weekend getaways

The Best 3-Day Long Weekend Getaways in the U.S.

road, grass, and trees during day

Are you in need of a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life? A 3-day long weekend getaway may be just what you need to recharge and rejuvenate. Fortunately, the United States is filled with a wide range of destinations that offer endless opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and everything in between. Whether you’re looking for a scenic mountain retreat, a private beach side getaway, or a vibrant city experience, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best 3-day long weekend getaways in the U.S. to help you plan your next mini-vacation.

1. Miami Beach, Florida

coconut tree near body of water

Miami Beach, Florida is an iconic destination that offers visitors a unique combination of stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and exciting nightlife. With so much to see and do, it’s the perfect location for a 3-day long weekend getaway. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you make the most of your time in Miami Beach:

Day 1:

Start your day by exploring the famous South Beach neighborhood, known for its art deco architecture, trendy cafes, and lively atmosphere. Take a stroll along Ocean Drive and check out the colorful buildings and people watching. Afterward, head to the beach for some sun and sand. In the evening, dine at one of Miami’s many fabulous restaurants, or experience the vibrant nightlife scene.

Day 2:

river between trees during daytime

Spend the morning exploring the nearby Everglades National Park, which offers a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Florida’s wetlands. Take a guided airboat tour, spot some wildlife, or hike one of the park’s many trails. In the afternoon, visit the Wynwood Walls, a colorful outdoor mural gallery that features the work of local and international artists. End the day with dinner and drinks in the trendy Wynwood neighborhood.

Day 3:

Take a relaxing day on the beach, or venture to one of Miami Beach’s many museums and cultural attractions. The Pérez Art Museum Miami offers a stunning collection of modern and contemporary art, while the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens allows visitors to explore the lavish estate of a 20th-century industrialist. Finish your trip with a visit to Little Havana, where you can indulge in Cuban food, music, and culture.

In just three days, you can experience the best of Miami Beach, from its world-famous beaches and nightlife to its cultural attractions and natural wonders.

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

people walking on street during daytime

New Orleans, Louisiana is a vibrant and historic city that is known for its colorful architecture, rich cultural heritage, and exciting nightlife. A 3-day long weekend is the perfect amount of time to experience the best of what New Orleans has to offer. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day with a visit to the famous Cafe du Monde, where you can enjoy a delicious beignet and cafe au lait while taking in the sights and sounds of the historic French Quarter. Afterward, take a walking tour of the neighborhood, which is filled with beautiful architecture and fascinating history. In the evening, explore the lively nightlife scene on Bourbon Street, which is known for its bars, live music, and street performers.

Day 2:

brown concrete bridge near green trees during daytime photo

Spend the morning exploring the Garden District, where you can admire the stunning mansions and lush gardens that make up this historic neighborhood. Be sure to visit the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, which is filled with ornate above-ground tombs. In the afternoon, take a riverboat tour along the Mississippi River, or visit the National World War II Museum to learn about the city’s important role in the war. In the evening, enjoy some live jazz music at one of the city’s many famous music venues.

Day 3:

Visit the famous Frenchmen Street, which is known for its vibrant live music scene and trendy bars and restaurants. You can also explore the city’s many art galleries and museums, such as the New Orleans Museum of Art, which features a stunning collection of art from around the world. In the evening, indulge in some delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine at one of the city’s many world-class restaurants.

In just three days, you can experience the best of New Orleans, from its fascinating history and architecture to its lively culture and exciting nightlife.

3. Estes Park, Colorado

lake between trees near mountain range

Estes Park, Colorado is a charming mountain town located at the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. Known for its breathtaking scenery, outdoor adventures, and quaint downtown area, it’s the perfect destination for a 3-day long weekend getaway. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day with a scenic drive into Rocky Mountain National Park, where you can hike one of the many trails that wind through the mountains. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch and take in the stunning views. In the afternoon, explore the quaint downtown area of Estes Park, which is filled with charming shops, art galleries, and restaurants.

