Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips.
The urge to travel is strong but at the same time, you don’t want to stray too far from the safety of home. We understand. But because warm weather is vanishing quickly and we know you’ll want to make the most of it (whatever that means this year), we’ve rounded up the best weekend roads trip in every single state–using a large metro area as a starting point. Read on, book your Travelocity hotel, then hit the road!
Alabama: Gulf Coast
Follow the sound of crashing waves and make a beeline down I-65 where white sand beaches, kid-friendly activities and fresh-caught seafood await. In Destin, Florida, plop down on the beach for day of sun, sand and surf, or go the nature route and head to Ship Island for near seclusion. At Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Gulf Shores, Alabama, see if you can spot loggerhead sea turtles nesting between May and October and absolutely have lunch at Lambert’s Cafe in Foley, home of the ‘throwed rolls.”
STAY The Lodge at Gulf State Park
Driving time from Birmingham: 4 hrs
Alaska: Kachemak Bay
Alaska is a big place (as in bigger than Texas, California and Montana combined), but also a roadtripper’s paradise. From Anchorage, take the Seward Highway on a scenic journey that includes grizzlies and glaciers. At the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Girdwood, come face to face with black bears, elks, moose and more. In Cooper Landing, go rafting along the Kenai River, and in Homer, enjoy restaurants, shops, beaches and mountain views along the Spit and hop a boat to explore Kachemak Bay State Park.
STAY Alaskan Suites
Driving time from Anchorage: 4 hrs
Spiritual Sedona is a bit of an Arizona attention hog, but nearby Cottonwood and Jerome are equally as charming. Visit the tasting room at Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards, founded in 2004 by Maynard James Keenan of the rock band Tool. The winery is making high-elevation wines out of mostly Italian and Spanish varietals. There’s also the Puscifer Store, an eclectic hub of creativity.
STAY Cottonwood Hotel
Driving time from Phoenix: 2 hrs
Arkansas: Eureka Springs
This small town nestled in the Ozarks, checks many quirky boxes. It’s lined with Victorian homes, boasts not a single stoplight and is built right into the side of a mountain. Stroll the charming and walkable downtown and have a hearty breakfast at the Mud Street Cafe, a longtime favorite. Spend an afternoon canoeing, kayaking or standup paddleboaring on nearby Lake Leatherwood and stop afterward at Thorncrown Chapel to admire the glassy facade of this woodsy architectural marvel.
STAY Perched atop the town, the eloquent Crescent Hotel and Spa is haunted. Or is it? Book a room and find out!
Driving time from Little Rock: 3 hrs, 30 mins
California: Paso Robles
In a state spoiled for road trip options, we love that the Central Coast offers accessibility for both Angelenos and San Franciscans. A hub of locally owned wineries, Paso also boasts a delightful town square and food options like Alchemist’s Garden and Fish Gaucho, the newly opened Paso Market Walk, plus Tin City, a group of warehouses serving local wines, beer and spirits. Join Central Coast Kayaks for a morning of cave kayaking and grab a sammy at famed High Street Deli in San Luis Obispo on your way back to Paso!
STAY How about a little cowboy chic with a dash of rustic charm? At the Stables Inn you’ll have just that!
Driving time from LA: 3 hrs, 15 mins
Driving time from San Francisco: 3 hrs, 15 mins
It doesn’t get much prettier than this ski spot, situated at the end of a beautiful canyon and surrounded by rugged peaks. This secluded mountain town boasts fun cultural events and plenty of outdoor activities such as rafting, fly fishing, biking, horseback riding, and hiking by day, and local live music and happy hours at sunset in Mountain Village by night.
STAY: The Peaks Resort and Spa
Driving time from Denver: 6 hrs
Connecticut: New Haven
New Haven may be known for its famous university, but this leafy city just an hour’s drive from Stamford offers so much more. Take a scenic drive, take in views of the Long Island Sound and don’t forget to stop for New Haven-style pizza at Frank Pepe, Modern Apizza or Sally’s Apizza. But there’s also legendary works of art at The Study at Yale, and beautiful parks, including Lighthouse Point Park, which is perfect for outdoor picnics.
