Whether you’re sneaking in one more summer vacation or getting ahead of planning a future escape—TripAdvisor is here to help! There’s no need for far-flung airline tickets in this wanderlust-worthy roundup. We’re featuring the best weekend trips by region so you can find one that’s close to you. These top weekend getaways across America offer amazing activities, scenic sightseeing, great attractions, stellar weather—or all of the above!
Even if you’re only on vacation for a couple days, finding the perfect place to stay is easy with TripAdvisor. From cozy cabins or breezy beach houses, to downtown condos and apartments, TripAdvisor has affordable rental properties available to book right on our site. Whether a quick weekend break or long weekend getaway, these destinations are worth the car ride!
And once you decide on a destination, you can book all your tours, activities, and attractions right on TripAdvisor. Plus, our new 24-hour cancellation policy means you can pre-book before arriving, but still have the flexibility to cancel if your itinerary changes.
CAPE MAY, NJ
Don’t let its location fool you—Cape May is the antithesis of the Jersey Shore. This iconic beach destination sets itself apart from other Jersey Shore destinations with its rich history and architecture, but still has the same super-convenient location from major Northeastern cities. In fact, the entire city was named a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Though the town has clean beaches and fine dining options, you can also escape the sun at a beautiful beach rental or a number of museums, including the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum or the open-air living history museum at Cold Spring Village. If you want to get out on the water, consider booking a whale-watching cruise or fishing charter!
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For a sophisticated weekend getaway, Providence delivers. Get your fix of culture with the small town’s many art shows, plays, and culinary delights, all delivered with Ivy League charm. Between the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art and the grand buildings of Brown University, you’ll find plenty to explore.
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SARANAC LAKE, NY
New Yorkers have long flocked to Saranac Lake for its supposed healing powers—the Adirondack lake was considered a place to heal from tuberculosis during the 19th century. Today, visitors can still reap the same healing benefits from fresh air and quality time away from big city crowds. A stroll through the downtown introduces you to the city’s charming character: find bookshops and art galleries intermingled with farm-to-table restaurants and local watering holes. Of course, the lake itself and nearby hiking trails are a huge draw in and of themselves, so be sure to schedule some time for outdoor fun.
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A weekend getaway in Provincetown is really fun—hands down. The famously LGBTQ-friendly beach town is packed with things to do (everything from great nightlife to dolphin watching tours), all with gorgeous beaches close by. The town is also home to the Pilgrim Monument, a big nod to American heritage and a commemoration of where the Mayflower Compact was written.
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The town of Williamsburg is best known as the home of Colonial Williamsburg, an authentic colonial city that puts history books to shame. Lifelike historical reenactments and an almost entirely preserved town make you feel like you’re actually a colonist (taking a Williamsburg tourhelps). If you need to get back to the modern world, though, it’s easy enough to do. Just take a short drive to Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Water Country USA for full days of kid-approved fun.
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ST. AUGUSTINE, FL
If you want more to do on your Florida weekend getaway than just chill on the beach, St. Augustine is a good pick. This historic city was the first and longest-inhabited European settlement in Florida, boasting a history dating back to 1565. Fort Matanzas National Monument the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park are good places to start learning about Florida’s settler history (or take a ghost tour for a spookier recounting). In addition, you can see white tigers and other rare rescued animals at the St. Augustine Wild Reserve or head out to St. Augustine Beach, just a short drive away. Book a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing pass to explore all of St. Augustine’s great attractions in a convenient manner.
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Nashville saunter and Appalachian ease come together in Chattanooga, one of the best weekend trips in the Southeast. Here you’ll find homestyle barbecue and upscale cuisine in equal measure and enough outdoor entertainment and cultural activities that your escape practically plans itself. Get a lay of the land on a hop-on hop-off trolley tour, and then head to the Tennessee River for a stroll along the renovated riverwalk or a cruise past the city skyline and under its well-recognizedWalnut Street Bridge. Plus, Chattanooga is conveniently located within driving distance of big Southeastern cities like Nashville, Knoxville, and Atlanta, so you can turn your long weekend getaway into a memorable road trip.
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Bavarian bakeries and German architecture meet Southern hospitality in Helen, an alpine city with strong Bavarian roots that might trick you into pulling out your passport. The downtown doesn’t take long to explore—it’s small-town charm at it’s best—but luckily, there’s plenty to explore once you’re done. A handful of waterfalls including Anna Ruby Falls and Raven Cliff Falls are right nearby, as well as Unicoi State Park (its beach is pictured above) and the Yonah Mountain Hiking Trail, all of which let you enjoy the area’s beautiful location in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.