Finding the best weekend getaways in the USA can be challenging. With so many breathtaking places, how on earth do you choose?
While all fifty states have something unique to offer, some catch the eye more than others. To save you from decision fatigue, we’ve curated a list of the best places perfect for USA weekend trips.
From the breathtaking beaches in Miami to the Big Apple, there is a fun destination for everyone!
There are several National Parks for hiking and camping pleasure for the adventurous. Let’s explore the best weekend trips in the USA in more detail.
25 Best USA Weekend Trips in the South
Here are the best US weekend breaks in the good ‘ol south!
1. Nashville, Tennessee
Lovers of country music will be in music heaven visiting the Capital of Tennessee, the Music City.
Nashville, or “the birthplace of country music,” as some would call it, has plenty to offer. With so many historical sites, it is one of the best weekend getaways in the USA.
The Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, and the Ryman Auditorium are must-visit places. You don’t have to appreciate country music to enjoy these locations.
The Johnny Cash Museum is another place worth a visit. Explore Downtown Nashville’s record stores, whisky tastings, and art galleries.
The outskirts of the city offer some fresh air and soul-reviving hiking. Perfect after a day of museums and sightseeing! Harpeth State Park has many scenic routes.
Try the Hidden Lake Double Loop trail if you want something more secluded and magical.
2. Savannah, Georgia
Keen to add a spooky destination to your USA weekend trips? Savanna, Georgia, is the perfect place!
Picture eerily beautiful cemeteries, picturesque moss-covered trees, and gothic cathedrals. As the oldest city in Georgia, many historical sites exist to explore.
Some believe Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in the USA. For this reason, there are many guided ghost tours, including candlelit walking tours and haunted pub crawls.
Savannah boasts one of the largest historic districts in the US, and a stroll through the historic district with the Spanish moss-covered trees is a delight.
Other historical and cultural attractions include the Bonaventure Cemetery, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the Wormsloe Historic Site, and Forsyth Park, a popular spot in town.
Read next: Best Places to Visit in the USA
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, fondly known as The Big Easy, has a vibrant nightlife and a historic blend of cultures. New Orleans must be on everyone’s list of USA weekend trips!
Make sure to visit the French Quarter with its many eateries, pubs, and boutique stores.
New Orleans’s rich culture is best experienced through food, and there’s no better place than the French Market! Saturday evening is the best time to experience Bourbon street if you’re a party animal.
End the weekend with a stroll around dreamy New Orleans City Park, or explore New Orleans through a walking tour through the Garden District.
Some tours include the famed Lafayette Cemetery No.1, which you may recognize from films like The Vampire Diaries and Interview with a Vampire.
4. Key West, Florida
One of the best weekend getaways in the USA is Key West, a great place to visit in Florida. Enjoy a peaceful weekend sailing, kayaking, or relaxing at the pristine beaches.
The tranquil, crystal-clear waters and tropical islands make Key West a prime snorkeling spot.
Kayak through the mangroves, or go on a sailing experience where you can watch the wild dolphins play. For a romantic getaway, go on a sunset cruise.
Top attractions in Key West include the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, and the Hemingway Home and Museum, the home of Ernest Hemingway, the famed American writer, and Nobel Prize winner.
There are plenty of historical and cultural tours in Key West as well. And, of course, no trip to the Southernmost point in the US will be complete without a selfie at the landmark buoy.
5. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
The Great Smoky Mountains are undoubtedly one of the best weekend getaways in the USA! This Unesco World Heritage Site is a retreat for outdoor enthusiasts, offering many adventurous activities.
The best time to visit the Great Smokey Mountains is in the fall. The colors of the trees during fall are a sight to behold!
For astonishing tree-top vistas, hike to the top of Clingmans Dome. Alternatively, opt for a self-driving tour through the park.
To blend nature and history, take the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail to view the old, historic log buildings. Elkmont Ghost Town is another historic landmark well worth a visit!
The Smokies also feature spectacular waterfalls, like Laurel Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Abrams Falls.
Fishing, horseback riding, and ziplining are only a few other activities you can do at the Great Smoky Mountains.
6. Miami Beach, Florida
Miami is world-renowned for its breathtaking beaches, watersports, and vibrant nightlife. It is also home to the most exquisite art deco buildings, dating back to the early 1930s.
There are many thrilling activities for the adventurous, like kayaking and paddle boarding. However, jet skiing is the best and coolest way to explore Miami.
Take a ride to Star Island to view the towering mansions of the wealthy, or share the waters with mantras and other sea creatures at Biscayne Bay.