STAY: The Graduate New Haven
Driving time from Stamford: 1 hr
Delaware: Rehoboth Beach
Delaware is a small state, but one that has a lot to offer. Make a beeline to the beach—Rehoboth Beach that is. This seaside village is a vacation paradise boasting charming inns and bed and breakfasts, a kitschy fun boardwalk lined with shops, restaurants and amusements and miles of beaches where you might just spot a pod of dolphins frolicking off shore. When you’re bored of the beach (which you probably never will be) hop in the car and take a scenic drive down Highway 1.
STAY: Rehoboth Beach Guest House
Driving time from Wilmington: 2 hrs
Florida natives live where the rest of us vacation. But even Sunshine Staters need a change of scenery now and then. While out-of-staters tend to skip this collection of six islands on their way to Key West, natives know Islamorada is the ideal spot for a weekend getaway, thanks to sport fishing, hiking and canoeing at numerous state parks, and picnicking and swimming at Anne’s Beach. Be sure to save time for feeding tarpon at Robbie’s Marina or catching a dolphins show at Theater of the Sea. Plus, getting here from Miami takes half the time it takes to get to Key West—that means more time for sun and fun!
STAY: Idly swing in beachfront hammocks, take a swim in the pool or make a splash with watersports by day, then gather round the fire pit at night at the oceanfront Amara Cay Resort.
Driving time from Miami: 1.5 hrs
This adorable town is located right in the heart of the mountains and boasts more than two dozen hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail plus the 4180-acre Lake Nottely, which is a great spot for boating, renting kayaks or paddle boards, or just getting soaking wet. Vogel State Park has great hiking and a sandy beach while Lake Trahlyta offers swimming, paddleboarding and even pedalboats.
STAY: Bear Claw Cabin
Driving time from Atlanta: 2 hrs
Hawaii: Road to Hana
The Aloha State boasts many scenic drives, but we had to go with its most famous (doable as a day trip). Rise and shine at dawn to beat the crowds and grab some banana bread at Aunt Sandy’s, a Maui legend and perfect fuel for the long day. Roadside icons include Twin Falls, Garden of Eden Arboretum, Seven Sacred Pools, Kaihalulu Beach—where the sand is red!—and Wai’anapanapa State Park—where the sand is black!—among others.
STAY: Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas
Driving time from Lahaina: 45 mins to starting point
Idaho: Sun Valley
It’s an obvious if not easy choice (Idaho is blessed with natural beauty almost everywhere you turn), but family-friendly Sun Valley has it all, including wintry black diamond thrills coupled with après ski chills, plus running, golfing, hiking and biking under summer’s sun. On the way out, stop at Craters of the Moon National Monument and spend a few hours on its lunar-like surface. In Ketchum, wine and dine in joints like the cowboy-like Pioneer Saloon or grab a seat with a view of Bald Mountain at Bigwood Bar & Grill.
STAY: Awesome digs, plus access to hiking and biking trails, ski slopes and golf courses? Sun Valley Resort has it all!
Driving time from Boise: 3 hrs
Illinois: Shawnee National Forest
If a name like Garden of the Gods sounds like a delightful place to spend the weekend, head to Southern Illinois for some serious natural beauty. The “garden” in question is a scenic recreational area in Shawnee National Forest, set between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, where you can hike through forests, among rolling hills, lakes, creeks and rugged bluffs. One highlight is the quarter-mile Observation Trail that runs along the top of a cliff, offering amazing views of unearthly rock formations like Camel Rock and Devil’s Smokestack.
STAY: Time in the woods calls for a cozy cabin stay. The Eagle Pint Hideout is a 2,300-square-foot vacation rental retreat just 7 miles from Shawnee National Forest featuring a fireplace, spacious deck, barbecue grill and household amenities galore.
Driving time from Chicago: 5.5 hrs
Indiana: Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne is only a two to three-hour drive from numerous major cities including Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Indianapolis, and boasts tons of fun weekend getaway activities from the fun and exciting Children’s Zoo to three rivers offering eight miles of riverfront right downtown. Promenade Park features a tree canopy trail and water features for kids and don’t miss the excellent Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory.
