If you are looking for vibrant cities for USA weekend trips, you will be spoiled for choice. No matter which part of the US you want to go, you will find the perfect city (or three!) for a quick getaway.
From iconic and ever-popular NYC to the fun beach vibes of cosmopolitan Miami, and from the glam and glitz of LA to the lights of Las Vegas, you will find USA weekend trips to satisfy your every travel mood. Be it museums or gardens, shopping or great restaurants, our featured USA weekend trip destinations deliver in spades.
Excited? Let’s get started discovering the USA weekend trips that you have to take!
A getaway to Miami combines a beach holiday with a city escape, so it is truly the best of both worlds! Located in Florida, Miami benefits from year-round warm weather and has the warmest winter temperatures of anywhere on the US mainland, so it is a great destination for any season. It is not just one of the top East Coast weekend getaways, it is a top US city break destination!
The best things to do in Miami include visiting the iconic South Beach, where miles of white sand and colored lifeguard towers make for Instagram fodder.
Another favorite spot is the vibrant Wynwood Walls district, where street artists have painted murals throughout the neighborhood. Finally, a visit to Little Havana is an awesome activity, to experience the rich culture of Miami’s immigrant population.
To eat, it is impossible to go past Yardbird, where southern food is on the menu and the cocktails are to-die-for good. Try the fried chicken, or the hush puppies, to really experience the best of this restaurant.
There are many great places to stay in Miami, but I loved the city vibes of EAST in the Brickell Center, which has an incredible rooftop bar to enjoy those balmy Miami nights. On the beach side, try Mondrian, which has an amazing pool area to laze the days away.
Suggested by Emma from Emma Jane Explores
With Austin’s happening music scene and culinary delights, it’s no wonder that it’s a popular tourist destination. You can indulge in food tours and museums during the day, and drink and dance all night long.
For a trendy spot to stay in downtown Austin, check out Hotel ZaZa. It’s down the street from popular dining spots like The Roosevelt Room and TruLucks.
If you’re visiting with a group, consider booking a bike bar tour with Pubcrawler of Austin. You’ll pedal around downtown Austin with drink in hand, while your guide tells you about all the points of interest, and steers you to some of the best bars in the neighborhood.
If cycling isn’t your thing, consider eating your way through the city with a food tour. Austin has an incredible food scene that you shouldn’t miss. The Food Tasting Network hosts a great private food tour that hits some of the best restaurants in Austin. Just book early, as tours fill up fast!
During the evening, spend your time dancing at some of Austin’s hippest clubs like Summit Rooftop Lounge or Plush. If you’re looking for live music and dancing, check out The White Horse and Hole in the Wall.
Suggested by Ally from Ally Travels
Chicago is known as the Windy City. It is the epicenter of the Midwest, offering fabulous restaurants, museums, and shopping, and a rich musical scene consisting of jazz, blues, and house music.
On a visit to Chicago, you must visit the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower): it offers some of the most iconic views of the city. This skyscraper is currently the third tallest skyscraper in the USA.
No trip to Chicago is without a walk down the Magnificent Mile, which offers plenty of opportunities to shop. Another very popular sight in Chicago is the reflecting Bean in Millennium Park. This sculpture is the most photographed spot in the city, and you will want your own photo of it!
There is no better place to stay in Chicago than the luxurious and legendary Langham Chicago Hotel. It has the perfect location, just a couple of blocks from all the shopping, dining, and entertainment on the Magnificent Mile.
Chicago is world-famous for its deep-dish pizza. One of the best deep dish pizza places to visit here is Giordano’s. It’s a chain, with tons of locations all over the city. You will also enjoy the 16-course tasting menu at Alinea, the only restaurant in Chicago with three Michelin stars.
Suggested by Leticia at Chic Travel Around the World
If you’ve never visited Savannah before, you’re in for a treat! The city’s Historic District is extremely picturesque. It’s filled with beautiful architecture, massive oak trees, and cobblestone streets that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
When planning a trip, the first step is to determine the best time to visit Savannah. Spring is the most popular time of year, but each season has its pros and cons.
