As we approach July 4th and the peak of summer, it's time to make every remaining weekend count. While it's always tempting to book an extravagant international vacation, many of us do not have the time or funds to support one. As a full-time employee I am a firm believer in the value of weekend travels and making the most out of those few free days each week.
From a European escape in Canada to charming coastal towns, I've rounded up six of my favorite weekend trips to take from the New York/Northeastern USA area. Let this post be a reminder that travel is what you make of it. Wherever you are, take a break from Netflix and find a new place to explore.
For a slice of Europe without the cost of airfare, take a drive up to Canada's charming city of Quebec. There is a little bit of everything in this quaint city, from historic sites to endless dining and shopping options. My favorite area of the city was Place Royale, which is accessible via Quebec's 137-year old funicular. Here you'll find yourself stepping into the birthplace of French Civilization in North America.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is an iconic New England summer destination, but don't let the seasons stop you. I visited this elegant seaside city in March and still enjoyed all it had to offer. To get the full Newport experience, your weekend itinerary should include a few mansion visits, leisurely coastal walks, and a lot of seafood meals. It is not the cheapest destination, but you will certainly get the most out of your dollar.
For a lowkey trip with a lot of character, Maryland's capital of Annapolis is the place to be. Nestled on the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis offers something for every kind of traveler -- from historical sights to water sport adventures. My favorite things about the city were its charming surprises. If you walk through its residential streets you'll find colorful walls sometimes detailed with even lovelier art.
The Poconos, Pennsylvania
The Poconos is often the escape of choice for those who need a little adventure. While you spend your days hiking and kayaking, end your night relaxing in one of the area's many spa retreats. We stayed at the Lodge at Woodloch for a weekend and never felt the need to leave. The resort provides an amazing spa experience along with a private lake for kayaking and paddleboarding.
Pittsburgh & Western Pennsylvania
These two areas are not the most sought after vacation spots, but definitely ones to consider. Start off your weekend deep in the woods at Frank Lloyd Wright's stunning Falling Water, followed by a short drive to "The Steel City" of Pittsburgh. In the past years this industrial city has become a stronger cultural hub with sights you won't find elsewhere. My favorite stops were Mount Washington for its bird's eye view and the garden escape at Phipps Conservatory.
Featured in my last two posts, Nantucket is the escape for tranquility and charm. Despite being Massachusett's smallest county, the island seems as if it has its own culture entirely. Here you'll drive Jeeps along the shore, shop down cobblestone streets, and relish in the laid-back attitude of coastal New England. Don't leave without having at least one lobster roll per day, followed by ice cream from The Juice Bar.
What are some of your favorite weekend getaways? I'm always looking for new ideas!