STAY: Hyatt Place Fort Wayne
Driving time from Indianapolis: 2 hrs
Iowa: Sioux City
Beautiful Sioux City offers miles of shoreline along the banks of the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers perfect for biking, fishing, boating, or even a leisurely stroll. The Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in the Loess Hills is also lots of fun. It features rescued raptors and an outdoor playscape. Meanwhile, Riverside Park’s Miracle Field has a beautiful adaptive playground.
STAY: Wildwood Lodge
Driving time from Des Moines: 3 hrs
History buffs will love visiting the hometown of Ike, where they can check out the Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum (temporarily closed) and his boyhood home, as well as the Historic Seelye Mansion, and the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad, which operates on a 100-year-old steam engine. Need a sweet ending? Abiline is also home to a Russell Stover Chocolates factory outlet!
STAY: Home2 Suites by Hilton Abilene
Driving time from Kansas City: 2 hrs
Lexington is only a short drive from Louisville, and is great for equestrian lovers, thanks to hundreds of championship thoroughbred horse farms, including Claiborne Farm that has been visited twice by Queen Elizabeth II! There’s also bourbon distilleries like Buffalo Trace Distillery, and hiking and kayaking within a picturesque natural area—the Kentucky River Palisades (a 450-million-year-old ecosystem).
STAY: Hyatt Regency Lexington
Driving time from Louisville: 1.5 hrs
Crawfish and Zydeco are calling! Lafayette, home to the University of Louisiana, is a thriving college town in the heart of Cajun country that’s said to have more restaurants per capita than any other U.S. city. It is a place for traditional Cajun and Creole dishes loaded with delicious, super fresh seafood like at Randol’s, a beloved restaurant and dance hall featuring live Cajun music seven nights a week. To learn more about the local culture, visit one of the city’s two historical villages, Vermilionville and Acadian Village, which were founded as bayou villages in the 1800s.
STAY: Your room at the colorful and quirky Blue Moon Guest House and Saloon includes some unusual amenities like live music on the back porch, drink tickets to the saloon, use of the piano and a used book exchange; both private rooms and dorms are available.
Driving time from New Orleans: 2 hrs
Maine: Acadia National Park
If you’re looking to visit beautiful Acadia National Park for a weekend, make Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island your home base. But before heading into the park, take some time to explore Bar Harbor via boat tour, take in a lumberjack show or go whale watching. Inside the park, don’t miss 1,530-foot-tall Cadillac Mountain with its stunning views, plus other park highlights like Jordan Pond, Schoodic Point, Sand Beach, Thunder Hole and Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, to name a few.
STAY: Get comfy at the centrally located Ivy Manor Inn-Village Center where breakfast is included.
Driving time from Portland: 3 hrs
Tiny Thurmont is a historic town (founded in 1751) with a whole lot of flavor. It’s where Camp David is located, and also the home to an annual arts festival. Go for a hike and check out the beautiful nature trails and then relax at the end of the day by visiting an orchard and picking fresh fruit or going wine tasting at a local vineyard.
STAY: Inn at Springfield Manor
Driving time from Baltimore: 1 hr
Less than 1 hour from Boston and 4 hours from New York City, Gloucester has some of New England’s best beaches, including the famous Good Harbor Beach. Also check out Rocky Neck Artists’ Colony, the oldest of its kind in the U.S. There’s also shopping on Main Street or at Bearskin Neck in coastal Rockport. For reality show fans, visit the home of “Wicked Tuna!”
STAY: Ocean House Hotel at Bass Rocks
Driving time from Boston: 1 hr
Michigan: Mackinac Island (MS)
The Wolverine State has plenty of worthy getaway options, from the progressive college vibe of Ann Arbor to the beachy good times of Harbor Country towns. But if we had to pick just one weekend getaway in Michigan it would be Mackinac Island. Why? Because there’s no other place like it. It’s a bona fide quiet island getaway in the Midwest, right in Lake Huron. No cars are allowed so rent a bike or take a horse and carriage tour, then visit historic sites like forts that were captured by the British during the War of 1812 and spend time in the water swimming, sailing or fishing, Don’t miss afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel, the jewel of the island.
