Updated: Jan 15
1. Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine, is a city with a rich history. Portland is a popular tourist destination for its charming architecture and vibrant culture. Spending a weekend in Portland, Maine, will sweep you away to cobblestone streets, nostalgic days of the past, and delicious seafood. And if you’re an outdoors fan, Portland has plenty of nature to explore. One of the most popular activities is exploring the city’s charming architecture.
Old Port, the heart of Portland, has cobblestone streets to walk on as you explore the shopping area and take in the old buildings. Make sure to stop by The Holy Donut for a sweet treat!
2. Boston, Massachusetts
After exploring Downtown’s touristy things, get out and explore some other neighborhoods. Check out the art scene in the South End or mingle with the academics in Cambridge. Boston gets our vote as one of the best weekend trips in America! Steeped in history, yet vibrant and modern, Boston appeals to an array of travelers. By day, visitors can tour some of America’s most historic sites, wander through picture-perfect parks and go on a Duck Boat Tour, a bit of a Boston oddity. At night, Boston tourists will want to take a seat at one of the best seafood restaurants, tuck into a legendary tavern or cheer on the Red Sox at a baseball game.
Grab a lobster roll at Row 34 or traditional Irish fare at Mr. O’Dooley’s Downtown. Grab a slice of the original Boston Cream Pie from the Omni Parker House for dessert. History buffs will love taking in the historic landmarks along the Freedom Trail. Sports enthusiasts can’t pass up a behind-the-scenes tour of Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in major league baseball. Stay at the conveniently located Whitney Hotel and access complimentary bikes to explore the city.
3. Provincetown, Massachusetts
One of the best coastal destinations in New England for a long weekend is Provincetown. Provincetown is located on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. As one of the bigger towns in this region, it has everything from countless restaurants to fantastic nightlife and stunning beaches. Still, it maintains a small-town feel that’s more than manageable for a weekend getaway.
Provincetown makes for an effortless long weekend from Boston, even if you don’t have a car. There’s a direct ferry from Boston to the center of Provincetown; from there, you can walk everywhere. One of the best places to stay in Provincetown for a long weekend trip is the cozy Clarendon House B&B, just a few blocks from the heart of Commercial Street. From here, you can walk everywhere and enjoy amenities like a complimentary breakfast each day, a saltwater pool, and a rooftop deck.
4. Austin, Texas
After all, this magical city is known for a funky live music scene that features some of the country’s best up-and-coming blues and rock music. Austin’s location is also home to many parks where you can hike, bike, swim, and boat until your heart’s content. Finally, don’t leave Austin without indulging in a decadent breakfast at 1886 Cafe and Bakery. This place is known for serving up the most Instagram-worthy breakfast in Austin since they offer a Texas Shaped Pecan Waffle that is generously adorned with bananas, fresh berries, pecans, whipped cream, and more.
Some Austin visitors could probably spend their entire weekend trip on Sixth Street – Austin’s legendary bar street (and if that is what you want to do, we won’t judge!). However, we highly recommend spending the days exploring the Texas Capitol building, Lady Bird Lake, the University of Texas Longhorns campus and the incredible Barton Springs.
Texas barbecue is a mainstay on plenty of menus (the lines outside Franklin Barbecue are always long), and Tex-Mex breakfast tacos are a local favorite. Don’t miss a trip to the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library, which includes a replica of LBJ’s Oval Office. And, if the weather is right, head for the oldest swimming pool in the state, Barton Springs. Then, when you need to unwind after enjoying all that delicious food, spend the weekend at the Austin Hotel, which has a series of fun rooms that pay homage to the place’s historical past.
Unlike many state capitals, Austin doesn’t let its position as the seat of Texas’ government prevent it from simultaneously being an exciting city to visit. Live music thrives in Austin, where Austin City Limits is just the tip of the concert venue iceberg. In addition to country, you can find every musical style from big band jazz to zydeco playing every night around the city.
With stellar live music, excellent BBQ and Texas-sized sights, Austin easily ranks as one of the best long weekend vacations in the USA. As a bonus, the city delivers big on outdoor activities, as well!
5. New Orleans, Louisiana
In New Orleans, it seems like there’s always something to celebrate. Parades aren’t just a Mardi Gras event and there’s music in the streets every night. This is where jazz was born, so pay your respects at Preservation Hall or pick any club on Frenchmen Street. Check out the room full of flashy Mardi Gras Indian suits at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in the Tremé neighborhood. Ride the streetcar through the Garden District to see the stately mansions. Or check out the excellent National World War II Museum.