Once you arrive, there are some must-dos! Exploring the Historic District should be at the top of your itinerary for Savannah. It’s best explored on foot, so you can take in all the incredible details.
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, First African Baptist Church, and Congregation Mickve Israel are three houses of worship with extensive and fascinating histories. Bonaventure Cemetery is another must-see stop. It’s considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world!
The Marshall House is the oldest continually operating hotel in Savannah, and it’s an incredible place to experience the history of the city. The walls are lined with memorabilia, and the staff is known for their Southern hospitality. It’s within walking distance to The Olde Pink House, which is a classic dining spot.
Suggested by Erin from Savannah First-Timer’s Guide
Los Angeles, california
Blessed with a Mediterranean climate that makes it pleasant even in the winter, Los Angeles is one of the ultimate West Coast weekend getaways. There are tons of things to do in Los Angeles, so one weekend may not be enough!
Home to the rich and famous, the city is alive with the glitz and glam of Hollywood, and any movie fan will have their fill of things to take in. Enjoy the Hollywood experience with either a bus tour of the city or a walking tour that includes the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In the late afternoon, head out for a guided hike in Griffith Park and hear about its colorful history. Larger than New York’s Central Park, Griffith Park offers a great view of the iconic Hollywood sign. Finish at Griffith Observatory for a spectacular view of sunset over the city.
Universal Studios is a blend of the movies with a traditional theme park that delivers a day of great fun for any movie fan, with such famous attractions as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Santa Monica Pier, with its old-world charm, is also worth a visit. The end of the famous Route 66 is a movie star in its own right, featuring in movies dating back to the early days of Hollywood.
Santa Monica is also a good spot to stay, outside of the main expanse of the city. You can pick from many 4-star hotels, including the Marriott and Loews Santa Monica right by the beach. Eat at the Bubba Gump restaurant, of Forrest Gump fame, right on the pier!
Suggested by Holly from Globeblogging
New York City, New York
With iconic sights like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and the Empire State Building; world class theater; and some of the best museums in the world, NYC is the perfect choice for a city break. And if you are looking to visit without breaking the bank, you’ll find fun free things to do in NYC as well!
Among the top things to do in New York City is to admire the skyline. Go to a rooftop in the late afternoon to get sweeping city views in the daylight and dusk and then stay for the city night lights. The most iconic views are from the top of the Empire State Building, but Top of the Rock and the One World Observatory give you views of the Empire State Building. Take your pick or go to all three!
Visiting the iconic Statue of Liberty is another must! Hop on the Staten Island ferry for a completely free view of Lady Liberty as you sail by. Then take a boat to Liberty Island for an up-close view and climb to the top of the crown. Stop off at Ellis Island on the way back to learn about the history of immigration in NYC.
New York has so many wonderful museums from which to pick! It is hard to beat a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but other highlights are MOMA and the American Museum of Natural History, where kids will love the giant blue whale and T-Rex skeleton.
There are hundreds of hotels in NYC, but a top downtown pick is the Crosby Street Hotel, a chic boutique hotel in the heart of the Soho shopping district.
There are also thousands of wonderful restaurants in New York. For a taste of old New York, visit Katz’s Deli and order a towering pastrami on rye. For something more upmarket, try Balthazar’s – a great choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Suggested by James from Travel Collecting
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a city bubbling with excitement and history at every turn. With some of the most delicious food and drinks in the country, amazing music and very entertaining nightlife, it really is a must-visit city in the US!
Taking a food tour is a must on any New Orleans itinerary: it’s a great way to get a sampling of the local cuisines. You will learn the difference between Creole and Cajun cooking, and get to sample lots of tasty bites.
New Orleans is the place where jazz was born, so make time to see a live jazz performance while you are here. You will find many incredible live jazz shows from which to choose for a night out.
A cemetery tour is another iconic New Orleans experience. NOLA’s historic tombs are above ground (due to the high water table), and are quite beautiful and interesting to see.
