BEST CITY BREAKS IN THE US – FOR SPRING AND FALL
- 1 BEST CITY BREAKS IN THE US – FOR SPRING AND FALL
There is surely no shortage of fun, exciting and great cities in the US that are perfect for a weekend getaway – and here are the best city breaks in the US (which are the best to visit in spring and fall).
Most cities in America are easily accessible by car and plane, with highways and international airports making it easy for you to come and go for a few days. And within these cities, there are tons of fun activities and things to do while you’re there.
Whether you love shopping, seeing iconic local sights, or just relaxing on the beach, these cities have something for everyone. While the below-mentioned cities could also be visited in the summer or winter months, it is best to visit in the spring or fall.
Since I still have many cities to discover in the US myself, I asked some of my fellow travel bloggers about their favorite cities to visit in a few days. So, if you want to take a break and get away to a fun and exciting US city for 2-3 days, here are some recommendations.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.
Arzo from Arzo Travels
San Francisco, known as “the city by the bay,” is a beautiful, fun, and liberal place to visit. There are so many interesting things to see here that you’ll have no problem planning a weekend itinerary.
If you are flying in, San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport are the easiest places to arrive. You can then catch a tram to the city center.
Getting around San Francisco can be challenging because of the many hills and hidden alleyways, so you might want to combine walking with tram and bus rides. You can also get around on the city’s iconic cable cars, which have been running for over 150 years.
While in San Francisco, check out the Golden Gate Bridge, which is fun to walk or cycle across, day or night. See San Francisco Bay, where you can take a boat tour or hang out on the beach.
The bay tour will start you at Fisherman’s Wharf and take you past Alcatraz Island. If you want to actually visit Alcatraz, book your tickets in advance – they sell out fast.
Enjoy the views from Twin Peaks. At an elevation of 925 feet, you can see Alcatraz and the bridges on a clear day.
If you still have time, visit Pier 39, Golden Gate Park, Alamo Square (where the Full House houses are), Lombard Street, The Castro, and Union Square.
Actually, San Francisco make the perfect getaway at any time of the year.
There are many great places to stay in San Francisco.
- For a luxury stay, check out The Ritz-Carlton that is perfectly located (close to Union Square) and has all the amenities and facilities you can expect from a luxury hotel.
- I stayed in a hostel near Union Square, which I actually really, really liked and which has been the best hostel I have stayed at. Check out the gorgeous hostel – given it is a hostel, prices are quite high though.
Jen and Ryan from Passions and Places
Boston’s rich history and variety of things to do make it a fun city to visit, whether as a girls weekend, romantic getaway, or family vacation.
It’s a place best experienced in the spring and fall when the weather is neither Arctic nor sweaty.
Exploring the sites of the Freedom Trail is a must for history lovers, and walking the route will give you a nice introduction to Boston. To get another perspective and learn more about the city, go up to the top of the Prudential Center, where an audio tour explains key sites visible from the observatory.
If you find yourself in Boston on a Sunday, plan to visit the SoWa market, where area vendors sell produce, crafts, and other specialty items. (Bonus: many of the city’s best food trucks will be parked there!)
Of course, there’s nothing more quintessentially Boston than the Red Sox, so whether you’re a diehard baseball fan or just want to experience the essence of the city, head to Fenway Park. Even if the Red Sox aren’t playing, you can still take a tour of the stadium.
Most visitors to Boston fly into Logan, but the train and bus are also options. If you time it right, you could even snag a $1 Megabus ticket from New York!
There are a lot of possibilities for accommodations in Boston – here are a few suggestions for different budgets during your 3 days in Boston.
- For a luxury hotel, try the Fairmont Copley Plaza, which is located in the Back Bay area of the city and is close to popular spots, like Newbury Street. It’s a historic building that’s been redone with modern décor, and particularly favored by couples. You can find out more here.
- A midrange option would be the Revere Hotel, which has a great location right near beautiful Boston Common and the Visitor Center. It’s also very sleek and modern. Check it out here.
- There are not a lot of budget hotels in Boston, but the HI Hostel would be a great choice for couples and solo travelers, with a breakfast provided and private rooms with en suite bathrooms. Located near Boston Common as well, it offers easy access to public transportation. Find more information here.
