Need a break, but don’t have much time or cash? Inexpensive weekend getaways are the answer. Spending two or three nights away from the house can offer much-needed rejuvenation and aid your scratch the itch to discover a new place at times when you can’t take an extended vacation. Below are recommended weekend escapes from nine major metro areas around the U.S. To each getaway destination is within easy driving distance of the originating city, so you don’t need to shell out for air ticket or luggage fees. Each also has well-rated, reasonable hotel options.
Scroll down to understand all the ideas or click on your city below to jump straight to inexpensive weekend getaways from that metro area.
Weekend Getaways from Atlanta
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
The ex-industrial town of Chattanooga is now a perfect spot for a weekend escape that’s just a two-hour drive from Atlanta across the Tennessee border. Great spots for walking include the Bluff View Art District and the scenic Riverwalk. The most famous attractions consist of the Tennessee Aquarium and the Hunter Museum of American Art, retained in an early-20th-century mansion. The zone is also rich in Civil War history; Chickamauga Battlefield is just a 20-minute drive outside the city.
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
About three and a half hours from Atlanta is the mountain communal of Asheville, known for its artsy, outdoorsy atmosphere. Its most renowned vacationer attraction is the impressive Biltmore mansion, yet admission is high-priced; luckily, there are plenty of other fun things to do. Chat with performers in the River Arts District, stop to smell the flowers in the North Carolina Arboretum, or connect with the inhabitants for an energetic Friday evening drum circle. The neighbouring Blue Ridge Mountains offer uncountable opportunities for hiking and scenic drives.
Weekend Getaways from Boston
Location: Provincetown, Massachusetts
Situated at the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is best identified as a summer spot, but it makes for an alluring weekend getaway year-round. Look outside the seashores and you’ll find the lively shops and restaurants of Commercial Street as well as the Province Lands Bike Trail, which loops for further five miles through bogs, pine forests, and sand dunes. And don’t oversee Provincetown’s art scene, which comprises galleries and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. You can travel to Provincetown via car or ferry from Boston.
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island’s capital city, just a speedy drive or train ride from Boston, is the perfect size for travelling in a few days. One main draw is the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, which features a whole lot of French Impressionists to a 12th-century Japanese Buddha. Not far away is the campus of Brown University, which features a variety of events and is an enjoyable place for a stroll. Save time to stroll neighbourhoods like the historic downtown district and Federal Hill, also recognized as Little Italy.
Weekend Getaways from Chicago
Location: Galena, Illinois
This picturesque historic town in the northwest corner of Illinois is approximately a three-hour drive from Chicago. Its well-preserved 19th-century constructions consist of the former home of President Ulysses S. Grant and an enthralling historical society and museum. It’s easy to spend a day travelling in and out of the boutiques and galleries on Main Street, where you can pick up the whole thing from secondhand clothes to locally made jams. Enjoy mealtime or lunch at Otto’s Place, a resident favourite.
Weekend Getaways from Houston
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Just a three-hour drive west of Houston is San Antonio, acknowledged for its lively history and culture. It all starts the city centre, where you’ll find the city’s most well-known landmark, the Alamo, and the 15-mile urban watercourse known as the River Walk, lined with eateries and shops. There are four additional historical missions here, too, comprising San Antonio Missions National Historical Park—a UNESCO World Heritage site. Families will love the DoSeum, planned for kids 10 and under, and the minor but fun San Antonio Zoo.
Location: Lake Charles, Louisiana
Two hours in the reverse direction is a weekend retreat destination with a completely different essence: Lake Charles, Louisiana. Through the day you can play a round of golf, trip to a Cold War-era battleship, visit the interesting Mardi Gras Museum, or drive the Creole Nature Trail in the hunt of alligators and birds. Then top off each day with a Cajun seafood dinner and an evening at one of the area’s four gaming club.
Weekend Getaways from Los Angeles
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California
The unambiguously stunning desert landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park offer a peaceful and discounted weekend retreat from the road traffic and smog of Los Angeles. Want to hike? The park has interesting trails, easy landscape walks, and the whole thing in between. You can also motorbike on back country roads, drive along the Geology Tour Road or stay late for a night of stargazing. Campgrounds and reasonable motels offer inexpensive room inside and near the park.