Day 2:

brown deer in field near trees

Take a morning horseback ride through the mountains, where you can enjoy the scenery and spot local wildlife. In the afternoon, visit the Stanley Hotel, which is known for inspiring Stephen King’s novel “The Shining.” Take a ghost tour or enjoy a cocktail in the hotel’s historic bar. In the evening, enjoy a dinner at one of the many delicious restaurants in town.

Day 3:

Take a scenic drive along the Trail Ridge Road, which offers stunning views of the mountains and valleys. Stop at the many lookout points to take in the scenery and snap some photos. In the afternoon, visit the Estes Park Aerial Tramway, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. In the evening, relax and unwind in one of the town’s many hot springs or spas.

In just three days, you can experience the best of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, from the stunning mountain views to the charming downtown area and exciting outdoor adventures.

4. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

brown rock formation on beach during daytime

Massachusetts, known for its charming small towns, stunning beaches, and rich history. With a 3-day long weekend, you can experience the best of what Martha’s Vineyard has to offer. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day by visiting the town of Edgartown, which is known for its historic homes and beautiful harbor. Take a walking tour of the town, which includes a visit to the famous Edgartown Lighthouse. Afterward, head to South Beach, one of the island’s most stunning beaches. In the evening, enjoy dinner at one of the many excellent seafood restaurants in town.

Day 2:

white and black lighthouse under blue sky during daytime

Spend the morning exploring the town of Oak Bluffs, which is known for its colorful gingerbread cottages and charming downtown area. Be sure to visit the Flying Horses Carousel, which is the oldest operating carousel in the United States. In the afternoon, take a bike ride along one of the island’s many scenic bike paths. In the evening, catch a movie at the historic MV Film Center.

Day 3:

Take a morning ferry ride to the nearby island of Chappaquiddick, where you can hike through Mytoi Gardens, a serene Japanese-style garden. Afterward, visit the Chappaquiddick Beach Club, where you can enjoy lunch and soak up some sun on the beach. In the evening, enjoy a sunset sailboat ride around the island.

In just three days, you can experience the best of Martha’s Vineyard, from its charming small towns and stunning beaches to its rich history and natural beauty.

5. Glacier National Park, Montana

gray asphalt road between snow covered trees during daytime

Glacier National Park is a breathtaking destination located in Montana, known for its stunning mountain vistas, crystal-clear lakes, and diverse wildlife. A 3-day long weekend is the perfect amount of time to explore this magnificent park. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day with a scenic drive along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is one of the park’s most iconic drives. Along the way, stop at the many lookout points to take in the stunning mountain views and snap some photos. In the afternoon, take a hike to one of the park’s many stunning waterfalls, such as the popular Hidden Lake Falls. In the evening, relax and unwind at one of the park’s many lodges or campsites.

Day 2:

a lake surrounded by mountains

Take a guided boat tour on one of the park’s many stunning lakes, such as Lake McDonald or St. Mary Lake. Learn about the history and geology of the park while taking in the stunning scenery. In the afternoon, take a hike along one of the park’s many scenic trails, where you can spot local wildlife such as bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and grizzly bears. In the evening, enjoy a campfire and stargaze under the clear Montana skies.

Day 3:

Spend the day exploring the park’s many scenic drives and hiking trails. Be sure to visit the Many Glacier area, which is known for its stunning mountain views and crystal-clear lakes. In the evening, enjoy a gourmet dinner at one of the park’s many excellent restaurants, such as the historic Many Glacier Hotel.

In just three days, you can experience the best of Glacier National Park, from its stunning mountain vistas to its diverse wildlife and natural beauty.

6. Asheville, North Carolina

green grass field near brown concrete building under blue and white cloudy sky during daytime

Asheville, North Carolina is a charming city located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, known for its vibrant arts scene, delicious food, and stunning natural beauty. With a 3-day long weekend, you can experience the best of what Asheville has to offer. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day by exploring the Biltmore Estate, which is a stunning historic mansion that features gardens, a winery, and more. Afterward, head to the downtown area, which is filled with charming boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. In the evening, enjoy dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants in town, which feature farm-to-table cuisine and local ingredients.

