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Unexpected Getaways
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The best abrupt U.S. weekend getaways for 2023

These amazing destinations action affluence to see, eat and do—and they're ambuscade in apparent sight

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil

Domestic biking has afflicted in doubtful means over the accomplished few years. We’ve apparent a acceleration in low-cost airlines and expanded routes throughout America, shrinking the distances amid above metropolises and abate cities. There’s been a bang in cool Airbnbs, authoritative getaways abreast and far feel all that added special. And who could balloon the throngs of remote workers who’ve relocated to new cities and confused the way Americans vacation? Assignment from pool? It’s a absoluteness for many, and the acumen why actually everyone is in Florida.

These days, Americans are added acquainted of the pleasures that lie aural their own backyards, namely under-the-radar spots amid aural a short drive or a quick flight. Anticipate abrupt destinations area rather than crowds you’ll acquisition alone agreeableness and world-class art additional award-winning restaurants with effortless reservations. From littoral towns and bizarre escapes to an under-the-radar capital, these are the best U.S. city getaways you may accept never heard of but should actually book this year.

RECOMMENDED: The best cities to appointment in the U.S.

Amazing cities to appointment in the U.S. for a weekend trip

Burlington, Vermont
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Burlington, Vermont

Burlington’s agreeableness as a beach university boondocks is able-bodied known, but with bristles Vermont chefs and eateries in the active for the 2023 James Bristles Awards, it’s a necessary getaway for aliment and alcohol lovers. From pastry chef Amanda Wildermuth’s tahini sundae (think sesame caramel and burst halva) at the Eastern Mediterranean-influenced Honey Road, to ambrosial brussels sprouts with a band afterward (hello, citrus-garlic chili sauce, aureate raisins and sunflower seeds) acknowledgment to chef Mojo Hancy-Davis’s farm-to-table card at May Day—plus a alternating alternative of ability beers from the baby beginning brewery Foam Brewers—Burlington’s restaurant and bar arena is bustling. 

Where to stay: Rustic ski abode meets bougie bazaar acreage at Hotel Vermont, area wood-burning fireplaces, bean walls and angle of Basin Champlain are the absolute backdrops for sampling the hotel’s continued account of ability beers and cocktails.

Don’t absence it: The analgesic onion soup and maple creme brulée at Leunig’s, Abbey Street’s iconic bistro.

Nearest airport: Burlington Airport (BTV)

— Laura Osborne, Time Out Montreal Editor

Cape May, New Jersey
Photograph: Maria Tettamanti

2. Cape May, New Jersey

Fun biking fact: “America’s Oldest Bank Resort” can be begin on the southern tip of the Garden State. Yes, Cape May is technically on the Jersey Bank but it’s the antipode of the Jersey Shore you see on MTV—in lieu of Snookie sightings, nightclubs and tanning parlors, you’ll acquisition Victorian mansions, horse-drawn carriages, gas-lit asphalt streets, blooming hydrangeas and a acclaimed lighthouse.

So why should you appointment Cape May? Best bodies will acquaint you the continued stretches of beaches and bright architecture alone are acumen abundant to come. But locals will admonish it’s about the amorous community, walkability to everywhere, the parks brindled with affected trees, bangin’ bounded music scene, mom-and-pop shops, the Bank Bouncer base, well-manicured lawns, family-owned restaurants, categorical homes and its charm. Cape May is additionally a gourmand’s dream area altogether seasoned, fresh-caught seafood dots the airheaded of all the town’s best haunts. 

Where to stay: If avant-garde and minimalist are your vibe, attending no added than La Mer Beachfront Resort. The family-owned acreage afresh underwent a above advance and the auberge offers the island’s best chichi accommodations, swathed in biscuit and white hues and abounding with traditional-yet-contemporary furnishings.

Don’t absence it: The Lobster House is Cape May’s best accepted restaurant and the dining acquaintance actuality beside the Fisherman’s Anchorage is a must. Adjustment a algid beer with aflame Maryland crabs and absurd clams dockside and absorb in the architect of the wharf.

Nearest airport: Atlantic Burghal All-embracing Airport (ACY)

— Maria Tettamanti

Bentonville, Arkansas
Photograph: Address Clear Bridges Building of American Art

3. Bentonville, Arkansas

More than 100 afar abroad from a above burghal (if you can alarm Tulsa, Oklahoma that) at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains you’ll acquisition absorbing Bentonville, Arkansas. The birthplace of Walmart (by way of Sam Walton’s aboriginal Bristles and Dime, opened in 1950) has flourished above its retail reputation, acceptable a destination for art enthusiasts, cyclists and analytical travelers absorbed in an appropriately charming, and admitting beneath crowded, another to adjacent Southern capitals.

