A fun weekend getaway can restore the spirit, refresh the body and rejuvenate the mind. There are lots of possibilities for a quick trip depending on your interests and budget. Here are a few suggestions.
You can visit a big city for a fast paced and entertaining weekend. Large urban areas offer lots of attractions and entertainment. They also feature delicious cuisine from world class chefs.
San Francisco, California
A good example of a great weekend trip is San Francisco. Romantic and colorful, its distinctive architecture and historic background give it a unique ambience. Known for its variety of activities and outstanding food, San Francisco has something for everyone. It is a popular tourism destination, with over 16 million visitors a year.
There is an abundance of things to do in San Francisco and the surrounding area:
- Fisherman's Wharf, water-front tourist destination of shops, restaurants and museums
- Nob Hill, historic affluent section of the city now a shopping section of Union Square
- Alcatraz, the historic Federal prison on an island in San Francisco Bay
- Cable Car rides, the last manually operated cable car system in the world
- San Francisco Opera, third largest in the nation
- City tours to include Chinatown, Union Square and Haight-Ashbury
- Muir Woods, the massive Redwood trees
- [Museum of Modern Art,] housing contemporary works of artLego models
- Movie theaters, including some with 3-D screens and a VIP theater
- A.C.E.S. Flight Simulator, a duplicate of those that train military pilots
- Special events, such as music concerts, exhibitions and holiday celebrat.
Other Interesting Large Cities
- New York City: The Big Apple will keep you busy by day with shopping and museums and by night with Broadway shows and fabulous restaurants.
- Chicago: Full of energy, the Windy City loves its sports, its regional cuisine and its theaters.
- New Orleans: Jazz, food and a relaxed atmosphere combine to make New Orleans a delightful weekend excursion.
- Miami: You can visit the beach during the day and enjoy the nightlife in the evening.
- Washington, D.C.: The nation's capitol is beautiful and educational.
- Los Angeles: L.A. delights visitors with its theme parks, movie stars and beaches.
Dude Ranches as Fun Weekend Getaways
Have you always wanted to learn to ride a horse? Maybe you want to experience the cowboy lifestyle? A fun weekend getaway to a dude ranch is the answer. Dude ranches, also known as guest ranches, are located all across the United States, including New York and Illinois. Most, however, are situated in the western states.
What to Expect
Dude ranches are fun vacations for singles, couples or the whole family. You can expect to enjoy ranch hospitality and a casual lifestyle. The scenery will vary by location, but whether mountain or prairie, you can enjoy a great wilderness experience. All ranches offer horseback lesson and trail rides. Others may offer:
- Overnight rides
- Cattle drives
- River rafting
- Hunting and fishing
- Swimming pools
- Chuckwagon dinners
- Hot tubs, saunas and full spa treatments
Rates usually include accommodations, three meals a day and some activities. Accommodations vary; some ranches offer individual cabins, others hotel rooms.
You could indulge yourself in a spa weekend. A relaxing trip of pampering will recharge your batteries. You can relieve stress by laying by the pool or having massage. Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure. Enjoy delicious and nutritious meals prepared by accomplished chefs.
If your budget won't allow the full spa treatment there are still ways to enjoy the benefits. Most resorts will offer spa treatments to non-guests. You can stay at another, more affordable hotel and still be pampered during the day.
Shop Until You Drop
If you are interested in shopping and more, the Mall of America is a great place for a weekend visit.
About the Mall
Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Mall of America, (MOA) is very near the Minneapols-St. Paul International Airport. It opened in 1992 and now hosts 40 million visitors a year. Despite the strong winters in Minnesota, MOA maintains a constant 70 degree temperature.
The mall has over 2.5 million square feet of retail space on three levels. The walking distance around just one level of the mall is over a half of a mile. There are over 520 stores and 50 restaurants in MOA.
While MOA offers plenty of shopping for visitors, there are numerous other activities to enjoy. Some of these include:
- Nickelodeon Universe, the largest indoor theme park in the country, featuring roller coasters and 18 hole golfing section
- Underwater Adventures Aquarium, the largest underground aquarium in the world, with turtles, sharks and 4,500 other sea creatures
- Lego, four stories of over 90 ions
MOA offers packages for visitors which include accommodations and a rental car. There are over 40 hotels within ten miles of MOA, many which provide shuttles to the mall. Many also offer fun weekend getaway packages.