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25 Best Weekend Getaways in The USA (2024)

25 Best Weekend Getaways in The USA (2024)


Are you ready to have the weekend of a lifetime in the USA? There are so many weekend trip options, whether you’re looking for city breaks in iconic cities like San Francisco and New York City or adventurous retreats to national parks.

Weekend getaways in the USA can be city-focused, with art galleries and landmark sightseeing – who fancies a view from the Empire State Building? Alternatively, you could head rural to somewhere like Glacier National Park for hiking trails and natural beauty.

You could easily spend a lifetime traveling the USA in immense detail. But, equally, the country has some places ideally suited to short stays.

Best Weekend Getaway in the USA

In this guide, we’ll match you with your absolute dream weekend getaway destination. The USA is huge; we’ve had to be brutal to whittle it down to our top 25 recommended weekend trips. Let’s look at what the USA has to offer all those short-stayers amongst you.

East Coast

Weekend Getaways in the USA East Coast NYC Broadway
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The East Coast is a brilliant place for city breaks and beaches in the USA. It’s where you’ll find New York City and Miami with its glorious beaches and surf culture. The southeast is most known for its hot weather and beach culture. At the same time, the northeast is more historical, with cities like Washington DC and the Salem witch history near Boston.

If you choose the USA’s East Coast for your next weekend trip, prepare yourself for city breaks galore.

1. Boston, Massachusetts

Weekend Getaways in the USA Boston, Massachusetts
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Boston is a great place to immerse yourself in academia and educational sightseeing. As Massachusetts’s capital, Boston has some of the state’s best attractions, including Harvard University, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Science. However, Boston also has its own story to offer. You can tour the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and walk the hallowed Freedom Trail to learn more about the city’s Civil War history. When you only have a weekend, it’s helpful to have a destination with a clear theme and specialty, like Boston’s academia and Tea Party history.

Boston is incredible as a weekend getaway. It even has the nickname ‘The Walking City’ because it’s so well-suited to exploring on foot. If you want a city break on the East Coast, Boston is a fabulous choice for a short but sweet historical insight into US history.

2. Charleston, South Carolina

Weekend Getaways in the USA Charleston, South Carolina
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Charleston is another hotspot for history buffs. This historic South Carolina city was founded in 1670, and it has preserved beautiful cobblestone streets and antebellum houses that make visiting feel like stepping inside a time capsule. It’s great for those who want a more immersive history, providing a real snapshot of original architecture.

The French Quarter and Battery Districts are non-negotiable neighborhoods to visit for the typical Charleston aesthetic. If you want more Civil Rights and tragic slavery history, visit the Aiken-Rhett House Museum and the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon. Joe Riley Waterfront Park is also beautiful for a light-hearted stroll with views over Charleston Harbor and is within easy walking distance of the city center.

Charleston is walkable and heavy on its immersive history, making it one of the best weekend getaways in the USA. Everything is well-preserved, and you’ll learn so much, even in a short weekend break, so we had to add it to this guide.

Where to Stay: Market Pavilion Hotel.
Insider Tip: Head to Charleston City Market for souvenir shopping. It has more than 300 vendors daily.

3. Savannah, Georgia

Weekend Getaways in the USA Savannah, Georgia
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Savannah has similar antebellum architecture and a time capsule feel – even home to horse-drawn carriages around its central Historic District. You’ve got quaint shops, sleepy oak trees, and cobbled squares. You can walk Savannah’s waterfront along the Savannah River, visit the American Prohibition Museum, and take guided tours of the Italianate Mercer Williams House Museum. When it comes to weekend getaways in the USA, Savannah is a beautiful choice and very aesthetic.

However, Savannah comes into its own with haunted stories and runs regular ghost tours of the cemeteries and Historic District. It’s especially famous for Bonaventure Cemetery and Colonial Park Cemetery, attracting thrill-seeking tourists looking for after-hours spooky tours.

Savannah is compact enough to explore on a weekend. It has a beautiful atmosphere and stunning architecture. It also has a fun haunted quality, which is great for maximizing your evening entertainment—if you feel brave enough.

