While some of us would love to be able to take full-length one- to two-week trips all the time, that’s simply not possible. So to get the travel bug under control, we often make time for a few USA weekend trips. With these short trips, we rarely have to take time off, and we still get to have a little bit of adventure.
Plus, the United States is filled with tons of great places for weekend getaways. While you can opt for a big city like New York or LA, you can also pick somewhere that’s a little quieter like Siesta Key, Florida or Savannah, Georgia. Regardless of where you go, USA weekend trips are always a great way to relax and unwind.
16 Amazing USA Weekend Trips
I could go on and on about some pretty awesome destinations in the U.S. But for now, I’ve given you a list (in no particular order) of some of my favorite and some of the very best USA destinations for a short trip. Each destination offers something unique so I’ve got you covered on a few things to do in each place and exactly where to stay.
1. Los Angeles, California
As the land of surfers and celebrities, Los Angeles, California is one of the most popular US weekend trips – and for good reason. There are so many things to do in the City of Angels.
If you prefer the beach angle of Los Angeles, head to Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu for all the sand and sunshine you could possibly desire. Spend your time enjoying the salty ocean air, wandering around the trendy shops, and dining at delicious restaurants.
If the celebrities are your main reason for visiting Los Angeles, there’s really no better place to see the people who only seem to make an appearance on your TV. Be sure to check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, request tickets for a live-taping of your favorite show, and head up to the celebrity-filled town of Malibu. If you want to do something a little more adventurous, consider tackling the hike to the famous Hollywood sign.
Recommended Places to Stay in Los Angeles:
2. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina is one of the best weekend trips in the US. This adorable, historic town is filled with culture, character, and history.
Between the Antebellum architecture lining the streets and horse-drawn carriages meandering through the city, you can almost feel as if you’ve been transported to the past. Check out the historic houses around the Battery and venture towards the most colorful stretch of Charleston, Rainbow Row. If you really want to dive into history, head to the Fort Sumter National Monument to visit the place where the Civil War started.
If you’re looking to dive into the culture and character of Charleston, start with the food scene. Charleston, South Carolina is starting to establish its name as one of the best foodie cities in the country, making it one of the best USA weekend trips too. Be sure to stop at the Charleston Farmer’s Market, not just for fresh produce and delicious food, but also for local art, blooming flowers, and amazing souvenirs.
Recommended Places to Stay in Charleston:
3. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee is easily the best US weekend trip for country music lovers. While you can, of course, experience all of the up-and-coming country music by bar-hopping along Broadway, there’s a lot of country music history to learn about in Tennessee’s capital city as well.
To start your tour of country music, head to the Ryman Auditorium, the original location of the Grand Ole Opry, and learn how this venue worked to popularize the country music genre. Then, head to the famous Grand Ole Opry to see all the country music memorabilia you could ever desire. Then, wrap up your country music history tour by spending some time at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Recommended Places to Stay in Nashville:
4. New York City, New York
As the most populous city in the US, New York City is packed to the brim, not only with people but with things to do! While your two days in New York City might be one of the most packed USA weekend trips possible, it’ll likely also be one of the most memorable.
While you can’t see everything that New York has to offer in just one weekend, there are quite a few things that you must do. Wander around Central Park, visit the Statue of Liberty, pay your respects at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, check out the art at MoMA, head to the top of the Empire State Building, and wrap it all up by watching a Broadway show.
Recommended Places to Stay in New York City:
Airbnbs | SpringHill Suites by Marriott New York Manhattan/Times Square South, New York | Holiday Inn Express New York City Times Square, New York | Courtyard by Marriott New York City Manhattan Midtown East, New York |
5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
It’s rare that a Midwest town is acknowledged as one of the best USA weekend trips, which is truly a shame. The Midwest is full of gems that are worth a visit, including Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As a fun mix between Western roots and an evolving big city feel, Oklahoma City is definitely a special place.
While in Oklahoma City, be sure to get the best of both of the worlds that this city has to offer. Admire the pieces in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, then grab a meal at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. Dance the night away at one of the nightclubs in the Bricktown Entertainment District, then wake up the next morning and head to Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Recommended Places to Stay in Oklahoma City:
6. Dallas, Texas
Similar to Oklahoma City, the dynamic city of Dallas, Texas is a combination of traditional cowboy and modern business. As a matter of fact, these two sides of the city sometimes overlap in the coolest ways.
One great example of this overlap is the Dallas Cattle Drive sculptures. Made of modern steel, you can often find visitors pretending to be cowboys herding this huge drove of cattle. Besides this singular art inspiration, you can also test your horseback riding skills at the Texas Horse Park, ride on the McKinney Avenue Trolley, and stop and smell the flowers at the Dallas Arboretum.
Recommended Places to Stay in Dallas:
7. New Orleans, Louisiana
Due to the mix of cultural influences, New Orleans is one of the coolest cities in the country. If you’re looking to experience the culture of another country without actually leaving the country, New Orleans is a great place to do so.
No matter when you visit New Orleans, you can devour as many powder sugar-coated beignets as you would and pretend to be in a small French town as you wander around the French Quarter. But the more immersive culture comes to life during Mardi Gras. This Carnival-like celebration is filled with music, dancing, masks, and just overall excitement.
