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4 Perfect Weekend Getaways Across the U.S.
Looking for an easy escape? These locales are packed with exciting attractions, scenery and charm.
Whether you're in search of recreation, serene trails or excellent cuisine, start planning your escape. (Getty Images)
If you're itching to slip away from the daily grind and embrace a change of scenery, there are plenty of enticing cities where outdoorsy activities, historic museums, picturesque nature walks and lovely hotels and restaurants are easily accessible. From an adventurous escapade out West to a culinary-inspired trip in the South, stress-free vacations await. Go on a memorable hike in Denver. Immerse yourself in the Victorian era in Louisville. Sample the best food truck cuisine Providence has to offer. Regardless of the type of weekend getaway you're looking for, there are plenty of destinations that merit a visit. Read on to start planning your next weekend getaway – no passport required.
The Big Easy is popular for its Southern charm, amazing Creole food and lively street festivals and music. Beyond Mardi Gras, the French Quarter brims with activity year-round and festivals in all seasons. In the summer, take your pick of over 10 NOLA summer festivals, some centering around African-American music and culture and even "running of the bulls," featuring derby girl; in November, check out the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. While exploring the city, don't forget to look up to view old Oak trees draped in Spanish moss as you leisurely sip Sazerac, which has bragging rights as the world's first cocktail.
[See: 10 Cheap Summer Vacations.]
From art to hiking, Denver has plenty to offer for a short weekend jaunt. Admire art at the Denver Art Museum. Afterward, travel downtown to Larimer Square to peruse the city's charming shops, restaurants and boutiques, snap vacation photos and enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll. If you're in the mood to hit the trails, drive west out of the city to explore to the Red Rocks Park and Ampitheater, which boasts over 900 acres of sandstone cliffs, hiking trails and a naturally formed amphitheater that once hosted The Beatles.
Are you a fan of Victorian architecture? Then, plan your escape to Louisville. Start your vacation with a stroll along the neighborhood of Old Louisville, which has one of the largest collections of Victorian houses in the U.S. Take a tour for around $15 or venture on your own. When you're ready to refuel, try the delicious Creole food at Geechy Bayou. Charming Old Louisville also offers many beautiful bed-and-breakfasts and hotels, making finding affordable and convenient rooms a cinch. The city also has a thriving arts community. If you're an art or theater fan, visit the impressive museum at the 21c Museum Hotel, or enjoy a theater performance from LGBT troupe Pandora Productions.
Providence, Rhode Island
As one of the oldest cities, with roots that extend back to 1636, Providence is a great getaway to enjoy some down time and brush up on history. Historic Providence offers a self-guided walking tour, with an app to tell the story of its citizens. Plus, there are many fun and free activities for families, from museums to a planetarium to beaches. After a long day of sightseeing, visit the famous food trucks around Burnside Park and dip your toes in the water. Consider yourself an art aficionado? Explore Wickenden Street for local gems.
About En Route
Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.
Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.
Edited by Liz Weiss.
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