You don’t need to spend a fortune or go far to enjoy a weekend away.
The week-long vacations we all look forward to aren’t always available on a whim. Fortunately, weekend getaways are a terrific way to satisfy your wanderlust without breaking the wallet.
As the oldest beachfront resort in America and the first site in the United States where dawn can be seen, there is no reason to settle for anything less than a wonderful weekend getaway.
We’ve produced a list of cheap and entertaining vacations in every state so you can have a good time without breaking the bank. The best way to save money on a hotel is to utilize a rewards credit card and then redeem your points for a free stay. Continue earning cashback on all of your purchases to keep your budget in check once you’ve arrived. We’ve compiled a list of the finest credit cards that provide cashback for your purchases.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was formerly the state capital and is now a major center for higher education and sports. Visit the Bryant-Denny Stadium, the eighth-largest in the world, to see a Crimson Tide football game if you’re a sports lover. A tour of the arena provides an opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes.
Take a break from the game and visit the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, Capitol Park, or one of the city’s numerous museums when the stadium is empty. Two hours north lies Little River Canyon National Preserve, where you may see the longest mountaintop river in the United States.
Alaska: Driving from Anchorage, the home base.
The animals and wide, untouched nature of Alaska’s relatively tiny cities will overwhelm your sense of adventure in this wild and spectacular state. An appropriate starting point for picturesque day trips from Anchorage is its status as the state’s main metropolis.
Drive through fjords and glaciers in an Alaskan vehicle rental to get the full flavor of the state. As you head south into Seward, you’ll travel through the stunning Turnagain Arm coastline and the towering Chugach Mountains. Take a drive north of Anchorage and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the mountains, waterfalls, and rivers. Near mile 102, there is a short climb to a glacier where you may stretch your legs.
In addition to its beautiful red rock scenery, Sedona’s sunrises and sunsets are among the most photogenic in the world, making it well worth the journey. Whether you want to stay in an RV, an inexpensive hotel, or an Airbnb, there are many ways to experience Sedona’s iconic red rocks, natural pools, and tranquility.
Arkansas: Hot Springs National Park
The National Park System’s oldest park, Hot Springs National Park, is located in the Ouachita Mountains and features a variety of attractions. After a relaxing soak at Buckstaff Bathhouse and a view of the Ouachita Mountains from the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, treat yourself to a beer at Superior Bathhouse Brewery, which uses water from the hot springs in its brewing process.
With a picturesque harbor as its backdrop, Eureka is a charming little town with plenty to do both indoors and out. This weekend trip will not disappoint because of its low cost of both hotel and food. The 67-acre Sequoia Park Forest & Garden, with its twisting network of walking, hiking, and bicycling paths, may be found near Eureka’s Old Town or along the Redwood Highway.
Colorado: Estes Park
Estes Park, tucked near the east entrance to the massive 265,000-acre Rocky Mountain National Park, is the ideal starting point for a wide range of thrilling excursions. Surrounded by natural nature and a multitude of restaurants, spas, golf courses, retail establishments, and other entertainment outlets along with its 355-mile network of hiking trails.
To get a taste of the real-life inspiration for Stephen King’s best-selling novel The Shining, walk down Riverwalk in the downtown area and then go over to The Stanley Hotel for a tour.
In addition to being the setting for Julia Roberts’ 1988 film Mystic Pizza, Mystic is also noted for its maritime history. As a favorite tourist destination for the whole state, the Mystic Seaport has antique ships and residences, quaint boutiques, and the best seafood restaurants. The Mystic Outdoor Art Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year in August.
Delaware: Rehoboth Beach
Clean beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a vintage boardwalk are just a few of the reasons this little coastal town continues to draw large crowds. If you’re looking for something a little more laid down, head to Cape Henlopen State Park. There’s a Dogfish Head Brewery in Lewes, Delaware, if you’re up for a little journey.
Florida: St. Augustine
Not only is St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States, but it is also one of the most beautiful. With its lovely beaches, delicious food, and rich history, this coastal town has something for everyone. Visit the Castillo de San Marcos, the country’s oldest masonry fort, for a look into the past, or get aboard a boat for a relaxing sail.
Georgia: Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park is a free, family-friendly destination in the heart of downtown Atlanta. It was constructed as part of the city’s preparations for the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Concerts, festivals, and a stunning Fourth of July celebration are just some of the highlights of this 21-acre park. As you meander by the sculptures, water gardens, and stunning surroundings, take your time.
Hawaii: Polihale State Park
Polihale State Park’s 17-mile stretch of white sand beach and sand dunes are worth the long, rutted dirt road it takes to get there.