New Orleans is a feast for the senses – from the beautiful street scenes to the jazz music that is perpetually played by street performers. Weekend visitors should wander through the fabulous French Quarter, dine on divine Southern dishes, step into a spooky cemetery and have a drink (or two!) on Bourbon Street. New Orleans is one of the classic, great long weekend trips in the United States. Perfect for girls weekends, couples’ trips and even family vacations, NOLA welcomes tourists of all kinds.
New Orleans is the perfect spot for you to take a long weekend. You can always find a party or a festival in New Orleans. However, coming here for a long weekend is perfect for a foodie getaway. On a well-planned New Orleans weekend getaway, travelers can even plan adventures beyond the city center, taking in the sights in nearby districts or further afield on a swamp boat trip or plantation tour.
The Warehouse District is the best spot to spend a long weekend, and you should look into booking with The Old 77 Hotel is steps away from the French Quarter. There are many free things to do, but while in New Orleans, you should try to go on a local swamp or cemetery tour.
While in New Orleans, you can eat to your heart’s content while exploring different neighborhoods like the French Quarter, Garden District, or Warehouse District.
6. Savannah, Georgia
Even though Savannah has a small-town vibe, the city comes alive at night. Weekend guests can partake in live music and festive cocktails at the city’s outdoor bars – or keep it low key in one of Savannah’s secret speakeasys. For a look at another side of Savannah’s history, check out the Pin Point Heritage Museum and learn about the culture and foodways of the Gullah Geechee, descendants of enslaved Africans who worked the rice fields of Georgia and South Carolina.
Savannah is often touted as one of the best girl weekend getaways – and while I can’t argue that fact, I actually think it is an ideal quick trip for all travelers! The city exudes Southern charm with its pleasant squares, time-worn mansions, and eerily beautiful moss-covered trees. Savannah, Georgia, is known for its beauty, architecture, and fun. You can easily squeeze in many of the sights and tastes of Savannah in a long weekend trip. Centrally located on the east coast, Savannah is an accessible destination for most of the country.
The Staybridge Suites is the perfect place to stay if you need extra space and free breakfast within walking distance of some major attractions. Weekend visitors are warmly welcomed to the city that is best explored on foot and with wonder. History (and some say ghosts) lurk around every corner and savory Southern dishes simmer in restaurant kitchens around the city. Trust us, Savannah cuisine is not to be missed!
While in Savannah, make sure you hit up the Prohibition museum, take a walking or trolly tour, and enjoy all the sights of the city. For food, you cannot go wrong with eating at The Old Pink House Restaurant.
7. Atlanta, Georgia
Although Atlanta is Georgia’s biggest city, there’s still Southern hospitality and charm in abundance. Downtown, you’ll find big-ticket attractions like the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, but leave plenty of time to explore the historic Sweet Auburn neighborhood to the east to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. Among the sights, you can see the home where he was born, the church where he preached, and the tomb where he’s buried. Atlanta’s restaurants run the gamut from old-school Southern favorites (The Varsity drive-in is a local institution) to fine dining and music festivals of all genres fill the city’s calendar.
At Piedmont Park, located next door to the gardens, you can get lost in the quiet solitude of over 200 acres of forest, even though the park is in the middle of Atlanta’s busiest neighborhoods. For a unique dining experience, eat inside the famous skull-shaped building at the Vortex in Little Five Points. Stay Downtown at the Marriott Marquis within walking distance to MARTA–Atlanta’s subway system. The inside of the hotel looks like a spaceship and was recently featured in Marvel’s Loki TV series.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of the unique places to visit. It’s known for its 20-foot-tall botanical sculptures of dragons, mermaids, and other fantastical creatures that make great photo souvenirs. There’s so much to do during a long weekend in Atlanta. Often called the “City in a Forest,” Atlanta is full of opportunities for enjoying nature and the outdoors.
8. 30A in Florida
During a long weekend, it is advised to visit as many of the neighborhoods as possible and take part in the different activities such as kayaking on the coastal dune lakes, doing a cycle tour of the art and sculptures dotted around the destination, cocktail-making at the local vodka distillery, and visiting the studios of famous local artists such as Justin Gaffrey.
