15 Cool Cities Perfect for Weekend Getaways in the USA

Looking to get away for a weekend? Well, you’re in luck: there are so many incredible weekend getaways in the USA!

The more we travel in our home country, the more we appreciate how its enormous size and incredible diversity mean that city breaks in the United States can cover just about any interest.

Want to lay out on one of the best urban beaches in the world, drink craft beer, attend an unforgettable festival, go hiking, hit a casino, or simply experience some of the most iconic tourist sites in the world in quick succession?

2 Days in Boston Itinerary: Fanieul Hall
Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.

Or, maybe you want to dig into a unique and delicious food scene, learn a bit of American history, or engross yourself in a walkable area and leave driving behind for your whole weekend trip?

No matter what you like to do, there’s an American city (or six) for that.

Here are 15 of the best cities for weekend getaways in the USA.

Top of the Rock or Empire State Building: Photo of Girl in a Dress at Top of the Rock

Southern Weekend Getaways in the USA

New Orleans

It’s often said that there’s nowhere like New Orleans–and that is completely true.

Spending a weekend in New Orleans (or even a single day) means lots of jazz, lots of delicious food (gumbo, beignets, po’ boys, muffulettas, and more–oh my!), and lots of good times.

READ NEXT
The Epic, Exciting 3 Days in New Orleans Itinerary

Be sure to make time for a ghost tour to take a look at the more mystical part of the city (even if you’re not the superstitious type, I promise a ghost tour is worth it in NOLA!), and a bayou tour to check out southern Louisiana’s incredible landscape.

And, while it’s easy to have nothing but good times in New Orleans, you can (and arguably should) add more depth to your trip as well: consider a day trip out to somewhere like the Whitney Plantation to learn a bit about NOLA’s dark past, or even a Katrina-themed tour discussing the serious impacts of the 2005 hurricane.

Where to Stay in New Orleans

  • Best Western Plus French Quarter Landmark Hotel: The hotel itself is beautiful in that classic New Orleans way, and the (included) breakfast is varied and tasty. Best of all, this hotel is situated right on the edge of the French Quarter, meaning that all of the French Quarter and some areas beyond are within easy walking distance.
  • Omni Royal Orleans Hotel: Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this beautiful hotel is known for its gorgeous building, attentive service, and lovely ambiance–plus its ghosts. Yeah, that attentive service? It just may come in the form of the ghost maid who likes to tuck guests in at night!
Romantic Getaways in USA: Jackson Square New Orleans

Miami

If you’re hoping to soak up some fun in the sun during your USA weekend getaway, look no further than Miami.

South Beach is often considered one of the best urban beaches on the planet, and we’d have to agree! 

READ NEXT
3 Days in Miami: A Magnificent Long Weekend in Miami Itinerary

Don’t limit yourself just to the beach, though: be sure to explore Miami Beach’s impressive Art Deco architecture, eat your way through Little Havana, admire street art in Wynwood, and check out the views from Biscayne Bay.

For those who want to experience some unique nature in south Florida during their trip, consider also planning a trip out to the Everglades–or if you have a few extra days, road-tripping your way all the way to Key West, the southernmost point in the USA!

Where to Stay in Miami

  • Hotel Impala: We love staying here! The room was clean, the shower divine, the customer service lovely, and–most importantly–the location on Collins Ave. was absolutely perfect. Located in the heart of the Art Deco district and a five-minute walk from South Beach while still offering a quiet place to sleep at night, Hotel Impala had a location you just can’t beat in Miami Beach.
  • The Marlin Hotel: This hotel offers the chance to stay in one of Miami Beach’s historic art deco buildings! Boasting a fantastic location on Collins Avenue, impeccable customer service, incredible reviews, and spacious suites, the Marlin Hotel is the perfect hotel for those looking for a luxury experience while also seeing a side of Miami Beach’s Art Deco history that not every visitor to the city gets to.
Kate in a pink dress standing in front of a blue art deco lifeguard stand on South Beach in Miami Beach.

