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: Braselton, Georgia.
Distance: 30 miles north.
Where to Stay: With its gray pitched roof, wrought-iron detail, and 3,500 acres (with 75 acres of vineyards), the Château Élan Inn looks like a 16th-century country estate in France; most of the 329 guest rooms have a French estate décor and include oversize garden tubs. The inn features an award-winning winery, spa, tennis courts, golf courses, an equestrian show center, and cooking classes offered in a 1,600-square-foot teaching kitchen with high-end Viking stoves.
Room to Book: One of the tranquil, romantic spa suites, with the choice of a couples' waterfall shower or a pedestal tub.
Price: Doubles from $199.
What to Do: Attend a Sunday cooking demonstration by the Château's chefs. Or put on your own toque and take a class; learn to make panko-crusted pork with gingered soy sauce, for example, topped off with Asian raw coconut pudding with gula melaka syrup.
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.