20 Best Weekend Getaways in the United States
With a limited number of vacation days, it is important to make the best of your weekend. We curated a list of the best weekend getaways in the United States to get away from the office and explore nature, cities, beaches and national parks. Where will you go for your next weekend getaway?
Travel Hack: To save money on flights I recommend signing up for Going which sends domestic deals for the upcoming weekend and beyond on a weekly basis (pending availability).
1. Big Sur
The incredible coastline with redwoods and dramatic cliffs makes Big Sur one of the best weekend getaways in the US. A weekend road trip in Big Sur offers the perfect getaway to relax, hike, and explore. Big Sur is made up of several state parks and state natural reserves including Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Limekiln State Park, and more. At Point Lobos you can find beautiful ocean views, sea lions, beach coves, and tide pools. Our Point Lobos State Natural Reserve guide has more details on which hiking trails you should do and where you can find the best views.
Another highlight of Big Sur is Pfeiffer Beach, a unique beach with purple sand and large rock formations. You can’t visit Big Sur without seeing McWay Falls, a stunning waterfall that falls into bright blue ocean water. One of our favorite hiking trails in Big Sur is Limekiln Falls Trail which takes you through Redwoods to a waterfall.
A road trip in Big Sur, California offers one of the best weekend getaways in the United States. Start planning your trip to Big Sur with our Big Sur Road Trip Itinerary.
2. Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is one of the most incredible destinations in the US and makes for a great weekend getaway. A 277 mile long canyon, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep, the Grand Canyon is breathtaking. To truly experience how vast and deep the canyon is, spend time hiking down the canyon on one of the trails. Remember that whatever you hike down you will have to hike back up, so plan accordingly.
The best hiking trails at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon are South Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Trail. If you are looking for a trail with no elevation gain you can follow the rim trail. There aren’t many accommodation options nearby so to save money consider staying about 45 minutes away in Flagstaff. You can find hotels in flagstaff on booking.com. If you prefer to stay closer to the Grand Canyon make sure to book far in advance.
The unique cafes, boutiques, markets, and countless microbreweries makes Portland one of the best weekend getaways in the United States. I lived in Portland for one summer and completely fell in love with the city. Portland is easy to explore on a weekend because it is very walkable and has great public transportation. On Saturday visit the Portland Farmers Market, then walk along the Willamette River to the Portland Saturday Market. Next, explore the Northwest neighborhood where you can find boutiques, restaurants, and local breweries
On Sunday start the day eating waffles in Southeast Portland and then go to the International Rose Test Garden. Spend time exploring the Pearl District where you can find breweries, boutiques, great restaurants, and cafes. Finish the day getting lost in Powell’s City of Books, the largest used and new bookstore in the world.
Visit our guide to a weekend in Portland for more details on the best things to do during your weekend getaway to Portland.
4. San Diego
The (almost) perfect weather in San Diego year-round makes it one of the best weekend getaways in the US during any season. San Diego is easy to get to as there is an airport located right in the city. To find the best flight deals to San Diego, I recommend signing up for Going. This travel membership sends you flight deals from the airport of your choosing so you can book the best deal to San Diego!
Walk around Little Italy where you can find many delicious Italian restaurants and a farmers market on Saturday mornings. Spend time walking along the Marina and visit the USS Midway Museum. Enjoy Balboa Park which has many gardens and museums including a Japanese Garden and a Botanical Garden. Explore more of San Diego and save by getting a pass with Go City.
A weekend in San Diego is not complete without spending time at Torrey Pines State Reserve where you can enjoy a beautiful beach with large cliffs and take walks to great viewpoints. Spend time relaxing on Coronado beach where you can find soft white sand and a historic hotel. Finish your weekend in San Diego exploring unique bars and restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter. For more ideas of what to do during your weekend in San Diego, search for experiences on Get Your Guide.
5. White Sands National Park
Go on a unique weekend getaway as you explore the worlds largest gypsum dunefield at White Sands National Park. White Sands National Park is located in southern New Mexico and offers one of the best weekend getaways in the US if you love unique nature destinations. Start your weekend trip on Friday night and book an Airbnb or hotel in Las Cruces, a town located 50 minutes from White Sands. The closest large airport is located about an hour from Las Cruces in El Paso, TX. Find the best flights to El Paso on Skyscanner.
