15 Perfect Weekend Trips To Take This Summer

PHOTO: VERONICA GARBUTT/GETTY IMAGES.
The cold months are finally over, and it’s time to start thinking about summer travel. There are 15 weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which means there are also 15 opportunities to explore, relax, and indulge, even if you're not taking extra vacation days.
From Bermuda to Taos to Atlantic City (really!), we’ve compiled 15 amazing trip ideas for every single summer weekend. Ahead, you'll find a mix of destinations, whether you're looking for an affordable road trip or a luxe spot to jet for a long weekend. Either way, consider your summer planned. And don't forget to tag us in your Instagram photos!
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Weekend 1: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
It seemed like winter would never end, but finally, Memorial Day is here. And there’s no better way to celebrate than by heading to the sunny beaches of Mexico. Located along the Pacific Coast, the city of Puerto Vallarta is easy to get to (especially from the West Coast and southern states), and is known for its resorts and boisterous nightlife. Spend Memorial Day right — drinking a margarita (or four), laying in the sand, and strolling the art galleries of El Centro. The only downside? You’ll eventually have to go home.

Where To Stay:
Check out Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, located right along the clear, blue ocean water. The property offers a selection of suites, a spa and fitness center, numerous restaurants, and, of course, a massive swimming pool. It’s an indulgence at $505 per night (although you should scour for last-minute deals), but it's also all-inclusive. And, what a place to kick off your summer in style.
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Weekend 2: Calistoga, CA
Ah, summer in wine country. The Napa wine region of Northern California is a perfect weekend destination, with lots of charming small towns and expansive vineyards. Calistoga, near the towns of Napa and St. Helena, is a good home base for your tasting journey. Castello di Amorosa is situated in an actual Tuscan-style castle, while Reverie Winery and Vineyard has more of an intimate California feel. If you don’t want to drive, there are various wine tours you can embark on — and be sure to book a table at Ad Hoc in nearby Yountville for a meal you’ll remember well into fall.

Where To Stay:
The Mount View Hotel & Spa is a stylish boutique property in the midst of Calistoga, close to all the wineries. There’s a pool, fitness classes, and, yes, wine tastings on Friday evenings. Rooms start at $219 per night.
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Weekend 3: Nashville, TN
Nashville is the home of country music, so there’s no better time to journey down south than June 9-12, when the city plays host to the CMA Music Festival. The festival is located downtown and will feature Blake Shelton, Brandy Clark, and Cam, with various free activities abounding. When you’re not taking in the tunes, head to Pinewood Social for dinner and bowling and then to The Patterson House for a cocktail. And, bonus, the Bonnaroo Arts & Music Festival takes place an hour outside of Nashville in Manchester, TN, the same weekend, in case you’re feeling extra adventurous.

Where To Stay:
Try the unassuming but chic 404 Hotel, a small property in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood where rooms start at $295 per night. For a more budget-friendly option, try the Preston Hotel, which is less centrally located but has rooms starting at $109 per night.
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Weekend 4: Bimini, Bahamas
The tropical island of Bimini is located 50 miles off the coast of South Florida — only a short flight from Miami (by seaplane, no less) — making it the perfect weekend getaway. Everyone jets around the small island on golf carts (don’t drink and drive), and you can snorkel or scuba dive at the S.S. Sapona Shipwreck. Be sure to chow down on the famous “Bimini bread” at Charlie’s Bread and visit Joe’s Conch Shack for fresh conch. It’s the sort of destination where you can just lie on the beach for two days, or you can test your nerve by cage-diving with bull sharks or swimming with hammerhead sharks. Either way, it’s sure to be memorable.

Where To Stay:
You’ll want to snag a spot by the pool at the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, which is part of a beachside resort offering an assortment of activities and dining options. There’s also a casino, lazy-river pool, and, of course, miles of white-sand beaches. Rooms run from $213 per night.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Borgata.
Weekend 5: Atlantic City, NJ
Sometimes you want a relaxing weekend, but other times, you’re ready to don a sexy outfit and party 'til the sun comes up. For the latter, Atlantic City is the spot. It's essentially a less-ritzy version of Las Vegas that's right on the ocean and just two hours from NYC. Test out the casino floor, dine in style at Buddakan or Old Homestead, and then hit the club. You can also walk along the iconic boardwalk and hang out near the beach, although we’re pretty sure that the whole point of Atlantic City is indulging in complimentary drinks while playing the slots.

