Do you want a little break from your routine? Do you want to get away without embarking on a full-fledged vacation? We understand and we can help.
Whether you don’t have the time to take a week or two off of work, or don’t feel like spending 14 hours on a plane flying across the globe, there are still plenty of ways to sneak in incredible weekend excursions that are close to home, but far from ordinary.
So here are five of our favorite domestic destinations that you can enjoy with just a couple of days, no passport needed.
New York City, NY
Of course New York is on our list! While trying to see everything great in New York in a weekend is admittedly impossible, it’s still amazing how much you can do in just a few short days.
Though all five boroughs offer so much, spending your limited time in Manhattan is usually the best way to see the city in a hurry, especially if it’s your first time.
Ok, you probably can’t see it all in one weekend, but it doesn’t mean you can’t try
For shopping lovers, you have about 8,000 retail stores to choose from, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But you can’t go wrong shopping high-end and flagship stores on 5th avenue and West Broadway, vintage shops in SoHo, and be sure to check out Barney’s exquisite new location in Chelsea.
There is also no end of options in sight if you’re looking for a bit of culture. Though if you *have* to choose just a few, we always recommend the delightful Museum of Natural History and Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Of course, it would hardly be a trip to New York without a Broadway show. While your chances of getting into Hamilton are still pretty slim, there are more than enough productions that are well-worth spending an evening to attend.
Cap off your bustling weekend with a relaxing and quintessential stroll through Central Park, or rent a bike and take a ride down the High Line, the city’s newly revitalized sustainable green space along the Hudson.
Another northeast favorite is none other than our nation’s capital itself. And though it helps, you don’t have to be interested in politics to enjoy your time here.
The biggest attraction is going to be the National Mall and you could very easily spend your entire weekend here and still not come close to seeing everything. Walk the two miles from the Capitol Building up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, passing the Washington Monument, reflecting pool, and much of the Smithsonian along the way.
However you would be remised if you didn’t visit at least one of the amazing museums that are part of the Smithsonian Institute. Whether your passions lie in art, history, pop culture, journalism, or space exploration, you will not be disappointed with the world-class exhibits found inside.
And bibliophiles simply shouldn’t miss venturing through the awe-inspiring and expansive Library of Congress when in the area.
Many of DC’s biggest attractions are also completely free. Some of our favorites are the Air and Space Museum, the National Zoo, and the National Portrait Gallery, not to mention countless memorials and preserved homes.
Here’s lookin’ at you Abe
For something away from the Mall, spend your day shopping and dining in posh Georgetown, taking a boat tour on the Potomac, or enjoying an evening out at the Kennedy Center or even Ford’s Theatre (yes, that one).
It’s a lot to try to take in on your own so consider joining a tour to see the city by foot, bike, trolley, or even Segway.
This may be the Second City, but a weekend here is anything but second-rate.
For indoor adventures visit the iconic Art Institute of Chicago (forever immortalized in Ferris Bueller’s Day off), or go say hello to local favorite Sue the T. Rex at Field Museum. She is the largest and most complete T. Rex in the world, and though she is a sight to behold in and of herself, the 24 million historical artifacts that surround her will easily fuel a day of intellectual exploration.
Not your average Welcome Wagon
Photo credit: onlymayday via Visual Hunt / CC BY
If you want to spend your time outside during the warmer months, take a walk or a swim along the beaches of Lake Michigan or head to Millennium Park, which holds free concerts all summer long.
And for something ‘classically Chicago’ you can’t go wrong with taking in a dramatic view of the city from the Willis Tower Skydeck, grabbing some deep dish pizza, and heading to Second City for a comedy show. Who knows, you could see the next Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert, or Tina Fey there before they make it big.
While Atlanta may be known to many as home to The Walking Dead (#NoSpoilers), it offers so much more. This thriving, vibrant metropolis has become quite the destination and it’s pretty easy to fill a weekend away there.
To get a sense of the powerful evolution of the city visit the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site or the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Then enjoy some time in their abundant green spaces by hopping on the Ferris wheel in Olympic Park or taking in a Shakespearian comedy performed in Piedmont Park.
Or for something totally different, strap in to a stockcar at the Richard Petty Driving Experiences as it whips around turns barreling toward 170 mph.
A different kind of rental car
Photo credit: SuperCar-RoadTrip.fr via Visualhunt.com / CC BY
Of course you have to indulge in local favorites while here, so enjoy tasty southern treats throughout the city by day and at night unleash your sorrows in good company at Blind Willie’s, Atlanta’s foremost blues bar.
If you love tasty food and great music (who doesn’t?) then a jaunt down to Nashville is always a good time. In recent years Nashville has really come into its own by embracing its quirkier side and attracting some of the best chefs and musicians in the country.
It’s also a city with a distinct and unapologetic style all its own, giving you excellent shopping options for everything from 60s vintage to custom-made denim.
You don’t leave Nashville without taking a little bit of the Honky Tonk home with you.
Though you’ll be able to find live music just about everywhere here, a true must-visit is local favorite Station Inn for enthusiastic musicians belting out their best bluegrass tunes.
Dives and historical bars fill the streets, but for an upscale cocktail experience head to The Patterson House and take a step back into a more glamorous era with some of the finest mixed spirits you’ll find anywhere.
Music historians can also get a rush touring through the Country Music Hall of Fame or even the Johnny Cash Museum, or if you want to stay outside then head over to Centennial Park and check out its to-scale replica of the Parthenon. It’s a little weird, but hey, that’s Nashville.
Now start thinking, where do you want to go on your next great weekend getaway?
Written by the UTD Team
Uniglobe Travel Designers is a minority, women owned, award-winning, full service travel management company specializing in both corporate and leisure travel. This article was a collaborative effort from our team.