museum and the Science Museum of Western Virginia.

Take the elevator to the sixth-floor rooftop to see a koi pond and to savor all the views of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains.

Take a seat at Texas Tavern, a classic 10-stool diner in Roanoke.

This longtime cash-only landmark serves up burgers and chili bowls for less than $2 each.

Order the Cheesy Western, a burger topped with a fried egg, cheese, pickles and sweet relish.

Stay the weekend in-town at the centrally-located Hampton Inn & Suites Roanoke Downtown.

Before you return home, get your fill at Scratch Biscuit Company.

The buttery, made-from-scratch biscuits are heavenly, but they also serve up eggs, pancakes and hash browns.

Contributed by Erin from Go Hike Virginia 

13. Boulder, Colorado

great weekend city trips

A weekend getaway to Boulder is all about the outdoors, the arts, and food.

Check out the best Boulder tour here to make the most of your time.

Experience the very best of Boulder on one of the 150+ miles of trails, exploring around town for sculptures and murals, and eating your way through locally-owned, award-winning restaurants.

The Colorado Chautauqua National Monument is right in town and the launch point for many of the best hikes.

Spend the afternoon ascending the mountain trails where you are rewarded at the top with gorgeous views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness to the west and Boulder city views to the east.

For those looking for a little less active way to spend their time away, take a stroll along any section of the Boulder Creek Path.

The 17-mile, multi-use path runs along the Boulder Creek, a popular spot for tubing, fishing, and toe-dipping.

Keep the activity going with a  self-guided walking tour of 38 murals through the city , or the  Public Art Walking Tour that includes both sculptures and murals .

Art museums in downtown Boulder and on the University of Colorado campus are good options for those “indoorsy” days.

Between all the walking, exploring, and hiking, make a stop into any of Boulder’s incredible restaurants.

We love to fuel up with a big breakfast at The Buff, snack on house-made steamy buns from Zoe Ma Ma, and to bring the kids out for Boulder’s best pizza or burgers at Southern Sun, where we can try the latest brews from Mountain Sun Brewing.

We think the best spot of all is historic Pearl Street. Four of the blocks are closed to traffic, making a family-friendly space for shopping, eating, and watching street performers.

And it’s one of the best places to pick up some souvenirs from your Boulder getaway!

Contribution by Kiersten from Hiking in my Flip Flops

14. Steinbeck Country, California

great weekend city trips

When you visit Steinbeck Country, you get all the beautiful variety that is California.

Born in 1902 in Salinas, California, Pulitzer Prize winning author John Steinbeck’s writings and their strong sense of place allow people from all around the world to immerse themselves in the wonderful Central Coast.

To start your exploration, ground yourself in Pacific Grove where Steinbeck’s father had a summer home.

Use it as a jumping off point for an amazing day on Cannery Row in Monterey .

You can stop by actual sites featured in Steinbeck’s novels.

The Worker Shacks along a pedestrian path on Bruce Ariss Way give a window into the lives of sardine packers who used to populate this working wharf.

Drive out on Hwy 1 southbound and enjoy the iconic Big Sur area, where Steinbeck’s mother was a teacher before getting married.

You can drive to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and walk an easy trail to McWay Falls, one of the most photographed waterfalls in the world.

Heading back toward Carmel be sure to stop at Point Lobos State Reserve, a favorite of Steinbeck and his sister.

After an afternoon along this stretch of the Pacific, you can see how Steinbeck was inspired to write “Flight” from his many visits to the gorgeous coastline.  

On another day head inland to Salinas to visit Steinbeck’s Victorian styled family home and the National Steinbeck Center.

Further south on Hwy 101 you’ll find the town of Soledad, the setting for his novel Of Mice and Men and gateway to Pinnacles National Park.

Enjoy a beautiful hike toward ancient red rock spires.

Return to Pacific Grove by driving along the River Road Wine Trail and end the day by indulging in a pit stop at any one of the seven wineries along the route. 

Contribution by Michelle from Silvas Travel Tribe

15. San Antonio, Texas

great weekend city trips

For a weekend getaway, you can’t find a better spot than San Antonio, Texas.

Check out the best San Antonio tour here to make the most of your time.

In the heart of Texas Hill Country, you’re surrounded by rolling hills, sparkling rivers, and beautiful, clear lakes.

Whether you enjoy nature, history, or shopping, you’ll find everything you need for a perfect weekend in San Antonio.

Stay at Hotel Emma in the Pearl Brewery district, a converted brewery that retains many of the brewery features, or Hyatt Hill Country Resort for a family-friendly resort, complete with a pool and lazy river. 

Walk along the Riverwalk and enjoy the many shops and restaurants along the river’s edge, or take a boat tour to learn the history of San Antonio and the Riverwalk.

When you’re done, head to the Alamo to learn about the famous battle in the war for Texas Independence that cost the brave defenders their lives.

Just down the road, you’ll find the Buckhorn Museum, full of Texas Rangers paraphernalia and even a replica of San Antonio from the 18 and 1900’s – including Bonnie & Clyde’s bullet-ridden car!

Don’t forget to take the elevator up to the top of Tower of the Americas to get a view of San Antonio and the surrounding area from 750 feet up!

The Tower is located in a beautiful park you can explore, as well. 

Head downtown to explore the beautiful Japanese Gardens, complete with interconnecting ponds, bridges, and waterfalls.

Right next to the Japanese Gardens, you’ll find Breckenridge Park, a beautiful park with the San Antonio river winding through.

You can explore the trails, or take a train ride through the park to see all the sights.

San Antonio is a beautiful place to spend the weekend.

Check out this post for more things to do in San Antonio.

Contribution by Yocheved from Texas Wanderers

16. Manchester, Vermont

great weekend city trips

The little town of Manchester Vermont in the perfect spot for a weekend getaway.

Surrounded by the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Taconic Mountains of New York this is a great spot for nature lovers and has a surprising number of amazing restaurants.

When it comes to things to do in Manchester Vermont , you need to get outside.

Manchester is a designated Appalachian Trail Town , so I always encourage people to jump on the AT and at least do the hike up to the summit of Bromley Mountain.

With 360 degree views, I think it’s the best hike in the area, and as a local, I’ve done a lot of hikes. 

Another great spot to explore is Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home .

Abraham Lincoln’s only surviving son, Robert built a summer home in Manchester, Vermont.

The house is open to visitors and has many original pieces inside.

If it is on display and not on tour, you might even get to see 1 of 3 remaining stovepipe hats belonging to Abraham Lincoln.

Take a walk on over 12 miles of hiking trails to the Goat Dairy to see how they make cheese right on the property.

If you go in March or April you’ll get to meet all the baby goats born each year.

For all the foodies out there are 2 restaurants that you can’t miss while in town.

The first is my personal favorite, the Ye Olde Tavern .

In operation as an Inn since 1790 and once a stop on the underground railroad this restaurant offers casual fine dining.

The cranberry fritters and maple butter that come with every meal are a delight and don’t skip dessert (It’s different every night)!

My other restaurant recommendation is the Copper Grouse at the Taconic Hotel.

It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers a wide range of class New England comfort food.

Try my favorite, the Vermont Wagyu Burger.

Contribution by Retha from The Roaming Nanny

17. Santa Barbara, California

great weekend city trips

Santa Barbara, dubbed “The American Riviera”, is a perfect weekend getaway from Northern or Southern California.

Check out this awesome tour to make the most of your time.

Located less than 2hrs from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara has a semi-Mediterranean climate and is ideal to visit anytime of the year.

It is a beach town with breathtaking Spanish colonial architecture, a lively downtown and some of the best Mexican restaurants in California.

Start by exploring one of the oldest missions in California, the Santa Barbara Mission.

The mission consists of a museum, gardens and a church.

A self guided tour is available and is highly recommended.

Another must visit place in Santa Barbara is the Courthouse and the clock tower.

The Courthouse, considered one of the most beautiful courthouses in the US, is a must visit for beautiful architecture.

Climb the clock tower for some of the best views of Santa Barbara and the ocean.

If you love nature, pay a visit to Santa Barbara botanical gardens.

Other attractions in Santa Barbara include Stearn’s Wharf, one of the oldest piers in CA and a great place to grab seafood.

Also take a stroll along State Street, a lively downtown full of inviting bars and restaurants.

Butterfly beach and Montecito are also great places to visit on your  getaway to Santa Barbara . 

Los Agaves, East Beach Tacos, Santo Mezcal and Caje Coffee roasters are some of the best places to eat in Santa Barbara. 

If you have a day to spare, take a trip to Solvang, a beautiful Danish town less than an hour away from Santa Barbara.

Contribution by Aswani from A Charming Escape.

18. Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii is an awesome place to spend a few days soaking in the sun.

Check out this awesome cruise to make the most of your time in Oahu.

Our favourite Island for a shorter getaway is Oahu, it’s the perfect place to spend a long weekend.

The island is relatively small so it’s easy to get around and it is jam packed with cool things to do.  

The North Shore is a great place to stay and I recommend the town of Haleiwa as a home base.

It’s a quaint little surf town with some cool boutique shops, great food and is home to friendly, laid-back locals. It also provides easy access to the rest of the island.

The North Shore is home to some of the best waves in the world and going to Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay to watch some of the local pro’s surf is one of the highlights.  

Make your way further up the coast and stop at Turtle Bay, which as the name suggests is home to many local turtles.

The turtles come up on the sand to bake in the sun and you can see them (from a safe distance) several times throughout the day.

Another one of the best things to do in Oahu is to visit Kualoa Regional Park which features in the original Jurassic Park films.

The rugged mountains set right by the beach are stunning.

There are plenty of other cool places to visit and endless good food meaning you can make it an action packed few days of adventure on the beautiful island of Oahu.

Contribution by Luke from Wild about BC

19. Asheville, North Carolina

great weekend city trips

Asheville, North Carolina is a great weekend destination.

Go on a tour like this one to make the most of your time.

This funky little mountain town has a thriving arts scene and outdoor adventures galore.

Plus it’s one of the best foodie and craft beer destinations in the US!

Plan your weekend in Asheville around the food.

For breakfast, don’t miss Sunny Point Cafe (and expect to wait an hour or more for a table – it’s worth it).

Biscuit Head, Taco Billy, Early Girl, The Rhu, and 67 Biltmore are other great options.

After breakfast, head out for a hike or a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Locals’ favorite hiking spot in Asheville is Black Balsam Knob, about an hour from downtown.

Trail options range from one mile to multi day backpacking trips.

If you can time your hike for sunrise or sunset, even better!

Back in town, hit up a brewery or two.

You have over 30 options!

Bhramari and Highland are essential stops, but Twin Leaf and One World are local favorites that get far less tourist traffic.

When you’re ready for dinner, try Cúrate for spanish tapas and a super-hip atmosphere, Rhubarb for truly amazing farm-to-table cuisine (if they have anything with foraged mushrooms on special, go for that!), Buxton Hall for the world’s best chicken sandwich, or Chai Pani for Indian street food-inspired dishes.

Finally, spend half a day wandering around the River Arts District. Galleries usually open from mid-morning to mid-afternoon on Saturday’s (although hours vary widely by gallery).

There’s lots of cool street art around the train tracks as well.

Asheville has hundreds of hotels at all price points.

If you can swing it budget-wise, the best places to stay are the collection of small B&B’s on Chestnut Street and Montfort Ave. Cheaper lodging that’s still super-close to downtown can be found on Tunnel Rd.

Contribution by Carrie from Planes, Trains, and Tuktuks

20. Adirondack Mountains

great weekend city trips

The Adirondack Mountains of New York State encompass 6 million acres and a good portion of Northern New York.

If you are looking for some outdoor adventure, you are sure to find it within the Adirondack Park, whether it be hiking, water sports, finding stunning mountain views, or even just relaxing along a waterfront. 

For a 2-3 day trip to the Adirondacks, Old Forge is the perfect area to set as your home base.

Old Forge offers plenty of activities and is within driving distance of many nearby towns. 

In Old Forge, you can enjoy a visit to NY’s largest water park in the summer, a hike up Bald Mountain or Rocky Mountain, a ride on the McCauley Mountain Scenic Chairlift, a scenic Rail Bike Adventure, a scenic train ride aboard the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, and white water rafting on Moose River.

Another great option for a home base in the Adirondacks is Lake Placid.

Lake Placid is home to the winter olympics of 1932 and 1980 and visitors can enjoy touring the Lake Placid Olympic Center, riding to the top of the Olympic Ski Jump, and trying their hand at bobsledding.

Lake Placid is also home to Whiteface Mountain, which can be reached via car along Veteran’s Memorial Highway or if you prefer you can hike to the top.

If you are visiting with kids (or even without!), be sure to make a stop at the Wild Center, where you can experience a walk among the treetops. 

While there are plenty of hotel options, and even luxury stay options, camping is perhaps one of the best ways to fully get the Adirondack Experience.

You can find camping at the Old Forge Camping Resort if you choose to make Old Forge your home base or the ADK Wilderness Campground in Lake Placid. 

Contribution by Melissa from Navigation Junkie

21. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

great weekend city trips

Mid-way between New York and Washington D.C., Philadelphia is often overlooked as a destination for a great city adventure.

However, if you get excited about a city full of history and great food, a weekend in Philadelphia is for you.

Check out the best Philadelphia tour here to make the most of your time.

Even though Philadelphia was the first capital of the United States, we had not expected the extent of the amazing history, and the passion for that history, that we were about to witness in the city of Brotherly Love. 

Marvel at The Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence, located in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historic Park.

Though tickets are no required to see the Liberty Bell, there can be some big crowds.

See where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and signed.

Again, tickets are free, but must be reserved.

Wander around the former  Eastern State Penitentiary,  where Notorious criminals such as Al Capone and Willie Sutton served time.

Operational from 1829 to 1971, it is now a U.S. Historical Landmark. 

The Benjamin Franklin Museum explores the life and legacy of Philadelphia’s most famous citizen.

The museum was incredibly well thought-out and interactive.

And, of course, taking a run up the famous Rocky Steps (the steps that lead to the Philadelphia Art Museum), while playing the Rocky theme song on your cell phone, is a must-do.

If you like wandering markets, Reading Terminal Market is one of America’s oldest and largest public markets, featuring over 80 different food vendors.

Travel back in time as you wander charming cobblestoned streets, learn about the lives of early Philadelphians, and admire the small and colourful homes in Elfreth’s Alley ,  too.

For an easy and stress-free way to get around the city to all of the major landmarks and attractions, get a Philadelphia CityPass and take advantage of the hop-on hop-off bus tour.  

And, of course, it isn’t a trip to Philly without devouring a delicious Philly Cheesesteak.

You’ll find several popular locations around Philadelphia.

Asking a handful of people where to go for the best Philly Cheesesteak will get you many different answers.

We ended up at Sonny’s and enjoyed every last bite. 

Contribution by Debbie from World Adventurists

22. Catskills

If you’re coming from New York (or even if you’re not) and just want to take a break from your busy life, the Catskills is a great weekend destination that will surely take your breath away.

In just a three-hour drive from the city, you’ll find yourself in a whole new environment surrounded by beautiful nature.

Sure, no one will blame you if you prefer to be lazy all weekend just to enjoy your time away from work, but the Catskills has so much to offer, you wouldn’t want to miss out on all the fun activities you can do.

The mountainous region in southeastern New York is an excellent place for cycling, with trails that are suitable for all levels.

Get your adrenaline pumping as you marvel at the scenic views when you pass through the biking trails.

Hiking is also one of the popular things to do in the Catskills. In fact, a few days of adventure in the fantastic hiking trails will make for a super memorable experience. 

These trails cover both public and private lands and will take you to breathtaking waterfalls.

Adventure may be the name of the game when you visit the Catskills, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go low-key on your weekend escape.

If you would like to do some soul-searching, be on a mindful journey to self-discovery, enjoy a relaxing retreat in your hotel or a cozy, dreamy log cabin. 

On the other hand, if you’d rather ditch the comfortable accommodations and savor the vast wilderness, camp under the night skies instead!

Whether you want the thrill of outdoor adventure or just some downtime for yourself (or even with your loved ones) the Catskills has everything you need.

Contribution by Lucile from Lucile HR

23. New Orleans, Louisiana

great weekend city trips

If you are looking for a fun weekend getaway in the USA, look no further than the city of New Orleans.

Check out the best New Orleans tour here to make the most of your trip.

Known as the Crescent City, New Orleans is one of the most diverse and interesting places to visit in the USA.

It has a history and culture that is incredibly unique to this part of the world.

New Orleans makes the perfect 2 or 3 day trip as it is easy to navigate and get around the city.

There are many sights and things to do during your weekend in New Orleans.

The French quarter is arguably it’s biggest attraction, this quaint section of town is full of historic buildings and eateries.

Bourbon Street is where you’ll want to head for nightlife, while Royal Street is quieter and full of antique shops, and Frenchman Street features some of the best Jazz Clubs in New Orleans.

New Orleans is home to some of the best food with many restaurants featuring a traditional menu with Cajun and Creole dishes.

The Gumbo Shop is one of the best restaurants in New Orleans and their Gumbo is to die for.

Or opt for something a little different such as the alligator sausage or crab cakes.

Beignets are a New Orleans staple and you cannot visit without trying one!

These fluffy sweet French donuts can be found at either Cafe Du Monde or Café Beignet.

The Garden District is a short cable car journey from the French Quarter, this part of town is full of gingerbread style houses and home to some of New Orleans’ spookiest graveyards.

If you’ve got extra time, consider a day trip from the city, a swamp tour is a quintessential New Orleans experience.

The Hotel Royal, located in the French Quarter, is the perfect place to stay in New Orleans as it is within walking distance of many coffee shops, restaurants and attractions.

It’s also in a quieter section of the French Quarter so getting a good nights sleep won’t be a problem! 

Contribution by Rachael from A City Girl Outside

24. Portland, Oregon

great weekend city trips

Portland, Oregon, a medium-sized city in the Pacific Northwest, is the perfect size for a weekend getaway.

It’s small enough to explore in a weekend, but has enough things to do, see, and most importantly, eat and drink, to keep you busy and have you dreaming of your return trip on the plane ride home. 

Check out this Portland tour to make the most of your short time.

The best way to spend a weekend in Portland, Oregon , is to eat and drink your way through the city.

You’ll experience one of the best food and drink scenes on the west coast, especially when it comes to affordable food and food carts, and find yourself right in the middle of all the natural beauty that Oregon has to offer.

And donuts.

Lots of donuts of all shapes, sizes, and flavors.

