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Best Weekend Getaways from Philadelphia

By Regan Stephens

The Tides Inn Irvington Virginia

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Home to a vibrant culinary scene , thousands of larger-than-life works of public art , and—no big deal— the actual home of American democracy , Philadelphia has plenty going for it. Add to that the city’s location: right between New York City and Washington, D.C. and conveniently well-positioned for so many road trips. Charming small-towns, secluded mountain cabins, cultural hubs and coastal retreats—they’re all less than a five-hour drive. If you're longing for a change of scenery a short drive away, read on for our favorite weekend getaways from Philadelphia.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

East Point Lighthouse New Jersey

Maurice River, New Jersey  

Philadelphians searching for a restorative getaway should look no further than the Lokal A-Frame (from $300 per night) , located less than an hour from Philly by car in Cumberland County, New Jersey. The homegrown Lokal hotel group, run by husband-and-wife creatives Chad and Courtney Ludeman, introduced the area to a new style of lodging when they opened their first hotel in Old City in 2017. The “invisible service” hotel—one that replaces an onsite staff with technology and intuitive design—is perfect for these times of social distancing. And the three-bed, two-bath A-Frame vacation home, set on a wooded 2.5 acres, takes it to the next level. Besides groceries, the home is stocked with all the necessities for a secluded break. Fire up dinner in the Big Green Egg grill, screen a movie on the 8-foot projection screen, soak in the wood-fired hot tub, and take your morning coffee (made with locally brewed beans you can find in the kitchen) to the private river beach. In the unlikely event cabin fever hits, break the off-the-grid illusion with a visit to the nearby East Point Lighthouse , or with a scenic drive to one of the New Jersey shore towns. Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Cape May are only a short drive away. (one-hour drive from Philadelphia)

River House at Odettes New Hope PA

New Hope, Pennsylvania  

Just 40 miles north of Center City in bucolic Bucks County, Pennsylvania, New Hope is as charming and small-town as Philadelphia is (charmingly) bustling and gritty. River House at Odette’s (from $389 per night) opened on the edge of town in late September. Named for the cabaret run by French singer Odette Myrtil who once occupied the same site, the 36-room boutique hotel overlooks the Delaware River and is a short walk from Main Street’s antique shops and eateries. Pack a picnic lunch with provisions from the Ferry Market —a salad from Little Radish, made with produce from nearby farms, or a vegetable empanada from Lima Fusion—before pedaling two miles down the canal path to explore what’s in season at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve . End the day at the hotel’s member’s only rooftop lounge, with a local beer from Free Will Brewing and panoramic river views. (one-hour drive from Philadelphia)

Baltimore George Peabody Library one of the most beautiful famous libraries in the world.

Baltimore, Maryland  

Baltimore may be best known for its tourist-thronged Inner Harbor, but fan out from Charm City’s unofficial epicenter to find much quieter, quirkier neighborhoods. Spend a weekend in a restored 19th-century brick mansion in Mount Vernon at The Ivy (from $595 per night ). Plenty of historic sites are in walking distance—the stunning Peabody Library and the Walters Art Museum —but no one would blame you for forgoing it all to stay cloistered in what can feel like your own private estate. Start the day in the courtyard with made-to-order lemon souffle pancakes, take afternoon tea in the library, and in the evening, pour a glass of wine at the serve-yourself Mansion bar. Inside each of the plush 18 rooms and suites is a gas fireplace and complimentary mini-bar stocked with local snacks and drinks. In the Fell’s Point neighborhood along the Patapsco River, the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore (from $295 per night ) sits on Recreation Pier. Opt for a harbor view room where floor-to-ceiling windows show off the scenic waterfront. Try a whiskey tasting at the Cannon Room (named for the 17th-century cannons unearthed on site during the hotel’s construction), and come back in the summer, when the pool set on the edge of Rec Pier opens for sunbathing and socializing. (one-and-a-half hour drive from Philadelphia)

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Pocono Mountains Delaware Water Gap

Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania  

About 100 miles north of Philadelphia, the Poconos have been a sanctuary for city dwellers since the early 19th century, when the region’s first hotel opened. Surrounded by lake-dotted forests, the area is still a draw for camping, skiing, and other year-round outdoor entertainment. Bypass the sprawling resorts and instead book a cozy Airbnb, like the Midcentury A Frame (from $275 per night ) near the village of Hamlin. Nestled in a leafy enclave just a few minutes walk from a lake, the jewel of this lovingly restored home is the soaking tub, framed with a wall of windows to showcase the surrounding nature. Venture out to walk Main Street in nearby Honesdale, and stop for a cup of coffee at Black and Brass , made with beans roasted on-site, or plates of handmade fettuccine and whole roasted trout at Native . (two-hour drive from Philadelphia)

Lewes and Rehoboth Beach Delaware

Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware  

Southern Delaware draws year-round visitors for its 25-mile-stretch of family-friendly beaches, scenic biking trails, and thriving culinary scene. Stay at the Dogfish Inn ( from $119 per night ), a boutique hotel run by Dogfish Head brewery on the edge of downtown Lewes, looking out over the Lewes-Rehoboth canal. Stroll down 2nd Street—stopping in Edie Bees for penny candy and Biblion Books for paperbacks—before tapping the Inn’s gear shed for beach cruisers, binoculars, Woolrich blankets, and other essentials for a trail ride. Return to sit by the fire pit, sampling house beers brewed just down the road. At the Bellmoor Inn + Spa (from $199 per night) in downtown Rehoboth, take your breakfast into the quiet courtyard, read by the fire in the Jefferson library, or schedule an in-room massage. Just two blocks from Rehoboth beach and boardwalk, find a host of restaurants in walking distance, including Egg and Henlopen City Oyster House . (two-hour drive from Philadelphia)

Amber Waves Farm Market  Kitchen Amagansett NY

Amagansett, New York  

While “out east” for sun-seeking Philadelphians typically means the Jersey Shore, in under four hours from Center City, the Hamptons are a refreshing change of coastal scenery. Book a private cottage at recently opened The Roundtree ( from $395 per night ) in Amagansett. Room designs reflect the low-key luxury that defines the region, with a subdued color palette, Frette linens, and Grown Alchemist bath products. In winter, snuggle under a blanket by the fire pit during a s’mores-filled happy hour. Come back in warmer weather to take one of the property’s beach cruisers for the mile-long spin to the ocean (they’ll also give you towels, umbrellas, and all the other essentials for a perfect day at the beach). Or, tour nearby vineyards and shop the town’s farmer’s markets, like nearby Amber Waves , for fresh peaches grown on their 25-acre farm. (four-hour drive from Philadelphia)

Quirk Hotel Richmond VA

Richmond, Virginia  

Virginia’s capital is home to a vibrant art scene, and there’s no better place to soak it in than at Quirk ( from $179 per night) , located in the Arts and Design District—about four hours south of Philly. Light and airy guest rooms are imbued with character thanks to plenty of artwork, but perhaps none mirrors the neighborhood’s dynamic and design-minded vibe more than the Mural Rooms. Each one is painted by a different local artist, and a portion of the room rate will go to Make Space, a mentorship program for young female artists. Check out the neighborhood’s myriad galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, and don’t miss the hotel’s own Quirk Gallery, which showcases exhibitions by established and emerging artists. (four-hour drive from Philadelphia)

The Tides Inn Irvington Virginia

Irvington, Virginia  

Set on the Northern Neck peninsula between the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay is the tiny town of Irvington, right in the midst of Virginia’s Oyster Trail. Less than five hours by car from Philadelphia, The Tides Inn (from $199 per night) has a distinctly retro-seaside resort feel, with tennis courts, lawn games, and dockside crabbing—a perfectly peaceful spot to refresh and feast on local seafood. Book a long weekend in one of the newly designed Ashburn suites, with harbor views and soaking tubs, and make time to cruise Carter’s Creek in one of the hotel's electric Duffy boats, or borrow a stand-up paddleboard to venture out solo. The resort can arrange an Oyster Academy experience, too, where you can tag along with a local waterman to learn about the bivalves before sampling the haul, or hit the trail on your own. First stop: Merroir at Rappahannock Oyster Company for fresh-harvested oysters al fresco. (five-hour drive from Philadelphia)


Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center

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Photo of Miami skyline with a US flag in the right corner and a causeway built over the water. Miami is easily one of the best weekend getaways in the USA!

15 Cool Cities Perfect for Weekend Getaways in the USA

Looking to get away for a weekend? Well, you’re in luck: there are so many incredible weekend getaways in the USA!

The more we travel in our home country, the more we appreciate how its enormous size and incredible diversity mean that city breaks in the United States can cover just about any interest.

Want to lay out on one of the best urban beaches in the world, drink craft beer, attend an unforgettable festival, go hiking, hit a casino, or simply experience some of the most iconic tourist sites in the world in quick succession?

2 Days in Boston Itinerary: Fanieul Hall

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Or, maybe you want to dig into a unique and delicious food scene, learn a bit of American history, or engross yourself in a walkable area and leave driving behind for your whole weekend trip?

No matter what you like to do, there’s an American city (or six) for that.

Here are 15 of the best cities for weekend getaways in the USA.

Table of Contents

Southern Weekend Getaways in the USA

Western weekend getaways in the usa, eastern weekend getaways in the usa, central weekend getaways in the usa.

Top of the Rock or Empire State Building: Photo of Girl in a Dress at Top of the Rock

New Orleans

It’s often said that there’s nowhere like New Orleans–and that is completely true.

Spending a weekend in New Orleans ( or even a single day ) means lots of jazz, lots of delicious food (gumbo, beignets, po’ boys, muffulettas, and more–oh my!), and lots of good times.

Be sure to make time for a ghost tour to take a look at the more mystical part of the city (even if you’re not the superstitious type, I promise a ghost tour is worth it in NOLA!), and a bayou tour to check out southern Louisiana’s incredible landscape.

And, while it’s easy to have nothing but good times in New Orleans, you can (and arguably should) add more depth to your trip as well: consider a day trip out to somewhere like the Whitney Plantation to learn a bit about NOLA’s dark past, or even a Katrina-themed tour discussing the serious impacts of the 2005 hurricane.

Where to Stay in New Orleans

  • Best Western Plus French Quarter Landmark Hotel : The hotel itself is beautiful in that classic New Orleans way, and the (included) breakfast is varied and tasty. Best of all, this hotel is situated right on the edge of the French Quarter, meaning that all of the French Quarter and some areas beyond are within easy walking distance.
  • Omni Royal Orleans Hotel : Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this beautiful hotel is known for its gorgeous building, attentive service, and lovely ambiance–plus its ghosts. Yeah, that attentive service? It just may come in the form of the ghost maid who likes to tuck guests in at night!

Romantic Getaways in USA: Jackson Square New Orleans

If you’re hoping to soak up some fun in the sun during your USA weekend getaway, look no further than Miami.

South Beach is often considered one of the best urban beaches on the planet, and we’d have to agree! 

Don’t limit yourself just to the beach, though: be sure to explore Miami Beach’s impressive Art Deco architecture, eat your way through Little Havana, admire street art in Wynwood, and check out the views from Biscayne Bay.

For those who want to experience some unique nature in south Florida during their trip, consider also planning a trip out to the Everglades–or if you have a few extra days, road-tripping your way all the way to Key West , the southernmost point in the USA!

Where to Stay in Miami

  • Hotel Impala : We love staying here! The room was clean, the shower divine, the customer service lovely, and–most importantly–the location on Collins Ave. was absolutely  perfect.  Located in the heart of the Art Deco district and a five-minute walk from South Beach while still offering a quiet place to sleep at night, Hotel Impala had a location you just can’t beat in Miami Beach.
  • The Marlin Hotel : This hotel offers the chance to stay in one of Miami Beach’s historic art deco buildings! Boasting a fantastic location on Collins Avenue, impeccable customer service, incredible reviews, and spacious suites, the Marlin Hotel is the perfect hotel for those looking for a luxury experience while also seeing a side of Miami Beach’s Art Deco history that not every visitor to the city gets to.

Kate in a pink dress standing in front of a blue art deco lifeguard stand on South Beach in Miami Beach.

Dripping with Spanish moss and home to one of the most stunningly beautiful historic centers of any city in the United States, Savannah is the perfect place to head for a weekend trip : not too big, not too small, and positively packed with some of the best southern food you could ever hope to find.

Come here to wander through all 22 of Savannah’s remaining town squares, tour a house museum or two, pay a visit to Forsyth Park, and to wander along gorgeous Jones Street.

Shoppers will love all the boutiques on Broughton Street, River Street, and in City Market, and those looking to indulge their taste buds will find limitless incredible food in Savannah , from classic southern meals at the Olde Pink House to tasty ice cream at Leopold’s.

If you’re a former Girl Scout like me, or just interested in their history, be sure to also pay a visit to the home of the organization’s founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

Where to Stay in Savannah

  • The Marshall House : Featuring a popular included breakfast, a fantastic location in the heart of Savannah’s historic district, and phenomenal reviews, you can’t go wrong with a stay at The Marshall House!
  • Foley House Inn : Easily my favorite hotel that I’ve stayed in while in Savannah, the Foley House Inn is absolutely beautiful inside and out, and has a perfect location right on Chippewa Square.

The Best Things to Do in Savannah: Fountain in Square

Of all of the weekend getaways in the USA covered here, Asheville is one of the best options for a group divided on whether to visit a city or the great outdoors.

Home to an epic craft beer scene, the incredible Biltmore Estate, plenty of street art, and delicious food options, there’s no doubt that Asheville appeals to the city lovers among us.

Its location right next door to the Pisgah National Forest and Great Smoky Mountain National Park, however, make it a fabulous US weekend destination for outdoor enthusiasts, as well, and there are plenty of easy hikes near Asheville that allow travelers of all skill levels to enjoy the beautiful mountain setting.

No matter what your interests are, try to make time during your trip to Asheville to drive a small piece of the Blue Ridge Parkway–especially if you’re visiting in the fall and can enjoy the changing colors. Often considered one of the most beautiful road trips in the United States, it’s a sight not to be missed.

Where to Stay in Asheville

  • Cedar Crest Inn: This pink 1891 mansion house is a perfect place to base yourself in Asheville. Packed with historical details and stunning architecture you can imagine it as a mini Biltmore.
  • The Applewood Manor : Located within walking distance of downtown via a greenbelt trail, The Applewood Manor feels like it’s in a peaceful, quiet location–but it’s still in a perfect location to make the most of Asheville.

kate storm in a blue dress in front of the biltmore house asheville north carolina

Home to country music, hot chicken, street art, and plenty of barbecue, there’s no doubt that Nashville, Tennessee is an excellent place to let the good times roll on your weekend away.

While Nashville is extremely popular as a bachelorette party destination and for other girls’ getaways, large groups are far from the only types of travelers who will enjoy a weekend in Music City, USA.

The best places to visit in Nashville include visiting the Grand Ole Opry (both for the show and for the backstage tour!), checking out the Johnny Cash Museum, seeing the Country Music Hall of Fame, and exploring Gulch, the street art neighborhood home to, among many other things, the #instagramfamous Nashville wings.

Be sure to save some time to enjoy the city’s famous nightlife when exploring the best things to do in Nashville . Its tasty food is also an important ingredient on any Nashville bucket list –be sure to try the hot chicken at least once, but be aware of your heat tolerance before ordering!

Where to Stay in Nashville

  • Hutton Hotel: Book into this stylish hotel for your romantic trip, relax on the hotel balcony, or stroll 10 minutes to Music Row.
  • Virgin Hotels: Part of the Virgin Group and with all the luxury details you might expect, with plenty of red and white details.

Skyline of Nashville Tennessee at sunset overlooking the river, one of the most romantic getaways in the United States

Located just a couple of hours north of Savannah, Charleston shares a lot of similarities with its neighbor to the south: fantastic southern food, Spanish moss dripping from the trees, beautiful architecture, lots of history to uncover–but it absolutely has its own distinct personality as well.

Be sure to visit the beautiful and photogenic Rainbow Row, check out the tea-making process at the Charleston Tea Plantation, visit the gorgeous and interesting Angel Oak Tree, stroll through Waterfront Park and Battery Park, and check out City Market.

Those interested in US military history will no doubt want to visit Patriots Point to tour the former US naval ships docked there and Fort Sumter for its history (and views).

Even for non-military-history buffs like us, these sights can still be an interesting way to spend some time!

Beach lovers, don’t miss the chance to check out nearby Folly Beach!

Where to Stay in Charleston

  • Market Pavillion Hotel : This hotel is a stunning choice in the heart of the historical district. Rooms feature four poster beds and charming classic decor, but the hotel amenities are really special with a mosaic pool and even its own Executive Pastry Chef whipping up delicious pastries for breakfast.
  • French Quarter Inn : Another fabulous historical hotel is this one in the french quarter overlooking Charleston City Market. You are welcomed with champagne on arrival, there is also a port wine and cheese reception and freshly baked cookies with milk are served every evening. The perfect treats for your trip! Rooms are vintage inspired and really beautiful. This is the loveliest spot in Charleston.

Rainbow Row in as seen during 3 days in Charleston SC

Set right on the water with the dramatic backdrop of Mount Rainier, it’s no wonder that busy and beautiful Seattle is one of the most popular west coast weekend getaways in the USA.

A weekend trip is the perfect amount of time to eat your way through Pike Place Market, head to the top of the Space Needle, visit the famous Chihuly Museum, and  check out the fun and interesting Museum of Pop Culture.