Savannah

Dripping with Spanish moss and home to one of the most stunningly beautiful historic centers of any city in the United States, Savannah is the perfect place to head for a weekend trip: not too big, not too small, and positively packed with some of the best southern food you could ever hope to find.

Come here to wander through all 22 of Savannah’s remaining town squares, tour a house museum or two, pay a visit to Forsyth Park, and to wander along gorgeous Jones Street.

READ NEXT
53 Best Things to Do in Savannah (+ Food Tips!)

Shoppers will love all the boutiques on Broughton Street, River Street, and in City Market, and those looking to indulge their taste buds will find limitless incredible food in Savannah, from classic southern meals at the Olde Pink House to tasty ice cream at Leopold’s.

If you’re a former Girl Scout like me, or just interested in their history, be sure to also pay a visit to the home of the organization’s founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

Where to Stay in Savannah

  • The Marshall House: Featuring a popular included breakfast, a fantastic location in the heart of Savannah’s historic district, and phenomenal reviews, you can’t go wrong with a stay at The Marshall House!
  • Foley House Inn: Easily my favorite hotel that I’ve stayed in while in Savannah, the Foley House Inn is absolutely beautiful inside and out, and has a perfect location right on Chippewa Square.
The Best Things to Do in Savannah: Fountain in Square

Asheville

Of all of the weekend getaways in the USA covered here, Asheville is one of the best options for a group divided on whether to visit a city or the great outdoors.

Home to an epic craft beer scene, the incredible Biltmore Estate, plenty of street art, and delicious food options, there’s no doubt that Asheville appeals to the city lovers among us.

READ NEXT
The Ultimate 3 Day Weekend in Asheville Itinerary

Its location right next door to the Pisgah National Forest and Great Smoky Mountain National Park, however, make it a fabulous US weekend destination for outdoor enthusiasts, as well, and there are plenty of easy hikes near Asheville that allow travelers of all skill levels to enjoy the beautiful mountain setting.

No matter what your interests are, try to make time during your trip to Asheville to drive a small piece of the Blue Ridge Parkway–especially if you’re visiting in the fall and can enjoy the changing colors. Often considered one of the most beautiful road trips in the United States, it’s a sight not to be missed.

Where to Stay in Asheville

  • Cedar Crest Inn: This pink 1891 mansion house is a perfect place to base yourself in Asheville. Packed with historical details and stunning architecture you can imagine it as a mini Biltmore.
  • The Applewood Manor: Located within walking distance of downtown via a greenbelt trail, The Applewood Manor feels like it’s in a peaceful, quiet location–but it’s still in a perfect location to make the most of Asheville.
kate storm in a blue dress in front of the biltmore house asheville north carolina

Nashville

Home to country music, hot chicken, street art, and plenty of barbecue, there’s no doubt that Nashville, Tennessee is an excellent place to let the good times roll on your weekend away.

While Nashville is extremely popular as a bachelorette party destination and for other girls’ getaways, large groups are far from the only types of travelers who will enjoy a weekend in Music City, USA.

READ NEXT
55 Best Things to Do in Boston (+ Travel Tips!)

The best places to visit in Nashville include visiting the Grand Ole Opry (both for the show and for the backstage tour!), checking out the Johnny Cash Museum, seeing the Country Music Hall of Fame, and exploring Gulch, the street art neighborhood home to, among many other things, the #instagramfamous Nashville wings.

Be sure to save some time to enjoy the city’s famous nightlife when exploring the best things to do in Nashville. Its tasty food is also an important ingredient on any Nashville bucket list–be sure to try the hot chicken at least once, but be aware of your heat tolerance before ordering!