Food and drink lovers should visit Hotel Effie for its rooftop cocktails and Ovide for its fine dining. If you want something more casual, head to Airstream Row in Seaside, and grab some street food. One of the best places in the US for a long weekend has to be 30A in Northwest Florida. This coastal destination has 26 miles of powdery white sand beaches and crystal clear emerald green waters, but surprisingly it is still a hidden gem!
One of the best places to stay in Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. It has villas, hotels, and apartments, so it is suitable for any group size or budget, and there are golf buggies throughout the resort to help you get around. The area comprises 16 different beach communities with personalities, but each suits a particular type of person, from adventurers to foodies and art lovers.
9. New York City, New York
A long weekend in New York City is enough to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, stroll through Central Park, and explore Greenwich Village. The city is open late so that visitors can see more. Even if it is your first visit to NYC, get out of midtown and explore the neighborhoods. Tours allow you to see a lot quickly, and food tours are a fun way to learn about an area while trying delicious items from various restaurants and bakeries. First-time visitors on short vacation trips to New York City can spend the weekend seeing the highlights – like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Central Park. Return travelers, who have already checked off their bucket list of must-see sights, can instead plan a weekend of unique sightseeing and neighborhood discovery. Are you planning a weekend trip to NYC for the Holidays? Get all our top tips for Christmas in New York!
New York City is a fun place no matter how long you have to spend, and it is the perfect location to enjoy a long weekend. New York City offers something for everyone – which is why it ranks as one of the best weekend destinations USA. History buffs will be just enthralled by the city as fashionistas. Although the weather is seasonal, there isn’t a bad time to visit NYC – each season has its perks.
Nighttime in NYC is perfect for attending a Broadway show, viewing the city from the top of the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock, or enjoying the bright lights of Times Square. Some museums are even open late on certain nights. Stay at the Crosby Street Hotel in SOHO. The hotel is close to multiple subway stations and is surrounded by delicious restaurants and unique shops. SOHO is within walking distance of many attractions, and staying there ensures you see more of NYC than the typical attractions.
Travelers will find there are endless ways to plan a fun 3-day trip to NYC. Even budget travelers can explore the city on a dime – find all of our tips on how to Visit NYC on a Budget. When it comes to the best cities for a long weekend, New York City tops our list! The thriving city dazzles visitors with iconic sights, incredible attractions and fabulous food. The only problem with choosing NYC as a quick getaway for the weekend is that there are so many things to do!
While there are so many things to do in NYC that you wouldn’t be able to see them all in a year, much less a weekend, first-time visitors can easily see the highlights in a long weekend, and return visitors can focus on the less touristy locations or even focus on a specific area of the city.
10. Charleston, South Carolina
All the leisurely strolling Charleston encourages helps you work up an appetite, which is a good thing—the restaurant scene is a delicious mix of traditional Lowcountry comfort food and Michelin-starred cuisine. Another great eatery is Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit on Upper King. They have the best biscuits in town! They have different sandwiches and biscuits, so you can mix and match them to make yourself the perfect breakfast.
Charleston, South Carolina, is a perfect place to spend a long weekend in the USA. Charleston has a lot of charm, and its architecture and parks will captivate you. There is also a lot of history in the city, and you can learn about it on walking tours and by visiting museums. One attraction that is not to be missed is Fort Sumter. It is accessible by boat, and the ride takes about 30 minutes. Once you arrive and dock, you’re greeted by a National Park Service Ranger. They can give you a quick rundown of the ruins and the events there.
The Andrew Pinckney Inn is excellent for your weekend stay in Charleston. This restored boutique hotel is in the heart of the historic district and offers a complimentary breakfast on the rooftop terrace. There are also many fun and unique places to eat in Charleston. A new favorite is Little Palm Bar. It was recently voted one of the best bars in America by Esquire. The bar and seating areas are fun and vibrant, with bright pinks and greens. It also has a great cocktail menu and seasonal, ingredient-driven dishes.
11. Washington DC
A long weekend in Washington, DC, is a great way to learn about America’s history and see some of the most important monuments in the country. As America’s capital, Washington DC regularly makes the list of Best Cities for Weekend Trips USA – and it makes our list for the best short trips in the US, too!
Don’t miss out on the National Gallery of Art, one of the most renowned museums in the United States and attracts millions of visitors annually.