On Saturday morning start your day at the Las Cruces Farmers Market where you can find local food and crafts. Next, start exploring White Sands National Park where you can drive the eight mile Dunes Drive and stop at different spots to enjoy the sand dunes. Make sure to spend time at the furthest end of the road where the largest sand dunes are located. One of the best things to do at White Sands is to hike on the dunes following one of the marked trails or creating your own path. You haven’t fully experiences White Sands National Park until you sled down the sand dunes.
Continue planning your weekend getaway to White Sands with our article: Best Things to Do in White Sands National Park.
Savannah is a historic city near the coast of Georgia, located on the Savannah River. With the Savannah airport located only 15 minutes from the Savannah Historic District, you can easily fly in for the weekend and not even need to rent a car. You can search and book flights to Savannah on Skyscanner.
The southern charm and unique architecture of Savannah makes it one of the best weekend getaways in the US. Walk around Savannah Historic District where you can find beautiful houses, Forsyth Park, River Street, and nice historic buildings. Visit the Prohibition Museum where you can learn about the early 1900s and end your visit at a speakeasy where you can get unique cocktails. Savannah is known for a lot of great restaurants and has a range of cuisine including southern food, Thai, Mexican, Italian, and more. There are also a lot of unique bars that are worth checking out. Make sure to wake up in time for Sunday brunch at J. Christopher’s.
7. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the best weekend getaways in the US if you are looking to explore an incredible national park. The park protects an area where large volcanic eruptions happened with the latest an estimated 631,000 years ago. The park has diverse wildlife including bison, wolves, bighorn, elk, grizzly bears, black bears, and moose. Within the park there are over 10,000 geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and steam vents.
Book your stay at a hotel in West Yellowstone, where you will be less than 10 minutes from the west entrance of the park. Popular accommodations in West Yellowstone, from low to high price include: The Evergreen, Moose Creek Inn, Elkhorn Cabins and Inn, Kelly Inn, and Explorer Cabins. The main roads in Yellowstone National Park form a figure 8. On Saturday you can complete the top part of the figure 8 along with Lamar Valley, and on Sunday you can complete the bottom loop.
Since Yellowstone gets a lot of snow, many of the roads in the park close in the winter between October and Memorial Day Weekend. Therefore, the best time to go would be when the roads are open but it is less crowded, which would be Memorial Day Weekend through middle of June or in September through early October.
Plan your Yellowstone getaway using our guide: Weekend in Yellowstone National Park.
8. Page, Arizona
Northern Arizona has some of the most incredible natural wonders including Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell. You can see all these sights on a weekend trip to Page, Arizona. The closest airports to Page are Flagstaff Airport (2.5 hours), Las Vegas (4 hours 20 minutes), and Phoenix Airport (4 hours 20 minutes). Arrive Friday night and book a stay at one of the hotels in Page like the Courtyard Marriott near Lake Powell.
On Saturday spend time exploring Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon formed by erosion from water and wind. Next, follow the path to Horseshoe Bend, a horseshoe shaped part of the Colorado River with an incredible view. On Sunday you can rent a kayak and paddle the scenic Lake Powell to a slot canyon.
Continue to our Weekend in Page, Arizona guide to see why Page is one of the best weekend getaways in the United States.
9. Channel Islands National Park and Malibu
Channel Islands National Park is located off the coast of California and is made up of five islands: Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island, San Miguel Island, and Santa Barbra Island. The islands were formed by plate tectonics, underwater volcanoes, and changing sea levels. Santa Cruz Island is the largest island in Channel Islands National Park with 61,972 acres, 22 miles long and 2-6 miles wide. I recommend visiting Santa Cruz Island because at only about an hour away from the mainland it offers a lot of things to do.
On Santa Cruz Island you can hike, swim, snorkel or kayak. Arrive to California on Friday night and try to stay near Ventura where the boats leave from to get to Channel Islands National Park. Don’t forget to bring snorkel gear, a dry bag, and a beach towel with you if you plan to kayak in Channel Islands National Park. For more information on how to visit Channel Islands National Park, read our guide to visiting Santa Cruz Island. You can also camp overnight on Santa Cruz Island if you want to visit for longer.
On Sunday explore Malibu, a beautiful coastal town in California. Start with brunch at Malibu Farm Pier Cafe, and then head over to the stunning beaches like El Matador Beach and Point Dume Beach. Enjoy your day in Malibu relaxing on the sand below California’s huge scenic cliffs.
