Many of us spend our long weekends sitting in pajamas and binge watching our favorite shows on Netflix. However, having a few days off in a row is a perfect opportunity to whisk ourselves away and embark on a journey to somewhere new and exciting.
Whether you want to explore some of the country's most iconic cities or venture into the incredible landscapes, there are numerous places across America to cram in an adventure filled few days. Let’s discover America’s most thrilling hotspots to escape to when planning a long weekend getaway.
Chicago is a major travel destination for tourists every year. The Windy City offers fantastic food, a historical downtown, and lots of thrilling adventures. For those looking for a slightly more relaxing weekend, you can spend your time exploring the lush 25 acres of Millennial Park, getting a picturesque view of the skyline on a river cruise, or heading to the Loop for a shopping spree.
Chicago is also an excellent place for daredevils who can get there adrenaline fix by rock climbing, learning stunt moves at trapeze school, or zip lining through the suburbs.
If you’re out West, then you should definitely plan a trip to Lake Tahoe. This lake has some of the world’s greatest adventures all packed into one spot. The Sierra Nevada Mountains provide scenic views for day hiking, snowboarding, skiing, swimming, kayaking, and snowmobiling. Plus, there is so much more than just outdoor fun to be had at Lake Tahoe. The area also has plenty of exquisite dining, shopping, and entertainment options to discover.
I have a soft spot for Sonoma County because it combines a couple of my favorite things: adventures and wine. Sonoma County is often referred to as Napa Valley’s little sister and offers a variety of excellent restaurants including Belly, owned by a well-known chef to several rock bands including Linkin Park. There are also incredible outdoor adventures like zip lining through the world-renowned Redwoods.
A favorite experience in Sonoma is the bike winery tour that allows you take in the incredible Northern California landscapes while stopping at a handful of wineries for tastings.
Nature lovers and literary fans will want to spend time hiking through the Jack London Nature Preserve where you can see the ruins of the cabin and the grave of the famed American writer. Of course, you should also rent a car and take a day trip along the Pacific Coastal Highway which is one of the most scenic roads in America.
If you are looking for a secluded weekend getaway in the mountains, it is hard to find a better spot than Stowe, Vermont. The rugged landscape is beautiful but also offers a variety of fun outdoors activities such as gondola rides, skiing, and snowboarding. However, the real beauty of Stowe is found trekking through beautiful mountains like Smugglers’ Notch.
From Stowe, you can explore the lower Appalachians and enjoy mountain vistas on day hikes and scenic drives. Stowe is one of the best places for a secluded few days in the mountains.
Las Vegas, known for its brightly lit casinos and energetic shows, makes the list for a couple of reasons. First, companies offer cheap travel deals all year round. These deals often include flights and hotels. Also there are always deals on dinners, shows, and a wide variety of entertainment. This means that Vegas is an incredibly cheap as well as thrilling destination.
The second reason is that Vegas has a lot of adventure activities. Where else in the world is it possible to go on a glass slide down the side of a skyscraper, zip line between tall buildings, ride in stunt planes, rock climb with spectacular neon views, and bungee jump? lus, nature at its finest is right outside the city limits.
The Appalachian Trail is a wonderful way to spend a long weekend. This trail showcases some of the most spectacular scenery in America but also winds through some of the most remote and charming towns nestled in the backwoods of the eastern countryside. This massive trail has almost every landscape you can imagine and promises to be a hike you will treasure.
The next time you have a long weekend, pry yourself away from the couch and venture somewhere new. These destinations have a lot of offer travelers planning an adventurous getaway and you might just find that you want to visit them all.
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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