STAY: Request a water view at the Harbour View Inn, walk the lush gardens and enjoy free breakfast.
Driving time from Detroit: 6 hrs
Minnesota: Two Harbors
Along Lake Superior’s North Shore you’ll find Two Harbors, a quaint lakeside town where you can spot majestic 1,000-foot freighters pulling into port, tour the 1892 Split Rock Lighthouse or, in summer, dive shipwrecks across Agate Bay. But nature is the big draw, so be sure to save time to hike along the cedar and spruce-lined Sonju Trail, or explore the rivers, waterfalls and lakes of Gooseberry Falls State Park.
STAY: Superior Shores Resort is a destination unto itself with outdoor and indoor pools, tennis courts and playgrounds.
Driving time from Minneapolis: 3 hrs
Mississippi: Gulf Coast
Coastal Mississippi, aka Mississippi Gulf Coast, is less than 90 minutes from the fun and excitement of New Orleans, but feels like a different world thanks to its uninterrupted expansive of sand and surf not easily found elsewhere in these parts. Press your luck at a Biloxi or Gulfport casino, bike the coastline or soak up some sun along the Gulf Islands National Seashore.
STAY: Will a stay at Beau Rivage make you rich? Probably not, but its table games and slot machines sure are fun to try!
Driving time from Jackson: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Marthasville, located in the Augusta Valley area, is where the beginning of Missouri Wine Country can be found. It’s also a stop on the Katy Trail, the country’s longest Rails to Trails section. But there’s even more fun to be had here: The Daniel Boone home is nearby, the town is a Lewis and Clark historical stop, and across the river lies Washington, Missouri featuring a beautiful downtown area with shops and restaurants.
STAY: Bank Haus
Driving time from St. Louis: 1 hr
Montana: Ghost Town Loop
You could spend a week exploring the ghosts of Big Sky Country’s mining past, but it also makes for a nifty weekend trip. Base yourself in trendy Bozeman and have dinner at a joint like Montana Ale Works where waygu burgers and more than 40 beers on tap await. On Saturday, head to Virginia City (as Wild West as it gets!) and then onward to ghostly Nevada City just down the road. Next up is Bannack State Park Mine—another ghostly gem. End the day with a soak at Elkhorn Hot Springs before returning to Bozeman.
STAY: Chic design and bold color rule at the whimsical RSVP Hotel, a short stroll away from downtown.
Driving time from Billings: 2 hrs
Nebraska: Ponca State Park
Thanks to miles of shoreline along the Missouri Recreational River that’s perfect for fishing and kayaking or hiking, Ponca State Park makes for an ideal weekend getaway. Hop on a horse for an equestrian tour of the park, jump in the river for a swim and be on the lookout for wild turkeys. Bonus: If you’re strapped for time, Ponca State Park is close enough to Omaha to be done as a day trip.
STAY: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City
Driving time from Omaha: 2 hrs
Nevada: Great Basin National Park
Wanna hit a real jackpot? Skip the blackjack table and instead get in your car and head up Hwy 93 to Great Basin National Park, one of the least visited parks in the National Parks system thanks to its remote location. Follow the scenic drive to Wheeler Peak, hike a field of ancient bristlecone pines and be on the lookout for deer! On the drive up, take a selfie in front of the Extraterrestrial Highway sign, spend a few hours wandering around Cathedral Gorge State Park and grab a pre-park bite at hip hangout Kerouac’s in Baker.
STAY: The Prospector Hotel and Casino in Ely boasts modern rooms, an onsite restaurant, swimming pool and yeah, slot machines.
Driving time from Las Vegas: 4 hrs, 15 mins
New Hampshire: Bretton Woods
In winter, you can’t beat a ski getaway to Bretton Woods. Facing Mount Washington across a beautiful valley, it’s the state’s biggest ski resort with 62 trails and three terrain parks. Beyond skiing, the resort offers plenty of family fun like tubing and snowmobiling while, off the slopes, kid will get a kick out of the Mount Washington Cog Railway. Not ski season? Come anyway! Summer fun includes canopy tours, horseback riding through the woods, mountain biking, tennis and fishing.
