The Best Quick Getaways For a Long Weekend

With Memorial Day Weekend coming up and long summer weekends on the horizon, it's the perfect time to start planning an escape from the city. Of course, it will take a little bit of extra planning this year to determine what businesses and attractions are open to visitors and which require reservations, but to give you a head start, we’ve gathered a selection of six worthy destinations within quick driving distance from each of our six cities.

From New York City

Menashe Kadishman, Suspended, 1977. Gift of Muriel and Philip I. Berman, Allentown, PA © Menashe Kadishman. Photo courtesy Storm King Art Center

Beacon, NY: About two hours north of the city by car or an hour and a half by Metro-North, Beacon is a bustling destination for arts and culture in the Hudson River Valley. Start your day with a stroll around Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre outdoor sculpture museum, now open to visitors with advanced reservations. Have lunch and meander along Beacon’s Main Street, dotted with small independently owned shops and eateries that are worth perusing. Continue the day at Dia Beacon, the contemporary art museum housed in a former Nabisco box printing factory, also open to visitors with advanced reservations.

From Washington D.C.

Paca House

Annapolis, MD: Maryland’s capital city in this enclave along the Chesapeake Bay has a rich maritime history. Take a cruise around Annapolis Harbor in a chartered boat for a day under the sun, or turn your attention to the town’s four centuries of American history by visiting the house and gardens of William Paca, one of Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence. The Georgian mansion is closed for tours at this time, but visitors can take a guided tour of its storied grounds where heirloom plants and terraced gardens grow in abundance.


From Boston

Newport, RI: This Rhode Island town, an hour and a half drive from Boston, was the go-to destination for America’s wealthiest families during the summers of the Gilded Age. What remains of their legacy is a series of palatial mansion museums that stun and delight. The most well-known of the bunch, The Breakers, is the 1895-built summer villa of the Vanderbilts that puts the family’s untouchable wealth on display in full force. The house museum is reopening to the public on May 3. Newport’s 3.5-mile Cliff Walk along the island’s coast is a great way to familiarize yourself with the area’s scenery while also strolling past the grand summer cottages of yore.


From Chicago

Discover Holland

Holland, MI: With international travel still largely off the table, Holland, MI provides a sense of escape with its Dutch architecture, eateries, and attractions. Settled in 1874 by Dutch Calvinist separatists, Holland boasts the hallmarks of Dutch style throughout the town, where visitors can have unique experiences like visiting DeZwaan, the only authentic Dutch windmill in the country, and the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory. The best time to visit the city is during its Tulip Time Festival — this year occurring May 1 through 9 — when millions of flowers throughout the town spring into full bloom.


From San Francisco

Sonoma, CA: Sonoma is the more laid back cousin of Napa, and is only an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. With its vineyards and valleys, redwoods and rivers, Sonoma isn’t only a destination for oenophiles but nature enthusiasts as well. Float down the scenic Russian River on tubes or meander through the majestic redwoods of Riverfront Regional Park before ending the day wine tasting at any number of the area’s stellar vineyards. Alexander Valley Vineyards is giving guests both the nature and wine tasting experience with a self-guided vineyard walking tour that include a boxed lunch. Reservations are required.


From Los Angeles

Palm Springs, CA: This desert city an hour and 45 minutes from Los Angeles is a celebrity magnet for its array of modernist architecture, proximity to Coachella Valley, and idyllic scenery. With a reservation, take a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to get a hawk’s eye view of Chino Canyon en route to Mt. San Jacinto State Park, where there’s over 50 miles of hiking trails set on 14,000 acres of pristine wilderness. Back in town, take a self-guided walking tour of the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood, where the city’s incredible mid-century modern architecture is on full display.

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