Recommended Places to Stay in New Orleans:
8. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia is one of those cities with something for everyone, making it one of the best USA weekend trips. Whether you’re into history, nature, art, or food, Atlanta has something for you.
For the history lovers, Martin Luther King, Jr. left his marks all over this bustling city, from his childhood home to Ebenezer Baptist Church to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Monument. As for nature lovers, head to Piedmont Park or venture out to Stone Mountain Park. For the artists, the High Museum of Art should keep you entertained for hours. And for the foodies, there are fantastic restaurants all around the city, but don’t forget to stop by the World of Coca-Cola or spend the evening at a rooftop bar.
Recommended Places to Stay in Atlanta:
9. Las Vegas, Nevada
Also known as Sin City, Las Vegas is a city of indulgences. From packed nightclubs to thrilling casinos, Las Vegas is a one-of-a-kind city.
Pretty much everything you could want to see or do in Vegas has been crowded onto The Strip. With the towering high-rise hotels, huge billboards, and bright lights, The Strip can be a little overwhelming at first. Then, you’ll learn to sink into the rhythm of the city. Head indoors for shopping or gambling to escape the hot desert heat, only leaving the cool comfort of the air conditioning to change venues or venture to one of the famous Las Vegas buffets.
Recommended Places to Stay in Las Vegas:
10. Chicago, Illinois
Commonly referred to as the Windy City, Chicago has much more to offer than a bold breeze. This Illinois city has all the things you’d expect a major city to have – including towering skyscrapers, throngs of people, and fantastic restaurants – and so much more.
If there’s just one thing you have to do in Chicago, it’s paying a visit to The Bean. Located in Millennium Park, thousands of people visit this metallic sculpture every single day. In addition to The Bean, you can also catch the best views of the city from Promontory Point, see your favorite animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and spend some time at the famous Buckingham Fountain.
Recommended Places to Stay in Chicago:
11. Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida is known primarily for two things: beach and culture. Honestly what more could you ask for from one of your USA weekend trips?
South Beach is the center of Miami’s beach scene. You can easily spend a day lounging on the golden sand and taking a dip in the turquoise water before heading to Espanola Way for some food. As for Miami’s culture scene, it’s no question that the hub is Little Havana. Dance to Latin music, play dominos with locals, and delight in a cup of authentic Cuban coffee.
Recommended Places to Stay in Miami:
12. Seattle, Washington
This gem in the Pacific Northwest known as Seattle is unfairly primarily known for its cloudy weather. As the coffee capital of the country and a booming city, Seattle is one of the best USA weekend trips.
Ever since Starbucks opened its first location in Pike’s Place Market in 1971, Seattle has embraced its new reputation as the coffee capital of the country (second only to its reputation of overcast weather). You can actually visit the first Starbuck’s location and the rest of the Pike’s Place Market during your time in Seattle. Besides the original Starbucks, you can also check out the iconic Space Needle, stare in awe as you walk around Chihuly Garden and Glass, and dine of the fresh seafood at Ivar’s.
Recommended Places to Stay in Seattle:
13. Savannah, Georgia
Compared to cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, Savannah, Georgia is one of the smallest cities on this list. In other words, it is one of the quietest USA weekend getaways on this list, which is perfect if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of life.
The quiet of Savannah is only aided by its great, yet calming attractions. Head to Forsyth Park for a picnic or relaxing day in nature, take a cruise on the Savannah River or even venture a little out of the town for a beach day on Tybee Island.
Recommended Places to Stay in Savannah:
14. Washington D.C.
As the capital city of the United States, Washington D.C. is packed with marks of the country’s history. That said, somehow Washington D.C. has avoided the stuffy air associated with history and instead made it quite interesting and exciting through its monuments and museums.
Honestly, you could spend an entire weekend in Washington D.C. just checking out the monuments and museums. The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and all the memorials lining the beautiful Tidal Basin are must-sees. As for the museums, head to the National Mall for the Smithsonian National Museum of National History, National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and many more.
Recommended Places to Stay in Washington D.C.:
15. Boston, Massachusetts
For history lovers, Boston, Massachusetts should certainly be on the top of their lists of USA weekend trips. Home to hundreds of historic brick buildings and the first subway system in the United States, there’s history literally everywhere you turn in Boston.
There is a slew of things to do and places to see to continue your Boston history experience. Stop by the Paul Revere House, check out the Bunker Hill Monument, stroll around Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and tackle the Freedom Trail.
Recommended Places to Stay in Boston:
16. Siesta Key, Florida
Situated just off the coast of Sarasota, Florida, Siesta Key is a hidden island paradise. It’s one of the best USA weekend trips for sun, sand, and relaxation.
Pretty much all of the best things to do in Siesta Key revolve around going to one of the beaches: Siesta Beach, Turtle Beach, and Crescent Beach. If you’d like to intersperse something a little different during your getaway, you can also go shopping or take a boat out on the water.
Recommended Places to Stay in Siesta Key:
What are your favorite USA weekend trips? Let me know in the comments below!