To decide for yourself who makes the best donuts in Portland, there are three spots that you shouldn’t miss.

They are Blue Star Donuts for their wide range of artisanal donuts (prepare to pay $3 a pop), Voodoo Donuts for the novelty donuts like the “Oh Captain, My Captain” which is crusted with Cap’n Crunch, and Pip’s Original for made-to-order donut holes and incredible chai, 

If a weekend full of donuts isn’t your thing, Portland still has you covered.

Head to Toro Bravo or Han Oak for dinner, or the food cart pod at Prost! to eat at a food cart, which is a must-do while you’re in town.

When in Rome, right?

For a little post-donut exercise, walk from downtown Portland up to the International Rose Test Garden, which is home to over 10,000 roses and has great views of the city and Mt. Hood.

Or, if you have a car, make your way into the scenic Columbia River Gorge to explore one of the many gorgeous waterfalls, like world-famous Multnomah Falls, a 611-foot tall waterfall that is just 30 minutes outside of downtown Portland. 

While you’re in Portland, you’re definitely going to want to make a stop at Powell’s Books, one of the largest independent bookstores on the West Coast.

You could probably spend your entire weekend browsing the shelves full of books ranging in topic from historical accounts to epic fantasy and sci-fi sagas to find your next book to read. 

Contribution by Matt from Wheatless Wanderlust

25. Bend, Oregon

great weekend city trips

Bend, Oregon is a beloved getaway destination about three hours’ drive south of Portland or east of Eugene.

Check out the best Bend tours here to make the most of your time here.

Best known for its relaxed atmosphere and outdoorsy vibes, Bend straddles the Deschutes River as it runs through high desert on the edge of the Cascade mountains.

Visitors come to enjoy the extensive outdoor recreation options as well as restaurants, breweries, and grassy riverside parks in town. 

Mountain biking is one of the most popular  outdoor activities in Bend , and the world class trail network just outside of town offers fun for both beginners and experienced riders.

Short hikes like Tumalo Falls are accessible for all levels, and in summer the nearby Three Sisters Wilderness draws hikers and backpackers looking for more challenging alpine adventures.

Wintertime visitors can go sledding or snowshoeing at nearby snow parks, or skiing at Mt. Bachelor.  

Within town, the inviting Deschutes River is irresistible on hot summer days.

Rent a paddle board, kayak, or innertube, or just relax by the shore.

A lively restaurant and brewery scene awaits at the end of a fun day.

Bend has numerous places to stay, from budget motels to Airbnbs to campgrounds.

Though you could have fun for weeks in Bend, a weekend getaway is a perfect way to quickly recharge in a beautiful setting. 

Contribution by Alissa of Exploring Wild

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

25 Best Weekend Getaways in The USA (2024)

Written By: ThePlanetD Team

United States

Published On: April 6, 2024

Are you ready to have the weekend of a lifetime in the USA? There are so many weekend trip options, whether you’re looking for city breaks in iconic cities like San Francisco and New York City or adventurous retreats to national parks.

Weekend getaways in the USA can be city-focused, with art galleries and landmark sightseeing – who fancies a view from the Empire State Building? Alternatively, you could head rural to somewhere like Glacier National Park for hiking trails and natural beauty.

You could easily spend a lifetime traveling the USA in immense detail. But, equally, the country has some places ideally suited to short stays.

Best Weekend Getaway in the USA

top weekend getaways in the usa

In this guide, we’ll match you with your absolute dream weekend getaway destination. The USA is huge; we’ve had to be brutal to whittle it down to our top 25 recommended weekend trips. Let’s look at what the USA has to offer all those short-stayers amongst you.

Weekend Getaways in the USA East Coast NYC Broadway

The East Coast is a brilliant place for city breaks and beaches in the USA. It’s where you’ll find New York City and Miami with its glorious beaches and surf culture. The southeast is most known for its hot weather and beach culture. At the same time, the northeast is more historical, with cities like Washington DC and the Salem witch history near Boston.

If you choose the USA’s East Coast for your next weekend trip, prepare yourself for city breaks galore.

1. Boston, Massachusetts

Weekend Getaways in the USA Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is a great place to immerse yourself in academia and educational sightseeing. As Massachusetts’s capital, Boston has some of the state’s  best attractions , including Harvard University, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Science. However, Boston also has its own story to offer. You can tour the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and walk the hallowed Freedom Trail to learn more about the city’s Civil War history. When you only have a weekend, it’s helpful to have a destination with a clear theme and specialty, like Boston’s academia and Tea Party history.

Boston is incredible as a weekend getaway. It even has the nickname ‘The Walking City’ because it’s so well-suited to exploring on foot. If you want a city break on the East Coast, Boston is a fabulous choice for a short but sweet historical insight into US history.

  • Where to Stay: The Newbury Boston.
  • Insider Tip: If you can, a day trip to the Salem Witch Museum for darker history when visiting Boston.

2. Charleston, South Carolina

Weekend Getaways in the USA Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is another hotspot for history buffs. This historic South Carolina city was founded in 1670, and it has preserved beautiful cobblestone streets and antebellum houses that make visiting feel like stepping inside a time capsule. It’s great for those who want a more immersive history, providing a real snapshot of original architecture.

The French Quarter and Battery Districts are non-negotiable neighborhoods to visit for the typical Charleston aesthetic. If you want more Civil Rights and tragic slavery history, visit the Aiken-Rhett House Museum and the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon. Joe Riley Waterfront Park is also beautiful for a light-hearted stroll with views over Charleston Harbor and is within easy walking distance of the city center.

Charleston is walkable and heavy on its immersive history, making it one of the best weekend getaways in the USA. Everything is well-preserved, and you’ll learn so much, even in a short weekend break, so we had to add it to this guide.

  • Where to Stay: Market Pavilion Hotel .
  • Insider Tip: Head to Charleston City Market for souvenir shopping. It has more than 300 vendors daily.

3. Savannah, Georgia

Weekend Getaways in the USA Savannah, Georgia

Savannah has similar antebellum architecture and a time capsule feel – even home to horse-drawn carriages around its central Historic District. You’ve got quaint shops, sleepy oak trees, and cobbled squares. You can walk Savannah’s waterfront along the Savannah River, visit the American Prohibition Museum, and take guided tours of the Italianate Mercer Williams House Museum. When it comes to weekend getaways in the USA, Savannah is a beautiful choice and very aesthetic.

However, Savannah comes into its own with haunted stories and runs  regular ghost tours  of the cemeteries and Historic District. It’s especially famous for Bonaventure Cemetery and Colonial Park Cemetery, attracting thrill-seeking tourists looking for after-hours spooky tours.

Savannah is compact enough to explore on a weekend. It has a beautiful atmosphere and stunning architecture. It also has a fun haunted quality, which is great for maximizing your evening entertainment—if you feel brave enough.

  • Where to Stay: Bellwether House.
  • Insider Tip: Book a haunted Savannah pub crawl if you want to mix ghost hunting with partying.

4. Washington DC

weekend getaways in the USA Washington DC

Washington, DC, is a big deal when it comes to weekend trips on the East Coast. It’s the alpha and omega of all US history and the capital of the country, home to significant landmarks like Capitol Hill and the White House. Washington, DC, is an ideal weekend getaway if you are interested in politics or political history.

There are many  things to do , including visiting the National Mall, touring the White House, and sightseeing the various Smithsonian museums. From March to April, Washington DC is best known for gorgeous cherry blossoms all around the Tidal Basin, with over 3,000 cherry blossom trees in bloom.

Washington, DC, is a city center just made to walk around. Every inch of its parks has historical and geopolitical nods, whether the Japanese gift of the cherry blossoms or the Lincoln Memorial.

  • Where to Stay: Hotel Madera.
  • Insider Tip: Pack some sturdy footwear because Washington, DC, is best seen on foot.

5. Miami, Florida

Weekend Getaways in the USA Miami, Florida

Miami is a classic addition to these best weekend getaways in the USA. Sunny South Beach is an easy sell, with its art deco beach architecture and flamboyant culture. Miami is known for its  beach living  and great year-round weather. It’s where to head if you want culture, partying, and a relaxing beach break all rolled into one.

Visit the city’s art museums, including the Perez Art Museum and all the art galleries around South Beach. However, if you only have a weekend, Miami is the perfect time to sunbathe, play beach volleyball, or snap pictures of art deco beach buildings.

Miami is laidback and artistic, but it mostly has stunning beaches and iconic city status. It’s an excellent choice for a weekend trip.

  • Where to Stay: We’ve got a full guide on where to stay in Miami here .
  • Insider Tip: If you can, add an extra day to your trip so you can squeeze in a day trip to the Florida Keys or Everglades.

6. New York City, New York

weekend getaways in the USA New York City NYC

New York City needs little introduction and is clearly one of the best weekend getaways in the USA. You can climb the Empire State Building, visit a national museum or two, walk Central Park, or take the Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty. The whole city is rammed with activities from sunrise to sunrise – hence its affectionate nickname of the ‘city that never sleeps’. Throughout the day, you have thousands of observation platforms in iconic towers, museums, and unique attractions like the 9/11 Museum and Memorial. After hours, you have things like Broadway shows and cocktail bars.

The only thing we’d say about New York City is to choose your location wisely to maximize sightseeing time and to head there with a game plan. If you only visit for two days, you’ll need to be pretty savage with your itinerary. Here’s our  perfect one-day itinerary  if you need any inspiration.

  • Where to Stay: Here’s our take on where to stay in NYC .
  • Insider Tip: Be savvy when it comes to your accommodation location; saving yourself travel time is vital.

Weekend Getaways in the USA West Coast, Orange County

The West Coast has a serious reputation for sunshine and surfing, thanks to beautiful California stretching along most of the western coastline. You’ve got major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, connected by the dreamy road trip stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway. You’ve also got Seattle, right by the Canadian border, and its mysteriously overcast Olympic National Park and La Push beaches.

By sticking to the coastline, you can choose from iconic cities and plenty of national parks. The West Coast really comes into its own with redwoods and temperate rainforests. But equally, you can go sightseeing in the action-packed Los Angeles or San Francisco.

7. Redwood National and State Parks, California

weekend getaways in the USA Redwood

Redwood National and State Parks are nothing short of magical. Where better place to go for a memorable weekend trip than the home of the tallest trees in the world? You can take scenic drives, go hiking, or even just spend a lazy afternoon fishing amongst the natural giants.

The national park is in California, next to the Oregon border. You can hike the stunning Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail, walk through tunnels cut out of fallen trees in Tall Trees Grove, and visit Big Tree Wayside to snap a picture next to the 1,500-year-old redwood tree that tops 300 feet tall and 68 feet wide.

For anyone wanting the great outdoors with oomph, Redwood National and State Parks offer novelty and natural beauty all in one. And with a weekend, you have more than enough time to embrace most of its trails.

  • Where to Stay: Orick Getaway.
  • Insider Tip: Camp in the park for extra adventure and to maximize sightseeing time.

8. Seattle, Washington

Weekend Getaways in the USA Seattle, Washington

Seattle is the cool dude of the Pacific Northwest, laid back comfortably on Puget Sound with diverse neighborhoods and a killer coffee culture. It’s where you’ll find the Microsoft and Amazon headquarters. However, it is also just a short day trip distance from the stunning Olympic National Park and all its outdoor activities.

To balance natural wonders with some of the leading technology and futuristic architecture, Seattle is one of the best weekend getaways in the USA. You can dedicate one day to climbing the Space Needle, grabbing tasty food from Pike Place Market, and hiking through the Hall of Mosses in Olympic National Park.

  • Where to Stay: Check out our full guide on Where to Stay in Seattle.
  • Insider Tip: If you can extend a day then it’s worth doing; you’ll be able to stay overnight in Olympic National Park and make it a more leisurely experience rather than an ambitious day trip.

9. San Francisco, California

weekend getaways in the USA San fran

San Francisco is a top spot for a long weekend. You’ve got  iconic sights to see , like the Golden Gate Bridge, and historic sites like Alcatraz Island. The whole city is full of quirky corners, like curvy Lombard Street and the yellow cable cars. Visiting San Francisco is like stepping into a movie scene; you’ll recognize tons of scenery.

The San Francisco piers are lined with seafood restaurants, and you can catch sight of adorable sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf. You can also take a wine-tasting tour to the  gorgeous Napa Valley.  San Fran’s as good for cuisine and foodies as it is for sightseers.

People throw the phrase ‘melting pot’ around, but San Francisco really deserves it. It packs so much variety and quirky individual attractions into a single city, making it a fascinating city break.

  • Where to Stay: Here’s our take on where to stay in San Fran .
  • Insider Tip: Make sure to visit Muir Woods National Monument, which is like a small-scale version of Redwood National Park.

10. Los Angeles, California

Weekend Getaways in the USA Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is another fantastic city break that doesn’t require much introduction. You’ve got the heights of Hollywood – where you can tour Calabasas to spot celeb mansions, walk the Hall of Fame, and even see celebs at rest in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Los Angeles has some  cool things to do.  It’s a city of fast-paced living and celeb culture.

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15 Easy Weekend Getaways From NYC

By Alex Erdekian

The boardwalk in Asbury Park with morning sun and shadows

Weekend getaways from NYC can do wonders for the mind and soul. When in the city, most people can’t help but hustle—but a break from subway rides and cramped apartments is something we all need once in a while. (As for visitors, there's no doubt appeal in doing as New Yorkers do and pairing your city break with a local-loved side trip.) 

Disappearing into the woods, soaking up salty sea air, or getting lost in wine country all have their charms.—and thankfully, all of the above is on offer within a few hours of Manhattan. From the Hamptons to the Adirondacks—and even a quick two-hour hop over to Bermuda—beaches, islands, and mountains are all easily accessible. Some of them may leave you wondering why New York's supporting destinations don't get more buzz in the first place. 

Below, the 15 best weekend getaways from NYC. Here's to checking them all of your bucket list. (For the best restaurants, hotels, and more in the city itself, check out our New York City travel guide .)

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

About a twoandahalf hour drive plus a 30minute ferry ride  An alltime favorite summer escape and one that is especially...

The good-time island: Fire Island, New York

About a two-and-a-half hour drive, plus a 30-minute ferry ride

An all-time favorite summer escape, and one that is especially important to NYC’s queer community, is Fire Island. With its many towns and beaches, each boasting their own local flavor, the Long Island barrier island makes it easy to choose the spot to match your vibe. A few popular spots: Cherry Grove is a fun-loving party destination, Kismet is known for its nightlife, and Fire Island Pines is an affluent community with a dining and shopping scene and some of the island’s most expensive addresses. A worthwhile hotel option is the Madison , the boutique bed and breakfast where the cast of Fire Island stayed while shooting the recent film. (A few other spots it featured? The bar Cherry’s which offers harborside drag shows, vintage shop DENIZEN , and the Belvedere Fire Island , a palatial resort for gay men.

About a twohour drive about an hour and fifteen minutes via Amtrak  It may be obvious but its too easily forgotten by...

The city break: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About a two-hour drive; about an hour and fifteen minutes via Amtrak

It may be obvious, but it’s too easily forgotten by New Yorkers: the easy urban getaway to nearby Philadelphia. The city is budding with things to do, whether you’re in search of great new restaurants, fantastic art exhibits, or just a change of pace. A few of our favorite to-dos in Philly include visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art, followed by the perfect cheesesteak at John’s Roast Pork . Betsy Blumenthal, Features and Franchises Editor at Traveler —and resident Philly expert—recommends the city’s Four Seasons for its spectacular aerial views of landmarks like Independence Hall. (For even more destination tips, check out our comprehensive Philadelphia city guide. )

Best NYC Weekend Getaways The Hamptons

The posh beach hang: The Hamptons

About a two-hour drive

For many, the Hamptons conjure visions of Upper East Siders summering in their mansions, and flitting between high society parties. A weekend is the perfect stretch of time to slip into that whirlwind before letting the city ground you once again. Classic to-dos like visiting the Pollock-Krasner house in East Hampton (open May to October), designer shopping in the villages, and waterfront dining are always a good idea, as are summery outdoor activities. Pedal around the Atlantic Avenue Beach area with a bike rental from Amagansett Beach & Bicycle Company , savor a hefty lobster roll at the Dock House in Sag Harbor, or find inner peace in bird-filled Hither Hills State Park . A classic East Hampton stay, the Maidstone Hotel is the perfect place to post up (if you don't have an invite to one of the aforementioned mansions, that is).

The boardwalk in Asbury Park with morning sun and shadows

The quintessential beach town: Asbury Park, New Jersey

Just over an hour’s drive

We’ve long held the opinion that the classic Jersey Shore town, Asbury Park, doesn’t get enough attention . Super accessible from the city, it’s just an hour and fifteen minutes by car on the Garden State Parkway, and only thirty minutes longer if you're traveler from Penn Station on a Bay Head-bound North Jersey Coast Line train. From Asbury Park’s bustling boardwalk to its famous mile-long beach, this town offers the perfect blend of relaxation and action. Experience the exciting local food scene by making stops at Reyla (for Mediterranean small plates) or beachside coffee shop Asbury Park Roastery. Consider staying at the Asbury Ocean Club, Surfside Resort and Residences for an elevated beachside experience or the eclectic ​​Asbury Hotel , which has the perfect rooftop.

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Best NYC Weekend Getaways Marthas Vineyard

The eclectic island: Martha’s Vineyard

A five-hour ferry ride

Sometimes an island is the best escape. Martha’s Vineyard, with its lighthouses , arcades and carousels, sandy shores, and vast landscapes fits the bill. To get there, take a five-hour Seastreak Ferry from Midtown Manhattan, fly from JFK airport, or drive to Falmouth, Massachusetts (about 4.5 hours), and pay for overnight parking before grabbing the 30-minute ferry from there. The colorful, fairytale-ish town of Oak Bluffs is one of our favorite East Coast beach towns ; there, an ideal spot to post up is Summercamp Hotel (rooms from $235 per night). Deeper into the island, stop at Aquinnah, which feels martian-like with its clay-red lighthouse and cliffs.

Best NYC Weekend Getaways The Finger Lakes

The wine tour: The Finger Lakes

About a four-and-a-half-hour drive

New York’s biggest wine region offers plenty of options for sampling its famous riesling—but wine tasting is hardly all the area has to offer. The adventurous can pencil dive into a gorge or wade under a waterfall. Or stay above water: Canandaigua Sailboard offers paddleboard yoga , kayaking, and windsurfing. Between four and five hours from New York City , the Finger Lakes are just far enough to be a true escape. From Ithaca to quaint Skaneateles, there are a number of places that make for an ideal home base. Boutique hotel Argos Inn in Ithaca (rooms from $180 per night) is one of them. We love the romantic renovated mansion for the original art prints in each room, some by Salvador Dalí. 

