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Top Seven Destinations for Weekend Getaways

Nov/23/2021 / by Abhijit Masih
weekend getaways
Image credits: Shutterstock

Browse through these destinations for weekend trips and getaways and enjoy your limited break to the fullest!

Travel offers a chance to escape the everyday routine, allowing you to recharge yourself. The more you travel, the more confident you feel, and the less stressed and anxious you are. It also improves your mental and physical health, and ensure a healthy family relationship.

But, not everyone can take time off and go traveling for weeks or for months without damaging their career. If you also cannot be out too long, opt for frequent weekend getaways — solo or with a partner or family — and immerse yourself in nature or the wonders of the past. Once you return, you will have a spring in your step, and your productivity will improve as well.

Workplaces are usually not happy zones. You may encounter more stress than peace and satisfaction. If you don’t take time off, you can get burned out. That is where weekend getaways help. They are less stressful, call for less planning, and does not need your boss to clear it.

Mini breaks work wonders because you won’t run into many of the issues that typically come up with planning longer trips,” Jonathan Alpert, author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” and a psychotherapist, told NBC News. He also states that the “happiness boost” of a long trip does not last long. Frequent weekend trips are the “most realistic way” to experience “true escape” from work, online connections, and news.

You also save money, and multiple weekend getaways in a year ensure you have several unique experiences. The thought of that will keep you in high spirits.

Convinced that weekend vacations work? If yes, here are some destinations to explore without exhausting yourself.

Death Valley
Death Valley (image credits: Matteo Di Iorio via Unsplash)

Death Valley, California

Located in central California, Death Valley boasts dramatic landscapes. Desolate land featuring scarce vegetation and dotted with exposed rocks, it has an otherworldly beauty and fascinating geology.

Death Valley is one of the best weekend getaways for those into hiking. You get to hike among the picture-perfect Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Amateur photographers, too, will find this land of extremes appealing. They can shoot pictures of endless desert plains, towering peaks, wildflower meadows, and small oases. Zabriskie Point is a vantage location for photographers to capture the stunning badlands. Death Valley is also an excellent place for stargazing, as its sky is almost free from all forms of light pollution.

A four-hour drive from Los Angeles and two hours from Las Vegas, this is a great weekend getaway, where you can declutter your mind and get motivated to tackle new challenges.

New York City
New York City (image credits: Florian Wehde via Unsplash)

New York City, New York

You can do an incredible number of things in a short time in New York City. It offers plenty of options for both outdoor and indoor activities. The Big Apple has an indomitable spirit. Some of that will rub off on you. You are most likely to feel invincible when you return to your daily routine after the trip.

Central Park is where you can go for leisure walks or do nothing. You and your family can also enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides. If you want to do something physical, rent a boat and row around the lake. Concerts and other events are held regularly in Central Park. If you love music, find the date of the next big concert, and then plan your weekend trip around that time.

New York City also has the best art scene on the planet. It is home to some of the most impressive museums in the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of Natural History, and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. An astounding number of art galleries are also part of New York City’s rich art scene. Then, there is Broadway, boasting several small and big theaters, where you can watch a musical or a famous play. You will always find artists, soloists, dancers, and musicians performing at one venue or the other in the city.

Dotted with cafes and restaurants, New York City is the best dining destination in the world. In this city that never sleeps, you can just walk the streets and discover hidden gems, such as the Secret Gardens of Rockefeller Center, the Whispering Gallery, and Chinatown.

New York City is an ideal destination for weekend getaways, easily accessible from wherever you are. The best time to visit it is April to June, and September to early November. The Big Apple will energize you and make you tap into your creative side.

Paso Robles
Paso Robles (image credits: Kevin Lanceplaine via Unsplash)

Paso Robles, California

Wine country Paso Robles is nestled in the coastal mountain range of central California. It is home to more than 300 wineries, which produce some of the world’s best wines. As you may have guessed by now, beautiful vineyards are the prime attraction of this weekend destination. You can even ride a horse through the vineyards. Guided daytime and sunset rides around wineries are also available.

Vineyards coupled with rolling hills make Paso Robles a breathtaking destination for weekend getaways. You will experience the tranquility of country life here. If you want to invigorate yourself, there are natural hot springs at Paso Robles Inn, River Oaks Hot Springs, and Franklin Hot Springs. Take a dip and spend some time in one of the natural hot springs, and you will feel the difference immediately.

