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Best Weekend Getaways

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

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 a set of locales that offer just the right ratio of accessibility, affordability and entertainment. Don't forget to vote for your favorite spots to help us determine next year's ranking. 

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Charleston

#1 in Best Weekend Getaways

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, hit the nearby shorelines or visit the vibrant Old City Market. Read More

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New York City

#2 in Best Weekend Getaways

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) make unpredictable weather a nonissue. Read More

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Sedona

#3 in Best Weekend Getaways

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

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Monterey

#4 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: Higher hotel rates may deter some budget travelers, but pleasant weather year-round makes Monterey a popular spot. Golfers are challenged on the bright green fairways of Pebble Beach, while less active travelers peruse the art galleries and tasting rooms in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Read More

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Santa Barbara

#5 in Best Weekend Getaways

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

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Miami Beach

#6 in Best Weekend Getaways

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

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Tucson

#7 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: Come for the cactus-strewn trails of Saguaro National Park, the prime golf courses in the Catalina Foothills 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

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Vancouver

#8 in Best Weekend Getaways

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. Get your dose of the great outdoors on a picnic blanket in Stanley Park or on the sands of Kitsilano Beach. Read More

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Kennebunkport

#9 in Best Weekend Getaways

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

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Las Vegas

#10 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: Sin City is best experienced in small doses, making it perfect for a short weekend trip. After a few days of raucous hotel pool parties and nights spent on the Strip, you (and your bank account) will be ready to get back to reality. Read More

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Austin

#11 in Best Weekend Getaways

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

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San Antonio

#12 in Best Weekend Getaways

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

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