STAY: You’ll never run out of things to do at the Omni Mount Washington Resort, thanks to endless sports and activities.
Driving time from Manchester: 2 hrs
New Jersey: Asbury Park
Filled with history, Asbury Park is the perfect small town beach escape for city dwellers. Visit the beautiful Jersey Shore beaches, the Asbury Park Boardwalk and outdoor dining scene, and it’ll feel impossible to believe you are just miles from the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia or New York City.
STAY: Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel
Driving time from Atlantic City: 1 hour
New Mexico: Santa Fe
Recommending Santa Fe is a no-brainer. The city is filled with history and has a vibrant art scene including galleries showcasing everything from traditional to contemporary art at Canyon Road. Visit the world-renowned Georgia O’Keeffe Museum or check out fun events like the Wine & Chile Fiesta (happening virtually in 2020) or Indian Market, which features New Mexican artists and will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021. For outdoor activities, head to Bandelier National Park.
STAY: Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
Driving time from Albuquerque: 1 hr
New York: The Catskills
Dirty Dancing is a classic film for a reason! Just 100 miles from Manhattan, this upstate paradise is full of forests with crystal clear mountain brooks and rivers—and has been back in vogue among respite-seeking New Yorkers for some time now. Take a scenic drive, jump into the green-blue water at Peekamoose Blue Hole or try your hand at fly-fishing in Roscoe. (Trust us, it’s a thing!) Oenophiles rejoice, the region is full of woodsy wineries.
STAY: Eastwind Hotel & Bar
Driving time from New York City: 2 hours
North Carolina: Asheville
Asheville is a beautiful, creative town in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visit its many breweries (more per capita than any other city in the U.S.), and check out hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway or the expansive outdoor gardens at the Biltmore Estate.
STAY: The Omni Grove Park Inn
Driving time from Charlotte: 2 hrs
North Dakota: Watford City
Visit a small western town that looks like something out of a classic movie and enjoy a drive along the Killdeer Mountain Four Bears Scenic Byway. Stop by Little Missouri State Park and visit Badlands terrain with 30-miles of trails and wildlife viewing. Don’t miss Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge, boasting more than 4,000-acres of wetlands, native prairie and planted grassland.
STAY: Roosevelt Inn and Suites
Driving time from Fargo: 6 hrs
Ohio: Athens County
Athens County is located in the Southern Ohio Appalachian hills and boasts steep, rugged terrain, streams, valleys and rivers. When you tire of all that nature and adventure, there’s a fun downtown area with great restaurants and breweries. Looking for more adventure? The Hocking Hills region is only a half hour away, and full of ravines, more trails and beautiful waterfalls.
STAY: Hampton Inn Athens
Driving time from Columbus: 1 hr
Oklahoma: Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Get your kicks along the Mother Road and have your camera ready! For a true 66 experience, start at Pops 66 Soda Ranch, just northeast of Oklahoma City for some diner grub. Next, head west along the famous highway for some roadside thrills. In Shamrock, Texas, stop at the Conoco Service Station, an Art Deco masterpiece and 66 must. Onward to Groom to photograph the Leaning Tower of Texas. In Amarillo, grab a can of spray paint and add to the beauty that is Cadillac Ranch. At 120 miles long, Palo Duro is the second-largest canyon in the country. Holy cow, it’s beautiful!
STAY: A visit to the famous Big Texan Motel is like walking straight into the Wild West. Dinner at the restaurant is a must!
Driving time from Oklahoma City: 4 hrs
Newberg is right at the heart of Willamette Valley wine country, and is surrounded by gorgeous forestland, vineyards, hazelnut orchards and beautiful farmlands. There are more than 150 wineries, a farmhouse brewery and flower and fruit farms. Newberg is only 40 miles from Portland and also boasts a classic road trip element—a drive-in movie theater from 1953.