Looking for interesting neighborhoods? Head to Fremont, where the self-proclaimed unofficial motto is “des libertas quirkas”, aka “the freedom to be quirky”.

Hoping to spend some time outside? Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Pacific Northwest, endless waterfalls, trails, and mountains–even Mount Rainier itself–are located within day-tripping distance from Seattle.

Where to Stay in Seattle

  • Gaslight Inn : Located on Capitol Hill this historic building is a great option for Seattle. Recognized as a historic landmark and beautifully preserved but with all the modern luxuries.
  • MarQueen Hotel: Another historic hotel, built in 1918 in the Queen Anne neighborhood. Rooms all have hardwood floors and period features, as well as huge beds perfect for your romantic trip.

Seattle Waterfront with space needle visible through the ferris wheel

Much like Austin, Portland proudly embraces its weirdness, celebrating the eclectic and bizarre in all possible ways–and that makes it endlessly fun to visit!

Bookworms like me will immediately head to Powell’s City of Books–I still think it’s the biggest bookstore I’ve ever visited–while foodies will want to head directly to the local ice cream obsession, Salt & Straw. 

Voodoo Doughnuts, now with a few locations nationally, also originated here and remains popular with tourists (though depending on who you ask, not locals–for what it’s worth, we’d rate the doughnuts 7/10).

During your weekend trip to Portland, make time to visit the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Garden, especially if you visit when everything is in bloom.

Plenty of incredible parts of the Columbia River Gorge, including famous Multnomah Falls, are also within easy reach of Portland and deserve to feature on your list of things to do in Portland !

Where to Stay in Portland

  • Portland Regency Hotel & Spa : This historic hotel offers a hot tub, steam room, full-service spa, and other luxurious amenities that will truly make your vacation to Portland one to remember!
  • Portland Harbor Hotel: Located on Portland Waterfront is this luxury and stylish hotel. With beautifully designed rooms and a great restaurant, you are also well located to explore more of Portland.

Photo of steal sign stating "portland oregon" in front of a blue sky, a must-see during 3 days in portland or

Possibly the most iconic of all these weekend getaways in the USA, Las Vegas is a prime destination for short trips.

First-time visitors will certainly want to hit the Strip, even if only to check out the hotels, fountains, malls, and generally see what all the fuss is about–but there’s more to Vegas than the Strip (if you want there to be, that is).

Whether you want to hit the casinos to gamble and soak in some shows, check out Las Vega’s interesting (and far less touristed) downtown area, or get out and experience the fantastic natural highlights of the Southwest, Las Vegas has something to offer.

While the more-famous southern rim of the Grand Canyon is really too far away from Las Vegas to make a practical day trip, options like Valley of Fire State Park, Red Rock Canyon, and the Hoover Dam are all possibilities.

Where to Stay in Las Vegas

  • The Venetian: As one of the most iconic hotels on the Las Vegas strip this is a fabulous choice for your romantic trip. Everything about this resort is luxurious and huge, from the 1.2-acre pool deck to the in house shopping mall. Book a suite and feel like a real star.
  • Bellagio: Fans of the Ocean franchise will know this hotel and its fountains, although almost any Las Vegas fans know the fountain show of the Bellagio! Stay in this famous hotel for the ultimate treat.

Welcome to Las Vegas sign, one of the most popular weekend getaways in the USA

San Francisco

The city of hills, ocean views, and the famous Golden Gate Bridge is at the top of many people’s lists of best USA weekend getaways–and with an endless list of things to do that cater to all interests, why not?

Be sure to pay a visit to the touristed highlights that most interest you–Fisherman’s Wharf (and its adorable sea lions!), Alcatraz, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting the Painted Ladies (of Full House fame), and checking out Lombard Street.

Once you cross those highlights off your list, though, make time for a few less-obvious attractions, like San Francisco’s Japanese Garden, the Land’s End Labyrinth, and Fort Point.

And, of course, you can’t forget to go for a walk in the woods while visiting San Francisco: the Muir Woods are an unforgettable experience worthy of your time on any weekend trip to the area!

Where to Stay in San Francisco

  • Petit Auberge: This adorable hotel in Nob Hill is the perfect place to base yourself for a romantic trip. Styled like a French Auberge with cozy furnishings and fireplaces in the rooms, opening onto pretty terraces, the hotel also has private parking. Essential in the city.
  • Beacon Grand: Opened in 1928 as a hotel for the creators of San Francisco society and recently reopened after restoration preserving architectural details and artisan crafts. Stay in a stunning piece of history and feel like a star.

Man standing in front of enormous Redwood trees with a sunflare in the top left corner of the photo

New York City

How much of New York can you see on just a USA weekend getaway? Enough that you’ll want to come back immediately.

New York certainly can’t be “done” in a weekend–nor can it be done in a lifetime–but the great thing about New York City is that no matter who you are or what your interests are, whether you want to track down iconic spots, explore the best food in New York , see a show (or three), or discover offbeat NYC , you can find something to captivate you.

For tourists hoping for the classic NYC experience like we were on our first few visits, a weekend in New York is certainly long enough to see all those sights we’ve seen in movies and shows throughout our lives!

Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Grand Central, Times Square, the Public Library, a Broadway show or two, a visit to Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge–in a weekend, you can see all of that and more.

If you’re into museums, we also recommend hitting just one (no more–too much else to do!) during your weekend in New York: the Met, MOMA, and the Natural History Museum are all great, classic choices.

Where to Stay in New York

  • The Plaza Hotel : For a memorable place to stay, this is one of the most classic and luxurious hotels in New York. It is located right by Central Park, the Rockefeller Center, and some of NYC’s most popular museums.
  • The Renwick: Offering stylish residential style accommodation, this beautiful hotel is equipped with plenty of amenities and high class comfort. It is also a short walk to the Empire State Building and Bryant Park for exploring.

4 Day New York Itinerary: Manhattan Skyline with Brooklyn Bridge

Incredibly beautiful and steeped in both American history and its own distinct, modern culture, Boston is one of those cities you visit for a weekend and fall in love with for a lifetime (we would know–we’ve been crazy about it ever since our brief 3-month stint of living there!).

While you’re there, be sure to visit the picturesque North End, fashionable Back Bay, and grand Beacon Hill–three Boston neighborhoods you absolutely can’t miss.

Also consider strolling through the Boston Public Garden (one of our favorite spots in the city) and the Boston Common, visiting the penguins at New England Aquarium, meandering along the Freedom Trail, and hitting the water with a whale-watching cruise .

Bibliophiles like us shouldn’t miss the Boston Public Library (check out the Reading Room on the second floor!), nor Brattle Bookshop.

Sports fans, head directly to Fenway Park for a tour and/or a game.

Where to Stay in Boston

  • Found Hotel Boston Common: This boutique hotel in the Theatre District is perfect for exploring Boston. Rooms are bright and comfortable, and there is access to public transport a short walk from the hotel.
  • Revere Hotel Boston Common: Also in the Theatre District and close to Boston Common is this stylish hotel with a stunning rooftop terrace and bar, perfect for afternoon drinks. Rooms are spacious and have a coffee machine for those of you who need coffee the moment you wake up.

2 Days in Boston Itinerary: Beacon Hill

Washington DC

Our country’s capital city is not only the seat of our national government, it’s also a fabulous place for a weekend trip in the United States, and an incredibly popular stop for visitors from other countries who are planning a trip to the USA !

Museum-goers will be delighted with the enormous array of impressive options to choose from in Washington DC–everything from the many Smithsonian Museums, to quirky options like the International Spy Museum, to meaningful stops like the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, are available–far more than you can visit in a single weekend.

Those interested in US History and government will also have plenty to keep them busy along the National Mall, including iconic stops like the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and those looking to enjoy the city’s magnificent food scene will love taking a DC food tour .

Touring the US Capitol is always an interesting experience, and if you plan ahead, you may even be able to tour the White House!

While DC has plenty to offer year-round, there’s no doubt that cherry blossom season in Washington DC is one of the best (and most popular) times to visit.

As a bonus, many of the things to do in Washington DC , including all of the Smithsonian museums, are free to enter.

Where to Stay in Washington DC

  • CitizenM Capitol : Another stunning example of CitizenM hotels is this location in Washington DC Capitol. Expect all the style and comfort these hotels are known for.
  • Riggs Washington DC : Located in the former home of Riggs National Bank this iconic building is now home to a classic and beautiful hotel. Rooms are huge and comfortable and offer views of Penn Quarter.

Washington Monument in Washington DC framed by cherry blossoms in the foreground. Washington DC is one of the best places to visit in the United States

The self-proclaimed live music capital of the world, the home of the world-famous SXSW festival, and a city full of classic American charm with a country flair: when you’re looking for the best weekend getaways in the USA, it would be a shame to leave off the gem that is Austin, TX.

I have lived in Austin as both a child and an adult, and when I wasn’t living there, returned at least 1-2 times a year for most of my life due to family living in the area–and I never, ever get tired of visiting to tuck into a plate a delicious breakfast tacos, general TexMex, or barbecue.

During your weekend trip to Austin , head down to South Congress for fabulous food, eclectic boutiques, and incredible street art, and “Dirty Sixth” for some unforgettable nightlife (or alternatively, Rainey Street or Guadalupe Street for a different vibe).

Of course, this is the capital of Texas, so save some time during your weekend trip to Austin for some more typical cultural highlights, like visiting the Texas State Capitol and the historic (and possibly haunted) Driskill Hotel.

Plus, as Austin is surrounded by the stunning Texas Hill Country, no trip there is complete without going for at least one hike in Austin and taking a day trip to beloved nearby towns and wineries– Wimberley and Fredericksburg are both favorites.

Where to Stay in Austin

  • The Driskill: Originally built in 1886, The Driskill elegantly combines old-world charm with all of today’s modern luxuries. Dine at the award-winning on-site restaurant and enjoy the luxury of this iconic Austin landmark.
  • Hotel Saint Cecilia: This hotel set in pretty gardens is a great oasis in the city. There is an onsite pool with private bungalows, perfect for relaxing.

south congress austin texas looking toward the capitol

Visiting Chicago means it’s time for pizza, pizza, and more pizza… and okay, probably some sightseeing as well.

The sprawling city of Chicago, set right up against beautiful Lake Michigan, is certainly worthy of being included on any list of the best weekend getaways in the USA–and there are definitely plenty of fun things to do in Chicago to keep you busy while you’re there, including plenty of opportunities to explore the culture, enjoy delicious food, and even get outside in Chicago .

Come to Chicago for the weekend to snap selfies at The Bean, test your fear of heights on the famous Chicago Skydeck, pay a visit to Navy Pier, and of course, to eat a lot of deep dish.

Art lovers will find plenty of museums to devour in Chicago, including the incredible Art Institute of Chicago, and baseball fans will enjoy seeing the Cubs play a game at the famous Wrigley Field. 

For animal lovers and family travelers, head directly to Shedd Aquarium (and for family travelers, make note of the American Girl Place as well–the highlight of my first visit to Chicago long, long ago!).

Where to Stay in Chicago

  • Warwick Allerton: Situated on the Magnificent Mile in Downtown Chicago, the hotel is perfect for shopping and discovering iconic architecture.
  • Staypineapple: This oddly named hotel was designed by a world renowned architect and features stylish details such as mosaic floors and marble ceilings. No detail is spared and rooms are a testament to the thought that has gone into each part of the hotel.

Set of 4 photos, from top left: life guard stand in Miami, Acorn Street in Boston, Jones Street in Savannah, Manhattan Skyline in NYC. There's white text on a red background in the center of the image that reads "15 Epic Cities Perfect for USA Weekend Getaways"

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About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

18 thoughts on “15 Cool Cities Perfect for Weekend Getaways in the USA”

Safely, Detroit is not on your list. Detroit is a fabulous city and Michiganders are very friendly and likeable.

Austin is not the country music capital — it’s the live music capital.

Well isn’t that an embarrassing typo for someone who has owned a Keep Austin Weird shirt for 20 years! Lol. I’ll get it fixed.

Very interesting

Or Madison… both have their own unique quirks that can keep a weekend enjoyable

You forgot Richmond Virginia, which would probably run circles around half of these cities on your list.

Not even close Tony!

absolutely incorrect

Umm Philly????

Will go on the list when we expand it! We love Philly. 🙂

Boise is an awesome city in the west too!

Love what you do, just curious, how do you make ends meet?

Thanks, Priti!

We’re professional travel bloggers, so this website is our job.

We earn money through the display ads that you see while scrolling and sometimes get a commission (at no cost to you) if a reader books a tour/hotel/attraction through a link on our website. 🙂

How did Dallas not make the list

Cause it sucks.

Great ideas, thank you!

Personally, I absolutely loved San Antonio what a great little weekend get away!

We love it too–one of our former homes and one of our favorite places to eat in the country!

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15 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways in Ohio

Written by Anietra Hamper Updated May 3, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Author Anietra Hamper is an Ohio native and has covered all areas of the state for the best experiences and getaways.

When it comes to weekend getaways in Ohio, the state's diverse geographic regions make it easy to find activities and places to stay that let you relax and recharge. Since Ohio is within a one-day drive of nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population, the state is a prime place to visit for weekend getaways that do not require much travel time.

Ash Cave, Hocking Hills, Ohio

From outdoor adventures like hiking and ziplining to the city scenes in the major cities like Columbus or tranquility in Amish Country ...take your pick of what makes the perfect weekend getaway for you.

No matter where you choose to spend a weekend in Ohio, chances are that you will make some unexpected stops along the way, as scenic backroads and the state's varied landscape capture your attention. Plan your next short break with our list of the best weekend getaways in Ohio.

1. Downtown Columbus

2. hocking hills, 3. put-in-bay, 4. amish country, 5. cincinnati, 6. the wilds, 7. marietta sternwheelers, 8. cleveland, 9. maumee bay, 10. maumee bay state park, 11. new plymouth ravenwood castle, 12. geneva-on-the-lake, 13. mohican, 14. granville.

Scioto Mile

Ohio's capital city of Columbus can fill a weekend with culinary surprises and activities to fill one to three days of itineraries . The expanding downtown riverfront is where you'll find cultural, arts, and music festivals almost every weekend in the summer.

The Scioto Mile bike and walking path, which weaves along the riverfront and is one of the best parks in Columbus, is a nice spot to walk, jog, bike, or enjoy the sunset from a bench in the grass.

In the summer, kayak rentals are available on the riverfront. Columbus is a bike-friendly city. Some hotels offer bicycle rentals, or you can rent one at one of the many CoGo bike stations located throughout the downtown streets.

Before your visit, look to see what activities are taking place at Columbus Commons, the public green space in the center of downtown, which hosts free yoga classes on some weekends, festivals, and evening concerts at the outdoor amphitheater.

Downtown Columbus

Nationwide Arena is an entertainment venue in the active Arena District, which hosts popular concert tours and is home to Columbus' NHL Team, the Columbus Blue Jackets . A short walk from the arena is Huntington Park, where you can catch an evening ballgame with the Columbus Clippers capped off with fireworks in front of the Columbus skyline.

On the fringe of downtown, you can walk the brick streets of German Village and grab an outdoor coffee or authentic cream puff for a taste of the area's German heritage. Catch an evening show at Shadowbox Live , a performance theater that produces original comedic and musical acts.

For a quieter visit to the capital city, stop by the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens or some of the top museums like the Columbus Museum of Art .

If the weather is nice, plan to pack a picnic for a lunch in one of the best hidden gems of the city, the Topiary Park, on the site of the old deaf school. The topiary garden is a lifelike replica of George Seurat's famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte .

A popular stop for a weekend away near downtown is in the Short North Arts District . You'll find several blocks of galleries and boutiques, as well as unique culinary fare. Stop in at the North Market, where you'll find local vendors selling fresh produce and a variety of ethnic foods.

If you visit on the first Saturday of the month, take part in the evening Short North Gallery Hop to enjoy late gallery hours, street entertainment, and some of the best people-watching in the Midwest.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Columbus

Hocking Hills

The southern Ohio Hocking Hills region is one of the most popular weekend getaways in the state. There are plenty of cabins to rent near Hocking Hills State Park and a stunning lodge that just re-opened with a restaurant, cozy nooks for curling up with a good book, and outdoor fire pits where you can gather with friends and take in some of the best stargazing in the state.

Since this area is far away from the city lights, another spot for epic stargazing in the Hocking Hills is at the John Glenn Astronomy Park , where you can stop by on your own or take part in one of the scheduled public programs.

This region is ideal for those who love the outdoors and who are looking for romantic getaways. Hiking, canoeing, zip-lining, and horseback riding are the best ways to enjoy the southern Ohio region. Some people just come to hunker down for a quiet weekend to be surrounded by nature.

There are several hiking areas with multiple trails in each that can fit both leisure hikers and those looking for a challenge. Trail signage is ample, so it is easy to find the right trails for your fitness level. Old Man's Cave , Conkle's Hollow Nature Preserve , Cedar Falls , Cantwell Cliffs, and Ash Cave have popular scenic hiking trails and many have sections that are wheelchair accessible.

The best time to visit the Hocking Hills region is in the fall, when southern Ohio is flush with vibrant colors from the leaves changing on the trees. Winter provides a unique way to see the Hocking Hills region, with frozen waterfalls and a popular annual winter hike that draws thousands of visitors. Be advised that Hocking Hills is one of the most popular getaways for in-state visitors too, so if you plan to go during the fall, make reservations for lodging far in advance.

