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Best Weekend Getaways

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

After a long week, sometimes a short getaway is in order. But deciding which destination to travel to can be daunting when you only have a weekend to spend. To help you choose the right trip, U.S. News considered factors like accessibility, affordability and entertainment options, as well as reader votes, to determine which cities offer the best setting for a weekend away. Don't forget to vote for your favorite destinations below to help guide us in determining next year's ranking. 

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#1 New York City

#1 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: Travelers can reach New York City by train, plane or automobile, so weekend getaways are 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 »

Buzzing Times Square View 75 photos
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#2 Philadelphia

#2 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: The first UNESCO World Heritage City in the USA, Philly offers plenty in the way of historical sights. But it also packs plenty of culture with diverse communities, a burgeoning culinary scene and passionate sports fans.  Read More »

Ben Franklin in the Park View 25 photos
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#3 Santa Monica Beach

#3 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: If exploring all of Los Angeles in one weekend seems overwhelming, head to one of the best beaches in California for a quick trip. Santa Monica offers balmy weather year-round, plus distractions away from the sand, including a 26-mile bike path, an amusement park pier and plenty of people-watching. 

Santa Monica Beach
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#4 Quebec City

#4 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: The streets of Old Quebec are enchanting any time of year. And thanks to its compact, walkable landscape, you can see a lot in just a few days. Shopaholics should head to Quartier Petit-Champlain while history buffs can get lost in the Morrin Centre. When the weather is warm, head to Battlefields Park. Read More »

Snowy Quebec View 33 photos
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#5 San Francisco

#5 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: The City by the Bay offers temperatures in the 60s year-round, making it ideal for sightseeing, riding the famous cable cars and exploring the city's diverse, eclectic neighborhoods. Plus, during baseball season, AT&T Park boasts unique views of the San Francisco Bay. Read More »

Golden Gate Bridge View 37 photos
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#6 Toronto

#6 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: Hop over Lake Ontario to our northern neighbor for an urban escape. It's tough to see all of sprawling Toronto in just a few days, but first-timers can hit the high points, such as the CN Tower, St. Lawrence Market and the Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. Save an evening to stroll the Distillery District.  Read More »

Toronto View 37 photos
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#7 Washington, D.C.

#7 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: Not only is America's capital chock full of free attractions, but many of them are concentrated on the National Mall, making it easy to see the highlights in just a matter of days. While visiting, don't miss out on the popular weekend brunch scene – just remember to make reservations in advance. Read More »

Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool View 46 photos
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#8 San Diego

#8 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: You could spend the whole weekend relaxing on the beach in San Diego, but if you can pull yourself away from the sand, other beloved attractions include the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Balboa Park and Torrey Pines State Reserve. After the sun sets, enjoy the nightlife of the Gaslamp Quarter.  Read More »

San Diego View 49 photos
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#9 Vancouver

#9 in Best Weekend Getaways

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

Vancouver waterfront View 43 photos
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#10 Boston

#10 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: Whether you're catching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park or learning about the American Revolution along the Freedom Trail, you can see the highlights of "Bahston" in just a few days. If you have kids in tow, the Boston Children's Museum and the New England Aquarium are must-sees.  Read More »

Boston Harbor View 43 photos
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#11 Miami

#11 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: A weekend in Miami is all about soaking up the culture. Dine on Cuban food in Little Havana, snap photos at the Wynwood Walls and soak up some sun on the beach. And don't miss the nightlife along South Beach. Read More »

Miami Skyline View 24 photos
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#12 Charleston

#12 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: Charleston offers Spanish moss-laden bed-and-breakfasts and gas lamp-lit cobblestone streets to transport you to a simpler time. Spend the day strolling along The Battery, indulging in decadent southern food or visiting the vibrant Old City Market. Read More »

Pineapple Fountain View 51 photos
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#13 Seattle

#13 in Best Weekend Getaways

Why go: This jewel of the Pacific Northwest offers iconic sights like Pike Place Market, the original Starbucks and the Space Needle, all of which you can see in a matter of days. Just remember to bring along an umbrella and a raincoat – weather in the Emerald City can be unpredictable.  Read More »

Seattle Skyline View 21 photos
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Denver

Big Blue Bear at the Colorado Convention Center

Denver

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Chicago

Chicago Skyline

Chicago

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Montreal

Vieux-Montreal

Montreal

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles skyline

Los Angeles

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