There is nothing better than getting away for the weekend.
Maybe you’ve decided to hoard your vacation time for an epic trip, but need to get away before taking your future bucket list trip. Fortunately, the United States offers a mind-blowing selection of great places to visit without breaking the bank.
These weekend getaways are fast, fun, and provide you with just the right scratch for your travel itch.
Ok, this writer may be a little biased because I’m from Colorado and have a website and podcast about…all things Colorado!
Denver is currently experiencing “a moment.” Years of hard work developing the city, a little notoriety (legal weed anyone), and a sick view of the Rocky Mountains creates one of the best weekend getaways. I guarantee you’ll come back for more.
Fly into Denver International Airport (DIA) via Denver-based Frontier, or travel favorite, Southwest. Hop on the train from DIA to downtown Denver’s Union Station, then catch a LYFT or UBER to your hotel or hostel. Dump your luggage and get ready to explore.
There’s really no bad time to visit Denver, but summer is a time when Denver truly throws down the welcome mat for citizens and visitors alike.
Enjoy free festivals such as the Denver Day of Rock held downtown and the amazing Chalk Art Festival that brings in talented artists from all over the world. Artists create insane 3D creative pieces using Colorado chalk and the street as their canvas.
Check out the ever-changing murals in the River North (RINO) district and catch a beer at one of the city’s numerous breweries. Denverites have more than a casual obsession with all things beer.
Love art? Check out the Museum of Contemporary Art designed by David Adjaye, recently voted the world’s best architect.
Denver has also become a foodie mecca with a ridiculous number of local restaurants pushing how Denverites experience their food. Check out: Bacon Social Club, Avanti, and Cholon to get started on exploring the culinary diversity of the city.
The Windy City is literally tethered between land and Lake Michigan. The city takes one’s breath away as your plan circles around the lip of the lake and then heads towards O’Hare for landing.
While you might think Chicago is one of the more expensive weekend getaways, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to have a great time in Chi-town.
Once you land, hop on Chicago’s L (the train) to downtown. You will feel like you’re on the train for a while, but the ride is worth it. If possible try to stay near the Magnificent Mile, a shopping and food destination.
Catch a water taxi and pay $9 for a day pass. The water taxi ended up being one of my favorite ways to explore Chicago.
Need to get a workout in? Check out Blazin Cycle to see where their next stationary bike workout will be held.
Make sure you head to Millennium Park. It’s where you will find the famed Chicago Bean. They say it’s called Cloud Gate, but everyone knows it’s the Bean. Plus, Crown Fountain, also located in Millennium Park, is a fountain that every tourist should experience when visiting the city.
No trip to Chicago would be complete without eating some of the best food in the world. From local favorites like deep dish pizza, pierogies, shakshuka, and Rick Bayless’s nod to authentic Mexican food at Frontera Grill.
Yep, this one is random in terms of weekend getaways. But, trust me, it’s a great town.
Think of it as the Austin of Alabama.
Huntsville is a quick 30-minute flight from Atlanta and apparently has “the largest per capita concentration of engineers in the U.S.” according to the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to being a beautiful little town with a lovely downtown. Huntsville is the epicenter of the Alabama craft beer scene. If you enjoy riding a bike and having a beer, hang out with the Bikes and Brews Huntsville crew and explore the town while sampling beer around town.
As one would expect, there is great food to be had everywhere. But, my favorite foodie experiences were eating boiled peanuts and having fried pickles.
If you’re looking for a relaxing time, walk around the lovely Big Spring Park and feed the ridiculously hungry koi that live in the ponds. Bring quarters so that you can purchase fish food to feed them.
No trip to Huntsville would be complete without visiting the U.S. Space and Rocket Center which figuratively blew me away. See up close and personal one of the Space Shuttles and a Saturn V rocket.
Getting around town is pretty easy, just use UBER or LYFT to get picked up and taken to whichever area you would like to explore.
Wrap up your visit to Huntsville at A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard for some great music, beer, and a great time to be had in a truly unique space.
There is nothing better than taking three or four days to check out a new destination. Strategize your vacation hours and plan your trip the next time you have a three-day weekend. Take a day off of work and then you’ll have a nice four-day holiday that is fun, affordable, and relaxing.
What are your favorite weekend getaways? Let us know in the #Adulting community on Facebook.