Read More: Best Places to Visit in Ohio

Marina at Put-in-Bay

Few weekend getaways in Ohio compare to the island resort community at Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island . This Lake Erie getaway offers a range of things to do , from boating, swimming, and kayaking to dining in open-air restaurants while enjoying evening entertainment.

The mood in Put-in-Bay is one of leisure, so you can rent bikes or golf carts and just explore at your own pace. A worthwhile stop while on the island is Perry's Victory and International Memorial . For a small fee, you can make the trek up to the observation desk on the 352-foot-tall monument, where you get the best view of the island.

Kayaking in Put-in-Bay

The best way to get to Put-in-Bay is by the Miller Ferry or Jet Express Ferry , which runs on regular schedules to take you to the island from Port Clinton . It is important to take note of the last ferry that returns from the island at the end of the day, as that is your final opportunity to leave unless you are spending the night.

Like to fish? Catch a charter to experience the excellent perch and walleye fishing on Lake Erie , or if you don't want to put in the effort, at least be sure to try these local delicacies prepared fresh and fried at one of the island restaurants.

During your weekend visit, you can base yourself in Put-in-Bay and plan activities during other days to Kelleys Island and Cedar Point amusement park, which you can get to with the Jet Express ferry.

Amish farm in Ohio

A peaceful weekend getaway in Ohio's Amish country will remind you of life's simple pleasures, which is what makes it one of the top tourist attractions in Ohio . The winding back roads that run through Amish communities in east-central Ohio will take you past laundry drying on the line and farmers plowing fields with workhorses as you share the road with Amish buggies heading to market.

The towns of Charm, Walnut Creek, Millersburg, and Berlin are all located near each other, so you can drive through all of them in one visit. Many quaint bed-and-breakfasts lie throughout Holmes, Tuscarawas, and Knox counties, and they often serve up hearty breakfasts and baked goods made from locally sourced ingredients that are in-season.

To make the most of your visit, plan some time to meander through the winding back roads with no particular agenda. Be sure to stop for a tour and samples at one of several cheese factories in the region like Guggisberg Cheese and Heini's Cheese Chalet in Millersburg .

Amish Country

A must-visit in Ohio's Amish country is Walnut Creek Cheese in Walnut Creek. It's a large grocery store with incredible prices on cheese blocks and baking supplies. Take home a locally made Amish apple fry pie or pick up a cookbook of Amish recipes from the expansive gift shop, so you can take the homemade taste of Amish Country home with you.

Your Amish country visit will undoubtedly include impromptu stops at things you see along the way, like Amish children selling handmade baskets on the roadsides, and small independently owned shops that are located outside of the main tourist areas. These unplanned detours are often the best finds and create the most memorable experiences of your visit.

Read More: Ohio's Amish Country: Highlights and Hidden Treasures


Cincinnati is synonymous with baseball, and a visit to the Great American Ballpark for a Cincinnati Reds game is a must if you plan to be in Ohio in the summer. If you come in the fall, you can join the legions of local football fans for a Cincinnati Bengals game.

History buffs can plan an entire weekend visiting the many museums, including the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal , the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center , the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, and the Cincinnati Art Museum .

A stroll along the downtown riverfront is a great way to see the sunset. Enjoy the swings on the riverwalk as you watch runners pass by or stop and wind down at the Smale Riverfront Park, a popular spot for families.

Holtman's donuts in Cinci's Over The Rhine neighborhood

Foodies can indulge in local history while eating their way through neighborhoods like the Over the Rhine district with a Cincinnati Food Tours experience. You can sample the fare at several restaurants on the walking tour and meet local chefs.

There are more than 50 unique neighborhoods in Cincinnati that you can explore, each with its own vibe, and there are many hotels around the city that can keep you close to where you want to spend the majority of your time. Walk the hilly neighborhood streets of Mount Adams with some of the best views overlooking the city, or soak in the arts scene in Northside.

No matter where you stay in Cincinnati, you do not want to head home without visiting the famous Holtman's Donuts. This family-owned shop cranks out creative donuts every morning from scratch. It is an unforgettable experience for your taste buds, and you can smell the bakery from a block away.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Cincinnati

The Wilds

Imagine going on an African safari in Ohio. The Wilds is a 9,000-acre open-range habitat in Cumberland that is home to hundreds of animals, including buffalo, giraffes, rhinos, and many endangered species.

It's a conservation facility that is both educational and entertaining. There are several options for enjoying a safari, from an open-air jeep ride to private tours. Zipline excursions provide one of the most exciting ways to see the animals.

This is a great location for a romantic getaway if you stay in a private yurt in Nomad Ridge overlooking the grounds, and the lodge is perfect for families.

Address: 14000 International Road, Cumberland, Ohio

Read More: Best Things to Do in Ohio

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival

You can enjoy the charm of sternwheeler boats along the Ohio River during your getaway in Marietta. This town is themed around Ohio's riverboat heritage. Take a sightseeing cruise on board the Valley Gem Sternwheeler , an authentic steamboat boat that has been in operation since 1973.

The Ohio River Museum is nearby, with a vast history of steamboats that dictates the bygone-era of this town. You can spend several hours in the exhibit building on the campus. You will notice that nearly everything in the town, including the rooms at The Lafayette Hotel , feature the steamboat theme, with actual artifacts and historic photos.

Marietta is a great walking city. A trail runs along the riverfront, and the small town is easy to navigate. The best time to visit is during the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival , a free event that brings many riverboats into town. The annual festival is always held the weekend after Labor Day.

Read More: Top-Rated Small Towns in Ohio


Cleveland is an easy getaway that can fill your agenda with plenty of things to do . The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-see if you have never been to the city. At Progressive Field, you can attend a Cleveland Browns Football Game or a Cleveland Guardians baseball game.

Cleveland has an impressive Metroparks system that lets you enjoy the outdoors, with hiking, biking, bird watching, rowing, and one park with an ice chute that is open in the winter. The metroparks are connected around the city.

For a night out, the Flats East Bank is an easy one-stop venue for dining and entertainment. The renovated district is one of the most popular areas in the city, so restaurant reservations are recommended.

Other notable stops in the city include the Cleveland Museum of Art ; the Cleveland Zoo ; and a nostalgic visit to A Christmas Story House , which has been turned into a museum commemorating the classic Christmas movie.

Another must-visit during your Cleveland weekend getaway is the historic West Side Market , which is as interesting in its architecture as its food variety inside from local vendors selling fresh fruit and pastries to authentic hard-to-find ethnic specialties.

The Arcade Cleveland

The Arcade Cleveland is worth a visit while you are in downtown Cleveland. The Arcade was built in 1890 and has been preserved to be one of the best landmarks in Ohio. The Arcade Cleveland was the first indoor shopping mall in the United States and remains a shopping and dining destination.

Maumee Bay

For time away that includes the shores of Lake Erie , hiking, birding, biking, and s'mores by the campfire, Maumee Bay in northwest Ohio makes for a full weekend. Just outside of Toledo , the Maumee Bay area has a diverse ecosystem and a wide range of things to do, including spending time on Lake Erie.

Maumee Bay State Park is one of the best state parks in Ohio , with dozens of hiking trails throughout its 1,300 acres as well as recreational options. The landscape ranges from forestland to marshes, and convenient trails and boardwalks get you up close to the wildlife.

Maumee Bay sits along the Lake Erie Birding Trail , so take your binoculars to spot eagles and songbirds. One of the most popular times to visit is during the Biggest Week in American Birding each spring, when hundreds of birders and photographers come to see the tiny warblers on their migration path.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

One of the most unique cities you can visit for a weekend getaway is in the tiny northern town of Peninsula within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park . This quaint community has shops featuring the work of local artisans and quaint B&Bs that make the stay a peaceful one, whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or solitude.

Since you are within the national park, biking and hiking trails are abundant. Many cyclists who are traveling across the country or making multi-day trips use the bike trail that goes through the park since it connects to a larger trail system where riders can make overnight stays at B&Bs along the way.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is an enjoyable day out to view the national park by train. For a special occasion, you can book a trip on one of the themed train excursions that change throughout the year.

Read More: Best Waterfalls in Ohio

New Plymouth Ravenwood Castle

While New Plymouth is not on many destination searches, it's one of the best-kept secrets in Ohio because of the medieval Ravenwood Castle . This is one of the most unique romantic getaways in the state.

The castle, a replica of 12th- and 13th-century castles, is tucked away in the Hocking Hills region. The grounds in the area lead you through a medieval village and themed cottages, cabins, and rustic gypsy wagons. The Great Hall has large dining tables, a mural of medieval battles depicting the grand majesty and allure of the times, and stunning stained-glass windows.

A New Plymouth getaway is a great home base if you plan to visit the Hocking Hills, as it is set apart from the other cottages in the area.

Address: 65666 Bethel Road, New Plymouth, Ohio


Geneva-on-the-Lake is a throwback to the time when vacations were made up of simple pleasures, like arcades, Ferris wheels, and diner foods. Along the one-mile strip through town, many of these notions have not changed from when the resort community was in its heyday in the early 1900s.

You can see donut shops, miniature golf, antique shops, and ice-cream parlors all with original and nostalgic facades. Be sure to make time for lunch at Eddie's Grill , where coney dogs and root beer have been staples on the strip since 1950. Prepare for a wait, especially in the busy summer season.

While cottages are available to rent in the center of the action, your best bet is to stay just off the strip at Geneva-on-the-Lake Boutique Resort Hotel or in a nearby B&B. This allows you to enjoy the quiet serenity that you will find from being on the shores of Lake Erie, yet keeps you close to the tourist attractions in town.

Geneva State Park has hiking trails, fishing, biking, and a marina where you can rent jet skis and paddleboards or book a fishing charter to catch local walleye. Six miles of multi-use recreational trails wind through this park, and they become cross-country and snowmobile trails in the winter. Geneva State Park public beach, one of Ohio's best beaches , is easily accessible for an afternoon on the sand by picturesque Lake Erie.

What is billed as Ohio's first summer resort is ideal for a weekend getaway, because everything is so close and it offers a perfect mix of activities and opportunities to relax and enjoy a Lake Erie sunset.

Read More: Best Ice Fishing Lakes in Ohio

Big Lyons Falls, Mohican State Park

A weekend getaway in the Mohican State Park area is for outdoor lovers. Walk through the hemlock-dense Mohican State Park and state forest as you hike one of the many trails.

Keep an eye out for wildlife like Ohio's white-tailed deer or take your binoculars to enjoy the view and birding opportunities from the Mohican Fire Tower Overlook . The high tower requires a hearty climb up, but the reward is one of the best scenic views in the state, including the Clear Fork Gorge that plunges 300 feet from the south rim.

Mohican is located adjacent to Loudonville , considered Ohio's canoe capital, so you might guess the summer outdoor opportunities that await. Rent a canoe to paddle down the Mohican River or rent a tube and just chill as you float your way through the natural environment.

For a fun way to add to your outdoor weekend, plan a camping trip at Mohican State Park or one of the other local campgrounds or stay in a treehouse at The Mohicans , which offers lodging high in the treetops or in comfortable cabins on the ground.


The quaint town of Granville has a New England feel and is a quiet way to spend a weekend in Ohio. Granville is about 30 minutes east of Columbus and has all the charm of a small Massachusetts village. Stroll the tree-lined campus of Dennison University, and grab an ice cream cone or a sandwich at one of the locally owned restaurants in the center of town.

Historic bed and breakfasts like the Granville Inn and the Buxton Inn are not only local landmarks but also nice places to stay. One of the most noticeable features of Granville is the pristine landscaping and flowers that add to the New England-style ambience.

The best view of the area is at Alligator Mound, a prehistoric animal effigy mound that sits on a bluff overlooking the area. Two historic sites to visit are the Avery-Downer House and the Robbins Hunter Museum and Bryn Du Mansion . These are iconic century-old estates featuring the elegant and historic architecture that defines Granville.

William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

Canton is most known for being the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame , but there is so much more to the city that can fill a weekend away from home. Start your visit to Canton in the downtown area, where you can base yourself for the weekend and be a part of the local arts and music scene with music venues and dozens of art galleries.

Spend a day visiting the historic sites in Canton, including the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, which is also the final resting place for America's 25th President. The Canton Classic Car Museum is another stop that is picture-worthy. The museum houses more than 40 rare and classic cars and automobile memorabilia.

Spend the rest of your visit exploring Canton, making stops in the arts district and taking advantage of the farmer's markets in the summer. If you take a short drive just beyond Canton, you can experience some of the most stunning rural scenery in northeast Ohio.

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Ohio Outdoors: Ohio is a wonderful state for enjoying nature and getting active outdoors. For more ideas on what to do here, see our articles on the Best Outdoor Adventures in Ohio and Best Fishing Lakes in Ohio . Winter lovers looking for something to do during the colder months should see our article on the Best Places for Ice Fishing in Ohio .

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  • Last Updated On
  • September 5, 2023

35 Best Weekend Getaways From Cleveland — Quick Trips!

Jackson Taylor

As much as I adore the dynamic vibes of Cleveland — from our intriguing museums to those oh-so-fun orchestra nights — sometimes, don’t you just crave a little escape from the city buzz? 

Well, I’ve got your back. 

I’ve experienced some seriously good times outside the city limits and can’t wait to share these gems with you. 

Think fascinating museums, tantalizing trails to wander, art galleries that’ll awaken your inner Picasso, and a whole lot more. 

It’s like a smorgasbord of experiences ready for you, no matter your age or interest. 

Seriously, these quick jaunts just outside Cleveland pack a punch.

So, grab your calendar, and let’s start plotting your next adventure. 

Ready for my best weekend getaways from Cleveland? 

Trust me, the recommendations below are all you need to quench your wanderlust. 

Best Weekend Getaways From Cleveland Compared

Looking for the ultimate weekend getaway from Cleveland? 

I’ve got you covered with our top picks for unforgettable family-friendly destinations.

Editor’s Choice

weekend trips close to me

The Grand Resort

The Grand Resort is a chic resort hotel with a spa, golf course, multiple restaurants, and bars.

  • Room Variety: 4/5
  • Comfort and Cleanliness: 5/5
  • Location: 4/5
  • Affordability: 3/5
  • Family-Friendliness: 4/5

#2nd Best Choice

weekend trips close to me

Oglebay Resort

Oglebay Resort is a spa resort in Oglebay, a 2,000-acre park and venue where you can go skiing, hiking, shopping, and more.

  • Comfort and Cleanliness: 4/5
  • Affordability: 4/5
  • Family-Friendliness: 5/5

#3rd Best Choice

weekend trips close to me

Peek’n Peak Resort

Peek’n Peak Resort is a destination resort near Cleveland and Pittsburgh, known for golfing, skiing, and spa services.

  • Room Variety: 3/5
  • Location: 3/5

Here are top 35 weekend getaways from Cleveland.

1. The Grand Resort (Editor’s Choice)

The Grand Resort

9519 E Market Street Warren, OH 44484 (330) 856-1900 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Ratings Criteria

  • Luxurious decor and complete amenities: It offers a high-end experience with luxurious amenities such as spacious rooms, gourmet dining options, spa services, and recreational facilities.
  • Scenic surroundings: Guests can enjoy the beauty of nature, take leisurely walks, or engage in outdoor activities like hiking or biking, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers.
  • Higher price range: The luxurious amenities and services may be cost-prohibitive for budget-conscious travelers. 
  • Crowded during peak seasons: This may result in longer wait times for services and limited availability for certain activities or amenities. 

It even has an Olympic swimming pool.

It is a little over 1 hour away, making it a terrific choice for short trips from Cleveland, Ohio .

Luxury is what you’ll get when you see the pristine white building and vast pools of this resort.

There’s just something clean and refined about its Romanesque architecture.

But aside from the cool pools that you can dip in, being able to choose from different restaurants and dining menus is what will keep your stay here exciting and different from others.

2. Oglebay Resort

Oglebay Resort

465 Lodge Drive Wheeling, WV 26003 (877) 436-1797 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Diverse recreational activities: From golfing, swimming, and tennis to hiking, fishing, and horseback riding, there are plenty of options to keep guests entertained and active throughout their stay.
  • Family-friendly atmosphere: It features attractions such as a zoo, outdoor gardens, and a seasonal light display. 
  • Distance from Cleveland: While it can still be considered a weekend getaway, the longer travel time may not be suitable for those seeking a shorter trip or looking to maximize their time at the destination.
  • Limited dining options: While Oglebay Resort has on-site dining facilities, the options can be somewhat limited, especially for guests who prefer a variety of culinary choices.

It is about 2 hours and 45 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

The large park is somewhere to explore when you love hiking and horseback riding, riding swans on the lake, and strolling through gardens.

It’s a family-friendly place everyone can enjoy.

What’s more, it already has accommodations within the park, so you won’t even need to travel far to indulge in any of the activities you’d like to do while you’re here.

3. Peek’n Peak Resort

Peek’n Peak Resort

1405 Old Road Clymer, NY 14724 (716) 355-4141 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Skiing and winter activities: With its ski slopes, snowboarding terrain, and snow tubing areas, visitors can enjoy a thrilling winter adventure. 
  • Golfing opportunities: The beautiful surroundings and well-maintained courses make it an attractive choice for those looking to enjoy a golf-focused getaway.
  • Seasonal limitations: While it provides an exceptional experience for those interested in these activities, it may not be as appealing for travelers seeking diverse year-round options or those who are not interested in skiing or golfing.
  • Limited nightlife and entertainment: Visitors looking for a vibrant nightlife scene or a variety of entertainment options outside of the resort may find it lacking in this aspect.

