• Lisa

Favorite USA Cities for a Weekend Getaway

Updated: Jul 1

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<img src="https://www.ftjcfx.com/image-100146242-10661254" width="728" height="90" alt="" border="0"/></a>One of my favorite things about the United States is the wide variety of places to explore. From big cities, to rural country side, to small beach towns, and more... there is truly something for everyone! As a US resident, I love to escape for a weekend getaway to various parts of the country as often as I can.

I've partnered with a few other Travel Bloggers to share our favorite Weekend Getaways here in the United States! Check them out below!

Sedona, AZ

by Allison (She Dreams of Alpine)

Sedona, Arizona is a magical place of stunning vistas and the views, and this city surrounded by red rocks makes a wonderful weekend getaway. It’s within easy driving distance from Phoenix and Las Vegas, and it also is an excellent way to spend a weekend after a visit to the Grand Canyon.

The sandstone red rock formations are definitely the main attraction in Sedona, and you have multiple options to experience them. If you want to sit back and let someone else take the wheel, the Pink Jeep Tours are a perfect way to take a tour of the sandstone sights. But to really see the red rocks up close, you need to explore the awesome hikes in Sedona. Devil's Bridge Trail is an ideal hike during a weekend getaway, offering epic views of the red rocks of Sedona on a moderate hike that won’t take all day.

When you’re ready to relax, head to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, an outdoor center with cobblestone streets and stucco buildings that house art galleries, shops, and restaurants. For a truly unique Sedona experience, pick up a map at one of the shops and visit the vortexes, special sites where the energy of the earth is believed to be especially powerful. A visit to one of the vortexes will leave you recharged and refreshed as you head home after your Sedona weekend getaway.

Chicago, IL

by Kaisa (Glam Granola Travel)

The Windy City is one of my favorite spots in the US for a weekend getaway. Chicago’s central location makes it pretty convenient to get to no matter where you’re coming from, and it’s home to one of the most affordable airport hubs in the country. 

A lot of people pass Chicago by in favor of other big cities, but that’s a mistake. While this Midwestern city is as far from a coast as you can be, Chicago still boasts some of the most picturesque lakeshores of any metropolis. It sits on Lake Michigan, the second largest and some say, best Great Lake.

Several of the ultimate can’t-miss Chicago attractions sit right on the water. Navy Pier, in Chicago’s waterfront district, offers a ton of fun things to do. The Centennial Wheel, a massive ferris wheel at the base of the pier, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. The view from the top is equal parts bustling cityscape and bright blue horizon of Lake Michigan. After a ride on the Centennial Wheel, you can walk around the pier, enjoying the views and sampling any of the many delicious foods.Some other excellent lakeside activities are the world-famous Shedd Aquarium and Chicago Field Museum. If you enjoy nature and natural history, you will love both of these world-class museums. 

Also, you’ve probably heard of the Chicago Loop. The Loop is a central area near the Chicago River, Lake Michigan, and Millennium Park. Here you will find the famous mirrored “Bean” statue (AKA Cloud Gate) and the face fountains (AKA Crown Fountain). 

Chicago has so much to offer, even besides all of the above. Take a historic Frank Lloyd Wright architectural tour, have a local beer at a rooftop bar, and grab a slice of deep dish pizza. It’s a city you will want to return to again and again.

San Luis Obispo, CA

by Abi (Happy Go Abi)

When looking for a weekend getaway in the US, one city you’ll want to add to your list is San Luis Obispo (SLO). This cute small town sits near the central coast of California, and you’ll find tons of amazing things to do here in SLO no matter what type of vacation you enjoy!

San Luis Obispo is perfect for a fun getaway, especially for those who love the outdoors. There are lots of exciting hikes in the area to choose from (including the iconic Bishop Peak hike, which offers incredible views of the city and surrounding areas). But there are also plenty of beaches nearby, such as Avila Beach and Montaña de Oro, which makes this city the perfect base when you want to enjoy the perfect California beach weekend!

However, another aspect of SLO that you shouldn’t overlook is its charming city center. You’ll enjoy wandering the streets, shopping in cute downtown shops, and enjoying the parks in the city. There is also some really delicious food you need to try…including eating at Firestone Grill (a local favorite with mouthwatering BBQ options and out-of-this-world fries!)