Set a tent and eat your picnic while taking in the stunning sunsets and the steep cliffs of the Napali Coast. Sleep under the stars to end your night.
Chicago’s lakefront skyline provides a striking backdrop to the city’s eclectic blend of world-class dining, vibrant culture, and a kind Midwest welcome. Chicago, like its famed deep-dish pizza, is crammed with world-class museums, delectable cuisine, and open spaces.
Taking a stroll around the lakeside is a beautiful and inexpensive way to spend a day. An extravagant river trip on Chicago’s First Lady will provide you with an unparalleled perspective of the city’s architecture. At The Custom Lounge on the 96th story of the Hancock Building, enjoy a signature cocktail while taking in the stunning views of New York City.
The village of Winneshiek, Iowa, is on a cliff overlooking the Winneshiek River in Winneshiek County, making it an ideal weekend retreat for those looking to get away from the city. Trout Run Trail, an eight-mile recreational route, offers opportunities for canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. Decorah is also home to a large number of historically restored homes and stores, as well as several campsites and bed-and-breakfasts.
Kansas: Dodge City
To this day, Dodge City, formerly a lawless outpost on the Santa Fe Trail, is an energetic city with a motto that reads “Get the Heck Into Dodge,” not “Get the Heck Out of Dodge.” Experience a Wild West shootout and a chuckwagon meal at Boot Hill Museum. A variety performance at the Long Branch bar is a great option if you’re searching for something to do on a rainy evening.
Kentucky: Bourbon Trail
Lexington, Kentucky’s lovely Southern city and the birthplace of bourbon, is an ideal starting point for exploring the state’s whiskey trail. In addition to the well-known distilleries like Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, there are more than 20 smaller distilleries to visit.
While drinking, walk over to the stables at Kentucky Horse Park and check out their horses. If you want to learn more about the area’s history, check out one of the many museums or historic sites, and if you’re in need of something sweet, stop by the family-run Old Kentucky Chocolates.
Mountain vistas, vineyards, and thriving neighborhoods surround Frederick, which is conveniently located between Baltimore as well as Washington, D.C.
In one day, you may do anything from the hike the Appalachian Trail to tour Maryland’s largest brewery to a Civil War battleground.
Historic Hyannis, Cape Cod’s entryway to the beaches, port, and historic Main Street, was formerly a vacation destination for the Kennedy family. In addition to visiting the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory, you can also check out the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, which has a collection of artifacts from the Kennedy era.
Michigan: Mackinac Island
Because this Great Lakes gem is just four square miles, people have been coming here for decades. Mackinac Island is a bicycle-friendly paradise, with a plethora of historic attractions, boutiques, and world-famous fudge.
With a vibrant downtown that transforms from daytime carriage rides into bustling nightlife, Mackinac is full of one-of-a-kind experiences. Set up a tent in the Straits State Park in St. Ignace, the third-oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States, and save money by taking the “Mighty Mac” across the border to get there.
Duluth, a port city on Lake Superior, is bursting with interesting activities, from aquariums and theaters to aircraft and harbor tours, all within a short distance of each other. Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota, is a popular site for dining, entertainment, and other activities because of its lakeside location. Take in the view from the South Pier Inn or walk down to the Aerial Lift Bridge to see ships as tall as 1,000 feet.
Oxford, about an hour outside of Memphis, is known as the “Cultural Mecca of the South,” and its rich culture and history, as well as its small-town charm, serve to inspire the city’s creative community.
There’s a lot to do in Mississippi, which is home to the University of Mississippi. Taking a stroll around the Town Square or riding your bike to Holly Springs National Forest are also great ways to soak in the city’s atmosphere. It’s possible to see William Faulkner’s magnificent mansion Rowan Oak; visit museums, and experience all of Oxford’s fine dining and live music while you’re there.
It’s a great place for a brief break, with a variety of activities to choose from, including hiking, fly fishing, museums, and a lively downtown. Bozeman is a jumping-off point to a slew of mountains, lakes, canyons, and hot springs within easy driving distance of Yellowstone National Park. Visit the Museum of the Rockies, which has the world’s biggest Tyrannosaurus rex skull and features a whole Tyrannosaurus rex.
Omaha, Nebraska’s largest city, is now home to numerous Fortune 500 corporations, including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Omaha, Nebraska’s most forward-thinking city, is a great destination to visit without breaking the bank.
Visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to see the biggest indoor desert in the world and the largest indoor rainforest in North America, take a tour of the Omaha Craft Brewery to taste some local beer, and dine on some of the city’s best cuisine in the historic Dundee district. The Joslyn Art Museum is a great place to let your imagination run wild, while The Old Market is a treasure trove of unique shops, cafés, and flea markets. A few more beers will do you good while you drink up the ambiance and listen to the greatest street musicians around.