Jamie from The Daily Adventures
Many people have never thought about a visit to Rhode Island, but this underrated state has one of the US’ best small towns. Newport, Rhode Island is a charming colonial town on New England’s shore.
Downtown is amazing for shopping, and the surrounding area will give you plenty of things to do for a long weekend break.
Newport is about 30 miles from the Providence, Rhode Island airport. Newport is best explored by car, but there is a ferry from Providence in-season or you can take a train from the airport to Wickford and take a Uber or cab to get over the bridge. The town has a free trolley that you can use to get around while you are there.
To stay in the middle of the action, choose a hotel around America’s Cup Boulevard or Thames Street. If you can afford a splurge, get a room at The Castle Hill Inn. It is on the outskirts of town, but the views can’t be beaten.
For your getaway spend time at any of the town’s beaches, explore the mansions of the ultra-wealthy Americans of the gilded age, walk the Cliff Walk, have lunch at the Newport Vineyards, explore the Audrian Auto Museum, watch tennis on the lawns at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and visit the US’ oldest synagogue, Touro. Be sure to see the Newport Bridge and lighthouses from the sky with a helicopter tour.
You won’t regret your time in this romantic, yet family-friendly town.
Arzo from Arzo Travels
Las Vegas is known for its shows, gambling, and partying, but there’s lots more to this city. This casual, fun town offers lots of sightseeing opportunities on the Strip and off.
Most flights to Las Vegas will arrive at McCarran International Airport. From there, you can take a cab or shuttle to your hotel. You can use the Monorail or bus system to get around the Las Vegas Strip and throughout the city but I actually did a lot of walking – not so much fun in the hot summer months and definitely more pleasant in spring or fall.
If you love nature, take a bus tour or drive to the Grand Canyon, only two hours away. You can ski at Mount Charleston in the winter and hike there in the summer. Red Rock Canyon is also a natural beauty.
The hotels on the Strip are themselves a special attraction. Each has a theme, such as the high-end Bellagio and its dancing fountain show in front, the Venetian’s gondola rides, and the Mirage’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.
Visit “Old Vegas” in the downtown area. The Fremont Street Experience should be a part of any weekend trip, with its light and music show performing nightly.
There are dozens of dayclubs (March to October) to choose from if you want to relax by the pool, rent a cabana, and enjoy a drink. The nightclubs have famous guest DJs from around the world if you prefer dancing.
Las Vegas is home to some incredible hotels – and compared to most other cities in the US, the luxury hotels are quite affordable.
- A beautiful and yet very affordable luxury hotel is the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino – which is one of the largest hotels in the city with a big casino.
- For an even more luxurious hotel, you can pick Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas.
Erin from Solo Salute
Texas is home to multiple major US cities, and of these, the unsung hero is without a doubt San Antonio.
This major Texan city lies right on the barrier of where the Texas border region meets the Texas Hill Country. It’s a cultural powerhouse, home to stunning historic missions, a beautiful Riverwalk and some of the best Tex-Mex in the state. To get to San Antonio, it is easiest to fly into the Austin airport and then rent a car.
There are plenty of things to do in the Texas Hill Country on your way to San Antonio, so make a full weekend out of it! When in San Antonio, be sure to tour all of the missions (not only the infamous Alamo).
Mission San Jose and Mission Concepcion are my favorites and it’s a good idea to dedicate a full morning or afternoon to them.
After touring the Alamo, cross the street to the Riverwalk and find a cozy spot to order a margarita to top off a magical day. There are a lot of beautiful hotels near the Riverwalk, my personal favorite is the historic Hotel St. Anthony. The Menger Hotel is also full of history and right next to the Alamo its location is unbeatable.
Clare from Travels in Peru
New Orleans is an amazing city to visit in Spring and Fall. At that time the temperatures and humidity are not too high and you can walk around and explore comfortably. It is very easy to get there as there is an airport just outside the city and you can then take a bus or taxi to the center.
There is so much to do in New Orleans whether you are traveling as a couple, group of friends or with kids. If you are into the occult then you must visit the European style cemeteries, take a Ghost, Vampire, Witches & Voodoo tour to learn the history of the town and the different ghosts that haunt some of the buildings.
If you enjoy architecture then you have to see American townhouses in the Garden district and the Creole cottages and townhouses in the French Quarter.
