Short on time and looking for the perfect out of town spot? Whether you’re seeking adventure, romance, or just a few days to relax, here are 11 top-notch escapes that require fewer than four hours in either a car or a plane from more than a dozen major cities. Wherever you live, we’ve got you covered.
There’s something charming about the South—specifically Savannah. Known for its storybook enchantment, the city is brimming with history, scenic views, and architectural wonders. The oldest city in the state of Georgia, it’s easy to spend the day walking around, lost in your thoughts and the beautiful sites of this river city. And if a Georgian friend has ever fed you, then you already know you’re in for some good southern fare. The best part about visiting Savannah is that it’s great to visit anytime of year. So if you’re up North this fall, and looking for a quick escape, Savannah is a perfect option.
Drake isn’t the only one who loves Toronto. Known as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, the culinary options are just one of the reasons Toronto has become an urban mecca. Korean, Mexican, Cuban, or French fare, it’s quite possible you’ll find yourself in a food coma by eating your way around the city. And if that’s not enough to make your heart skip a beat, our friends up north have a ton of attractions to check out, such as the CN Tour, Kensington Market, or the historic distillery district. Has Niagara Falls also been on your mind? You can add it to your Toronto checklist because it’s just a short two-hour drive outside the city.
Just 600 miles off the coast of North Carolina, resulting in a 1.5 flight from the East Coast, Bermuda is perfect for those seeking an island vacation, but wanting to escape the typical Caribbean escape. Pink sand beaches, authentic island treats, pastel color-homes, luxurious accommodations, and a quick flight? What more can you ask for with your weekend escape? With British influenced traditions, don’t be surprised if you spend your mornings watching a cricket match, followed by an afternoon of high tea. A true retreat for the sophisticated, your life will forever be changed by Bermuda’s charm.
Atlantic City, NJ
Affectionately known as a “mini-Las Vegas,” Atlantic City has built its reputation as a thriving weekend getaway destination, despite the devastation of Hurricane Sandy several years ago. Following a multimillion-dollar renovation, Atlantic City is back and better than ever. Where else on the East Coast can you get dozens of casinos, a boardwalk, beach and luxury hotel properties? An ideal location for those commuting from New York City, Philadelphia, or Washington D.C., it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to a weekend of fun.
Whoever coined the phrase, “It’s better in the Bahamas” wasn’t lying. From exquisite conch bites in every form (fried, as a salad, or cracked), to magical hotel palaces such as Atlantis, Nassau should be at the top of everyone’s “must-visit” list within their lifetime. Whether seeking a romantic getaway, a family escape, or even a jaunt with friends, the Bahamas is the perfect “all-purpose” island retreat. There’s a reason it’s a popular getaway for celebs like Jay Z and Beyoncé, Kerry Washington, and Angela Bassett.
Everything’s bigger in Texas. This applies to (nearly) everything. But what makes Houston truly special is the plethora of options for dining, nightlife, arts, culture, and family time. Did we also mention football? From a delicious meal at Chef Chris Shepherd’s Underbelly to a first-class spa experience at the JW Marriott, to a visit to the Buffalo Soldier’s Museum, or a stay at the quaint B&B La Maison in Midtown, your visit to Houston will be quite unlike any city you’ve ever experienced. If you don’t believe us, see for yourself.
What’s better than bourbon? The correct answer should be—absolutely nothing. Louisville’s thriving city culture gives you a glimpse into the magic that is Kentucky. And unlike being a tourist in most cities, interacting with locals will give you the most immersive experience into all that Louisville has to offer—the Victorian architectural sites, the Muhammed Ali Center, Louisville Mega Caverns, and some of the best barbeque in the country, just to name a few. As Kentucky’s largest city, there’s much more to it than the Kentucky Derby. So if you’re in for a weekend of bluegrass, bars, bourbon, and basketball, why not add a weekend getaway to Louisville to your vacation list?
Visiting Buffalo is like discovering a diamond in the rough—and that makes it perfect for us. Synonymous with small-town charm, this aging Rust Belt city has plenty of incredibly cool things to see and do—if you know where to look. And of course, as the home to “Buffalo” wings, you know you’ll find some good eats as well. Located less than an hour away by plane from New York City, and in close proximity to Rochester, Detroit, and Toronto, you can find yourself here within a hop, skip, and a jump. And just a short drive to Niagara Falls, you can add some adventure to your Buffalo visit as well.
Park City, Utah
Whether you’re an avid skier, or simply love to snuggle up near the fireplace, Park City is the perfect winter bucket list destination. Known as the “perfect mountain town,” there’s also plenty to do year round. For those with a deep appreciation for outdoor fun, you can spend your winters on the slopes (skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling), or summers on the mountain (hiking, golfing, biking). And when you have some downtime, you can indulge in everyone’s favorite pastime—eating. Known for the diversity of its local restaurants and cuisine, Park City is also a food lover’s paradise.
History buffs, this city is for you. Hey, what’s more “American” than visiting the city that created the American flag, right? And if a history lesson is in order, you can also take a trip to the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross’s House, or the Philadelphia Art Museum. But don’t think that’s all there is to the city of brotherly love. With over 200 BYOBs (bring your own whatever), it’s a perfect opportunity to taste test your way around the city, while enjoying your own preferred beverage. Often overlooked, people don’t realize all that Philadelphia has to offer. And it’s more than just cheesesteaks!
St. Thomas, USVI
It’s impossible to get sick of a Caribbean sunset. And sitting beachside in the U.S. Virgin Islands is no different. An ideal destination for those looking to jet set away for a no-passport-required getaway, St. Thomas is an entry way to a hassle free vacation. Though only 32-square miles, this bustling sister of the trio of islands is jammed packed with fun. And for those seeking adventure travel, you can swim, snorkel, dive, sail, hike, horseback ride and sightsee to your heart’s content!