Weekend Getaways: Weekend trip ideas on a budget
Weekend getaways are the perfect type of vacation to take a breather from your regular work routine, recharge, and seek out new destinations without having to take many (or any) days off work. If you need a break from the noise and pace of the city, try a weekend hiking trip or a long weekend in a small town. If you just want to mix it up in a new locale, jet off to a new city on a cheap flight or take a drive to the nearest metropolis. Weekend trips are also perfect for families, as children won't have to take time off school—a great time to introduce kids to camping or let them explore a city they've never visited.
Check out our best cheap weekend getaways:
Best Weekend Getaways from NYC
Fall Getaways from NYC
New York City's beautiful parks come alive with color in the fall, but don't let that stop you from taking a leaf-peeping trip outside the city. While the Catskills may have been the hot summer destination several decades ago, now they are an excellent place for a relaxing fall getaway miles from the noise and traffic of New York City (but just close enough that the drive is only 2-3 hours). Grab a couple friends, rent a cozy cabin, and spend your days exploring the mountains and the surrounding areas on foot. Particularly beautiful in fall is the popular hike to Kaaterskill Falls, where the oranges and yellows of the foliage frame the clear, pure water.
Winter Getaways from NYC
Weekend getaways in the winter can add a shot of life to the gray, chilly days. Whether you want to embrace the winter wonderland and hit the ski slopes or come in from the cold and nourish your body at a relaxing spa retreat, you'll be sure to feel replenished after a weekend in Stowe, Vermont. Just a 1 hour plane (or a 6 hour drive) from the city, Stowe has options for every type of vacationer—you can go skiing, head to the spa, and try out a wine tasting all in the same day.
Spring Getaways from NYC
As wildflowers start to bloom and winter comes to a close, it's time for a spring getaway. If a spring break in more southern climes isn't on the cards (or in your budget), buckle up for a road trip to nearby Montauk, a village on the tip of Long Island. A breezy 3-hour drive from NYC, Montauk offers laid-back, small-town vibes, beautiful parklands, stroll-able beaches, and some of the best seafood in New England.
Summer Getaways from NYC
Philadelphia may not seem like your typical getaway destination, but there's a lot to love about this town of die-hard sports fans, art lovers, students, and history buffs. Spend your weekend browsing through museums dedicated to American history (and Philadelphia's central role), checking out the kaleidoscopic Magic Gardens, enjoying America's favorite pastime at a Phillies game, or sinking your teeth into the eponymous Philly cheese steak.
Family Weekend Getaways
With lots of schedules to coordinate, weekend getaways are a great way for families to fit in a vacation. Hiking trips are particularly good for younger children, as many parks will have easy to mid-level hikes suitable for children of many ages. City trips are also an excellent option—most large cities have plenty of family-friendly parks, museums, and restaurants.
Top 10 Most Searched Weekend Destinations
Are you tight on free time, but still yearning for the opportunity to travel? A weekend getaway might be just the break you need! And lucky for you, TravelPirates has narrowed down the 10 top-searched cities for long weekend trips and national holidays.
1. Chicago, Illinois
First on the list is the Windy City, Chicago. Millennium Park is one of Chicago’s largest green spaces, and is an essential stop if you’re visiting the city. It’s the centerpiece of Chicago, with public artwork, incredible architecture, free cultural programs, gardens, and family activities. And while you’re there, don’t forget to take a picture with "The “Bean,” a true Chicago icon.
Worried about missing the gym when you go away for the weekend? Visit the Lakefront Trail in Chicago and walk or bike along while you absorb the great outdoors--and take in the city’s architecture and breathtaking skyline along the way. Then, if you need some energy after all that exercise, locals suggest stopping by the Doughnut Vault for some of the biggest and best doughnuts you’ll ever taste.
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
What better place to make the most out of your weekend than Sin City itself? Take the money that you save with our great deals, and have some fun at the infamous Las Vegas casinos! If gambling isn’t your thing, then the options are still endless. Spend some time by luxurious pools, go see an incredible show, and don’t forget that the magnificent Grand Canyon is just around the corner! Here you can find all tips and deals for your trip to Las Vegas.