It is less than 2 hours away from Cleveland, Ohio.

The old European village style of this resort makes it a fun and photo-worthy place to stay during the weekends.

It has sprawling grounds for you to explore and fantastic amenities (like its indoor pool) to use.

But the real star of staying here is when there’s snow, and you could go skiing and tubing on the slopes near the hotel.

4. Amish Country

Amish Country

6 W Jackson Street Millersburg OH 44654 (330) 674-3975 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Amish Country is the largest community of Amish in the world, located in Holmes County.

It has a farm, theater, cheese shop, museum, and more.

It is around 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

If you’re after places to go for a weekend trip near you, Amish Country will provide you with the experience of simple and peaceful countryside living.

Think horse-drawn carriages, sprawling grounds, and antique malls.

You could even learn more about Amish culture by touring homes, farms, and museums.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Millersburg, an IHG Hotel

5. Conneaut Lake Park

Conneaut Lake Park

12382 Center Street Conneaut Lake, PA 16316 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Conneaut Lake Park is a local amusement park on Conneaut Lake and is considered one of the country’s oldest amusement parks.

It is about 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

Though the amusement park isn’t what it used to be, there’s something one-of-a-kind and fun about the seasonal activities it now offers.

Each season, the park opens for a brief moment with new and unique events that make long-time fans and new guests anticipate what they’ll do next.

You never know what they’ll do next, with choices ranging from fun flea markets to terrifying paranormal tours in old buildings and around the lake.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn Meadville

Related: Hotels in Cleveland

6. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

15610 Vaughn Road Brecksville, OH 44141 (440) 717-3890 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a 32,572-acre national park along the Cuyahoga River and between Cleveland and Akron. It is known for the Brandywine Falls, among other attractions.

It is less than 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

If you’re after a quick and cheap vacation from Cleveland, you better head to this park and spend the weekend exploring its many wonders.

There’s so much to do here, from hiking its trails through lush forests and rocky terrain to chasing waterfalls and riding the train around beautiful scenery.

And with so many activities to try, you can come back every weekend for something new.

Recommended Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland/Twinsburg

7. Geneva State Park

Geneva State Park

4499 Padanarum Road Geneva, OH 44041 (440) 466-8400 Visit Website Open in Google Maps

Geneva State Park is a 698-acre state park along the shores of Lake Erie with its own natural beach.

It is more or less 1 hour away from Cleveland, Ohio.

Water lovers are sure to enjoy a weekend playing in the state park for its beautiful beach and all the activities you can do here.

You can lounge on the sand, dip in the waters, and even go boating. Anglers can also park at the dock for a quiet day of fishing.

But if you’re not feeling like staying too near the waters, you can go hiking on the multi-use trails or visit the picnic area, which has its own volleyball court as well.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn Madison, OH

Also See: Best Weekend Getaways From Cincinnati Weekend Getaways Near Columbus

8. Geneva-on-the-Lake


Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH (800) 862-9948 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Geneva-on-the-Lake is a small village in the Ohio Wine Country, best known for its charming small-town vibe and local wineries.

It is, give or take, 1 hour away from Cleveland, Ohio.

A quiet waterfront village like Geneva-on-the-Lake is a lovely choice for Cleveland vacations because of its charming ambiance and slow-paced vibe.

This is the place to visit if you love spending your days strolling in pretty parks near the waters, exploring the town for local, one-of-a-kind spots, and more.

You could even enjoy a simple day playing mini-golf, swimming in pools, or just sipping outstanding wine.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ashtabula-Geneva, an IHG Hotel

9. Granville


Granville, OH (740) 587-0707 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Granville is a small Ohio village famous for its New England-style community and being home to Denison University.

It is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

The beautiful period architecture of this small town adds to its charm.

Add to that its trendy restaurants and boutiques, and you get a quirky balance of modern with the old.

It also helps that it’s a college town, so the overall vibe is very youthful.

You’re sure to enjoy a simple weekend away from the metropolis if you stay here.

Recommended Hotel: Cherry Valley Hotel

Related: Weekend Vacations in Ohio

10. Headlands Beach State Park

Headlands Beach State Park

9601 Headlands Road Mentor, OH 44060 (440) 466-8400 Visit Website Open in Google Maps

Headlands Beach State Park is a day-use recreation area popular for its mile-long natural beach (considered the longest natural beach in the state).

It is just over 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

Beach lovers will adore the wide expanse of powdery sand on this side of Ohio.

You won’t have any problems securing a spot for sunbathing or simply playing in the sand.

And if you’re done swimming in the waters, you can also visit the end of the park for cool photos with the lighthouse.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites Cleveland-Mentor

11. Huntington Reservation

Huntington Reservation

28728 Wolf Picnic Area Drive Bay Village, OH 44140 (440) 331-8111 Visit Website Open in Google Maps

Huntington Reservation is a 103-acre park in Bay Village along Lake Erie, with its own sandy beach and trails.

It is less than 30 minutes away from the city center of Cleveland, Ohio.

Inexpensive weekend getaways near Cleveland are possible if you visit Huntington Beach for a simple but fun day out facing the waters.

You could go swimming or simply enjoy lounging under the sun.

You could even go paddling or fishing while you’re here.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cleveland/Westlake, an IHG Hotel


Huron, OH (419) 433-5000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Huron is a waterfront city on the banks of the Huron River along Lake Erie, best known for its beaches and championship golf courses.

It is less than 1 hour away from Cleveland, Ohio.

Spending the weekend playing near or on the waters is what you can make the most of in Huron.

There are many beachfront parks where you can both go swimming and picnicking.

You could also choose to visit the local lighthouse for pretty pictures as souvenirs.

Furthermore, playing golf and eating good food are bonuses you’ll absolutely love.

Recommended Hotel: Comfort Inn River’s Edge

13. Columbus


Columbus, OH (614) 645-7602 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Columbus is the state capital of Ohio and is famous for its hip and trendy atmosphere, the tech industry, and a plethora of exciting attractions.

The sprawling city of Columbus is an art lover’s dream because of the diverse collection in its art museums, the exhibitions at the botanical gardens, and more.

You could even go to an amusement place where you can take trendy photos because of its augmented reality gimmick.

Recommended Hotel: Graduate Columbus

Related: Day Trips Around Columbus

14. Madison County

Madison County

Madison County, OH (740) 852-2250 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Madison County is a central Ohio county located between Columbus and Springfield, known for its sprawling parks and green space.

It is roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

Getaways in Cleveland are many and varied, and Madison County provides the type that’s serene and full of nature.

Slithering trails, the copse of color trees, calm waters, and sprawling parks are just a few of the many things that make spending the weekend here worth it.

It’s a refreshing break from city life, for sure.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express London-I-70, an IHG Hotel

15. Marblehead


Marblehead, OH (419) 798-4074 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Marblehead is a small village in Ohio famous for the Marblehead Lighthouse, parks, and wineries.

It is around 1 hour and 20 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

Coastal towns like Marblehead are perfect weekend vacation spots because of the peaceful and calm atmosphere.

This is a place that will have you forgetting about your worries with the fresh ocean breeze and slow-paced life.

Of course, it helps that they have a pretty lighthouse that’s perfect for stunning waterside photos.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Port Clinton-Catawba Island, an IHG Hotel

16. Maumee Bay State Park

Maumee Bay State Park

1400 State Park Road Oregon, OH 43616 (419) 836-7758 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Maumee Bay State Park is a 1336-acre lakeside state park along Lake Eries, with its own campgrounds.

It is, give or take, 2 hours away from Cleveland, Ohio.

Meadows, woods, and marshes surround the cabins and lodge of the state park, making for lovely scenic views for its visitors.

You’ll be able to hike around the area to explore and even discover how much the place is teeming with wildlife.

You could also go picnicking and biking while you’re here.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites – Toledo/Oregon

17. Millersburg


Millersburg, OH (330) 674-1886 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Millersburg is a small village in Holmes County, named the gateway to Amish Country, with many antique shops and local attractions.

It is less than 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

This little town is an excellent pick for last minute weekend getaways from Cleveland because of its relaxed atmosphere.

It’s all about keeping to quaint shops, eating local dishes and craft brews, and more.

Recommended Hotel: Comfort Inn Millersburg

18. Mohican State Park

Mohican State Park

3116 OH-3 Loudonville, OH 44842 (419) 994-4290 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Mohican State Park is a 1,110-acre recreation area along Pleasant Hill Lake with beautiful views of the river and gorge.

It is under 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

The untamed terrain of this state park is what makes this place a fun and thrilling stop for the weekend.

You could feel like adventurers trekking the lush forests and going across the scenic rivers while staying in one of the cottages nearby.

Recommended Hotel: Landoll’s Mohican Castle

19. National Museum of the Great Lakes

National Museum of the Great Lakes

1701 Front Street Toledo, OH 43605 (419) 214-5000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is a heritage museum in the Toledo Maritime Center, focused on the history of the Great Lakes through photographs and exhibits.

It is plus or minus 2 hours away from Cleveland, Ohio.

Enjoying your Cleveland area weekend getaways is easier if there are attractions that can keep you interested and engaged, like this museum.

Besides informative and entertaining exhibits, this museum even has two actual ships that you can go in and tour around.

That’s an experience that’s exciting and totally one-of-a-kind.

Recommended Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Toledo Downtown

20. Pelee Island

Pelee Island

1045 West Shore Road, Pelee Island Ontario, Canada N0R 1M0 (519) 724-2931 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Pelee Island is a small island connected to both the United States and Canada and is known for its winemaking heritage.

It is a little over 3 hours away from Cleveland, Ohio.

A trip to the small island will make you feel disconnected from the rest of the world, relaxed, and able to worry less about your problems.

You could choose to indulge in a bike ride, go for a dip in the waters, and just satisfy your need for peace and quiet surrounded by the calm atmosphere of island life.

Besides biking trails and museums, there’s also the quirky fact that you’re standing at the very border of two countries.

Recommended Hotel: Metropolitan at The 9, Autograph Collection

21. Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park

301 Peninsula Drive Erie, PA 16505 (814) 833-7424 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre peninsula in Lake Erie known as Pennsylvania’s only ‘seashore.’

It is about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

A veritable playground for an outdoor lover, Presque Isle is the place to be for a relaxing weekend on the beach, sunbathing, swimming, and generally having some sandy fun.

You could also choose to go on the sightseeing tours around Presque Isle Bay or trek up to the Presque Isle Lighthouse for a panoramic view of Lake Erie.

And if you prefer something a bit away from the beach itself, you can always go wildlife viewing along the hiking trails.

Recommended Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott Erie Bayfront

22. Inn Walden

Inn Walden

1119 Aurora Hudson Road Aurora, OH 44202 (330) 562-5508 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Inn Walden is a luxury hotel near downtown Cleveland and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, known for its spa.

It is only 40 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

The best romantic getaways from Cleveland can be spent on the idyllic grounds of this refined hotel, with its stunningly stately rooms and incomparable spa.

The soft, country luxe aesthetic of the inn makes it easy for you and your partner to feel at ease and just lose yourself to the simple living philosophy of the resort.

After all, indulging in massages and spa treatments will keep you extra relaxed and rejuvenated.

23. Getaway Beaver Creek Cabins

Getaway Beaver Creek Cabins

45529 Middle Beaver Road Lisbon, OH 44432 (617) 914-0021 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Getaway Beaver Creek Cabins, near Pittsburgh and Cleveland, are a series of small cabins across a 56-acre campground.

It is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

Indulge in your desire to be more one with nature when you stay at the tiny cabins near Beaver Creek.

Besides a simple but aesthetically complete tiny home, there’s just something fun and exciting about waking up in the middle of the forest.

You can spend your time exploring the trails around or even check out the state parks near the campground.

Related: Weekend Getaways Near Pittsburgh

24. Lake Erie Islands

Lake Erie Islands

Lake Erie Islands, OH (419) 625-2984 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Lake Erie Islands is a series of archipelagic islands in Lake Erie, the fourth largest lake of the Great Lakes.

It is just 1 hour away from Cleveland, Ohio.

These islands are beautiful places near Cleveland for vacation purposes because you can do tons of things on each one.

There are 26 to choose from, and it only takes a ferry ride to visit most (including Port Clinton and Sandusky).

You can visit lighthouses, go boating, enjoy fishing, and much more.

Recommended Hotel: OurGuest Inn & Suites Downtown Port Clinton

25. The Dwellbox Lodging

The Dwellbox Lodging

2375 Private Road 5800 Dundee, OH 44624 (330) 275-3572 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Dwellbox Lodging is a family-run collection of rustic accommodations composed of small cabins and treehouses.

If you’re looking for a quirky, fun getaway, Cleveland has some super nearby, like the unique village of rustic treehouses in Dwellbox.

You could choose from simple lodgings to more modern country vibes.

Either way, the country feels and natural forest surroundings will make you feel as if you’re glamping for a night or two.

26. Cedar Point

Cedar Point

1 Cedar Point Drive Sandusky, OH 44870 (419) 627-2350 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Cedar Point is a 364-acre amusement park on the Lake Erie peninsula, considered the country’s second-oldest operating park of its kind. It opened in 1870.

It is a little over 1 hour away from Cleveland, Ohio.

The classic amusement park experience is what you’ll get when you visit Cedar Point, with more than 15 roller coasters, other thrill rides, and even water park slides available for you to enjoy.

And if you’re not one for exhilarating rides, you can also try the Boardwalk Cruise bike tours, the train ride around the park, and even Cedar Point Beach.

Recommended Hotel: Cedar Point’s Express Hotel


Avon, OH (440) 937-7800 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Avon is a small city in Ohio, most known for the Miller Nature preserve, Crushers Stadium, parks, and golf courses.

It is only less than 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

This waterfront city is a picturesque stop for the weekend, with stunning parks facing toward gentle waters, pavilions, and gardens.

You can also try charming restaurants or go shopping at unique local stores.

It’s perfect for quiet relaxing trips away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Recommended Hotel: Residence Inn by Marriott Cleveland Avon at The Emerald Event Center

28. Mine Shaft at Brick House B&B

Mine Shaft at Brick House B&B

595 Oak Ridge Road Oak Ridge, PA 16245 (814) 227-3567 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Mine Shaft at Brick House B&B is a unique restored 1800s accommodation along Redbank Creek.

It is less than 3 hours away from Cleveland, Ohio.

Brick House is known for its rustic and unique rooms, as some of them are housed in old restored homes, small cozy cabins, and modern treehouses.

While each already levels up your cool overnight trip, sleeping in a restored mine shaft is still the most unique of them all.

The interior is even made to look very homey and comfortable.

29. Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagra Falls, NY (877) 325-5787 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Niagara Falls is a city in Niagara County, most known for the world-famous Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.

The majestic falls in the city of Niagara Falls are known worldwide for a good reason.

And that’s because they are epic in their beauty and grandeur. There’s just something majestic when you’re looking at the mighty falls.

But besides these famous attractions, the city itself is also home to many other exciting activities that you can try, from wildlife viewing to garden strolling and scenic hiking.

You could also dine at one of the restaurants with an unobstructed view of the falls for a surreal experience.

The many fun things to do here make it the perfect choice for long weekend trips from Cleveland.

Recommended Hotel: voco – The Cadence, an IHG Hotel

30. Springfield


Springfield, OH (937) 324-7700 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Springfield is a city in southwestern Ohio popular for its old homes, sprawling parks, and arts-related attractions.

The mix of old and new architecture makes exploring Springfield novel and exciting.

Sometimes you might see modern designs just to turn around to glance at old-world looks, like the clock tower and downtown.

You could also visit the landmark home of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright or walk around to see the art in the Hartman Rock Gardens while you’re visiting.

Recommended Hotel: Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Springfield, OH

31. Rochester


Rochester, NY (585) 279-8300 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Rochester is a New York City with fascinating attractions like novelty museums, old-world mansions, and amusement parks.

It is approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

The terrific mix of the modern city with the natural beauty of Rochester will take your breath away as you see waterfalls and snaking rivers juxtaposed by skyscrapers.

The falls are even illuminated with colorful lights at night so that you can take tons of pretty pictures whenever.

A trip here is also perfect for the whole family as attractions range from kid’s museums and zoos to old mansion tours and garden retreats.

Recommended Hotel: Staybridge Suites Rochester University, an IHG Hotel

32. Parkersburg


Parkersburg, WV (304) 424-8400 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Parkersburg is a West Virginia city near the Ohio and Little Kanawha rivers, with exciting attractions like scenic parks and fascinating museums.

If you want the best of both worlds, staying for the weekend in Parkersburg is an attractive choice since it has all the convenient amenities of a big city but with the relaxing atmosphere of a small one.

It even has vast parks with exciting hiking trails and scenic views when you want to feel particularly closer to nature.

Museums are also abundant here, which makes it perfect for history buffs.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn and Suites Parkersburg Downtown

33. Charleston


Charleston, WV (304) 348-8000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Charleston is a West Virginia city near the Elk and Kanawha rivers, known for its arts and history museums, trendy eateries, and the riverside gold-domed State Capitol.

When it comes to Cleveland weekend getaways, Charleston is a favorite destination for many because of its relaxed atmosphere and fun attractions.

This is a city where you can stroll along farmers’ markets in the morning and visit theaters and trendy restaurants at night.

