Though there’s certainly a case to be made for spending a long weekend on the couch with a Shark Tank marathon, there’s only so many times you can hear “and for that reason, I’m out” before the outdoors will inevitably come calling. While planning trips abroad can be overwhelming with the associated time and money that it takes to really explore a new country, there is a wealth of cities in America that can be conquered in a weekend, making it much more doable to broaden your horizons. If you’re not sure where to even begin, here’s seven cities best-suited for a long a weekend.
Besides Constitution Center and Independence Hall (both of which boast rare artifacts and interactive exhibits), Philly is also home to The Philadelphia Museum of Art. Here, you can race up the famous steps, pumping your fists and testing out your borderline offensive Stallone impression as you go. For an authentic cheesesteak experience, go to Pat’s and order the “Wiz, Wid” to blend in with the locals.
Look no further than Asheville for a city full of live music, outdoor recreation and craft breweries as far as the eye can see. From nationally distributed brands like New Belgium and Wicked Weed to local spots like The Funkatorium, you’re bound to find the hops of your dreams. To de-stress from the daily grind, try the : an underground mine with over 20 tons of pure pink salt to lull you into a state of pure meditation.
If you’re in Austin and don’t get barbeque you’re committing a federal offense punishable by law. Not really, but you would be missing out on what some have dubbed “The in the known universe.” Probably the most well-known is Franklin’s Barbecue for their brisket sandwich, but forego the line of fellow tourists for more local gems like Rudy’s or Terry Black’s. To burn it off, rent paddle boards at Lady Bird Lake and enjoy the beautiful landscape while dodging the big-time heat. If you’re a music lover, head to Waterloo Records for a selection of thousands of rare vinyls.
Besides baseball and clam chowder (both of which can be found at the world famous Fenway Park), Boston is best known for historical spots like The Freedom Trail, a stretch with 16 different Revolutionary War sites. Once you’re stuffed to the gills with patriotism, bliss out among the sea life at the New England Aquarium on the (I couldn’t resist).
If you’re looking to enjoy a beautiful waterfront while absolutely engorging yourself on shellfish, boy do we have the place for you. Take a stroll around Old Port, a funky historic seaport, and then head to Portland Lobster Company for picnic tables, bibs and all the butter dipping sauce you can handle. Full already? Cap off the low-key, relaxing weekend by hitting the beach at Cape Elizabeth and check out the iconic Maine for yourself.
San Diego, CA
t’s not just the zoo, folks (though, that is pretty breathtaking). San Diego is more laid back, just as beautiful and has even better Mexican food than its Northern neighbor Los Angeles. Put on your swim trunks and head to the gorgeous La Jolla Cove for seal-spotting. While you’re there, stop by The Taco Stand and douse yourself in the best salsa this side of the border.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Rounding out our list is the Big Easy, an unparalleled destination for nightlife, jazz and crawdads. The French Quarter hosts eclectic shopping destinations (think sex shops and voodoo stands) to incredible local cuisine (try a beignet and chicory coffee from Cafe Du Monde) there’s never a shortage of things to do. If you go to one club, make it The Jazz Playhouse for blues and burlesque abound.
So, there you have it-- the seven best destinations for a long weekend getaway. Next time you take a Friday off, instead of yelling “that evaluation is insane!” at your tv, do yourself a favor and remember that the rest of the world is out there waiting for you.