Beach view in California

Luxury getaways are all about relaxation, beautiful scenery and getting away from the daily routine. Check into one of these stylish inns and resorts where you can relax with massages, lounge in the sun next to the pool and play a few rounds of golf.

The properties that made our list are famous for their five star service and fabulous accommodations. All have excellent restaurants where you can celebrate a special occasion, plan a romantic proposal and sample new flavors. Browse more weekend ideas from major cities: from NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, San Diego and LA.

»La Posada de Santa Fe

La Posada de Santa Fe

La Posada de Santa Fe is a luxury resort located on six acres in downtown Santa Fe, featuring adobe-style architecture, a spa and a heated outdoor pool. The hotel is near Santa Fe's historic Plaza, art galleries, museums, restaurants and boutique shopping, offering many activities for couples and families. Visit the spa for a wide selection of soothing and nurturing treatments inspired by the American Southwest. The 128 casita-style rooms are located on the resort's six landscaped acres, many with romantic fireplaces and patios. The rooms are furnished in Southwestern style with vibrant colors and traditional viga and latilla ceilings. Luxury suites feature original works of art from famous art galleries. There is a fine-dining restaurant, Fuego, and two casual dining venues, the Staab House and the health-conscious Patio Restaurant which serves Southwestern and Contemporary American cuisine. In the summer, the area around Santa Fe offers golf, rafting, hiking and fishing, while in the winter you can enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing. Read more

330 East Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501, Phone: 505-986-0000

More New Mexico vacations: Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Weekend Getaways & Attractions: From NYC, Ohio, TX Places to Visit, PA, CA, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago

»The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina

Surrounded by 20,000 acres of natural beauty in South Carolina, the Inn at Palmetto Bluff offers travelers a wide selection of things to do. The resort is a beautiful spot for honeymooners, offering luxurious cottages and many activities. Play golf, kayak down the waterways, take a walking tour, go swimming and bicycling on your trip. The resort has a full-service spa with natural surroundings and an extensive menu of services. Choose from treatments for golfers, organic facials and services for couples.

The May River Golf Club at Palmetto Bluff, designed by Jack Nicklaus, has a practice facility and a restaurant. Accommodation options include cottages, Cottage Suites and Village Rental Homes. Cottages measure around 1,140 square feet in size and have pine floors, vaulted ceilings, plasma television, a fireplace, screened in porch and water views. Cottage Suites are one-bedroom suites that measure 1,340 square feet in size. If you are planning a family weekend getaway, the Village homes come in two, three and four-bedroom configurations, ideal for a group of travelers. There is high-speed internet access in all guest accommodations. Dining options range from casual meals overlooking the golf course to fine gourmet dining for couples. The best way to get there is to fly to Savannah Airport and rent a car. Rates start from $395 per night.

476 Mount Pelia Road, Bluffton, SC 29910, Phone: 843-706-6500

Romantic South Carolina: Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island and Charleston.

Fun Attractions, Points of Interest & Things to do near me: Sanibel Island, Top 10 in Newport Beach, Orlando Places to Go, Fun Boston Date Ideas, Houston Places to See

»The French Quarter Inn in Charleston

The French Quarter Inn in Charleston

If you are looking for the perfect weekend getaway filled with sightseeing and shopping in a historic city, check into the French Quarter Inn in Charleston, South Carolina. Located in the heart of the Historic District, the property offers travelers stylish accommodations and friendly service. The property overlooks the historic Market where you will find local crafts, boutique shops and gourmet food. Explore the city using one of the complimentary bicycles or go on a romantic carriage ride.

Ask for a Corner Terrace King Room which has a large terrace overlooking the city rooftops. Inside the room, you will find a 40-inch flat screen TV, a Blu-Ray DVD player, docking station and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet. The luxurious pillow menu lets you choose the best pillow to get a good night's sleep. If you would like even more space, you can check into the Premium Market View Balcony Suite, the Deluxe Market View Terrace Suite or the Grand Market View Terrace Suite. These stunning suites all have a large private terrace, a romantic fireplace and a view of the open air market. Luxury amenities include Champagne upon check-in, afternoon wine and cheese reception, and freshly baked cookies and milk each evening with Port. Room rates start at $279 on weekends; suites from $379.