Plus, there are so many kinds of fascinating museums and tours around town that can enrich your knowledge, from local history to old mansions and homes.

They even have exhibits geared specifically for kids to make them engage and understand better.

Recommended Hotel: Embassy Suites Charleston


Gary, IN (219) 881-1300 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Gary is an Indiana city with fun attractions like historical landmarks, beaches, and trails.

It is approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio.

The old architecture you can see throughout the city is an attraction in itself, as it gives a retro vibe to the whole place.

It works well for stylish modern photos.

But when you’re here for the weekend, the best spot to visit is Lake Street Beach for a chill day near the waters and the beautiful Cathedral of the Holy Angels for its stunning design.

And for die-hard fans of the King of Pop, you could also visit the Jackson Family Home to see what it looks like from the outside.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hammond, an IHG Hotel

35. Kalamazoo


Kalamazoo, MI (269) 337 8000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Kalamazoo is a Michigan city known for fun attractions, like museums, art galleries, trails, and linking parks.

It is more or less 4 hours away from Cleveland, Ohio.

The hip and trendy atmosphere of Kalamazoo make it a superb choice for the best weekend getaways from Cleveland.

You could spend your days going to the aviation museum, kids museum, or art museum if museums are your thing.

Something more thrilling is playing in the local bowling alley, which also has go-karts and unique small rides.

Or, if you prefer something less adrenaline-pumping, a night out to watch a show in the state theater is a fantastic activity to do.

Recommended Hotel: Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center

Getaway Guide 

Comparing destinations: which one is right for you.

Nestled in the heart of Ohio, The Grand Resort boasts an elegance that feels like a warm hug. 

I recall sinking into plush bedding, savoring a glass of fine wine. 

Yet, it’s more than just its regal demeanor that had me entranced. 

The fabulous spa, golfing, and culinary experience all enveloped me in an exclusive charm. 

Just a hop and skip away is the Oglebay Resort. 

Its friendly, down-to-earth vibe is such a welcoming contrast. 

Every time I was there, it was all about connecting—with nature, people, and myself. 

The twinkling festival of lights around Christmas and those heartwarming horse-drawn carriage rides they’re indeed joyful souvenirs.

Peek’n Peak Resort, now that’s a sporty slice of heaven. 

From the adrenaline rush of their ski slopes to the thrilling zip lines, every second was an adventure. 

My aching muscles, after a day of activities, always looked forward to the soothing spa.

Each destination, a treasure in its own way, offers unique experiences. 

For a luxe retreat, The Grand Resort is your calling. 

For those seeking a closer-to-nature vacation, Oglebay Resort is a dream, and thrill-seekers will absolutely adore Peek’n Peak. 

How I Picked The Destinations 

When it comes to these incredible destinations, I’ve wandered their trails, marveled at their museums, and chatted with locals and fellow travelers to get the inside scoop. 

But that’s not all—I’ve also done my fair share of research. 

I’ve scoured the web, read countless reviews, and compared the offerings to ensure these weekend getaways from Cleveland are the cream of the crop. 

Our Property Rating Method 

I rate these properties based on the following criteria:

  • Room Variety: I use this to rate the room options offered by every property. What room types are available? Can it accommodate different budgets, group sizes, and preferences? I ask myself these questions when evaluating the property’s room variety. 
  • Comfort and Cleanliness: This measures the overall cleanliness and comfort of the accommodations. Does it have comfortable beds? Are the rooms spotless and dust-free? These are important factors I consider when rating comfort and cleanliness. 
  • Location: This is used to evaluate how convenient and accessible the property is. How close is it to the attractions? Are there good public transportation options near the location? Is it easily accessible for families? These questions are important when I rate the location of every accommodation. 
  • Affordability: I use this to evaluate the property’s affordability. Are the room rates reasonable? Does the property have any additional fees? Does the property offer discounts or packages? I ask myself this in order to rate affordability. 
  • Family-Friendliness: This evaluates the family-friendliness of each property. Does it offer babysitting services and children’s activities? Does it have connecting rooms for families? I use these questions to rate the family-friendliness of the property. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Where can i go 3 hours from cleveland.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a great destination just 3 hours from Cleveland. Known for its vibrant arts scene, iconic sports teams, and diverse culinary offerings, Pittsburgh offers a mix of cultural attractions, museums, and outdoor activities to explore. Additionally, Niagara Falls, located on the US-Canada border, is another captivating option within a 3-hour drive from Cleveland, offering breathtaking views of the world-famous waterfalls and various tourist attractions in the surrounding area.

What Are Some Popular Destinations Within Ohio For A Weekend Getaway From Cleveland?

Some popular destinations within Ohio for a weekend getaway include the German Village and the Ohio Statehouse. Hocking Hills State Park is also a popular choice, known for its stunning hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenic beauty. Another option is the picturesque Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island, where you can enjoy outdoor activities, visit Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, and relax by the waterfront. 

What Are Some Outdoor Destinations For A Weekend Getaway From Cleveland?

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, located just outside of Cleveland, offers numerous hiking and biking trails, scenic waterfalls, and opportunities for wildlife spotting. Mohican State Park, located in Loudonville, is another great choice, offering hiking, fishing, canoeing, and horseback riding. Geneva State Park, situated along Lake Erie, provides beautiful beaches, boating, and fishing opportunities.


After experiencing the best weekend getaways from Cleveland, The Grand Resort is a cut above the rest. 

Offering a luxurious experience unlike any other, it’s our ultimate choice. 

From lavish rooms to gourmet cuisine and breathtaking surroundings, it’s an exquisite retreat. 

Oglebay and Peek’n Peak may have their unique draws too, but nothing quite compares to the elegance and charm of The Grand Resort. 

Just remember, no matter where you go, it’s all about making those unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

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15 Best Weekend Beach Getaways in the US

From the beautiful California coast to the sunny Florida Keys, these are the best weekend beach getaways in the U.S.

Elizabeth Rhodes is a special projects editor at Travel + Leisure , covering everything from luxury hotels to theme parks to must-pack travel products. Originally from South Carolina, Elizabeth moved to New York City from London, where she started her career as a travel blogger and writer.

weekend trips close to me

We could all use a beach vacation every now and again, but taking a weeklong trip to a faraway coastal destination isn't always possible.

Enter: weekend beach getaways. When you're in need of some sand and surf, but short on time, a rejuvenating weekend trip is the perfect way to get your fix before heading back to work on Monday (or Tuesday, if you can squeeze in a three-day weekend). From the rocky shores of the Pacific Northwest to the boardwalks of the Jersey Shore and the relaxing beach resorts of the Florida Keys , there's a perfect beach getaway for every type of traveler.

We've rounded up 15 of the best weekend beach getaways from major cities around the U.S., so you can start planning your next escape.

Olympic National Park, Washington

Get out in nature and enjoy the stunning rocky beaches of Olympic National Park in Washington. A perfect weekend trip from Seattle or Portland, Olympic National Park is an ideal destination for those looking to explore the great outdoors during their beach weekend getaway. Ruby Beach is known for its incredible rock formations, piles of driftwood, and active tide pools. Kalaloch Beach and Rialto Beach (known for the Hole in the Wall tide pools ) are other popular beaches in the park. There are several campsites, cabins, and lodges available for your stay so you never have to leave the area. If you do want a break from the beach, the park's nearby Hoh Rain Forest is a great place to hike — its lush, green foliage will be a stark contrast to the rocky shores just a few miles away.

The Hamptons, New York

If you're a New Yorker looking for a beach weekend getaway, the Hamptons is a natural choice. East Hampton, Southampton, and Montauk are among the most popular destinations, and they're all worth visiting, thanks to their beautiful hotels, great shopping, delicious food, and of course, pristine beaches. Gurney's Montauk is a luxury hotel offering 158 rooms, suites, and beachfront cottages with ocean views and a private beach. The Baker House 1650 in East Hampton is a charming choice, as is Baron's Cove in Sag Harbor.

Monterey County, California

Covering some of the most picturesque spots on the California coast, Monterey County is perfect for a beach getaway from San Francisco . Opt to stay in a charming waterfront town like Carmel or Monterey to enjoy great local dining and sandy beaches. Try the L'Auberge Carmel , a historic Relais & Châteaux property just blocks from the beach. This area is heaven for golfers, too, with several stunning courses located on the water.

Laguna Beach, California

Although there are several great beaches in Los Angeles , sometimes you just want to get away. An hour's drive from downtown L.A., Laguna Beach feels like a vacation from the city without having to go too far. Relax on the beach, see marine creatures in the tide pools, or enjoy water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, or skimboarding, which actually started in Laguna. Book a stay at the five-star Montage Laguna Beach or The Ranch at Laguna Beach for a luxurious weekend away.

Saugatuck, Michigan

About a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Chicago and less than three hours from Detroit, Saugatuck, Michigan , is an ideal destination for a Midwestern beach getaway. On this slice of Lake Michigan shoreline, you can lounge on the beach and soak up the sun or go for a refreshing swim (no need to worry about sharks here).

This area is known as "the art coast of Michigan," so be sure to check out the local galleries or the Saugatuck Center for the Arts for a dose of culture during your beach vacation. Plus, with outdoor activities like kayaking, horseback riding, sailing, and hiking, there's really something for everyone here. Try The Hotel Saugatuck , a charming boutique property in the Historic District, for your stay.

Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland and Virginia

Escape Baltimore for a weekend and enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty of Assateague Island National Seashore , located just a three-hour drive from the city. This 37 mile-long island is best known for the wild horses that roam its sandy shores, so get your camera ready for unique wildlife photography opportunities (while maintaining a safe distance from the animals, of course). Hiking, swimming, surfing, birding, and kayaking are among the many other activities visitors can enjoy in this park. Oceanfront campsites also make Assateague Island one of the most scenic places to camp in the U.S. , so bring a tent and your camping supplies to fully immerse yourself in the great outdoors for a weekend.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

The string of barrier islands that make up the Outer Banks in North Carolina are perfect when you need a heavy dose of sand and surf in a peaceful, quaint setting. Duck, North Carolina, is located just under five hours from Washington, D.C. by car, making it a great destination for a long weekend away from the nation's capital.

The Outer Banks are also home to some of the best beaches in North Carolina — Nags Head, Cape Lookout National Seashore, and Ocracoke are just a handful of the destinations worth visiting in this scenic region. The area is a prime camp spot and this is one of the best ways to experience the beach, but there are also rental options as well as hotels like the Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks .

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Located an hour and a half to two hours from Boston by car (depending on where on the Cape you're going), Cape Cod is the quintessential Massachusetts beach weekend getaway. There are a number of quaint towns to choose from, including Hyannis, Provincetown, and Chatham. Of course, when it comes to lounging on the sand, you can't beat the Cape Cod National Seashore , which offers six swimming beaches. The Coast Guard Beach is a family-friendly option, while mile-long Nauset Light Beach offers great surfing. For luxury accommodations, head to the Chatham Bars Inn right on the beach.

Florida Keys, Florida

The three-and-a-half-hour drive from Miami to Key West is one of the most scenic journeys any traveler could ever take. With stunning views of the islands and ocean, plus plenty of places to stop for a slice of Key lime pie, this is truly the ultimate beach road trip , and it can be done in a weekend if you live in or around Miami.

Once you arrive in Key West, home to some of the prettiest beaches in Florida, you can enjoy the shore, visit the southernmost point in the continental United States, or check out the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory . Get a room at The Gates Hotel Key West for a bright, airy escape with a rum bar. Finish the day with a seafood dinner and sunset cruise, and you've got a perfect weekend.

Tybee Island, Georgia

Tybee Island is the closest beach destination to Atlanta , so it's the perfect weekend escape when you want a break from the city traffic. There are plenty of beautiful Georgia beaches to choose from, but Tybee is great because it has something for everyone. North Beach is a popular spot to enjoy the sand and surf, but Back River Beach is the place to go if you want to avoid the crowds. Plus, downtown Savannah is just a short drive away from Tybee Island, so you'll have tons of great restaurants, museums, shops, and bars within reach, as well as historic lodging options like the Mansion on Forsyth Park .

Galveston, Texas

Just an hour from Houston , this Gulf Coast destination is the place to go when you need a nearby beach vacation . Galveston has attractions the whole family will love, like Schlitterbahn Waterpark , Pleasure Pier , the Galveston Naval Museum , and more. There are several beaches to choose from, too, like the popular East Beach or the Galveston Island State Park . At the end of the day, you can enjoy the gulf-front views from your room at the Grand Galvez or take a ghost tour to learn about the area's history.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

There are dozens of great South Carolina beaches to visit for a weekend getaway, but one of the best destinations in the Palmetto State is Hilton Head Island . Hilton Head is consistently ranked among the best islands in the United States , and once you visit its white-sand beaches, you'll see why. Approximately two hours from Charleston and less than four hours from Charlotte, North Carolina, Hilton Head is perfect for families. You'll be able to see the beach itself from your window at the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort , plus you'll have access to the links of one of the area's famous courses. With more than 33 championship golf courses, this is the ultimate place to go for a golf vacation .

Jersey Shore, New Jersey

From beautiful Cape May in the south to bustling Atlantic City and Ocean City, there are plenty of New Jersey beaches that are perfect for a weekend trip from New York City or Philadelphia. If you're looking for a quiet, family-friendly spot, consider Point Pleasant or Asbury Park , which have fun boardwalks and nice beaches. No matter where you go, it's sure to be a welcome reprieve from hectic city life. The James Bradley is a stylish, recent addition to the area and perfect for a weekend stay.

Amelia Island, Florida

Valerie de Leon/Travel + Leisure

Located near the Georgia border just north of Jacksonville, Amelia Island is a picturesque barrier island on Florida's Atlantic Coast perfect for an affordable beach vacation. It's home to golf courses and a charming downtown area, and with 13 miles of coastline, there's plenty of space to spread out on the beach. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is the place to stay for oceanfront luxury accommodations.

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

A peaceful South Carolina sea island located under an hour from Charleston , Kiawah is the place to go for a blissful weekend away. World-class golf, soft beaches, friendly hospitality, and five-star stays at The Sanctuary , a beachfront luxury hotel, make this island a great place to unwind for the weekend.

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17 Fun Weekend Getaways from Austin (Road Trip Ideas!)

As absolutely fantastic of a city as Austin is, everyone needs a change of scenery once in a while! These weekend getaways from Austin, including everything from national parks to beach towns, are the perfect way to enjoy a change of pace.

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a quick family trip, a vacation with friends, or even a solo adventure, one of these road trips from Austin is no doubt right for you.

bluebonnets along a small road with a fence in the background

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How We Structured Austin Weekend Getaways Guide

We intentionally structured this guide to the best weekend getaways from Austin to cover destinations between roughly 3 and 8 hours from the city (with a couple of small exceptions).

While there are dozens of destinations closer to Austin that could certainly justify a fantastic weekend escape, including Fredericksburg, Wimberley, Waco, and San Antonio, we have already covered those in our Austin day trips guide , so chose not to include them here.

Nature-Focused Road Trips from Austin

Garner state park.

Encompassing more than 1700 acres of beautiful Texas Hill Country, nearly 3 miles of the stunning Frio River, and roughly 16 miles worth of trails, Garner State Park is absolutely one of the best weekend getaways from Austin!

Whether you’d like to hike, camp, float the river, or simply enjoy a picnic and a swim, Garner State Park’s unforgettable beauty will be on full display.

Driving Distance From Austin

View of the turquoise water of the Frio River in Garner State Park, one of the best weekend getaways from Austin TX

Big Bend National Park (+ Beyond)

Home to some of the most stunning views in Texas, Big Bend National Park is a fantastic place to hike and explore–don’t miss the incredible Santa Elena Canyon or the Lost Mine Trail while you’re there!

In addition to the national park, the immediate area surrounding the park has plenty more to see, including Big Bend Ranch State Park and the ghost town of Terlingua. 

If you’d like to go a bit out of your way, this road trip from Austin can also hit up the ultimate Instagram darling of West Texas–the small town of Marfa.

7 hours, 30 minutes.

Hiker standing in Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park looking away from the camera

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Located just half an hour from Amarillo , not far from Route 66, sits the second-biggest canyon in the USA and one of the best weekend trips from Austin: Palo Duro Canyon!

There are plenty of hikes and overlooks to choose from, but be sure to prioritize hiking to the lighthouse formation! The trail is scorching and can be a bit grueling, especially during the final ascent, but the payoff is absolutely worth it.

7 hours, 15 minutes.

Kate Storm standing in front of the Lighthouse in Palo Duro Canyon TX

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Set just south of the New Mexico border in West Texas, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is home to the four highest peaks in Texas and some incredible hiking trails.

Depending on how long you plan on exploring, you could extend your Austin road trip into New Mexico, as well: just over the border sits Carlsbad Caverns National Park, which features more than 100 caves and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rocky peak in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, one of the best couples trips in Texas

Caverns of Sonora

The founder of the National Speleological Association, Bill Stephenson, once said this about the Caverns of Sonora: “This is the most indescribably beautiful cave in the world, its beauty cannot be exaggerated, not even by a Texan.”

With a sales pitch like that, it’s not hard to see why the Caverns of Sonora are among the most famous caverns in Texas!

Even though they don’t take long to tour, they’re a bit far from the capital for a practical day trip–but they are among the best overnight trips from Austin!

3 hours, 30 minutes.

