With Mother's Day right around the corner — if you haven't yet figured out the perfect way to celebrate the moms in your life — you might find yourself scrambling for something pretty soon. But just because you're only a few weeks out doesn't mean her gift has to suffer. In fact, one of the best ways you can show a certain, special mama that you appreciate her is with an experience — not just something that comes in a box. And some of the best spots for a Mother's Day weekend getaway are a lot more accessible than you think, even if you're planning last minute.
Sure there are some great gifts to be shopped for moms, from luxe beauty products to chic culinary goods, but giving the one in your life (be it your own mom, sister, or a friend who could use a break from her little ones) the opportunity to travel to a new place together is truly priceless. That said, if you don't have a ton of time to spare and you're trying to keep your spending to a minimum, it might benefit the both of you to choose a location that's not-too-far, easy to get to, and offers a ton of options for mom-friendly activities.
So even though you're down to the wire, there are a handful of domestic locales that have everything you and your fave mom need to have a totally memorable trip, including beach destinations, areas known for their epic eats, and a tons more. Ahead, find seven cities that are ideal for a weekend getaway that any mom won't soon forget — and they're all easy to plan for ASAP.
DC might not be the first spot you'd think of for a getaway, but with so many things for you and Mom to do, it's definitely worth another look. "Do a walking tour around the National Mall and stroll in and out of all of the museums as most of them are free," suggests Eric Hrubant president and Chief Travel-Planning Officer of CIRE Travel. "From the Mall you can stroll along the Potomac River to Georgetown with wonderful restaurants and shops. The new City Center area as well as the neighborhoods of Dupont and Adam Morgan, have amazing restaurants."
San Diego, California
If you're looking for a beachside destination, this SoCal city might be just the ticket for a low-key trip. Besides visiting the heralded zoo, there are plenty of great nightlife spots downtown. Or if a funky little surf town would be up her alley, be sure to check out Encinitas. "Encinitas is the northern park of San Diego that most people don’t get to or overlook," says Esther Klijn of CIRE. "Something about it makes the water seem bluer than other nearby beaches plus it’s a more relaxed vibe. There are fun vintage shops, an old theatre that will show anything from recent blockbusters to old classics to new surf movies."
If mom is a music fan there's likely no better place to take her than Nashville. But besides getting to take in some authentic country western music, the two of you can also check out Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and dine at tons of restaurants renowned for both classic and modern southern food (hello hot fried chicken and biscuits).
For an outdoorsy destination, it's tough to beat the red rock views in Sedona. But even if Mom doesn't do the hiking trail thing (and there are countless, tremendously scenic ones here), there's an artsy community full of galleries to explore, and a ton of new age spas for the two of you can indulge in some serious pampering, included the world-famous Mii Amo.
Napa Valley, California
If the mother you're celebrating is a fan of wine, it probably doesn't get any better than this Northern California spot. Yes, there's an abundance of wineries and tasting rooms to explore, but besides that the two of you can head to Yountville for some of the best restaurants in the country (as well as sparkling wine), go for a hot air balloon ride, check out the Calistoga mud baths, and stroll through Oxbow Public Market, to name just a few mom-friendly options.
Charleston, South Carolina
Moms who are history buffs will totally appreciate a visit to this southern city. Take her to see the pastel antebellum homes on Rainbow Row or Civil War landmark Fort Sumter, stroll through the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, take a day trip Sullivan's Island, and dine at some of the best eateries the South has to offer, including foodie haven Husk.
For a big city experience, Chicago has so much to offer you and your mom as a place to get away for the weekend. Check out landmarks like Centennial Fountain and Millenium Park where you can take your photo by "the bean" (aka "Cloud Gate" by Sir Anish Kapoor), see incredible works of art at the Art Institute of Chicago, and of course grab a slice of deep dish pizza or a Chicago-style dog.