**Coronavirus is making a big impact on travel. Is it safe or smart to travel with the current Coronavirus outbreak? Jake and I are usually ones to take risks and put a high priority on travel. Our current stance is that we aren't cancelling any trips within the US and if we travel soon or jump on any flight/hotel sales, we will most definitely be keeping it to the United States. I wrote "Best Weekend Getaways in the USA" a few months back. This is a great resource for those who choose to continue to travel within the US.**
It’s become a joke among our friends that Jake and I are out of town on the weekends more often than we are home. Our love of travel is no secret and we make a point to keep it a priority in our life and our marriage. Like most people, having careers and jobs can make this difficult. We try to save all our vacation days for longer trips across the globe which means we are left with weekend getaways for our US travels. I try to make the most out of every single holiday weekend using that as an easy way enjoy a 3 or 4 day US weekend trip without having to use any vacation days.
I’m always researching the best weekend getaways in the USA. I try to find destinations that Southwest Airlines travels to…Companion Pass perks! Even if you don’t have Companion Pass I am always finding stellar deals on Southwest to cities across the United States. They have frequent sales and if you book far enough in advance finding tickets for under $100 is easy. Sign up for their email alerts to stay in the know.
Now that we have several years of booking endless quick escapes under our belts I can easily list off my favorite 10. These 10 make the list of the BEST weekend getaways in the USA because they are easy to get to, not too expensive, and offer enough perks to go back to again and again.
Continue reading The Best Weekend Getaways in the USA or save it for later!
Let’s take a look at the BEST weekend getaways in the USA!
1. New Orleans
One of the best weekend trips in the US for food and culture
Hands down one of the best weekend getaways in the USA no matter what sort of traveler you are. This city has it all! Food, culture, a crazy party scene, history, and art. The first few times you visit you will want to stay in the French Quarter where all the popular tourist spots are.
Try a cute Bed and Breakfast in the Garden District once you’ve gotten your fill of the French Quarter. Be sure to eat at Shaya, La Petite Grocery, and Herbsaint…our favorite restaurants in the Garden District.
MSY airport is about 20-30 minutes from the French Quarter. If we aren’t lucky enough to book a trip over a holiday weekend we will leave early Saturday morning so we arrive around 9:30am, just in time for a brunch at Brennan's or Commander's Palace, and leave late Sunday around 9:30pm. We get two full days and only pay for one hotel night.
Whether you spend your days art gallery hopping or touring famous cemeteries and your nights drinking on Bourbon Street or partaking in a creepy ghost tour…this city is sure to win your heart.
See my other New Orleans posts:
Book your New Orleans activities!
One of the best weekend vacations in the USA for relaxation and desert views
Jake dragged me to Scottsdale 5 years ago on our first anniversary. To say he loves the desert is an understatement…hense why we drove 11 hours one way to get to the Sahara when we were in Marrakech…a story for another time. When he convinced me to visit Scottsdale for our first anniversary I didn’t have high expectations. I expected a brown, desolate, meh type vacation. Not only was I wrong, but I fell in love wih Scottsdale. We have visited about 7 times since!
The PHX airport is a quick 20 minutes from Scottsdale. Like New Orleans, it’s not uncommon for us to take an early flight to arrive around 8:00 or 9:00am on Saturday morning and go home Sunday evening around 6:30pm. Two full days and one hotel night.
Scottsdale really is a beautiful destination. The landscaping is pristine with bright desert flowers and 8 foot tall perfectly perched cacti. The coffee shop and restaurant scene is on point and there are desert hikes for every fitness level. The resorts offer pools perfect for lounging and spas to put you in the ultimate relaxation mode. Stay at the Omni Montelucia or Andaz Scottsdale, our two favorites. Be sure to visit Berdena’s, my favorite Scottsdale coffee shop, and Virtu Honest Craft, our favorite Scottsdale restaurant.
See my other Scottsdale posts:
3. Napa Valley or Sonoma/Healdsburg
The best weekend vacation in the USA for wine lovers and a romantic getaway
One of my favorite bed and breakfasts, Inn on Randolph, is located in downtown Napa. It honestly might be one of the main reasons we come back to Napa again and again. There are 3 airports you can fly into to arrive in Napa, which makes for finding a good flight deal and travel times a breeze. Your choices are Oakland, San Francisco, and Sacramento.
Napa Valley is the best weekend getaway in the USA for all wine lovers. You could easily fill up your entire weekend just wine tasting. Jake and I usually do one to three tastings a day and spend time visiting the different towns. Walking around charming Yountville is always a must along with visiting the Oxbow Market in downtown Napa.
If Napa Valley is too crowded or touristy for your taste, head to Sonoma and/or Healdsburg instead. It’s much more laidback and has a more authentic feel.
Napa Valley is one of the best getaways in the USA over a long weekend. Because it’s a little longer to get to, both flight time and the 1+ hour drive from the airport, we feel like we need at least 2 nights here to make it worthwhile.
See my other Napa posts :
4. New York City
A top weekend trip for shopping and city lovers
Whether you’re looking for a US weekend getaway for a girls shopping trip, itching to try some of the best restaurants, take part in the clubbing and rooftop bar scene, or want to see a Broadway show or two, NYC has enough to keep any visitor busy be it your first visit or your 20th.