Bermuda. Woman and children  on jetty elevated view. Water Human Person Outdoors Nature Ocean Sea Shoreline Promontory...

The island escape: Bermuda

About a two-hour flight

Out of all of the destinations on this list, Bermuda offers the most drastic change in scenery. It’s pretty unbelievable that this Atlantic island—with its powdery, pale pink beaches, drifting mangroves, and gleaming white churches—is a quick getaway from NYC; the flight from JFK takes just two hours. Jet over and consider sunning on the iconic Horseshoe Bay Beach, snorkeling around a shipwreck, or sipping a rum swizzle with fellow travelers. We have ideas about where to stay, too. You have options: a cheerful yellow one-bedroom bungalow with a rooftop patio in Southampton, as well as a mini villa with waterfront views in Pembroke. Alternatively, surround yourself in high style at the Rosewood Bermuda , the premiere luxury stay on the island. (Need more Bermuda travel inspiration? Explore our destination guide .)

Historic Mystic Seaport in Connecticut just seconds after sunset

The nautical overnight: Mystic, Connecticut

About a two-and-a-half hour drive, three hours by train via Amtrak

Mystic’s maritime history gives this town a classic New England feel. Even today, it remains recognizable by the boats that sail the Mystic River and Long Island Sound. History buffs can immerse themselves in the lore with a visit to the Mystic Seaport Museum , where there are reproductions of the Mayflower II. For another take on all things aquatic, visit the Mystic Aquarium , where African penguins waddle and Beluga whales swim. Enjoy the charm of eateries like Nana’s Bakery and Pizza , which mills its own flour, as well as the Oyster Club for fresh and locally-caught fish. Stay a night or two at the Whaler’s Inn , which has historical pull (it’s been around since 1818), yet was renovated in 2021. Its modern comforts include four-poster beds, gas fireplaces, water views, and an excellent farm-to-table restaurant, the Shipwright’s Daughter .

Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport Rhode Island

The classic coastal destination: Newport, Rhode Island

About a three-hour drive

There’s so much to see in Newport , one of New England’s most storied summer towns. Do up your weekend T-Swift-style with winding coastline drives, half-pound lobster rolls, and wanderings through Gilded Age summer “cottages” as they were called in the 1920s. During the day, take in sweeping Atlantic Ocean and mansion views on the famed Cliff Walk or boogie board at First Beach. Then, when it starts to get dark, visit the Roof Deck at the Vanderbilt hotel for a sunset drink. For a luxury stay, consider spending a couple nights at the aforementioned Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection . If you’re looking for a homey group spot, check out this two-bedroom cottage a few steps from the beach. However you do it, it'll be easy to see why Newport is one of the best weekend getaways from NYC. 

Best NYC Weekend Getaways Cold Spring NY

The quick camping trip: Cold Spring

About an hour-and-a-half train ride or drive

For an easy camping trip that doesn’t require a car, your spot is Fahnestock State Park . The campsite is near the Cold Spring stop on the Metro-North’s Hudson line—a short Uber ride covers the gap from the train station to the park itself. Squeeze everything you need for a night or two into a backpack , and relish in the empowerment and self-sufficiency of being 100 percent mobile. The hiking trails that run through the park connect to the vast Appalachian Trail, which touches 14 eastern seaboard states from Georgia to Maine . Besides hiking, the park has a beach on Canopus Lake, and fishing on four ponds and two additional lakes. On your way home, stop at Hudson Hil’s for a decadent brunch in the town of Cold Spring (we’re eyeing the Creole omelette) then walk to the train. If you’re looking to expand your journey throughout the region, there are many towns to love and explore in the Hudson River Valley area, including Beacon , Hudson , Kingston, and Rhinebeck.

Beautiful Lake Placid in Autumn

The off-season gem: Lake Placid

About a five-hour drive

Better known as a winter destination , Lake Placid, home of the 1980 Winter Olympics, has a wealth of outdoor recreation in the summer months, too. At glassy, serene Mirror Lake, visitors can paddle out on canoes and kayaks . On the Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails, hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers will pass the shimmering lake, cedar trees, and a population of otters. The Olympic sites include the magical Cloudsplitter Gondola ride, a rifle range, a glass elevator, a speed skating oval, a zip line park, the Herb Brooks Arena, and the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. If you're craving some time indoors, don't fret: The area’s old-fashioned movie theater at Tupper Lake Municipal Park, Adirondack State Theater, is currently screening Nope . Bed down at Lake Placid Lodge (rooms from $499 per night), a former summer camp .

Sunset at a view looking out

The mountain escape: The Berkshires

About a three-and-a-half hour drive

The Berkshires , in western Massachusetts and northwest Connecticut, is one of those places that offers entirely different types of trips with every passing season. In the summer, the region is known for the anticipated Tanglewood season, in which the Boston Symphonic Orchestra and Boston Pops take residence and perform. In the fall, visitors can drive through some of the world’s most vibrant foliage along Route 2 and 7. Come winter, cold-weather sports are on offer—whether you’re looking to downhill ski or snowshoe. With the thaw of spring, hikes with waterfall views are easy to find at Bash Bish Falls State Park. Year-round, the food and drink scene won’t disappoint either: For an artisan cocktail after the sun goes down, visit Berkshire Mountain Distillers ; to enjoy a plate of shrimp gumbo, visit Nudel ; and to savor the notorious local cheeses, visit the North Adams’ Farmers Market. As far as hotels go, we have a few ideas. Restorative Canyon Ranch, Lenox is a four-time Readers’ Choice Awards winner, while Miraval Berkshires is one of New England’s largest and most renowned spas.

Best NYC Weekend Getaways Lake George New York

The great outdoors: Lake George

About a three-and-a-half-hour drive

Set in the Adirondacks in upstate New York, Lake George offers lots of open space and a slower pace of life. Take in the natural beauty with a scenic drive on NY-9 or NY-418, admire falcons at Bolton Landing, or shack up in a tent at the Lake George Island campsite . Other summer outdoor activities include fishing, cycling down the Warren County Bikeway, and golfing at the breathtaking Top of the World course. Boathouse Bed and Breakfast is the only B&B located directly on the lake , and has the most serene water views.

Best NYC Weekend Getaways North Fork NY

The peaceful spot: North Fork, Long Island

For a low key Long Island alternative to the Hamptons, the bucolic North Fork and adjacent Shelter Island are what you're after. Head first to Greenport, North Fork’s largest town which is known for its marinas, fishing boats, neighboring vineyards, and blooming fields of lavender in July. Sound View Greenport is our pick for where to stay in town. Their fisherman-and-farmer-forward restaurant the Halyard is open, too—don't sleep on the summer truffle and fresh cavatelli. Then, take the ferry from nearby North Haven to Shelter Island, where you'll find hiking trails, osprey, and salt marshes at the Mashomack Nature Preserve, and even more land to explore on the protected beaches or in the acres of forest. If you are strategic about avoid common travel times (Friday evening out of the city, Sunday evening to return), you can be in North Fork in just two hours, making it a surprisingly quick weekend getaway from NYC. 

Best NYC Weekend Getaways Woodstock NY

The artist’s haven: Woodstock

The best place to start in Woodstock may be the slopes of Overlook Mountain. The limestone peak, full of red oaks, firs, and (keep your eyes peeled) timber rattlesnakes, features some interesting ruins, like the eerie remains of Overlook Mountain House, which brought tourists to the Catskills in the 19th century and sits just south of the Overlook fire tower. If privacy is what you’re looking for, you might consider this bright and airy studio loft decorated in a farmhouse style. While you’re there, scoop up quality produce at Sunflower Market , or if you don’t want to turn on an oven in the summer heat, snag a table outdoors at Phoenicia Diner . The cult favorite is a treat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Highly recommended: the Phoenicia Smash sandwich (beef griddled into caramelized onion, mustard, mayo, New York cheddar, and pickles on a Brioche bun).

Aman New York

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great weekend city trips


75+ great destinations for your next city break….

Ever wanted all the information you need for a rip-roaring romance of a weekend city break in one easily-bookmarkable place? Just the very best of a destination distilled into a single page of sizzling hot tips, with sights that are actually worth seeing, hotels with towels worth stealing, restaurants to rave home about, bars ripe with swashbuckling adventure and experiences so great you’ll want to tell someone else’s grandchildren about them. Introducing Urban Travel Blog’s “Long Weekend” Guides…

Each of our lovingly-compiled city guides is written by a real insider who knows their metropolitan muse inside out, and each includes ten handy sections such as “Best of the Beaten Track” for first time visitors who want to catch the unmissable attractions, to “Hipster’s Guide” where we highlight some alternative treasures (hint: you might want to check out our new Secret Seven adventures as well if this sounds like you!), and expert recommendations on the best hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs…. plus lots lots more!

Below you’ll find links to more than 60 guides to some of the greatest cities on the globe, organised under the categories UK, Europe, North America (including Canadian cities), South America, Asia (please note, without any massive deliberation we’ve filed cities from Eurasia, such as Tbilisi and Yerevan, and the Middle East, such as Dubai, here), Australia and Africa. Whether you already know where you’re going and you’re here for some great insider tips, or if you’re looking for ideas for your next weekend away, we’re confident you’ll find lots of fantastic information – and inspiration right here. So why not take a look and judge for yourself?

Your favourite city not yet covered? We suggest you subscribe to get the latest guides as soon as they come out! We’ve also started to list our favourite cities by theme, starting with our articles on the most affordable weekends away in Europe as well as the best cities for a romantic break .


Bournemouth guide

Bournemouth City Break

This south coast sizzler has succeeded in reinventing itself as a hip weekend getaway for Londoners and beyond, with a new wave of great restaurants, spas and boutique hotels. Meanwhile the nightlife is in no danger of slowing down...

Brighton weekend

Brighton City Break

The UK's very own Berlin-by-the-sea, Brighton is famous for its free spirited party attitude that has made it a Mecca for mods, gays, clubbers and hipsters through the years. And you still can't beat those fish'n'chips...


Bristol City Break

Hanging out on the Harbourside, sipping craft ales and checking out Banksy murals are all essential ingredients for a weekend's break in Bristol. Giulia Riva is our guide.

Cardiff City Break

Cardiff City Break

Rugby, cheese and Lovespoons... these are just a few things the Welsh capital is famous for, although lovers of vintage fashion, vinyl records - and Dr. Who - are also in for a treat. Local journalist Nikki Vivian is our Cardiff insider.

Edinburgh City Break

Edinburgh City Break

Champion of Scottish culture, auld and new, Edinburgh is the must-see city of the Celts. Steven Blyth covers every cobble, from the castle to the cocktail bars.

London City Break

London City Break

Guidebook author Marsha Moore shares her secrets on the English capital, from the classic attractions of Kensington and the South Bank to the hip spots and unlikely gems of the rough and ready East End.

Newcastle weekend

Newcastle City Break

Voted third best nightlife in Europe (after London and Berlin), the Newcastle & Gateshead urban area makes for a wild weekend indeed... but it's not all about clubbing! There's theatre, modern art and natural beauty nearby...


York City Break

One of the UK's prettiest cities, York has attracted history buffs for centuries. These days it's also known for its great food and several quirky festivals. Sasha Arms reports.


Weekend Break Amsterdam

Amsterdam City Break

It's not all hookers and hashish, as Richard Tulloch explains in this insiders guide to the Dutch capital. World class museums, picturesque canals and parks, and hip undiscovered districts are all revealed.

Athens City Break

Athens City Break

The cradle of Western civilisation may not quite have the political and cultural clout as in its 400BC heyday, but with plenty of parks, galleries and bars - as well as classical ruins - it makes for a great city break. Local girl Mandy Andritsi tells all.

Barcelona City Break

Barcelona City Break

Duncan Rhodes uncovers a shabby but sexy city with jam-packed beaches, tranquil Gothic courtyards, dusk-til-dawn nightlife and mind-boggling Modernista architecture.

Belgrade City Break

Belgrade City Break

Boat parties, Tito's mausoleum and a beautiful fortress on the banks of the Danube are three of Belgrade's best attractions. Constance A. Dunn reveals many more in our guide to the Serbian capital.

Berlin City Break

Berlin City Break

The famously "Poor but sexy" German capital is exposed by Craig Robinson in this gritty guide to the city. Beach bars, street food and the unmissable attractions (like the Brandenburg Gate and of course the Wall) all feature.


Brussels City Break

A heady mix of culture and indulgence, Brussels promises to be anything but boring - whether you're a fan of comic and surreal art, or a connoisseur of fine ales and frites. Laurent Vermeersch delivers the inside picture.

Bucharest Weekend

Bucharest City Break

Not Romania's prettiest city by a long shot, but definitely its liveliest, there's something wild and untamed about Bucharest that keeps its fans coming back for more. Local guide writer Craig Turp offers his insider tips...

Budapest City Break

Budapest City Break

The Pearl of the Danube, Budapest is beautiful and lively in equal measure. From its renowned baths, to its 'ruin bars' there's plenty to do. Stuart Wadsworth is the man in the know.


Copenhagen City Break

All the perks of a European capital, minus the chaos and clutter, says Sabina Fratila, as she guides us through the highlights of her home town. Hang on for hippies, hipsters and Hygge .

Dublin City Break

Dublin City Break

Ex-Dubliner and Qype's expert on Ireland, Rachelle Thompson , revisits the Fair City and reveals a city of literary and hedonistic pleasures... step this way for a combination of Guinness and genius.


Eger City Break

If a Valley of Beautiful Women isn't enough for you, Eger also has its own castle, synagogue, thermal baths and astrology museum. Stuart Wadsworth reports from Hungary's wine region.

Florence City Break

Florence City Break

For centuries Florence has been one of the world's most visited tourist destinations, and admirers still flock to Firenze en masse. Thymn Chase points out the must-sees, whilst helping you step off the well-beaten track.


Geneva City Break

Sitting glitzy and serene next to the waters of Lake Geneva, this international city is a great place to mingle with models and millionaires, and a thriving student scene means backpackers can have fun too. Helen Parkinson tells all.

Helsinki City Break

Helsinki City Break

Whether you prefer hanging around the city's design district and hip bars, or fuelling up on lingonberry porridge and going ice skating, Constance A. Dunn reveals a Helsinki well worth visiting.

Istanbul City Break

Istanbul City Break

Sitting on the border between Europe and Asia, forget the cliched claims, Istanbul really is the city where East meets West. Revealing the low down on hammams, mosques and the dining and party scenes is Constance A. Dunn .

Krakow City Break

Krakow City Break

Polska-phile and self-confessed Krak-addict, Duncan Rhodes , reveals the romance of a city that long ago cast a spell on him... dragons, alchemists and giant cockerels await.


Lisbon City Break

Lisbon's seven hills are one of the hippest places to be in Europe right now, whether you prefer to hang out at the gin bars, on Pink Street or at the city beaches. Lucy Bryson describes a city in flux.

Ljubljana short break

Ljubljana City Break

The ultra cute capital of Slovenia offers a wonderful change of pace from big city life, with drinks by the river, libraries under the treetops and views from the castle all on offer. John Bills is our guide.

Lodz City Break

Lodz City Break

David Lynch loves the former industrial city of Lodz, the Polish Hollywood that spawned directors such as Wajda, Kieslowski and Polanski. Stuart Wilson is your guide.

Lublin City Break

Lublin City Break

Poland's Eastern gem goes largely undiscovered by travellers, which of course is much of the appeal, says Stuart Wadsworth . Maybe you'll even be able to get a seat on the Rynek.

Luxembourg City Break

Luxembourg City Break

An oft-forgotten European gem, this super-rich capital is built around the imposing ruins of an improbably-large fortress. Sasha Arms discovers a scenic city with a love of fast cars and bottles of bubbly.

Lviv City Break

Lviv City Break

The Lion City's 21st century roars are still falling on deaf ears... which of course is all the better for those pioneering travellers who do make the journey to Ukraine's most beguiling city. Stuart Wadsworth tells us how best to spend a weekend in Lviv.

Lyon travel guide

Lyon City Break

Once described as the "world capital of gastronomy" Lyon stick packs a hefty culinary punch with classic Lyonnaise cuisine and a galaxy of Michelin stars. A wonderful old town and festivals of cinema and light complete the package.

Madrid City Break

Madrid City Break

Dusk 'til dawn nightlife, museums chockful of priceless treasures, cafe-littered squares and surely the world's best city park. Just some of the reasons Emma Weinbren loves Madrid.

Mahon Mallorca

Mahon City Break

Menorca's capital city was built on one of the world's biggest natural harbours and retains a strong British influence from its days under colonial rule. Order a pomada (gin and lemon) and enjoy watching the boats go by...

Milan City Break

Milan City Break

The world's famous fashion capital is less superficial than it looks... but this time it's you who needs to scratch beneath the surface. With the help of Guardian travel writer Margherita Ragg you'll find fantastic street food, authentically Italian aperitivo bars and old school bocce clubs...

Moscow Weekend Break

Moscow City Break

The magnificent domes of St Basil’s cathedral, the imposing Kremlin walls, and Vladimir Lenin's embalmed body... those are just the sights on Red Square. Laura Gozzi reveals these and many more of the seductive, head-spinning charms of the Russian capital.

Olomouc City Break

Olomouc City Break

Admit it... you've never even heard of Olomouc! Oft (unfairly) eclipsed by Prague, Stuart Wadsworth shines a light on this Moravian marvel, which offers lots of great beers, jazz music and Czech culture, minus the tourists.

Oslo Weekend

Oslo City Break

The smallest of the Scandinavian capitals is bustling, bohemian and beautiful says Ben Norum, who also advises strapping on your skis for a run out in the Nordmarka forest with the locals.

Paris City Break

Paris City Break

Who hasn't dreamed of living in Paris? Rich history, richer cuisine and the perfect stage for both the high - and low - life. Sophie Massie packs enough tips for the perfect long weekend in the City of Light.


Poznan City Break

The first capital of Poland has a real spring in its step these days, with a rich events calendar, lively nightlife scene and even a touch of hipsterism. Catch it before the tourists descend, says Kai Warmbold.

Prague City Break

Prague City Break

Toy town architecture, hedonistic nightlife and a constant flow of delicious beer... no wonder Prague has been a mainstay on the tourist circuit ever since the Iron Curtain cracked. Some great festivals and quirky treasures make it easier to avoid the crowds than you think, says Hannah Carr .