Miami also offers more laid-back experiences. Take a wander down the iconic Art Deco Historic District, Miami Beach Boardwalk, or Lincoln road.
Ocean Drive is the heart of Miami’s cultural life, and there are plenty of cafes, bars, and shops to explore.
Miami Beach is hands-down one of the best places to visit in the south!
7. San Antonio, Texas
The San Antonio Missions is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and taking a tour of this historic site is well worth it.
San Antonio is often called Alamo City due to the “Battle of Alamo” that took place here and the present-day Alamo Museum.
The museum forms part of the Missions site and is one of the city’s most popular attractions.
The San Antonio River Walk is a must-visit! The picturesque area in downtown San Antonio has many delicious restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes, and taking a stroll through this area makes you feel like you are somewhere in Europe.
Needless to say that this is one of the most beautiful cities in the US!
Other attractions include the San Antonio Museum of Art, The Natural Bridge Caverns, and the tranquil Japanese Tea Gardens.
8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is known for its premier, well-designed golf courses and is a top destination for avid golfers.
With ninety golf courses, miles of white sandy beaches, and plenty of family-friendly activities, this gem in South Carolina is worth multiple visits.
The best golf courses in Myrtle Beach are Grande Dunes Resort golf Course, Man O’War Golf Club, Prestwick, and Myrtlewood Golf Club.
The Beach Boardwalk and Promenade are lined with eateries, gift shops, and other curiosities to explore if you’re not too keen on golfing.
Grab an ice cream or barbeque and take a laid-back stroll down the boardwalk. Ride the Skywheel at sunset, one of the largest Ferris wheels in the country.
9. Asheville, North Carolina
Do you enjoy browsing farmer’s markets on a Saturday morning, followed by lunch at a microbrewery? If so, Asheville is calling!
This small city is known for its culinary scene. With more than fifteen farmer’s markets to explore, you can easily spend the whole weekend market-hopping!
Ashville prides itself on its fresh produce, evident by the many restaurants cooking with only the freshest ingredients.
However, there is much more to see in Asheville. The city has many art galleries, museums, and historic buildings, best visited by a guide.
Biltmore Mansion is one of the most spectacular historical landmarks to visit!
Outdoor activities include hiking Blue Ridge Mountain and visiting the North Carolina Arboretum.
10. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Escape into a quirky wonderland in Santa Fe, a wonderful place to visit in the southwest USA. This city is a favorite destination that will surely delight your inner child!
Santa Fe strikes a balance between outdoor pursuits, cultural attractions, historic sites, and mouthwatering food, making it one of the best weekend getaways in the USA.
The capital of New Mexico is a cultural haven located at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. During winter, this is a great destination for skiing, while the many hiking trails are best in spring and summer.
Explore Canyon Road with its adobe homes, eateries, and galleries.
The Museum of Internation Folk Art, Sante Fe Indian Market, and The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi should be on every visitor’s bucket list.
Artsy visitors will love Meow Wolf, an interactive art installation that looks like something out of Avatar.
End your stay with some yoga in the woods and a relaxing visit to the Salt Cave.
11. Charleston, South Carolina
Southern laid-back style meets grandeur, luxury, and old-world charm at Charleston. Charleston is the biggest city in South Carolina, with a history dating back to 1670.
Thus, the city has many historic landmarks and striking architecture to explore.
For a taste of splendor, book a stay at Wentworth Mansion. Located close to the historic district, you can spend a day exploring the old buildings or take a guided walking tour to gain a deeper knowledge of the city’s rich history.
The walking tour by Undiscovered Charleston includes food, wine, and a cooking class and is highly recommended!
Best USA Weekend Trips in the Northeast
Here are the best US weekend breaks in the northeast!
12. New York, New York
From Broadway shows to pizza, there is something here for everyone, making New York one of the best weekend trips in the USA!
The Big Apple has much to offer! The city features some of the best architecture, delicious food, shopping experiences, and museums in the country, if not the world.
The world-renowned Empire State Building is a must-visit and is best experienced at sunset. Take a stroll through Central Park or have a slice of iconic New York pizza!
Are you a thrill-seeker? Explore Manhattan by speed boat! New York Media Boat will provide you with the best boat tour in the city and a view of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan’s skyline that you won’t get on foot.
13. Boston, Massachusetts
Dating back to 1630, the capital city of Massachusetts is one of the oldest municipalities in the country and an incredible place to visit in the northeast.