Be the ultimate tourist and hop around Times Square and Central Park, or wander the quieter areas and my favorite neighborhoods like SoHo, West Village, and the Upper East Side. Looking to mix a super fun atmosphere with awesome food? Visit Buddakan, TAO Downtown, and Beauty and Essex. My favorite Italian spot is L’Artusi. Head to Mr. Purple or The Crown for after dinner drinks with a view.
See my other NYC posts:
One of the best weekend getaways in the USA for Southern charm and comfort food
I head to Charleston when I want good food, culture, history, and charm at a slow pace. This city has had some spectacular hotels open recently and the restaurant scene will have you booking your next trip ASAP. This is the perfect city to wander at your own pace. Jake and I rode our hotel bikes all over Charleston and felt completely safe doing so. No crazy traffic and speeding taxis here. Visit the extremely haunted and incredibly creepy jailhouse. Book dinner at Trattoria Lucca, have brunch at Husk, and visit the Marion Square market on Saturdays.
Please do not support animal cruelty and skip the horse carriage rides where one horse is pulling 10+ people in extreme heat and humidity. Get some exercise and walk or bike the city instead. Same goes for New Orleans.
Looking for additional ghost tours?
A perfect weekend trip in the United states for city lovers that prefer to skip NYC and want something more manageable
Chicago in the summer is glorious. The early months of Fall when it’s not too cold is a close second. Chicago has its rooftop bars and restaurant patios ready to go the moment the weather warms up. Like any major city the restaurant scene is on point.
Shop till you drop on Magnificent Mile, eat amazing Mediterranean cuisine at Aba, check out the tiki bar Three Dots and a Dash, appreciate Chicago’s design and history on the architecture river cruise, attend a concert at Millennium Park, see a broadway musical, and make a mandatory stop at the Bean.
If you can, try to fly into Midway airport as opposed to O’Hare. It takes about 30 minutes to get to downtown and is super easy if you want to use the metro. O’Hare will take double the time and since it’s a major hub it will take longer to get through security, claim your bags, etc.
7. La Jolla/San Diego
One of the best weekend getaways in the USA for a coastal city vibe and good weather year-round
La Jolla's perfect weather makes this one of the best weekend getaways in the USA almost any time of year. Get outside and enjoy gorgeous ocean views, scenic hikes, and brunch on a breezy patio. Go south 20 minutes and you are in San Diego. Go north 20 minutes and you are in the coastal town of Del Mar. The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a gorgeous hotel in the picturesque hills of Del Mar and perfect for a romantic getaway.
San Diego international airport is located right in the city…I’m talking less than 15 minutes from downtown San Diego. This makes it super easy to explore San Diego on your way into or out of La Jolla. Hike Torrey Pines, have Costal Italian on the rooftop at Catania, watch the sunset from a nice rooftop, visit La Jolla cove to see the local seals, walk along the long stretch of beach in Del Mar, and you’ve got yourself a nice weekend getaway in the USA.
See my San Diego & La Jolla posts:
8. Orlando – Disney World
The best weekend getaway in the United states for families and awaking your INNER-CHILD
We all need a weekend here and there where we can throw our worries out the door and bring out our inner0child. Jake surprised me with a trip to Harry Potter world at Universal Studios in Orlando for our anniversary…I couldn’t have been happier! Orlando is the perfect US weekend getaway over a long weekend (minimum of 2 nights).
Typically we will leave early on Saturday morning and spend Saturday by the hotel pool. If there is an event at the theme park that evening, like Hollywood Horror nights, we will do that the night we get in. Sunday we will visit 1 or 2 parks, and Monday we will do another park before we take the latest flight home.
Be sure to pick which parks you are focusing on first and then pick a hotel as close as possible. If you are visiting Universal, try to snag a deal at one of the Universal hotels. Many of these are walking distance to the parks or they will shuttle you over on a quick water taxi across the small lake. Getting into the park 1 hour early is another plus. When you are short on time these perks can make a big difference.
I like to use this calendar to pick when to go. It shows crowd levels for each park every day of the year. When you have limited time you can’t afford to visit on a really busy day. Try to find a day that is a 6 or less on the scale of 1 – 10.
A perfect weekend getaway for a hippie vibe and Texas barbecue
Austin is such a unique city and growing fast in popularity! Downtown is easily walkable, the restaurant scene is excellent and varied, Lady Bird lake is perfect for jogging or paddle boarding, and partying on 6th Street is an experience not to be missed no matter what your age (over 21 obviously) or party style preference. People watching from the rooftop bars is guaranteed entertainment. Stay at the brand new JW Marriott downtown and have sushi at Uchi.
One of the best weekend getaways in the USA for lively beaches and nightlife
Warm weather, sandy beaches, shopping, nightlife…Miami makes for a fun US weekend getaway. There will be moments when you feel like you’ve been transported to Havana. Visit the swanky and posh cocktail bars, enjoy some Cuban food, take in the street art and murals in Wynwood, and get ready for some of the best people watching.
I hope this post listing the best weekend getaways in the USA helps you plan your next trip! These are the 10 places Jake and I find ourselves returning to and again and again. Each city listed is easy to get to and can be done on a 2-3 day trip.
Looking for more travel tips and inspiration?
Are you a weekend jetsetter? What do you think are the BEST weekend getaways in the USA? Let me know in the comments below!
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