Where To Stay:
Atlantic City has some seriously seedy spots, but the Borgata is a tall, glittering hotel and casino that is by far the best place to stay in the area. The massive property has nightclubs, restaurants, a spa, multiple swimming pools, and a calendar full of awesome live shows (this summer's lineup includes Wanda Sykes, Diplo, Bob Dylan, The Killers, and Jerry Seinfeld). Room rates vary drastically, but you can find deals for around $270 per night.
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Weekend 6: Provincetown, MA
Congratulations: You've made it to the second long weekend of summer. Fourth of July on Cape Cod may sound cliché, but it’s a tradition for good reason. There are massive fireworks displays all along the Cape, with the best happening in Provincetown. Plus, you can indulge in lobster rolls and oysters to celebrate your freedom. The charming beachside city — which is also known for its gay nightlife — has plenty of shopping, nice cafes, and art galleries to keep you occupied when you aren’t toasting to the 4th. Head to Mac’s Fish House for great seafood (and that requisite lobster roll) and then sidle up to The Monkey Bar for a martini. Don’t forget your sparklers and American-flag hat.

Where To Stay:
Provincetown has no shortage of charming accommodations, but 8 Dyer is a good option for those who are not insanely wealthy. The historic B&B has cleanly sophisticated rooms and a massive breakfast buffet. Rooms start at $149 per night.
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Weekend 7: Reykjavik, Iceland
We know, a weekend isn’t that long, but it’s long enough to hop a plane to Iceland. Reykjavik is less than six hours from the East Coast (i.e., the same as flying to L.A.) and will give you the experience of being in Europe even if you can’t quite make it all the way to London or Paris. Take a dip in the famed Blue Lagoon, visit the National Museum of Iceland, and indulge in a day trip out of the city to see Iceland’s sprawling green hills and rocky cliffs. Reykjavik is well known for its nightlife, which extends into the early hours of the morning, so make sure to check out Kaffibarinn and beer joint Micro Bar. The best part will obviously be telling your coworkers you spent your weekend in Iceland when all they did was go to Ikea.

Where To Stay:
101 Hotel is the definition of unique, with trendy, modern décor and sparse rooms with massive, glimmering mirrors and claw-foot tubs. There is also an eclectic collection of art throughout the hotel. Rooms are pricey at around $395 per night, so if you want a more casual stay, the hipster KEX Hostel has shared dorms for a more manageable nightly rate of $52.
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Weekend 8: Westerly, RI
Many travelers head to Newport over the summer, but consider the small town of Westerly instead. The beachfront community, located on the south shore of Rhode Island, is quiet and relaxing, with beautiful New England beaches and several boutique wineries and breweries worth a visit. Make sure to stop by the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly, and then grab a cone at Aunt Carrie’s Ice Cream Shoppe. When it comes to dining, you’ll obviously want to seek out the best seafood the town has to offer, which you can find at Two Little Fish or The Sea Goose.

Where To Stay:
For your weekend of remote relaxation, drop your bags at Watch Hill Inn, a grand property that pairs classic charm with contemporary amenities. This hotel is a major splurge, but it's well worth the indulgence — and if you're on the East Coast, you won't need to spring for airfare. Still, for less of a dip into your bank account, check out Pleasant View Inn, where rooms run around $210 per night.
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Weekend 9: Vancouver, BC
Vancouver makes for a spectacular weekend jaunt, especially if you’re coming from the West Coast. British Columbia's most populous city is full of cultural hot spots, great nightlife, and nearby outdoor adventures. You can head out on a whale-watching tour, rent sea kayaks, take a hike to the iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge, or just wander through the city and visit its many museums and parks. In the evening, pull up a stool at The Shameful Tiki Room and order the Mystery Bowl (don't ask), or grab some tequila and tacos at La Mezcaleria. Best of all, the city’s annual Celebration of Light kicks off on July 23 with a massive fireworks display over English Bay.

Where To Stay:
Skwachays Lodge is a boutique hotel that showcases the experience of Aboriginal art. Each room is different and created by a unique artist (we’re a fan of the Poem Suite), so you’ll have plenty to post on Instagram. Rooms from $197 per night.
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Weekend 10: Chicago, IL
Some of you may have had this particular weekend jaunt planned for months, but for those still looking for a fun way to spend the final weekend of July, head to Chicago for Lollapalooza. The annual music festival runs from July 28-31 in Grant Park, and this year features everyone from Radiohead to LCD Soundsystem. When you’re not taking in the bands, stroll to the Art Institute of Chicago (which has an exhibition on Rembrandt on view through the summer) or watch the Chicago Cubs take on the Mariners at Wrigley Field. The city's food scene is top-notch; grab a table at Duck Duck Goat or Roister.