Interior of the Caverns of Sonora, one of the best caves in Texas

Caddo Lake State Park

While Texas may be classically characterized as a place of desert landscapes and cowboys, at Caddo Lake State Park, you’ll find a very different side of the Lone Star State–one dotted with giant cypress trees that drip Spanish moss and leisurely canoe rides.

This isn’t a lake for swimming–the alligators who live in the lake are best avoided–but it is utterly beautiful, and a fantastic road trip from Austin for those looking to leave city vibes behind entirely.

5 hours, 15 minutes.

Caddo Lake, with Spanish moss hanging from the trees in the background and the lake in the foreground

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Lost Maples State Park makes for a beautiful weekend getaway from Austin year-round, but never more so than during the fall, when the park becomes one of the best places to enjoy fall foliage in Texas!

The foliage is typically best from late October through mid-November and lasts 3-4 weeks, but the season does vary by year, so if you have your heart set on catching the foliage at its best, be sure to check its status before heading out.

2 hours, 45 minutes.

Lost Maples State Park in central texas during fall foliage season, one of the best central texas day trips from austin

Best Cities for Weekend Getaways from Austin

As the largest city in Texas, the fourth-largest city in the USA, and one of the most diverse cities in the country, it’s safe to say that Houston is packed with enough fun things to do to fill more than one weekend trip from Austin!

Be sure to check out the Space Center Houston and NASA–the most famous of all the attractions in Houston–as well as sample some of Houston’s other top museums and parks.

Head to Kemah Boardwalk for a charming slice of Americana, and be sure to enjoy the food scene: Houston’s diversity is perhaps best displayed through its enormous collection of fantastic restaurants featuring cuisines from across the world.

Houston Texas skyline on a sunny day. One of the most interesting facts about Texas is that Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the USA

New Orleans

Featuring some of the best food, music, and culture in the USA, having a city as incredible as NOLA reachable as a road trip from Austin is definitely something to take advantage of!

While you’re there, be sure to enjoy Bourbon Street, but get off of it, as well: New Orleans is more than just its incredible partying (though the partying does indeed live up to the legends).

During your weekend in NOLA , consider visiting the Garden District, taking a ghost tour, visiting the nearby bayou, taking a steamboat cruise, and of course, eating plenty of excellent food, from po’ boys to beignets, during the course of your weekend getaway.

Red building in NOLA French Quarter with iron balconies and black shutters. NOLA is one of the best weekend trips from Austin Texas

Known for big hair, big (oil) money, and big buildings, Dallas is a quintessentially Texan city–and also one of the fastest-growing cities in the USA, with an excellent food scene and plethora of things to do.

Of course, no weekend trip to Dallas would be complete without a somber exploration of the assassination of President Kennedy, whose murder in Dallas in 1963 is one of the most haunting in the USA’s collective memory.

On a lighter note, though, Dallas offers far more than morbid history: with phenomenal shopping, excellent skyline views at Reunion Tower, walkable neighborhoods like the Bishop Arts District, and great gardens and museums (the Dallas Arboretum is stunning), you’ll find plenty of fun things to do during a weekend in Dallas.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas Texas as seen from above at sunset. This bridge is one of the most instagrammable places in Dallas Texas!

Best Beach Road Trips from Austin

South padre island.

The only tropical island in Texas is, hands down, one of the best road trips from Austin. 

Here, you’ll find 34 miles of sandy beaches with calm, beautiful water, dolphins to watch, recovering sea turtles to visit, the opportunity to take a horseback ride on the beach, and some stupendous sunrises.

South Padre Island is one of the most popular beaches in Texas for good reason, and though it is known for its raucous Spring Break parties during March, outside of those weeks, the island is a far more laid-back escape.

5 hours, 30 minutes.

Sunrise over the beach in South Padre Island Texas, one of the best Texas romantic getaways

One of the most popular weekend getaways from Austin, but even more so from Houston, Galveston is home to some of Texas’ best-known beaches!

With miles of coastline, a small, picturesque theme park on the Galveston Island Pier, the East End Historic District that features beautiful Victorian-era homes, and tons of family-friendly attractions and parks, Galveston is a favorite for families looking for a quick beach trip in Texas.

Colorful umbrellas set up on the sandy beach with chairs in Galveston, one of the best day trips from Houston TX

Corpus Christi

As one of the closest beaches to Austin, Corpus Christi is popular with visitors looking to enjoy the beach for a bit while still retaining access to some small tastes of city life, like the beautiful Art Museum of South Texas and the interesting USS Lexington, a WWII-era aircraft carrier turned museum.

Corpus Christi from above with the harbor in the foreground and the skyline in the background

Mustang Island

Just a bit further from Austin than Corpus Christi–really, so close that you can conceivably visit both places in one trip if you’d like to–sits Mustang Island, a barrier island that is a popular Austin road trip for those looking for beach towns a bit quieter than Corpus Christi.

Port Aransas, the largest town on the island, has a population of merely 4,000, making Mustang Island a laid-back retreat for those looking to fish, go boating, or simply take a swim.

Wood stairs leading down to a sandy beach in Port Aransas Texas

Best Small Town Weekend Trips from Austin

Of all of the weekend getaways from Austin outlined here, this one is the closest to the city–but the best thing to do in Bandera definitely justifies more than a day trip!

As the self-proclaimed Cowboy Capital of the World, Bandera is known for its horseback riding, outdoor activities, and dude ranches!

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at staying on a dude ranch, a weekend in Bandera may be the perfect road trip for you.

Chestnut horse in a field of bluebonnets on a sunny day

As the home of the official Texas Bluebonnet Trail, Ennis (located about 45 minutes from Dallas) is the ultimate road trip from Austin when the flowers are blooming each spring.

Even outside of bluebonnet season, though, Ennis still has plenty of charms that make it worth visiting, including Bardwell Lake, a drive-in movie theater, and historic downtown.

Wide field of blooming Texas bluebonnets at sunset

Drive into Dublin, and you’ll be greeted with a gigantic sign in the shape of a 4-leaf clover that reads “Welcome to Dublin, Texas”, making it immediately obvious that Dublin considers it the Irish capital of Texas!

Home of Dublin Bottling Works, which bottled the original Dr. Pepper, Dublin features a Dr. Pepper museum, a bottling tour, beautiful shops and restaurants, and a historic downtown.

Without a doubt, Dublin is one of the best weekend getaways from Austin!

Map of the Best Weekend Getaways from Austin

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Weekend Getaways in California: 34 Trips You Can Take

weekend trips close to me

If you want to take a weekend trip in California, this guide includes more than three dozen places you can go for a quick getaway, from beautiful beaches and stunning forests to film locations and wine tastings.

If you're interested in finding things to do or planning a weekend getaway that might be closer to your home, you can skip on over to browse weekend getaways in Northern California or find out what the best things to do are in Southern California.

Beverly Hills

Who isn't familiar with Beverly Hills after the iconic drama 90210? Popular with art lovers and shoppers, this city is for anyone looking to enjoy a day of luxury or enjoy the most elite nightlife. Roam around and check out the million-dollar mansions, top designer showrooms, or art and film museums in the area.

California's Big Sur coast is the place most people think of when they say "California coast highway," a landscape of mountains diving into the sea, with a ribbon of road clinging to the cliffs. In Big Sur, the stars are brighter, and there's plenty of undeveloped landscape and some fantastic beaches.

Big Sur is popular for romantic getaways, outdoor recreation, driving tours, and hiking. It has some extraordinary beaches, too.

The northernmost town in Napa Valley is beautiful enough to take your breath away. Calistoga is the spa capital of Napa Valley, a charming small town with less pretense than some of its southern neighbors. You'll find some interesting things in the area besides its visitor-friendly wineries, making it an excellent place to enjoy a "wine country" scenery but with different things to do while you look at it. It's great for family outings, romantic getaways, and wine tasting.

Cambria is a longtime favorite of visitors to California's central coast, and with good reason. It's far enough from the ocean to be sunny even when the beach is shrouded in summer fog and a cute little downtown to stroll and browse through. The lodgings along Moonstone Beach below town represent possibly the greatest concentration of nice places to stay in the state, and the area is filled with a lot of nice bed and breakfast inns. Cambria is a good place to base a visit to Morro Bay or Hearst Castle as well.

Catalina Island

Catalina Island is only 26 miles from bustling Los Angeles but a world apart. Preserved in a conservancy, the island has only one town of any size, where residents often drive golf carts instead of automobiles. It's a place of extraordinary natural beauty and one of the best places to de-stress in the state.

Catalina is popular for romantic getaways, active weekends (especially diving), and family fun. It's a good place to get away from it all, rest and relax, or enjoy a romantic interlude.

Crescent City

Crescent City is on the northern California coast, just off U.S. Highway 101 and only 20 miles from the California-Oregon state line. It's the home of a port for a commercial fishing fleet and offers a variety of things to see in do for both locals and visitors. It's famous for the nearby redwood forests and whale watching, and finding agate rocks on the beach has become a touristy thing to do as well.

Death Valley National Park

TripSavvy / Amanda Capritto

In Death Valley, the earth sheds its mantle of green and gives way to fantastic geologic formations with fanciful names like Devil's Golf Course and Badwater Basin. It's the lowest (and hottest) place in the United States, yet its historic National Park lodge, the Inn at Death Valley (formerly the Furnace Creek Inn), offers pamper-me luxury and finer service than you might expect in the middle of the desert.

Death Valley is perfect for outdoor recreation and driving tours. Many visitors also enjoy the nearby ghost towns, and it's a photographers' favorite.

 Kevin Nguyen-Tu / Flickr / CC BY ​2.0

There's enough to do at Disneyland and California Adventure to keep people busy for days, but you can have a fabulous visit in just a couple of days if you use a few of our secrets. Ride the rides, try all of the delicious foods, and create those magical memories that'll last a lifetime.

Eureka is a good base location if you're interested in exploring Humboldt County and the redwood forests of Northern California. Or maybe you'd rather go looking for Bigfoot — the mythical creature has supposedly been sighted more here than in almost any part of California.

It's a great destination for hiking and outdoor recreation, or for just enjoying the beautiful Victorian architecture.

Hearst Castle

othree / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, the Hearst Castle is a fascinating look into the lifestyle of one of early 20th-century America's richest men. It sits atop a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with the bigger-than-life main house surrounded by guest quarters bigger than most visitors' homes. The castle is especially fun during an evening tour (summer only) or when it's decorated for the holidays.

Hearst Castle is perfect for family outings. Architecture-lovers may be interested in its designer Julia Morgan, and history buffs may enjoy the summer night tours, which showcase the Castle as it was in Hearst's day.

Hearst Castle is within 200 miles of Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose.

It's been decades since Hollywood gained its reputation as the center of American filmmaking, and today's Hollywood sometimes fails to live up to visitors' ideas of it. Nevertheless, it's fun to visit for the people who enjoy more touristy attractions, such as the Walk of Fame. It's also the home of the Hollywood Bowl, the Dolby Theatre where the Academy Awards are held, and more.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is perhaps Orange County's least-overdeveloped beach town and one of its prettiest. Created as an artist's getaway, Laguna Beach still feels artsy, with excellent art galleries and some fun summer arts festivals.

Head to Laguna Beach for beach play, shopping, art galleries, and festivals — its seaside location also creates the perfect mood for romance.

Lake County

Lake County lies north of Napa Valley, its southernmost town just up the hill from Calistoga. It's home to the largest natural freshwater lake named Clear Lake. It's completely within California's borders and about 100 miles in circumference. It's one of California's nicest hidden gems and is a must-visit for those interested in fishing, boating, and small wineries.

A clear lake in a natural bowl formed by the granite mountains around it, Lake Tahoe is a favorite of Northern Californians year-round. Although it's famous for winter skiing, it's even busier in summer when there are more things to do and a perfect place to escape the summer heat.

Lake Tahoe is great for family outings, outdoor recreation, skiing, driving tours, hiking, fishing, boating, and doing nothing. If you're interested in gambling, you can stay on the Nevada side of the lake.

Lassen National Park

TripSavvy / Ana Alarcon

In 1915, decades before Mt. St. Helens blew its top, Mount Lassen erupted, raining volcanic ash for 200 miles. The blast created an other-worldly landscape of boiling mud pots, steaming ground, roaring fumaroles, and escaping sulfurous gasses, giving rise to place names like Bumpass Hell and Fart Gulch. Lassen National Park offers great experiences for family outings and outdoor recreation, and it has some beautiful driving tours. The thermal features draw photographers who try to capture their beauty. This lightly-visited national park deserves a lot more attention than it gets, so go now before everyone else discovers it.

Often overlooked as a tourist destination, Long Beach offers a central location for exploring other parts of the Los Angeles area, close to major freeways and with some fun attractions of its own, such as a gondola ride or an art walk in the East Village Art District.

Long Beach is great for family getaways and with night owls who enjoy music and dancing. It's also one of the country's most dog-friendly cities.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the biggest and most famous city in California, and there are more than just a few things to do and see.

Lining the Santa Monica Bay north of the Los Angeles Airport, the towns of Venice Beach and Marina Del Rey offer a wide variety of things to do and a range of environments from funky Venice Beach to the high-end hotels lining the marina. These beach towns offer beach play, shopping, water sports, and amusement rides.

The three main beach towns south of LAX—Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach provide some of the best places for a visitor to get a look at the real California beach life. You'll find places for long walks beside the ocean, volleyball games on the sand, surfers, and scenic piers where you can watch them.

If you're interested in the cultural and artistic side of L.A., you can explore more than 200 professional theaters and 300 museums, more than any other U.S. city. As long as you enjoy the arts, you'll find something in Los Angeles that fits your particular taste, whether it's cutting-edge or ultra-traditional.

It's hard to talk about Los Angeles without including movies and films. Many big films premiere in L.A., and the downtown area is full of beautiful, old movie palaces. It's the perfect destination for film buffs of all kinds, from those who enjoy classic silent films to cutting-edge indies.

The Malibu coast on the north edge of Los Angeles has a reputation bigger than its geographic area. If you're planning a trip to California and are looking forward to a beach day, Malibu is probably one of the first locations you'll think of, and for good reason. There are almost two dozen beaches in Malibu, and they all have their own unique characteristics. Outside of the beaches, you'll find some excellent wineries in the mountains just inland.

Mendocino Coast

California's Mendocino coast boasts some of its wildest and most spectacular coastal scenery. The area seems almost littered with cute little bed and breakfast inns, and few can resist the sight of the town of Mendocino and its New England-style architecture. The forests are filled with blooming rhododendrons in spring, and the Mendocino Botanical Garden always has something in bloom. It's a good place to settle into comfortable lodgings and do nothing at all.

Mono County

The area east of the Sierras is little visited, but one of California's most fascinating places. Its high desert landscape features dormant volcanoes, unique rock formations, a lake so salty that little can live in it, steaming geothermal features, and some of the country's best snow skiing.

If you're looking for a location great for family outings, outdoor recreation, driving tours, hiking fishing, and photography, Mono County is the destination for you. It's also affordable, with moderate hotel prices and many free attractions.

 Taylor McIntyre / © TripSavvy

Of the three towns on the Monterey Peninsula (the others are Pacific Grove and Carmel), Monterey is the most traditional, staying close to its roots as a cannery town. Today, carefully tended sea creatures find a home at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (a former sardine cannery) and Fisherman's Wharf is home to more whale-watching boats than fishing trawlers, but Monterey is still a favorite place for many visitors. Maybe it's those gorgeous ocean views.

Napa Valley

The long, narrow valley anchored by the town of Napa on the south and Calistoga on the north makes a perfect place for a weekend escape. Besides the obvious wine and food-related activities, you can have fun getting muddy during a spa day at the area's famous mud baths.

Newport Beach

Many Southern California residents don't even know about the charming part of Newport Beach, Balboa Peninsula, and the islands that cuddle inside the marina. This part of Orange County seems like it came from a different era and it's sure to charm you. Take a leisurely stroll on the pier, take a harbor cruise, or rent a Duffy boat.

Perhaps best known for its annual New Year's Day parade and as the home of Cal Tech University, Pasadena carries an air of early 20th-century elegance and is home to some of the best Arts and Crafts-style architecture you'll find anywhere. Check out the many fun museums the city has to offer, like the Kidspace Children's Museum .

Pasadena is good for architecture, art, and public gardens.

Palm Springs

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

In the 1950s, Palm Springs was Hollywood's playground, the site of many big-name movie stars' second homes. After a period of decline, the city is once again glamorous, with many of its "mid-century modern" (designer-speak for the 1950s) properties being restored to their former glory. Tour companies can take you to visit Indian Canyons, through the desert in a Hummer, for a drive along the San Andreas Fault, or to see the electricity-generating windmills up close.

Palm Springs is great for driving tours, shopping, casinos, golf, and simply laying around a swimming pool.

Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach is a collection of luxury hotels and challenging golf links, strung along the legendary 17-Mile Drive south of Carmel. Its natural beauty is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors, whether you're soaking up the sun or hitting the green of the many golf courses.

Pebble Beach is popular for golfing, outdoor recreation, excellent lodging, and dining—and its luscious scenery and top-notch restaurants make it ideal for romantic escapes.

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach calls itself "classic California," and with good reason. A five-minute drive from busy Highway 101 takes you to the quintessential California beach town, with a bustling fishing pier, surfers in the water, amazing saltwater taffy, and clam chowder for sale nearby. Just around the edge of the bay, you'll find Oceano Dunes, a large sand dune park where you can play all day.

Head to Pismo Beach for family outings, outdoor recreation, driving off-road vehicles on the sand dunes, beach camping, fishing, and beach play.