Rome City Break

Rome City Break

The Eternal City still resonates with the history of ancient Empires. Susana Cristalli reveals the ruins, along with the tastiest street food, more happening nightclubs and a dash of alternative/contemporary culture.

Rotterdam City Break

Rotterdam City Break

Europe's largest port is famous for its zany modern architecture and its colourful summer carnival. Local blogger Ina Scharun is our guide to this cosmopolitan party town.

Seville City Break

Seville City Break

Flamenco, fiery passions and architectural flair: discover the secrets of Spain's most Spanish city with local blogger, Mary Biles , including of course the best tapas bars in town.

Split Croatia

Split City Break

Croatia's second largest city sits resplendent on the Dalmatian coast, growing out of the ruins of the Roman Emperor Diocletian's palace. The sparkling sea, Zinfandel wines and delicious prsut ham may prompt you to make a Split decision, says The Editor.

Stockholm weekend break

Stockholm City Break

Royal architecture, beautiful islands, pagan traditions, Nordic design, strong coffee, rocking nightlife... and we didn't even mention the Abba Museum yet. Local journalist Wailana Kalana is our eye on Stockholm.

Tallinn City Break

Tallinn City Break

With its fairytale medieval old town and city beaches, Tallinn long ago emerged from the shadows of its Soviet history to become a hip, go-to destination. Duncan Rhodes has some choice recommendations on attractions, restaurants and happening nightspots...

Timisoara City Break

Timisoara City Break

Trace the history of Romania's 1989 revolution on your way to Transylvania, and don't forget to call by the local brewery too. Constance A. Dunn has the lowdown on theatres, cafes, sightseeing and accommodation in 'Timi'.

trieste travel

Trieste City Break

The one time home of James Joyce, Trieste is Italy's windswept Eastern outpost, a cosmopolitan town of many European influences. Gaia Zol invites you to marvel at seaside castles and indulge on some of the world's best coffee and cakes.

Valencia City Break

Valencia City Break

Spain's third biggest city lies on the Mediterranean coast, thus adding beaches to a long list of charms that include a medieval Old Town and the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences. Anna Baranek reveals all.

Venice Weekend

Venice City Break

Utterly unique and rarely short of breathtaking, Venice is also unquestionably a victim of mass tourism. But you don't need to go far to escape the crowds - our expert insider, Alice Mulhearn, shares her tips and secrets.

Verona vacation

Verona City Break

The very city where Romeo and Juliet fell in love is certainly ripe with romance, especially by the Ponte Pietra at sunset, best enjoying with a vermouth or spritzer. Both Venice and Lake Garda are nearby.

Vienna City Break

Vienna City Break

Imperial grandeur, great nosh and surprisingly happening nightlife - Britta Pichler dishes out tips on how best to spend a long weekend in the Austrian capital. You'll have a ball!

Vilnius City Break

Vilnius City Break

East European adventurer Thymn Chase discovers that harder to find = harder to leave in the capital of Lithuania. This unspoiled Baltic great is bursting with the energy of urban renewal and a young partying population.

Warsaw weekend

Warsaw City Break

A mini Berlin? Warsaw is certainly the most dynamic of Polish cities and with parks, palaces and plenty of hipster bars to visit it may well be the best for a wild weekend. Kamila Napora is our guide.

Wroclaw City Break

Wroclaw City Break

Editor and Wroclaw-lover, Duncan Rhodes , runs down the best of what was once Breslau, but is now one of Poland's most charming cities. It's all gnomes, waterways and hidden student bars.


Chicago City Break

Chicago City Break

The Windy City has plenty to offer travellers, from seats in Soldier and Cellular Field, to 1930s skyscrapers, trips by Lake Michigan and the famous Chicago hot dog. Pola Henderson is our guide.

Indianapolis City Break

Indianapolis City Break

Famous for its high speed entertainment (the Indy 500!), Indianapolis also has a burgeoning slow food scene, plus nightlife that includes everything from blues to burlesque. Ashly Myers sings the praises of "Hoosier Hospitality".

Los AngelesCity Break

Los Angeles City Break

Superficial? Not so says Vince Robbins as he guides us through his home town with gusto, stopping off at Holly Wood Reservoir, Venice Beach and Downtown LA en route.

New York City Guide

New York City Break

Discover the city behind the film locations with this insider's guide to The Big Apple by actress Natalie Buster. Jazz, curry and cocktail bars are all on the menu.

San Francisco City Break

San Francisco City Break

Considered America's most European - and hippest - city, it's almost impossible to be bored in San Fran, where beaches, art galleries and bars compete for your attention. Bike tour guide, Daniel Watson-Weller is our local expert.

Toronto City Break

Toronto City Break

Toronto's diversity is such that you might find yourself eating French Canadian fast food before a night out at a Japanese rockabilly bar. Factor in Lake Ontario (and Niagara Falls), the CN Tower and Rogers Center Stadium and you've got plenty of reasons to visit, Rachel Lissner .


Bogoto City Break

Bogota City Break

Forget the scare stories about gun-toting cocaine gangs... the only danger in Bogota is of having a damn good time. James Pengelley explores the sights of Colombia's capital and dishes the dirt on disco buses and the national sport of tejo , aka explosive darts.

CartagenaCity Break

Cartagena City Break

The inspirational backdrop behind Gabriella Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera , Cartagena brims with Colonial splendour and dances to the melodies of cumbia rhythms. James Pengelley is seduced by its charms.

Havana City Break

Havana City Break

Whether you're investigating the revolutionary spirit, or the much-loved rum spirits, Havana is an intoxicating destination that will set your head spinning. Sasha Arms enjoys the salsa and cigars much more than the Communist customer service.

Lima City Break

Lima City Break

Peru's gritty capital comes with smog, traffic and skyscrapers... but foodies will love the mix of high end restaurants and cheap cervicherias , which account for just some of Lima's many charms, says Caitlin Purdy .

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro City Break

The Samba city is a must-see destination for any urban adventurer. From taking the sun on Ipanema to sinking caipirinhas in the Bohemian Lapa district, we get under the skin of Rio and her secrets.


Baku City Break

Baku City Break

This port city may not always be pretty, but it is rarely less than compelling. Azerbaijan's oil-rich capital is part Soviet rust-heap, part glittering Dubai, and part museum to a medieval Islamlic culture. Stuart Wadsworth is on the ground.

Dubai City Break

Dubai City Break

Bigger is better, explains Cameron Mehrabanpour , in his guide to the UAE's bling capital. Look hard enough and you may even find some culture, amidst the shopping and sunbathing opportunities.

Singapore City Break

Singapore City Break

Long gone are the days when visitors to Singapore were given a compulsory haircut upon arrival but, whilst it's still too organised for some travel junkies, there's a polished charm to this economic giant. And great cuisine. Richard Tulloch explores.

Tbilisi City Break

Tbilisi City Break

The Georgian capital may be a little off-colour as it continues to recover from its post-Soviet hangover, but with the picturesque wooden houses of its Old Town, natural spas and fantastic cuisine Stuart Wadsworth finds plenty to commend Tbilisi.

Yerevan City Break

Yerevan City Break

Not most people's vote for travel destination of the year, the Armenian capital nonetheless rewards those travellers intrepid enough to step this way. Stuart Wadsworth samples the local brandy, climbs the Soviet-era 'Cascade', takes a day trip to Lake Sevan and more.


Melbourne City Break

Melbourne City Break

Considered to offer one of the best quality of life anywhere in the world, Melbourne is a hip, fun and manageable metropolis with loads of cool things to do, including visiting night markets and sighting penguins. Sophie Nellis is our guide.

Sydney City Break

Sydney City Break

Beautiful beaches, the Blue Mountains, and beer served in manageable measures (all hail the Schooner!)... Sydney has it all! Local boy Richard Tulloch takes us on a whirlwind tour full of tips on how to make the most of Australia's largest city.


Cairo City Break

Cairo City Break

The Egyptian capital is much more than the gateway to the pyramids, where Pharonic, Coptic, Islamic and colonial influences come together. Suck on a shisha and digest our guide by Joelle Petrus .

Cape Town City Break

Cape Town City Break

Sasha Arms reveals the very best of Cape Town in South Africa with its spectacular scenery, troubled history and kooky treasures.

Johannesburg Weekend

Johannesburg City Break

Known for the Apartheid Museum, the Soweto township, and the nearby Lion Park, South Africa's largest city also boasts a burgeoning scene of hip bars, cafes and clubs. Francesca Lynagh is our guide.

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  • Romantic Getaways

The Best Weekend Getaways for Couples

Want to spice things up in your relationship? Then it's time to get out of town.

Patrick Tappe/EyeEm/Getty Images

Nothing keeps the sparks flying like traveling together. Navigating new places with your significant other while spending quality one-on-one time is a great way to deepen your bond and create lasting memories.

Whether for Valentine's Day, an anniversary, or just a long holiday weekend, why not go away together to a rustic lodge, laze on a tropical beach with an umbrella-topped beverage, or cheers to your love at a countryside winery somewhere warm and sunny? Whatever your idea of a romantic escape is, we'll help you get there with these great weekend destinations perfect for couples. Get ready for starry-eyed bliss.

Montreal, Canada

If you're seeking a European-esque destination without the transatlantic flight, head to Montreal. This sophisticated Canadian metropolis is rich with history, centuries-old architecture, and bustling French bistros.

Most tourists shy away from Montreal until spring, so those who enjoy a winter wonderland vibe can delight in a quieter visit full of cold-weather charms, like ice skating at Parc La Fontaine, dogsledding in Mont Tremblant, and guided nighttime snowshoeing on Mont Royal complete with beautiful views of the city lights. Travelers can then warm up with hot chocolate by a roaring fire at one of Old Montreal's cushy hotels.

After checking out the vibrant downtown scene, couples can treat themselves to an indulgent massage or facial at the luxurious Spa St. James at The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal, or enjoy cocktails and tapas at the W Montreal's Living Room . The sexy space and its relaxed vibe will set the mood for romance.

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Just a short drive from many locations in the northeast, Watch Hill is an idyllic place to visit year round. For an intimate stay, hightail it to Ocean House , a grand 1868 Victorian oceanfront beauty and the crown jewel of the New England town. Couples can enjoy long walks on the private white-sand beach and canoodling in front of the stately stone fireplace, cocktail in hand. There's a farm-to-table restaurant on site, plus a prestigious cooking school offering guests gourmet classes and intimate tastings.

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos is one of the Caribbean's best destinations for a romantic retreat. These easy-to-access islands — flights are under two hours from Miami and under four from New York — will have couples in paradise in no time.

For a dreamy place to call home for a few days, settle in at The Shore Club . The first resort on beautiful Long Bay Beach — the most private stretch of sand on the island of Providenciales — offers seclusion and modern amenities. Start your day on a paddle board over dazzling turquoise waters, lap up some much-needed R&R at four cabana-lined pools, and cap off your night with fresh seafood at SUI-REN, the resort's Japanese-Peruvian restaurant.

In between lounging, couples can embark on a lovely horseback ride along the white-sand beach or indulge in a stress-relieving spa treatment. And don't miss downtown Grace Bay, a hub for eateries, bars, shopping, and nightlife. There's so much on offer to refuel the spark in any relationship.

Palm Springs, California

Glamorized as Old Hollywood's vacation destination of choice, Palm Springs is still as hip as it was in Frank Sinatra's day. The desert oasis entices travelers with stylish resorts, world-class restaurants, and majestic desert views. It's a haven for hikers, adventure seekers, and golfers — with more than 100 area courses.

Try a backcountry Jeep tour through the San Andreas Fault Zone or make a trip to Joshua Tree National Park , about an hour's drive away. Looking to unwind? Soak in the natural healing waters at Desert Hot Springs or head to one of the area's many day spas for a hot-stone couples massage. Palm Springs also has a foodie scene, and many of the city's finest establishments offer patio dining under the stars.

For a relaxing staycation, book a suite at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage . With everything from clifftop dining to a luxe spa surrounded by the beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains, you won't have to leave the grounds to have an unforgettable weekend. There's postcard-worthy scenery in every direction, and we recommend taking it all in from a cabana at the pool while sipping an Arnold Palmer. The golf legend debuted the now-famous iced tea-lemonade drink in Palm Springs in the late '60s.

Walland, Tennessee

Take your love of adventure to new heights with a luxurious mountain retreat. Blackberry Mountain , a Relais & Châteaux resort nestled among 5,200 wondrous acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, is the perfect place to get cozy with your other half.

This rustic sanctuary balances a peaceful environment with active and wellness offerings. Outdoorsy couples can revel in everything from hiking, mountain biking, and candlelight yoga to relaxing forest baths, woodland meditation, and restorative spa treatments. After nourishing your mind and body, feed your soul at three one-of-a-kind restaurants that showcase Blackberry Farm's celebrated hospitality and culinary program.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston , called "Holy City" because of its long history of religious tolerance, is a beloved destination of many travelers due to its historic landmarks, cobblestone streets, booming food scene, and Southern charm.

Foodie couples will be in heaven: The culinary capital of the South boasts a myriad of standout spots and immersive experiences. Don't miss oysters at King Street's seafood stunner, The Ordinary , spicy fried chicken at Leon's Oyster Shop , and Texas-style brisket at Lewis Barbecue , just to name a few. For a post-dinner classic cocktail, belly up to The Bar & Patio at Husk . Fancy some bubbly? Check out the Champagne bar Camellias at Hotel Bennett.

Opt for a stay at the French Quarter Inn , a boutique gem in the heart of the historic district. At the end of a jam-packed (and no doubt delicious) day, the hotel's top-notch turndown service with a "pillow menu" — featuring seven different comfy options for resting your head — will ensure the sweetest dreams.

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

The largest of the three Cayman Islands is the ultimate sanctuary for couples looking for a Caribbean beach oasis — at any pace. With warm, dry weather and fewer crowds than during the height of winter, early spring is an ideal time to visit Grand Cayman and its world-renowned Seven Mile Beach.

A range of water sports invites epic adventures surrounded by the island's sparkling waters. You can kayak through lush, tropical mangroves or charter a catamaran to Rum Point on the north coast. Want to indulge in some rest and relaxation with your beloved? Sun-drenched afternoons spent lounging on pink-sand beaches or entwined in a hammock will do the trick.

Grand Cayman's spectacular sunsets are a quintessential backdrop for passionate evenings. Catch magical views of the fiery spectacle at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa , followed by an exceptional dinner experience at Avecita with a custom chefs' counter tasting of seasonal, wood-fired fare that's unique to the Caribbean. Pro tip: snag a reservation in advance — there are only 30 seats and just one seating per night.

Paso Robles, California

Uncork that lovin' feeling with a jaunt to California 's third-largest wine region (following more famous territories, Napa and Sonoma). Nestled halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco along the state's central coast lies a vast rolling countryside speckled with vineyards, olive groves, farms, and ranches.

With its natural beauty and laid-back vibe, Paso Robles is a perfect stop for a relaxing long weekend. Wine is the main attraction here: Sip your way through cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, merlot, and more at 200-plus wineries. Many tastings take place on sun-drenched outdoor spaces with breathtaking vistas, creating a next-level experience. Visitors tend to fall in love with Paso's chill ambiance, and lodging is typically more affordable than in California's more well-known wine regions.

If you get wined out — is that even a thing? — you can switch it up by sampling local olive oils, touring a craft brewery, or taking a dip in a hot spring. Downtown, you'll find interesting boutiques and great eateries. Stop by The General Store for honey, olive oil, soaps, and handmade goods from area producers to bring home.

Park City, Utah

Tessa Desjardins/Travel + Leisure

What's more dreamy than cozying up by a fireplace in a snowy mountain lodge? Having local whiskey and chocolates in hand, of course. Park City is a winter wonderland rich with small-town charms, and it's quickly accessible from Salt Lake City International Airport.

Hit the slopes at two world-class resorts — Park City Mountain and Deer Valley — which offer some of the world's greatest ski conditions. In between runs on fresh powder, savor magnificent snow-capped landscapes and gourmet fare at several on-mountain pit stops. For a stellar après-ski situation, make your way to the ski-in, ski-out St. Regis Deer Valley resort for decadent hot chocolate, fireside s'mores, and craft cocktails.

Beyond mountain sports, Utah's historic mining town is like a holiday postcard come to life, full of perfect date activities like sleigh rides, ice skating, hot-air balloon rides, dogsledding, and shopping along historic Main Street, where the facades of many acclaimed restaurants and saloons are preserved from the 1880s. Unwind with a whiskey flight at Park City's own High West Distillery . For an excellent candlelit dinner featuring local live music, head to Riverhorse on Main , then saddle up to popular No Name Saloon Bar & Grill for a nightcap. There's so much for couples to see and do in "Winter's Favorite Town."

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Just a short drive south from the Cancun airport, Playa del Carmen is situated along the Yucatán's palm-lined Caribbean coastline. With its unspoiled natural setting and upscale hotels, Mexico's Riviera Maya is a first-rate vacation destination — and an ideal escape for lovebirds seeking warm weather.

If privacy and luxury is your speed, say "hola" to the area's most romantic resort: The five-star Rosewood Mayakoba . Set along the edges of a freshwater lagoon, the property features refined accommodations with over-the-top amenities, heated plunge pools, and in-room mezcal to spice things up. You'll also find three infinity pools sunken in the sand, an open kitchen for interactive culinary experiences, and a beachfront fire pit to curl up next to in the moonlight.

New Paltz, New York

Looking for a place that's a short drive from New York City but feels worlds away? Reserve a room at Mohonk Mountain House . Family-owned and -operated since 1869, this Victorian resort is perched on the the banks of crystal blue Lake Mohonk in New Paltz.

The grand, castle-like property offers couples an award-winning spa, farm-to-table cuisine, and a range of daily outdoor activities. In winter, you can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on groomed trails and ice skating on the private pavilion. Warmer months bring horseback riding, canoeing, and hiking in the surrounding Shawangunk Ridge.

Leisurely, romantic days are also welcome: Sip hot chocolate and snuggle up by one of the stone fireplaces, soak in the outdoor heated mineral pool, or watch the sunset from rocking chairs on the porch. Just being with your sweetheart, surrounded by pristine mountain wilderness, is enough to make you fall in love all over again.

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Home » Europe » Moscow

EPIC MOSCOW Itinerary! (2024)

Moscow is the heart of Mother Russia. Just the mention of this city conjures images of colorful bulbous pointed domes, crisp temperatures, and a uniquely original spirit!