Visiting here for the weekend and enjoying the relaxed, “SLOw” paced atmosphere that SLO is known for will definitely make you fall in love with this captivating city. It’s perfect for a weekend trip when you just need to get away from it all and enjoy a laid-back California vacation!

Las Vegas, NV

by Lisa (Wanderlust With Lisa)

Looking for a rowdy weekend getaway? Look no further. Las Vegas is the party city of the United States. I have no doubt that you've heard of it before. Vegas is the perfect spot for a girls weekend getaway, bachelor party, or 21st birthday celebration. I prefer to visit Vegas in the summer to bounce between day clubs and night clubs. Stay in the middle of the Strip for the best experience - my favorite is the Cosmopolitan Hotel. It's in walking distance of so many great clubs and bars (plus, the hotel itself is stunning).

It may be known for partying, but don't let that scare you away if you're not interested in that scene. You can fill your day walking along the Strip to check out each unique hotel or relax poolside at your resort pool. Vegas has world renowned shows, concerts, and talent acts each and every night. If you're looking for a more relaxed hotel experience, try MGM Grand (which features a lazy river in the pool) or The Venetian!

There's truly no other city like it and I strongly feel that everyone needs to experience Vegas at least once in their life (if not more)!

Related Post: 10 Things To Know Before Clubbing in Vegas

Denver, CO

by Kara (Destination Live Life)

Denver is the capital city of the state of Colorado, and it is a fantastic weekend getaway destination in the US! Not only will you get all the benefits of a large city (just on a smaller scale), but you will get it with some mid-western friendliness thrown in. And with over 300 days of sunshine a year, there is no bad time to make a visit to Denver.

When it comes to things to do in Denver, the options are plentiful. Because of the beautiful Rocky Mountains to the west, the state of Colorado has some of the best outdoor recreation in the country. In the winter, taking a trip from Denver to nearby ski resort towns like Arapahoe Basin (~64 miles) or Winter Park (~67 miles) is quite popular. And, of course, hiking is a beloved activity year-round! Popular options near the city include Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, Garden of The Gods, and Deer Creek Canyon.

Back in the city, be sure and check out Denver’s famous 16th Street Mall. This one-mile pedestrian mall has a plethora of options for shopping, eating, drinking and more. And finally, plan to spend an evening in Denver’s historic Larimer Square. Here you can dine on some of the city’s best Italian food at Osteria Marco, laugh until your stomach hurts at Comedy Works, and end with a nightcap at one of Denver’s best speakeasy bars, the Green Russell.

Can’t get enough of Denver? Head on over to my ultimate Denver travel guide for all the information you’ll need on where to stay, where to eat, and more!

Savannah, GA

by Sydney (A World In Reach)

Savannah, Georgia is a beautiful city full of southern charm. With a beautiful historic district full of draping Spanish moss, delicious food, and a touch of spookiness (Savannah is said to be one of the most haunted US cities!), Savannah is definitely one of the best cities to visit in the USA.

Spending a long weekend in Savannah is a great way to experience the city for the first time. A visit to Savannah isn’t complete without a walk through the gorgeous Savannah Historic District. The district is home to more than 20 historic city squares along with beautiful churches and antebellum mansions. Grab a frozen daiquiri from Wet Willie’s on River Street (it’s A-OK to walk through the district with an alcoholic beverage) before making your way through the historic district, taking in the beauty and stopping to relax in the historic squares. Make your way to beautiful Forsyth Park and have an Instagram-worthy photo shoot at the centerpiece fountain before heading back to one of Savannah’s amazing restaurants for dinner. The Olde Pink House is a great option for a nice dinner – make sure to make reservations!

Since Savannah is said to be haunted, you can’t visit without taking a ghost tour! There are several different ghost tours given throughout the city, each catering to different travel styles. If you’re visiting with your family, there are tours that are appropriate for all ages. Other fun options include taking a haunted pub crawl or riding around in a hearse while learning about Savannah’s haunted past. Each of the tours are unique and are a great way to end your visit to Savannah.

Carmel, CA

by Alex (Alex Getting Lost)

The artistic town of Carmel is a Californian fairytale come true, and it makes the perfect destination for a USA weekend getaway. There’s no shortage of cute inns to choose from for your stay, some of which are located directly on the beach. (Which, might I add, is STUNNING).

Downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of the most walkable cities in the US, and is home to plenty of boutiques, galleries and restaurants. And breakfast is one meal in particular which Carmel is highly skilled at. Check out Katy’s Place for an infinite number of eggs benedict variations, or the Little Swiss Cafe for delicious pancakes and cute decor. 