If you want a more relaxing time then a trip down the Mississippi on a steamboat listening to jazz music is a must.
Finally, a trip to New Orleans is not complete without a visit to Café du Monde to try the Beignet’s and a night listening to jazz music on Frenchman Street.
Amanda from Patsey Family Travels
Seattle is one of the few cities in the United States where you can experience the coast, the mountains, and a super hip city all in one shot. The major airport Sea-Tac is less than a 30-minute drive away. The highlight of the city is Pike Place Market.
You could spend hours here checking out the local farmers market, sampling a huge variety of food, and seeing some other quirky sights such as the gum wall.
Within walking distance from the market, you can also walk along Seattle’s famous waterfront where you can take a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel, eat seafood on the water, or even check out the Seattle Aquarium.
Seattle is also home to the Space Needle, where you can ride an elevator to the top to take in some amazing views of the city, the Puget Sound, and 360-degree views of mountains.
You may also want to learn about the history of Seattle, and the underground tour is a great way to do that! Seattle is an incredibly family-friendly city, they also have a great zoo and a children’s museum. Seattle is easily a place you could spend a few days exploring the city, but there is also tons to explore right outside the city, including 3 major National Parks.
The best place is to stay is in downtown or Belltown areas are so you can easily walk and explore the area. Anywhere near the Pike Place Market is a great spot and also not too far of a walk from the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture and the Chihuly glass garden (all must-sees).
- Some of the best options are the Ace Hotel and the Fairmont Olympic
- If you’re on a budget The Best Western Pioneer Square Downtown has a good location.
Dan from Honeymoon Always
Austin, Texas is a perfect place for a quick getaway. The city is known for its live music, proximity to Texas hill country and water activities to keep you cool in the heat of the summer.
Before you come, check out Hamilton Pool, Jacob’s Well, and McKinney Falls State Park.
All are beautiful places for a hike and to go for a swim in a natural pool, but require a reservation. Additionally, you can head to Barton Springs Pool located just south of downtown or go for a hike on the Greenbelt.
The pool is fed by natural springs that keep it the same cool temperature all year long. Almost all year you can enjoy a boat tour on Lake Travis or one of the other lakes in town. You can also go kayaking on Lady Bird Lake for fun exercise and unique views of downtown.
When it comes to food, Austin is known for tacos and barbeque.
Check online for events before you book your tickets. Each year the city transforms with SXSW in the spring and ACL in the fall and tons of smaller events in between.
Halef from The Round The World Guys
The Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport holds the title as the busiest airport in the world. Atlanta still underwhelmingly one of the least recognized American city for tourism, and many people would only pass or transiting through Atlanta.
But don’t get fooled – there are so many things to see and to do in Atlanta. Atlanta is rich with history, anything from its Civil War involvement to the Civil Rights Movement, and into the 1996 Summer Olympics and beyond. It is home to some of the recent movie industry, such as The Walking Dead, the Hunger Games and Marvel’s Top Superheroes Franchises.
If you are into these, you can join in several organized tour groups to visit some of the spots.
Starting off in the Downtown Atlanta, you can easily spend the whole day here exploring some of Atlanta’s highlights, such as the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park, the World of Coca Cola, Georgia Aquarium and the Center of Civil and Human Rights Museum.
For amazing foodie destination, you don’t want to miss Atlanta’s immigrant district of Buford Highway. Here, you can find many delicious ethnic restaurants and establishments: anything from Guatemalan to Indonesian restaurants in Atlanta to the Vietnamese Pho and Ethiopian center.
Laurence from Finding the Universe
Found on the coast of Georgia, Savannah is a beautiful city in the south of the USA. There is a lot to do in Savannah, and you could easily spend two or three days exploring the city and surrounds.
In the city itself, you’ll want to start off by exploring the cities beautiful historical district. You can do this on foot, or by taking a trolley tour. Another great way to learn about the history of the city, from the civil war to the civil rights movement and up to the present day, is to visit the Savannah History Museum.
Savannah is also well known as a filming location for various movies, including Forrest Gump. A movie-themed tour is a fun way to see the city. When night falls, you’ll want to get your paranormal hat on, as Savannah is generally regarded as one of the most haunted cities in the USA!