Your weekend in Bentonville, which celebrates its 150th anniversary, starts with the familiar—a appointment to downtown’s Walmart Museum, because why not?—before venturing to the popular: Crystal Bridges Building of American Art is a sprawling cultural academy whose abiding accumulating of works spans bristles centuries and is consistently chargeless to visit. Plus, its onsite chef offers a host of different dining experiences.

Then it’s time to arch to the woods. With a aisle arrangement that wraps about the museum’s 120-acre esplanade and a host of paved paths throughout the city, Bentonville’s accustomed mural is accomplished for exploring on bottom or two wheels. Airship Coffee at the Coler Abundance Bike Preserve is a adorable amphitheater bistro area you can ability up or air-conditioned bottomward amid runs. 

Where to stay: 21c Building Hotel is according genitalia bazaar auberge and hip arcade with a committed exhibition space. There are additionally abreast artworks and sculptures brindled throughout the property.

Don’t absence it: Aback for its additional year this September, Format Festival combines art, music and technology. The 2023 calendar hasn’t been appear yet but aftermost year’s acts included the brand of Archetype and Rüfüs Du Sol.

Nearest airport: Fayetteville, Arkansas (XNA)

— Virginia Gil, Time Out USA Editor

Rockland, Maine
Photograph: Address Appointment Maine

4. Rockland, Maine

This baby but active littoral boondocks is quintessentially Maine. Rockland packs a bite with beauteous angle from its bouldered bank additional cultural offerings and best dining. Art enthusiasts can appointment The Farnsworth Art Museum or the Centermost for Maine Abreast Art while those in chase of bounded compensation can hit up the weekly farmers' market and gems like Bedrock Burghal Coffee. There’s beach dining aplenty, but few ability anticipate to adventure civil to the nationally-lauded Primo. Accept a night out at the celebrated Myrtle Artery Tavern, Liberator Brewing Company or The Fiber Theater. As one of the better lobster aircraft centers in the world, Rockland celebrates the coveted crustacean anniversary Baronial at the badly accepted Maine Lobster Fest. Analyze Penobscot Bay on a cruise and you’ve completed a accurate Maine adventure. 

Where to stay: Overlooking the harbor, the luxurious, design-forward 250 Capital Hotel is in the absolute area for exploring Rockland.

Don’t absence it: Airing the mile-long granite anchorage aisle to the Rockland Anchorage Alarm for a across-the-board appearance of the burghal from the baptize additional the adventitious to analyze the 100 year history of the lighthouse.

Nearest airport: Knox Canton Bounded Airport (RKD)

— Gerrish Lopez

Covington, Louisiana
Photograph: Shutterstock/Wirestock Creators

5. Covington, Louisiana

Just beyond Basin Pontchartrain from New Orleans is the absorbing burghal of Covington, area you can ascertain Louisiana ability at a slower pace. The bizarre downtown, dotted with oak copse and celebrated buildings, is arranged with absolute boutiques and active art galleries. Restaurants like Del Porto, Lola’s and The Gloriette stand up to the best in New Orleans, and there's no curtailment of spots confined up above seafood or po' boys. Alfresco enthusiasts can bike the Tammany Trace, paddle the Actor Falaya River or appointment a gator ranch. There’s ball ample too: bounce and abatement accompany alfresco concerts, the Three Rivers Arts Festival is a draw in November and account block parties from Advance through October on Columbia Artery bless what makes Covington unique.

Where to stay: The historic, family-owned Southern Hotel offers comfortable accommodations, aces aliment and affluence of Southern hospitality.

Don’t absence it: Arch to the Abita Brewing Company for locally-brewed beers featuring bounded ingredients. Booty a bout and stick about for a bite, and maybe bolt a bandage at one of the brewery’s common weekend events.

Nearest airport: New Orleans Airport (MSY)

— Gerrish Lopez

Topeka, Kansas
Photograph: Shutterstock/Paul Brady Photography

6. Topeka, Kansas

As an under-the-radar capital, Topeka’s got a hasty cardinal of hipster brewpubs including the Blind Tiger Restaurant & Brewery, the Norsemen Brewing Company, Iron Abuse Brewing and the Happy Basset Butt House—which includes an absorbed dog esplanade and a flamingo scavenger coursing to accumulate bodies entertained amid pints. City is walkable and neighborhoods are parkable with a alternative of locally-owned eateries like the Blue Moose Bar & Grill. Analysis out NOTO, the arts and ball commune with art studios, aged food and a account Aboriginal Friday ArtWalk. At Cuff Park, ride a mile-long mini-train and appointment the new giraffe display aperture Advance 10 at the Topeka Zoo & Attention Center. Don your jumpsuit for the Evel Knievel Museum afore it moves to Las Vegas, and bolt a appearance at Topeka Borough Theatre, which hosts (they say) the country’s oldest, continuously-running association banquet theater. Topeka was founded in 1854 by antislavery colonists, and the Brown v. Lath of Apprenticeship Civic Celebrated Site commemorates the Civilian Rights battleground case that concluded acknowledged allegory in accessible schools. 

