Are you already counting down the days until your vacation? That’s understandable. There’s nothing like a week or two of sunshine and sightseeing with family and friends. You can head home happy, relaxed, and ready to get back to your everyday life.
But if you’re feeling the tug of wanderlust, that vacation might seem a little too far off. A weekend getaway might be just what you need
This bustling city, set right on the shores of Lake Michigan, offers plenty to do in a walkable downtown area.
Art lovers will soak up the culture, especially the Art Institute of Chicago. If you prefer sports, there’s almost always something in season; almost every professional sport has a team here. And don’t forget to end the night with some of Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza!
While you’re in town, make sure you stop by Chicago’s most famous sculpture, The Bean, for your insta-worthy selfie.
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right? One of the main advantages of traveling to Sin City is its affordability. The casinos want you to spend your money at the tables, so they make sure to keep the rest of their prices low with inexpensive hotel rooms and buffets.
At least one night, be sure to take a break from the slots to view the magnificent light show at the Bellagio. The colored lights are perfectly choreographed to the music. It’s a can’t-miss in Las Vegas!
Even if gambling isn’t your thing, there are shows every night, starring world-class performers. And if you’re not afraid of heights, head up to the top of the Strat, the tallest freestanding observation deck in the US. At 1,149 feet, it offers 360-degree views of Las Vegas.
Music City! The perfect place for a weekend filled with food and music. You can explore the roots of country music with a visit to the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, or just catch a show at one of the city’s many venues.
If you want some fresh air, just outside of Nashville is Centennial Park, 132 acres of green space and walking trails. Centennial Park also houses Nashville’s Parthenon, a full scale replica of the original in Athens.
When it’s time to eat, you’re in luck. Barbecue is always a hit here, but Nashville’s famous hot wings are the crowd-pleaser
New York City
The City that Never Sleeps is a perennial favorite for weekend getaways. No matter the weather or your mood, you’ll always find something to do in NYC. From shows to food to sightseeing, your weekend will be packed.
If you feel up for some sightseeing, you have Central Park, 5th Avenue, Times Square, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty… the list is almost endless. And museum-goers have their pick, too, with popular choices such as the Met, MOMA, and the Museum of Natural History.
Although NYC is known for its Greek and Italian options – not to mention the pizza – foodies have their pick, too. Local restaurants offer almost every cuisine imaginable. Go ahead and try something new; you’ll be so glad you did.
Orlando, practically synonymous with Disney, can bring out the child in almost anybody. The happiest place on Earth is constantly updating its rides and shows, so there’s always something new to see. And Epcot goes into overdrive with its popular events, including the Flower & Garden Festival and the Food and Wine Festival.
If you prefer being in the water, you can swim up close and personal with the dolphins at Discovery Cove. These friendly guys will swim right up to you for a selfie.
The east coast of Florida is only an hour away, so science buffs can visit Kennedy Space Center. Beachcombers might prefer surf lessons on nearby Cocoa Beach.
Eclectic and quirky, Portland is a fantastic weekend destination for anyone looking for low-key, non-touristy fun. Rent a bike or explore on foot; downtown Portland isn’t too large and you’ll get to poke your head into all of the fun, quirky shops.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with stops at the original VooDoo Doughnut or local ice cream favorite Salt & Straw.
Portland is also the perfect weekend getaway destination to spend some time in nature. The spectacular Multnomah Falls is just a 30 minute drive away. Observe them from afar, or hike the 620 feet to the top.
Quaint St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S., and it shows. It’s pedestrian-only cobblestone streets are lined with historical monuments, such as the oldest schoolhouse in America. The nearby Castillo de San Marcos, on the shore of Matanzas Bay, is over 350 years old. And St. Augustine is, supposedly, the site of Ponce de Leon’s famed Fountain of Youth.
Sightseeing in St. Augustine is decidedly laid-back, but if it gets to be too much you can always head east to Pontevedra Beach to soak up some rays – and possibly see a dolphin or two frolicking in the sea.
Throughout its history, St. Augustine has retained its Spanish flair, particularly with its cuisine. Try the delicious sangria at Columbia’s for a refreshing end to your weekend away.
With its vibrant vibe, San Francisco makes for an exciting, fun-filled getaway. You have the city and nature, hills and ocean views – enough of a variety to entice almost any visitor. You can even tour one of the world’s most famous jails: Alcatraz.
Stop by Fisherman’s Wharf (also known as Pier 39) to visit the sea lions and indulge in freshly-caught seafood. Then visit the Painted Ladies, the row of pastel-painted homes made famous by Full House, and walk down Lombard Street, the most crooked street in the world.
Just outside of San Francisco is Muir Woods, home of the soaring redwoods. Most of these trees are 600-800 years old, with heights that can reach well over 200 feet tall.
Don’t wait until vacation to have your fun! Pick one of these weekend getaway destinations, pack your bags, and leave the real world behind for a couple of days.