166 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29401, Phone: 843-722-1900

Fun places to visit, events & what to do last minute: Great Attractions near me & Free Activities

»The Betsy in South Beach

The Betsy in South Beach

Plan a weekend getaway to South Beach, Florida and stay at the Betsy. The hotel offers an intimate Garden Pool, private spa treatments and a modern American steakhouse restaurant. The hotel is located in the heart of the Art Deco district, just across the street from the beach. Relax and unwind at the roof-top solarium and spa with views of the Atlantic. The hotel's 61 guest rooms and suites feature custom built poster beds, dark black walnut hardwood floors and fine Frette linens. If you are planning a romantic getaway, splurge on one of the Superior Suites which overlook the pool. These suites offer 550 square feet of living space, including a separate living and entertaining area. Rooms start at $286 per night.

1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-531-0610

More romantic Florida destinations: Sanibel Island, Cape Coral and St. Petersburg

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Best things to do with kids: Seattle, Miami, Atlanta Activities, Myrtle Beach Free Things to Do, Denver, Dallas Events, San Diego

»The Castle on the Hudson in New York

The Castle on the Hudson in New York

The Castle on the Hudson in New York is an easy getaway from busy Manhattan. The castle is surrounded by a quiet countryside, letting you rejuvenate in a calm setting. The property is a favorite with couples looking to celebrate a special occasion in a romantic setting. Lounge by the pool and explore the unique grounds while staying in one of the 31 newly renovated guest rooms.

400 Benedict Avenue, Tarrytown, NY 10591, Phone: 800-616-4487

Romantic New York vacations: Buffalo, Montauk, Saratoga and Albany.

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Vacation ideas: Pigeon Forge, What to Do in Columbus, Ohio, Southwest vacations, From Dallas, Jacksonville this Weekend, Last Minute

»Harvest Inn in Napa

Harvest Inn in Napa

Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer in Napa has 74 accommodations, two swimming pools, and a spa with indoor and outdoor facilities. The rooms are divided into four neighborhoods - the Manor, the Grove, the Vineyard and the Fountain. The Manor has English Tudor styled rooms with brick fireplaces and a picturesque view of the vineyard and the Mayacamas Mountains. The Grove has quaint cottage-style rooms as well as a koi pond. The Vineyard has a pool, spa and a panoramic a Vineyard View Terrace. It offers rooms with Jacuzzis and fireplaces which are perfect for couples. The Fountain has modern rooms with contemporary gas fireplaces, large bathtubs, and patio views of the courtyard fountains.

Admire art in the sculpture garden, take a dip in one of the two outdoor heated pools or find relaxation at the full-service spa. Events can be held in the 1,050-square-foot Vineyard View Room which opens directly onto the Vineyard Terrace, a 1,600-square-foot outdoor patio. The 1,500-square-foot Fountain View has a gas fireplace and plenty of natural light. The outdoor Fountain Terrace can accommodate 110 people. The Wine Country kitchen opens onto a Terrace with a beautiful view of the winery and can accommodate 50 people for a culinary event. Rooms start at $229 per night.

1 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, Phone: 707-963-9463

More ideas: affordable romantic getaways, deals & packages in California.

Vacations for Couples, Packages, Date Night Ideas, Romantic Hotels & Free Things to Do: Best Romantic Getaways

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»Westglow Resort and Spa in North Carolina

Westglow Resort and Spa in North Carolina

Westglow Resort and Spa in North Carolina is a restored Greek Revival mansion with a full-service wellness and fitness center. The resort offers a variety of accommodations, including guest rooms, suites and lodges. Each room is uniquely decorated to create a fresh and relaxing atmosphere for guests. The spa has a staff-to-guest ratio of three-to-one and offers an extensive list of services including acupuncture treatments, facials, body treatments, and salon services. Relax in the spa’s whirlpool, go for a swim in the heated indoor pool, and rejuvenate in the dry sauna.