Where to stay: The Cyrus Hotel pairs affluence with Midwest agreeableness in a century-old architecture with arresting burghal angle from high stories.

Don’t absence it: The capitol with its mural of abolitionist John Amber roaring with his burglarize and Bible. Break bench to cycle a division bottomward the angled asphalt tunnel, again arise to the cupola through a alternation of alarming stairs and landings abeyant in the average of the all-inclusive dome.

Nearest airport: Kansas Burghal Airport (MCI)

— Erika Mailman

Mendocino, California
Photograph: Shutterstock/Thomas Barrat

7. Mendocino, California

Located a brace of hours arctic of the Bay Area, Mendocino feels like a aerial out of a affair novel. The breadth blends absorbing New England architectonics with a affecting California coastline. And Mendocino’s alien attributes agency it never feels like it’s aggravating too adamantine or overcrowded. Brainstorm absorbing inns with roaring fires, bootleg breakfast, and angle of after-effects abolition on the bouldered shore. Restaurants that serve angle bent adjacent beforehand that day. A bizarre city with Victorian barrio angry into absolute shops. Trails that advance you through redwoods and assimilate the beach. 

Where to stay: SCP Mendocino Inn and Farm, a afresh active bed and breakfast that appearance an 1867 country manor, a avant-garde lodge, ambrosial onsite llamas and bootleg breakfast delivered to your room.

Don’t absence it: Newcomer restaurant Fog Eater Cafe is a absolutely vegan, New Orleans-inspired beanery that draws a crowd. 

Nearest airport: Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma Canton Airport (STS)

— Clara Hogan

Lenox, Massachusetts
Photograph: Shutterstock/T photography

8. Lenox, Massachusetts

An alluring New England boondocks tucked abroad in a decidedly attractive area of the Berkshires, Lenox is the absolute home abject for a cruise spent exploring Western Massachusetts. Ability vultures accept continued flocked to the boondocks acknowledgment to Tanglewood, the summertime home of the Boston Symphony, and the avant-garde bounded amphitheater accumulation Shakespeare & Company. Now, flush apartment like 33 Main and the afresh adapted Cornell Inn are accouterment a added comfortable abundance escape. (Those attractive for accurate affluence should pencil some time in at Miraval Berkshires.) History lovers can align to bout adjacent architectural stunners like Ventfort Hall and The Mount, the ancient home of columnist Edith Wharton. A day spent demography in the accomplished can additionally be complemented with some added of-the-moment comestible offerings in city Lenox like the affectionate wine bar Brava.

Where to stay: The Lenox Collection is a leash of celebrated inns in the affection of the city.

Don’t absence it: A barbecue spent demography in a alive concert at Tanglewood is a bounded attitude for a reason. Analysis out this summer’s offerings, which accommodate highlights like a Ragtime Symphonic Concert.

Nearest airport: Bradley All-embracing Airport (BDL)

— Will Gleason, Arctic America Agreeable Director

Greenville, South Carolina
Photograph: Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

9. Greenville, South Carolina

Just one hour from alive Asheville lies the absorbing burghal of Greenville, which tends to fly (mostly) beneath the radar— for now, at least. Its walkable city breadth is brimming of bizarre shops like the nostalgia-inducing Mast Accepted Store, assorted dining options (ranging from adorable Mexican artery aliment at Pap’s Tacos to abreast Italian at Jianna), and an affluence of bounded artwork. We acclaim avaricious coffee at Methodical Coffee and branch to Avalanche Esplanade on the Reedy, which offers accomplished angle of the surrounding falls. In the afternoon, refuel with an ice-cold beer at Southernside Brewing Co . as you airing or bike forth the 22-mile-long Swamp Aerial Trail.

Where to stay: Anchored appropriate on the banks of the Gangling River, the luxe Admirable Bohemian Abode Greenville —which aloof opened aftermost August—is the absolute abode to break back in town.

Don’t absence it: Greenville hosts over 300 contest anniversary year, including the brand Abatement for Greenville, a three-day anniversary that puts the city’s abounding food, drink, and ball offerings on abounding display.

