7 Best Weekend Getaways for Relaxation
We all need a vacation once in a while. While work, money, and family obligations often make a full-blown trip to Europe impossible, most of us can squeeze in a weekend off the clock here and there. Here are seven great weekend destinations that will help you melt away the stress, reconnect with loved ones, and recharge your batteries.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
First of all, the words “Cape Cod” must translate to “laid back” in some language somewhere. Secondly, the quiet vacation community consists of many small towns and villages. They are found on both the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay side of the peninsula.
It’s no wonder that it’s one of the best weekend getaways for relaxation.
Cobblestone streets, small shops, and ocean breezes help the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, (also considered part of the Cape Cod experience), take “easy going” to another level.
Along the Atlantic side of the cape, lighthouses, quiet beaches, stunning views, interesting trails, and estuaries make up the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Located at the tip of the cape, the colourful community of Provincetown offers beautiful views. Views that can be enjoyed on a 90-minute ferry service that is offered to and from Boston.
Newport, Rhode Island
America’s Cup Race once called Newport its exclusive home. Newport, Rhode Island, now boasts one of the largest concentrations of Bed and Breakfasts in the world.
It also plays host to the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the annual Newport Jazz Festival. Also, a minor league baseball team. Newport’s Cliff Walk offers stunning ocean views on one side, and beautifully restored Gilded Age mansions on the other.
Other major historical attractions include St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church (the wedding church of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier), Fort McAdams, and Touro Synagogue (America’s oldest synagogue).
Grab a drink, pull up to a fire pit, and watch the sunset from Gurney’s Newport located on Goat Island. Their grounds are open to the public.
Lake George, New York
A mix of outdoor activities, a quaint little village amid the Adirondacks, reasonable accommodations, and a world-class amusement park make Lake George, NY a great place to relax and unwind for a weekend.
Outdoor fun on the lake includes boat and jet ski rentals, fishing, swimming, kayaking, and parasailing. Wind down in the evening with a tour of Lake George’s Southern Basin aboard the Minne Ha Ha – an authentic Sternwheel Steamboat.
Most noteworthy, Lake George Village has a small-town vibe. With plenty of eateries, and miniature golf on what seems like every corner.
About a ten-minute drive from Lake George Village is the Great Escape Amusement park. It features a classic wooden roller coaster, rides for all aged children, and an excellent water park.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Located at the foot of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee might be our country’s best family destination. Four mountain coasters, the nearby town of Gatlinburg, and a variety of amusement parks – including Dollywood and Splash Country. Most importantly, they offer endless fun.
While hundreds of vacation Pigeon Forge rental cabins offer a home away from home in the mountains, and unlimited relaxation. The cabins are the way to stay here. Letting visitors relax, unwind, and simply enjoy the Smoky Mountain experience.
Whether out on the trails, playing in the fun towns, or lazing in a rocking chair on the deck. Cabins come with hot tubs, game rooms, full kitchens, en-suite bathrooms, Wi-Fi, and all the home comforts.
All set amid the stunning views and silence of the Smoky Mountains. It’s safe to say, this destination makes the list for best weekend getaways.
Cape May, New Jersey
A rich history (the entire city was named a National Historic Landmark in 1976), beautiful architecture, pristine beaches, and interesting museums make Cape May a great place to spend a relaxing weekend.
Cape Cod-style cottages – many displaying American Flag buntings – line streets throughout Cape May.
Popular museums include the open-air living history museum at Cold Spring Village and the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in nearby Wildwood.
Cape May also hosts free concerts, pop-up beer gardens, movies on the beach, and dozens of other events and festivals throughout the year.
Most noteworthy, if you’re coming from the south, consider taking the car ferry from Lewes, Delaware. It’s a memorable trip, and a shortcut, too.
The intimate master-planned community of Seaside, Florida, offers everything you need to relax, unwind, and enjoy the perfect weekend. Teal-green waters and white powder sand earned Seaside the title of “the Best Beach on Earth for Families,” by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Seaside’s pretty little downtown has over forty-one shops and galleries, and more than twelve restaurants.
While Seaside has no hotels, it does have hundreds of rental cottages sprinkled throughout the area. Seaside vacation rentals come in many sizes.
As a result, some come with as many as six bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
However, every Seaside rental offers the perfect blend of modern comfort with an “Old World Florida” vibe.
Islamorada means “Village of Islands” in Spanish. It encompasses six of the Florida Keys, with stunning coral reefs.
Mis-pronounced by the locals as “eye-la-morada”, it’s located halfway between Miami and Key West.
Above all, Islamorada has more than enough activities to fill a weekend. With just as many ways to relax and kickback.
In addition, while many people come to Islamorada for its world-class sport fishing, others come to unwind at one of its key’s beautiful resorts.
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Trade winds, palm trees and pristine beaches give Islamorada a tropical paradise vibe. The outdoor aquarium, Theater of the Sea, features lush, tropical gardens, man-made lagoons, sea turtles, fish, stingrays, alligators, and birds.
Furthermore, there is a chance to swim with dolphins, sea lions, and even sharks.
Finally, you are armed with quite a few destinations to enjoy if you have time off. In other words, even if it’s just for a weekend, it would help you experience a little bit of much-needed TLC.
Have you visited any of these best weekend getaways?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.