3. New York City, New York
A list of must-see cities for a long weekend trip wouldn’t be complete without the Big Apple. If you are a New York City first-timer, then spend an evening shopping and wandering around Times Square. It’s not only a state icon; it's an American icon. You should also take this opportunity to visit iconic sights like Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Rockefeller Center, and the Met. And if you’re a Yankees fan then don’t miss an opportunity to check out a game at one of the most famous ballparks in the nation. Here you can read more about city trips to New York.
4. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia has a few must-see stops if you plan to make it your getaway destination. We definitely recommend visiting the aquarium, as it is the largest in the western hemisphere, with over 120,000 animals! Also consider going to the World of Coca-Cola museum, where you can interact with several exhibits, sample different beverages, and learn about the company’s rich history. For more information, check our page about vacation in Atlanta.
5. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee should be on the travel list for any music lover. Earning its nickname, Music City, U.S.A., Nashville is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry. Definitely check out the Honky Tonk Highway, which is a legendary road that blasts music every day of the year. The nightlife is better than ever with more live music than any other city. Take a stroll down Broadway and step into any of the roaring bars.
6. Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas is another perfect weekend getaway. The most recommended sight is the Texas State Capitol. This castle-like structure is the oldest state office building in Texas, and its architecture is breathtaking. Another good pit stop in Austin is the Larry Bird Lake. Not only are there recreational water activities available for rental, like kayaking, canoeing, and rowing, but there are also 10 miles of trails bordering the lake, perfect for walking, running, and biking. Heading to Texas? Then check our page about vacation in Texas!
7. New Orleans, Louisiana
Vacations in New Orleans are perfect for a short getaway. Locals rave about visiting Frenchmen Street, where mesmerizing live jazz music plays on the streets and in the bars and restaurants. According to the locals, it’s the new go-to place for music. Aside from Frenchmen Street, the heart and cultural center of New Orleans is the French Quarter. Its high energy, rich history, diverse architecture, and fun, music-loving atmosphere make it a must-see destination.
8. Denver, Colorado
If the scenery isn’t enough to convince you to travel to Denver, then the town’s wonderful charm should do. Denver has so much to offer, including the breathtaking views of Mount Evans. With the highest paved road in North America, Mount Evans gives people the opportunity to drive all the way to the top for a stunning view of the Rocky Mountains. You may even cross paths with some mountain goats! On your trip, you should also try to visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which is entertaining and educational for all ages. A lot of visitors have found that it is well-catered for children and families. If you can fit it in, then we also recommend making a day trip out of catching a game at Coors Field, the home ballpark to the Colorado Rockies.
9. Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is just the getaway you need if you’re craving a good ocean breeze and a dose of vitamin sea. If you’re a first-timer here, then we recommend visiting the Stearns Wharf, which is a historic pier with shopping and dining. A little bit on the touristy side, it has beautiful scenery and offers a lot of small shops and restaurants. Although there is some free 90 minute parking on the pier, it is limited, so we recommend parking on the boardwalk, then walking over. For those adventurers out there, we recommend taking advantage of the beautiful water and weather by renting kayaks, canoes, or surf lessons. You can also do boat tours and water sports, along with other outdoor activities such as biking. On another note, while in wine country, why not schedule a wine tour? Here you can find out more about vacations in California.
10. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio has a whole lot of incredible things to offer for a long weekend visit. First and foremost, a must-see is the San Antonio River Walk. The River Walk is a network of walkways along the banks of San Antonio River, lined by bars, shops, hotels, and restaurants, with an outdoor stage. “It’s a party on the water!” If you’re looking for an educational, historical, and enriching experience, then you should definitely visit The Alamo Mission. You can book a tour there, or attend a special event. Whichever route you take, visiting the Alamo will be a rewarding experience. San Antonio is an absolute must do while visiting Texas!