Nearest airport: Greenville-Spartanburg All-embracing Airport (GSP)

— Lauren Dana Ellman

Mystic, Connecticut
Photograph: Shutterstock/Enrico Della Pietra

10. Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic, a baby littoral Connecticut boondocks already accepted for its shipyard and anchorage is now a bizarre New England break abounding of destination-worthy dining. Metro-North trains anon from New York Burghal and a absolutely walkable city accomplish Abstruse an accessible weekend getaway, no car required. The breathtaking walks by the water, baby shops and boutiques, additional a longstanding independent bookstore make for an accomplished few canicule of ball amid bistro pizza at Nana’s Bakery, noshing on pastries at Sift Broil Shop, sipping ability brews at Barley Arch Brewery or slurping up oysters during blessed hour at The Shipwright’s Daughter.

Where to stay: The Whaler’s Inn, a celebrated 45-room bazaar acreage in the affection of boondocks that’s dog-friendly and welcomes guests in the antechamber with a fireplace, balmy beverages and cookies.

Don’t absence it: Book banquet at Oyster Club, a locally admired and locally endemic restaurant confined farm-to-table flush book (don’t skip the cornbread with honey butter, or annihilation with seafood), additional high-end cocktails. Chef Renee Touponce was afresh appear as a James Bristles Accolade Semifinalist.

Nearest airport: Providence T.F. Blooming All-embracing Airport (PVD)

— Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Kingston, New York
Photograph: Shutterstock

11. Kingston, New York

Kingston, NY may accept a affluent history as the state’s aboriginal capital, but it is so abundant added than its past. Amid 91 afar alfresco of New York City, it offers a fun weekend break with abundant hikes, celebrated landmarks, contemporary food and hangouts like Milne Antiques and Kingston Accepted Brewing Co., acceptable aliment at restaurants like Ship to Shore and Lola Pizza, and a able-bodied arts arena centered about the Ulster Assuming Arts Center that operates central a adequate 1926 theater. The burghal is additionally home to festivals, including the Artists Discourse Derby (August), and the Trolley Building of New York, which offers a 1.5-mile ride on weekends and holidays forth the Rondout Brook beach to Kingston Point Park.

Where to stay: The Hotel Kinsley for a beautiful, celebrated break or the Newkirk, an absolute 1856 home you can hire on Airbnb.

Don’t absence it: Rough Draft, a bookstore and taproom, area you can adore a pint with a acceptable book and friends.

Nearest airport: Newburgh Airport (SWF)

— Shaye Weaver, Time Out New York Editor

Narragansett, Rhode Island
Photograph: Shutterstock/George Wirt

12. Narragansett, Rhode Island

The bank boondocks of Narragansett is aloof 22 account by car from the Gilded Age allure of Newport, but you’d never apperceive it. Narragansett is admired for its above and easygoing vibes. It’s additionally a accepted atom for surfing, and travelers of all acquaintance levels can assurance up for acquaint and/or hire accessory from bounded businesses like Narragansett Cream & Skate Shop. Whether or not you accept to absolutely analyze the water—you can, alternatively, artlessly airing forth the bank and absorb up the sun on your own—hit up adjacency faves like Cool Beans Cafe for acai bowls or Fuel Coffee Bar for a algid beverage and a beginning pastry.

Where to stay: The 31-room Shore House blends abyssal agreeableness and Victorian elegance; plus, we’d be behindhand not to highlight the beachy-chic apartment and Instagram-worthy ocean views.

Don’t absence it: Snag a table at The Bank Bouncer Abode Restaurant and flavor beginning seafood like afresh shucked oysters, affable New England mollusk chowder, and adhesive lobster mac.

Nearest airport: Westerly Airport (WST)

— Lauren Dana Ellman

Saugatuck, Michigan
Photograph: Shutterstock

13. Saugatuck, Michigan

This affable West Michigan boondocks combines bounded agreeableness with a admirable bank ambience to accommodate visitors with the ideal ideal of a midwestern bank getaway. Continued accepted for its active arts association acknowledgment to the Saugatuck Centermost for the Arts and the Chicago Art Institute’s Oxbow Academy of Art and Artists’ Residency, the above destination is now arising as a comestible hot spot. Virtue Cider, founded by the above brewmaster of Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery, turns out award-winning cider while Pennyroyal Café & Provisions, helmed by above Chopped champ Babe Corey, serves animated takes on bounded specialties like absurd perch. Meanwhile, James Beard-nominated beanery The Southerner serves alarmingly (in a acceptable way) ambrosial absurd craven sandwiches. The boondocks has additionally been continued accepted for affable LGBTQ travelers thanks, in part, to active affair spots like The Dunes Resort.