Where to Stay in Nashville

  • Hutton Hotel: Book into this stylish hotel for your romantic trip, relax on the hotel balcony, or stroll 10 minutes to Music Row.
  • Virgin Hotels: Part of the Virgin Group and with all the luxury details you might expect, with plenty of red and white details.
Skyline of Nashville Tennessee at sunset overlooking the river, one of the most romantic getaways in the United States

Charleston

Located just a couple of hours north of Savannah, Charleston shares a lot of similarities with its neighbor to the south: fantastic southern food, Spanish moss dripping from the trees, beautiful architecture, lots of history to uncover–but it absolutely has its own distinct personality as well.

Be sure to visit the beautiful and photogenic Rainbow Row, check out the tea-making process at the Charleston Tea Plantation, visit the gorgeous and interesting Angel Oak Tree, stroll through Waterfront Park and Battery Park, and check out City Market.

READ NEXT
3 Days in Charleston SC: The Perfect Weekend in Charleston Itinerary

Those interested in US military history will no doubt want to visit Patriots Point to tour the former US naval ships docked there and Fort Sumter for its history (and views).

Even for non-military-history buffs like us, these sights can still be an interesting way to spend some time!

Beach lovers, don’t miss the chance to check out nearby Folly Beach!

Where to Stay in Charleston

  • Market Pavillion Hotel: This hotel is a stunning choice in the heart of the historical district. Rooms feature four poster beds and charming classic decor, but the hotel amenities are really special with a mosaic pool and even its own Executive Pastry Chef whipping up delicious pastries for breakfast.
  • French Quarter Inn: Another fabulous historical hotel is this one in the french quarter overlooking Charleston City Market. You are welcomed with champagne on arrival, there is also a port wine and cheese reception and freshly baked cookies with milk are served every evening. The perfect treats for your trip! Rooms are vintage inspired and really beautiful. This is the loveliest spot in Charleston.
Rainbow Row in as seen during 3 days in Charleston SC

Western Weekend Getaways in the USA

Seattle

Set right on the water with the dramatic backdrop of Mount Rainier, it’s no wonder that busy and beautiful Seattle is one of the most popular west coast weekend getaways in the USA.

A weekend trip is the perfect amount of time to eat your way through Pike Place Market, head to the top of the Space Needle, visit the famous Chihuly Museum, and  check out the fun and interesting Museum of Pop Culture.

READ NEXT
3 Days in Seattle: The Ultimate Weekend in Seattle Itinerary

Looking for interesting neighborhoods? Head to Fremont, where the self-proclaimed unofficial motto is “des libertas quirkas”, aka “the freedom to be quirky”.

Hoping to spend some time outside? Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Pacific Northwest, endless waterfalls, trails, and mountains–even Mount Rainier itself–are located within day-tripping distance from Seattle.

Where to Stay in Seattle

  • Gaslight Inn: Located on Capitol Hill this historic building is a great option for Seattle. Recognized as a historic landmark and beautifully preserved but with all the modern luxuries.
  • MarQueen Hotel: Another historic hotel, built in 1918 in the Queen Anne neighborhood. Rooms all have hardwood floors and period features, as well as huge beds perfect for your romantic trip.
Seattle Waterfront with space needle visible through the ferris wheel

Portland

Much like Austin, Portland proudly embraces its weirdness, celebrating the eclectic and bizarre in all possible ways–and that makes it endlessly fun to visit!

Bookworms like me will immediately head to Powell’s City of Books–I still think it’s the biggest bookstore I’ve ever visited–while foodies will want to head directly to the local ice cream obsession, Salt & Straw. 

READ NEXT
3 Days in Portland OR: The Ultimate Weekend in Portland Itinerary

Voodoo Doughnuts, now with a few locations nationally, also originated here and remains popular with tourists (though depending on who you ask, not locals–for what it’s worth, we’d rate the doughnuts 7/10).

During your weekend trip to Portland, make time to visit the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Garden, especially if you visit when everything is in bloom.