Russian River

The Russian River runs southward from northern California, turning west through Sonoma County toward the sea. The small towns on and near the Russian River are some of the cutest in this part of California—and each has a distinct personality. Swimming, kayaking, and canoeing are all welcome on the beautiful water, or if you prefer to stay on land, you can walk around the redwoods instead.

San Diego is California's sunniest coastal city and offers lots of water-oriented activities. It's also home to animal-based attractions and a fun theme park based on LEGO toys. San Diego's tourist scene changes slowly, but if you've never been or haven't been there in a long time, give it a try.

San Diego also boasts historic sights that include the state's first Spanish mission (1769), Old Town (and the new Gaslamp Quarter that replaced it), and a monument to the first European to explore the California coastline.

San Francisco

This tasty mix of tourist attractions and the real city behind the tourist facade will have you planning a return trip lickety-split.

Known for the Golden Gate Bridge, the iconic cable car, and the home of everyone's favorite family, the Tanner's (from the television show Full House), San Francisco is a diverse enough city that it has a little something for everyone.

If movies are your thing, San Francisco is an oft-repeated backdrop for films of all kinds. Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope Studios are here (in the oddly-shaped building at Kearny and Columbus), as is Lucasfilm (in the Presidio). The city is also known for its multitude of film festivals.

Santa Cruz sits at the north end of the Monterey Bay and is home to the largest surviving oceanfront amusement park in California. It's a cozy town with a lively music scene, extraordinary natural beauty, and a laid-back ambiance that makes it easy to relax. On summer weekends, Highway 17 going toward Santa Cruz is choked with cars heading for the beach, but the rest of the year, it's less crowded and more fun.

Santa Cruz is popular for family outings, outdoor recreation, surfing, boating, and shopping. In the winter, monarch butterflies congregate on the trees near Natural Bridge.

Santa Monica

It's technically a part of Los Angeles, but as L.A.'s most famous beach area it's worthy as a destination of its own. With a beautiful stretch of sand, a lavish oceanfront path, and a seaside amusement pier, it's easy to see why this is one of L.A.'s best attractions. If you're looking for a spot for a beach day or a place to spend all your money in shops, Santa Monica is a great choice.

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park and adjacent Kings Canyon are a great alternative to Yosemite. It's less visited, has bigger trees (it's home to General Sherman, the largest living thing on Earth), and features a glacier-carved granite valley that's beautiful. While the two are separate national parks, admission to one gets you admission to them. both.

Sequoia National Park is perfect for family outings, outdoor recreation, driving tours, and hiking. It's also a good place to get away from it all.

Yosemite is one of the country's oldest national parks and one of the most popular. Unfortunately, the park's beauty threatens to be its downfall, with the valley overcrowded in summer and the campgrounds so packed that you may feel like you're in the middle of a freeway at rush hour. Go to the valley off-season or head for locales outside the valley any time, and you'll have a lot more room.

Yosemite is iconic for its outdoor recreation, driving tours, hiking, fishing, wine, and cuisine. Off-season, it's a good place to get away from it all.

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Mother's Day 2024: Top 6 Weekend Getaway Retreats For Moms

As Mother's Day approaches, it's the perfect time to show love to the extraordinary mothers in our lives. Here are some of the must visit destinations for Mother's Day 2024 weekend in India. 

Alice Mary Topno

  • Alice Mary Topno
  • Updated - 2024-05-02, 17:16 IST

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2. Karnataka


5. Rishikesh


Image credit:Wikipedia and freepik

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Midwest tornadoes cause severe damage in Omaha suburbs

The Associated Press

weekend trips close to me

Gopala Penmetsa walks past his house after it was leveled by a tornado near Omaha, Neb., on Friday. Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP hide caption

Gopala Penmetsa walks past his house after it was leveled by a tornado near Omaha, Neb., on Friday.

OMAHA, Neb. — A tornado plowed through suburban Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday afternoon, damaging hundreds of homes and other structures as the twister tore for miles along farmland and into subdivisions. Injuries were reported but it wasn't yet clear if anyone was killed in the storm.

Multiple tornadoes were reported in Nebraska but the most destructive storm moved from a largely rural area into suburbs northwest of Omaha, a city of 485,000 people.

Photos on social media showed heavily damaged homes and shredded trees. Video showed homes with roofs stripped of shingles, in a rural area near Omaha. Law enforcement were blocking off roads in the area.

Hundreds of houses sustained damage in Omaha, mostly in the Elkhorn area in the western part of the city, police Lt. Neal Bonacci said.

Police and firefighters are now going door-to-door helping people who are trapped.

Omaha Fire Chief Kathy Bossman said crews had gone to the "hardest hit area" and had a plan to search anywhere someone could be trapped.

"They're going to be putting together a strategic plan for a detailed search of the area, starting with the properties with most damage," Bossman said. "We'll be looking throughout properties in debris piles, we'll be looking in basements, trying to find any victims and make sure everybody is rescued who needs assistance."

weekend trips close to me

Damaged houses are seen after a tornado passed through the area near Omaha, Neb., on Friday. Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP hide caption

Damaged houses are seen after a tornado passed through the area near Omaha, Neb., on Friday.

Omaha police Lt. Neal Bonacci said many homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

"You definitely see the path of the tornado," Bonacci said.

In one area of Elkhorn, dozens of newly built, large homes were damaged. At least six were destroyed, including one that was leveled, while others had the top half ripped off.

There were dozens of emergency vehicles in the area.

"We watched it touch down like 200 yards over there and then we took shelter," said Pat Woods, who lives in Elkhorn. "We could hear it coming through. When we came up our fence was gone and we looked to the northwest and the whole neighborhood's gone."

His wife, Kim Woods added, "The whole neighborhood just to the north of us is pretty flattened."

Dhaval Naik, who said he works with the man whose house was demolished, said three people, including a child, were in the basement when the tornado hit. They got out safely.

KETV-TV video showed one woman being removed from a demolished home on a stretcher in Blair, a city just north of Omaha.

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said there appeared to be few serious injuries, in part because people had plenty of warning that storms were likely.

The exact link between tornadoes and climate change is hard to draw. Here's why

The exact link between tornadoes and climate change is hard to draw. Here's why

"We not upon by a sudden storm," Schmaderer said. "People had warnings of this and that saved lives."

The tornado warning was issued in the Omaha area on Friday afternoon just as children were due to be released from school. Many schools had students shelter in place until the storm passed. Hours later, buses were still transporting students home.

Another tornado hit an area on the eastern edge of Omaha, passing directly through parts of Eppley Airfield, the city's airport. Officials closed the airport to aircraft operations to access damage but then reopened the facility, Omaha Airport Authority Chief Strategy Officer Steve McCoy said.

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Severe weather damage to Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Neb., can be seen from the Lewis and Clark Monument in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Friday Anna Reed/Omaha World-Herald via AP hide caption

Severe weather damage to Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Neb., can be seen from the Lewis and Clark Monument in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Friday

The passenger terminal wasn't hit by the tornado but people rushed to storm shelters until the twister passed, McCoy said.

Flight delays are expected Friday evening.

After passing through the airport, the tornado crossed the Missouri River and into Iowa, north of Council Bluffs.

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Katrina Sperl said damage is just now being reported. Taylor Wilson, a spokesperson for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said they hadn't seen any injuries yet.

Before the tornado hit the Omaha area, three workers in an industrial plant were injured Friday afternoon when a tornado struck an industrial plant in Lancaster County, sheriff's officials said in an update on the damage.

The building just northeast of the state capital of Lincoln had collapsed with about 70 employees inside and several people trapped, sheriff's officials said. Everyone was evacuated, and three people had injuries that were considered not life-threatening, authorities said.

Sheriff's officials say they also had reports of a tipped-over train near Waverly, also in Lancaster County.

Two people who were injured when the tornado passed through Lancaster County were being treated at the trauma center at Bryan Medical Center West Campus in Lincoln, the facility said in a news release. It said the patients were in triage and no details were released on their condition.

The Omaha Public Power District reported that nearly 10,000 customers were without power in the Omaha area.

Daniel Fienhold, manager of the Pink Poodle Steakhouse in Crescent, Iowa, said he was outside watching the weather with his daughter and restaurant employees. He said "it looked like a pretty big tornado was forming" northeast of town.

"It started raining, and then it started hailing, and then all the clouds started to kind of swirl and come together, and as soon as the wind started to pick up, that's when I headed for the basement, but we never saw it," Fienhold said.

The Weather Service also issued tornado watches across parts of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. And forecasters warned that large hail and damaging wind gusts were possible.

The National Weather Service says six EF-2 tornadoes swept through Iowa Friday night

Multiple ''large and extremely dangerous" tornadoes touched down across western and central Iowa Friday, April 26, including near Pleasant Hill on the eastern side of the city, according to the National Weather Service.

The town of Minden suffered significant damage, according to state officials. But no fatalities have been reported.

The storms were part of a strong system that swept eastward across the state Friday, bringing heavy rain and large hail as tornado watches and warnings were issued county by county.

Showers and storms are likely again on Sunday, the National Weather Service says, particularly by mid to late afternoon and into the evening.

The National Weather Service has also released preliminary information for nine of Friday's tornadoes.

Six of the nine National Weather Service-confirmed tornadoes have been classified as EF-2. A pair of EF-2 tornadoes traveled parallel to each other near Afton, while the weakest and shortest-lived tornado was confirmed near Maffit in Madison County and classified at EF-0.

The National Weather Service has not yet categorized the Minden tornado that destroyed the small western Iowa town on Friday. Additional surveys are forthcoming and more paths may be discovered, according to the NWS.

2:30 p.m.: Minden, Iowa man dies from injuries following tornado

A man injured during a  tornado that touched down in Minden, Iowa  has died, Pottawattamie County Emergency Management officials confirmed Sunday.

The Minden resident was found after the tornado hit and was taken to a local hospital Friday, April 26. He was later transported to a trauma center in Omaha. He passed away in the overnight hours Saturday, according to Pottawattamie emergency management director Doug Reed.

Officials declined to release further identification information about the man.

Three Pottawattamie County residents were injured on Friday night, according to Reed. They were treated and released.

Since then, three more have suffered minor injuries during clean-up and recovery, including one responder and two community members.

More: Minden, Iowa man dies from injuries sustained in tornado

1 p.m.: Storms with wind, hail possible for Sunday afternoon

A Sunday afternoon storm system has a chance chance of producing a few tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials are unsure exactly when the severe weather will hit, as cloud cover and showers could limit intensity.

The highest chance for severe storms is between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. with the potential for hail up to 1.5 inches in diameter and damaging wind gusts up to 60 MPH.

Much of Iowa faces a "marginal risk" of severe weather, with southern Iowa at a "slight risk."

In the case of severe weather, officials encourage residents to seek shelter in a building or car.

The NWS suggests staying aware of weather warnings through tools like the NOAA Weather Radio, the mobile app and through TV and/or radio.

More: Pleasant Hill tornado classified as an EF-2 with max wind speeds of 125 MPH

12:30 p.m.: Gov. Reynolds visits residents impacted by tornado in Minden

Gov. Kim Reynolds traveled Saturday to Minden in the aftermath of an April 26 tornado that devastated the town of about 600 people.

In a Twitter post, Reynolds posted pictures of her Saturday visit talking to residents and city officials.

"The people of Iowa are coming together, just like we always do, to help one another," Reynolds wrote. "With the possibility of more storms today, please be safe and look out for your neighbors."

Minden, a small town in Pottawattamie County,  suffered significant damage  Friday night as severe storms and several tornadoes touched down across the state. The town reported damage to homes, cars and trees .

Four injuries had been reported by Saturday afternoon, according to a news release from Pottawattamie County emergency management. One person remains hospitalized in stable condition, as reported Saturday.

Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Pottawattamie County in response, which activated the  Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program  and the  Disaster Case Advocacy Program .

The Disaster Case Advocacy program provides up to $5,000 in grants for households with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level.

10:30 a.m., Sunday, April 28: NWS results show Pleasant Hill tornado reached 125 miles per hour

A tornado that touched down just before 9 p.m. west of Pleasant Hill Friday, April 26 has been confirmed as an EF-2 by the National Weather Service in Des Moines.

Friday's tornado reached a peak wind speed of 125 MPH, measuring about 300 yards wide. It swept across town for about seven miles for roughly 12 minutes, injuring at least one and damaging nearly 20 homes.

The tornado first touched down in southeast Des Moines near Indianola Avenue around 8:50 p.m., traveling for 7.2 miles past James W. Cownie Park and northeast through Pleasant Hill, toppling trees and power lines along the way.

According to the NWS, there have been zero deaths recorded due to the tornado.

10:30 a.m.: Three tornadoes batter Union County, NWS survey shows

Three tornados ripped through Union County on April 26, barrelling through Creston and near Afton, each exceeding wind speeds of 120 miles per hour.

The first Union County tornado is believed to have touched down at roughly 6:52 p.m. outside Creston. The EF-2 tornado traveled 6.8 miles to the northeast, with a width of 350 yards and an estimated peak wind speed of 125 MPH.

The first of two EF-2 tornadoes that traveled near Afton touched down at roughly 7:26 p.m. on April 26, traveling nearly 11 miles and lasting 18 minutes. The National Weather Service believes the tornado reached a maximum wind speed of 130 MPH and was 150 yards wide.

A second EF-2 tornado popped up a few minutes after the first expired, touching the ground almost in the same spot at 7:53 p.m. The NWS believes this tornado traveled 11.6 miles, lasting 12 minutes, with a maximum wind speed of 125 MPH and a width of 150 yards.

10:30 a.m.: Two EF-2 tornadoes confirmed in Ringgold County

Ringgold County is recovering from destruction as well after a tornado touched down in Tingley and another near Mount Ayr.

An EF-1 tornado traveled nearly 27 outside Mount Ayr and reached speeds of about 110 mph. The twister touched down at 7:27 p.m. and lasted until 8:08 p.m. No injuries or fatalities were reported.

An EF-2 tornado ripped through Tingley on April 26, traveling about 10 miles starting around 8:19 p.m. At its peak, it reached 125 MPH, destroying homes and the Tingley Community Center.

No injuries or deaths were reported.

10:30 a.m. Osceola tornado produced high wind speeds

An EF-2 tornado was confirmed to have torn through Osecola on April 26, producing some of the strongest confirmed wind speeds. The twister was just 75 yards in width but is believed to have reached a speed of 135 MPH during its 12-minute, nearly seven-mile jaunt through the county.

The NWS indicates the tornado first touched down west of Interstate 35 before heading northeast, hopping the interstate and through the heart of downtown Osecola. The tornado eventually dissipated a few miles northeast of town.

10:30 a.m.: Madison, Jasper counties also experience confirmed tornadoes

An EF-0 tornado touched down around 8:23 p.m. on April 26 in Maffit in Madison County and reached peak wind speeds of 80 mph. The tornado traveled just 1.7 miles, lasting three minutes with a width of 30 yards.

An EF-1 tornado touched down around 9:42 p.m. in Monroe, Jasper County, and reached 105 MPH, traveling just two miles and 50 yards wide. No injuries or deaths resulted from these twisters.

2 p.m., Saturday, April 27: NWS issues tornado watch for several southern Iowa counties

The Des Moines National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for several southern Iowa counties that will be in effect until 9 p.m. Saturday.

The tornado watch includes the towns of Creston, Centerville, Indianola, Ottumwa, Centerville, and Oskaloosa, among others. The storm system, according to the National Weather Service, is capable of producing a few tornadoes and wind gusts up to 75 MPH. The system could also produce hail up to two inches in diameter.

1:30 p.m.: Polk County officials issue statement on tornado impact

The Polk County Emergency Management Agency has been out much of Saturday assessing the damage and coordinating resources for residents in need.

Polk County officials are organizing a call for volunteer help in Pleasant Hill. Authorities say monetary donations can be sent to the Polk County and Greater Des Moines Community Foundation disaster recovery fund .

“We are saddened by the widespread damage caused by the tornadoes and storms in Pleasant Hill and across Polk County.” Polk County Board Chair Angela Connolly said in a press release. “Our primary focus right now is on ensuring the safety and well-being of all our residents. We are working closely with local first responders, utility crews, and volunteer organizations to provide assistance and support to those impacted by this disaster."

1 p.m.: National Weather Service provides statewide damage update

Brooke Hagenhoff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said there were at least 10 tornados that swept through central Iowa on April 26. 

Several other tornadoes reportedly touched down in western Iowa near Council Bluffs and the Nebraska border.

Compared to the storm system the state endured earlier in the month , Hagenhoff said Friday night’s storm system was much more robust. 

Chris Franks, a meteorologist for the NWS based in Nebraska, said roughly three tornadoes originated in Omaha and traveled east across Iowa’s border. 

“Right now, it's pretty good to estimate that there tornadoes that came from Nebraska, or very near the Iowa Nebraska line, and then and then crossed into Iowa,” Franks said. “I will caveat that the damage surveys are still on very much ongoing, in fact, there's a lot of a lot of damage to survey.”

11:45 a.m.: Tornado destroys homes, power lines in Pleasant Hill

A tornado touched down just west of Pleasant Hill around 9 p.m. Friday, April 26, sweeping across town, injuring one and damaging nearly 20 homes.

Pleasant Hill Fire Department Chief Jamie Xayavong told reporters at an 11 a.m. news conference Saturday that the injury was not life-threatening, though the 18 damaged homes were no longer inhabitable.