British artist Bruce Munro has created Field of Light, another popular spot in Paso Robles. After sunset, 69 colorful towers made of over 17,000 wine bottles, get illuminated, transporting you to fantasy land. Solar energy powers The Field of Light. If you are an artist at heart, visit Studios on the Park, in the heart of the downtown area. It is a non-profit, open-air art center where you can witness the creation of stunning art pieces and view-themed exhibitions. Studios on the Park also holds classes and workshops for budding artists.

Even without doing anything in Paso Robles, you will still feel like you are having a great time. You can wander around this agricultural town and stumble upon unique experiences.

Paso Robles also has a rich food and wine culture; it is considered the fastest-growing wine region in California and the bars here offer refreshing seasonal cocktails.

Paso Robles, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, takes an almost three-hour drive from Los Angeles. Spring and autumn are the best time to visit this place, as it is alluring during the harvest seasons.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (image credits: Timothy Newman via Unsplash)

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Lake Geneva, a popular weekend destination in southeastern Wisconsin, is known for its golf courses, casual vibe, and laid-back lifestyle. It radiates a rare charm and beauty. In addition to golf, you and your family can engage in many outdoor activities in this ideal destination for weekend getaways.

The famous hiking trail Lake Geneva Shore Path is a 26-mile public footpath that encircles Geneva Lake. It takes you through historic and modern estates — an unforgettable experience. You get access to the backyard of the majestic estates. Zip-line tours, biking trails, and hot-balloon rides are other outdoor attractions in Geneva Lake.

If you are not an outdoor activity person, the Geneva Lake Museum of History is the place to go. After spending some time inside it, you will learn a lot about Lake Geneva’s history. At Tristan Crist Magic Theatre, you can see world-class magic, comedy, and large-scale illusion performances. Lake Geneva also has many dining and shopping options.

Lake Geneva is 83 miles from Chicago. You can reach it by car, train, or taxi. The best time to visit is from June to August.

Monteal.
Monteal (image credits: Juan Rojas via Unsplash)

Montreal, Canada

Montreal offers you a taste of Europe — France, to be more precise — in North America. Located in Quebec province, it is a longtime favorite of weekend travelers. You can do many things in your limited time here.

Dotted with magnificent architecture, museums, cafés, restaurants, and bars, and quaint backstreets, Canada’s economic capital lets you discover a beautiful, unfamiliar world in a familiar location.

The architecture in Montreal is a blend of old French styles and contemporary. If you want to experience old-world charm in a bustling new-world corner, walk the cobbled streets of Old Montreal. It is home to several 19th-century buildings. And its most famous occupant is the iconic heritage site Basilique Notre-Dame, a symbol of French-Canadian Catholic heritage. Montreal’s oldest street, the Rue Saint-Paul, runs through its old part. Visit this street to explore boutiques and galleries, shop for souvenirs and other items, and relax in a café. You can also spend some time in Place d’Armes, the most popular public square in Old Montreal.

You can head to Saint Lawrence River, best-known as the Old Port, or Vieux-Port in French, for a thrilling experience. You can ride a giant Ferris wheel, climb the clock tower, or scream out in delight while ziplining.

The grand Museum of Fine Arts, or MMFA for short, is another star attraction of Montreal. This oldest museum in Canada exhibits a permanent collection of antiques from all across the world, Quebec and Canadian artworks, international art, decorative art, and more. You can gaze at the works of El Greco, Rembrandt, and Veronese here. The museum also hosts several seasonal and temporary exhibitions.

Located in the center is Montreal’s green space Mount Royal Park. It is called “the mountain” by residents of the city. You can go biking and attend concerts here in summer. And if you plan to visit Montreal in winters, snowshoeing, tubing, and skating are the options available.

Visit the Montreal Botanical Garden to get your fill of the green. Founded in 1936, the botanical garden hosts about 20,000 plant species, maintains a herbarium that contains around 100,000 reference species. You can also explore greenhouses here.

Montreal is an all-season favorite for weekend getaways, but the best time to visit it is from March to May, or September to November. The city is easily accessible. Visit Montreal if you want to experience a slice of Europe near the U.S.