4. Washington DC

weekend getaways in the USA Washington DC
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Washington, DC, is a big deal when it comes to weekend trips on the East Coast. It’s the alpha and omega of all US history and the capital of the country, home to significant landmarks like Capitol Hill and the White House. Washington, DC, is an ideal weekend getaway if you are interested in politics or political history.

There are many things to do, including visiting the National Mall, touring the White House, and sightseeing the various Smithsonian museums. From March to April, Washington DC is best known for gorgeous cherry blossoms all around the Tidal Basin, with over 3,000 cherry blossom trees in bloom.

Washington, DC, is a city center just made to walk around. Every inch of its parks has historical and geopolitical nods, whether the Japanese gift of the cherry blossoms or the Lincoln Memorial.

Where to Stay: Hotel Madera.
Insider Tip: Pack some sturdy footwear because Washington, DC, is best seen on foot.

5. Miami, Florida

Weekend Getaways in the USA Miami, Florida
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Miami is a classic addition to these best weekend getaways in the USA. Sunny South Beach is an easy sell, with its art deco beach architecture and flamboyant culture. Miami is known for its beach living and great year-round weather. It’s where to head if you want culture, partying, and a relaxing beach break all rolled into one.

Visit the city’s art museums, including the Perez Art Museum and all the art galleries around South Beach. However, if you only have a weekend, Miami is the perfect time to sunbathe, play beach volleyball, or snap pictures of art deco beach buildings.

Miami is laidback and artistic, but it mostly has stunning beaches and iconic city status. It’s an excellent choice for a weekend trip.

Where to Stay: We’ve got a full guide on where to stay in Miami here.
Insider Tip: If you can, add an extra day to your trip so you can squeeze in a day trip to the Florida Keys or Everglades.

6. New York City, New York

weekend getaways in the USA New York City NYC
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New York City needs little introduction and is clearly one of the best weekend getaways in the USA. You can climb the Empire State Building, visit a national museum or two, walk Central Park, or take the Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty. The whole city is rammed with activities from sunrise to sunrise – hence its affectionate nickname of the ‘city that never sleeps’. Throughout the day, you have thousands of observation platforms in iconic towers, museums, and unique attractions like the 9/11 Museum and Memorial. After hours, you have things like Broadway shows and cocktail bars.

The only thing we’d say about New York City is to choose your location wisely to maximize sightseeing time and to head there with a game plan. If you only visit for two days, you’ll need to be pretty savage with your itinerary. Here’s our perfect one-day itinerary if you need any inspiration.

Where to Stay: Here’s our take on where to stay in NYC.
Insider Tip: Be savvy when it comes to your accommodation location; saving yourself travel time is vital.

West Coast

Weekend Getaways in the USA West Coast, Orange County
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Weekend Getaways in the USA West Coast, Orange County

The West Coast has a serious reputation for sunshine and surfing, thanks to beautiful California stretching along most of the western coastline. You’ve got major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, connected by the dreamy road trip stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway. You’ve also got Seattle, right by the Canadian border, and its mysteriously overcast Olympic National Park and La Push beaches.

By sticking to the coastline, you can choose from iconic cities and plenty of national parks. The West Coast really comes into its own with redwoods and temperate rainforests. But equally, you can go sightseeing in the action-packed Los Angeles or San Francisco.

7. Redwood National and State Parks, California

weekend getaways in the USA Redwood
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Redwood National and State Parks are nothing short of magical. Where better place to go for a memorable weekend trip than the home of the tallest trees in the world? You can take scenic drives, go hiking, or even just spend a lazy afternoon fishing amongst the natural giants.

The national park is in California, next to the Oregon border. You can hike the stunning Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail, walk through tunnels cut out of fallen trees in Tall Trees Grove, and visit Big Tree Wayside to snap a picture next to the 1,500-year-old redwood tree that tops 300 feet tall and 68 feet wide.

For anyone wanting the great outdoors with oomph, Redwood National and State Parks offer novelty and natural beauty all in one. And with a weekend, you have more than enough time to embrace most of its trails.

Where to Stay: Orick Getaway.
Insider Tip: Camp in the park for extra adventure and to maximize sightseeing time.