Finish off your long weekend by seeing the White House, which can only be seen from the outside but is still well worth a visit. On weekend trips to DC, travelers have time to experience the essentials of the city – like visiting the monuments and museums on the National Mall, touring the Capitol Building and seeing the White House. Plus, there is plenty of time to visit the unique neighborhoods – like the Wharf, Capitol Hill, Penn Quarter, and Georgetown.
Stay at Hotel Harrington, which has a central location close to the Capitol and all the best museums. The city offers an incredible array of activities that appeal to a wide range of visitors. Not only is Washington DC a good choice for the best weekend getaways for families, but it is ideal for couples, groups of friends and solo travelers as well.
12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Art lovers, set aside some time for the enormous collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (don’t miss the “Rocky” statue on the steps) and keep an eye out for the thousands of street art murals around the city. Locals fiercely debate which has the best cheesesteak, Pat’s or Geno’s, but since they’re right across the street from each other it’s easy to sample both before you decide. Climb the famous steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, then wander inside for a day of culture and exploration. The nearby Barnes Foundation is an excellent stop for even more artwork, with paintings stacked high in each gallery room. Finish off the day with a delicious cocktail at the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company, a speakeasy on Latimer Street.
Stay at the ROOST Rittenhouse, a lovely spot with modern decor close to City Hall and Rittenhouse Square. Stop at K’Far Cafe for some baked treats and incredible coffee before making your way to Love Park and Rittenhouse Square. That said, there is so much more to the city than the past! South Philadelphia is filled with eclectic sights, street art murals and, of course, the best Philly Cheesesteaks. Meanwhile, the north side of Philly hosts an array of museums, the famed ‘Rocky steps’ and heaps of craft breweries.
The biggest city in Pennsylvania is at once historic and cosmopolitan. The city is home to several important sites from the Revolutionary War, many of which are contained in the approximately four blocks of Independence National Park—including Independence Hall (where both the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were born) and the famous crack in the Liberty Bell.
Try local foods in Philadelphia; it’s one of the best parts of traveling. Philadelphia is known for its Philly pretzels – soft pretzels served with mustard. Similarly, see if you can find some Amish pretzels, which are soft pretzels made with plenty of butter and served with sweet mustard. Another classic Philly dish is a cheesesteak from Pat’s or Geno’s, and finish it with water ice from John’s Water Ice.
13. San Diego, California
All in all, if you’re ready to plan your trip to San Diego, be sure to check out the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. It’s located right on the harbor and less than a 15-minute drive from the international airport! For many travelers, the beach is the main draw, but the city is a must-see, too. Visitors who can tear themselves away from the sandy shoreline (and those visiting outside of the warm summer season) should spend time in the Gaslamp District, Little Italy and the expansive Balboa Park.
However, if getting your feet sandy doesn’t interest you, consider doing an easy hike at Torrey Pines State Park. Multiple trails wrap around the bluffs of the state park and offer you stunning views. You may even spot a dolphin or two swimming if you keep a close lookout. On top of this, San Diego is known for its fantastic surf opportunities that cater to everyone. Everyone can enjoy one of the many beaches, from professionals to complete newbies, and surf some of the city’s perfect waves.
When you’re ready to grab a bite to eat, head to downtown San Diego. You’ll find an assortment of eateries, bars, and cozy spots. Some popular neighborhoods include Little Italy, the Gaslamp district, and Pacific beach!
14. Las Vegas, Nevada
Don’t just stay on the Strip, though, because Las Vegas has so much more to offer. If you have a long weekend and are looking for a domestic getaway, Las Vegas is one of the most fun destinations! Las Vegas has long been touted as one of the best quick weekend getaways in the United States. Developed as a tourist destination, the city’s neon lights have been welcoming weekend visitors for decades.
Las Vegas has some of the best food in the US, so you can’t go wrong. Bruxie is a delicious chicken and waffle joint. You can try famous foods around the US, like Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and Tacos El Gordo. Located just a 4-5 hour drive from Los Angeles and Phoenix, Las Vegas is an excellent destination whether you like to party or not. On the way there, stop by Seven Magic Mountains, an art installation in the middle of the Nevada desert that features seven pillars of stacked boulders painted in bright, neon colors.