Plenty of incredible parts of the Columbia River Gorge, including famous Multnomah Falls, are also within easy reach of Portland and deserve to feature on your list of things to do in Portland!

Where to Stay in Portland

  • Portland Regency Hotel & Spa: This historic hotel offers a hot tub, steam room, full-service spa, and other luxurious amenities that will truly make your vacation to Portland one to remember!
  • Portland Harbor Hotel: Located on Portland Waterfront is this luxury and stylish hotel. With beautifully designed rooms and a great restaurant, you are also well located to explore more of Portland.
Photo of steal sign stating "portland oregon" in front of a blue sky, a must-see during 3 days in portland or

Las Vegas

Possibly the most iconic of all these weekend getaways in the USA, Las Vegas is a prime destination for short trips.

First-time visitors will certainly want to hit the Strip, even if only to check out the hotels, fountains, malls, and generally see what all the fuss is about–but there’s more to Vegas than the Strip (if you want there to be, that is).

READ NEXT
3 Days in Las Vegas: The Perfect Weekend in Vegas Itinerary

Whether you want to hit the casinos to gamble and soak in some shows, check out Las Vega’s interesting (and far less touristed) downtown area, or get out and experience the fantastic natural highlights of the Southwest, Las Vegas has something to offer.

While the more-famous southern rim of the Grand Canyon is really too far away from Las Vegas to make a practical day trip, options like Valley of Fire State Park, Red Rock Canyon, and the Hoover Dam are all possibilities.

Where to Stay in Las Vegas

  • The Venetian: As one of the most iconic hotels on the Las Vegas strip this is a fabulous choice for your romantic trip. Everything about this resort is luxurious and huge, from the 1.2-acre pool deck to the in house shopping mall. Book a suite and feel like a real star.
  • Bellagio: Fans of the Ocean franchise will know this hotel and its fountains, although almost any Las Vegas fans know the fountain show of the Bellagio! Stay in this famous hotel for the ultimate treat.
Welcome to Las Vegas sign, one of the most popular weekend getaways in the USA

San Francisco

The city of hills, ocean views, and the famous Golden Gate Bridge is at the top of many people’s lists of best USA weekend getaways–and with an endless list of things to do that cater to all interests, why not?

Be sure to pay a visit to the touristed highlights that most interest you–Fisherman’s Wharf (and its adorable sea lions!), Alcatraz, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting the Painted Ladies (of Full House fame), and checking out Lombard Street.

READ NEXT
The Ultimate 3 Days in San Francisco Itinerary

Once you cross those highlights off your list, though, make time for a few less-obvious attractions, like San Francisco’s Japanese Garden, the Land’s End Labyrinth, and Fort Point.

And, of course, you can’t forget to go for a walk in the woods while visiting San Francisco: the Muir Woods are an unforgettable experience worthy of your time on any weekend trip to the area!

Where to Stay in San Francisco

  • Petit Auberge: This adorable hotel in Nob Hill is the perfect place to base yourself for a romantic trip. Styled like a French Auberge with cozy furnishings and fireplaces in the rooms, opening onto pretty terraces, the hotel also has private parking. Essential in the city.
  • Beacon Grand: Opened in 1928 as a hotel for the creators of San Francisco society and recently reopened after restoration preserving architectural details and artisan crafts. Stay in a stunning piece of history and feel like a star.
Man standing in front of enormous Redwood trees with a sunflare in the top left corner of the photo

Eastern Weekend Getaways in the USA

New York City

How much of New York can you see on just a USA weekend getaway? Enough that you’ll want to come back immediately.

New York certainly can’t be “done” in a weekend–nor can it be done in a lifetime–but the great thing about New York City is that no matter who you are or what your interests are, whether you want to track down iconic spots, explore the best food in New York, see a show (or three), or discover offbeat NYC, you can find something to captivate you.