10. Napa Valley
Napa Valley, a wine region located about 1.5 hours northeast of San Francisco, offers one of the best weekend getaways in the United States. Napa Valley is a great escape from the city for a relaxing weekend wine tasting and enjoying the beautiful wine vineyards and extravagant wineries. You can find many different tour options in Napa Valley including a Private Wine Tour and an E-Bike Tour.
On Saturday, spend your time visiting the wineries in the south part of Napa which are more known for their Pinots. Start your day at Domain Carnerous which is popular for their Pinot Noir. Next go to Artesa Winery for great wine, views, and unique water features perfect for photo opportunities.
On your second day in Napa, visit some of the further vineyards in the north part of Napa Valley. On the way up to the north part of Napa, experience a morning hot-air balloon ride over Napa Valley to enjoy views of rolling hills, wine vineyards, and luxurious estates. Next go to Castello Di Amorosa, where you can tour the castle and do a wine tasting. Finish your weekend in Napa Valley with a visit to Sterling Vineyards, where you will take an aerial tram up to the hills of the winery for breathtaking views and a self-guided tour.
Plan your weekend in Napa Valley with our Napa Valley Weekend Getaway Itinerary.
It is hard not to fall in love with Boston. This city has interesting history, strong culture, great food and ocean views. Boston is one of the best weekend getaways in the United States if you are looking to explore a city. Try to coordinate your weekend trip for spring through fall when the weather is the nicest. Make sure to sign up for Going to get alerts on flight deals to Boston for your next weekend getaway.
Start your weekend with a Friday night dinner in one of the delicious Italian restaurants in North End and dessert from the well-known Mike’s Pastry. On Saturday visit Quincy Market where you can find street performers, shops, restaurants, and Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Next walk along the harbor to the Seaport area where you can see a nice view of Boston.
On Sunday spend time at Boston Public Garden and then wander around Beacon Hill, a neighborhood with beautiful red brick homes and cobblestone streets. Continue to Back Bay where you can find Newbury Street which is a popular street filled with shops and restaurants. Boston also has a lot of great museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. If you are looking to visit multiple museums or doing historical tours, it could be worth it to purchase a pass with Go City to explore Boston.
12. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Sequoia and Kings Canyon are incredible national parks located right next to each other which makes for an exciting weekend full of beautiful nature. Three major airports in California are about a 4-hour drive of Sequoia National Park, including San Jose (SJC), Sacramento (SMF), and Los Angeles (LAX). Make sure to rent a car in advance to drive to and around the parks. I recommend booking your rental car on Discover Cars which compares prices across rental car companies.
Spend your Saturday walking beneath the huge Sequoia trees and seeing the largest tree in the world, the General Sherman Tree. Don’t miss the 3.2-mile Congress Trail which allows you to enjoy the Sequoia trees away from the crowds. On your second day visit Kings Canyon National Park, where you will drive the 50-mile road into the canyon with incredible views along the way. When you get to the bottom of the canyon you can see many waterfalls and experience a lot of great hikes. One of the best hikes at Kings Canyon National Park is Mist Falls Trail, an 8-mile hike in the canyon that takes you to a large waterfall.
Charleston one of the the best weekend getaways in the United States if you are looking to have a relaxing weekend in a small coastal city. This walkable city has many restaurants and a vibrant shopping street called King Street. Visit the Charleston Farmers Market on Saturday morning at Marion Square where you can find food and crafts. Don’t miss the Charleston Historic City Market which is located in Market Hall and spans four city blocks. The market is open daily and features a variety of gifts and crafts.
One of the top things to do in Charleston is to see Rainbow Row, a street with a stretch of colorful houses. As you wander through the city, make sure to stop at Charleston Waterfront Park which has nice views and a water fountain. There are several unique boutique hotels in Historic Downtown Charleston which you can find on booking.com.
14. Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is a beautiful park with mountains as high as 14,000 feet, stunning lakes and waterfalls, and countless hiking trails. It is one of the best weekend getaways in the United States if you are looking to visit a national park that is not far from a major airport. You can get to Rocky Mountain by flying into Denver or Boulder airports which are 1-2 hours away and renting a car. Make sure to reserve your rental car on Discover Cars which compares prices across rental car companies to help you find the best deal.
Save time by staying right outside a popular entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park in a town called Estes Park. In a weekend at Rocky Mountain National Park you can see the highlights of the park and do a peak hike, lake hike, and see the alpine region. The best lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park include Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Emerald Lake, and Lake Haiyaha. If you are looking for a challenge, Deer Mountain Trail is a great peak hike to see a view of Estes Park, Moraine Lake, and surrounding mountains.