8. Seattle, Washington

Weekend Getaways in the USA Seattle, Washington
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Seattle is the cool dude of the Pacific Northwest, laid back comfortably on Puget Sound with diverse neighborhoods and a killer coffee culture. It’s where you’ll find the Microsoft and Amazon headquarters. However, it is also just a short day trip distance from the stunning Olympic National Park and all its outdoor activities.

To balance natural wonders with some of the leading technology and futuristic architecture, Seattle is one of the best weekend getaways in the USA. You can dedicate one day to climbing the Space Needle, grabbing tasty food from Pike Place Market, and hiking through the Hall of Mosses in Olympic National Park.

Where to Stay: Check out our full guide on Where to Stay in Seattle.
Insider Tip: If you can extend a day then it’s worth doing; you’ll be able to stay overnight in Olympic National Park and make it a more leisurely experience rather than an ambitious day trip.

9. San Francisco, California

weekend getaways in the USA San fran
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San Francisco is a top spot for a long weekend. You’ve got iconic sights to see, like the Golden Gate Bridge, and historic sites like Alcatraz Island. The whole city is full of quirky corners, like curvy Lombard Street and the yellow cable cars. Visiting San Francisco is like stepping into a movie scene; you’ll recognize tons of scenery.

The San Francisco piers are lined with seafood restaurants, and you can catch sight of adorable sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf. You can also take a wine-tasting tour to the gorgeous Napa Valley. San Fran’s as good for cuisine and foodies as it is for sightseers.

People throw the phrase ‘melting pot’ around, but San Francisco really deserves it. It packs so much variety and quirky individual attractions into a single city, making it a fascinating city break.

Where to Stay: Here’s our take on where to stay in San Fran.
Insider Tip: Make sure to visit Muir Woods National Monument, which is like a small-scale version of Redwood National Park.

10. Los Angeles, California

Weekend Getaways in the USA Los Angeles, California
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Los Angeles is another fantastic city break that doesn’t require much introduction. You’ve got the heights of Hollywood – where you can tour Calabasas to spot celeb mansions, walk the Hall of Fame, and even see celebs at rest in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Los Angeles has some cool things to do. It’s a city of fast-paced living and celeb culture.

In two days, you can easily see the celeb side of Los Angeles and the city’s beachside in its Santa Monica outskirts. LA is easily one of the best quick getaways simply because of how well-connected it is. You can get flights here from all over the world, and once you arrive, you have tour choices galore.

11. San Diego, California

Weekend Getaways in the USA San Diego, California
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San Diego is our West Coast choice for constant sunshine and warm weather. If you want somewhere hot with beach culture, it’s one of the leading weekend getaways in the USA. This overlooked city has a ton to offer for a weekend of sun and sand – just check out its best beaches, and you’ll see what we mean. You could relax on Breakers Beach, Silver Strand State Beach, or Mission Beach Park.

Aside from beach culture, San Diego also has Balboa Park, which is full of museums and attractions. There’s also maritime history galore at the USS Midway Museum and Maritime Museum of San Diego. San Diego is the perfect balance of sightseeing and relaxing on the beach. For those wanting to explore new areas of California, it’s perfect.

North

Weekend Getaways in the USA North - Chicago
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The North of the USA hugs the Canadian border. It contains some of the most gorgeous, remote areas of natural beauty. Inland Washington, Montana, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota are perfect for spending time outdoors.

It isn’t all nature, though; Lake Michigan is a magnet for major cities, including Chicago, with its mouth-watering cuisine. Detroit is another city break option, and you can even go on a day trip to Niagara Falls from there if you’d like. Northern USA has lots to offer. Here are the best weekend getaways in the region.

12. Glacier National Park, Montana

Weekend Getaways in the USA Glacier National Park, Montana
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Glacier National Park is a fantastic weekend trip for lovers of the great outdoors. Just check out how beautiful its best hikes are; you’ve got Iceberg Lake with its little floating icebergs in a jagged mountain-framed alpine lake and aqua-blue Cracker Lake surrounded by meadow flowers. Saint Mary Falls is a scenic 35-foot waterfall that photographers and good-view-lovers will adore.