The tornado is believed to have touched down near the intersection of Parkridge Avenue and E Oakwood Drive and headed east, toppling several trees and power lines along the way.

Xayavong said storm damage has been reported as far east as NE 80th Street.

The fire chief did not know how strong the tornado was, though it left several other homes with moderate or minor damage. She indicated that more damage reports could come in as recovery continues.

None of the misplaced residents needed emergency shelter, Xayavong said.

More: Trees downed, homes damaged in Pleasant Hill after tornadoes sweep through area.

11:15 a.m.: Reports of Friday night tornado in Ringgold County in southwest Iowa

A tornado swept through the small southwestern Iowa towns of Tingley and Redding on Friday, April 26, according to Melissa Stark with Ringgold County Emergency Management. Officials believe the tornado developed around 8 p.m. Friday, traveling the entire length of the county and leaving significant damage in its wake.

Stark said residents had little warning, noting that the sirens weren’t triggered until the tornado had developed.

The storm system decimated the Tingley Community Center and devastated the city park.

No injuries have been reported.

11 a.m.: Creston recovering from storm damage

U.S. Rep. Zach Nunn said he was headed to Creston to meet with the Union County Sheriff to tour the community and offer his support.

The storm damaged portions of the Homestead Assisted Living's roof in the northwest part of town. Several windows and the main entrance also suffered damage. A private home in Creston was also damaged in the storm.

“Iowa just emerged from a horrible event that occurred many of our communities last night. In fact, we're headed down to Union County next to help take care of Creston and the communities that were impacted by horrible storms and tornadoes that ravaged the state of Iowa,” he said at a campaign event Saturday morning. “Our prayers not only are with Minden but those communities in Nebraska where we've flown flight operations out of. They're just decimated. And so this morning as we think about what we need to do, it should always be about how do we help those communities in need.”

U.S. Highway 34 between Creston and Afton was closed Friday night due because debris blocked the road, according to Iowa 511.

11 a.m.: Where is Minden, Iowa?

Minden is located on the western side of Iowa. It’s about a 30-mile drive from Omaha, Nebraska, depending on the route taken, according to Google Maps. The town was settled in 1875 by German immigrants,  according to Travel Iowa .

The town of about 600  faced damage to homes, cars and trees after a tornado swept through Friday, April 26. Pottawattamie County officials confirmed four injuries as of Saturday morning,  according to KETV .

Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for the county in response, which activated the  Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program  and the  Disaster Case Advocacy Program .

More: Where is Minden, Iowa? What we know on the Iowa tornado that caused significant destruction

10:45 a.m.: Tiny Minden, Iowa, riddled with debris after tornado smashes through town Friday

Many houses, cars, and trees in Minden have been destroyed after a tornado devastated the southwestern Iowa town of roughly 600 people Friday evening, April 26.

Access to the town was shut off Saturday because of the destruction.

Drivers trying to pass through Minden Saturday morning were being redirected as workers tried to clean up wholesale debris left behind.

For Austin Ehlers, a firefighter in Persia, a city just about 15 minutes away from Minden, the tornado demolished his grandfather’s home.

“He lives just outside of Minden, right in the path where the tornado took,” Ehlers said. “After we cleared everything in Persia, we hoped in the trucks and went to Minden and helped. I found out my grandpa’s house was completely gone, and he’s basically lost everything.”

More: Tiny Minden, Iowa, riddled with debris after tornado smashes through town Friday

10:30 a.m.: Are more tornadoes headed for Iowa? The National Weather Service forecast

Is another round of tornadoes heading to Iowa?

One day after bands of tornadoes swept through western and central Iowa Friday, the National Weather Service is warning of the possibility of strong to severe storms Saturday afternoon through the evening.

"All severe weather hazards are possible, but hail and damaging winds are the primary threats," the National Weather Service in Des Moines reported.

More: Could more tornadoes be headed to Iowa? The National Weather Service forecast

Showers and storms continue into Sunday, along with the potential for more strong to severe storms Sunday afternoon and evening, the NWS said.

"The extent of the threat and most likely hazards remains uncertain at this time," it posted.

The NWS warned that spotter activation may be needed later Saturday and Sunday.

Chances for showers and storms return Tuesday into Tuesday night, and again late in the week. The severe weather threat is uncertain and will be evaluated in the coming days.

Preparing for a storm

With the potential for more severe weather, it's good to be prepared. Make sure you have a plan in place. Here are five things you should know to be prepared for a weather emergency .

6:15 a.m.: At least 10 tornadoes hit central Iowa, National Weather Service says

The National Weather Service in Des Moines posted early Saturday morning that preliminary reports indicate at least 10 tornadoes struck central Iowa in the April 26 storm front, based on initial damage information.

Another band of tornadoes swept across Nebraska and western Iowa.

Damage to trees and homes were reported from Crawford to Union to Ringgold up to Polk and Jasper counties, the office said. At least one injury was reported.

In Nebraska and western Iowa, a swath of damage stretched from just northeast of Lincoln, Nebraska, through the Waterloo and Elkhorn areas, and all the way to near Soldier, Iowa, in eastern Monona county. NWS Omaha issued 42 tornado warnings during the outbreak, it reported .

Two NWS teams from the Des Moines office will survey damaged areas on Saturday. The office will begin to post survey results Saturday, but it will likely take days to rate the severity and path of all the touchdowns.

11:15 p.m.: Minden, Iowa, appears to be hardest hit by Friday's system; storms may continue through the weekend

Friday’s system ushered strong storms across the state, leaving widespread debris and devastation in their wake.

The small town of Minden in northcentral Pottawattamie County appears to have suffered some of the most significant damage, according to state officials and storm chasers, who posted photos and videos of leveled houses and businesses.

As of about 11 p.m. Friday night, no fatalities had been reported in the town, which is 90 minutes west of Des Moines on I-80.

In response to the severe weather, Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Pottawattamie County. The proclamation initiates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program and the Disaster Case Advocacy Program.

Saturday could see more scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon, a few of which could be serve and bring heavy rain. Those storms may continue through Sunday morning.

Staying weather aware will be important for the rest of the weekend. Look out for wireless emergency alerts on your smartphone or stay up to date on forecasts at

A few other tips for staying safe:

  • Get in: If you are outside, get inside. If you're already inside, get as far into the middle of the building as possible.
  • Get down: Get underground if possible. If you can't, go to the lowest floor possible.
  • Cover up: Flying and falling debris are a storm's number one danger. Use pillows, blankets, coats, helmets to cover up and protect your head and body from flying debris.

11 p.m.: Severe thunderstorm 'capable of producing a tornado' spotted over Knapp Center and Drake Stadium

A severe thunderstorm 'capable of producing a tornado' was seen over Drake Stadium and the Knapp Center, according to the National Weather Service. The system was moving northeast at 45 mph.

A tornado warning was issued for central Polk County until 11:45 p.m.

"Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter," said the NWS. "Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows and vehicles will occur."

Drake University is hosting the Drake Relays. No information on delays or cancelations for Saturday's events had been announced by 11:15 p.m. Friday.,

10:10 p.m.: Metro under tornado watch until midnight; one tornado warning lingers

After an evening of strong storms that brought multiple “large and dangerous” tornadoes, heavy rain and sizable hail, most of the system has dissipated.

The last tornado warning issued in the area was in northeast Jasper County and expired at 10:30 p.m.

Metro counties Polk, Warren, Madison and Jasper — as well as many southcentral counties — are still under a watch until midnight.

Full list of counties remaining under a tornado watch until midnight:

10 p.m.: Cross-streets completely blocked in Pleasant Hill

Several cross-streets are completely blocked by emergency crews and tree debris south of the Pleasant Hill Hy-Vee. Lots of traffic seem to be trying to leave the surrounding neighborhoods, which are without power.

9:45 p.m.: 15,000 MidAmerican customers without power

There are about 15,000 MidAmerican Energy customers without power, according to the utility.

At least 11,843 east-side residents were without power, according to MidAmerican.

9:35 p.m.: Highway 34 closed between Creston and Afton; reunification center set up at local Walmart

U.S. Highway 34 between Creston and Afton closed Friday night due to debris blocking the road, according to Iowa 511.

A command center for ambulances and family reunification was set up at Walmart on Laurel St., according to the Creston Police Department. No fatalities or injuries have been confirmed as of about 9:30 p.m. in Creston, according to the police department. 

9:30 p.m.: Zach Bryan concert will go on; 'Severe weather protocols' being followed

Zach Bryan's Quittin' Time Tour will go on as scheduled, according to the Iowa Events Center.

"We are following our established severe weather protocols while we are in a tornado warning," said Adam Flack, director of marketing for the arena. "The show will go on and we have closed the concourse until the warnings expire. Everyone is encouraged to stay inside the seating bowl away from entrances and glass."

9 p.m.: 'Large and extremely dangerous' tornado near Pleasant Hill

The National Weather Service has confirmed a "large and extremely dangerous tornado" over Pleasant Hill. It is moving northeast at about 35 mph.

Those in the area are in "a life-threatening situation," NWS said. "Flying debris may be deadly to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be destroyed. Considerable damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles is likely and complete destruction is possible."

The tornado warning issued for Southeastern Polk and Western Jasper Counties is extended until 9:30 p.m.

KCCI reported that the Pleasant Hill tornado was "lofting" debris into the air.

The system is "one of the most intense rotational signatures we've seen today," said meteorologist Jason Sydejko.

At Southeast Polk Jr. High School, a production of "Annie Jr." was stopped and the audience was ushered to shelter in the hallway.

8:50 p.m.: Tornado warnings issued for eight Iowa counties

The National Weather Service in Des Moines has issued tornado warnings until 9:30 p.m. for the following counties:

  • Southeastern Union County
  • Northeastern Ringgold County
  • Northeastern/west central Clarke County
  • Northwestern Lucas County
  • Northwestern/west central Marion County
  • Northeastern/southeastern Warren County
  • Southeastern Polk County
  • Western Jasper County

8:33 p.m.: 'Tornadic super cells' headed into Des Moines; Take shelter

Multiple tornadic super cells are making their way into the metro, according to KCCI.

Sirens have been heard across the metro area.

Urbandale and Clive residents should be in their safe spaces. Metro residents should also get to basements or below ground level.

  • Get in: If you are outside, get inside.  If you're already inside, get as far into the middle of the building as possible.
  • Get down: Get underground if possible. If you can't, go to the lowest floor possible.
  • Cover up: Flying and falling debris are a storm's number one danger.  Use pillows, blankets, coats, helmets to cover up and protect your head and body from flying debris.
  • Look out for wireless emergency alerts on your smartphone or stay up to date on forecasts at .

At 8:23 p.m., a confirmed tornado was located near Cumming, or near West Des Moines, moving northeast at 25 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

8:30 p.m.: Gov. Reynolds issues disaster proclamation for Pottawattamie County, where Minden was hit hard

In response to the severe weather Friday night, Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Pottawattamie County. The proclamation initiates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program and the Disaster Case Advocacy Program.

Minden, which was hit hard by a tornado earlier in the evening, sits in northern section of the county.

From a news release:

The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and temporary housing expenses. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management website at Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim.

The Disaster Case Advocacy Program addresses serious needs related to disaster-related hardship, injury, or adverse conditions. Disaster case advocates work with clients to create a disaster recovery plan and provide guidance, advice, and referrals to obtain a service or resource. There are no income eligibility requirements for this program; it closes 180 days from the date of the governor's proclamation. For information on the Disaster Case Advocacy Program, contact your local community action association or visit

8:26 p.m.: Tornado warning issued for Des Moines metro

The National Weather Service in Des Moines has issued a tornado warning for Polk, Madison, Dallas and Warren counties until 8:45 p.m.

The tornado warning includes:

Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, Urbandale, Johnston, Clive, Altoona, Waukee, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Grimes, Windsor Heights, Saylorville, Granger, Jordan Creek Town Center, Merle Hay Mall, Iowa Events Center, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines Int`l Airport, and Principal Park.

8:05 p.m.: Tornado watch extended to midnight in Polk, Story, Boone and Jasper Counties

The Tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service has been extended to midnight in 10 counties, including Polk, Jasper, Boone and Story counties. Further South, counties including Appanoose, Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Warren and Wayne are under the same watch.

The metro as well as larger population centers like Ames, Indianola, Newtown, Knoxville and Pella are now covered by the watch.

Possible threats connected to this storm system could include "a few tornados" with "a couple intense tornados possible," according to the National Weather Service. Damaging winds could gust to about 70 mph and scattered large hail, including pieces possibly measuring 2.5 inches in diameter, are also possible.

7:45 p.m.: Minden, Iowa, seems to be destroyed

Storm chasers have posted video and photos of what looks to be catastrophic damage in Minden, Iowa, located about 90 minutes west of Des Moines on I-80.

7:45 p.m.: Tornado warning issued for southern Iowa counties

The National Weather Service in Des Moines has issued a tornado warning for southwestern Madison, central Union, western Clarke and southeastern Adair counties until 8:30 p.m.

7:45 p.m.: Tornadoes located over Creston, Mount Ayr

At 7:43 p.m., NWS confirmed a tornado located over Creston Municipal Airport moving northeast at 35 mph.

At 7:47 p.m., NWS confirmed a tornado located over Mt Ayr Municipal Airport moving northeast at 35 mph.

7:40 p.m.: Tornadoes confirmed near Afton, Redding

The National Weather Service in Des Moines confirmed a tornado located near Afton moving northeast at 30 mph.

At 7:34 p.m., another tornado was reported near Redding moving northeast at 40 mph.

7:29 p.m.: Tornado warnings issued for counties in south central Iowa

The National Weather Service in Des Moines has issued a tornado warning for Madison, Union, Adair and Ringgold counties until 8 p.m.

At 7:16 p.m., a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located 5 miles northeast of Green Valley Lake State Park moving northeast at 40 mph.

At 7:21 p.m., a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Irena moving northeast at 45 mph.

7:13 p.m.: Tornadoes located near Manilla, Creston, Vail

The National Weather Service in Des Moines confirmed a tornado located over Manilla moving northeast at 45 mph.

At 7:05 p.m., NWS confirmed a tornado located over Creston moving northeast at 40 mph.

At 7:07 p.m., NWS confirmed a new tornado located 5 miles south of Vail moving northeast 40 mph.

The NWS reports that the tornados are on the ground and residents should take cover.

7 p.m.: Tornado warning issued for Union, Adams and Adair counties

The National Weather Service in Des Moines has issued a tornado warning for Union, Adams and Adair counties until 7:45 p.m. Friday.

At 6:54 p.m., the NWS confirmed a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado near Kent moving northeast at 30 mph.

6:49 p.m.: Tornado warning issued for west central Iowa, tornado located near Vail

The National Weather Service in Des Moines has issued a tornado warning for northeastern Crawford County in west central Iowa until 7:30 p.m.

At 6:43 p.m., the NWS confirmed a "large and extremely dangerous" tornado located 5 miles southwest of Vail moving north at 30 mph.

The NWS has labeled the tornado as life-threatening and urges residents to take cover.

6:38 p.m.: 'Large and extremely dangerous' tornado located near Irwin

The National Weather Service in Des Moines confirmed a “large and extremely dangerous” tornado was located near Irwin moving northeast at 30 mph.

The NWS has labeled this a “particularly dangerous situation” and urges residents to take cover.

6:28 p.m.: Tornado warning issued for southwestern Iowa

The National Weather Service in Des Moines has issued a tornado warning from southeastern Adams County and Taylor County until 7 p.m. Friday.

At 6:20 p.m., a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located 5 miles east of Braddyville moving northeast at 40 mph.

At 6:28 p.m., the thunderstorm was located near Corning Municipal Airport moving northeast at 55 mph.

The storm could produce a tornado as well as quarter-size hail.

5:15 p.m.: Tornadoes confirmed in southwest Iowa

Spotters confirmed a tornado around 5:15 p.m. about 9 miles east of Council Bluffs, The National Weather Service reported. The tornado was moving northeast at 45 mph.

A tornado touched down in another area about 7 miles southwest of Treynor, moving in the same direction.

NWS radars also confirmed a different tornado 7 miles northwest of Neola around 5:20 p.m.

3:47 p.m.: Tornado watch issued for parts of central Iowa, stop just short of Polk County

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of central Iowa until 9 p.m. Friday.

The watch picks up on the edge of an earlier tornado watch in western Iowa and extends up to the Des Moines metro area. Dallas County is included in the watch, but Polk, Story and Warren counties are not at this time.

Severe weather including a few tornadoes, large hail and strong wind gusts are possible, according to the National Weather Service in Des Moines. Isolated heavy rainfall may also occur.

12:55 p.m.: Tornado watch issued for parts of western Iowa

A tornado watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for parts of western Iowa until 7 p.m. Friday.   

Counties in the watch are at risk of seeing tornadoes, apple-sized hail and wind gusts up to 70 mph.

This is the first wave in a weekend of storms expected in Iowa . Most of the state has the potential to see severe storms, tornadoes and heavy rainfall all weekend. Storms are expected to move toward central Iowa in the evening hours Friday.

More: What's the difference between a severe weather watch and a warning?

Radar: What's the weather radar in Des Moines, central Iowa?

Here's a look at the National Weather Service's Des Moines radar loop:

Find shelter: What should you do in the case of severe weather?

Staying weather aware will be important. Look out for wireless emergency alerts on your smartphone or stay up to date on forecasts at .

NWS has some  more tips for severe weather :


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