Day 2:

a winding road through a valley

Take a morning hike in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, where you can take in the stunning scenery and spot local wildlife. Afterward, visit the River Arts District, which is home to over 200 artists and studios. Watch artists at work and browse the many galleries and shops. In the evening, catch a show at one of Asheville’s many live music venues, such as The Orange Peel or The Grey Eagle.

Day 3:

Spend the day exploring the nearby Pisgah National Forest, which is known for its stunning waterfalls, hiking trails, and scenic drives. Be sure to visit the famous Looking Glass Falls and take a dip in the cool waters. In the evening, enjoy a sunset picnic at one of the many scenic overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

In just three days, you can experience the best of Asheville, from its stunning natural beauty to its vibrant arts scene and delicious cuisine.

7. Seattle, Washington

aerial photography of Seattle skyline

Seattle, Washington is a vibrant city located in the Pacific Northwest, known for its stunning waterfront views, iconic landmarks, the city market and thriving music and arts scene. With a 3-day long weekend, you can experience the best of what Seattle has to offer. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day by visiting the iconic Pike Place Market, which is one of Seattle’s most popular attractions. Stroll through the many stalls and shops, watch the fishmongers throw fish, and sample local foods and drinks. Afterward, take a ride to the top of the Space Needle, which offers stunning views of the city and surrounding mountains. In the evening, catch a show at the historic Paramount Theatre or the iconic Crocodile.

Day 2:

a group of people sitting on a bench in front of a building

Explore Seattle’s many parks and outdoor spaces, such as Gas Works Park, Discovery Park, and the Washington Park Arboretum. Take a bike ride along the Burke-Gilman Trail, which runs along Lake Union and offers stunning views of the city skyline. In the afternoon, visit the Museum of Pop Culture, which features exhibits on music, science fiction, and more. In the evening, enjoy dinner and drinks at one of Seattle’s many excellent restaurants and bars.

Day 3:

Take a day trip to nearby Mount Rainier National Park, which is known for its stunning scenery and diverse wildlife. Go hiking, take a scenic drive, or enjoy a picnic in one of the park’s many beautiful meadows. In the evening, return to Seattle and catch a live music show at one of the city’s many iconic venues, such as The Showbox or Neumos.

In just three days, you can experience the best of Seattle, from its stunning waterfront views to its thriving, arts and entertainment district, music scene, and beautiful outdoor spaces.

8. Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California is a desert oasis known for its year-round sunshine, stunning natural beauty, and luxurious resorts. With a 3-day long weekend, you can experience the best of what Palm Springs has to offer. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day by visiting the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which offers stunning views of the Coachella Valley and surrounding mountains. Take a hike or enjoy a picnic at the top of the mountain. Afterward, head to downtown Palm Springs and explore the many shops, galleries, and restaurants. In the evening, enjoy dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants in town, which feature local and international cuisine.

Day 2:

a road in the desert

Spend the day lounging by the pool or visiting one of Palm Springs’ many luxurious spas. Many of the resorts offer spa packages that include massages, facials, and other treatments. In the afternoon, take a leisurely bike ride along the city’s many bike paths and enjoy the stunning desert scenery. In the evening, catch a show or concert at one of the many entertainment venues in town, such as the McCallum Theatre or the Annenberg Theater.

Day 3:

Take a day trip to nearby Joshua Tree National Park, which is known for its unique rock formations, stunning vistas, and diverse wildlife. Go hiking, rock climbing, or take a scenic drive through the park. In the evening, return to Palm Springs and enjoy dinner at one of the city’s many rooftop restaurants, which offer stunning views of the desert sunset.

In just three days, you can experience the best of Palm Springs, from its stunning natural beauty to its luxurious resorts and spas, and its vibrant arts and entertainment scene.

9. Las Vegas, Nevada

vehicles on road near multi-story building

Las Vegas, Nevada is known as the Entertainment Capital of the World, offering endless options for entertainment, dining, and nightlife. With a 3-day long weekend, you can experience the best of what Las Vegas has to offer. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day by exploring the many iconic hotels and casinos along the Las Vegas Strip. Visit The Venetian, Bellagio, and Caesars Palace to see their stunning architecture and world-famous attractions. In the afternoon, head to the High Roller observation wheel for panoramic views of the city. In the evening, catch a show at one of the many theaters in town, such as the Colosseum at Caesars Palace or the Cirque du Soleil shows.

