I’m a lover of all trips, no matter how long, but there is something especially fun about weekend trips. Taking a couple days to get away and explore, but not having to break routine by being gone for an entire week. That’s my favorite way to travel. Plus, weekend trips can be booked on the fly and planned last minute. Y’all already know how much I love that.
There are a few cities that I think weekend trips are perfect for. Cities with enough culture to entertain you for 3 days, but not so spread out that you can’t see everything. These are the cities I am always trying to get back to when I see an open weekend on my calendar.
In no particular order because I could never pick a favorite, I present to you my 5 favorite weekend destinations!
Manhattan, New York
Oh, New York. I’ll always love you. Forever one of my favorite places to visit is New York City. As big and magical as it is, you can easily get a good feel for Manhattan on a weekend trip.
Spend one day of your trip exploring Times Square. Go shopping, take in the hustle and bustle that is New York City, grab dinner at a fun spot, catch a Broadway show, then grab drinks at a rooftop bar.
The last time I was in the city we ate at a delicious Spanish restaurant called Sangria 46 off 46th street near Times Square. We checked out The Skylark rooftop bar off 39th and loved it. The easiest (and most fun) way to get tickets to a broadway show is to go to the red stairs in the middle of Times Square, underneath it is the TKTS booth. They sell discounted day-of tickets. Just walk up and ask them what they have for that evening! It’s my favorite way to do shows.
Take another day to do lower Manhattan where you will have a ton of options to explore. SoHo is a gorgeous neighborhood with beautiful buildings and fun places to shop. Chinatown is bustling and you can get some amazing food at Joe’s Shanghai off Pell Street. Walk a bit further south to see the 911 Memorial or visit the museum. Then after that you can see the Brooklyn Bridge or check out the Oculus.
On your last day head north to check out Central Park. There is a ton to do in the park, but the museum lovers will be especially thrilled. If you’ve been wanting to check out The Met or The Guggenheim, today is your day. I’m not a museum person, but still love Central Park. My favorite thing to do is just walk around and explore. Maybe grab lunch and just take in the park. I also love the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace — it’s beautiful and you have to check it out!
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San Diego, California
Totally switching gears from bustling New York City is laid back and cool San Diego. There is just something about San Diego that I absolutely love and escaping for a weekend always seems like a good idea.
San Diego is always sunny and 75, or so it seems. The weather outside is perfect, so that’s where you should spend most of your time.
Head north and explore Torrey Pines and La Jolla. Torrey Pines is the perfect place to go on a hike. We did the Beach Trail Loop and loved it. After your hike, head to La Jolla. Check out Scripps Pier, the tide pools, and hike the cove!
A trip to San Diego isn’t complete without catching some waves. Rent a paddle board or surf board and head out to Pacific Beach to get some time in the ocean. Make sure you grab some fish tacos while you are there, Oscar’s is my favorite spot for them. Afterwards, head to OB to catch the sunset at Sunset Cliffs. (a MUST!!)
Don’t forget about the city side of San Diego! Grab coffee at one of the many darling places, visit the San Diego Zoo or Balboa Park, stroll down Harbor Drive, and catch a baseball game if you are there during the summer!
A little closer for my local friends is good ole Nashville! I don’t go to Nash near as often as I should, but gosh is it fun when I do!
Everyone knows Nashville as music city and rightfully so! During the day there are tons of spots to see like the Johnny Cash Museum, the Ryman Auditorium, or the Grand Ole Opry. Later in the evening, grab your cowboy boots and head to Broadway. You can go from bar to bar, listening to live music and dancing at each!
Nashville doesn’t play when it comes to food. There are so many amazing restaurants to try it’s actually overwhelming. For a good breakfast, go to the Frothy Monkey. If you want mega instagram vibes, check out Pinewood Social. Hattie B’s hot chicken is a Nashville classic. Seriously, the food scene is unbeatable! Yelp and Pinterest will be your best friend when it comes to choosing a place for each meal.
As for the city side of Nashville, there is plenty to do! If you are into murals there are hundreds of them that you can see and find. The Gulch is a super fun spot to walk around. Centennial Park is gorgeous and has a replica of the Parthenon.
Sticking with the live music vibes is one of my all-time favorite cities: Austin,Texas. It’s young, hip, weird, and vivacious. There is something there for every type of traveler, from foodies to adventurers to nightlife lovers.
Get adventurous in Austin and spend some time outdoors. Zilker Park is super fun to explore; you can take a dip in the Barton Springs Pool while you are there. If you want a shorter activity, rent a paddle board or kayak and go out on the Colorado River.
One of my favorite parts of visiting Austin is the food! It’s next level, y’all. Two of my favorite dinner spots are Guero’s Taco bar off South Congress and Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill. Get the chicken and waffles at Moonshine. I love a smoothie from the Squeezery and a donut from Voodoo Donut for breakfast. It’s called balance. 😉
Don’t pass up the city scene in Austin. You can take a tour of the Capitol or just walk the grounds. If you are hanging out downtown, you will find tons of fun shops and live music. Most importantly, don’t miss South Congress: delicious restaurants and food trucks, funky murals, and overall a young, hip vibe.
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I probably visit Boulder a little more than I should. It’s just way too easy to catch a cheap Frontier flight to Denver and then hop on the Flatiron Flyer. It is the perfect city for a weekend trip, especially if you are an outdoor loving, hipster type of person!
It’s Colorado, so spending as much time outside is a must in Boulder. Head to Chautauqua Park to hike the Flatirons or the Royal Arch trail. If you want something a little more off the beaten path, head south to Eldorado Canyon State Park. It’s a hotspot for rock climbers, but also has beautiful trails and creeks.
If you are into cycling, you won’t be upset in Boulder; this city was made for y’all! You can rent a mountain bike, road bike, or just take a Buddy bike and go out for a stroll. It’s one of my favorite things to do in Boulder.
Take a rest day (or half day) and visit Pearl Street. It’s the main part of downtown with tons of cool shops from big brands like Patagonia to local bookstores. Don’t miss it!
After you are done exploring, head to one of the many breweries in Boulder and have a drink! There are tons of amazing places to eat in Boulder. My favorite is Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant off Walnut.
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After writing this, I am already scheming up ways to get back to all of these places before the end of the year! Do you have any trips on the calendar? I would love to hear about them in the comments!
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