There are many great hotels in Vegas, but one of the best is Harrah’s Hotel and Casino because of its stellar location, inexpensive rooms, and free parking for hotel guests, unlike MGM properties. Visit one of the well-curated themed museums like the Avengers STATION or the Titanic Exhibition. See one of the fantastic Cirque du Soleil shows, like Ka at MGM Grand or the Beatles LOVE show at the Mirage. Even free activities like the Bellagio fountain show and their indoor botanic garden, the Conservatory, change seasonally.
15. Seattle, Washington
Anyone looking for the best short vacation in the US should take a look at Seattle. The city boasts intriguing architecture, cool cafes and an abundance of outdoor space – making the city one of the fun weekend getaways in USA! Experiencing the coffee culture is a highlight of any trip to the Pacific Northwest, but especially so in Seattle. Not only is the city home of coffee giant Starbucks, but the city is well-known for it many local Seattle coffee roasters, too.
Stay in the boutique hotel, Inn at the Market, right in the heart of Pike Place, with a relaxing deluxe water view room. Then climb an old water tower in Volunteer Park for a complimentary 360-degree view of Seattle and beyond, find the fluffiest donuts at Despi Delite’s Bakery in Beacon Hill, or rent a paddle board on Green Lake with lunch afterward at Bongos for Cuban sandwiches and sand literally between your toes.
With a long weekend, you can crank out the touristy activities and still have time for hidden gems. First, take a food tour in Pike Place Market, face your fear of heights on the glass bottom floors of the Space Needle, and ride an Argosy Cruise through the Ballard locks.
16. Portland, Oregon
A trip to Portland offers enough fun and tasty treats to keep you entertained and full for a fun-filled long weekend. For the bookworms, Powell’s City of books on the edge of the Pearl District is the world’s largest independent bookstore. You can spend hours perusing through the multiple floors that take up an entire city block.
Perfect for a casual weekend trip, visitors can settle into the vibe and explore the city on two wheels – just like locals do. Spending time in the central historic Pearl District is a must, but it’s just a place to start! Visitors to Portland will want explore other parts of the city – from the famous rose gardens to the intriguing neighborhoods, like Hawthorne and Division Street. Time permitting, visiting the amazing Multnomah Falls is one of the best weekend vacation ideas in Portland!
The city of Portland is a perfect escape for a long weekend where you can hike the Columbia River Gorge for a close-up of the Multnomah Falls by day and take in the city’s epic craft beer scene by night. The perfect place to stay in the city is The Benson, which is in the heart of the town and is within walking distance to Downtown, the Pearl District.
While in the city, trek across the Willamette River on one of Portland’s iconic bridges, or take a long stroll in Washington Park.
17. Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is probably best known for its unbearably hot summers. Still, the temperature drops in the winter to an idyllic 60s and 70s, making it one of the best places to visit in the United States for anyone looking for a long weekend.
There is no shortage of exciting things to do in Phoenix. For sports lovers, not only do you have the red-hot Phoenix Suns (who made it to the 2021 NBA Finals), but you also have spring training tournaments for Major League Baseball, and the Phoenix metro area is home to over 200 golf courses.
No visit to the Phoenix area is complete without seeing the famous symbol of the Arizona desert – the giant saguaro cactus. Hole-in-the-Rock in Tempe and Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa are the best places for desert hikes in the cooler weather to see the saguaro.
All those cacti will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the Old West, so top off your long weekend in Phoenix with a visit to the Goldfield Ghost Town.
In keeping with the theme, check out a stay at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, an artfully-designed hotel with a western desert vibe.
18. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles has to be one of the most iconic places in the world regarding the hall of fame and iconic movie scenes. It’s a fantastic place to visit if you want a lively destination with many fun factors.
Head to Venice Beach for a stroll along the palm tree-lined boardwalk. Aside from the opportunity to surf or top up on a tan, there are many fantastic restaurants and cafes to discover in the area. Venice Beach is well known for its Bohemian Vibes, with incredible mosaics to find around town.
The perfect restaurant to escape the chaos of the city is Yamashiro Restaurant. On top of a hill overlooking the city, sunset is an ideal time to book a table. The restaurant is around a pond, serving exquisite Japanese food with the town’s backdrop. It is relaxed and tranquil! They also have great cocktails to round off a long weekend in LA!
Stay at The Hilton Garden Inn, Hollywood. It is ideally located to visit many famous places in LA! Not to mention the hotel offers views of the iconic Hollywood sign.