Beyond the historical district, there are many other things to do. You can head out to the beaches at Tybee Island, explore the civil war ear Fort Pulaski, and explore the beautiful grounds of Wormsloe Historic Site, a former plantation home.
Priya from Outside Suburbia
There is more to Dallas than Cowboys and BBQ – there are world-class museums, an urban park built over a highway, an amazing restaurant scene, superb shopping and wholesome fun for the whole family.
One main attraction in Dallas is the Arboretum in Spring when the hundreds of blooming rainbow of tulips make you wonder if you have been transported to the Tulips gardens of Netherlands.
During Spring the gardens are bursting with colorful spring blooms. Dallas Museum of Arts is another must visit, the collection is made of more than 24,000 objects, dating from the third millennium BC to the present day… with works from Rodin, Cezanne, Monet, Picasso to name a few. You can see some cool murals at Deep Ellum and go up the Reunion tower for a 360-degree view of Dallas.
The next day, head out to Bishop Arts District for lunch and then go looking for some cool murals in the unique and eclectic neighborhood – the You + Me mural is pretty popular.
Then you can hit one of the many Spas in the area or go shopping. If you have more time you can head to Dallas’s sister city Fort Worth and Step into the Wild West at the Stockyards.
At 11:30 am and 4pm there is a cattle drive with longhorns and you can see a Championship Rodeo at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
There are a lot of hotels located in the downtown area, as well as near the airports. But here are a few suggestions based on your budget:
- For a luxury accommodation, you can stay at the Hotel Crescent Court, which is very modern, has on-site restaurants, and a private balcony off of each guest room. Great for couples and solo travelers.
- The Omni Dallas Hotel is a good mid-range option with great views and a heated infinity pool that’s especially nice in the cooler months.
Wendy from Empty Nesters Hit the Road
No matter where you are traveling from in the U.S., Chicago is easy to get to and will offer plenty to do. Whether flying into Midway or O’Hare, you’ll arrive in downtown in under 60 minutes via a taxi or rideshare service.
To make the most of a short visit, staying somewhere in the “Loop” (a section of the downtown) is recommended since many sites are in walking distance, and for anything further, good public transportation is available. There’s no need to rent a car.
Downtown Chicago offers great public parks and world-class museums. Start day one with a visit to Millennium Park which is famous for the Cloud Gate statue (nicknamed The Bean).
Then walk a block to The Art Institute which offers an impressive collection of art. Finally, stroll a few more blocks down Michigan Avenue to enjoy Buckingham Fountain. If you’re here in the summer, come check out the fountains light show at night.
On day two take an architectural boat tour on the Chicago River to become more familiar with the history and building styles of this city. Next up, take a stroll along the Riverwalk to enjoy the boats passing by, public art and some fun outdoor dining.
Here are some places that are good options for your 3-day stay in Chicago.
- For a luxury option, try the Peninsula Hotel, which provides great amenities and comfort as well as location.
- For a mid-range option, I would suggest the Kinzie Hotel. It’s close to the Magnificent Mile and offers a continental breakfast.
- For a budget accommodation, check out the Gateway Inn located in the Loop, which has nice clean rooms and isn’t far from some of the popular landmarks.
Lindsey from Abroad Wife
Washington D.C. is the perfect city break for families, singles, young professionals, and retirees. The best thing about this city is there is truly something for everyone!
Washington D.C. is easily accessible from Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport as well as an easy drive from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.
The best time to visit D.C. is the spring during cherry blossom season. You can find cherry blossoms blooming all over the city, but nowhere is more stunning than the Tidal Basin which is lined with over 3500 cherry blossom trees. The National Arboretum is also a beautiful place to go with a variety of trees and flowers blooming over this 400-acre park.
D.C. has so much to offer, you will have a hard time narrowing down what you want to do. History buffs will love visiting the White House, monuments, Mount Vernon, and Ford’s Theater. For families, there is the carousel on the National Mall, a live butterfly and insect exhibit at the Natural History Museum, and great playrooms at the National Building Museum.
Foodies will love dining at a wide variety of international restaurants-you can find almost any type of cuisine here! When the weather is nice you can hang out at Yard’s Park, kayak in the Potomac River, or explore Theodore Roosevelt Island.
Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles
For a super fun getaway destination in the western United States, consider San Diego!! The Southern California city sits on the Pacific coast, just a few miles north of the Mexican border. San Diego offers a ton of things to do and is suitable for couples, families, and solo travelers alike.
Start your getaway with some beach time at the beautiful sandy Coronado Beach on Coronado Island. Then head to the Gaslamp Quarter, the historic part of downtown, for dinner, before calling it a night. The next morning, enjoy some active exploring and walking at Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma Peninsula.
The views are awesome!
For lunch, head to La Jolla where you afterward can walk the pretty cove and admire the seals catching the sun. Next, it’s time to browse the beautiful shops and galleries in La Jolla before heading back to your accommodation.
On your final day, enjoy the diverse offerings at Balboa Park, San Diego’s famous complex of gardens and museums.
Whatever you choose to do in San Diego, you will have a wonderful time!
If you stay in San Diego, the best place to stay is in the downtown area or in La Jolla, which has great ocean views.
- For a luxury option, check out the Pendry San Diego Hotel Downtown, which has great amenities and service, or the Pantai Inn in La Jolla, which offers a boutique experience and great location.
- For a mid-range hotel, try the San Diego Marriot Gaslamp Quarter in the downtown area, which has a good location, or the Hotel La Jolla, which has pretty balcony views.
- For a budget option, you could stay at Holiday Inn Express – Downtown San Diego, or the La Jolla Cove Suites, which has vintage décor and good location.
New York City
Arzo from Arzo Travels
New York City is one of the best cities to visit in the US. There are so many fun things to do and see, you’ll have lots to choose from for your weekend stay.
You can fly in via JFK International Airport, Newark Liberty International, or LaGuardia Airport and then take a cab, train, or tram into the city. Getting around NYC is easiest on foot or by subway, but there are cabs and buses, too.
One of the best things to do in this city is walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. You get an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline as you cross.
Central Park is a must-see, day or night, and you can spend a lot of time wandering the paths, picnicking, and just relaxing. Stroll Fifth Avenue and check out the many high-end shops.
If you love skyscrapers, visit the Empire State Building and see the city from a bird’s-eye view. You can also see the Statue of Liberty if you take the ferry over to Ellis Island.
Ground Zero is a popular place to see while in the city, as well as Times Square and Grand Central Station.
For a relaxing spot, try Bryant Park. It’s a gorgeous and laidback space if you just want to sit and enjoy some music – and the best, many things can be experienced for free!
Arzo from Arzo Travels
If you are looking for a laidback weekend getaway location, Los Angeles is a good choice. There are some fun and relaxing things to do and iconic sights to see here.
You can fly into Los Angeles International Airport, Hollywood Burbank Airport, Long Beach Airport, or Ontario International Airport. From there, you can take a bus or cab into the city. Getting around LA is usually easiest by bus, the metro, or car (traffic can get bad here though).
LA is the perfect destination if you like the beach. Laying out in the sun, surfing, beach volleyball, and boating are all popular. Venice Beach, in particular, is known for its quirky shops and atmosphere.
The Hollywood sign that is so famous can actually be seen close up if you take a short hike into the Hollywood Hills.
Stroll Sunset Boulevard and visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see the celebrity stars. Take a ride on the Ferris Wheel at Pacific Park, on beautiful Santa Monica Pier.
If you like amusement parks, just outside of the city in Anaheim is Disneyland. Spend a day visiting one of the most famous places in the world.
For a few more suggestion for your Los Angeles weekend itinerary, consider Manhattan Beach, the Hollywood Homes Tour, and Universal Studios Hollywood.
The choices of places to stay in LA are endless.
- For a luxury hotel, you can’t beat the Hotel Bel Air, which is an icon in the city and boasts amenities like an on-site restaurant, pools, etc.
- A more mid-range option is Level DTLA, which is still a nice hotel and has a great location for getting to some popular attractions.
- A budget hotel that has clean rooms, a good location, and even a restaurant is the New Seoul Hotel.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST WEEKEND TRIPS IN THE US FOR SPRING AND FALL
Hopefully, this post has helped you getting some inspiration for your weekend getaway in the US for spring and fall- with friends, family, solo or your partner! Either way, I am sure you cannot go wrong with one of these tips.