Day 2:

welcome to fabulous las vegas nevada signage

Spend the day enjoying the many attractions and activities around Las Vegas. Visit the Neon Museum, which showcases the city’s iconic neon signs. Take a trip to the Hoover Dam, which offers stunning views of the Colorado River and the surrounding desert landscape. In the afternoon, relax by the pool at your hotel or try your luck at one of the many casinos in town. In the evening, enjoy dinner at one of the many award-winning restaurants in town.

Day 3:

Take a day trip to nearby Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which offers stunning hiking and rock climbing opportunities in a breathtaking desert landscape. Alternatively, head to Lake Mead National Recreation Area to enjoy water sports, boating, and fishing. In the evening, return to Las Vegas and experience the city’s vibrant nightlife, with options ranging from rooftop bars to nightclubs.

In just three days, you can experience the best of Las Vegas, from its iconic hotels and casinos to its vibrant entertainment scene and stunning natural beauty.

10. Austin, Texas

people in the beach during daytime

Austin, Texas is known for its vibrant music and arts scene, delicious food, and outdoor recreational opportunities. With a 3-day long weekend, you can experience the best of what Austin has to offer. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day by exploring the city’s many parks and outdoor spaces. Visit Zilker Park, which offers hiking and biking trails, swimming areas, and stunning views of the downtown skyline. In the afternoon, head to the Texas State Capitol building to learn about the state’s history and politics. In the evening, catch a live music performance at one of Austin’s many music venues, such as the famous Continental Club or the Broken Spoke dance hall.

Day 2:

city skyline across body of water during sunset

Spend the day exploring Austin’s diverse neighborhoods and trying the city’s famous food scene. Visit the trendy South Congress neighborhood, where you can shop for local goods and try the famous breakfast tacos at Torchy’s Tacos. In the afternoon, head to the East Side neighborhood to explore its street art and enjoy a beer at one of the many breweries. In the evening, enjoy dinner at one of the city’s award-winning restaurants, which feature everything from Texas barbecue to global cuisine.

Day 3:

Take a day trip to nearby Hill Country, which offers stunning natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. Visit Hamilton Pool Preserve, which features a stunning natural swimming hole and waterfall. Alternatively, head to the wineries and vineyards in the area to sample some of Texas’s famous wines. In the evening, return to Austin and enjoy the city’s nightlife, which ranges from dive bars to upscale lounges.

In just three days, you can experience the best of Austin, from its vibrant music and arts scene to its delicious food and stunning outdoor spaces.

11. Finger Lakes, New York

falls and snow photo

The Finger Lakes region in upstate New York is known for its stunning natural beauty, award-winning wineries, and charming small towns. With a 3-day long weekend, you can experience the best of what the Finger Lakes has to offer. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day by exploring the town of Ithaca, home to Cornell University and the stunning gorges of the Finger Lakes region. Visit Taughannock Falls State Park to see the impressive 215-foot waterfall and hike the trails along the gorge. In the afternoon, head to the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, which features over 16 wineries and tasting rooms. In the evening, enjoy dinner at one of the many farm-to-table restaurants in the area, which feature local ingredients and seasonal cuisine.

Day 2:

Spend the day exploring the charming town of Skaneateles, located on the shores of Skaneateles Lake. Visit the Skaneateles Historical Society Museum to learn about the town’s history, and stroll along the lakeside village to browse the local shops and boutiques. In the afternoon, head to the Finger Lakes Distilling Company to sample their award-winning spirits. In the evening, enjoy a sunset dinner cruise on Skaneateles Lake.

Day 3:

Take a day trip to the town of Watkins Glen, located at the southern tip of Seneca Lake. Visit Watkins Glen State Park, which features 19 waterfalls and stunning rock formations along its gorge trail. In the afternoon, head to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, which features over 30 wineries and tasting rooms. In the evening, enjoy dinner at one of the many lakeside restaurants in the area, which offer stunning views of the sunset over the water.