Boston’s crucial role in the American Revolution and its rich history is still evident through its old buildings, museums, and landmarks.
One thing you can’t afford to skip out on, it’s the Freedom Trail. Following the clearly-marked red line on the pavement will take you on a self-guided tour of many historical landmarks.
If you prefer guided tours, The Revolutionary Story Walking Tour and Boston’s North End Walking Food Tour are highly recommended!
Must-visit museums include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library.
14. Washington DC
Of course, who can list the best weekend getaways in the USA and not include the country’s capital?
The city’s abundance of museums and historical sites makes it the perfect educational destination for families with young children.
Time spent at the National Mall is essential. Visit the iconic Lincoln Memorial and take the time to read the scripts on the walls.
The park features many other memorials like Martin Luther King and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Washington is home to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, with the most impressive natural artifacts and human history collection. There are many exhibitions and activities to keep youngsters entertained.
While children won’t find the Library of Congress exciting, bibliophiles and art lovers will be in awe of this library’s sheer beauty and scale!
15. Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City is one of the best weekend getaways in the USA, attracting millions of tourists each year! Like Las Vegas, casinos and resorts are omnipresent.
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is most notable, conveniently located near Steel Pier, a must-visit amusement park.
If you visit with young children, a scavenger hunt is a fun way to spend the day! Alternatively, challenge yourselves at Escape AC’s escape rooms.
Fancy walking? Take a 5-mile walk down the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk, ending at the historic Absecon Lighthouse.
This landmark guided ships during the second world war and is one of the tallest lighthouses in the country.
Best USA Weekend Trips in the Midwest
Here are the best US weekend breaks in the midwest!
16. Chicago, Illinois
What makes Chicago a great weekend destination is its plethora of museums, architectural sites, and cultural institutions.
Chicago boasts more than sixty museums! While you will need a good few weeks to explore them all, the can’t-miss museums are The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry.
If you love architecture, there are plenty of tours to behold the works of famed architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and Skidmore, to name a few.
The Rookery Building is a masterpiece best appreciated up close. However, the best way to experience the magnificence of Chicago’s skyline is by boat tour.
Apart from museums and buildings, the Navy Pier is a fun-filled family spot with all its shops, attractions, and eateries. Millennial park and the iconic Bean (Cloud Gate) are other places not to be missed!
17. Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is one of the best weekend getaway destinations for families. The city offers so much to do for all ages, including toddlers.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest children’s museum in the world and a must-visit for those with young children!
The museum offers many interactive activities and sports areas, including basketball, pedal car racing, and hockey. There are dinosaur fossils to explore and a huge play area on the second floor. Well worth a visit!
For a unique place to stay, the Bottleworks Boutique Hotel comes highly recommended.
The hotel used to be a bottle factory in the early 30s, and many of the original art deco architecture and exterior have been preserved and restored.
Best USA Weekend Trips in the Pacific and West
Here are the best US weekend breaks in the west!
18. Seattle, Washington
Don’t let the weather put you off Seattle! This city has many hidden gems, willing to reveal themselves to those who don’t mind a little rain now and then.
One such gem is Bill Speidel’s 75-minute underground guided tour that takes you underneath to the original CBD of the city before the Great Seattle Fire of 1889.
Other attractions that make Seattle worth a visit include the Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Museum of Flight, and Pike Place Market. Of course, there’s nothing like getting a bird’s eye view of the city center from the Space Needle!
Interested in something more relaxing? Take a day trip from Seattle to the picturesque Mt. Rainier, or enjoy floating around Lake Union in a hot-tub boat.
19. Portland, Oregon
This laid-back, walkable city is a must-visit for those who enjoy taking life a bit slower. Spending a weekend in Portland’s picturesque gardens will surely rejuvenate and calm the soul.
With over two hundred parks, gardens, and nature areas, Portland is a garden-lovers haven.
However, the top three gardens to visit are, by far, the International Rose Test Garden (the oldest rose garden in the USA), Portland Japanese Garden (the best you will find outside of Japan), and Lan Su Chinese Garden with its authentic Chinese architecture and breathtaking gardens.
If you like ticking things off bucket lists as we do, how about adding the county’s largest urban park to your list?
Hike through the dog-friendly Forest Park to the Witch’s Castle, or take the scenic Wildwood Trail for a more challenging hike.
20. Las Vegas, Nevada
No list of US weekend getaways will be complete without Las Vegas, one of the best places to visit in Nevada. Las Vegas is a vacation on its own!
Best-known for its casinos, 24-hour wedding chapels, and party vibe, Las Vegas has much more than gambling the night away.