Moscow has an incredibly turbulent history, a seemingly resilient culture, and a unique enchantment that pulls countless tourists to the city each year! Although the warmer months make exploring Moscow’s attractions more favorable, there’s just something about a fresh snowfall that only enhances the appearance of the city’s iconic sites!

If you’re a first-time visitor to Moscow, or simply wanting to see as much of the city as possible, this Moscow itinerary will help you do just that!

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Best Time To Visit Moscow

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Here is a quick look at the seasons so you can decide when to visit Moscow!

The summer months (June-August) are a great time to travel to Moscow to take advantage of the enjoyable mild temperatures. This is considered peak travel season. Bear in mind that hotel prices rise along with the temperatures!

when to visit moscow

If you’re planning a trip to Moscow during fall (September-November) try to plan for early fall. This way the temperatures will still be pleasant and winter won’t be threatening.

Russian winters (December-February) are not for the faint of heart as Napoleon learned to his peril. Some days the sun will be out for less than an hour, and snow is guaranteed. Although winters are exceptionally cold, this is when you’ll get a true glimpse of the Moscow experience!

The best time to visit Moscow is during spring  (March-May). The temperatures will begin to creep up and the sun begins to shine for significant portions of the day. Hotel rates will also have yet to skyrocket into peak ranges!

great weekend city trips

With a Moscow City Pass , you can experience the best of Moscow at the CHEAPEST prices. Discounts, attractions, tickets, and even public transport are all standards in any good city pass – be sure invest now and save them $$$ when you arrive!

Moscow is a large city with many accommodation options to choose from. Staying in a location that fits with your travel plans will only enhance your Moscow itinerary. Here is a brief introduction to a few great areas of the city we recommend checking out!

The best place to stay in Moscow to be close to all the action is Kitay-Gorod. This charming neighborhood will put you within walking distance to Moscow’s famous Red Square, thus cutting down on travel time. This will allow you to see more of the city in a shorter amount of time!

where to stay in moscow

It’s surrounded by restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. If you’re a first-time visitor to Moscow, or just planning a quick weekend in Moscow, then this area is perfect for you!

Another great area to consider is the Zamoskvorechye district. This area of the city offers a blend of new and old Moscow. It has an artsy vibe and there are plenty of fun sites you can explore outside of the main touristy areas of Moscow.

Of course, as in all areas of Moscow, it’s close to public transportation that will quickly connect you with the rest of the city and make your Moscow itinerary super accessible!

Best Airbnb in Moscow – Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow

Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow

Modern and cozy, this apartment is in the heart of Old Moscow. Bordering the Basmanny and Kitay-Gorod districts, this two-bedroom flat is walking distance to the Kremlin and Red Square. Safe, quiet, and comfortable, this is the best Airbnb in Moscow, no question!

Best Budget Hotel in Moscow – Izmailovo Alfa Hotel

moscow itinerary

The Izmailovo Alfa Hotel is a very highly rated accommodation that provides all the components necessary for a comfortable trip to Moscow. There is an on-site restaurant, bar, fitness center, and an airport shuttle service. The rooms are modern and spacious and are equipped with a TV, heating/air conditioning, minibar, and more!

Best Luxury Hotel in Moscow – Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre

moscow itinerary

If you’re touring Moscow in luxury, the Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre is the hotel for you! Elegantly furnished rooms are equipped with a minibar, flat-screen TV,  in-room safes, as well as tea and coffee making facilities! Bathrooms come with bathrobes, slippers, and free toiletries. There is also an onsite restaurant, bar, and fitness center.

Best Hostel in Moscow – Godzillas Hostel

moscow itinerary

Godzillas Hostel is located in the center of Moscow, just a short walk from all the major tourist attractions and the metro station. Guests will enjoy all the usual hostel perks such as self-catering facilities, 24-hour reception, Free Wi-Fi, and security lockers. This is one of the best hostels in Moscow and its wonderful social atmosphere and will make your vacation in Moscow extra special!

Godzillas Hostel is one of our favourites in Moscow but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

An important aspect of planning any trip is figuring out the transportation situation. You’re probably wondering how you’re going to get to all of your Moscow points of interest right? Luckily, this sprawling city has an excellent network of public transportation that will make traveling a breeze!

The underground metro system is the quickest and most efficient way to travel around Moscow. Most visitors rely exclusively on this super-efficient transportation system, which allows you to get to pretty much anywhere in the city! It’s also a great option if you’re planning a Moscow itinerary during the colder months, as you’ll be sheltered from the snow and freezing temperatures!

moscow itinerary

If you prefer above-ground transportation, buses, trams, and trolleybuses, run throughout the city and provide a rather comfortable alternative to the metro.

Moscow’s metro, buses, trams, and trolleybuses are all accessible with a ‘Troika’ card. This card can be topped up with any sum of money at a metro cash desk. The ticket is simple, convenient, and even refundable upon return to a cashier!

No matter which method you choose, you’ll never find yourself without an easy means of getting from point A to point B!

Red Square | Moscow Kremlin | Lenin’s Mausoleum | St. Basil’s Cathedral  | GUM Department Store

Spend the first day of your itinerary taking your own self guided Moscow walking tour around the historic Red Square! This is Moscow’s compact city center and every stop on this list is within easy walking distance to the next! Get ready to see all of the top Moscow landmarks!

Day 1 / Stop 1 – The Red Square

  • Why it’s awesome: The Red Square is the most recognizable area in Moscow, it has mesmerizing architecture and centuries worth of history attached to its name.
  • Cost: Free to walk around, individual attractions in the square have separate fees. 
  • Food nearby: Check out Bar BQ Cafe for friendly service and good food in a great location! The atmosphere is upbeat and they’re open 24/7!

The Red Square is Moscow’s historic fortress and the center of the Russian government. The origins of the square date back to the late 15th century, when Ivan the Great decided to expand the Kremlin to reflect Moscow’s growing power and prestige!

During the 20th century, the square became famous as the site for demonstrations designed to showcase Soviet strength. Visiting the Red Square today, you’ll find it teeming with tourists, who come to witness its magical architecture up close!

The Red Square

The square is the picture postcard of Russian tourism, so make sure to bring your camera when you visit! No matter the season, or the time of day, it’s delightfully photogenic! 

It’s also home to some of Russia’s most distinguishing and important landmarks, which we’ve made sure to include further down in this itinerary. It’s an important center of Russia’s cultural life and one of the top places to visit in Moscow!

In 1990, UNESCO designated Russia’s Red Square as a World Heritage site. Visiting this historic site is a true bucket-list event and essential addition to your itinerary for Moscow!

Day 1 / Stop 2 – The Moscow Kremlin

  • Why it’s awesome: The Moscow Kremlin complex includes several palaces and cathedrals and is surrounded by the Kremlin wall. It also houses the principal museum of Russia (the Kremlin Armory).
  • Cost: USD $15.00
  • Food nearby: Bosco Cafe is a charming place to grat a casual bite to eat. They have excellent coffee and wonderful views of the Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin!

The iconic Moscow Kremlin , also known as the Kremlin museum complex, sits on Borovitsky Hill, rising above the Moscow River. It is a fortified complex in the center of the city, overlooking several iconic buildings in the Red Square!

It’s the best known of the Russian Kremlins – citadels or fortress’ protecting and dominating a city. During the early decades of the Soviet era, the Kremlin was a private enclave where the state’s governing elite lived and worked.

The Kremlin is outlined by an irregularly shaped triangular wall that encloses an area of 68 acres! The existing walls and towers were built from 1485 to 1495. Inside the Kremlin museum complex, there are five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers.

The Armoury Chamber is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace’s complex and is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1851. It showcases Russian history and displays many cherished relics. Definitely make sure to check out this museum while you’re here!

The Moscow Kremlin

The churches inside the Moscow Kremlin are the Cathedral of the Dormition, Church of the Archangel, Church of the Annunciation, and the bell tower of Ivan Veliki (a church tower).

The five-domed Cathedral of the Dormition is considered the most famous. It was built from 1475–1479 by an Italian architect and has served as a wedding and coronation place for great princes, tsars, and emperors of Russia. Church services are given in the Kremlin’s numerous cathedrals on a regular basis.

The Grand Kremlin Palace was the former Tsar’s Moscow residence and today it serves as the official workplace of the President of the Russian Federation (Vladimir Putin seems to have bagged that title for life) .

Insider Tip: The Kremlin is closed every Thursday! Make sure to plan this stop on your Moscow itinerary for any other day of the week!

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Lenin’s Mausoleum

  • Why it’s awesome: The mausoleum displays the preserved body of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin .
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Khinkal’naya is a charming Georgian restaurant with vaulted ceilings and exposed brick. It’s a popular place with locals and right next to the Red Square!

Lenin’s Mausoleum, also known as Lenin’s Tomb, is the modernist mausoleum for the revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. It’s located within the Red Square and serves as the resting place for the Soviet leader! His preserved body has been on public display since shortly after his death in 1924.

It’s located just a few steps away from the Kremlin Wall and is one of the most controversial yet popular Moscow attractions!

Admission is free for everyone, you’ll only need to pay if you need to check a bag. Before visitors are allowed to enter the mausoleum, they have to go through a metal detector first. No metal objects, liquids, or large bags are allowed in the mausoleum!

Lenins Mausoleum

Expect a line to enter the building, and while you’re inside the building, you’ll be constantly moving in line with other visitors. This means you won’t be able to spend as long as you’d like viewing the mausoleum, but you’ll still be able to get a good look. Pictures and filming while inside the building are strictly prohibited, and security guards will stop you if they see you breaking this rule.

The mausoleum is only open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday – unless it’s a public holiday or a day scheduled for maintenance. The hours it’s open for each day are limited, make sure to check online before you visit to make sure you can fit this into your Moscow itinerary for that day!

Insider Tip: The Lenin’s Museum is there for people to pay their respect; remember to keep silent and move along quickly, it’s not intended for people to congregate around. Also, men are not allowed to wear hats and everyone must take their hands out of their pockets when inside the building.

Day 1 / Stop 4 – St. Basil’s Cathedral

  • Why it’s awesome: A dazzling designed cathedral that showcases Russia’s unique architecture. This cathedral is one of the most recognizable symbols of the country!
  • Cost: USD $8.00
  • Food nearby: Moskovskiy Chaynyy Klub is a cozy cafe serving food items and pipping hot tea; it’s the perfect place to go if you’re visiting Moscow during the winter months!

Located in the Red Square, the ornate 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral is probably the building you picture when you think of Moscow’s unique architecture. Its colorful onion-shaped domes tower over the Moscow skyline!

The cathedral was built from 1555-1561 by order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. It was designed with an iconic onion dome facade and enchanting colors that captivate all who see it. Fun fact: If you’re wondering why Russian churches have onion domes, they are popularly believed to symbolize burning candles!

This iconic cathedral has become a symbol of Russia due to its distinguishing architecture and prominent position inside the Red Square. It’s one of the most beautiful, wonderful, and mesmerizing historical cathedrals in the world!

St. Basils Cathedral

The interior of the church surprises most people when they visit. In contrast to the large exterior, the inside is not so much one large area, but rather a collection of smaller areas, with many corridors and small rooms. There are 9 small chapels and one mausoleum grouped around a central tower.

Visiting the inside is like walking through a maze, there are even small signs all around the cathedral tracing where to walk, and pointing you in the right direction! The walls are meticulously decorated and painted with intricate floral designs and religious themes.

The church rarely holds service and is instead a museum open for the public to visit.

Insider Tip: During the summer months the line to go inside the cathedral can get quite long! Make sure to arrive early or reserve your tickets online to guarantee quick access into the cathedral!

Day 1 / Stop 5 – GUM Department Store

  • Why it’s awesome: This is Russia’s most famous shopping mall! It’s designed with elegant and opulent architecture and provides a real sense of nostalgia!
  • Cost: Free to enter
  • Food nearby: Stolovaya 57 is a cafeteria-style restaurant with a variety of inexpensive Russian cuisine menu items including soups, salads, meat dishes, and desserts. It’s also located inside the GUM department store, making it very easily accessible when you’re shopping!

The enormous GUM Department Store is located within the historic Red Square. It has a whimsical enchantment to it that sets it apart from your typical department store.

A massive domed glass ceiling lines the top of the building and fills the interior with natural sunlight. There are live plants and flowers placed throughout the mall that give the shopping complex a lively and cheerful feel! A playful fountain sits in the center, further adding to the malls inviting a sense of wonder and amusement!

The GUM department store opened on December 2, 1893. Today, it includes local and luxury stores, including Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and many more! There are numerous cafes, restaurants, and even a movie theater inside!

GUM Department Store

For a special treat, head into Gastronom 1. This 1950s-style shop sells gourmet food items, like wine, freshly-baked pastries, cheese, Russian chocolate, and of course, vodka! Also, be on the lookout for a bicycle pedaling ice cream truck with an employing selling ice cream!

The ambiance is simply amazing, a trip to this idyllic shopping mall is an absolute must on any Moscow itinerary!

Insider Tip: Make sure to carry some small change on you in case you need to use the restroom, you’ll need to pay 50 rubles – or about USD $0.80 to use the bathroom in GUM.

great weekend city trips

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Novodevichy Convent | Gorky Park | State Tretyakov Gallery | All-Russian Exhibition Center | Bolshoi Theater

On your 2 day itinerary in Moscow, you’ll have a chance to use the city’s excellent public transportation service! You’ll explore a few more of Moscow’s historic highlight as well as some modern attractions. These sites are a little more spread out, but still very easily accessible thanks to the metro!

Day 2 / Stop 1 – Novodevichy Convent

  • Why it’s awesome: The Novodevichy Convent is rich in imperial Russian history and contains some of Russia’s best examples of classical architecture!
  • Cost: USD $5.00
  • Food nearby: Culinary Shop Karavaevs Brothers is a cozy and simple place to have a quick bite, they also have vegetarian options!

The Novodevichy Convent is the best-known and most popular cloister of Moscow. The convent complex is contained within high walls, and there are many attractions this site is known for! 

The six-pillared five-domed Smolensk Cathedral is the main attraction. It was built to resemble the Kremlin’s Assumption Cathedral and its facade boasts beautiful snowy white walls and a pristine golden onion dome as its centerpiece. It’s the oldest structure in the convent, built from 1524 -1525, and is situated in the center of the complex between the two entrance gates.

There are other churches inside the convent as well, all dating back from many centuries past. The convent is filled with an abundance of 16th and 17th-century religious artworks, including numerous large and extravagant frescos!

Novodevichy Convent

Just outside the convent’s grounds lies the Novodevichy Cemetery. Here, you can visit the graves of famous Russians, including esteemed authors, composers, and politicians. Probably the most intriguing gravestone belongs to Russian politician Nikita Khruschev!

The Novodevichy Convent is located near the Moscow River and offers a peaceful retreat from the busy city. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The convent remains remarkably well-preserved and is an outstanding example of Moscow Baroque architecture! 

Insider Tip: To enter the cathedrals inside the complex, women are advised to cover their heads and shoulders, while men should wear long pants.

Day 2 / Stop 2 – Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

  • Why it’s awesome: A large amusement area in the heart of the city offering many attractions!
  • Cost: Free! 
  • Food nearby: Check out Mepkato, located inside Gorky Central Park for a casual meal in a cozy setting. There are indoor and outdoor seating options and the restaurant is child-friendly!

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is a large green space in the heart of Moscow. The park opened in 1928, and it stretches along the scenic embankment of the Moskva River. It covers an area of 300-acres and offers a lovely contrast from the compact city center.

You’ll find all sorts of wonderful attractions, from boat rides to bike rentals to tennis courts and ping-pong tables, and much more! there are an open-air cinema and festive events and concerts scheduled in the summer months.  A wide selection of free fitness classes is also offered on a regular basis, including jogging, roller skating, and dancing!

Although many of the options you’ll find here are more suited for outdoor leisure during the summer, you’ll also a selection of winter attractions, including one of Europe’s largest ice rinks for ice-skating!

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

If you’re trying to decide what to do in Moscow with kids, the park also offers several venues designed specifically for kids. Check out the year-round Green School which offers hands-on classes in gardening and art! You can also feed the squirrels and birds at the Golitsinsky Ponds!

The park is very well maintained and kept clean and the entrance is free of charge, although most individual attractions cost money. There is also Wi-Fi available throughout the park.

With so many attractions, you could easily spend all day here! If you’re only planning a 2 day itinerary in Moscow, make sure to plan your time accordingly and map out all the areas you want to see beforehand!

Day 2 / Stop 3 – The State Tretyakov Gallery

  • Why it’s awesome: The gallery’s collection consists entirely of Russian art made by Russian artists!
  • Food nearby : Brothers Tretyakovs is located right across the street from the gallery. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric restaurant serving top quality food and drinks!

The State Tretyakov Gallery was founded in 1856 by influential merchant and collector Pavel Tretyakov.  The gallery is a national treasury of Russian fine art and one of the most important museums in Russia!

It houses the world’s best collection of Russian art and contains more than 130, 000 paintings, sculptures, and graphics! These works have been created throughout the centuries by generations of Russia’s most talented artists!

The State Tretyakov Gallery

The exhibits range from mysterious 12th-century images to politically charged canvases. The collection is rich and revealing and offers great insight into the history and attitudes of this long-suffering yet inspired people!

All pictures are also labeled in English. If you plan to take your time and see everything inside the museum it will take a good 3-4 hours, so make sure to plan your Moscow trip itinerary accordingly! This gallery is a must-see stop for art lovers, or anyone wanting to explore the local culture and history of Russia in a creative and insightful manner! 

Insider Tip: When planning your 2 days in Moscow itinerary, keep in mind that most museums in Moscow are closed on Mondays, this includes The State Tretyakov Gallery!

Day 2 / Stop 4 – All-Russian Exhibition Center

  • Why it’s awesome: This large exhibition center showcases the achievements of the Soviet Union in several different spheres. 
  • Food nearby: Varenichnaya No. 1 serves authentic and homestyle Russian cuisine in an intimate and casual setting.

The All-Russian Exhibition Center is a massive park that presents the glory of the Soviet era! It pays homage to the achievements of Soviet Russia with its many different sites found on the property.

The center was officially opened in 1939 to exhibit the achievements of the Soviet Union. It’s a huge complex of buildings and the largest exhibition center in Moscow. There are several exhibition halls dedicated to different achievements and every year there are more than one hundred and fifty specialized exhibitions!

All Russian Exhibition Center

The Peoples Friendship Fountain was constructed in 1954 and is a highlight of the park. The stunning gold fountain features 16 gilded statues of girls, each representing the former Soviet Union republics. 