19. San Francisco, California
Spending a long weekend in San Francisco is a great way to spend a holiday. There are so many things to do in San Francisco that a long weekend might not seem enough, but you can scratch off a few bucket list items in just three short days.
When Exploring San Francisco, make sure you plan what you want to see – The Golden Gate Bridge, Sea Lions, and cement slides are some of my favorite places to go while visiting San Francisco over a long weekend.
While you are there on a Saturday, make sure you stop by the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer’s Market and get a Porchetta sandwich from Roli Roti – you will thank me later.
Make sure you stay at the Beacon Grand, A Union Square Hotel, to be in walking distance of almost everything.
20. Paso Robles, California
Paso Robles in Central California has all the small-town charm but is big on the list of things to do for a perfect long weekend getaway. Paso Robles is a wine country with more than 200 vineyards and wineries.
Paso Robles enjoys excellent weather year-round, with mild winters. It is around a 2 to 3 hours drive from northern and southern California, making it perfect for visiting during the long weekends.
A visit to Sensorio Field of Lights must be included in any Paso Robles itinerary. Sensorio is a unique outdoor art and light masterpiece by artist Bruce Munro over the Paso Robles landscape.
Paso Robles is also known for its rejuvenating mineral hot springs. Morro Beach and Pismo beach are only 45 minute’s drive for a half-day trip to the beach.
Historic Paso Robles Inn is a great place to stay in downtown Paso Robles as you can walk to several restaurants, wine-tasting rooms, and the City Park.
21. Santa Barbara, California
A long weekend in Santa Barbara will allow you to take advantage of the many possible day trips. Try Ojai, a small town with stunning scenery and great shopping and dining options. Arroyo Burro Beach Park is great for families, Leadbetter Beach is great for activities, and beautiful Butterfly Beach in nearby Montecito is the spot for relaxation.
Cachuma Lake, one of the best lakes in Southern California, is ideal for those who want to enjoy some time on the water, with plenty of fishing, hiking, and picnicking options. And Solvang is a charming Danish village perfect for a day of exploring and wine tasting. Explore one of the city’s many museums or stop by the Mission. End your day with a sunset kayak tour and dinner at Stearns Wharf.
For those who love nature, Santa Barbara is home to a zoo, a botanic garden, and many beaches where you can enjoy a little fun in the sun.
No matter what your interests are, Santa Barbara is sure to have something that will make your long weekend getaway perfect. Santa Barbara Inn is a beautiful resort property with spacious ocean-view rooms and a pool. The convenient location is a 2-minute walk from the beach.
Santa Barbara is a beautiful city on the California coast with plenty of fun things to do for a long weekend. Start by taking a stroll down State Street for some shopping and lunch. While we think Santa Barbara is an ideal weekend vacation on its own, travelers can also tour more of the coast to nearby cities – like Malibu, Solvang and Los Angeles.
22. Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a long weekend getaway, but this underrated city has plenty to offer. From outdoor adventures in nearby national parks to unique cultural experiences, Salt Lake City offers something for every kind of traveler.
Another fun thing to do in Salt Lake City is visit the historic Temple Square, home to the world-famous Choir at Temple Square and enjoy local craft beer at any of the city’s many breweries.
23. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is a great city to visit on a long weekend getaway. Try to spend at least a three-day weekend in Chicago, but there are plenty of things to see and do if you have more time.
Must-do activities in the city include taking an architecture river cruise, trying the deep-dish pizza, and stopping by The Bean in Millennium Park for a quick photo.
Chicago has many incredible indoor attractions that visitors can enjoy year-round. Spend time at one of Chicago’s many excellent museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Field Museum, and Museum of Science and Industry. Enjoy panoramic views above at the Skydeck at Willis Tower or 360 Chicago. Other places worth visiting include the Chicago Cultural Center, Garfield Park Conservatory, and Adler Planetarium.
If visiting when the weather is pleasant, you can enjoy the city’s many outdoor attractions and activities, including walking or biking along the lakefront trail, spending time on the beach and the lake, hanging out at the Chicago Riverwalk, visiting Buckingham Fountain, riding the giant Ferris wheel at Navy Pier, outdoor dining on a patio or rooftop and relaxing at the city’s many parks and green spaces.