Angel Oak Tree, Charleston
Angel Oak Tree, Charleston (image credits: Andrew Shelley via Unsplash)

Charleston, South Carolina

The picturesque Charleston is a perfect place for a weekend getaway with your family. Home to spectacular beaches, historical sites, and bustling markets, the largest city in South Carolina will warm the cockles of your heart.

You can explore Charleston on foot by joining the 2-mile walking tour. It starts from the charming Waterfront Park, which runs along one-half mile of the Cooper River. Soon, you will find yourself at East Bay. The striking East Bay Street is famous for its historic buildings, restaurants, and shops. The next stop is the White Point Gardens, where you are likely to stand stunned for a minute seeing the mighty live oaks. And, walking down south to north, you will get to see some of the most stunning homes. The tour ends at the famed Goat.Sheep Cow, a famous gourmet shop and restaurant.

A unique attraction is the Angel Oak Tree. Believed to be 300 to 400 years old, this “low-country treasure” is 65 feet high and has a circumference of 25.5 feet. And the vibrant Charleston City Market is the place to visit for quirky products, locally-produced items, sweetgrass baskets, and more. It is one of the oldest open-air markets in the U.S. and more than 300 vendors work here. In the night, hundreds of local artists occupy the market space to showcase their wares.

Charleston also has a rich maritime history. You can learn about it by visiting the Charleston Maritime Center, which features a deep-water, full-service marina. If you are a beach person, you can head to one of the islands that are an hour’s drive from Charleston. Sullivan’s Island beach, the Isle of Palms beach, Edisto Island beach, and Folly Beach are some great ones.

The one and the only tea garden in North America is in Charleston — the Charleston Tea Garden, on Wadmalaw Island. The tea bushes cover a vast landscape. You can learn how American tea is grown, harvested, and produced.

The best times to visit Charleston are from March to May, and from September to November. Choose it for your weekend getaways if you want to enjoy the soulful rhythms of an old world in a modern city.

Biltmore Park, Asheville
Biltmore Park, Asheville (image credits: Stephanie Klepacki via Unsplash)

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. It is known for its homegrown microbreweries. Because of that, it has earned the nickname “Beer City.” Asheville is also a haven for outdoor activities enthusiasts. It offers you the opportunity to indulge in all types of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking. The mountain city also has a lively art and culture scene. It hosts several music festivals every year. A lot of artists and music lovers have made Asheville their home.

You can explore Asheville from Biltmore, a French Renaissance house that is the largest home in the U.S. This architectural marvel with 250 rooms stands in an 8,000-acre estate, which is also home to forested trails and a captivating garden. The country’s most famous winery, the Biltmore Winery, is also here. In the estate, you can go horse-riding and take a ride in a carriage. You can also explore the place on a bike and dine at one of several restaurants on the estate.

Downtown Asheville is an eclectic mix of art galleries, history, restaurants and cafes, and shops. There are tons of things you can do here. You can have farm-to-table brunch, explore the quirkiness of the place on foot, visit independent bookstores, and shop at Grove Arcade. If you are in a mood for some fun, the Asheville Pinball Museum is waiting for you with its 35 pinball machines.

If you want to see the beauties of nature from a vantage point, go hiking on the 2,180-mile public footpath called the Appalachian Trail. It takes you through picturesque, wooded, wild, and pastoral land. You cannot hike the whole trail in a day. It will take you almost five to six months to get to the other end.

You can also visit Pisgah National Forest to camp and hike. It is a paradise for nature lovers and a favorite for outdoor-activity enthusiasts, as it has several dazzling waterfalls, swimming holes, and hundreds of miles of trails. You can enjoy biking, rock-climbing, and fishing here.

Craggy Gardens C(home to the most spectacular flower display), the North Carolina Arboretum, and winery tours are some other attractions in Asheville.

The best time to visit Asheville is from March to May, or September to early November.

Travel Guide for Weekend Getaways

Taking a long time off from work is not possible for a majority of people. So, if you are a travel enthusiast, it can be quite frustrating if you cannot plan vacations. Working without a break can also push you to the brink of burnout. You can avoid frustration and burnout by planning weekend getaways. These short escapes are a perfect way to enjoy the little pleasures of life and discover something new and beautiful.

Planning for weekend getaways is not an elaborate process. But, it is also a form of travel, so you do have to keep in mind the basics when planning for them. Here are a few tips to help you plan fun weekend getaways.

Where to Go?

