Those of us who live on the East Coast of the United States frankly have a lot of options when it comes to planning a quick getaway or long weekend escape. While it was hard to narrow down this list, these are a few of my favorite short trips.
Florida is one of the top tourist destinations in the country, thanks to its amazing beaches and a certain Mouse. However, Florida is a huge and incredibly diverse state and there are plenty of spots to explore that aren't teeming with tourists. For many people, whether they live on the East Coast or not, getting to Florida can be quite affordable and once you’re there, there are lodging options for absolutely every budget. One of my favorite getaways is Amelia Island, located just outside of Jacksonville along what is called Florida’s First Coast. It’s a quiet island, but don’t let that fool you, this retreat has attracted the rich and famous for decades thanks to that seclusion and beautiful beach views. The island is more open now and easy to visit; my favorite hotel is the glitzy and family friendly Ritz Carlton Amelia Island. There you can enjoy doing nothing along the shore line, or be more adventurous and explore the island on horseback. No matter your style of travel, Amelia Island, and all of Florida, is a great place for a quick escape.
Located about 640 miles off of the coast of North Carolina, Bermuda is a retreat to paradise that for some reason many people don’t consider. The feel of Bermuda is very unique, the culture and weather is much different than that of Caribbean islands, but the pink sand beaches and welcoming culture make it a joy to visit. Bermuda is very easy to reach from several East Coast airports and you can usually find good deals if you book in advance. There’s a lot more to Bermuda though than just beach chairs and a nice view, the island has a long colonial past that surprises many people. Walking around the 17th century town of St. George’s, the feel is more like Virginia than a tropical island, but this history is what makes Bermuda an interesting place to visit. The food is also excellent, from five star dining to simple beachside grills serving up fresh and delicious seafood. No matter what you decide to do, Bermuda is a perfect place to get away from it all.
Canada is one of my favorite destinations for short trips, I just love the diversity that the country has to offer. Among the many great cities in Canada though, Montreal is one of my favorites. The city is very easy to get to for many of us on the East Coast, usually just an hour or two by plane. But as soon as you get there you feel as if you've crossed the Pond. The look, feel and sounds of the city can be at times very European, thanks in large part to the French speaking population. But don’t worry, Montreal is also a very cosmopolitan city and English is widely used and understood. There are some great sights in the city; from the Old Port to the city’s own mountain, but food is king here. One of the most famous meals is a cured meat sandwich at Schwartz’s. Those who have been to New York will feel at home in this old school deli, but the smoked meat definitely is not pastrami. Instead it’s a unique Montreal version that is well worth the visit. There really are few places as interesting as Montreal and that is what makes it a fantastic choice for a weekend getaway.
Where is your favorite East Coast getaway?