The Royal Sonesta is a nice hotel in a prime location. Pro tip: if you pick a room on the Bourbon Street side, you’ll have some fun views, but it will be LOUD at night. (They provide earplugs, but Bourbon Street is loud until the sun rises!) Another great option is to stay at one of the many awesome Airbnbs in New Orleans.
Visit Brennan’s for a fine dining experience: they have some yummy Creole dishes on the menu. Be sure to also try the Bananas Foster. And visit Café Du Monde, for the best beignets!
Suggested by Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel
With lovely parks, incredible museums, and a unique food scene, Dallas is the perfect city for a weekend getaway in the United States.
Wandering through the Arts District is a must. This area is packed with museums and good shops worth visiting. Also make sure to take in the amazing views from the Observation Deck at Reunion Tower.
Visit the Sixth Floor Museum and learn about not only JFK’s legacy but also his death. History buffs will also want to visit the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District, just across the street.
The Dallas Museum of Art is another great museum to add to your Dallas itinerary. And plan on an evening stroll around the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. This lakeside garden is a must in the city!
As for a place to stay, the Hyatt Regency Dallas offers the best combination of location, comfort, and price. However, if you prefer local experiences, you may want to check out some of these Airbnbs in Dallas.
The Woolworth is a low key and sophisticated rooftop restaurant in Downtown Dallas. Besides the tacos and burgers on the menu, they also offer delicious handcrafted cocktails!
Suggested by Bruna from Maps ‘N Bags
Denver is famous as the gateway to adventures in the Rocky Mountains. However, Denver is a great getaway destination on its own, with many attractions, museums, and restaurants, and definitely deserves a top spot on any Colorado itinerary.
Visit the Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. You can spend a few hours or a full day exploring the park, hiking, and viewing the amphitheater. The naturally slanted red rocks look quite dramatic. This amphitheater is one of the most coveted stages for any artist wanting to perform in Denver. If you visit when a performance is scheduled, definitely get tickets and make the most of the opportunity!
Stroll Larimer Square, where you can admire buildings from the 19th century. Art lovers should definitely visit the Denver Art Museum, known for its contemporary architecture. It is famous for its collection of American Indian art. Garden lovers can tour the Denver Botanic Gardens, and history buffs should tour the Molly Brown House Museum. Shoppers will love the 16th Street Mall.
The Crawford Hotel is a great place to stay in Downtown Denver. It is located right above the iconic Denver Union Station!
When it comes to good eats, you have lots of choices in Denver. From the food halls at Union Station and Denver Central Market to Daughter Thai Kitchen and Bar for upscale Thai cuisine and The Kitchen for classic American fare, there are so many places to try!
Suggested by Jyoti from Story at Every Corner
When the question is asked, what to do in Minneapolis, the answer is: “It depends!” Do you want fine dining, museums, arts and theater, shopping, family entertainment, or outdoor activities around the chain of lakes? Minneapolis has them all.
If you are wondering where to stay when you visit, we recommend downtown Minneapolis, specifically the international flair of the AC Marriott Hotel. For fine dining, try the elegant Dakota Restaurant, which also happens to be one of the the best spots for jazz in the United States.
If your taste is more contemporary, try the elevated take on pub food at the Local Irish bar, and then stroll a few blocks to the famous First Avenue club, where Prince reigned. These days, you might see local heroes Lizzo, or Dessa.
If museums are more to your taste, there’s the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which has a huge and eclectic collection of art from around the world. Pay special attention to the African and Asian collections. For modern art, there’s the Walker Art Center with its adjacent sculpture garden.
Finally, top off your urban adventure with a bit of the outdoors. There are more than 50 miles of bike and hiking trails along the city’s chain of lakes and the Mississippi river. Follow the walking path from Minnehaha Falls to the Mississippi River. You won’t even be able to tell you’re in a city.
Suggested by Tom from MNTrips
San Francisco, california
If you are looking for a city weekend with a little bit of everything, head to San Francisco for your next weekend getaway! San Fran is one of the top weekend getaways in California. From beautiful beaches and outdoor spaces to fun brunch spots and world-class museums, the City by the Bay offers a fabulous getaway experience.