STAY: Holiday Inn Express Newberg – Wine Country
Driving time from Portland: 40 mins
Pennsylvania: The Poconos
The Pocono Mountains, just 95 miles from both New York City and Philadelphia metro areas is a super easy drive that takes you to a place that feels worlds away. An adventure seeker’s paradise, check out beautiful lakes, waterfalls and hikes. The region also boasts quaint towns like Stroudsburg and Jim Thorpe. (Yes, that’s the name of a town!). Plan your visit during leaf-peeping season, you won’t be sorry.
STAY: The Lodge at Woodloch
Driving time from Philadelphia: 1.5 hrs
Rhode Island: Provincetown
A Cape weekend is practically a birthright for New Englanders. Along the way, stroll the charming downtown in Chatham and enjoy a meal at Impudent Oyster—a restaurant housed in a former church. In Eastham, visit the Nauset Lighthouse—the Cape’s most famous. Then it’s onward to P-Town. Explore the galleries lining Commercial Street, enjoy a lobsta’ roll at The Lobster Pot and definitely rent a bike and spend an afternoon cycling the glorious Cape Cod National Seashore.
STAY: The family-friendly Cape Colony Inn offers an affordable alternative away from the hustle and bustle of Commercial Street. Plus, it boasts a swimming pool!
Driving time from Providence: 2 hrs
South Carolina: Daufuskie Island
Daufuskie Island is just off the coast of Savannah and Hilton Head. Best of all, it’s not only a road trip, but also a boat trip! The tiny island is full of nature and wildlife, from bottlenose dolphins to loggerhead turtles. There’s waterfront horseback riding, a great golf course, and even a contactless art gallery.
STAY: 1926 Gullah Cottage
Driving time from Charleston: 2 hrs (plus a 2-hour ferry ride)
South Dakota: Deadwood
Luckily for South Dakotans, their state is full of noteworthy attractions: Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, and Black Hills and Custer State Park are just the beginning. But when it comes to having a really fun weekend away, Deadwood is the place to be. Known for its gold rush-fueled Wild West history, the town offers plenty to do, from restaurants and nightlife to museums and historic attractions like the Broken Boot Gold Mine and a Back Hills tour by steam train. Plus, it;s a great home base for many of the aforementioned attractions.
STAY: Sleep close to it all at the Historic Franklin Hotel, a 1903 property in the heart of Deadwood where Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth and John Wayne once stayed.
Driving time from Sioux Falls: 5.5 hours
Tennessee: Hickman County
Just an hour from the bustle of Nashville, Hickman County is a peaceful escape with plenty of small town charm. Chow down on some classic Southern food, go for a hike at Jackson Falls, sip some wine at Grinder’s Switch Winery and even rent a kayak for the day on Duck or Piney River. There’s even riverside camping available for the adventurous. The Storytellers Museum (temporarily closed) is hidden inside a general store that Johnny Cash once used as a local music venue!
STAY: Parker’s Place Lodge
Driving time from Nashville: 1 hr
Texas: Uvalde County
Uvalde County is where the two longest highways in the U.S. (83 and 90) meet. A nature-lover’s paradise, you’ll find Concan Swimming Hole and Garner State Park. Since this is Hill Country River Region, get out on the water and paddleboat, go inner tubing or kayak and canoe. Try hiking through scenic trails and be on the lookout for winged mammals—this remote part of Texas Hill Country has a large bat population!
STAY: Frio Springs Lodge by Love Rentals
Driving time from Austin: 2.5 hrs
Utah: Zion National Park
How is it that the Beehive State is blessed with five National Parks all within a relative stone’s throw from each other? Zion National Park boasts red rock cliffs, forested canyons, the Virgin River and the Emerald Pools which include waterfalls and a hanging garden. Hike the short, easy and picturesque Weeping Rock Trail, an uphill half-mile loop that ends with a waterfall. If you have time to squeeze in two parks, Bryce Canyon, famed for its colorful hoodoos, is only 90 minutes away!
STAY: Glamp it up at Under Canvas Zion. These chic tents are open June through early November.
