Nothing says summer like driving out of the city and feeling the wind rush past you. We've rounded up some of the best summer getaways from major cities around the U.S.—for a budget-friendly trip, or a splurge.
20 Perfect Summer Getaways
Where to Go: Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia.
Distance: 70 miles from Atlanta.
Where to Stay: Hike five miles on a moderate trail (with five more-strenuous hills) through Amicalola Falls State Park and Chattahoochee National Forest to Georgia’s only backcountry eco-lodge, the LEED-certified Len Foote Hike Inn, which has 20 simple rooms, each with two bunks. (Hot showers are in a bathhouse.) Most guests pass their time hiking, chatting, reading, or playing board games in the Sunrise Room or rocking in an Adirondack chair on the wraparound porch.
What to Do: Stroll along the gorgeous one-mile Cove/Fire Break Interpretive Trail loop to look for native wildflowers: fire pinks and brilliant orange Turk’s cap lilies, as well as stunning butterflies like the blue- and orange-dotted spicebush swallowtail. If you’re really ambitious, hike 4.5 miles to Springer Mountain, the southern starting point of the Appalachian Trail-and then 4.5 miles back to the inn.
Price: Doubles from $170; $117 per single adult occupancy; includes large family-style dinner and breakfast.
Insider Tip: Before hitting the trail to the lodge, check in at the Amicalola Falls State Park visitor center for information about the private trail.
Summer in the city—any city—can be lovely. Sun, warm weather wardrobes, and rooftop bars. But, it can also mean gaggles of eager tourists, sweltering heat, and packed subway cars. Everyone needs a way to escape the mid-summer metropolitan mayhem.
We’ve rounded up some of the best summer weekend getaways from 10 major cities around the U.S. For those looking to save a little cash, there is a budget-friendly option. Looking for a vacation splurge? We’ve got you covered.
On the east coast, escape the humidity by going north or east. Many city-dwellers in major cities like Atlanta, Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. have the privilege of being just a short drive, train ride, or plane ride away from beautiful coastal towns, like those of Cape Cod and Maine, to name a couple. Down south, head to state parks, like Amicalola State Park just 70 miles from Atlanta, for some premiere hiking and beautiful vistas of the surrounding land.
In the Midwest, city slickers can head south for a small-town vibe, local fairs, and sweet country inns. Only 50 miles southeast of bustling Chicago is Valaparaiso, Indiana. Kick back at the colonial Songbird Prairie Bed & Breakfast and enjoy whirlpool baths, fireplaces, and sunrooms perfect for bird watching.
On the west coast, there may not be humidity comparable to that of the east, but the tourist crowds are sure to be plentiful. From Los Angeles, head north to Santa Barbara and breath in the sea breeze and sweet smells from local farmers markets. In Seattle, head west to the San Juan Islands for whale watching, kayaking, and other ocean adventures.
Whether you’re on a coast, down south, or smack dab in the middle of the country, there is a fun, budget-friendly, or luxurious, relaxing escape from city life waiting for you this summer.