In just three days, you can experience the best of the Finger Lakes region, from its stunning natural beauty to its award-winning wineries and charming small towns.

12. Savannah, Georgia

photo of pathway between trees

Savannah, Georgia is a charming and historic city known for its beautiful architecture, delicious Southern cuisine, and rich cultural heritage. With a 3-day long weekend, you can experience the best of what Savannah has to offer. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day with a walking tour of the city’s historic district, which is filled with beautiful homes, churches, and squares. Visit the Mercer-Williams House Museum, made famous in the book and movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” In the afternoon, head to the Savannah Riverfront, where you can browse the shops and restaurants along River Street. In the evening, enjoy dinner at one of the many local restaurants that serve classic Southern dishes, like fried chicken and shrimp and grits.

Day 2:

Spend the day exploring Savannah’s rich cultural heritage. Visit the Telfair Museums, which feature a collection of American and European art, as well as the historic Owens-Thomas House. In the afternoon, head to the Bonaventure Cemetery, which is known for its beautiful sculptures and stunning views of the Wilmington River. In the evening, enjoy a ghost tour of the city, which takes you to some of Savannah’s most haunted locations.

Day 3:

Take a day trip to nearby Tybee Island, located just 20 minutes from Savannah. Spend the morning at the beach, swimming in the Atlantic Ocean or lounging on the sand. In the afternoon, visit the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum, which features the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia. In the evening, enjoy dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants on the island, which offer fresh local catch.

In just three days, you can experience the best of Savannah’s historic architecture, delicious cuisine, and rich cultural heritage, as well as take a day trip to nearby Tybee Island for some beach relaxation.

13. Blue ridge mountains

green mountains under white clouds during daytime

The Blue Ridge Mountains are a stunning mountain range located in the eastern United States, stretching from Georgia to Pennsylvania. With a 3-day long weekend, you can experience the best of what the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day 1:

Start your day by exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic drive that winds through the mountains and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Stop at some of the many overlooks along the way, like the Craggy Gardens Overlook or the Linville Falls Overlook. In the afternoon, head to the Pisgah National Forest and take a hike to one of the many waterfalls in the area, like the Looking Glass Falls or the Triple Falls.

Day 2:

aerial view of forest

Spend the day exploring the charming mountain town of Asheville, located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visit the Biltmore Estate, a stunning mansion built by the Vanderbilt family in the late 1800s, and explore the estate’s gardens and winery. In the afternoon, head to the River Arts District, which features over 200 artists’ studios and galleries, or the downtown area, which offers a variety of restaurants, shops, and breweries.

Day 3:

Take a day trip to nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located just over an hour from Asheville. Take a scenic drive through the park, stopping at some of the many overlooks and hiking trails along the way. Visit the Cataloochee Valley, which is known for its historic buildings and abundant wildlife, or take a hike to the summit of Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park.

In just three days, you can experience the best of the Blue Ridge Mountains’ natural beauty, charming mountain towns, and nearby national parks.

How do I plan a perfect weekend trip?

lighted high-rise buildings

Planning a perfect weekend trip involves several key steps. Here are some tips to help you plan a successful and enjoyable weekend getaway:

  1. Determine your budget: First, figure out how much you can afford to spend on your trip. This will help you determine where you can go and what you can do.

  2. Choose a destination: Select a location that suits your budget and interests. Consider factors such as distance, climate, scenery, and local attractions.

  3. Decide on your mode of transportation: Depending on the distance and your budget, you can choose to travel by car, train, or plane.

  4. Book your accommodations: Find a place to stay that fits your budget and preferences. Check out reviews and ratings from previous guests to ensure that you choose a place that meets your expectations.

  5. Plan your activities: Research local attractions and events that interest you, and create a schedule that allows you to see and do everything you want.

  6. Pack smartly: Pack light and only bring essentials. Consider the weather, your planned activities, and the length of your trip.

  7. Be flexible: Allow some flexibility in your plans to accommodate unexpected events or changes in your schedule.

Remember, the key to the best weekend getaways and a successful weekend trip is to plan ahead and be prepared. By following these steps, you can ensure that you have a fun and relaxing getaway.

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