The Stone Flower Fountain was also built in 1954 and is worth checking out. The centerpiece of this large fountain is a flower carved from stones from the Ural Mountains! Along the side of the fountain are various bronze sculptures.

You will find many people zipping around on rollerblades and bicycles across the large area that the venue covers. It’s also home to amusement rides and carousels, making it the perfect place to stop with kids on your Moscow itinerary! Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and allow a few hours to explore all the areas that interest you!

Day 2 / Stop 5 – Bolshoi Theater

  • Why it’s awesome: The Bolshoi Theater is a historic venue that hosts world-class ballet and opera performances!
  • Cost: Prices vary largely between USD $2.00 –  USD $228.00 based on seat location.
  • Food nearby: Head to the Russian restaurant, Bolshoi for high-quality food and drinks and excellent service!

The Bolshoi Theater is among the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world! It also boasts the world’s biggest ballet company, with more than 200 dancers!

The theater has been rebuilt and renovated several times during its long history. In 2011 it finished its most recent renovation after an extensive six-year restoration that started in 2005. The renovation included an improvement in acoustics and the restoration of the original Imperial decor.

The Bolshoi Theater has put on many of the world’s most famous ballet acts! Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake premiered at the theater in 1877 and other notable performances of the Bolshoi repertoire include Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker!

Bolshoi Theater

Today, when you visit the theater, you can expect a magical performance from skilled singers, dancers, and musicians with the highest level of technique!

If you don’t have time to see a show, the theater also provides guided tours on select days of the week. Tours are given in both Russian and English and will provide visitors with a more intimate look at the different areas of the theater!

The stage of this iconic Russian theater has seen many outstanding performances. If you’re a fan of the performing arts, the Bolshoi Theater is one of the greatest and oldest ballet and opera companies in the world, making it a must-see attraction on your Moscow itinerary!

moscow itinerary

Godzillas Hostel

Godzillas Hostel is located in the center of Moscow, just a short walk from all the major tourist attractions and the metro station.

  • Towels Included

Cosmonautics Museum | Alexander Garden | Ostankino Tower | Izmaylovo District | Soviet Arcade Museum

Now that we’ve covered what to do in Moscow in 2 days, if you’re able to spend more time in the city you’re going to need more attractions to fill your time. Here are a few more really cool things to do in Moscow we recommend!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

  • Hear the timeline of the ‘space race’ from the Russian perspective
  • This museum is fun for both adults and children!
  • Admission is USD $4.00

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is a museum dedicated to space exploration! The museum explores the history of flight, astronomy, space exploration, space technology, and space in the arts. It houses a large assortment of Soviet and Russian space-related exhibits, and the museum’s collection holds approximately 85,000 different items!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

The museum does an excellent job of telling the full story of the exciting space race between the USSR and the US! It highlights the brightest moments in Russian history and humanity and is very interesting and fun for all ages!

If you’re a fan of space or just curious about gaining insight into Russia’s fascinating history of space exploration, make sure to add this to your 3 day itinerary in Moscow!

The Alexander Garden

  • A tranquil place to relax near the Red Square
  • Green lawns dotted with sculptures and lovely water features
  • The park is open every day and has no entrance fee

The Alexander Garden was one of the first urban public parks in Moscow! The garden premiered in 1821 and was built to celebrate Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s forces in 1812!

The park is beautiful and well maintained with paths to walk on and benches to rest on. The park contains three separate gardens: the upper garden, middle garden, and lower garden.

The Alexander Garden

Located in the upper garden, towards the main entrance to the park is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with its eternal flame. This monument was created in 1967 and contains the body of a soldier who fell during the Great Patriotic War!

The park stretches along all the length of the western Kremlin wall for about half a mile. Due to its central location in the city, it’ll be easily accessible when you’re out exploring The Red Square.

It provides a bit of relief from the city’s high-energy city streets. Bring a picnic lunch, go for a walk, or just sit and people watch, this is one of the best Moscow sites to wind-down and relax!

Ostankino Television Tower

  • Television and radio tower in Moscow
  • Currently the tallest free-standing structure in Europe
  • Make sure you bring your passport when you visit, you can’t go up without it!

For spectacular views of the city, make sure to add the Ostankino Television Tower to your itinerary for Moscow! This impressive free-standing structure provides stunning views of the city in every direction. The glass floor at the top also provides great alternative views of the city!

Ostankino Television Tower

It takes just 58 seconds for visitors to reach the Tower’s observation deck by super fast elevator. The tower is open every day for long hours and is a great site in Moscow to check out! There is even a restaurant at the top where you can enjoy rotating views of the city while you dine on traditional Russian cuisine or European cuisine!

The tower is somewhat of an architectural surprise in a city that is not known for skyscrapers! To see the city from a new perspective, make sure to add this stop to your Moscow itinerary!

Izmaylovo District

  • The most popular attractions in this district are the kremlin and the flea market
  • Outside of the city center and easy to reach via metro
  • Most popular during the summer and on weekends

Travel outside the city center and discover a unique area of the city! The Izmaylovo District is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and one of the coolest places to see in Moscow! The two main attractions we recommend checking out are the Kremlin and the flea market.

The Izmailovo Kremlin was established as a cultural center and molded after traditional Russian architecture. This colorful complex is home to several single-subject museums, including a Russian folk art museum and a vodka museum!

Izmaylovo District

Next to the Kremlin is the Izmailovo open-air market, which dates back to the 17th century! The market is connected to the Izmailovo Kremlin by a wooden bridge. Pick up all your Russian souvenirs here, including traditional handicrafts, paintings, books, retro toys, and Soviet memorabilia!

You will find many hand-made and hand-painted options available at higher prices, as well as mass-produced souvenir options at lower prices!

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

  • Closed on Mondays
  • Filled with old arcade games that visitors get to try out!
  • The museum also includes a small cafe and burger shop

For something a little different, check out the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games! The museum features roughly 60 machines from the Soviet era, including video games, pinball machines, and collaborative hockey foosball! The machines inside the museum were produced in the USSR in the mid-1970s.

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

The best part is, most of the games are still playable! Purchase tickets and try the games out for yourself! The museum also has a neat little screening room that plays old Soviet cartoons and an area with Soviet magazines! This unique attraction is a fun addition to a 3 day itinerary in Moscow, and an attraction that all ages will enjoy! 

Whether you’re spending one day in Moscow, or more, safety is an important thing to keep in mind when traveling to a big city! Overall, Moscow is a very safe place to visit. However, it is always recommended that tourists take certain precautions when traveling to a new destination!

The police in Moscow is extremely effective at making the city a safe place to visit and do their best to patrol all of the top Moscow, Russia tourist attractions. However, tourists can still be a target for pickpockets and scammers.

Moscow has a huge flow of tourists, therefore there is a risk for pickpocketing. Simple precautions will help eliminate your chances of being robbed. Stay vigilant, keep your items close to you at all times, and don’t flash your valuables!

If you’re planning a solo Moscow itinerary, you should have no need to worry, as the city is also considered safe for solo travelers, even women. Stay in the populated areas, try and not travel alone late at night, and never accept rides from strangers or taxis without a meter and correct signage.

The threat of natural disasters in Moscow is low, with the exception of severe winters when the temperature can dip below freezing! Bring a good, warm jacket if you visit in Winter.

However, please note that Russian views on homsexuality are far less accepting than those in Western Europe. Likewise, Non-Caucasian travellers may sadly encounter racism in Russia .

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance for Moscow

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

great weekend city trips

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Now that we’ve covered all the top things to see in Moscow, we thought we’d include some exciting day trips to other areas of the country!

Sergiev Posad (Golden Ring)

Sergiev Posad Golden Ring

On this 7-hour guided tour, you’ll visit several scenic and historic areas of Russia. Start your day with hotel pick-up as you’re transferred by a comfortable car or minivan to Sergiev Posad. Admire the charming Russian countryside on your drive and enjoy a quick stop to visit the Russian village, Rudonezh!

You’ll see the majestic Saint Spring and the Church of Sergiev Radonezh. You’ll also visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, one of the most famous Orthodox sites in Russia!

Lastly, you’ll swing by the local Matreshka market and enjoy a break in a nice Russian restaurant before returning to Moscow!

Day Trip to Vladimir and Suzdal

Day Trip to Vladimir and Suzdal

On this 13-hour trip, you’ll discover old Russia, with its picturesque landscapes and white-stoned beautiful churches! You’ll visit the main towns of the famous Golden Ring of Russia – the name for several cities and smaller towns north-east of Moscow.

Your first stop will be in the town of Vladimir, the ancient capital of all Russian principalities. The city dates back to the 11th century and is one of the oldest and the most important towns along the Ring! Next, you’ll visit Suzdal, a calm ancient Russian town north of Vladimir with only 13,000 inhabitants!

The old-style architecture and buildings of Suzdal are kept wonderfully intact. If you’re spending three days in Moscow, or more, this is a great option for exploring the charming areas outside the city!

Zvenigorod Day Trip and Russian Countryside

Zvenigorod Day Trip and Russian Countryside

On this 9-hour private tour, you’ll explore the ancient town of Zvenigorod, one of the oldest towns in the Moscow region! As you leave Moscow you’ll enjoy the stunning scenery along the Moscow River, and make a few stops at old churches along the way to Zvenigorod.

Upon arrival, you’ll explore the medieval center, including the 14th-century Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery. Next, you’ll take a break for lunch (own expense) where you’ll have the chance to try out the Russian cuisine! Next, you’ll visit the Museum of Russian Dessert and sip on tea at a Russian tea ceremony.

The final stop of the day is at the Ershovo Estate, a gorgeous place to walk around and enjoy nature!

Day Trip to St Petersburg by Train visiting Hermitage & Faberge

Day Trip to St Petersburg by Train visiting Hermitage and Faberge

On this full-day tour, you’ll enjoy a a full round trip to St Petersburg where you’ll spend an exciting day exploring another popular Russian city! You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Moscow and be transferred to the train station where you’ll ride the high-speed train ‘Sapsan’ to St Petersburg.

Upon arrival, you’ll start the day by touring the Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace. Next, you’ll visit the Faberge Museum, where you’ll explore the impressive collection of rare Faberge Eggs! In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing boat ride and a traditional 3-course Russian lunch.

If you’re spending 3 days in Moscow, or more, this is an excellent trip to take!

Trip to Kolomna – Authentic Cultural Experience from Moscow

Trip to Kolomna - Authentic Cultural Experience from Moscow

On this 10-hour tour, you’ll escape the city and travel to the historic town of Kolomna! First, you’ll visit the 14th-century Kolomna Kremlin, home to the Assumption Cathedral and an abundance of museums!

Next, enjoy lunch at a local cafe (own expense) before embarking on a tour of the Marshmallow Museum – of course, a marshmallow tasting is provided!  Your final stop is the Museum of Forging Settlements, where displays include armor and accessories for fishing and hunting.

Discover this beautiful Russian fairytale city on a private trip, where all of the planning is taken care of for you!

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Find out what people want to know when planning their Moscow itinerary.

How many days you need in Moscow?

We recommend that you spend at least two or three days in Moscow to take it all in.

What’s the best month to visit Moscow?

The best time to visit Moscow is over the spring, from March to May as temperatures are mild, crowds are thin and prices are reasonable.

What are some unusual things to do in Moscow?

I mean, queuing up to see an almost 100 year old corpse is pretty unsual! Check out Lenin’s Mausoleum if you fancy it!

What are some fun things to do in Moscow?

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is a fun place to explore the famous space race from the perspective of the ‘other side’!

We hope you enjoyed our Moscow itinerary! We’ve made sure to cover all the Moscow must-sees as well as some unique attractions in the city! Our addition of insider tips, favorite food stops, and day trips from Moscow is an added bonus and will guarantee you make the most out of your exciting Russian vacation!

Immerse yourself in the modern and traditional Russian lifestyle! Get lost in museums, witness awe-inspiring architecture, and indulge in Russian cuisine! Spend the day strolling through all of the charming sites of Moscow, admiring the beautiful scenery and discovering the city’s fairytale-like enchantment!

great weekend city trips

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

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A History of Moscow in 13 Dishes

Featured city guides.

How to spend a perfect weekend in Moscow

Feb 11, 2020 • 5 min read

great weekend city trips

Moscow enjoyed the status of capital for most of Russia’s history, except for a relatively brief period (about two hundred years), when the Tsar and the government relocated to St Petersburg . But the Bolsheviks moved the capital back to Moscow in 1918, and today it’s an extremely diverse city. It can easily take a couple of weeks to see all of its sights, but if you've only got a weekend to explore, here's how to have two perfect days in Moscow.

Exterior of St Basil's Cathedral at Red Square on a sunny autumn morning.

Start your weekend in Moscow by acquainting yourself with top-notch Russian cuisine at Grand Cafe Dr Zhivago . Located on the first floor of the historical hotel National and overlooking the Kremlin, it’s definitely one of the best breakfast spots in the city. Try millet porridge with crawfish, pearl barley porridge with oxtail or traditional cottage cheese with raisins and candied fruit.

Set aside at least half a day for Russian capital’s major attractions: the Red Square and the Kremlin . To reach the Kremlin, cross the street from Dr Zhivago and walk through the Alexander Garden to the main entrance at the Kutafya Tower . Check out all the cathedrals, including Archangel cathedral with all the tsars’ tombs and Uspensky cathedral with medieval icons. Pause to look at the famous Tsar Bell and climb Ivan the Great Bell Tower to enjoy some great views.

Zaryadye - a landscape and architectural park. Many people stroll over concrete walkways surrounding a rounded building in parkland.

Exit and walk to the Red Square through the Alexander Garden, where, if lucky, you can see the change of guard. If you’re feeling hungry, stop by the food court at Okhotny Ryad shopping complex to pick up a snack.

The Red square is dominated by four buildings of equal historical importance: the Kremlin's most famous Spasskaya (Saviour) Tower , with a clock and fourteen bells that chime national anthem four times a day (6am, noon, 6pm, midnight), St Basil's Cathedral , Moscow's best-known symbol with its multi-colored domes, Lenin’s Mausoleum , the resting place of the leader of the 1917 October revolution, and GUM , Moscow's oldest department store, topped with a glass roof, designed by one of Russia's most celebrated architects, Vladimir Shukhov. 

A guide to shopping in Moscow

Right behind the St Basil’s it is the relatively new Zaryadye Park , designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, famous for its work on the High Line in New York City. Zaryadye showcases flora from all the climate zones of Russia, which is the largest country in the world. The floating bridge at the edge of the park is one of the biggest selfie magnets in Moscow, providing spectacular views of the river and the city skyline as the background. 

Another Zaryadye attraction is a glass pavilion that hosts restaurant Voskhod  (Sunrise) – a perfect spot for your lunch or early dinner. Voskhod focuses on dishes from all fifteen former Soviet Union republics and its inside looks like a Soviet-made spaceship with great views of the Moscow river. Try Azeri home-made pasta or trout from Lake Sevan in Armenia.

After all that walking and exploring you need some quality downtime and what better way to spend it than relaxing for a couple of hours at the famous Sanduny  traditional Russian hot bath. Make sure to get a massage with birch sticks!

You might still have time to go to Winzavod Center – a creative cluster with galleries housed at a former wine factory. Galleries like XL , pop/off/art and Ovcharenko always have something on, most likely a cutting-edge Russian contemporary art exhibition. Finish the evening hanging out at one of the best Moscow bars – try socialites’ paradise Noor Electro , co-joined with one of Moscow’s avant-garde theatres or Powerhouse Moscow , located in a 19th-century mansion, which is famous for live indie and jazz band performances. Both serve great food, too. 

Young people sit on a bench looking at a large painting on the wall. It's by Russian artist Alexander Ivanov, called 'The appearance of Christ to the People' and is displayed in the Tretyakov gallery

Power up for a busy day ahead at one of Moscow’s trendiest coffee/breakfast spots,   Nude . Located in the upscale, well-heeled neighborhood of Patriarch’s Ponds, Nude offers a wide range of breakfast dishes, including scrambled eggs, toast, porridge and banana bread. Book ahead as it might be busy on a weekend morning.

After checking out the Patriarch's Ponds, which features prominently in Mikhail Bulgakov’s perennial novel The Master and Margarita , devote the rest of the morning and early afternoon to exploring Moscow’s best museums. Depending on your tastes, pick one of the following: Tretyakov Gallery for traditional Russian art, from medieval icons to the early 20th century;  New Tretyakov for 20th century and contemporary art as well as great temporary exhibitions;  Pushkin Museum for one of the greatest collections of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art in the world; and the Garage Museum for some eye-opening modern-art exhibitions. 

A blurred train travelling at speed through a station with a tiled wall and a station guide.

Whichever museum or gallery you choose, be sure to go to LavkaLavka for lunch, certainly one of the best places to try new Russian cuisine, which is a contemporary reading of centuries-old recipes. It’s one of the few places to try polugar , which is, allegedly, what Russians called vodka in the 19th century. 

When you talk about Russian culture, literary giants usually pop into mind: the likes of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Anton Chekhov. There are plenty of literary museums in Moscow, but if you had to pick one, visit Tolstoy Estate Museum , located just opposite the headquarters of Yandex, the Russian equivalent of Google. Every little detail has been restored just the way it looked when Tolstoy lived here in the 1880s–90s. 

Leave some time for exploring the Moscow Metro : every station is an architectural masterpiece in its own right. Our favorites include Mayakovskaya, Komsomolskaya and Kievskaya. Later, unwind at one of dozens of Moscow’s craft beer places . Try  Jawsspot , named after one of the leading breweries in Russia, Jaws from the Urals region, which also serves decent pizza and salads.  

You might also like:

Why food markets in Moscow are having a moment    Russia for first-timers: dos and don’ts    Russia's best drinks and where to try them   

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great weekend city trips

14 Fun-Filled Weekend Trips From Mexico City

I f you find yourself in CDMX having exhausted your Mexico City trip itinerary and you have some extra time coupled with a thirst for adventure, you should most definitely spend the time exploring the surrounding cities, towns, and villages only a few hours away !

Each location has an abundance of art, festivals, interesting local cuisine, and historic architecture to behold. There’s truly something for everyone, and the immense variety will make it challenging to pick only one destination! 

This post will cover a handful of my favorite weekend getaways from Mexico City. If you’ve got the chance to extend your CDMX trip, you’ve gotta make time for some of these nearby adventures!

Some of my personal faves? San Miguel De Allende, Santiago De Querétaro, Grutas Tolantongo, and Tepotzotlán!

You ready to get explorin’?

This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!


