Looking to get out of town for a few days? It would be great to take a week or even two to explore the world, but sometimes what you need is a few stress free days to disconnect from your normal responsibilities!!
With that in mind we’ve outlined a few closer to home vacations that can make for the perfect long weekend getaways.
Find some inspiration in our rundown of America’s top weekend getaways…
Las Vegas, Nevada
When: Las Vegas is always in season. From May to October, the pool scene is in full swing, but even when outside temperatures drop, Las Vegas is hot. And with bags of flight and hotel options, together with plenty of attractive deals, it’s always ripe for a last-minute retreat.
Why go: What happens in Vegas always makes a great talking point back home, whether it’s racing a Lamborghini at the Exotics Racing School or sipping drinks at the Minus5 Ice Bar where seats, bar and glasses are literally ice.
Perennially fun is sightseeing along the Strip, riding to the top of the Eiffel Tower to watch Bellagio’s fountain show, catching acrobatics acts at Circus Circus and walking — certified divers can swim — through the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.
Celebrity chefs keep adding restaurants, and cuisine is just part of the allure of establishments such as Lagasse’s Stadium, a huge sports bar and restaurant with plush seating and HD screens; Picasso, with its original Picasso paintings; and Aureole, where wire-suspended “flying wine angels” pluck and deliver vintage bottles from four-story wine towers.
Wow factor: The reasons to visit Las Vegas seem to grow by the second. Among the quirkier additions are two zip lines: one descends from the 1,149ft tower of the Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower; another flies along Freemont Street.
Deerfield Valley, Vermont
When: Each season brings new activities and a new look to the region. Especially stunning is fall foliage, generally peaking in late September and early October.
Why: With easy access from New York and Boston, Deerfield Valley, a.k.a. Mount Snow Valley, imbues its bucolic charm with the sophistication urbanites seek.
Skiers know Mount Snow for its diverse intermediate cruising trails and Carinthia, a stand-alone freestyle skiing and snowboarding area. Horse-drawn sleigh rides and dog-sledding also delight winter visitors.Warm weather cyclists explore the terrain at leisure. Others take in the scenery on horseback, during a round of golf, or fly fishing and kayaking on the Deerfield River.
Tastings at the Honora winery and shopping for antiques, crafts and original art in iconic New England towns such as Whitingham, Wilmington, and nearby Townshend and Bennington are always in season.
Among the area’s biggest draws are its intimate, elegant inns with fine restaurants such as the Hermitage Inn, with tastings in its extensive wine cellar, and the White House Inn, which also has a spa.
Wow factor: Festivals such as the Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival (Sept. 23-25, 2011), timed for fall foliage, highlight the crafts, farm-to-table cuisine, and hospitality making this region special.
When: Snow sports and après ski fun make winter prime time. Taste of Vail and Vail Film Festivals headline in spring. Summer brings music, dance and arts festivals and wildflower-clad meadows, and a lively Oktoberfest ushers in autumn.
Why: With four distinct seasons of mountain sports at its doorstep, this intimate European-style alpine village delights celebrities and sophisticated visitors from around the world with pedestrian streets, sidewalk cafés, art galleries and a year-round calendar of creative festivals and free concerts.In this indulgent ski-in/ski-out town, pampering spas and luxury condos and resorts abound. Even the bowling alley (Bol) and movie theater (Cinebistro) serve gourmet food. Here, dog sledding, paragliding, hot-air balloons and rock climbing are just a few of the exotic ways to experience the glorious mountain surroundings.
Wow factor: Nearly 5,300 acres of interconnected skiable terrain, including the famed expert-delighting back bowls, make Vail among the most beloved ski areas in the world.
New Orleans, Louisiana
When: Summers tend to be hot, with hurricanes most likely in August and September, but festivals entice visitors year-round, especially Mardi Gras and the spring Jazz Fest.
Why go: The main tourist areas were never flooded by Katrina and still brim with the city’s trademark exuberance.The historic French Quarter is the heart of the city’s celebrated jazz and Creole/Cajun-spiced culinary scene, boasting legendary jazz venues like Preservation Hall, fine antique and art galleries and beloved eateries such as Antoine’s, Brennan’s and Café du Monde.
For deeper immersion, ride the St. Charles Streetcar past the Victorian mansions of the Garden District, try a cooking class, or join a walking tour focused on voodoo, jazz, or local lore.
Wow factor: The Preservation Hall Jazz Club is one of the most respected jazz institutions in the States, and arguably the world. Founded in 1961, the club became a much needed home the first generation of jazz musicians and has since become a byword for quality music – a New Orleans experience as authentic as po’ boys and crawfish.
Sure, sure we know this is outside the US, but it’s so close we feel like it must be included!
When: November to May tends to have the best weather. June to October is hurricane/rainy season, but rains are often fleeting and hurricanes are rare.
Why go: It’s easy to spend a whole vacation being pampered at one of the resort’s many five-star hotels but the reasons to venture out are more than compelling. Swim with dolphins, get face-to-fin with sharks, and dive amid the distinct coral-growing sculptures of an underwater museum at the Xcaret eco-archaeological park. Also be sure to check out some of the cenotes located within an hour or two of Cancun. These watery sinkholes are great for a cooling swim and fantastic for snorkeling and scuba diving, offering a glimpse into a subterranean world.
And while major Maya sites are just a few hours away, almost hidden in the hotel zone, the smaller, less visited Ruinas del Rey offer an undiscovered, authentic quality.
Wow factor: There might be winding river pools and Maya-inspired spa treatments, but most visitors are enchanted by Cancun’s silky white sand, which remains cool to the feet and stretches for 14 glorious miles of beachfront, lapped by a brilliant turquoise sea.
Start planning your weekend getaway before more time slips away! Find a local travel agent to manage your trip.