This city’s entertainment is staggering, and all the family-friendly activities make Las Vegas one of the best weekend getaways in the USA.
For fun-filled family activities, Area15 is a must-visit! The space combines alternate-reality arcades, art galleries, amusement parks, fun rides, and countless experiences.
See the biggest video screen in the world at Fremont Street and the famous Fountains Of Bellagio.
There are many places to visit near Las Vegas by car, like the Seven Magic Mountains, an art installation representing humanity’s presence in the desert. The Hover Dam is another not-to-be-missed Las Vegas day trip.
21. Zion National Park, Utah
You can’t plan the best weekend getaways in the USA without including at least one of the country’s many magnificent national parks!
Not only that, but Zion is part of Utah’s Mighty 5, a collection of the state’s five national parks.
Zion National Park provides surreal views of the earth in all its glory. Get a full view of the Canyons and their unbelievable formations.
Join an adrenaline-filled 4X4 tour, or get up close and engage in hikes that explore every nook and cranny.
Explore the abandoned mines and take a trip down history. The hike or drive on the way there provides some amazing views.
The change of scenery going into the mine is spectacular! Don’t miss out on stargazing in the New International Dark Sky when night falls. Take a look at the stars with professionals and open your mind to the vastness of space.
22. Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park, dubbed the Crown of the Continent, is one of the most awe-inspiring places in the country.
The park offers wilderness camping, bicycling, fishing, boating, cross-country skiing, and many breathtaking hiking trails!
Taking a drive along the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road is an absolute must-do! The pass is 6,646 feet high, and the views of the glaciers, lakes, and flora are out of this world!
As the name suggests, the park is a fantastic place to witness glaciers, but unless you are familiar with geological formations, we suggest taking a guided tour.
Professional tour guides have a wealth of information about the glaciers and surrounding nature that will enrich your experience and expand your knowledge of this beautiful place in the US.
After glacier sightseeing, spend a half day whitewater rafting or take a scenic hike. The best hiking trails are the Grinnell Glacier trail, reminiscent of Northern Italy, the Trail of the Cedars, and the Highline trail.
23. San Diego, California
If you plan the best weekend getaways in the USA, San Diego is guaranteed to be on that list because it is hands-down one of the best places to visit in California!
The capital of California has an incredible foodie scene! There are several Michelin-Starred eateries in San Diego, such as Herb & Wood, the crack Sack – Little Italy, and Addison Restaurant.
La Jolla Cove is a fitting place to cool off and enjoy the pleasant California weather. Go swimming, diving, snorkeling, or relaxing at a beautiful beach, soaking in the sun. Indulge in some fish tacos afterward.
If you are looking for family-friendly activities, the USS Midway Museum is worth a visit. Previously an aircraft carrier, the USS Midway has become an interactive museum.
With plenty of entertainment and interesting history, the whole family will enjoy a visit to this historic museum.
Take a stroll in Balboa Park, a well-kept and breathtaking urban park for something outdoorsy. Alternatively, explore the untouched beauty of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
24. Gros Ventre Wilderness, Wyoming
If you seek an outdoor adventure that might change your life, look no further! Gros Ventre Wilderness is a must for adventurous USA weekend trips.
Gros Ventre Wilderness forms part of the Yellow Stone mountain range and is known for its geological features of peaks and slopes. Most notable is the Gros Ventre Slide of Sheep Mountain.
If you are fit and up for a challenge, Sheep Mountain provides a tough, 7-hour hike with stunning views!
Sacred Rim Trail is another fantastic hiking trail that is a much easier, off-the-beaten-path and ends with an idyllic outlook.
However, wildlife includes wolfpacks, bears, and moose, so take safety precautions before heading out into the wilderness alone.
Other activities at Gros Ventre Wilderness include camping under the Wyoming sky and horseback riding.
25. Paso Robles, California
Explore the wine region of California by visiting Pasa Robles. Pasa Robles is scattered with wine estates due to the mountains, desert, and ocean on its doorstep.
There are tours to the wine farms in all forms of transportation, from bus to sidecar to electric bike! Whichever you decide to travel, be sure to visit the Tobin James Cellars.
After a day of visiting vineyards and wine tasting, head to Sensorio. Here, art comes alive, and thousands of colorful, solar-powered little lights light up the night sky between grass and trees. Truly a sight to behold!
Final Thoughts on US Weekend Breaks
These were the best places for a weekend getaway in the US. We hope we inspired you to travel across this beautiful country.
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