Get out your GPS devices, your backpacks and maps and get ready to split the scene of your everyday life with our ten best weekend getaway ideas. Even if you don’t have the time or the budget for a full-fledged vacation, this doesn’t mean you should be stuck at home on the weekends. On the contrary. So get ready for some weekend fun, R&R and exploration, as we tip you off on the best places to see and the best way to seeing them.
1. San Francisco on a Budget
San Francisco is our first pick for the list of weekend getaway ideas, as it doesn’t really have a high or a low tourist season. This is mainly because of its always changing weather, which can have you enjoying the sun in January or shivering with cold in July. A bit of research will take you a long way, as you can always find great deals on luxury hotels in Frisco, or good value budget places, for under $200 a night. Top picks are the Orchard Hotel, the Parker House and the Sir Francis Drake.
2. Wine Tours
Going on a wine tour is a complex experience, which will not only have you discover new geographies and landscapes, but will also expose you to great food and drink. So why not add this to your list of weekend getaway ideas? Cycle your way through the Calistoga area of Napa Valley. Try Sonoma County’s 3-day Barrel Tasting Weekends. See the vineyards in Mendocino County, first planted in the 1850s, or go over to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, or the Finger Lakes in New York.
3. California Beaches
Our previous weekend getaway idea was mostly focused on the State of California. Well, this one has us exploring California at length, as we tip you off on its best beaches. The state has an 840-mile long coastline, on which the real ‘gems’ are Manchester State Beach, Rodeo Beach, Cowell’s Beach, El Matador Beach in Los Angeles and Coronado Beach in San Diego. And this, to name but a few!
4. Vintage Train Trips
A vintage train trip is great for romantics, who dream of spending a couple of afternoons lounging in the lavish, Art Deco setting of a train bar car. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for those who dream of such trying out this item on our weekend getaway ideas list. There’s the Venice to Oxford leg of the Orient Express, the Isle of Man Steam Railway in Great Britain, the Napa Valley Wine Train in California and the Niagara Weekender, that takes tourists on a roundtrip from New York to Niagara Falls.
5. Haunted Hotels
If you don’t have a particular destination in mind on your list of weekend getaway ideas, why not try a theme? A popular favorite is that of haunted hotels, and, according to popular belief, there are plenty of them around the US. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in ghosts and ghouls or not, these places are so famous, they guarantee a host of activities and fun to be had for all, believers and non-believers alike. Top destinations include the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, the Driskill in Austin and the Three Chimneys Inn, in New Hampshire.
6. Lighthouse Hotels
For less spook and more romance, privacy and relaxation, choose a weekend getaway to a lighthouse hotel, in a secluded, waterfront location. Think about the past of these hotels, which actually were functional guiding lights for ships once. You can find them all over the way, from New Zealand to Norway and the Netherlands. However, you will find the absolute best in terms of lighthouse lodging at the Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn, in Michigan, the Saugerties Lighthouse and West Usk Lighthouse in Wales.
7. Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL
If you’re looking for weekend getaway ideas for the whole family to enjoy, and ones that are especially fun for the little ones, you know what the best spot is. That’s right, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The gigantic amusement park guarantees you three days of non-stop fun, with themed rides, shows and awesome rollercoaster. And it’s not just for kids, either, as park management has fully considered the entertainment needs of mom and dad, too.
8. Darwin Twine Ball
A good tip in matters of weekend getaway ideas is to steer clear of the trodden path. Forget about America the Grand and Glorious – try out America the Weird. There are plenty of oddly appealing tourist spots scattered all over the States, but by far the weirdest and coolest is the gigantic twine ball in Darwin, Minnesota. It was put together over the span of nearly forty years, 1950 to 1989 by local Francis A. Johnson. It currently weighs 17,400 pounds and measures 40 feet around. And no one even knows why it exists!
9. Udaipur, India
Perhaps the most appealing of all weekend getaway ideas for the ladies is spending three days of complete and utter pampering at the spa. According to multiple sources, the best location in the world for such a treat is Udaipur, India. That’s the location of the Taj Lake Palace, a former home to kings on a 4-acre island in the Middle of Lake Pichola. It’s gorgeous, lavish and its centerpiece is the opulent Ayurvedic Jiva Spa. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of treat that you just know you deserve…
10. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is the top tourist destination in the world, and it’s obviously perfect as a weekend getaway idea. We will tip you off on the best places for doing anything at the Canadian tourist site. Because, after all, if you want a weekend of great fun, why not pamper yourself with the best things money can buy. So, if in Niagara, choose to stay at the Marriott Niagara Falls Hotel Fallsview and Spa, located just 100 yards away from the falls, with superb views from all rooms. Eat at the Skylon Tower Observation Deck, in any of its revolving dining rooms. And make sure to visit the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. You will love your trip to one of the most famous locations in the world.