The state of the art conference facility has Power Point capabilities, teleconferencing and multi-media technology. Exercise or take a fitness class at the Life Enrichment Center, which has the latest weight-training and cardiovascular conditioning equipment. Rowland’s Restaurant serves fresh seafood, prime steaks and savory game meats.

224 Westglow Circle, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, Phone: 828-295-4463

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Places to go with kids: Best Family Vacations, Best Beach Vacations, NC, MI, UT, MD, GA, Hawaii

»L’Auberge Carmel in California

L’Auberge Carmel in California

L’Auberge Carmel in Carmel is a beautiful Relais and Châteaux property with 20 luxurious guest rooms and a Forbes Five Star Restaurant. There are nine different types of guest rooms, ranging in size from 250 to 450 square feet. Each guest room was individually designed and features floor heating in the bathrooms, French windows, and the finest linens and down bedding. The rooms have an old world feel that is showcased through original photography, coved plaster walls and antique doorknobs. Enter deep relaxation with an in-room massage or spa service.

Aubergine restaurant serves a complimentary breakfast of local coffee, freshly-squeezed orange juice, a fresh fruit plate, two perfectly cooked eggs, and a house-made breakfast pastry. For dinner, Aubergine offers two choices of menus along with wines from their 2,500-bottle wine cellar. Travel only three miles south of Carmel to Point Lobos Natural Reserve where sea otters, jellyfish, seals, whales and other sea life can be spotted.

Monte Verde St, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921, Phone: 831-624-8578

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»Gramercy Park Hotel in New York

Gramercy Park Hotel in New York

The beautiful Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City features custom furnishings, a collection of modern art and five star service. The hotel has 185 guest rooms and suites with imported handcrafted Moroccan tiles, Italian fireplaces, 400-thread-count Italian linens, red velvet curtains, mahogany English Drinking Cabinets and marble vanities. The extraordinary penthouses range from 1,417 to 1,493 square feet, the suites range from 445 to 950 square feet, and the rooms are between 200 and 515 square feet in size.

The 1,500-square-foot rooftop Gramercy Terrace offers a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline and is the perfect event space for weddings, cocktail parties, brunches and luncheons. The 616-square-foot Park Room is ideal for corporate meetings and other private social events, and is equipped with video conferencing, state-of-the-art projectors and a 50-inch Plasma. Maialino serves Italian cuisine, specialty cocktails and an all-Italian wine list. Rooms start at $489 per night.

304 Hudson Street, 7th Floor New York, NY 10013, Phone: 212-228-8181

Show more unique weekend getaways near me: from NYC, from LA, from New Orleans and more.

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Best attractions & points of interest in: Destin, What to See in Sacramento, Louisville Things to See, Florida Beaches, Raleigh Tourist Attractions, Norfolk, Romantic Getaways in Florida

»Delamar Greenwich Harbor in Connecticut

Delamar Greenwich Harbor in Connecticut

Plan a Connecticut weekend getaway at Delamar Greenwich Harbor. The hotel has its own private marina and a relaxing spa. 82 elegant rooms and suites are decorated in European style, and many overlook the the ocean. Ask about the concierge level accommodations on the top floor, offering scenic views. he spa offers facials, massages, body treatments and other services. You can purchase a package for some head-to-toe relaxation. The fitness center is open 24 hours a day and is complimentary to all guests.

L'Escale Restaurant and Bar is a waterfront restaurant serving an innovative Mediterranean cuisine and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Delicious brunch is served on Sundays. During the warmer season, enjoy al fresco dining with a view. If you want to bring your pet along, the property offers a pet program, including services, such as walking, grooming, and local pet activities. There are seven "pet friendly" accommodations - be sure to book early, especially during the holiday weekends. Rates start at $399 per night. Read more

500 Steamboat Road, Greenwich, CT 06830, Phone: 866-335-2627

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Holiday ideas: Birthday, Anniversary Ideas, Secluded, Girlfriend Getaways, Easter, Luxury, Beach Getaways, Memorial Day