Nevada: Virginia City
The Comstock Lode, the first major silver-mining find in the United States, maybe found almost 20 miles southeast of Reno in this small gem of history. This historic town, which was once a thriving mining community in the mid-1800s, will transport you back in time as you wander along its wooden sidewalks, ride a steam engine, or quench your thirst in one of its many distinctive saloons.
One of the most haunted cities in the United States, Virginia City has a number of spooky attractions to visit. Staying at the Silver Queen Hotel, which has had several reports of paranormal activity from visitors throughout the years, will give you the whole ghost-hunting experience.
New Hampshire: Portsmouth
One of the oldest cities in the United States, Portsmouth was founded in 1623 and is on the border between New Hampshire and Maine. There is a nice mix of colonial history and modern culture here right now.
The Piscataqua River, tax-free shopping, museums, and a plethora of gourmet options await visitors to this seacoast city, which is located on the north coast of New Hampshire. Across the river in Maine, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which was established in 1800, is located.
New Jersey: Cape May
Cape May, New Jersey’s southernmost coast, has been a popular seaside destination for Americans since the mid-1800s. Clean beaches, upscale shopping, and a slew of award-winning restaurants are just some of the reasons to visit this seaside treasure, which has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark.
The Cape May Lighthouse, a World War II bunker, and New Jersey’s sole intact WWII observation tower are just a few of the things you can do in Cape May. Atlantic City, the East Coast’s beachfront casino and resort center, is 45 minutes north if you’re seeking more action. The world’s first and longest boardwalk, dotted with bars, restaurants, and amusement park-style activities, may be found here.
New Mexico: Santa Fe
Known as “The City Different,” Santa Fe is the country’s oldest capital city and a haven for those seeking a taste of the past, art, and a touch of the earthy. There are more museums and art galleries in Santa Fe than you can reasonably tour in one weekend. Get your fill of festivals in September or any time of the year in this foodie’s paradise. One thing is for certain: You’ll be awed, inspired, and eager to return.
New York: Ithaca
Regardless of the season, Ithaca, New York attracts outdoor enthusiasts. As a gateway to the whole Finger Lakes region, Cayuga is a great starting point. If you can get away from the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail in the summer, you may enjoy a day of boating, kayaking, or fishing. At the Cayuga Nature Center, you may go for a walk on the trails or climb the six-story treehouse.
North Carolina: Asheville
Visitors from all over the world flock to Asheville, a quaint mountain town in western North Carolina. In addition to its proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has a vibrant downtown area and historic sites. Explore the Blue Ridge Parkway for stunning views and hiking trails, or see Biltmore, Asheville’s architectural masterpiece. This mountain getaway is full of farm-to-table eateries, a thriving music scene, and a whole mile-long River Arts District.
North Dakota: Fargo
Fargo, the state’s largest city and the birthplace of Wells Fargo Express Company founder William Fargo, is located in the Red River Valley of the Great Plains.
Many historic landmarks, parks, attractions, and museums are dedicated to preserving Fargo’s unique culture and heritage. Prior to enjoying a meal at one of the numerous locally owned establishments in the downtown area, take the kids to the Red River Zoo. End the night with a live performance at the Fargo Theater, which has been restored to its former glory.
This modest, inconspicuous town, located about 80 miles east of Columbus, is brimming with recreational opportunities and unique events. Breweries, food trucks, wineries, and a wide array of restaurants are all part of the developing food culture in the area. Salt Fork State Park, Ohio’s biggest state park, is about ten miles outside of town and features beaches, a gorgeous golf course, and a wide range of hiking paths.
Oklahoma: Medicine Park
Resort town Cobblestone Row is located in the Wichita Mountains in southwest Oklahoma, and it’s a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Located in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and with water running through it, you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty at every turn. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the trails, a dip in the pool, a climb, a shopping spree, or nothing at all while the sun sets over the Wichita Mountains.
This seaside community, the oldest west of the Rockies, is nestled in the woods and steps away from the ocean. This port city is home to Victorian-era mansions perched high above the Columbia River, as well as forts, museums, and some of the best microbreweries in the state.
The highest point in Clatsop County is 3,283 feet above sea level at Saddle Mountain. A massive neighborhood block celebration with dog-friendly shopping, art, food, and entertainment awaits you in Astoria this Sunday at the Astoria Sunday Market.
