Summertime is the perfect opportunity for friends and families to escape school hallways and office buildings for some more beautiful scenery — even if it's just for a weekend.
A breath of fresh air will do you good: studies show people who regularly partake in leisure activities like vacationing are usually less stressed and in better overall health. So, as the weather warms up and the travel bug starts to bite, weekend getaways can provide a much needed moment of relaxation, resetting and rejuvenation.
But when it comes to weekend vacations, there's a catch: Often times travelers want to cover as much of the place as possible, so it's important to make sure the destination of choice can be covered in a few days. Fortunately, there are plenty of vacation spots to pick from that offer a wide variety of views, excursions and different experiences across the United States.
Puerto Rico is the perfect vacation spot for a sweet escape from the mundane. Kick back on vast beaches, explore the cities of San Juan and Old San Juan for a taste of the island's culture and try some authentic mofongo at the local mom and pop restaurants.
Where to go: Puerto Rico's west coast is the other half of the island less traveled by tourists, with secret gems like beautiful beaches scattered throughout.
What to do: Visit the famous Bacardi rum factory to see how one of the most famous rums in the world is produced — not to mention the taste-testing opportunity that awaits visitors at the end of the trip.
Miami has a bunch of hot spots for any type of traveler: soak in the sun on South Beach, go shopping at some of the most luxurious shops on Lincoln road or checkout the bustling downtown area of the city. The sunny paradise has some of the most beautiful people in America, the most fun dance clubs and nicest resorts.
Where to go: South beach is an essential stop on anyone's trip to Miami. The street which lines the beach is filled with upbeat restaurants, day bars and nightclubs. The beach is also a party in itself, and a great place to meet fellow travelers from all over the world.
Arizona is the perfect trip for those hoping to cover a bit of distance during their weekends. An extra day may be needed to truly grasp the scope of Arizona, but its scenic views and refreshing air is worth the vacation time.
Where to go: A day trip to Sedona is a fun excursion while visiting Arizona. Rent a car and hit the road early to catch the scenic red rocks and beautiful skylines across the state.
What to do: The Grand Canyon features some of the most historic and scenic views in the United States. The Canyon offers hiking experiences and different trails for varying levels of comfort.
New Orleans is America's mecca of music, culture and delicious food like Cafe Dumond's highly favored beignets. From a trip down Bourbon street, to a look at some of the most famous music venues the city has to offer, New Orleans doesn't let down in terms of the perfect getaway.
Where to go: Staying on the outskirts of New Orlean's French Quarter allows for the cheapest hotel rates at the same quality. It's just a short walk to the heart of the city, with the added bonus of soaking in all the area has to offer.
What to do: Walk down Bourbon Street for drinks and celebration, take a tour through Lafayette cemetery for a surprisingly entertaining history lesson or sample some of the city's finest dishes on a food tasting tour.
New York City
New York City: the Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, the jungle — it doesn't really matter what it's called, as no term can fully describe the uniqueness and charisma New York comprises. Every neighborhood has its own flare. There are a magnitude of museums and art installations (the MOMA, the Guggenheim, the Smithsonian) and the pizza is hands-down the best in the country. Surprisingly, visitors can see quite a bit of the city in a short amount of time thanks to its easily operable subway system and network of buses.
Where to go: Brooklyn's Williamsburg and Bushwick stops provide relatively cheap hotel stays just a short and scenic train ride away from Manhattan.
What to do: Rent a city bike and map out a day in the heart of Manhattan. From shopping on Canal street, to grabbing a slice of New York pizza, the city is an exciting place.