Driving time from Salt Lake City: 4 hrs, 20 mins
This charming small town has much to offer, such as a trip to Haystack mountain, which has self-guided tours. Hike to the mountain top for 360-degree breathtaking panoramic views. There’s also wonderful bike trails, including a unique trail that was originally train tracks. Pawlet also offers some of the best fly fishing on the East Coast.
STAY: Lake Bomoseen Lodge
Driving time from Burlington: 2 hrs, 15 mins
Bristol is a fantastic spot for mountain views, as well as great hiking, fly fishing and whitewater rafting in and around the Appalachian Trail, Smoky Mountains and Cherokee National Forest. It’s also famous for being known as “the city in two states” (the other being Tennessee). Wait, there’s more! It’s also the first place where so-called “hillbilly music” was recorded so be sure and check out the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.
STAY: The Bristol Hotel
Driving time from Richmond: 4 hrs, 50 mins
Washington: Walla Walla
A charming city nestled in a valley and surrounded by mountains in the heart of Washington wine country? Yes, please! Stroll Walla Walla’s charming downtown and be sure to include a visit to Andrae’s Kitchen—a restaurant inside a gas station! Hiking, biking and golfing are popular outdoor activities, but if you came here for the wineries, there are more than 120 to choose from including favorites like Sleight of Hand Cellars. Visiting in fall? Walla Walla is also famous for its apple orchards.
STAY: The FINCH is fresh, funky and located right downtown. In short, it’s perfect.
Driving time from Seattle: 4 hrs, 15 mins
Washington, DC: Middleburg, VA
Virginia is for lovers, and in the case of Middleburg, wine lovers. And luckily for DC locals, this wine country hamlet in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is less than two hours away. With about 250 local wineries to choose from, make sure your itinerary includes a few local favorites like Greenhill Winery & Vineyards for horse-drawn carriage rides and picnic lunches, Chrysalis for its great wraparound porch and on-site cheesemaking, and Aspen Dale Winery, where you’ll find goats and horses frolicking, plus live music. For dinner, head to the historic Red Fox Inn & Tavern, where the food’s as good as the ambience.
STAY: Enjoy a historic stay at the landmark Red Fox Inn & Tavern, which dates back to 1728.
Driving time from DC: 1.5 hours
West Virginia: New River Gorge
This Southern gem has so much nature to explore, you may need a few visits to see it all! New River Gorge is close to three attractions within the National Parks system including the New River Gorge National River, Gauley River National Recreation Area and Bluestone National Scenic River. Climb a rock, raft a river or hike a trail, and of course, snap a pic of the famed New River Gorge Bridge!
STAY: Mill Creek Cabins
Driving time from Huntington: 2 hours
Wisconsin: Door County
Lighthouses, lapping waves and outdoor fish boils—this must be New England, right? Nope. Dubbed “the Cape Cod of the Midwest,” Door County is set on a peninsula jutting out into Lake Michigan. Much of the fun revolves around the water, natch: Head to Whitefish Dunes State Park for a pristine mile-long sand beach, explore caves with Door County Adventure Rafting or take a clear-bottom kayak tour of some of the area’s 27 shipwrecks with Lakeshore Adventures. On land, you’ve got wine tasting, gallery hopping and only-in-Wisconsin dining options like beloved Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant, where resident goats graze the grass-covered roof.
STAY: Sturgeon Bay’s charming Chanticleer Guest House has a cozy cabin feel, and features amenities for all seasons like outdoor pool, free-to-use bikes, a fireplace, sauna and picnic area. A full breakfast is included.
Driving time from Milwaukee: 2.5 hours
Wyoming: Black Hills
You’ll be crossing states lines (just barely) for this one, but you’ll be glad you did! South Dakota’s Black Hills includes numerous attractions like Mount Rushmore, The Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park—where the buffalo roam—and Broken Boot Gold Mine. Put on your cowboy hat and stroll the Wild West streets of Deadwood where Wyatt Earp and Calamity Jane once lived. If you can swing it, for sure spend an afternoon at Badlands National Park.
STAY: Built in 1928, the Hotel Alex Johnson has hosted six presidents. Check out the killer views from the hotel’s rooftop.
Driving time from Cheyenne: 4 hrs, 30 mins
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