True story: sometimes you really need to get away but you just don’t have the time or money for an all-out vacation. Fortunately, there’s always the option of a weekend getaway to save the day. We’ve asked men’s lifestyle and travel expert Joe Miragliotta from Joe’s Daily to share a few perfect short trips—no matter what you’re into—for under $1,000* for you and a partner. Use the suggestions as-is, or as inspirational jumping-off points for a proper staycation. Either way, here’s to getting the break you really need!
1. Wine Lovers – Walla Walla, WA
Despite it being no secret that Washington has been making quite a mark on the US winery scene over the last couple of decades, the default idea for a wine-related vacation is still Napa Valley. While you’ll never catch me complaining about a trip to the California town, might I suggest you give Walla Walla, WA a chance next time you’re looking for a quick, relaxing getaway? From homey B&Bs to the more affordable go-tos, there are places to stay there perfect for any budget. As far as what to do, it’s exactly what you would want: winery tours (of course), food tours, great local shopping, and serene laid-back atmosphere. Not a bad way to recharge over a weekend.
Editor’s Note: While in Walla Walla stop into my pal Charles Smith’s winery and try my favorite Merlot: The Velvet Devil.
2. Music Lovers – Nashville, TN
Whether you’re into jazz, country, pop, or rock and roll, Nashville has got you covered on entertainment. In the span of a long weekend visit, a person would have no issue at all filling their time bouncing from one amazing venue to the next, even if they all feature the same genre. Admittedly, the hotels that are where you want to be can be a bit steep (though gorgeous). However, if you know where to look there are some awesome economical options out there. Of course, I’d be doing something wrong if I mentioned a visit to Nashville and didn’t include the food. When you’re planning your itinerary for the weekend, try to add in a food tour or distillery tour of some kind. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did.
Editor’s Note: Nashville is famous for their hot chicken. Pretty much every place you end up with will have a hot spot. It’s a must-try!
3. Sun and Water Lovers – Key West, FL
Truth be told, water lovers have plenty of choices at their disposal in the way of weekend vacations (though, that could probably be said for others on this list as well). Still, if this is you and you still haven’t marked Key West off of your bucket list, you’re definitely missing out. Though the island might be tiny, it’s still made a big name for itself in the way of water activities. Whether you choose to stay in a waterfront hotel or in the middle of the island, snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, sunset cruises, and just lounging on the beach are going to be only a few minutes away.
4. Nature Lovers – Under Canvas Yellowstone, MT
While I would never suggest to anyone that they should try out glamping in place of a true camping trip, I would absolutely say that it can be an ideal choice for any nature lover looking for a comfortable weekend among the trees. As the trend continues to take off, so too does the list of potential amenities and corresponding price tags. Luckily, there are still plenty of wonderful options out there for people on a budget. If you aren’t quite sure about where to start looking, I would begin with these offered by Under Canvas in Yellowstone, MT. Starting at around $300 a night, you get a cabin-style tent with a wood stove and a view of either the mountains or the river. The site itself offers free breakfast and parking, has a bar and communal fire pit, and is conveniently located to several Yellowstone locations like Gallatin National Forest and Grand Prismatic Spring. If, however, the location is a bit out of the way for you, you can check out their other locations here.
5. Animal Lovers – Black Beauty Ranch, TX
For those that love nature but prefer creatures to plants, a trip to an animal sanctuary might be just what you need on your next weekend getaway. Located about an hour and a half southeast of Dallas, Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch is the largest animal sanctuary in the United States. Currently, the 1,400-acre outfit is home to over 800 exotic and domestic animals including horses, tigers, and monkeys. While the ranch is (understandably) a bit out of the way, you still have your options for home base. Incorporate camping into your experience with a stay at Mill Creek Ranch Resort or enjoy the city vibes in Dallas somewhere like The Stoneleigh or The Adolphus.
6. Food Lovers – Philadelphia, PA
When it comes to lists of the best US cities for food, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t include Philadelphia. From the iconic cheesesteak to Han Dynasty’s famous Dan Dan Noodles, Philly offers a wide array of cuisines with an interesting history. I would definitely recommend kicking off your visit with a food tour (or two) of some kind. However, as there’s probably no way to safely sample everything worth trying in just two to three days, consider making a list of the foods and shops that intrigue you most before you go.
7. Relaxation Lovers – Scottsdale, AZ
If you’re looking for a little rejuvenation over the course of a weekend, Scottsdale, AZ is probably right where you want to be. You don’t have to be a believer in vortices to appreciate just how restoring a trip to The Copper State is (though, if you are, I’ll point you in the way of Sedona instead). Throw in a stay at any one of the area’s numerous resorts and spas and you’re basically guaranteed to return home feeling like a new person. While a visit to one of the area’s fantastic resorts can be a little pricey, it doesn’t take much digging to find something that will work for you. A word of advice: Don’t be afraid to book a place outside the city. Chances are you probably won’t need to leave (though many offer shuttles) and you’ll get to add stargazing to your list of nightly activities.
8. Fun Lovers – New Orleans, LA
Regardless of whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, New Orleans should have a priority spot on the bucket list of anyone that likes to have an enchantingly good time. Between the history, mystery, food, music, and general nightly rambunctiousness, it would be very difficult to fail if you came to have some fun. As for how to spend your time, the possibilities are endless, even if you wanted to stick to a specific theme. You can take a Jazz Cruise on a Steamboat, stay in a haunted hotel, enjoy a food history tour, see what the swamp’s got going on, and maybe find yourself in a parade through the French Quarter. I’m not sure if “random” is the right word to describe a general stay in New Orleans, but “eclectic” certainly isn’t the wrong one.
*$1,000 does not include transportation to your destination. Apologies, I don’t know where you live.
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