Where To Stay:
For a unique experience, book a room at Longman & Eagle, a six-room hotel located above a raucous bar. It’s the best possible place from which to stumble home at the end of the night. Rooms run from $95 per night.
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Weekend 11: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman may seem like a destination for bankers and really rich people, but the island, which is a short flight from Miami, is the perfect tropical paradise. Ignore the overpriced areas and spend your time at Rum Point, the home of the mudslide, or on the East End of the island. The National Gallery of the Cayman Island is a fun (and free) visit, and it’s worth hiring a boat tour to motor you out to Stingray City, a sandbar in the middle of the ocean where you can swim with massive stingrays. In the evening, have dinner at Tukka, a funky beachside spot inspired by Australian fare that leaves all tourist pretension behind.

Where To Stay:
Instead of booking one of the big (expensive) resorts on Seven Mile Beach, try Turtle Nest Inn, which is more off the beaten path. Ocean-view rooms start at $139 per night and include access to two swimming pools and a private beach.
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Weekend 12: Taos, NM
Lovers of the great outdoors, we haven’t forgotten you. No summer is complete without an escape into nature, and Taos, located along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is an ideal place to commune with the elements. Make the town your home base while you explore the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, which offers the chance to fish, hike, raft, mountain bike and, um, hunt. It’s worth splurging on a rafting trip down the Rio Grande, and Big River Rafting Trips offers half-day rides for only $40 per person. Back in town, be sure to grab some Tex-Mex at La Cueva Café or Orlando’s New Mexican Café. We’re already jealous of your enchiladas.

Where To Stay:
El Pueblo Lodge has funky Southwestern charm in spades. The hotel is walking distance from the town’s center and offers breakfast and a year-round hot tub. Rooms from $132 per night. (You can also consider camping: El Nogal Campground is a good nearby option.)
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Photo: Eric Bean/Getty Images.
Weekend 13: Catskills, NY
For New Yorkers, the perfect weekend getaway is just a few hours north along the Hudson River, in the Catskills mountains. There are several charming small towns and hamlets throughout the area, including Woodstock and Phoenicia, but you can also head into the woods to hike and explore (try the 2.5-mile trek to Huckleberry Point). In the warmer months, the area is also known for its swimming holes, which you can dive right into (look for The Millstream or Big Deep). The dining options are rustic chic, and the most iconic spots include Bear Café and Cucina.

Where To Stay:
Hotel Dylan, located along Route 28 in Woodstock, NY, is an old motel that has been converted into a hip, artsy property. The rooms include a pool, record players, breakfast, and a gym, and start at $239 per night.
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Weekend 14: Kansas City, MO
Are you into barbecue? If yes, then Kansas City, the largest city in Missouri, is for you. The Midwestern metropolis houses a world-class art museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, as well as the American Jazz Museum, and is, of course, home to the Kansas City Royals. But you’re here for the food. The first stop should be Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, which Anthony Bourdain named one of the restaurants to eat at before you die. Jack Stack BBQ, with three locations around town, is also worth a stop for its ribs and brisket (vegetarians need not apply). Once you’re full, go to Julep, a Southern-style cocktail bar that focuses on whiskey drinks.

Where To Stay:
Ornate Art Deco is at its finest at the Hotel Phillips, a historic, luxury spot in the center of the city’s Power & Light District. Rooms start at $152 per night.
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Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
Weekend 15: Hamilton, Bermuda
It may sound strange, but instead of sitting in traffic to get to the Hamptons, book a flight to Bermuda. The island, a British territory, is only two hours from the East Coast and a much more relaxing option for your final summer weekend. Lay on the beaches or try your skills at paddle-boarding, and be sure to visit the Crystal Caves of Bermuda, an underground experience you won’t forget. To celebrate the end of summer, book a table at Marcus, the latest restaurant from celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, which pairs global and local cuisine and will allow you final indulgence before fall descends.

Where To Stay:
The Rosedon Hotel has the upscale beach feel you’re looking for, within walking distance of downtown Hamilton. It’s luxurious, with tropical views from the rooms and a heated pool. And, bonus: If you extend your weekend into the week (hey, might as well squeeze every last drop out of summer), the hotel hosts a Bermuda Rum Swizzle Party every Tuesday. Rooms start at $348 and will give you that final feeling of summer before fall creeps in.
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