Stay at LondonHouse Chicago for the fantastic city and river views.
24. Denver, Colorado
A fabulous attraction near Denver with great hiking trails is Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. This is a perfect idea as a day trip from Denver. It is excellent to combine the trip with the Manitou Cliff Dwellings with its fascinating architecture of ancient cliff dwellers.
Colorado’s “Mile High City,” Denver, boasts some 300 days of sunshine and proximity to some of the best outdoor playgrounds in the country. You don’t have to leave the city limits, however, to get into the Denver spirit of embracing the outdoors. The city’s walkable downtown has plenty of unique shops and restaurants, and it’s not far from the enormous City Park (where you’ll find the Denver Zoo as well as two lakes).
Exploring on two wheels is easy, too, with more than 80 miles of paved bike trails. There’s a fabulous collection of Native American and Western art at the Denver Art Museum and book lovers won’t want to miss a stop at the city’s beloved Tattered Cover Book Store. And when you’re thirsty, hit the Denver Beer Trail to sample from any of the dozens of breweries in the area—including the eight in downtown Denver alone.
First, it is a perfect starting point for a Colorado road trip. For a fun weekend trip in the US, Denver definitely fits the bill! In fact, when I lived in nearby Boulder, which is less than an hour from the city, we loved spending weekends in Denver. Sports, shopping, nightlife and nearby nature are just a few of the reasons Denver ranks as one of the best places in the US for a weekend getaway.
25. Glacier National Park, Montana
As one of the best summer weekend getaways in the US, advance planning is essential! Do a little research before your trip to decide which Glacier National Park Hikes you want to complete. Not into hiking? No problem! After driving through the scenic park, peruse the boutique shops or get a spa treatment in the nearby quaint town of Whitefish – or sip locally produced craft beer in the Kalispell old town.
Highlighted by soaring mountains and crystal-clear lakes, Glacier NP is stunningly beautiful. Hikers can take to the trails, but you don’t even need to get out of your car to see the beauty of the park. Going To The Sun Road takes visitors through the heart of GNP up to Logan Pass on the Continental Divide.
If you’re looking for a long weekend getaway filled with outdoor adventures, look no further than Montana’s Glacier National Park, which is the Crown Jewel of the Continent.
26. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a great place to enjoy a long weekend in the United States. There are many excellent things to do in Milwaukee to suit any interest.
Enjoy Milwaukee’s Germanic heritage with a visit to Old World 3rd Street for some favorite local dishes like bratwurst, fried cheese curds (and maybe a local beer). Afterward, stroll along the Riverwalk and check out the public artworks such as the ‘Bronz Fonz.’
You’ll want to stay at the Plaza Hotel, which is centrally located between Lake Michigan and the downtown Riverwalk. The rooms feature kitchenettes for added convenience during your long weekend.
27. Columbus, Ohio
And when you’re exhausted after checking out all the best things to do in Columbus, Ohio, book a room at the elegant Hotel LeVeque in the downtown area. It’s a wonderfully refined hotel that expertly combines historic grandeur with modern service. Columbus is often overlooked as a destination, but we think it is one of the best weekend getaways in America. The midwestern city has a flair for the arts and thrives on community events – plus, the people are really friendly!
Easily one of the best long weekend getaways in the USA, Columbus, Ohio is an incredibly underrated city known for Scioto Mile.
Weekend visitors can discover the many downtown districts (German Village is a must!), explore the numerous Columbus Parks (Franklin Park Conservatory is a gem!) and feast on the city’s best food at North Market. The Short North is the hip place for nightlife – and features heaps of eateries, bars and fun events, like the Gallery Hop.
You also cannot leave Columbus without stopping by Buckeye Donuts. It’s a fantastic 24-hour donut/breakfast place known for its Buckeye Donuts or chocolate frosted yeast donuts with peanut butter in the middle!! You can also stop by The Book Loft, with its charming shelves of books, before grabbing a delicious coffee next door at Stauf’s.
28. Cincinnati, Ohio
A classic midwestern city with a penchant for craft beer and sports, Cincinnati, OH is a prime destination for the best weekend trips in the US. In fact, growing up in Columbus, just a short two-hour drive away, Cincy has long been one of my favorite US getaways. Cincinnati’s most famous attraction is none other than the Cincinnati Zoo. The zoo has won many awards and is considered one of the best in the country. Don’t miss seeing Fiona the Hippo, the zoo’s most famous resident.
