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 insight of user votes and expert opinions — ranked the best weekend getaways. We've compiled places with just the right ratio of accessibility, affordability and entertainment to leave you rejuvenated and ready to return to the grind on Monday. Vote for your favorite spots to help us determine next year's ranking. 

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557 145

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?
578 157

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

Belongs on list?
314 113

Why go: Higher hotel rates may deter some budget travelers, but gorgeous 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

Belongs on list?
288 179

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?
290 118

Why go: It's hard to rival Vancouver's idyllic natural landscape: Hiking, skiing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting and boating are all easily accessible. 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?
331 158

Why go: Austin sure 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 come Friday and Saturday night. Meanwhile, you can spend your days relaxing in Zilker Park and chowing down excellent barbecue. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Austin

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265 172

Why go: History buffs will enjoy watching re-enactors perform in Colonial Williamsburg, while connoisseurs will relish wine-tasting at the Williamsburg Winery. And if you're traveling with kids, plan a fun day at Water Country USA or Busch Gardens. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Williamsburg

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463 159

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, as this southern Arizona town is known for its warm weather. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Tucson

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286 103

Why go: A scenic drive north along Route 1 from Los Angeles will lead to this peaceful (and less smoggy) seaside oasis. Santa Barbara's laid-back, small-town vibes are sure to a welcome reprieve from the hectic 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

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383 152

Why go: If your ideal weekend includes fishing, long beachside strolls and fresh lobster dinners, then Kennebunkport is your town. At this idyllic spot on Maine's southern coast, spend your day meandering 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?
451 261

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 and party people abound.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Miami Beach

Las Vegas
Belongs on list?
409 444

Why go: While some travelers look to Vegas as the ultimate escape, most people can't handle Sin City's vices for more than a few days. Two nights is just enough time to dip your feet in the pool without drowning in everything Vegas has to offer. Test Lady Luck on the Bellagio floor or shop in the Venetian.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Las Vegas

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