Here’s a quick overview of all the useful info you need to plan an awesome trip!

When To Go : During the dry season, which runs from December to April.

Where To Stay : I love staying in the hip/trendy Roma Norte neighborhood! We like Hotel Marbella  ($), ULIV Apartments – Roma Norte  ($$), Casa Goliana   ($$$), and Brick Hotel Mexico City   ($$$).

Nearest Airport : Mexico City International Airport (MEX)

How to Get Around :

  • Uber : Uber is probably the safest way to get around the city. However, you’ll want to keep your doors locked and your windows rolled up to prevent thieves on motorcycles from rolling by and snatching things from you! (I’ve witnessed this with my own eyes in CDMX — it happened to our Uber driver!)
  • Taxi : You should only use authorized taxis or taxi apps, such as Easy Taxi or Cabify.
  • Metro – The Mexico City Metro is an affordable way to get around the city. It is one of the largest metro systems in the world and has 12 lines that serve different parts of the city. The metro has women/children-only train cars for safety. Having said that, riding the Metro is not the safest way to travel throughout the city. There have been horror stories about people getting pickpocketed or robbed at knifepoint. Ride with caution!

Must-Do’s : Go to the Frida Kahlo Museum (at her actual house!), explore the colorful district of Coyoacán (one of Mexico City’s oldest districts), take a free walking tour of Centro Historico , take a day trip to Teotihuacan — the City of the Gods!

Before You Go : Make sure you can get into the country.

  • Check that you have a valid passport and that it won’t expire within 6 months of your trip!
  • Mexico requires travelers to fill out an Official Entry Immigration Form (or Tourist Card) before passing through customs at the airport. The Tourist Card is NO LONGER provided by commercial airlines. You’ll want to fill out the entry immigration form online , which is free to do.

‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Spanish : “Hello” = “Hola” and “Thank you” = “Gracias”.

Currency : the Mexican peso (MXN) –  click for current conversion rates

1. Teotihuacán

Distance from Mexico City: 30 miles (48 kilometers), 1 hour by car.

A day trip to Teotihuacan from Mexico City is a great way to explore one of Mexico’s most iconic archaeological sites. Plus, it’s one of the easiest to do given that it’s such an iconic landmark in Mexico!

It was once a thriving metropolis that was home to over 100,000 people and is known for its impressive architectural and cultural achievements. 

Teotihuacan is located about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico City, so it is best to start your day trip early to avoid crowds and traffic. You can take a bus, a taxi, or opt for one of the many guided tours to get there.

Once you arrive at Teotihuacan, take some time to explore the site and marvel at the ancient pyramids and temples. The site is home to several iconic landmarks, including the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent.

To learn more about its fascinating history and culture, visit the on-site museum, which features exhibits on the site’s architecture, art, and daily life.

After exploring the site and learning something new at the museum, take some time to enjoy the local cuisine! Teotihuacan is known for its delicious street food, including casual bites like tacos, tamales, and churros. Be sure to try some of the local specialties and sample some of the delicious fresh fruit and juices too!

One of the coolest ways to see Teotihuacan is from way up in the sky by hot air balloon . Book your hot air balloon flight over Teotihuacan here before they sell out !

2. Santiago De Querétaro, Querétaro

Distance from Mexico City: 135 miles (217 kilometers), 2 hours 25 minutes by car.

Santiago de Querétaro, or simply Querétaro, is a beautiful colonial city in central Mexico. Founded in 1531, Querétaro has a rich history evident in its well-preserved architecture and museums. The city is also home to delicious food, lively markets, and friendly locals.

Santiago de Querétaro is one of the few historic silver mining towns northwest of Mexico City. The city is also a UNESCO World Heritage site with vibrant colonial architecture, lovely cobblestone alleys, and hundreds of tree-lined plazas. It’s absolutely eye candy!

The historic center, which includes the spectacular 18 th -century Baroque home Casa de Ecala and the town’s iconic 16th-century aqueduct , still provides water today. It stands tall as one of the highlights of the town, and a great way to experience it is with a  trolley bus tour of the center – the kids will adore the sights, too!

A trip along the cheese and wine trail is one of the most popular weekend activities for couples or friends in Querétaro. These excursions feature cheese-making demonstrations with a lot of opportunities for tasting, of course!

Furthermore, the unique setting allows an excellent opportunity for the whole family to experience the intricacies of farm life.

Where To Stay: Gran Hotel de Querétaro

3. San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

Distance from Mexico City: 168 miles (270 kilometers), 3 hours, 16 minutes by car.

San Miguel de Allende is a lovely historical town in Guanajuato state with a somewhat cosmopolitan vibe. Its mild climate, authentic Mexican cultural feel, and stunning esthetics make it irresistible!

The place has a habit of charming many individuals from the United States, inviting them in with its alluring charms. Consequently, many tourists have migrated to San Miguel and are now calling it home, especially in the last decade.

Start your exploration in Centro Historico (historic downtown) at the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel . The numerous photos of San Miguel sometimes capture the beauty of a distinctive pink-colored Gothic church from the 17 th century – one of Mexico’s most beautiful churches.

If you want to acquire Mexican folk art souvenirs, go to the open-air San Miguel de Allende Mercado de Artesanias – the Artisan Market. It’s one of the best places to find souvenirs or exciting things to take home as presents. 

After a few hours of seeing the city, you may satisfy your hunger at Chocolates y Churros San Agustin , one of the finest restaurants in San Miguel de Allende. Alternatively, you may snack on a bench in El Jardin , the garden located in the main town square.

If you feel like venturing to a location outside of town, visit the El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden and the two most incredible hot springs in San Miguel de Allende, Spa La Gruta and Escondido Place .

Where To Stay:

  • Casa No Name – a magical little luxury hotel
  • Hotel Casa Blanca 7 – amazing location, even more amazing breakfast!

4. Cholula, Mexico

Distance from Mexico City :  80 miles (128 kilometers), 1 hour 51 minutes by car.

Cholula, Mexico is a beautiful town located in Central Mexico in the metropolitan area of Puebla, Mexico. The town is best known for its stunning scenery, friendly people, and delicious food.

The town is situated atop a mountain, which provides stunning views of the surrounding area. The buildings in Cholula are also very beautiful, and many of them date back hundreds of years.

When visiting Cholula, be sure to check out its archaeology park, which is host to Mexico’s largest pyramid—Pyramide Tepanapa. This is one of the largest structures in all of Mesoamerica. Climb to the top for a breathtaking view of the city below.

Then, explore one of the many local markets for some delicious Mexican cuisine. Don’t forget to try a traditional Pueblan dish like mole poblano!

If you’ve had enough of Cholula, there’s still a lot to see in the nearby towns/villages of Puebla, Tonantzintla, and Acatepec. Consider booking a few nights at Quinta Luna for your home base as you explore the region more.

Where To Stay: Quinta Luna

5. Tepotzotlán, Mexico

Distance from Mexico City :  25 miles (40 kilometers), 1 hour by car.

Situated in a highland mountain valley and flanked by dramatic and lush mountain cliffs, Tepoztlán is one of Mexico’s unique colonial towns and hidden gems.

Tepoztlán is just 75 km (46 miles) south of Mexico City and 17 km (11 miles) northeast of the popular colonial town of Cuernavaca, making it an easy day trip from CDMX, though I’d definitely recommend staying overnight for one or two nights to fully appreciate all this town offers.

When it comes to Tepotzotlán, Mexico, there is no shortage of reasons to visit this beautiful place. For starters, the town is home to some of the most stunning colonial architecture in all of Mexico.

In addition, the town is also home to a number of important historical sites, including the former home of Emperor Maximilian I.

But that’s not all that Tepotzotlán has to offer. The town is also home to a number of great restaurants and cafes, as well as a vibrant nightlife scene.

Tepotzotlán is home to some of the most vibrant markets in Mexico. Stroll through the stalls and take in the sights and sounds of this lively place. Be sure to bargain for souvenirs! Don’t miss the traditional town market which opens daily just off the main square, as well as the lively Weekend Artisan and Foods Market which sets up every weekend in town.

From there, head to archaeological sites like Piramide del Tepozteco . Explore the ruins of ancient civilizations and learn about the history of this region. Built atop a mountain cliff that overlooks the town and the entire valley below, the temple was built in honor of Tepoztecatl, the Aztec god of harvest, fertility, and Pulque.

This is going to be a bit physical, as there is a trail that leads to the top of the mountain ridge where the temple zone begins. If you can handle the climb, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the town and valley in addition to the temple itself.

If you’re looking for a charming Mexican town to visit that’s off the beaten path, Tepotzotlán should be at the top of your list!

Where To Stay: Mansion Tepotzotlan

6. Cuetzalan, Puebla

Distance from Mexico City: 185 miles (299 kilometers), 4 hours 27 minutes by car.

The breathtaking drive from Mexico City to Cuetzalan is one of the region’s most thrilling journeys and is ideal for a road trip!

Beyond the Zaragoza exit, you’ll find twisting pathways and hairpin twists that add to the sightseeing experience. Once you traverse the interesting pathways and take in the sights, you will be in the state of Puebla.

Cuetzalan, an indigenous town in Puebla, is a bit farther out than your usual weekend getaway location, but tourists interested in Mexico’s indigenous history and culture will find it well worth the extra travel time!

The town is well-known for showcasing its culinary achievements and customs, such as the Feria del Café y del Huipil , which takes place in early October and celebrates both coffee and indigenous blouses.

On the other hand, Cuetzalan stands out not just as a remote town on a map but also for its world-renowned voladores who perform in front of the Parroquia de San Francisco de Asís . They are known as flying dancers because they whirl around a tall pole while being strapped from their ankles. In fact, UNESCO officially designated their dance as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

If you enjoy trying the local cuisine within a city, you can buy numerous specialties at roadside stands, including fruit wines and smoked meats. In particular, xoco atoll is a fermented rice drink with a unique taste, while dulce de tejocote is a type of yellow hawthorn fruit in anise syrup.

Some of the most remarkable monuments that rise over Cuetzalan are the Gothic spire of the Parroquia de San Francisco , the French Gothic Santuario de Guadalupe , and the plaza’s freestanding clock tower. The Santuario de Guadalupe, in particular, has some extremely interesting ornamental rows of los jarritos – clay vases modeled on the Lourdes sanctuary.

7. Tula, Hidalgo

Distance from Mexico City : 53 miles (86km), 1 hour 22 minutes by car.

If you’re looking for a quick day trip as opposed to an overnight stay, Tula is a quick and easy trip from Mexico City. Tula, also called Tollan, was the ancient capital of the Toltecs in Mexico.

Located about an hour and a half drive from Mexico City in the state of Hidalgo, this area is famous for its archeological site, which is home to the ruins of an ancient city. The site was once a major center of trade and commerce but today, it’s a popular tourist destination.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Mexico, then Tula is a great place to visit.

The magnificent ancient complex includes a large pyramid, a palace complex, and a number of other buildings. The city was abandoned in the early 13th century, but it has been extensively excavated and studied since then.

The complex, believed to have been inspired by the Maya civilization in Yucatán, was initially occupied during the early 7th century and later decades by the militaristic Toltecs. They included aspects of the Mayas’ artistic talents.

They gave eagles and jaguars significant symbolic meaning, and findings also indicate human sacrifice activities to satisfy the gods.

A series of finely carved columns and monumental sculptures known as the Atlantes now stand erect on the platform of the temple pyramid, used to support the temple’s roof.

A small on-site museum displays ceramics, jewelry, metalwork and stone figures from ancient civilizations throughout Mexico. Your admission includes entry to the museum as well.

8. San Sebastian Bernal, Querétaro

Distance from Mexico City: 147 miles (236 kilometers), 2 hours 40 minutes by car.

San Sebastian Bernal is a small town located in the Mexican state of Querétaro. If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path weekend getaway, a visit to Bernal is going to fit that bill.

Bernal is a beautiful location to unwind and forget about the rest of the world. The town’s central square is small yet attractive, with good eateries and excellent architecture. The area surrounding Bernal is known for its beautiful scenery and its many hiking trails.

When you’re not out hitting the trails, spend a few hours meandering through town enjoying the traditional Mexican restaurants and shops.

Bernal’s most notable feature, though, is the massive stone monolith that stands right in front of the village. The Pea de Bernal , at 1,421 feet (433 meters), is the world’s third-largest monolith, trailing only Spain’s Gibraltar Rock and Brazil’s Sugarloaf Mountain.

And of course, when there’s a monolith, there are going to be climbers who’ll want to climb it. If that sounds like you, you can go on an excursion to climb the rock. Otherwise, there are many other local activities to enjoy.

Where To Stay: Hotel Quinta Mirador Zacualli

9. Cuernavaca, Morelos

Distance from Mexico City: 54 miles (87 kilometers), 1 hour 20 minutes by car.

Cuernavaca, Morelos also goes by the name of the City of Eternal Spring, thanks to its year-round balmy weather. 

If you do make this city a priority, you should definitely make your way to the Palacio de Cortes , an ancient palace dating back to 1526. This two-story stone palace was built over the ruins of a Tlahuica Aztec tribute collection center that the Spanish destroyed during the conquest. Hernán Cortés turned it into his personal residence to demonstrate his rule over the local people.

The previous mansion now houses the Museo Regional Cuauhnáhuac , which has a mural by Diego Rivera on the upstairs balcony.

Then, head to the Templo de Santa Prisca y San Sebastian , an 18th-century church that’s simply stunning. Of course, you can’t visit Cuernavaca without taking a stroll through the Jardin Borda , one of the most beautiful gardens in all of Mexico.

The Museo Robert Brady , which displays the private art collection of American artist and collector Robert Brady, is well worth a visit. Brady resided in Cuernavaca for 24 years but traveled extensively, collecting paintings, sculptures, and fabrics from all around the world. All of them are on exhibit at his former home, among works by well-known Mexican painters.

Xochicalco , which translates to ‘in the home of flowers’ in Nahuatl, is a lovely side trip about 29 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Cuernavaca. The ruins surrounding the city are well-preserved pyramids, ball courts, an observatory, and the Site Museum.

Trust us, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Cuernavaca!

Where To Stay: 

  • Hotel Boutique La Casa Azul
  • Las Casas B&B Boutique Hotel, Spa & Restaurant

10. Mineral De Chico

Distance from Mexico City: 77 miles (127 kilometers), 2 hours by car.

Mineral De Chico is a small and charming old mining town located in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. The town is home to a number of mines, which produce a variety of minerals including gold, silver, and copper.

Although it is not a particularly popular tourist destination, Mineral De Chico is definitely worth visiting. The town has a number of interesting historical and cultural sites, and the surrounding countryside is absolutely beautiful.

This village is among the newest pueblos mágicos, boasting a lot of allure for those looking to enjoy a weekend away for fresh air. For instance, you can visit Parque Nacional El Chico , a reserve established in 1898. 

The views are lovely, the air is crisp, and the mountains offer some of nature’s most spectacular views; plus, they are great if you’re an avid hiker who enjoys making your way up rock formations to beautiful waterfalls.

Many exciting backstreets lead from the main street, revealing the beauty of the surrounding valleys, such as Corona del Rosal . Another great spot is Capilla del Calvario , a maze of walkways that include a rustic 19th-century chapel on Calvario, uphill from the church.

Where To Stay: Hotel Bello Amanecer

11. Grutas De Cacahuamilpa National Park

Distance from Mexico City : 100 miles (160 kilometers), 2 hours, 19 minutes by car.

Grutas De Cacahuamilpa National Park is a must-visit if you’re interested in natural wonders that lie underground.

The Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Caverns are a globally-known phenomenon, taking the title as one of the world’s most extensive cave systems, together with a lesser network known as the Grutas of Carlos Pacheco, which are the main attractions in this magnificent park.

You can expect to see some of the most spectacular underground landscapes anywhere, including long tunnels carved out by underground rivers and a variety of fascinating dripstone formations extending through 16 chambers and reaching heights of 252 feet (77 meters) and widths of 262 feet (80 meters). 

Since their discovery in 1835, numerous tunnels deeper than 10 miles (16 kilometers) have been made to explore the caves’ depths. As a result, various guided tours are available, including rock climbing and rappelling opportunities. 

Visitors to the park can explore the caves, hike through the jungle, or take a dip in one of the many rivers and waterfalls.

  • Hotel Santa Paula
  • William Hotel de Diseño

12. Valle De Bravo

Distance from Mexico City: 86 miles (139 kilometers), 2 hours, 10 minutes by car.

Valle de Bravo is another quaint colonial town about two hours from Mexico City. Proclaimed a Pueblo Magico in 2005, there is indeed a lot of magic here!

The town is known for its cobblestone roads, colorful market, amazing hiking trails, and outdoor activities, as well as its beautiful lake, which is popular for swimming, fishing, and boating.

The surrounding mountains are perfect for hiking and there are many trails to explore. Valle de Bravo is also home to a number of waterfalls, which are popular tourist destinations as well.

For an easy 5.4-mile hike, opt for the Ruta El Plato hike in the Reserva Estatal Monte Alto. For an epic waterfall hike, check out the 4-mile Cascada Secreta de Avandaro hike .

In addition to its natural beauty, Valle de Bravo has a rich history dating back to the Aztec period.

Originally a Matlatzinca settlement, followed by Aztecs, Mexico’s Federal Commission on Electricity transformed it into an electricity hub, which generated electricity and provided a part of the water system that supplies Mexico City by the 20th century.

Although the Valle de Bravo lake is artificial, it displays a genuine, natural beauty that is hard to ignore. As such, Valle de Bravo is popular among many weekend travelers coming from Mexico City, particularly those who desire colorful country cabins, golf courses, hotels, and life on the lake.

The lake is often packed with people enjoying the water and having fun kayaking, water skiing, sailboating, speedboating, and going on catamaran tours. 

Within the town, visitors should start at Calle 5 de Mayo , the heart of the town. From there, do not miss the St. Mary’s Chapel , which is noted for its medieval architecture and Spanish style.

The archaeological museum, which has 300 objects from the 3,000 prehistoric sites located solely in the state of Mexico, is also a must-see.

  • Mesón De Leyendas Breakfast & Downtown – affordable chic option great for couples and families
  • Rodavento Boutique Hotel & Spa – perfect for a romantic little getaway in the middle of the forest!

13. Malinalco, Mexico

Distance from Mexico City: 62 miles (101 kilometers), 2 hours by car.

Less than two hours from southern Mexico City, the spiritual town of Malinalco is a great destination for tourists looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the heavily-populated capital.