Plan your weekend adventure in Rocky Mountain with our Weekend in Rocky Mountain Itinerary.
Nashville is one of the best weekend getaways in the United States if you are looking to explore a city with a strong musical influence. In Nashville you can find Broadway Street which is a vibrant street filled with bars and restaurants that have live music. Some bars you shouldn’t miss are Tootsies Orchid Lounge and Honky Tonk Central. While visiting Nashville make sure to learn about the history of Country Music at the Country Music Hall of Fame. You can find and book more experiences in Nashville on Viator.
Sedona is a town in Arizona surrounded by beautiful red rocks. Located two hours north of Phoenix, Sedona offers one of the best weekend getaways in the United States if you are looking to spend time outdoors. In Sedona, you can find countless hiking trails ranging from easy to hard and incredible viewpoints that require only a short walk. To decide which hikes you want to do during your weekend in Sedona save our articles: most popular hiking trails in Sedona and Sedona off-the-beaten-path hikes. Some of the best hiking trails in Sedona include Soldier Pass Trial, Broken Arrow, Devil’s Bridge, and Bear Mountain.
Plan your weekend in Sedona with our Sedona Weekend Itinerary.
Temecula is a beautiful wine region in southern California. Only a short hour drive from San Diego and an hour and a half from Los Angeles, Temecula offers one of the best weekend getaways in the United States if you are looking to spend a weekend relaxing and wine tasting. The best time to go to Temecula is during harvest season which usually falls between end of August and October.
There are over 40 wineries in Temecula which gives you plenty of options for wine tasting. It can be hard to decide which wineries to visit, so you could book an all-inclusive wine tour and get transportation directly from your hotel. If you are looking for more to do in Temecula beyond wine tasting, you can book a Hot Air Balloon Flight, visit the Saturday Farmers Market, and explore the restaurants and shops in Old Town Temecula.
Continue to our guide for the perfect weekend getaway in Temecula filled with wine tasting, great food, and amazing views.
18. Las Vegas
Spend an exciting weekend in Las Vegas where you can find endless restaurants and cocktail bars, exciting shows, unique hotels, and nearby sights to explore. Las Vegas is one of the best weekend getaways in the United States for a trip with friends or your significant other. There is a range of nightlife options in Vegas from clubs, to casinos, to nice cocktail bars and restaurants.
If you are looking to explore top attractions in the city, make sure to get a pass with Go City. Start your evening with a cocktail at Vanderpump Cocktail Garden, where you can find an interesting selection of cocktails which you sip in what feels like a magical garden. Next go to Rose. Rabbit. Lie where you can enjoy a drink and dessert while watching live performances. If you are looking for live music and watching people dance on pianos, this is the spot.
A weekend in Las Vegas isn’t complete without seeing an extravagant show. Choose from one of the unique Cirque Du Soleil shows, or another exciting performance like Absinthe or Le Reve. Don’t miss the short free shows in Las Vegas including the Bellagio Fountains Show and The Mirage Volcano Show.
Plan your weekend with our guide for the perfect couples weekend getaway in Las Vegas.
19. Joshua Tree National Park
Spend your weekend exploring Joshua Tree National Park where you can hike, rock climb, boulder, and relax in the Mojave Desert with the funny looking trees. Throughout the park there are numerous pull outs from the main road where you can park your car and walk around. Between the West Entrance and Hidden Valley is the most unique part of the park where a high density of Joshua Trees are located. You can get out and hike for miles, climb rocks, and relax with a beautiful landscape. Make your way to Joshua Tree early Saturday morning, and book your accommodation for that night in the town of Joshua Tree, where you can find many unique Airbnbs. Joshua Tree is one of the best weekend getaways in the United States if you are looking for a mix of hiking and relaxing.
Continue to our Weekend in Joshua Tree guide to start planning your weekend getaway in Joshua Tree.
20. Monument Valley
A road trip to Monument Valley is one of the best weekend getaways in the United States. Here you can find incredible rock formations formed through erosion by wind and water. Book your stay ahead of time at one of the hotels near Monument Valley, The View Hotel or Goulding’s Lodge. Spend time driving along the 17-mile loop through Monument Valley, stopping at different points to take photos and enjoy the view. Next hike the Wildcat Trail around Left Mitten Butte rock formation and stand between the rock formations. Make sure to set an early alarm for Sunday morning to watch the sunrise over Monument Valley.
Start planning your weekend getaway to Monument Valley with our guide to a Weekend in Monument Valley.
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