The 12 Best Cities for a Weekend Getaway

Sometimes the only way to relax on the weekend is to pack a bag and head out of town.

U.S. News & World Report

The 12 Best Cities for a Weekend Getaway

USA, South Carolina, Charleston, Church Street, St. Philip's Church
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1. Charleston, South Carolina

Southern hospitality, Lowcountry cuisine, mild weather and charming bed-and-breakfasts … need we say more? Charleston offers visitors a chance to step back in time with its charming cobblestone streets and antebellum architecture. Take a few days to explore the Battery, stick your toes in the sand on Folly Beach or pick up some handmade souvenirs at the Charleston City Market.

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Charleston
Tree Pose in Sedona, California
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2. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is known for its famous red rocks and hundreds of hiking trails, but it's also a hotbed for world-class spas and spiritual healing. Unwind at one of the many resorts that offer treatments made with local ingredients or sip wine along the Verde Valley Wine Trail

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Sedona

So it's been a long week...

Weekends are made for unwinding, and sometimes the only way to relax is to pack a bag and head out of town. But where should you go when you've only got a couple of days to experience a place? To help you decide, U.S. News analyzed reader votes and expert opinions to create a list of cities that offer the perfect mix of entertainment, relaxation and accessibility, and can be enjoyed in a short amount of time.

Read more: 
Best Weekend Getaways in 2015-16

12. San Antonio

For a true taste of all the Lone Star State has to offer, spend a few days in San Antonio. The city revolves around the River Walk, which offers attractions like the Museum of Art, as well as countless hotels, restaurants and shops. Plus, San Antonio's not just home to The Alamo, but also several other sites that reflect the influence of Mexican culture on Texas. 

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in San Antonio

11. Kennebunkport, Maine

Those looking for quiet relaxation should head to this small town in southern Maine. With its fishing, unobstructed beaches and loads of fresh seafood, Kennebunkport exemplifies the classic New England village. If you ever want to venture away from your spot on the sand, head into Dock Square to people-watch. 

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Kennebunkport

10. New York City

If a quick trip to the city is all you want, look no further than the Big Apple. New York City offers countless attractions, from the Statue of Liberty to Radio City Music Hall, and a little something for every traveler. There's premier shopping on Fifth Avenue, fabulous shows on Broadway and iconic architecture abounds. You could never see it all in a weekend, so pick your must-sees and make a return trip to explore further. 

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in New York City

9. Vancouver, British Columbia

Take a trip across the northern border for a getaway that mixes urban sophistication and outdoor adventure. Vancouver packs in the culture in neighborhoods like Granville Island and Yaletown. When it comes to the outdoors, you'll have a different experience no matter the time of year: winter transforms the area into a ski destination, while the summer brings crowds out to Spanish Banks Beach and Stanley Park

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Vancouver

8. Miami Beach

Miami Beach is the perfect weekend destination for those looking to soak up the rays during the day, then party into the night. While North Miami Beach is more family-friendly, there's no place in the world quite like South Beach. Admire the art deco architecture, chow down on food packed with Spanish and Caribbean flavors and get ready for a night out on Ocean Drive

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Miami Beach

7. Santa Barbara, California

With a small-town vibe and big-city amenities, Santa Barbara offers the best of both worlds. Just a two-hour drive north of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, "America's Riviera" is the place for a sophisticated escape with an easygoing atmosphere. In a weekend you can squeeze in a trip to East Beach, a wine tasting and boutique shopping on State Street

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Santa Barbara

6. Colorado Springs, Colorado

A weekend spent in Colorado Springs is all about the outdoors. Stunning vistas abound in this region, with hikers visiting year-round to catch a glimpse of the famous Pikes Peak, which inspired the patriotic song, "America the Beautiful." Other striking views can be seen from Red Rock Canyon and the Garden of the Gods

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Colorado Springs

5. Austin, Texas

The "Live Music Capital of the World" maintains a quirky culture and easygoing vibe that's just right for a few days away. For many, the No. 1 reason for a visit is to take in the tunes along Sixth Street, the main music thoroughfare, but the city also offers a big taste of Texas with barbecue and Tex-Mex flavors. Meanwhile, nature lovers and culture hounds will love Zilker Park, which offers everything from museums to kayaking. 

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Austin 

4. Tucson, Arizona

If you want to escape to a warm-weather locale, Tucson should be on your list. With an average of 350 sunny days a year, the area never lacks sunshine. Plus, Tucson plays host to distinctive attractions like the Mission San Xavier del Bac, which is still an active church, and sprawling nature reserves. If high-end resorts and upscale restaurants are what you're after, head northeast to Catalina Foothills.

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Tucson 

3. Monterey, California

The Monterey Peninsula boasts stunning views tailor-made for road trips. Roll the windows down and feel the ocean breeze along the 17-Mile Drive. While golfers will want to make a stop at the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links, those looking for a larger dose of nature should head farther south to the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Monterey

2. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is known for its famous red rocks and hundreds of hiking trails, but it's also a hotbed for world-class spas and spiritual healing. Unwind at one of the many resorts that offer treatments made with local ingredients or sip wine along the Verde Valley Wine Trail

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Sedona

1. Charleston, South Carolina

Southern hospitality, Lowcountry cuisine, mild weather and charming bed-and-breakfasts … need we say more? Charleston offers visitors a chance to step back in time with its charming cobblestone streets and antebellum architecture. Take a few days to explore the Battery, stick your toes in the sand on Folly Beach or pick up some handmade souvenirs at the Charleston City Market.

Read more: 
Best Things to Do in Charleston
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