Start by walking or biking the Golden Gate Bridge. On a bright sunny day, you will have fabulous water views as you walk or bike. Visit the beautiful Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate park, or stroll the serene Japanese Garden. Snap a photo of the stunning Palace of Fine Arts.
Take a ride on the historic San Francisco cable car, and drive, or walk down Lombard Street, the most crooked street in the world. Stroll Pier 39 and snap photos of the sea lions. Tour the Ferry Building and nosh on great bites.
Photograph the beautiful mural staircases of San Francisco. Check out the shops at Ghirardelli Square and enjoy a chocolate concoction at the original Ghirardelli location.
Splurge on a stay at the Fairmont or the Westin St. Francis, or opt for a fun Airbnb experience.
San Francisco has oodles of great eateries and every cuisine on the planet is represented in the city. Try breakfast at The Mill (their avocado toast is renowned!), seafood at Hog Island Oyster Bar, and dinner at Nopa or Rich Table.
Suggested by us
Whether you are looking for outdoor activities, a sporting event, or cultural sights, Atlanta, in Georgia, makes for one of the best weekend getaways in the USA.
The Georgia Aquarium, the biggest aquarium in the US, is a must-visit. The Ocean Voyager exhibit, which features whale sharks, stingrays and more, is one of the largest aquatic exhibits in the world.
The World of Coca Cola is another top place to include in your Atlanta itinerary. The highlight will be tasting all the unique coke beverages from around the world! For outdoor enthusiasts, a walk along Atlanta’s BeltLine Trail is a must. Once completed, it will form a 22-mile multi-use trail around the city.
Stay in Midtown, a centrally located neighborhood. It offers convenient access to the city’s top attractions. The Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta has all the amenities you will need and is within walking distance to public transportation, Piedmont Park and the Eastside Beltline Trail.
Atlanta has an awesome food scene with restaurants featuring a variety of cuisines. Wood’s Chapel BBQ is an excellent place to go for juicy meats and savory sides. Home grown GA has one of the best southern brunches in the city. The chicken and waffles are top notch!
Suggested by Elizabeth from The Fearless Foreigner
Detroit is one of the most diverse cities in Michigan for museums, restaurants, music, exploration and night life.
On a weekend getaway to Motor City, be sure to visit the Detroit Institute of Arts for breathtaking murals, sculptures and artwork from artists around the world. It has over 100 galleries with 65,000 works of art, including works by Frida Kahlo, Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock.
Belle Isle Park is a popular island located on the Detroit River, about 2.5 miles long. It’s a fantastic place to ride bikes, sunbathe, visit an aquarium, fly a kite, and enjoy good eats from a food truck.
We absolutely love eating at the Townhouse restaurant located on Woodward Avenue. The restaurant has great edgy Detroit flair with exposed brick and industrial lighting. Their sushi is delicious, and you will also enjoy their juicy house burgers with flavorful truffle fries.
A trip to Detroit isn’t complete until you have explored Hart Plaza. This plaza is home to The Fist, an 8,000-pound bronze sculpture built to honor boxing champion Joe Lewis.
The Renaissance Center is a great place to stay in Detroit, as the views of the city at night are exquisite. This majestic skyscraper hotel houses several restaurants, shops and businesses while offering breathtaking views of Canada across the expansive Detroit river.
Suggested by Sherry from Traveling Michigan
The capital city of the United States, Washington DC, is an amazing weekend getaway destination. It combines past and present, and some might also say the future. It has some of the most famous landmarks and buildings in the US and in the world!
The National Mall is a two-mile road, starting at the Lincoln Memorial and going through the Washington Monument to the US Capitol. On the two sides of the Mall are the White House and the Jefferson Memorial.
Washington DC also offers many world-famous museums to explore. You can choose from Art, Science, History, Anthropology, and others, but one you can’t miss is the Holocaust Memorial Museum. It’s not an easy museum to visit, but a powerful and moving experience.