»The Inn & Spa at Motchanin Village in Delaware

The Inn & Spa at Motchanin Village in Delaware

The Inn & Spa at Motchanin Village in Wilmington, Delaware has a spa, fitness center and a great restaurant. Stay in one of the 28 guest rooms and enjoy 19th century antique furniture, deluxe private baths, dual-line telephones and free Wi-Fi. All of the bathrooms have been completely renovated into modern marbled beauties. The Spa at Montchanin Village provides massage, body treatments and facials. The fitness center is free for all guests and is open from 5 am to 11 pm. The hotel has several event venues: the Dilwyne Conference Room and the Crow’s Nest with capacities of 40, and the Carpenter House Executive Boardroom with a capacity of 16. Krazy Kat’s Restaurant serves fresh seasonal Northeast cuisine with an eclectic fine dining menu. The Inn is one mile form Winterthur Museum Garden & Library, 6 miles from Longwood Gardens, and Brandywine River Museum, and 7 miles from Brandywine Battlefield and Chadds Ford Historical Society.

193 Kirk Rd, Wilmington, DE 19807, Phone: 302-888-2133

Top points of interest in: Nashville, San Juan, Austin Date Ideas, Boulder, Indianapolis

»Hotel Adagio in San Francisco

Hotel Adagio in San Francisco

The sleek and modern Hotel Adagio in San Francisco has 171 spacious rooms and suites with city views, Egyptian cotton linens, HD LCD TVs, premium sound systems, refrigerators, green-certified bath products and double-pane windows. The 900-square-foot Stone Suite is the most spacious and offers a breathtaking view of the city on level 16. The suite has a master bedroom with a king-size bed, a bath, and a separate living room with a decorative fireplace.

Hotel Adagio offers a variety of meeting spaces, including the 900-square-foot Ensemble, which is perfect for corporate meetings or intimate weddings, the 630-square-foot Marque which is suitable as a pre-function space, the 720-square-foot Williams Street with 14-foot ceilings and a grand fireplace, and the 400-square-foot Cottage Place which is best for gatherings of 35 people or less. Finally, there is the 400-square-foot Maggie Alley Terrace for outdoor celebrations under the San Francisco sky. Enjoy a cocktail crafted by a mixologist at the Mortimer Bar & Lounge, which also serves locally brewed beer and modern cuisine. Have breakfast in the Green Room, which serves farm-fresh favorites every morning.

550 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, Phone: 415-775-5000

Best attractions in: Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Chapel Hill, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Mesa, Fort Collins, Erie, Santa Fe

»Rancho Valencia Resort in California

Rancho Valencia Resort in California

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa offers 49 luxury casitas surrounded by courtyard and fountains. Spend your weekend relaxing next to the Rancho Valencia outdoor swimming pool or book a massage in your own suite. The outdoor patio has a fireplace where you can sip cocktails and enjoy the garden surroundings. The hotel has two excellent restaurants serving Coastal Ranch cuisine and a diverse selection of wines.

5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067, Phone: 858-756-1123

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More places to see: Jasper, Reykjavik, South Bend, North Dakota, Nebraska, Cheap Ideas in Niagara Falls, Fun in New York City, Kingston Attractions, Hudson, Norwalk

»The Allison Inn & Spa in Oregon

The Allison Inn & Spa in Oregon

Nestled in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and surrounded by snowcapped mountain ranges, a patchwork of agricultural farmlands and rolling Pinot Noir vineyards, LEED Gold - certified Allison Inn & Spa is an out-of-this-world wine country escape. In an artful assimilation of functional design and luxurious comfort, 77 deluxe guest rooms and 8 suites are beautifully appointed with contemporary décor in warm, natural hues and boast oversized windows that embrace panoramic vistas of the countryside. Suites have cozy gas fireplaces, fully stocked wet bars, and handcrafted furnishings, while state-of-the-art sound systems, complimentary Wi-Fi, and movies-on-demand provide connectivity and in-room entertainment. Savor the agricultural bounty of the Valley through the extensive culinary offerings at The Allison, from casual dining at the Open Kitchen to fine gourmet fare at Jory Restaurant and Bar. Spend your vacation days exploring the magnificent wine region around the hotel, taking in the breath-taking scenery and tasting some of the world’s best wines. Rooms start at $420 per night.

