If you just can’t seem to find time for a full-blown vacation this summer, there are amazing weekend trips you can take that will both entertain you and recharge your batteries. Every part of the U.S. has just the right spot for your budget and interests. Here’s a list of nine weekend trips to take this summer.
New York City, New York
Probably the most popular weekend trip for you would be to spend a couple of exciting and memorable summer days in the Big Apple. New York has it all from the Statue of Liberty to Times Square to some of the best museums in the world. You can spend a whole day getting acquainted with the island of Manhattan. In addition to Times Square, you can hit Greenwich Village, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building in a single day. Make sure to leave enough time to check out NYC’s center of culture, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Find the exhibits that interest you and hit all of those on your first trip—you will be back! To feel like royalty, plan a summer stay at the Plaza and you can get 50% off a room for your kids. The Plaza is a stone’s throw from Central Park, Central Park Zoo, Carnegie Hall, and Radio City Music Hall.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is an easy choice for a West Coast weekend trip this summer. The city is so walkable you'll be able to hit all the must-see spots like its amazing neighborhoods complete with Victorian-style architecture and the scenic waterfront including Fisherman’s Wharf. The Wharf pus on the most amazing 4th of July celebration in the country! If you want to get in a visit to Alcatraz, it will take you almost half a day so you will need to budget the rest of your time wisely. Take a ride on the charming trolley to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. On your way back, stop off on Lombard Street to check out the world’s crookedest street. And don’t miss the sights, sounds and smells of Chinatown.
Seattle offers the weekender so much to choose from you will have to make some pretty hard choices. Summer is an amazing time to see Seattle because the city’s special month-long summer event, Seafair is going on. It’s a nautical celebration complete with pirate landings, boat festivals, concerts and seafood feasts featuring fare from the Pacific Northwest. The vibe in Seattle is chic and trendy and the Emerald City is famous for its coffee and is home to the very first Starbucks which opened in 1971 at Pikes Place Market. Since you are in town for only a couple of days, make the best use of your time and budget and pick up a Seattle CityPASS to get access to all the must-see spots in Seattle like the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop), Seattle Aquarium and the harbor cruise.
A summer weekend in Boston can mean many things. America’s liberty has deep roots in Bean Town, but Boston has so much more to offer than history. Check out storied Fenway Park and take in a Red Sox game and you will instantly become a fan and the Boston Pops puts on an unforgettable Independence Day concert on the Charles River. To take the most of your time, make sure to get a Go Boston Pass. For less than $100 you will get discounted access to more than 40 of the top attraction that Boston has to offer. You get to choose from historic tours, museum visits, harbor cruises and whale watching excursions. Just pick the summer attractions that suit your taste. You get to use the hop-on-hop-off trolley to explore the city at your own pace.
Believe it or not, the Nation’s Capital is the perfect weekend trip. It’s full of monuments, museums and great places to eat so you'll make the most of your three days. Your budget won’t take a big hit either. Many of the historical landmarks are free or pretty cheap to get in. The summer is a great time to take a moonlit stroll around the memorials and monuments where you will be able to see them in a different light. Since you have two days to hit all your favorites, try breaking the mall into two and hit one side each day. The Lincoln Memorial side will get you the Washington Monument, Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, and the WWII Memorials. Day 2 will get you up close and personal with the U.S. Capital side of the National Mall. Highlights include the Smithsonian and the Supreme Court. If you are not too tired after visiting the Mall, head to Chinatown for an amazing cultural experience and a fantastic meal.
San Diego, California
San Diego has just the right mix of beach, food and culture that makes this jewel of a SoCal city a great choice for a summer weekend trip. You can’t beat the climate for all the outdoor fun that San Diego has to offer. Stay at the craftsman inspired Lodge at Torrey Pines and you will have access to all the Pacific Ocean has to offer and much more. The world-famous Torrey Pine Golf Course is right next door. After a stroll through Balboa Park, you can take a trip to the San Diego Zoo — one of the biggest and best in the world. Save time to check out downtown and hit the great shops and go on board the USS Midway, a decommissioned aircraft carrier.
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is the type of weekend trip that has something for everyone. Head to this charming southern city for a romantic escape the likes of which couples dream about. The majestic mountains, panoramic vistas, scrumptious cuisine and luxurious hotels will set the scene for love. Families head to Asheville to enjoy the great outdoors, visit fantastic museums and dine in one of the city’s wonderful restaurants. For 11 days in July, the Folkmoot International Festival takes over the city with plenty of fun activities to enjoy. Relax in style with a stay in the historic Inn on Biltmore Estate. The staff spares no effort and the hotel offers the finest amenities, service and style. You feel like someone special as you experience the same gracious hospitality enjoyed by personal guests of the Vanderbilts.
Summer in the City of Brotherly Love has so much to offer visitors. From historic colonial landmarks to bustling farmer’s markets to trendy upscale dining, Philly is a haven for every type of visitor. If you stay in one of the landmark hotels near Rittenhouse Square, like the Bellevue Hotel, and you will get a jump-start to your day. Since your time is limited, getting around quickly is a must. Check out the Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Philadelphia Trolley Tour and you can explore the history and beauty of Philadelphia at your own pace by stopping at the spots you want and rejoining the tour whenever you are ready. The trolley will drop you off at the best that Philly has to offer like Chinatown, the Reading Terminal Market (get an iconic cheesesteak at Carmen’s) and the historical powerhouses of the city like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
One of the best ways to unwind for a summer weekend is by escaping to the mountains. If you want a place where you can breathe in the crystal-clear mountain air, enjoy a huge array of outdoors sports and learn and discover Native American culture, then Santa Fe is the place for you! There is no shortage of exhibitions to visit in this city rich in artistic and cultural heritage. Make time to see three world-class museums — The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the Museum of International Folk Art and The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. The heart of Santa Fe is “The Plaza,” a grassy square full of tourists visiting museums, dining at food vendors serving spicy offerings, and stopping to listen to fantastic musicians playing all summer long on the bandstand. If you plan a trip to Santa Fe in June, you will witness a carnival of the senses at ARTfeast’s Edible Art Tour (EAT), a two-night movable feast event.