Grab a drink and a bite at the terrace bar of the W Hotel and enjoy a great view of the White House and the Washington Monument. While this hotel is also a great choice for accommodation, the Washington Plaza Hotel is a more budget-friendly option.
Suggested by Moshe from The Top Ten Traveler
One of the most hip destinations in the Pacific Northwest, Portland offers a plethora of things to do and great places to eat, for the ultimate weekend getaway. There are gardens to stroll, museums to visit, and food carts to check out at multiple cart pods around the city!
One of the must-see attractions in Portland is Powell’s City of Books. The world’s largest independent bookstore, the store covers an entire city block and offers both new and used books for sale, as well as great gifts and souvenirs. You may get lucky and find a prized edition of a favorite book!
Portland has so many beautiful gardens that it’s difficult to choose among them. The Lan Su Chinese Garden is a green oasis in Chinatown, in the heart of the city. The International Rose Test Garden is a feast for the senses when in full bloom. And the Portland Japanese Garden, located in the West Hills, is both tranquil and authentic.
Visit the Pittock Mansion for great views over the city and a peek into its history. The Saturday Market, open between March and November on weekends, is the largest arts and crafts fair in the country. And museum buffs should not miss the Portland Museum of Art, with its extensive collection.
Portland has a wide selection of hotels to fit any budget. Stay in downtown Portland for great shopping and dining and easy access to major sights: The Dossier features beautiful art in every room and is located in the heart of all the action.
Sampling the food at the food carts is a must, but also try The Crown for pizza (the pie is three feet long!), Higgins for excellent farm-to-table offerings, and Little Bird Bistro for their charcuterie. Also make sure to stop by Voodoo Doughnut in Old Town: it’s not just a stop for sugary treats but also an icon!
Suggested by us
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The city of San Juan on the gorgeous island of Puerto Rico is one of the most amazing cities in the US. San Juan is an amalgamation of the old and new. The Old San Juan district is a cobblestoned picturesque district on the north-west tip of the bay with beautiful churches, bars, and squares.
In Old San Juan, make sure to visit Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristobal, two magnificent forts that are part of the San Juan UNESCO World Heritage Site. And a mere 10-minute car ride away, you will discover some of the most pristine and fun beaches in the US. You can enjoy the sun away from the crowds or salsa your heart away.
The city of San Juan is known for being the birthplace of the pina colada. Sample the best of Puerto Rico’s cocktails in the mysterious and awesome bars in Old San Juan, such as La Factoria and El Batey. Old San Juan also has some of the best restaurants in the city so you will not want for choices for great food! Chocobar Cortes and Barrachina are two must-visits.
Since you will be spending most of your time in the old district, stay at the beautiful El Convento Hotel, or opt for a cozy Airbnb. Old San Juan is walkable and you will find shopping and dining all over the old town.
Suggested by Kanupriyaa from Sunset Jeans
Exploring historic Boston is one of the top things to do in Massachusetts! Home to many famous colleges and universities, including Harvard University, the oldest and most famous university in the USA, Boston is one of the must-visit places in New England.
One of the top things to do in Boston is to walk the historic Freedom Trail, which runs for three miles and covers 16 places critical to American history, such as the Old State House.
Walk around Boston Common, the oldest public park in the USA, and site of the famous ice skating rink on Frog Pond if you visit Boston at Christmas time. Love art? Visit Harvard University, which has one of the finest art collections in the country. If you enjoy gardens, you will find fun things to do in the Boston Public Garden.
Stay at the Revere Hotel: it has a great location near both Boston Common and the harbor. When you are in Boston, you have to try the New England clam chowder. The best clam chowder in Boston can be had at Union Oyster House, which has been around so long that President Kennedy was a regular visitor.You must also absolutely stop for cannolis at Mike’s Pastry in the old Italian neighborhood of the North End.
Suggested by Shobha from Martha’s Vineyard Tourist
For anyone who loves the outdoors, Phoenix is a great city for a short getaway and one of the most exciting places to visit in Arizona. Phoenix has on average 300 days of sunshine each year, making it a great place to golf, swim, or go for a hike.