READ NEXT
4 Days in NYC: The Ultimate (Massive) 4 Days in New York Itinerary

For tourists hoping for the classic NYC experience like we were on our first few visits, a weekend in New York is certainly long enough to see all those sights we’ve seen in movies and shows throughout our lives!

Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Grand Central, Times Square, the Public Library, a Broadway show or two, a visit to Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge–in a weekend, you can see all of that and more.

If you’re into museums, we also recommend hitting just one (no more–too much else to do!) during your weekend in New York: the Met, MOMA, and the Natural History Museum are all great, classic choices.

Where to Stay in New York

  • The Plaza Hotel: For a memorable place to stay, this is one of the most classic and luxurious hotels in New York. It is located right by Central Park, the Rockefeller Center, and some of NYC’s most popular museums.
  • The Renwick: Offering stylish residential style accommodation, this beautiful hotel is equipped with plenty of amenities and high class comfort. It is also a short walk to the Empire State Building and Bryant Park for exploring.
4 Day New York Itinerary: Manhattan Skyline with Brooklyn Bridge

Boston

Incredibly beautiful and steeped in both American history and its own distinct, modern culture, Boston is one of those cities you visit for a weekend and fall in love with for a lifetime (we would know–we’ve been crazy about it ever since our brief 3-month stint of living there!).

While you’re there, be sure to visit the picturesque North End, fashionable Back Bay, and grand Beacon Hill–three Boston neighborhoods you absolutely can’t miss.

READ NEXT
2 Days in Boston: The Ultimate Weekend Itinerary

Also consider strolling through the Boston Public Garden (one of our favorite spots in the city) and the Boston Common, visiting the penguins at New England Aquarium, meandering along the Freedom Trail, and hitting the water with a whale-watching cruise.

Bibliophiles like us shouldn’t miss the Boston Public Library (check out the Reading Room on the second floor!), nor Brattle Bookshop.

Sports fans, head directly to Fenway Park for a tour and/or a game.

Where to Stay in Boston

  • Found Hotel Boston Common: This boutique hotel in the Theatre District is perfect for exploring Boston. Rooms are bright and comfortable, and there is access to public transport a short walk from the hotel.
  • Revere Hotel Boston Common: Also in the Theatre District and close to Boston Common is this stylish hotel with a stunning rooftop terrace and bar, perfect for afternoon drinks. Rooms are spacious and have a coffee machine for those of you who need coffee the moment you wake up.
2 Days in Boston Itinerary: Beacon Hill

Washington DC

Our country’s capital city is not only the seat of our national government, it’s also a fabulous place for a weekend trip in the United States, and an incredibly popular stop for visitors from other countries who are planning a trip to the USA!

Museum-goers will be delighted with the enormous array of impressive options to choose from in Washington DC–everything from the many Smithsonian Museums, to quirky options like the International Spy Museum, to meaningful stops like the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, are available–far more than you can visit in a single weekend.

READ NEXT
25 Best Christmas Vacations in the USA

Those interested in US History and government will also have plenty to keep them busy along the National Mall, including iconic stops like the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and those looking to enjoy the city’s magnificent food scene will love taking a DC food tour.

Touring the US Capitol is always an interesting experience, and if you plan ahead, you may even be able to tour the White House!

While DC has plenty to offer year-round, there’s no doubt that cherry blossom season in Washington DC is one of the best (and most popular) times to visit.

As a bonus, many of the things to do in Washington DC, including all of the Smithsonian museums, are free to enter.

Where to Stay in Washington DC

  • CitizenM Capitol: Another stunning example of CitizenM hotels is this location in Washington DC Capitol. Expect all the style and comfort these hotels are known for.
  • Riggs Washington DC: Located in the former home of Riggs National Bank this iconic building is now home to a classic and beautiful hotel. Rooms are huge and comfortable and offer views of Penn Quarter.
Washington Monument in Washington DC framed by cherry blossoms in the foreground. Washington DC is one of the best places to visit in the United States

Central Weekend Getaways in the USA

Austin

The self-proclaimed live music capital of the world, the home of the world-famous SXSW festival, and a city full of classic American charm with a country flair: when you’re looking for the best weekend getaways in the USA, it would be a shame to leave off the gem that is Austin, TX.

