It would be nice if we could spend a few weeks jaunting through Europe every few months, but unfortunately that’s not the reality most of us live in. While we may not make it overseas often, it’s still important to decompress and get away from our everyday surroundings when we can on the weekends. These trips may be closer to home, but it doesn’t mean they’re any less exciting or necessary. Whether you want to sit by a pool, explore a new city, take a wellness vacay or return somewhere you’ve already been, here are five of our favorite cities for a quick getaway that will leave you refreshed while you await your next big travel adventure.
Weekend Getaway, Right This Way
Charleston, South Carolina
A weekend in Charleston will be full of Southern charm. Stay at The Dewberry, which is in an enviable location that overlooks the gorgeous Marion Square. The ambiance is described as "Southern reimagined," mixing Lowcountry design with mid-century modern for a unique aesthetic. For an unforgettable meal that screams Southern comfort, try Husk. The menu changes daily and is different for lunch and dinner; in the past, it has boasted dishes like cornmeal-fried catfish and country ham. After you've admired the beauty of the city, explore its more gothic side via a walking tour of local spots that are supposedly haunted ... at your own risk.
New Orleans, Louisiana
There's always a music or food festival going on in New Orleans—and smaller, local fests can be even more fun than the famous Jazz Fest. Check this calendar and plan your weekend getaway around one that strikes your fancy. The city is also home to the incredible National WWII Museum. Stay at the Hotel Monteleone, a quintessential New Orleans hotel in the French Quarter. While you're there, make sure to stop at The Carousel Bar & Lounge, where the bar rotates and bartenders mix up classic NOLA cocktails like View Carre, Sazerac and Milk Punch. (For once, you'll be able to blame that spinning sensation after drinking on the actual bar.) Booze is a big part of the city, but you can't miss the food. Check out Atchafalaya for brunch, New Orleans staple Galatoire's for dinner and Café du Monde for beignets.
If you're craving art and culture on your weekend getaway, Sedona is for you. The city is home to exceptional galleries that will add a little sophistication to your trip. After perusing the art scene, retreat to the boutique Amara Resort & Spa and try out its onsite spa and the Salt Rock restaurant, which will keep you full of margaritas. When in Sedona, hiking at Slide Rock State Park is a must. It has three trails with different sights to see along the way, and because the park is home to black bears, bald eagles, great blue herons and deer, there's plenty of wildlife viewing.
If you want a quick Cali getaway but don't want to hit the usual suspects like Santa Barbara or Palm Springs, Ojai is the perfect choice. About an hour and change from Los Angeles, it offers the relaxation of the desert with the indulgence and delicacies of Napa. Stay at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, which has a world-class spa featuring an apothecary onsite. It also has famous golf and tennis facilities, two luxury pools and fabulous dining. If you're really wanting to find your Zen, head off property to Meditation Mount, a nonprofit meditation center with a variety of offerings. Once you're nice and calm, visit Topa Mountain Winery for live music every Saturday and Sunday. To soak up the booze or simply find a snack, Ojai Café Emporium and Knead Baking Company will keep you satisfied.
Martha's Vineyard, Massachussets
It doesn't get more picturesque (or Instagram-worthy) than a weekend in Martha's Vineyard. The Cape Cod destination has long been an escape from the city. The Harbor View Hotel is the epitome of the island's relaxed vibe and signature architecture—it's so gorgeous, you'll feel like you're in a Nancy Meyers movie. If you're feeling whimsical, check out the Flying Horses Carousel, the oldest one in the country. You have to get out on the beautiful water, too—and what better way than an afternoon or sunset sail with your pals or partner? And, of course, there's the seafood. It's hard to choose the best, so do a crab crawl and hit them all: Larsen's Fish Market, L'étoile, Sandy's Fish & Chips, and The Bite.