There are many fun things to do in Phoenix! One of the best things to do is to go hiking, and Camelback Mountain has tons of different hiking trails. Camelback Mountain has some of the best views of Phoenix.
You can also visit Papago Park for easier trails that are smooth and have very little elevation. The trails in Papago Park are perfect for biking around the park. You should also check out Hole in the Rock, to admire the views.
Phoenix is home to the Musical Instrument Museum, which houses over 13,000 instruments from around the world. The oldest instrument here is a Paigu, which is a drum from China. It is from Xian and dates back to 4,000 BC. The museum also hosts concerts.
Stay at the Phoenician, one of the best places to stay in Scottsdale.
For a fun place to eat, try Blanco Tacos, also located in Scottsdale. They make grilled mahi tacos that are so fresh!
Suggested by Nicole from American SW Obssessed
Nashville is one of the best weekend getaway destinations in the US. Known as the “Country Music Capital of the World,” this city is famous for its food, music, boutique hotels, and more. There are so many reasons to visit Nashville, but most people love this city because of the many music venues and for its laid-back and relaxing environment. You don’t have to be a music fan to enjoy this city!
Nashville is brimming with things to do whether it’s music-related or just exploring what the city has to offer. Some of the best things to do include dancing the evening away at the honky-tonks, exploring Centennial Park and learning about the Parthenon replica, and learning about the history of Tennessee at the Tennesee State Museum.
The best area to stay in Nashville is the Downtown/South Broadway area. You’ll be in the middle of all the action here and within walking distance to several main attractions. SpringHill Suites by Marriott is a great option.
Nashville is also a foodie’s heaven. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is famous for Nashville hot chicken and Loveless Cafe is the best place in the city to try biscuits.
Suggested by Disha from Disha Discovers
San Diego, california
San Diego is the perfect US city weekend getaway.The climate in Southern California makes San Diego a great choice pretty much year round, and the city offers a ton of choices when it comes to things to do on your break.
Explore Downtown! From a fun night out in the Gaslamp Quarter to checking out the USS Midway Museum, strolling through Balboa Park or eating your way through some of the best San Diego restaurants, you will find lot of fun stuff to do.
San Diego has some really amazing beaches and a day on the beach is always a good idea. Each of the beaches here has a different vibe. Some of the most popular ones are Mission Beach, Coronado, and the beaches in La Jolla.
Visit the San Diego Zoo! The San Diego Zoo is one of the best in the world and not only takes really good care of its animals, but also supports a lot of wildlife conservation efforts.
You should stay centrally located and the Gaslamp Quarter has great hotel options. For pure luxury, you can stay at the US Grant Hotel or the Pendry. For great value, check out the StayPineapple Hotel Z or the Gaslamp Plaza Suites.
San Diego has some great restaurants, from fine dining to hole-in-the-wall and everything in between. One of the best Restaurants in San Diego is the Queenstown Pub in Little Italy, which offers New Zealand fare with a really cute decor and ambiance.
Suggested by Maria from San Diego Explorer
Philadelphia is an ideal weekend getaway, full of culture, history and a buzzing foodie scene too. The City of Brotherly Love is welcoming and perfect for a couple of days – it’s easy to walk around the main sites and Philly has some amazing shopping streets too.
Visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, next to each other, to find out some of the great history this city has seen. Run up the steps of the Museum of Art, Rocky style, and then explore the many great exhibits inside. Visit Philadelphia Zoo, the oldest zoo in America and so well maintained.
Some of the best hotels in Philadelphia for families are in the center of the city. Try The Rittenhouse Hotel for a lovely, elegant choice.
There are some great places to eat in the city – Reading Terminal Market is full of different vendors and the perfect place to try a hoagie. Blackbird Pizzeria is a fantastic vegan restaurant with great wings and cheesesteaks.
Suggested by Nichola from Globalmouse Travels
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is one of the best places to visit in the western USA. There is so much to do in the city, from the stunning casinos to gambling and partying, that it is on the wishlist of most visitors. But Las Vegas also has many attractions apart from the casinos, including fascinating architecture, unique museums, and world-class shopping.