2525 Allison Lane, Newberg, OR 97132, Phone: 503-554-2525

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Scottsdale, AZ Sightseeing: Things to Do, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Best Time to Visit, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, The Phoenician, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, Camelback Inn, The Boulders, Winter Vacations, More Scottsdale resorts

»The Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa in Arizona

The Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa in Arizona

The Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa is a unique golf resort in Arizona that will delight passionate players with its three 18-hole championship courses. Each course, The Gold, The Blue and The Red, offers a unique challenge. Two of the courses were designed by the legendary designer Robert Trent Jones, Sr. They feature lush greens and spectacular desert scenery. Allow some time to relax at the Red Door Spa which measures 16,000 square feet in size and includes six massage rooms, four state-of-the-art deluxe wet rooms, separate men's and women's locker rooms, relaxation rooms, a cafe, a juice and elixir bar, and other facilities. The resort makes it easy for couples to plan a getaway where one plays golf and the other indulges at the unique spa. Rates start at $179 per night.

300 East Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park, AZ 85340, Phone: 623-935-3811

Vacation ideas: Montreal, Richmond, Sedona, Buffalo Attractions, Things to Do in Galveston, Knoxville, Salem OR

»The Essex Resort & Spa in Vermont

The Essex Resort & Spa in Vermont

The Essex Resort & Spa in Vermont has a spa, two golf courses and a gourmet restaurant. Visit during the fall foliage weeks in early October to enjoy amazing display of changing colors. If you go in the winter, there is great downhill and cross-country skiing nearby.

70 Essex Way, Essex, VT 05452, Phone: 800-727-4295

Places to go: Romantic Getaways in Ohio, Florida Destinations, California Destinations, Places to Visit in Arizona, Portland Attractions, Corpus Christi, Weekend Getaways for Couples

»The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge in North Carolina

The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge in North Carolina

The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge in Charlotte, North Carolina is a great getaway for couples and families. Spend your weekend playing golf and tennis, while relaxing at the spa. There are 200 guest rooms and suites, 36 lodge rooms and a four-bedroom cottage. The Lodge at Ballantyne is a stylish mountain-style hunting lodge which can be rented for meetings, weddings and other special occasions. Guest accommodations feature 10 foot ceilings, luxurious beds, and bathrooms with a seamless glass shower and separate oval bath tub. The Golf Club features a Par 71 course, practice area, pavilion for events, pro shop, and Dana Rader Golf School, a top 25 Golf School in America. The day spa offers treatments for men and women, a fitness facility, an indoor pool and a seasonal outdoor pool. Rates at start at $189 per night.

10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28277, Phone: 704-248-4000

More Trips: Romantic Weekend Getaways, North Carolina Destinations, Weekend Getaways from SF, Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in NY, Texas Vacations, St. Petersburg, Catalina Island, MA



20 Best Luxury Weekend Getaways in the U.S.



More Weekend Getaways: Estes Park, CO

Situated on the banks of the Big Thompson River, Estes Park, Colorado is a small town with an almost endless list of outdoor activities for young and old. The greatest area attraction is the 415m2 Rocky Mountain National Park where you can hike over 300 miles of trails or simply drive through the majestic scenery which comprises over 150 lakes and nearly 100 mountain peaks. You can get a wonderful aerial view by travelling to the top of Prospect Mountain on the Estes Park Aerial Tramway (May to September).

With such a large area to explore you may like a guide - Yellow Wood Guiding specialize in nature and wildlife tours, Rocky Mountain Rush and Backbone Adventures do off-road tours and Colorado Plateau Photo Tours take avid photographers to the best spots. You can go white-water rafting with Rapid Transit Rafting, choose a scenic cycling tour led by New Venture Cycling Day Tours or visit the Lake Estes Marina to enjoy all kinds of aquatic fun including paddling, fishing, canoes and kayaking - rental equipment is available on site. Equestrians can go horseback riding at Sombrero Ranch, Estes Park Outfitters or Jackson Stables.