If you’re fit, you could tackle two hikes in this national park over a weekend. It’s where to hike if you want alpine scenery galore and fabulous wildlife sightseeing opportunities. You can spot everything from moose to bear. There are over 700 miles of trails in the national park, though, so you’ll have to be savage in your decision-making process. But it’s definitely doable in an action-packed weekend.

13. Cincinnati, Ohio

Weekend Getaways in the USA Cincinnati, Ohio
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Cincinnati is often overlooked and is actually one of the best weekend getaways. There are landmarks like the Roebling Suspension Bridge and museums like the Cincinnati Art Museum. However, most importantly, there are more unique things to do, like visiting the National Underground Railroad to Freedom Center.

This center marks where brave individuals made a dash for freedom across the Ohio River, which was once the largest natural barrier between the Northern USA and Southern slave states. On a weekend trip to Cincinnati, you’ll have enough time to learn more about this disturbing period and deepen your knowledge of Civil War history as a whole.

When you want some downtime, Cincinnati has a fantastic brewery scene and tons of major-league sports. See if there are any events or tours available when you visit.

14. Mount Rushmore National Park, South Dakota

weekend getaways in the USA Mount rushmore
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Mount Rushmore is an exciting weekend getaway. The colossal mountainside sculpture has been seen in major movies, not just social media and magazines. It’s a massively influential landmark depicting four former US presidents: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt. If you’ve got a US bucket list, chances are Mount Rushmore is on it.

You can easily reach Mount Rushmore from Rapid City, just a 30-minute drive from the sculpture. It’s ideal for a weekend getaway, as it’s easy to see the attraction quickly – it’s a tiny site despite the massive scale of the sculptures. Think of it as an efficient bucket list checker.

15. Detroit, Michigan

weekend getaways in the USA Detroit
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Detroit had a rough-around-the-edges stereotype, but that’s fast been shrugged off, and the city is now seen as the perfect weekend getaway for anyone wanting an industrial art atmosphere. The Detroit Industry Murals are a highlight of the Detroit Institute of Arts museum, while Lincoln Street Art Park is full of colorful street art. Detroit is creative and heavily urban, which caught our eye as one of the most unique and best weekend getaways in the USA.

You can grab food at the Eastern Market while admiring its street art murals. There’s also the Henry Ford Museum, baseball games from April to October, Motown Museum, and scenic riverfront. Detroit is your best bet if you want a city break with lots of urban art influence.

Where to Stay: Shinola Hotel.
Insider Tip: Any Eminem fans should take an 8-mile tour around all the movie scene spots.

16. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Weekend Getaways in the USA Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Minneapolis is another unsung addition to our best weekend getaways. The city is nicknamed ‘the city of lakes’, with thirteen lakes dotted around its outskirts. Minneapolis is sliced in half by the Mississippi River. It has gorgeous water views, which can be enjoyed by crossing Stone Arch Bridge or walking through Boom Island Park.

You can enjoy river activities like kayaking or just inner-city waterfront hiking trails. Then you’ve also got more standard attractions like the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Walker Art Center. Minneapolis gets our vote as one of the best city breaks because of all its water activities – an amazing balance as a landlocked urban destination.

17. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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Yellowstone National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and is easily one of the most exciting weekend trip options. After all, it’s Yellowstone, which is the most famous national park in the USA. Yellowstone secured its national park status in 1872 and is home to nearly half of the world’s most active geysers. It’s an absolute hotbed of volcanic activity but also an excellent place for wildlife sightings. In short, it’s one of the best places to appreciate America’s most untamed nature.

You can visit Grand Prismatic Spring or watch Old Faithful explode. If you keep your eyes on the skies, you can spot moose, elk, and even bald eagles. Yellowstone National Park is one of the most rewarding weekend getaways you can possibly take.

Where to Stay: We have a whole guide dedicated to the Best Places to Stay in Yellowstone.
Insider Tip: Yellowstone has the largest bison population, so keep your eyes out for them.