Carmel is also famous for its fairytale cottages- or ‘Comstock Cottages’ as is the proper name for them! Built in the 1920s, these higgledy-piggledy houses were all the rage in this artistic town, and gave Carmel its trademark image today. The cottages look as if they leapt straight from the pages of a storybook. Walking tours to find all 22 of the Comstock cottages are hugely popular. 

Lastly, Carmel is perfectly positioned for exploring the great outdoors. From here you can take a road trip down the Big Sur coastline towards Bixby Bridge and McWay Falls, go for a hike in Point Lobos State Reserve, or cycle along 17 mile Drive, the scenic road alongside the Pacific Ocean. For the best way to end a day outside in Carmel-by-the-Sea, cosy up by a fire on Carmel Beach and enjoy the glorious sunset. This place is PARADISE.

Boston, MA

by Krystianna (Volumes & Voyages)

Boston is the perfect city for a weekend getaway in the USA! It's perfect for all ages, even though it is commonly deemed a college city. The city is not too huge but isn't too small at the same time, which is why just a weekend in the city is the perfect amount of time to explore it.

If you're a huge sports fan, you absolutely must try to catch one of the games for one of Boston's own teams! Catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium, or a Bruins or Celtics game at TD Garden. If you're not super picky about where you're seated, follow this insider tip: wait until it's close to the start of the game, and use the app GameTime to purchase your tickets. Sometimes, tickets can be snagged for as little as $15 a person using this handy trick!

All visitors to the city must explore Newbury Street, which is lined with a bunch of fun shops right next to the Prudential Center. Be sure to also explore the area near Boston Commons. This is a great area to have a picnic or people-watch. Copley Square is another lively area to visit. The Boston Public Library is in this area, and it's absolutely free to visit. Lastly, you absolutely can't leave the city without exploring the North End. If you're a sucker for Italian food and dessert, be sure to visit Bova's Bakery, Modern Pastry, and Mike's Pastry. 

Charleston, SC

by Lisa (Wanderlust With Lisa)

Charleston, SC is the perfect city for a weekend getaway. I love Charleston because it is a perfect destination for couples, families, and girls trips!

If you're going with a significant other, you've come to the right place! Charleston is rated one of the most romantic cities in the USA. Start the day with a walk on the beach or a morning massage at the Belmond Charleston Place. Afterwards, take a carriage ride through downtown Charleston. At the end of the day, enjoy a rooftop bar for cocktails and head out to a swanky restaurant for dinner (make reservations in advance). Then, rinse and repeat for the rest of the weekend!

If you're going with family, you've got plenty of options to explore! When my parents came to visit me when I lived in Charleston, we loved to walk through the market and along the Battery. We also visited a few plantations in the area - my favorite is Magnolia Plantation! If you've got young kids, be sure to take them to the Charleston Aquarium, too!

If you're traveling with girls on a Girls Trip, start every day with a decadent brunch! Then, spend the afternoon soaking in the sun at one of the nearby beaches (my favorite is Folly Beach). You also have the option to shop along King Street with tons of boutique and designer stores at your fingertips! For dinner, try a food tour or hop around to different rooftops!

Regardless of who you travel with, you're bound to love Charleston, SC!

Related Post: Charleston, SC - City Guide

Washington, DC

by Lisa (Wanderlust With Lisa)

There's nothing more patriotic than a weekend in the Nation's Capitol: Washington, DC! The best part about traveling to Washington, DC is the large number of free activities to do within the city! All Smithsonian Museums & Monuments are totally free (some might require an advanced reservation though). A few of my favorite FREE things to in DC include the Botanical Garden, tour of the Capitol Building, and the Museum of Natural History.

DC also has wonderful neighborhoods to explore. Go shopping in Georgetown, dine in Chinatown, or walk along the pier at the Wharf! You can use the Metro to get to each of these neighborhoods which makes everything very accessible! DC also has a wide variety of sporting events that you can go to - baseball, hockey, basketball, football, and more! I personally feel like you have to root for DC because you're rooting for America's team!

Related Post: Washington, DC - City Guide

These are just a small handful of amazing cities to visit on a weekend getaway in the United States. Let me know in the comments what your favorite USA destination is for a weekend getaway!!

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