I have lived in Austin as both a child and an adult, and when I wasn’t living there, returned at least 1-2 times a year for most of my life due to family living in the area–and I never, ever get tired of visiting to tuck into a plate a delicious breakfast tacos, general TexMex, or barbecue.

READ NEXT
25 Best Weekend Getaways in Texas

During your weekend trip to Austin, head down to South Congress for fabulous food, eclectic boutiques, and incredible street art, and “Dirty Sixth” for some unforgettable nightlife (or alternatively, Rainey Street or Guadalupe Street for a different vibe).

Of course, this is the capital of Texas, so save some time during your weekend trip to Austin for some more typical cultural highlights, like visiting the Texas State Capitol and the historic (and possibly haunted) Driskill Hotel.

Plus, as Austin is surrounded by the stunning Texas Hill Country, no trip there is complete without going for at least one hike in Austin and taking a day trip to beloved nearby towns and wineries–Wimberley and Fredericksburg are both favorites.

Where to Stay in Austin

  • The Driskill: Originally built in 1886, The Driskill elegantly combines old-world charm with all of today’s modern luxuries. Dine at the award-winning on-site restaurant and enjoy the luxury of this iconic Austin landmark.
  • Hotel Saint Cecilia: This hotel set in pretty gardens is a great oasis in the city. There is an onsite pool with private bungalows, perfect for relaxing.
south congress austin texas looking toward the capitol

Chicago

Visiting Chicago means it’s time for pizza, pizza, and more pizza… and okay, probably some sightseeing as well.

The sprawling city of Chicago, set right up against beautiful Lake Michigan, is certainly worthy of being included on any list of the best weekend getaways in the USA–and there are definitely plenty of fun things to do in Chicago to keep you busy while you’re there, including plenty of opportunities to explore the culture, enjoy delicious food, and even get outside in Chicago.

Come to Chicago for the weekend to snap selfies at The Bean, test your fear of heights on the famous Chicago Skydeck, pay a visit to Navy Pier, and of course, to eat a lot of deep dish.

READ NEXT
3 Days in Chicago: The Ultimate Weekend in Chicago Itinerary

Art lovers will find plenty of museums to devour in Chicago, including the incredible Art Institute of Chicago, and baseball fans will enjoy seeing the Cubs play a game at the famous Wrigley Field. 

For animal lovers and family travelers, head directly to Shedd Aquarium (and for family travelers, make note of the American Girl Place as well–the highlight of my first visit to Chicago long, long ago!).

Where to Stay in Chicago

  • Warwick Allerton: Situated on the Magnificent Mile in Downtown Chicago, the hotel is perfect for shopping and discovering iconic architecture.
  • Staypineapple: This oddly named hotel was designed by a world renowned architect and features stylish details such as mosaic floors and marble ceilings. No detail is spared and rooms are a testament to the thought that has gone into each part of the hotel.

Set of 4 photos, from top left: life guard stand in Miami, Acorn Street in Boston, Jones Street in Savannah, Manhattan Skyline in NYC. There's white text on a red background in the center of the image that reads "15 Epic Cities Perfect for USA Weekend Getaways"

[convertkit form=3386343]

About Kate Storm
Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

18 thoughts on “15 Cool Cities Perfect for Weekend Getaways in the USA”

    • Well isn’t that an embarrassing typo for someone who has owned a Keep Austin Weird shirt for 20 years! Lol. I’ll get it fixed.

      Reply
    • Thanks, Priti!

      We’re professional travel bloggers, so this website is our job.

      We earn money through the display ads that you see while scrolling and sometimes get a commission (at no cost to you) if a reader books a tour/hotel/attraction through a link on our website. 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Comment