Pennsylvania: Knoebels Amusement Resort
Knoebels Amusement Resort tucked away in the heart of Pennsylvania, is a throwback to the golden age of amusement parks. Knoebels Amusement Park is a great deal of fun and a great place to save money, offering some of the country’s best roller coasters for as little as $1.25 each.
To save even more money, consider a tent site or a rustic cottage for the weekend at the nearby campsite. Either way, the sound of a wooden roller coaster will lull you to sleep.
Rhode Island: Newport
Newport, New England, is renowned for its maritime heritage and magnificent houses. Colonial-style buildings, stunning New England scenery, and a waterfront setting date back to the city’s founding in 1639.
A day at the beach, shopping, or exploring Fort Adams State Park is doable, but be sure to save some time for the Cliff Walk. On one side, you’ll find the ocean, and on the other, opulent houses from the Gilded Age. I wish you the best of luck in your search.
South Carolina: Columbia
Columbia offers everything you need to satisfy your desire for a relaxing vacation: large city activity, small-town charm, and natural beauty. There’s always a festival going on, with a handful to choose from for each season. Enjoy the city’s attractions, history, museums, and fine dining this weekend. If all of that is too much for you, you can always head to the river for some peace and quiet and cool air.
South Dakota: Black Hills & Badlands
The Black Hills & Badlands of South Dakota are a must-see if you want to see some really spectacular sights. There are more than 244,000 acres of awe-inspiring natural wonders to be found here.
Take a tour of Mount Rushmore and the Needles Highway before making your way to Main Street Square in downtown Rapid City, where you’ll find unique events, arts, culture, and music performances.
Even though Memphis is synonymous with blues music and BBQ, there is a slew of other compelling reasons to pay a visit.
When it comes to Memphis, you won’t have to worry about going over your budget because of the city’s famed barbecue, rich cultural past, and most renowned thoroughfare, Beale Street. You can’t leave Memphis without a visit to Graceland, Elvis Presley’s rock ‘n’ roll compound, and a chance to get your name on the outer wall.
Georgetown, located north of Austin in the middle of the state, is a beautiful and historic place to visit. Georgetown’s downtown area is known as the “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas” and is home to a variety of specialty stores and restaurants located in Victorian-era architecture. Throughout the year, there are several festivals and events, as well as a wide variety of outdoor leisure activities.
Moab, Utah, is a great place to spend a few days exploring the red cliffs of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, as well as the Slickrock Bike Trail. While you’re in town, stop by the Moab Museum to learn about the area’s paleontology, the Tom Till Gallery to see the magnificent photography, or Swanny City Park to cool down in the pool.
Hillside community overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains boasts a lively downtown area, fantastic restaurants, and plenty of shopping on Church Street.
A 14-mile bike route around the lake, as well as several hiking trails in the immediate area, make this an ideal destination for anyone seeking a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Ben & Jerry’s Factory is only a 30-minute drive away if you can’t resist the urge.
In the heart of Washington, D.C., this tiny, yet centrally-located location provides tourists with everything they could possibly desire—great food, stunning scenery, and southern friendliness. Aside from George Washington’s Mount Vernon mansion, Alexandria is home to some of the most sought-after trails, museums, and historical sites in the country.
You’ll discover a city full of outdoor activities for every season, fantastic restaurants, and a variety of interesting things to do for both kids and adults if you go from Washington’s west coast. Head to Spokane’s downtown treasure, Riverfront Park, which has a 100-acre urban park with views of the upper Spokane Falls. Before heading to Manito Park on the city’s southern edge, stop by some of your favorite stores and cafés on downtown’s east end.
West Virginia: Fayetteville
Fayetteville, located on the rim of the New River Gorge, is a nature lover’s paradise. There are several hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and rock climbing routes within a short distance of the city. A day of outdoor adventure is followed by a peaceful night out in town for shopping, dining, or just roaming the historic district.
One of the world’s best-known gastronomy destinations, Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward area is home to a vast array of restaurants and gourmet shops. Harley-Davidson Museum, an architectural wonder, and museum loaded with relics and antiques that span the history of the renowned motorbike brand is the place to go when you can no longer eat another meal.
Wyoming: Jackson Hole
Located in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the valley of Jackson Hole stretches for 48 miles. Mountains are a major magnet for outdoor enthusiasts, who flock here in droves. Weekends in Jackson Hole might include anything from whitewater rafting to hiking to moose spotting to zip line.
There is no need to break the bank to have a nice time, especially if you have some drive and one of the finest travel credit cards at your disposal. It’s possible to plan an exciting and cost-effective weekend vacation even with only a few days to spare if you use your imagination.