Easy Weekend Getaways

Looking for a laid-back escape? Here are our favorite spots, where beachfront restaurants, stylish hotels, and scenic hiking trails are all within reach.

New Orleans

19 of 21

An entrepreneurial spirit has taken hold in this city, where businesses are thinking beyond the French Quarter. Among the flurry of anticipated debuts is chef Phillip Lopez’s Square Root, a temple of molecular gastronomy in the Lower Garden District. To the east, a creative Brooklyn vibe grows in the vibrant Creole cottages in Bywater, where galleries showcase experimental paintings, photographs, and other works by local artists. At night, head to the cocktail lounge Bellocq at the Warehouse District’s new Hotel Modern ($). But not everything here is changing—after all, this is a city that holds on to tradition. Frenchman Street mainstay the Spotted Cat Music Club is still one of the best places to hear live jazz acts such as Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns. —Sam Polcer

Easy Weekend Getaways

New Orleans

An entrepreneurial spirit has taken hold in this city, where businesses are thinking beyond the French Quarter. Among the flurry of anticipated debuts is chef Phillip Lopez’s Square Root, a temple of molecular gastronomy in the Lower Garden District. To the east, a creative Brooklyn vibe grows in the vibrant Creole cottages in Bywater, where galleries showcase experimental paintings, photographs, and other works by local artists. At night, head to the cocktail lounge Bellocq at the Warehouse District’s new Hotel Modern ($). But not everything here is changing—after all, this is a city that holds on to tradition. Frenchman Street mainstay the Spotted Cat Music Club is still one of the best places to hear live jazz acts such as Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns. —Sam Polcer

Terese Loeb Kreuzer / Alamy
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