Location: San Diego, California
If you’re watching for a less isolated weekend retreat, drive a few hours down the shore to San Diego. This relaxed city is a favourite with families, who drove to the San Diego Zoo, kid-friendly museums like the Fleet Science Center, and neighbouring Legoland California. It is also famous for adults-only breakouts, with plenty of craft breweries, cultural organizations, and neighbourhoods to discover; try the Gaslamp Quarter for dining and nightlife.
Weekend Getaways from New York City
Location: Dutchess County, New York
Part of the Hudson Valley region that stretches approximately 150 miles north of New York City, Dutchess County offers both picturesque landscapes and attractive attractions constantly. History enthusiasts can tour the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Home as well as his Presidential Library and Museum, although admirers of the arts should make a beeline to spots like Dia:Beacon, a modern art centre housed in a former Nabisco box-printing workshop. Trekkers can hop into a unit of the Appalachian Trail or relish the views from the top of the fire tower at Ferncliff Forest.
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Wander between the ivy-shrouded stone halls of Princeton University, situated just 50 miles from New York City. Attractions on campus comprise of an art museum and chapel, though the town of Princeton offers enough shops and eateries along Nassau Street, the main drag. Top off your weekend escape with reasonable eats at restaurants like Jammin’ Crepes and Olives Deli and Bakery.
Weekend Getaways from San Francisco
Location: Sacramento, California
California’s capital, situated 90 minutes from San Francisco, makes it as a fun weekend escape for families cheers to the attractions like the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town, which have a play area for little ones based on the stories of Humpty Dumpty, Cinderella, and many more. The riverfront significant district, Old Sacramento, is a must-visit for holidaymakers of any age, with its Gold Rush-era constructions and old-timey shops. There’s also adequately amount of fresh farm-to-table cooking to savour around town at a diversity of price points.
Location: Mendocino County, California
Bit farther afield are the lush vineyards, attractive seaside villages, and jaw-dropping redwood forests of Mendocino County, approximately three hours north of San Francisco. Don’t skip the rugged seaside sight at Mendocino Headlands State Park or the brightly colored buds at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Visit Montgomery Woods State Reserve for a trek through the redwoods or make your own wine-tasting tour along Highway 128.
Weekend Getaways from Seattle
Location: Bellingham, Washington
In Bellingham, a minor town situated about 90 minutes north of Seattle, weekend tourists can relish a mix of urban and natural charms. Start with a stroll through the Fairhaven historic region, where reestablished Victorian-era brick constructions house art galleries, restaurants, and the beloved Village Books. Art enthusiasts can marvel at the statuette collections at Western Washington University and Big Rock Garden, while trekkers have plenty of choices, counting Whatcom Falls Park and Stimpson Family Nature Preserve.
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Reachable by car and ferry, Whidbey Island is at a very small distance from Seattle, but it feels like a right escape. Outdoor attractions reign supreme, from the spectacular mountaineering trails of Deception Pass State Park to the aromatic fields at Lavender Wind Farm. You can sweep through Puget Sound with Whidbey Island Kayaking, go on the search for sculptures along the Oak Harbor Art Trail, or taste your way through the island’s numerous distilleries and wineries.
Weekend Getaways from Washington, D.C.
Location: Frederick, Maryland
This small town 45 miles northwest of D.C. makes for a relaxing weekend escape. Stroll the significant downtown area, keeping an eye out for murals, sculptures, and other public art installations distributed around town. The National Museum of Civil War Medicine and the Monocacy National Battlefield are must-visit for travellers with a curiosity in the Civil War, while Catoctin Mountain Park and Cunningham Falls State Park offer lots of wooded mountaineering trails for outdoor fanatics. Don’t miss the city’s numerous breweries and distilleries, including Flying Dog, the biggest craft brewery in Maryland.
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
It’s very difficult not to fall in love with Annapolis, with its walkable cobblestone streets and sailboats dipping softly in the port. The key attraction here is the historic region, with houses dating back as far as the colonial era. The town is also home to the U.S. Naval Academy, which offers guided tours of its main landmarks as well as stories about what it’s like to be a midshipman. On a sunny day, go to the seashore at Sandy Point State Park, a whole view of the Bay Bridge.