If you prefer a more relaxing visit you can play a round of golf, pamper yourself at one of several spas or learn some local history at the Estes Park Museum, the Enos Mills Cabin and the MacGregor Ranch Museum.

Dubuque, IA

From humble beginnings as a lead mining town situated along the banks of the Mississippi River in Iowa, Dubuque has blossomed into an interesting and vibrant getaway destination. You can start by visiting the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium which guarantees hours of educational fun for all ages.

History buffs can visit the Mathias Ham House, the Shot Tower and the Julien Dubuque Monument, and for art enthusiasts there is the Dubuque Museum of Art which has an extensive permanent collection and hosts regular visiting exhibitions and Art on the River, an annual sculpture competition displayed along the Mississippi Riverwalk.

You can embrace the great outdoors at the Mines of Spain Recreational Area or Eagle Point Park, both of which have miles of hiking and biking trails, or stroll through the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens where acres of themed gardens are waiting to delight you. Other attractions include Crystal Lake Cave, where children can try panning for gemstones, Swat River Tours on rigid inflatable boats similar to those used by the Navy Seals, or zip-lining at Sky Tours at YMCA Union Park Camp. Children will enjoy Storybook Hill Children's Zoo and the indoor waterpark at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark. You can round off your busy day by listening to the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra or catch a live show at the Bell Tower Theater or Diamond Jo Casino.

Cedar Rapids, IA

Pleasantly combining small-town charm with history and a vibrant arts scene, Cedar Rapids is a great weekend getaway destination in eastern Iowa. You can explore the town's interesting ethnic origins by visiting the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library and the African American Museum of Iowa. You can find out what small-town life was like at the turn of the 20th century at the Ushers Ferry Historic Village and on a tour of Brucemore, a historic grand residence dating back to 1884.

Further evidence of the influence of the Czech and Slovak immigrants can be seen at the Czech Village - New Bohemia Main Street District which has been faithfully restored to its original style and is now a trendy home to the New Bo City Market as well as diverse boutiques, ethnic restaurants and nightclubs. Art lovers should not miss seeing the important collection of 20th century American Art at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and everyone should see a show at the opulent Paramount Theatre, one of America's last remaining movie palaces.

Outdoor activities include hiking or cycling along 50 miles of trails along the banks of the Cedar River or in the Indian Creek Nature Center, motor-cross, go-kart and bicycle racing at the Hawkeye Downs Speedway or watching the Cedar River Kernels in action at the Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Norman, OK

You can expect a weekend of non-stop fun and entertainment in Norman, Oklahoma, home to the University of Oklahoma and a long list of cultural and outdoor activities for all ages. There is a distinct emphasis on the arts in Norman; if you love the visual arts you can start by visiting the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art which showcases several Impressionist artists and an extensive collection of East Asian Art. Next, make your way to the MAINSITE Contemporary Art Gallery, the Jacobson House Native Art Center on the university campus, and the hands-on Firehouse Art Center.

The performing arts are also well represented and you can visit the Cimaron Circuit Opera Company, the Norman Ballet Company, the Norman Philharmonic Orchestra or listen to a variety of musical productions at The Depot. Both the Riverwind Casino and the Thunderbird Casino offer a wide choice of concerts, shows and dining options.

Other interesting and educational attractions are the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and the National Weather Center, which welcomes visitors. You can take some time to sample local wines at the Native Spirits Winery or Redbud Ridge Vineyard and Winery.

Families can head to Hey Day Entertainment or Andy Alligator's Fun Park and Water Park to enjoy rides and activities for all ages, or go rock climbing at the Climb UP Center.

Sioux Falls, SD

Sioux Falls in South Dakota is a great weekend getaway destination offering a good blend of historic and cultural activities combined with excellent year-round outdoor recreation. You can visit Falls Park, a great urban oasis centered about the spectacular water falls from which the city derives its name, to see the remains of the historic Queen Bee Mill and the 1908 Sioux Falls Light and Power Company, then move on to enjoy the beautiful scenery along 19 miles of walking, hiking or cycling trails. Other historic attractions you can visit are the Old Courthouse Museum (built of native quartzite rock), the Pettigrew House and Museum (dating back to 1889), the USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial and the Veterans Memorial Park.