As you are not planning for a long vacation, you cannot travel to a place on the other side of the ocean or one that will take you a day or two to reach. You have to choose a place that is easy to access. It should not take more than a few hours to get there.

Here are things you need to consider when choosing a destination for your weekend getaways:

  • Is it a short weekend or a long weekend?
  • Who are coming with you?
  • Purpose of the trip: for leisure or adventure; to relax or spend time with your partner or family
  • Hours it will take to reach the best weekend getaways
  • Which place offers opportunities for both outdoor and indoor activities
  • Is it safe for solo or family travel
  • How much will the weekend trip cost
  • How to travel – car, cab, train, bus, or air
  • Types of accommodations available and location
  • The start and the end dates
  • The weather at your destination
  • Your partner and family’s preference and interests

Choose a weekend travel destination where you can have maximum fun in a limited amount of time. It should be easy to traverse, and there should no problem of transportation. And, as it is a weekend trip, do not decide to travel to multiple locations, especially if they are miles away from each other. Select only one place to explore during your mini trip.

Making Plans and Arrangements

After you have chosen the destination, you need to start making plans and arrangements. If you are planning to go by air, book your flight tickets in advance. If you plan to book a cab for the weekend trip, find out how much it will cost and the terms and conditions of the cab owner.

Have you selected the mode of transportation? Now, make a list of spots you intend to visit – your list should reflect your (along with your family and partner’s) interests and great weekend trip ideas. Do not include those spots that are far away from your main trip destination, as you may not have the time to visit them. Once you know all about the place, check what types of accommodation are available. If you plan to stay in a hotel, determine the one that offers easy access to all the popular spots and hidden gems. You have to book your room in a hotel or resort in advance, especially if you are planning to visit the place during its peak season.

What to Carry?

You should pack light. Get inspired by backpackers and carry only those things that are essential.

  • Passport/visa if you are traveling to a place located in another country.
  • Travel guide for your weekend destination so that you are aware of the popular spots of that place, the transportation available to reach them, and the opportunity for outdoor and indoor activities
  • Map of the destination
  • Dictionary if you are flying off to a country where English is not the first language.
  • Chargers/powerbanks
  • Torch
  • Notebooks and pens
  • Medicine kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Travel hygiene kit
  • Weather and activities appropriate clothes
  • Appropriate shoes
  • Masks and hand sanitizer

Dos and Don’ts

  • Carry your enthusiasm and smile along, and not work, to the weekend destination
  • Prepare an email vacation autoresponder
  • Do not check your work emails or pick work-related calls
  • Do not talk about work on your weekend vacation
  • Do not browse social media or use an internet connection
  • Do aim for a digital detox
  • Explore as many popular spots as you can. And, if you do not want to do that, relax and enjoy the breathtaking scenery
  • If you are traveling with your partner or family, choose activities that you can do together
  • Make the most of your time
  • Plan multiple weekend getaways in a year

Take Lots of Photos

Weekend getaways are short trips, but that does not mean you will not have the time to click photos. Do click a lot of pictures with your partner or family — or of yourself if you are traveling solo — as you are going to make memories during the trip. Once you return to your regular routine, these pictures will energize you and keep you motivated. They will also inspire you to look for places to go for your next weekend trip.

FAQs

Which is the best weekend getaway?

– Death Valley, California
– New York City, New York
– Paso Robles, California
– Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
– Montreal, Canada
– Charleston, South Carolina
– Asheville, North Carolina
– New Orleans, Louisiana
– San Diego, California
– Key West, Florida
– Savannah, Georgia

Which is the most beautiful weekend getaway?

– Picture-perfect Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley
– Central Park in New York City
– Bruce Munro’s Field of Light in Paso Robles
– Lake Geneva Shore Path, the hiking trail in Lake Geneva
– Basilique Notre-Dame in Montreal
– Angel Oak Tree in Charleston
– French Renaissance house Biltmore in Asheville

What is the safest weekend getaway to visit?

– Death Valley, California
– New York City, New York
– Paso Robles, California
– Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
– Montreal, Canada
– Charleston, South Carolina
– Asheville, North Carolina
– San Diego, California

What is the best long weekend getaway of 2021?

– New York City, New York
– Montreal, Canada
– Charleston, South Carolina
– Asheville, North Carolina
– Estes Park, Colorado
– Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
– Mendocino, California
– Death Valley, California
– Paso Robles, California
– Whidbey Island, Washington

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