18. Chicago, Illinois

Weekend Getaways in the USA Chicago, Illinois
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Chicago is full of culture, especially regarding food and theater, which go remarkably well together on a weekend vacation. You can taste delicious cuisine like deep-dish pizza, enjoying fabulous food before heading off for an evening of Broadway-style theater and comedy entertainment. Chicago has a huge improv comedy scene and is one of the best weekend getaways if you want evenings full of laughter.

So, we’ve established that your evenings will be spent eating yummy Chicago cuisine and watching theater and comedy shows. But what about during the day? Well, Chicago is beautifully set on Lake Michigan with a stunning skyscraper skyline. You can take a boat tour, complete the Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk, and enjoy abundant green spaces like Grant Park.

Chicago is a personality-pumped weekend vacation destination. A couple hours north, Milwaukee hosts Summerfest every year. If you have some extra time, there’s plenty to do nearby.

South

Weekend Getaways in the USA South - Louisiana
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Southern USA has some of the best weekend trip choices, with strong characters like Las Vegas and New Orleans. Think deeply enshrined Creole culture and cuisine, cities that know how to party, and some of the less-flocked-upon stretches of coastline for a beach break.

The South has a complex Civil War history. It is fantastic for history buffs wanting to scratch past the surface and learn more about USA history. However, it’s also a place to embrace a more outrageous side to life, partying in New Orleans, listening to live music in Nashville, and embracing Dallas’ cowboy culture.

Are you ready to embrace Southern US culture? Here are the top places to consider for weekend getaways.

19. Las Vegas, Nevada

Weekend Getaways in the USA Las Vegas, Nevada
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Who doesn’t know Las Vegas? ‘Sin City’ is a popular contender on Southern America’s weekend getaway scene. Whether you love it or hate it, Las Vegas knows how to entertain. You can hit the Strip for partying, take a day trip to Death Valley, or check out bizarre attractions like the Neon Museum.

Las Vegas is one of the best weekend trips, as you can easily squeeze its highlights into a two-day itinerary. The amount of activities at night also means you can maximize your experience and time – experiencing tons of sightseeing and building loads of memories in a short time. Plus, Vegas is a breeze to get to, with regular flights from all over the world.

Where to Stay: Here’s our guide on where to stay in Las Vegas.
Insider Tip: Try to spend one day off the strip – we’ve got a guide on off the strip activities here.

20. Asheville, North Carolina

Weekend Getaways in the USA Asheville, North Carolina
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Asheville is a city surrounded by mountains, making it a fabulous weekend trip to enjoy nature from a comfortable city base. Asheville is sandwiched between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You have beautiful views and almost immediate access to gorgeous hiking trails and scenic drives like the Blue Ridge Parkway. As if that wasn’t already enough, the city is also an easy weekend getaway, with plenty of regular flight connections. What’s not to love?

Aside from its mountains, you can walk amongst street art in the River Arts District and visit niche attractions like the Asheville Pinball Museum. Asheville has a thriving arts scene and beautiful 19th-century architecture. With the mountains so close by, you really can’t ask for a more interesting weekend break.

Where to Stay: Elevation Lofts Hotel.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss the Downtown Art District’s wealth of art galleries.

21. Dallas, Texas

Weekend Getaways in the USA Dallas, Texas
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Dallas is a prime destination for first-time visitors to Texas. Get ready for an absolute baptism of fire into Texan culture; Dallas is an exciting weekend getaway. When it comes to weekend trips, you want somewhere with enough personality that you’ll get a great taste of its character even in a short time. This is precisely what Dallas brings to the table. You’ve got cowboy shops dotted all over the city and the Fort Worth Rodeo just north of the city.

When you aren’t embracing Dallas’ infectious cowboy culture, you can be checking out dozens of things to do in the city center. There’s the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, from which JFK was assassinated, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. It is a real commercial and cultural hub, and you’ll get a great taste of Texas from a weekend in Dallas. And the extra stories from events like the JFK assassination give the city a bit more intrigue.

Where to Stay: Mint House Dallas.
Insider Tip: Make sure to visit the Grassy Knoll, which is a grass section marking the spot where John F Kennedy was shot in 1963.