Art lovers will enjoy the Sioux Falls Sculpture Walk where you can see a great collection of open-air sculpture installations, and everyone should make time to visit the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science, which features an art gallery, a science museum and a concert hall which is home to the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society.

Everyone can enjoy summer outdoor activities at Terrace Park (canoes, kayaks, sports fields and formal gardens) or head to Great Bear Recreation Park for winter sports.

Families can spend hours enjoying educational fun at the Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History and at the Sertoma Butterfly House and Marine Cove.

Destin, FL

Almost completely surrounded by the warm emerald waters of the Gulf Coast, Destin is the ideal place for a beach vacation. Besides soaking up the sun and enjoying miles and miles of sandy beaches there is also a wide variety of activities for active vacationers. You can get your bearings by taking a stroll along the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, which hosts the Destin Seafood Festival and the Destin Fishing Rodeo in October each year. Discover some of the best local beaches in the Henderson Beach State Park (which also has hiking trails and camping facilities), James Lee Park Public Beach and Crystal Beach.

Destin offers some of the best fishing to be had along the Florida coastline - if you would like to try your luck SWOOP Charters, based at the HarborWalk Marina can tailor an excursion to suit you. There are several outfitters who offer snorkeling, dolphin watching and scenic sailing excursions - choose from Destin Snorkel, Destin Florida Sailing, AJ's Water Adventures or Flipper's Adventures. Other activities include hiring a kayak, wave-runner or pontoon from Luther's Watersports or having a go at parasailing with Just Chute Me Parasail. If you prefer to keep your feet dry you can try a Segway Tour, play golf at Golf Sandestin (4 courses) or take sand-castle building lessons at Beach Sand Sculptures.

Destin Commons and SilverSands Premium Outlets provide retail therapy, restaurants and entertainment.

Wilmington, DE

Wilmington is an ideal weekend getaway destination in the heart of the Brandywine Valley in Delaware. The city is built on the site of the first Swedish settlement in America, but modern-day Wilmington owes much of its success to the DuPont family who came to the USA from France. You can find out all about their noteworthy legacy by visiting the opulent Nemours Mansion, the Hagley Museum and Library and Bellevue Hall in the Bellevue State Park, all of which are set in beautiful gardens. History buffs can also visit Rockwood Museum, an historic banker's mansion now operated as a museum (which you can view on a regular or ghoulish ghost tour).

You can embrace the great outdoors at Brandywine Creek State Park which has several hiking trails, or visit the Russell W. Petersen Wildlife Refuge for some tranquil wildlife viewing. Art lovers can see an excellent collection of American art at the Delaware Art Museum, before strolling through the 10 acre sculpture garden. If you are into the performing arts you should check to see what's on at the Grand Opera House (dating back to 1871) or the Delaware Children's Theatre.

Families can keep the children happily entertained at the Brandywine Zoo, the Delaware Children's Museum, the Delaware Museum of Natural History (which has a great dinosaur exhibit) and the DuPont Environmental Educational Center.

Camden, ME

If you are looking for the ideal beachfront resort for your next coastal holiday Camden, nestled between Mount Battie and Penobscot Bay, is an ideal destination. One of the most popular ways to explore the rich maritime history of the area is to go on a scenic cruise. You have a choice of setting off on the vintage Schooner Surprise (a fully-operational racing ship built back in 1918) or selecting the romantic Schooner Olad, a historic sailing ship built in 1927.

Water sport enthusiasts have a host of exciting options including guided canoe, kayak or fishing excursions led by Mike Kinney, a local expert. If you have a good head for heights and would like an aerial perspective you can try an exhilarating glider excursion with Spirit Soaring Glider Rides. For those who prefer to keep their feet dry the Mount Battie and Camden Hills State Park has a variety of scenic trails or you could simply stroll through the lovely gardens of the Merryspring Nature Center and explore the quaint village streets lined with Greek Revival, Federal and Victorian homes. The Farnsworth Art Museum and the Penobscot Marine Museum are well worth a visit. In winter you can go skiing, snow-boarding, tobogganing and snow-shoeing on five miles of trails and 20 ski runs in the Camden Snow Bowl.

