Cheap, Quick Getaways In and Out of the USA

Written by  //  June 18, 2013  //  Travel  //  1 Comment

usa-travelEven though the economy has taken a hit, and your personal finances may be slow in recovering, it’s still important to take time off work and just relax. Even if you can’t take two weeks off, you can still get away for a quick vacation. Some of the best travel destinations in the United States for 2013 include cities and regions that can be visited in one weekend, and offer lots of fun without costing an arm and a leg.

Louisville, Kentucky

This city is full of lively, offbeat culture that rivals Portland with plenty of converted warehouses used as breweries, antique shops, hipster cafes, shops, bars, and cool restaurants. At the same time, bourbon rules this city and as such offers tours of distilleries and micro distilleries including small-batch bourbons. For those who are interested in sports, check out the Kentucky Derby that has been dubbed the "greatest two minutes in sports."

San Juan Islands, Washington

Full of plenty of fresh, organic food, the sunny islands offer delicious Northwest fare (it’s not called the "Gourmet Archipelago" for no reason), as well as biking, beaches, and beautiful scenery. This is good for Seattleites looking for a weekend getaway. If traveling on a budget, taking the ferry from Anacortes without a car will definitely be cheaper. However, note that it will be harder to maneuver once on the islands. The Doe Bay Café has some excellent food, including seafood plates of oysters, razor clams, and freshly caught salmon, as well as seaweed and elderflowers.

Other U.S. Cities worth Exploring

The United States is a big country, and as such there are numerous cities to explore and enjoy, and they don’t have to come with a Manhattan price tag. The top most affordable getaways for U.S. cities include the following destinations.

Kansas City, Missouri

When it’s so common for prices to rise, Kansas City is where hotel prices have stayed the same or dropped in the past year. The average room is $137 per night, and this frequently includes free entrance into the city’s main art museums. And don’t neglect the excellent slow-smoked barbecue!

Nashville, Tennessee

This vibrant city has a food scene that is extremely diverse. But of course no visit to Nashville is complete without indulging in the ubiquitous and legendary music. With the combination of fabulous music, food, and some Southern charm visitors may never want to leave.

San Antonio, Texas

Visitors will love this city that has free attractions everywhere. These include the historic missions, the most famous of which is the Alamo. Environmentally conscious travelers will appreciate the eco-friendly attractions, including the ability to bike along a 15-mile stretch of the glorious Riverwalk for only $10 a day. And luckily, the tamales just keep getting bigger.

American Samoa

Although this is a longer trek than Hawaii and requires a passport, American Samoa is totally worth it due to its stunning beauty, a national park, waterfalls, fishing villages, and great beaches. You can also take quick flights between the islands to experience everything from white sandy beaches to shark-tooth-shaped mountains.

Don’t Forget our Neighboring Countries

There are many other locations near the United States that offer quick and cheap getaways. Canada’s border cities are great destinations, including Niagara Falls, Vancouver, and even the French-speaking city of Montreal (which is a quick train ride from New York). Mexico is another option for those wanting to go south and learn more about the diverse culture of Mexico from the Yucatan peninsula to Oaxaca and even to Mexico City. Finally, many affordable Caribbean cruises leave from Florida to places like the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and Jamaica.

Bon voyage!


This article was contributed by Jim Martinez, “staycation” expert and veteran jetsetter. For quick, exotic trips and accommodations  –and extended stay for that matter– Jim recommends checking out  

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