22. Salt Lake City, Utah

Weekend Getaways in the USA Salt Lake City, Utah
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Salt Lake City is easily one of the best weekend getaways in the USA. This Utah metropolis sits between the Great Salt Lake and a gorgeous mountain range covered in ski resorts. The result of this is that Salt Lake City makes for great weekend getaways all year round. You could head there in winter to early spring and enjoy a mixture of city breaks and ski holidays. Or you could visit Salt Lake City in summer and enjoy Great Lake’s beaches between sightseeing.

Salt Lake City is a well-located choice for a weekend trip. In the city center, Mormon history is at Temple Square, the Pioneer Memorial Museum is nearby, and there are plenty of beautiful parks—including Sugar House Park, which offers a view of snow-covered mountains.

For us, the fact that you could ski or sunbathe in the morning and then sightsee in the afternoon is a real winner. Salt Lake City is also extremely well-connected with both international and domestic flights.

23. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Weekend Getaways in the USA Gulf Shores, Alabama
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If you love beautiful beaches, the Gulf Shores are one of the top weekend getaways in the USA. The city sits on Alabama’s south coastline and links with the Gulf State Park, which covers over 6,000 acres of sand dunes and protected coastal reserves. It has all the facilities of a city – including easy airport access. However, it also offers a quieter beach getaway experience.

In the Southern USA, many associate its coastal culture with East Coast destinations like Miami or the tropical Florida Keys. For this reason, the Gulf Shores are much less visited. This is great for you as if you visit in a tactical season, you’ll have peaceful beaches with fewer crowds than manic South Beach.

You can visit the Gulf Shores Museum or Gulf State Park Nature Center. But most importantly, you can use weekend getaways in Gulf Shores as a time to relax and rejuvenate.

24. New Orleans, Louisiana

weekend getaways in the USA New Orleans
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The ‘Big Easy’ is the place for around-the-clock entertainment and a city with serious swagger. You’ve got the creole cuisine of blended French, African, and American dishes, and there’s a raging live music scene that culminates on neon Bourbon Street. New Orleans is full of culture and diversity, with noise and action at every turn. New Orleans will maximize that time if you only have a weekend to enjoy.

You should definitely check out the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, the Museum of Death, and the architecture of the gorgeous French Quarter. As soon as night falls, though, you should check out Bourbon Street and all its action. You’ll find jazz performances at Preservation Hall, live bands at Ticklers Bar, and karaoke at The World Famous Cats Meow.

Where to Stay: Here is our full updated guide on Where To Stay in New Orleans.
Insider Tip: Try to coincide your visit with Mardi Gras celebrations, which fall between February and March each year.

25. Nashville, Tennessee

Weekend Getaways in the USA Nashville, Tennessee
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Last but not least, we have the incredible Nashville. As the live music capital of the country, Nashville is a worthy addition to our list of the best weekend getaways in the USA. ‘Music City’ is home to the Johnny Cash Museum, the Grand Ole Opry stage, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Nashville is widely hailed as the birthplace of country music and bluegrass. It even has recording studios on Music Row where Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley recorded their jams.

It’s a fast-paced weekend getaway full of sound and vibrant music culture. If you love music and music history, Nashville will, without a doubt, keep you on your toes.

At night, Nashville has a fun honky-tonk scene—little rough-and-ready bars ideal for cheap weekend getaways. Head to the District for late-night music memorabilia shopping and live music galore. If you want to experience Southern US culture in just a weekend, Nashville can do a great job.

Our Favourite Weekend Getaways in The USA

Our weekend getaways in the USA
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The USA is so varied in its weekend getaways. While you are inevitably limited in time when embarking on weekend trips, picking one of these leading 25 destinations helps you get the most out of a short period. And the USA really comes into its own with weekend-suited national parks and city breaks. You’ve got major cities like New York City and lesser-visited cities like Cincinnati. You have hikes, outdoor activities, and shopping streets – it’s all up to you.

What about if you’ve found your weekend destination but now feel even more inspired? Looking for more USA travel inspiration? Check out our ultimate top 50 list of the best places to visit in the USA. We’ve also got a round-up of the best national parks to visit in 2024 here.

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