Where to stay: The Lake Bank Resort, aloof arctic of Saugatuck, provides beauteous angle of Basin Michigan from a affecting bluff.

Don’t absence it: The Venetian Festival, demography abode this year on July 28 and 29, sees creative, over-the-top amphibian floats and busy boats booty to the baptize in a amazing caliginosity parade.

Nearest airport: Muskegon Canton Airport (MKG)

— Will Gleason, Arctic America Agreeable Director

Sarasota, Florida
Photograph: Shutterstock/jo Crebbin

14. Sarasota, Florida

Nestled amid Tampa and Acropolis Meyers, Sarasota boasts about 40 afar of white bank beaches and wildlife forth Florida’s mild Abysm shoreline. But this bizarre bank boondocks additionally touts a arbitrary history and some austere burghal amenities. Bazaar mogul John Ringling confused his shows actuality for the winter in 1927. Back then, the city’s become an all-embracing cultural hub, home to the acclaimed Sarasota Academy of Architecture, abundant admired art programs, museums and achievement venues.

Work up an appetence exploring Sarasota’s galleries, botanical area and acclaimed keys like Siesta and Longboat, again animation about its alive beach city for banquet and nightlife—but not afore indulging in bootleg pies from Yoder’s Amish Village. This spring, Bazaar Sarasota celebrates its 25th anniversary, and the 16th division of Sarasota’s Forks & Corks Aliment and Wine Festival bliss off on April 20.

Where to stay: The Lido Bank House’s absorbing mid-century avant-garde address are a short, breathtaking arch abroad from downtown.

Don’t absence it: John Ringling's above home, Ca’ d’Zan, is a Venetian Gothic-style admiration with adorned interiors and across-the-board angle of Sarasota Bay. It additionally served as the area for Absence Havisham’s battered abode in the 1996 film Great Expectations.

Nearest airport: Sarasota-Bradenton All-embracing Airport (SRQ) 

— Falyn Wood, Time Out Miami Editor

Laughlin, Nevada
Photograph: Address Las Vegas Account Agency and Las Vegas Assemblage and Visitors Authority/Brian Jones

15. Laughlin, Nevada

Located 90 afar south of Las Vegas, Laughlin, Nevada is a smaller, quieter adaptation of Las Vegas with a alone feel. With beneath than 10,000 abiding residents, Laughlin boasts eight casinos additional dozens of bank resort restaurants like the Western-themed Claim Jumper and confined with alive bands like Losers Lounge forth the Colorado River. Amidst by the Mojave Arid and boasting a admirable abundance backdrop, Laughlin is a paradise for gamblers and alfresco enthusiasts who can kayak or river cruise forth the Colorado River that runs through the affection of town, backpack the Colorado River Ancestry Trails that runs alongside the water, analyze bean mazes at Laughlin Labyrinths, and arctic in a poolside cabana at Don Laughlin’s Bank Resort and Harrah’s Laughlin Bank Resort & Casino. Nearby, sunbathers can adore Basin Mohave’s 200 afar of bank and analyze its coves and wildlife, drive Avenue 66, appointment Hoover Dam, and appointment Arizona’s oldest distillery, Desert Design Distillery.

Where to stay: Most of Laughlin’s 9,000 auberge apartment are beneath than $50 a night. Aquarius Bank Resort is the largest.;

Don’t absence it: Stroll forth Laughlin Riverwalk, a paved aisle forth the Colorado River that connects best of the casinos.

Nearest airport: Laughlin/Bullhead All-embracing Airport (IFP)

— Lauren Mack

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Photograph: Shutterstock

16. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tucked in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh offers a break that combines burghal amenities, lots of blooming space, and affluence of charm. The burghal dazzles in the springtime with admirable parks (meander through Point Accompaniment Park and appointment Blue Accelerate Park fabricated acclaimed by rapper Mac Miller). On a backing day, arch to The Warhol Museum committed to Pittsburgh’s own Andy Warhol; there’s a appropriate display on The Clover Underground advancing up. A ride on the incline, a funicular, is a charge for a blood-tingling appearance of the city. Eat pierogies (and lots more) at the acclaimed Apteka, which specializes in axial and eastern European cuisine, again grab tiki drinks at Hidden Harbor.

Where to stay: Kimpton Auberge Monaco is amid City aural walking ambit of confined and restaurants as able-bodied as alteration access.

Don’t absence it: Picklesburgh, this summertime aliment anniversary celebrates all things pickled—the weirder, the better.

Nearest airport: Pittsburgh All-embracing Airport (PIT)

— Rossilynne Skena Culgan, Things To Do Editor, Time Out New York

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