Downtown is home to various museums, like the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Contemporary Arts Center. Downtown, you’ll also find the homes of the Cincinnati Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals, the city’s MLB and NFL teams. If you’re planning a getaway and looking for a city with plenty of things to do and a great food scene, consider spending a weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio.
29. Louisville, Kentucky
Beyond all these things, you can hang out Downtown and see the painted horses, walk along the Ohio River to see the steamboats and take in the fantastic sunset at Waterfront Park, visit Old Louisville with the most Victorian houses in the world, and go to the NuLu neighborhood (“New Louisville”). Make sure to eat the mutton barbecue (it’s just in a higher league than pork).
Louisville, Kentucky, is a perfect destination for a long weekend getaway. Not only will you not be able to run out of things to do, but you can also spend the weekend soaking up all the distilleries and breweries, go on the Urban Bourbon Trail, and take amazing photos! Of course, a weekend getaway to Louisville would not be complete without sampling some of the city’s finest bourbon. Distillery tours and tastings abound in the city that marks the official beginning of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Is beer more your style? There are numerous Louisville breweries producing local craft beer in the city, too.
30. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is the perfect weekend getaway to relax and inspire you. Tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville boasts some of the most spectacular mountain views east of the Mississippi. Asheville is only an hour’s drive to Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the eastern US, along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. Asheville also has plenty of beautiful mountain and waterfall hiking trails for you to enjoy the outdoors. When you are in Asheville, take some time to learn about the city’s rich history and culture by strolling along the Urban Trail.
The 1.7-mile walk leads you past 30 statues, markers, or important buildings or sites that give you a glimpse into Asheville’s past and present. Asheville’s main tourist attraction is the Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home, built in the late 1890s in the French Renaissance chateau design. It is not to be missed during a weekend visit. Tour the historic house and formal gardens, then enjoy the shops and restaurants in Antler Hill, along with a complimentary wine tasting at the winery.
31. Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park is the perfect long weekend getaway. There are several options for getting to the Grand Canyon, including flying, driving, and even taking the train! Most people visit the South Rim because it is the most accessible, and there is so much to see and do in and around Grand Canyon Village.
Of course, there are dozens of viewpoints where you can spend hours staring at the scenery and admiring the incredible grandeur of one of the Seven Wonders of The Natural World. However, it is worth hiking below the rim to see its enormity from another perspective. Hike down Bright Angel Trail as far as Indian Garden (or turn back sooner if you prefer) or down to the aptly-named Ooh Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail.
There are several places to stay in Grand Canyon Village. For a long weekend splurge, I recommend El Tovar. It’s one of the iconic national park lodges and is perched right on the edge of the south rim.
32. Nashville, Tennessee
For the non-music lovers, fill the weekend by going to a Predators or Titans game. Or, spend the afternoon at Arrington Vineyards, just 30 minutes outside town. It’s one of the best places for wine in Nashville. Then enjoy some of Nashville’s best restaurants like Prince’s Hot Chicken, Acme Feed & Seed, and Moto.
If you want to experience the music culture in Nashville, start the weekend by touring the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, but be sure to add a ticket to Studio B. The museum is large and interactive, but the studio tour is the real gem! So many incredible musicians have recorded here, including Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins, and more.
Tennessee’s capital city is almost as well-known by its nickname, “Music City,” as it is by its real name. And while some of the main attractions focus on country music (the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry among them), Nashville celebrates all kinds of musical genres with live shows every night in venues all over town—there’s even a free app to help you find live gigs to suit your musical taste. Between shows, check out the full-size replica of Athens’ Parthenon in Centennial Park and fuel up with some local barbecue or Nashville’s beloved “hot chicken.”
You could spend your evenings at a Honky Tonk on Broadway, but you’ll probably prefer to book a table at the famous Bluebird Cafe instead. Just make sure to buy tickets the minute they go on sale! It’s an intimate place with delicious food and drinks and a fantastic show. The acts are small, up-and-coming artists who may become the next star! Taylor Swift and many others started here at the Bluebird.
Kauai is a great place for a getaway because of its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere. The island is home to lush rain forests, dramatic mountains, and pristine beaches, and it feels like a true paradise away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Kauai is also relatively quiet and uncrowded, so it's the perfect place to relax and recharge.