If you’re itching for a bit of history and that “authentic Mexico” atmosphere, this is a great spot to visit.

The pre-Hispanic town of Malinalco is best known for its Aztec archaeological ruins, which are remarkably well-preserved and offer beautiful views over the valley. 

Some residents believe the remains, which were once the location of horrific rites, now have healing energies. In fact, it’s not unusual to find individuals meditating or experimenting with hallucinogenic mushrooms in the region!

The village also has an incredible 16 th century monastery called La Parroquia del Divino Salvador , lovely cobblestone lanes, and modest art galleries for souvenirs or browsing.

The charming village, surrounded by magnificent mountains and forests, is ideal for leisure, evoking a profound sensation that nothing has changed for hundreds of years.

After strolling through town, it’s time to sightsee. Undoubtedly, the main attraction in town is the Cuauhtinchan Archeological Ruins , which are very well preserved and definitely worth a visit. For more history, head to  Museo de Malinalco offers fascinating insights into the town’s history and culture.

Where To Stay: Hotel Amate del Rio or Quinta Ascensión Hotel (Adults Only)

14. Grutas Tolantongo

Distance from Mexico City : 125 miles (200 kilometers), 3 hours 45 minutes by car.

I’m thrilled to spill the beans on a place that’ll leave you utterly mesmerized—Grutas Tolantongo, a hidden paradise in the state of Hidalgo just a stone’s throw away from Mexico City.

Here’s what you can expect in this otherworldly oasis — a series of hot springs (turquoise blue water!) cascading down the side of a steep canyon, creating natural pools that overlook the breathtaking landscape. If the sound of that doesn’t make your jaw drop, I invite you to refer back to the photo!

Oh yeah, and the waters? They’re warm! Even the waterfalls! Spending a day here is like being welcomed into a spa day hosted by Mother Earth herself.

You can choose to soak in the hot springs pools or the much larger hot springs river, explore the Tolantongo caves, zipline, and even go hiking. Needless to say, this is a great excursion from Mexico City for all my adventure travelers!

If you’ve got a car, it makes sense to linger a bit longer and plan out your own weekend adventure.

However, if you’re limited on time, you can book an early-morning Tolantongo day trip from Mexico City to see the caves and hot springs. I recommend sticking to the “early morning” tours in order to beat the crowds — sadly, this place has gotten more Instagram famous as of late.

When you opt for a guided tour, all the logistics of what to see/how to get there will be taken care of for you.

Interested in pairing the Grutas Tolantongo with another destination from this list?

I’d recommend Santiago de Querétaro as it’s just a few hours to the west of Tolantongo. There’s even an overnight tour from Santiago de Querétaro: Grutas de Tolantongo Overnight Tour

We hope this post on the best weekend trips from Mexico City has inspired you to visit somewhere new. If you had a chance to visit any of these towns and villages, let us know how you liked it!

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19 Fun-Filled Things To Do In Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico

If you find yourself in CDMX having exhausted your Mexico City trip itinerary and you have some extra time coupled with a thirst for adventure, you should most definitely spend the time exploring the surrounding cities, towns, and villages only a few hours away! Each ... Read more

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First ever thai festival in new york city happens this weekend.

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An inaugural Thai Fest will happen in Manhattan on April 20.

New York City is the location of a new food festival and it will be the first ever one centered on Thai cuisine.

The inaugural Thai Fest will take place on Saturday, April 20, on 6 th Avenue between 29 th and 30 th Streets in Manhattan. Its hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This food festival will deliver a taste of Thai food and drink by showcasing Thailand’s cultural flavors and traditions through 12 participating restaurants from throughout New York City.

Thai Fest, which is sponsored by the beverage brand, Chi Forest, was organized as a sister brand of the Dragon Fest . This NYC festival was founded in 2023 and celebrates Chinese culture through a schedule of events, tastings and market fairs.

Both events were started by Biubiu Xu, an entrepreneur and cultural advocate who also launched Egg House in 2018, an NYC pop-up immersion experience.

Twelve Thai restaurants throughout New York City will participate in Thai Fest.

“While hosting Dragon Fest, the team encountered various cuisines from countries with significant overseas Chinese populations, naturally including Thai cuisine,” said Xu. “Dragon Fest is an annual outdoor festival that celebrates Chinese food and culture in New York. Following its success, the team decided to expand our cultural festivals to include other Asian cultures, leading to the creation of Thai Fest.”

The 12 restaurants will set up booths and offer around 35 different food items. As admission to Thai Fest is free and open to the public, the cost for purchasing food and drinks will range between $8-$15 each.

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“What makes Thai cuisine unique in NYC is the presence of both authentic food from underrepresented restaurants and innovative, creative twists on traditional dishes from more well-known establishments,” said Xu. “This diversity is embraced and reflected at Thai Fest, where the festival highlights these culinary aspects through the participation of various NYC Thai restaurants.”

Traditional Thai food and drink will be sold at the inaugural Thai Fest.

The offers include Thai delicacies include some well-noted city establishments. The planned list extends to: Crab Fried Rice from Fish Cheeks in Manhattan; spicy Krapow from Mayree in Manhattan; savory Fried Meatballs from Sappe in Manhattan; rich Khao Soi from Soothr in Manhattan; and crispy Fried Chicken from Somtum Der in Manhattan.

Other choices will incorporate classic Pad Thai from Rua Thai in Brooklyn; sweet Mango Sticky Rice from Zabb PuTawn in Manhattan; flavorful Garlic Noodle from Obao in Manhattan; and tangy Tom Yum Ramen from 11Tigers in Manhattan.

“These restaurants were invited to join based on their reputation for quality and authenticity in Thai cuisine,” said Xu. “The active participation of these Thai restaurants can be attributed to their eagerness to engage in community events that provide an excellent platform for promoting Thai cuisine and culture.”

Michele Herrmann

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Green racket: dc mayor took ‘economic development’ trip to masters on taxpayers’ dime.

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District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser may want a mulligan on this one.

The Democrat took a taxpayer-funded “sports and economic development” trip to last week’s Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga.

Bowser, 51, announced the jaunt on her public schedule and a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office confirmed that DC residents paid for all related travel expenses to get inside the gates at the fabled Augusta National Golf Club, DC News Now reported .

Susana Castillo, Bowser’s communications director, told the outlet that the mayor was invited by Jodie McLean and Deborah Ratner Salzberg, who are co-chairs of a city task force “to revitalize the Gallery Place and Chinatown Neighborhood.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser is speaking about the Launch Housing in Downtown Program during a press conference at Elle Apartments/Downtown in Washington, D.C., USA, on March 11, 2024.

The spokeswoman did not disclose the total cost of the more than 500-mile flight south, nor did she immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

“No matter where I am, my team is working and always in touch with me at a moment’s notice,” Bowser added in a statement of her own to DC News Now.

The mayor has faced sharp criticism for her handling of a crime spike in the nation’s capital before pivoting last fall amid mass resignations by city police — including former chief Robert Contee III .

General view as Scottie Scheffler of the U.S. hits his tee shot on the 3rd hole during the final round of The Masters.

Violent crime surged 39% in the nation’s capital from 2022 to 2023, with homicides rising 35% and robberies up a whopping 67%.

In two recent high-profile incidents, armed carjackers stole the vehicles of an FBI agent and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), while a former federal official in the Trump administration was shot and killed by another car thief in February.

Bowser embraced the Black Lives Matter movement during the riots that followed the police killing of George Floyd in 2020, but reversed course in 2023 to fight the city council over a radical crime bill that lightened sentencing for robberies, carjackings and other gun-related felonies.

DC Emancipation Day reminds us that enslaved people in DC were the first to be freed in the US.

Last year, she also opposed a progressive policing law that hampered officers’ ability to apprehend suspects and increased disciplinary measures, making them “scared to do their job,” according to Bowser.

The crime spike had briefly threatened a $515 million deal with Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, who entertained moving the NBA and NHL teams to a new northern Virginia arena before reaching an agreement with Bowser to stay in the nation’s capital.

It’s unclear what other projects Bowser may be pursuing in Chinatown.

It was over a century ago that the first cherry blossom trees were gifted to the people of the United States by the people of Japan.

“As mayor, I frequently attended meetings and events to foster economic development, strengthen partnerships, and build rapport with people interested in investing in our city,” DC councilman Vincent Gray, who served a single term as mayor before being unseated by Bowser in the 2014 Democratic primary, told DC News Now.

“I met with people in countless venues, be they overseas, in downtown DC conference rooms, or sometimes at high-profile gatherings,” he said. “I see no controversy in travel that is intended to promote the District in furtherance of opportunity that benefits residents and local businesses.”

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Mayor Muriel Bowser is speaking about the Launch Housing in Downtown Program during a press conference at Elle Apartments/Downtown in Washington, D.C., USA, on March 11, 2024.


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Best places to visit in may 2024.

With its pleasantly warm weather and thinned crowds, May is the perfect time to take a trip before the expensive summer season. Considering sights, weather, traveler sentiment and annual events (among other factors), U.S. News rounded up the best places to visit in May. Whether you're looking for an outdoor adventure in a national park, a quick Memorial Day getaway or a leisurely beach vacation , you can't go wrong with these destinations. Vote for your favorite locales below to help determine next year's list.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Laguna beach, st. vincent & the grenadines, victoria & vancouver island, yellowstone national park.

great weekend city trips

When May comes around in Bryce Canyon National Park, the snow is nearly gone, which means the park's main road and popular trails are likely to be open. Highs are typically in the 60s during the day, too – ideal conditions for hiking and biking this Utah park's paths. Visitor numbers start to ramp up this month, but it's still early enough in the season that you're unlikely to have to jostle for a view at the popular Bryce Point, which overlooks Bryce Amphitheater, a landscape of otherworldly rock spires (called hoodoos).

great weekend city trips

This Portuguese island chain in the Atlantic Ocean offers a little bit of everything for active travelers, from geoparks and waterfall hikes to paragliding. Though the weather here is always a bit unpredictable, the chances of wind and rain are lower in May. The water temperature also begins to warm up for must-do activities like snorkeling or swimming with dolphins, and with fewer swells than the winter months, beginner surfers will feel more comfortable trying to hang ten. As an added bonus, the biggest festival in the Azores – the Feasts of Santo Cristo dos Milagres – typically occurs in May.

great weekend city trips

Travelers looking for a vacation filled with unique and heart-pumping activities should set their sights on Cappadocia. This mountainous region in central Turkey is home to a UNESCO-listed national park, centuries-old underground cities, ancient cave dwellings, magnificent rock formations and more. Plus, thanks to average temperatures in the 60s and 70s in May, activities like soaring high above the Göreme Valley on a hot air balloon tour and driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle past fairy chimneys couldn't be more pleasant.

great weekend city trips

As one of the warmest and driest times of year in Palawan, May welcomes travelers with open arms. Take advantage of the minimal rainfall by experiencing all of the outdoor activities and attractions that this Philippine island has to offer –spoiler alert, there are a lot. Spend time relaxing on Palawan's white sand beaches, island-hopping or even swimming with gentle whale sharks. Water sports are popular in this destination as well, from diving Tubbataha Reef to kayaking El Nido's Big Lagoon.  

great weekend city trips

Visiting Granada, Spain, in May is a no-brainer. Average temperatures in the mid-70s, blooming flower displays (at Generalife Gardens) and a full roster of events make this Andalusian city a must-visit in the spring. Día de la Cruz and Feria del Corpus Christi, two of the city's most popular celebrations, are both held in May, and travelers won't want to miss seeing Granada come alive with music, flamenco dancers and more. Save time during your trip for a guided tour of the Alhambra and strolling through the Albaicín neighborhood.

great weekend city trips

May falls within this Peruvian city's winter season, though you probably wouldn't notice thanks to its consistently mild temperatures (highs hover in the 60s). This month rarely sees rain showers, and you'll encounter fewer tourists at archaeological wonders like La Catedral – which sits in the restaurant- and coffee shop-filled Plaza de Armas – and Machu Picchu – a bucket list destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 50 miles northwest of Cusco. If you're up for a challenge, hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This difficult trek through the area's towering mountains takes about four days to complete.

great weekend city trips

With 33 beaches, this eastern Caribbean island is a sun worshipper's dream, and May temperatures in the upper 70s and 80s are perfect for basking on its white sands . Spend warm days venturing to offshore cays, exploring fishing villages and watching yacht races during the Anguilla Regatta, typically held every May. Since this is the start of the island's rainy season, the weather can be wetter and more humid than the winter months, but visitors will be rewarded with cheaper accommodations. 

great weekend city trips

May is a great time for a trip to this seaside Spanish city before the heat and humidity become unbearable. Can't-miss architectural marvels to check out include Antoni Gaudí's whimsical Park Güell and the Gothic-style Sagrada Família. Budget time for visiting some of Barcelona's highly regarded museums, such as the Picasso Museum, and relax at Barceloneta beach before stopping at a nearby seafood restaurant for some of the best paella in the city. What's more, the city plays host to a number of events come May, including film and music festivals

great weekend city trips

Craggy coastline views, a world-famous aquarium and a superb farm-to-table dining scene draw tourists of all types to Monterey, California. Though temperatures here remain in the 60s for most of the year, rainfall drops significantly in May. Popular festivals also make this a great time of the year to visit. Come early in the month for the Pacific Grove Good Old Days Street Festival, which showcases local artisans and craft vendors, plus a variety of food booths. And near the end of the month, the three-day California Roots Music & Arts Festival celebrates reggae artists.

great weekend city trips

Visit Laguna Beach for a perfect sunny-and-70, laid-back beach vacation. May is part of this Southern California town's spring shoulder season, so you'll find fewer people on popular stretches of sand like Main Beach and Crescent Bay Beach. Plus, the quieter month is ideal for relaxation-focused activities, such as outdoor yoga and hiking. When travelers need a break from reconnecting with themselves or nature, they can check out Laguna Beach's thriving art scene, which includes hundreds of galleries, studios and public works of art.

great weekend city trips

Bright turquoise water, gorgeous white sand and lush green vegetation await vacationers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Composed of 32 islands and cays, this Caribbean archipelago is perfect for a tropical getaway. May falls between the country's peak winter season and its hurricane-prone low season, making it an ideal time for scuba diving and snorkeling in the Tobago Cays Marine Park, swimming and soaking up some rays at Canouan's beaches and hiking to beautiful waterfalls like Dark View Falls. Travelers will also want to check out the country's 20-acre Botanical Gardens, the oldest available in the Western Hemisphere.

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Victoria, British Columbia's capital city, sits on the southern portion of Vancouver Island. Not only does this Canadian destination boast comfortable highs in the low 60s in May, it is just a short ferry ride from Seattle (less than three hours), making it perfect for a quick weekend getaway . Spend your visit strolling through the 55-acre Butchart Gardens, which are bursting with colorful tulips and cherry blossoms come May, then get out on the water on a whale watching tour. Before heading home, don't forget to shop for souvenirs along Government Street.

great weekend city trips

Considered the birthplace of democracy and drama, Athens boasts a historical legacy that is hard to top. The main reason to visit is to see the ancient city's impressive ruins, which you'll find at the Acropolis and Ancient Agora. For an additional look at Athens' past, check out the incredible Greek artifacts on display at the National Archaeological Museum and the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture. May vacations are especially enjoyable thanks to comfortable daytime temps hovering in the mid-70s.

great weekend city trips

By late May, most of Yellowstone's trails and must-see attractions are open, welcoming eager nature enthusiasts seeking a breath of fresh air. The average 50-degree temperatures provide a brisk but comfortable atmosphere for a hike on one of the Old Faithful area's trails or a kayaking excursion on Yellowstone Lake. For a glimpse of wildlife, head to Lamar Valley to view wolf pups emerging from their dens. Keep in mind that if you visit during Memorial Day weekend, you'll likely run into crowds.

great weekend city trips

With warm weather year-round (average temperatures sit in the 80s), there's never a bad time to visit Singapore. But in May, this Asian city-state on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula welcomes events such as the Singapore Cocktail Festival, the Singapore International Festival of Arts and the Singapore HeritageFest. When you're not enjoying your time at one of Singapore's cultural events, check out top attractions like Gardens by the Bay, a futuristic nature park that is home to the Supertree Observatory and the Cloud Forest.  

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Meteor shower drought to end as Lyrids peak this weekend

Earth Day will start with celestial sparklers as the first meteor shower in over three months peaks, although it will have some competition that may outshine some shooting stars.

By Brian Lada , AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer

Published Apr 17, 2024 7:32 AM PDT | Updated Apr 17, 2024 12:03 PM PDT

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Earth Day, how about spending the night under the stars for the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower on the night of April 21-22?

A flurry of shooting stars will flicker in the night sky as the weekend comes to a close and Earth Day kicks off, presenting the best opportunity to see a meteor shower since 2023.

The Lyrid meteor shower is predicted to peak on Sunday night into early Monday morning with 15 to 20 meteors per hour , according to the American Meteor Society. The event will bring an end to a meteor shower drought that started more than three months ago after the Quadrantids briefly peaked on a cold and, for many areas, cloudy night in early January.

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A shooting star of the Lyrid meteor shower is observed from the Mingantu Observing Station of National Astronomical Observatories on April 19, 2021, in Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China. (Photo by Zhang Gang/VCG via Getty Images)

The celestial show will begin not long after nightfall, but like most meteor showers, the Lyrids will be best seen after midnight as the shower's radiant point rises high in the northeastern sky.

People outside watching the night sky before daybreak will also have the chance to watch the International Space Station fly overhead.

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This year's edition of the Lyrids will have some competition that could outshine all but the brightest meteors.

Lyrids face bright competition in 2024

Swift-moving meteors may look like a blip in the sky compared to the nearly full moon which will glow throughout most of Sunday night. The moonlight will wash out many of the dimmer meteors, reducing the number of shooting stars onlookers will see.

For the best chance at spotting some meteors, experts recommend focusing on darker areas of the sky where the moon is out of sight. Looking at the moon for a few seconds can impact your night vision and make it more difficult to see the meteors.

• Click here for the stargazing forecast for your area

A full moon will rise two nights later on April 23 and will be known as the Pink Moon. It is named after phlox, one of the first wildflowers to bloom in spring.

When is the next meteor shower?

After the Lyrids in late April, the next meteor shower will be the Eta Aquarids, which peak on the weekend of May 4-5.

This is one of the best meteor showers of the year for the Southern Hemisphere, where around 50 meteors per hour can be seen. For areas in the Northern Hemisphere, hourly rates will likely top out around 30 per hour, slightly higher than the Lyrids.

More Space and Astronomy:

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