The three top things to do on the Las Vegas strip include seeing the Fountains of Bellagio, taking a ride up the Eiffel Tower, and riding the gondolas in the Venetian. Stay in the Bellagio for a central location or opt for the more budget-friendly Excalibur. The city is famous for its many buffets including the famous Le Village Buffet at the Paris Las Vegas.
There are many attractions surrounding Las Vegas for those who love being outdoors. Whether it is sailing on Lake Mead, hiking in Valley of Fire State Park, or a road trip around the American southwest, Las Vegas is the best place to embark on an adventure. There are also many national parks and sites near the city that are perfect for hiking and camping.
Suggested by Ketki from Dotted Globe
Wilmington, North Carolina
Located on the east coast in southeastern North Carolina, Wilmington is a small port city nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. This underrated city holds beauty, history, and great food, for a restful and relaxing city break.
Ranked as one of the best American riverfronts, the historic downtown riverwalk in Wilmington is a great pedestrian area to enjoy shops, cafes, and beautiful sights. Airlie gardens and the famous World War II battleship North Carolina should also be on your activities list! If there is time, take a day trip to the lovely Bald Head Island and see ‘Old Baldy,’ the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina.
Wilmington’s historic downtown can’t be missed and is filled with historic homes, brick-lined streets, classic architecture, and moss-draped trees. Stay in the heart of the historic district with either the upscale Arrive Wilmington hotel, or the charming Dreamers Welcome hotel.
Try some of Wilmington’s best seafood by dining at the locally owned and operated Cape Fear Seafood Company. Make sure to take advantage of the wonderful nearby beach areas of Fort Fisher, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach, located only 30 minutes from downtown Wilmington.
Suggested by Maria from Maptrekking
Hands down, Seattle is one of the best weekend getaway destinations in the USA! This world-class city may not be the capital of Washington State, but it’s definitely the hippest and most cosmopolitan.
There are countless things to do in Seattle. Ascend to the top of the Space Needle for the most incredible views over the city as well as of Mount Rainier, a 14,000 foot mountain which towers over the Seattle skyline on a clear day. The Great Wheel of Seattle on the waterfront is another great option for views.
Seattle has a number of museums, but Chihuly Garden and Glass should definitely be on your itinerary for Seattle! Take a ferry ride out on the Puget Sound to explore nearby islands such as Bainbridge Island and see the skyline from another perspective. Visit the famous Pike Place Market to see the famous fishmongers but also to check out all the local and delicious products for sale.
If you’re not sure where to stay in Seattle, why not be unique and opt for a houseboat rental in Seattle, Sleepless in Seattle style? You can even book them on Airbnb!
Finally, you’ve definitely got to eat your heart out when you go to Seattle, and seafood is a must! Ivar’s Seafood (get the chowder!) and Elliott’s Oyster House (for oysters, Dungeness crab, and more) are two Seattle favorites.
Suggested by Allison from Small Town Washington
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
This verified sports town is bursting with old school charm, a delicious food scene that dates back to the cattle trail days, and enough Route 66 charm to be worthy of a few days of exploration.
There’s so much to do in OKC, but put the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum at the top of your itinerary. Here you can see an extensive collection of Western and Native American art works. Stockyards City is a fun place to stroll and maybe even see a livestock auction.
Drive the Oklahoma City portion of Route 66, and enjoy an evening out in Bricktown, where old warehouses are now home to trendy eateries and tasting rooms. Bonus points if there’s an Oklahoma City Thunder game on that you can add to your itinerary.
The 2c Museum Hotel is more than just a boutique hotel, it’s the quintessential art lover’s experience.
Oklahoma City is famous for steak, so check out Cattleman’s Steakhouse, which was listed in the famed travel anthology 1000 Places to See Before You Die. As a second choice for the more budget conscious, hit up Chellinos in Bricktown.
Suggested by Stephanie from Oklahoma Wonders
We hope you enjoyed this round-up of the most exciting US cities for weekend getaways. Which one will you pick for your next trip?
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