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Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Weekend Getaways

Sometimes, the only way to unwind after a long week is to get the heck out of town. But it can be daunting to decide where to dedicate your dollars when you only have a few days time. To help you choose the best destinations for maximizing your weekend, U.S. News — with the help of reader votes and expert opinions — ranked the best weekend getaways. We've compiled places with just the right ratio of accessibility, affordability and entertainment, whether you're looking for some R&R or ready to immerse yourself in a new destination and all of its offerings. Don't forget to vote for your favorite spots to help us determine next year's ranking. 

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685 174

Why go: Slow it down with a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Spanish moss-laden bed-and-breakfasts and gas lamp-lit cobblestone streets transport you to a simpler time. Stroll along The Battery or visit the vibrant Old City Market. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Charleston

#2
Sedona
Belongs on list?
627 167

Why go: Sedona's dazzling red rocks are sure to impress even the most jaded traveler. Adventurous visitors savor the 100-plus hiking trails that grant spectacular views. Less active travelers can take in the vistas from the Chapel of the Holy Cross or go art shopping at Tlaquepaque. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Sedona

Belongs on list?
354 122

Why go: Higher hotel rates may deter some budget travelers, but pleasant weather year-round makes California's Monterey a popular spot. Golfers find it hard to resist the bright green fairways of Pebble Beach. Laid-back towns like Carmel-by-the-Sea and Cannery Row offer a variety of ways to unwind. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Monterey

#4
Tucson
Belongs on list?
498 182

Why go: Come for the cactus-strewn trails of Saguaro National Park, the prime golf courses in the Catalina Foothills, the palm tree-lined museums on the University of Arizona campus and the colorful adobe shops in the Barrio Histórico. Just make sure you can handle the heat, this Arizona city is always warm. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Tucson

#5
Austin
Belongs on list?
381 182

Why go: Austin knows how to have a good time. Sixth Street is constantly grooving to the sweet melodies of undiscovered musicians, which means you'll hear fresh tunes all night long. During the day, you can spend time relaxing in Zilker Park and savoring some finger-lickin' good barbecue. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Austin

Belongs on list?
324 209

Why go: Views of purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain make for a very photogenic weekend. Prime picture-taking real estate can be found atop Pikes Peak. Sports fans will love the Olympic Training Center and the Air Force Academy's flight demonstrations will leave all visitors in awe. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Colorado Springs

Belongs on list?
316 118

Why go: A scenic drive north along Route 1 from Los Angeles will lead to this peaceful seaside oasis. Santa Barbara's laid-back vibe will be a welcome reprieve from the workweek. Spend your days strolling State Street, touring the historical County Courthouse or lounging on East Beach. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Santa Barbara

Belongs on list?
495 288

Why go: Itching for the beach without the fuss of traveling overseas? Then Miami is the place for you. At Haulover Beach Park, you'll find shores made for sunbathing, kite flying and volleyball playing. Or saunter over to South Beach, where cocktails are flowing and the nightlife is buzzing. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Miami Beach

Belongs on list?
339 136

Why go: It's hard to rival Vancouver's idyllic natural landscape: Hiking, skiing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting and boating are just a few activities you can enjoy on a weekend away. Get your dose of the great outdoors on a picnic blanket in Stanley Park or on the sands of Kitsilano Beach. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Vancouver

Belongs on list?
1133 258

Why go: Travelers can reach NYC by train, plane or automobile, so a weekend trip is easily doable. Plus, ample attractions indoors (like museums and Broadway shows) and outdoors (like Central Park and the High Line) appeal to all types of visitors and make unpredictable weather a nonissue. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in New York City

Belongs on list?
421 172

Why go: If your ideal weekend includes fishing, beachside strolls and fresh lobster dinners, then Kennebunkport is your town. At this idyllic spot on Maine's southern coast, you can meander through Dock Square or Walker's Point before curling up for a good night's sleep in one of the area's quaint hotels. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Kennebunkport

Belongs on list?
916 313

Why go: This Texas town boasts a burgeoning arts and culinary scene, in addition to must-see sites like The Alamo, the Spanish Governor's Palace and the River Walk. What's more, San Antonio is a big town for business, so leisure travelers will see lower room rates on the weekends. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in San Antonio

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