West Palm Beach, FL

West Palm Beach as everything you need for a wonderful weekend getaway, including great museums, gardens, a vibrant arts scene and great beaches for soaking up the Florida sun. You can simply relax on a deckchair or enjoy swimming, surfing, paddling or snorkeling. If you would like to learn how to scuba-dive Jim Abernethy's Scuba Adventures can lead the way. For a change from the sun and sea you can admire magnificent tropical plants and theme gardens in the Mounts Botanical Gardens, go hiking in the Grassy Waters Nature Preserve or enjoy a unique airboat ride through the Everglades with W.P.B. Airboat Rides.

Art enthusiasts can make their way to the Norton Art Museum to see their European, Asian and American collection of fine art or visit the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden and ArtHouse 429, which showcases local up-and-coming artists. The Antique Row Art & Design District is packed with over 50 shops and galleries you can explore, while Downtown West Palm Beach is the place to go for shopping, dining and entertainment. Foodies can try the Taste History Culinary Tour to combine interesting history with great southern food.

Families can keep the children endlessly entertained at the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society, the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium and at Rapids Water Park.

Leavenworth, WA

First-time visitors to Leavenworth are in for a real surprise; who would imagine that you can find an authentic slice of Bavaria hidden away in the heart of Washington State's Cascade Mountains? Surrounded by forests, snow-capped mountains and distinctive German food and festivals, this little town will surprise you around every corner. To find out how a failing timber industry caused Leavenworth to re-invent itself in the 1960's you just need to visit Der Markt Platz (aka Market Square) to see a 30min video that describes Project Bavaria.

The town provides a year-round getaway destination with particular emphasis on outdoor recreational activities. During the summer months Osprey Rafting Company or Orion Expeditions can take you white-water rafting or you can spend many happy hours hiking the lovely Icicle Gorge Trail or walking, bird-watching or fishing in Waterfront Park. Equestrians can enjoy horseback riding at Eagle Creek Ranch or Mountain Springs Lodge, and adventure seekers can try a canopy ride at Leavenworth Ziplines. The Leavenworth Summer Theater is a highlight, and you can watch world-class performers in action at open-air venues such as Ski Hill Amphitheater and Hatchery Park Stage.

In winter the Leavenworth Ski Hill is the hub of the action for skiing, snow-boarding, snow-shoeing and tubing. Round off your active day with great German beer and authentic Bavarian cuisine.

Mackinac Island, MI

Step out of the fast lane and into the calming atmosphere of Mackinac Island, a scenic jewel surrounded by the placid waters of Lake Huron in Michigan. On this charming island motorized vehicles are banned and horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are a normal form of transport. Almost 80% of the island forms part of the Mackinac Island State Park where you can explore over 70 miles of walking, hiking or cycling trails along the shore or through the fragrant evergreen forests. Equestrians will also feel right at home on the island - there are 40 miles of marked bridle paths and you can hire your mount from Jack's Livery Stables or the Grand Hotel Stable. If you enjoy water sports you can admire the beautiful shoreline and historic lighthouses on a guided Great Turtle Kayak Tour, or go fishing with EUP Fishing and Charters.

There are several historic places you can visit including Fort Mackinac, which was build in 1870 and is now operated as a museum protecting 14 historic buildings, one of which is the oldest surviving structure in Michigan. In historic Downtown Mackinac you can tour the McGulpin House, the Dr. Beaumont Museum, the Biddle House and the Benjamin Blacksmith Shop. Nobody should leave the island without enjoying a tour of the island highlights on a Mackinac Island Carriage Tour or tasting the island's most popular treat at Murdick's Fudge. Next read: 25 Best Things to Do on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Galena, IL

Plan your next weekend getaway to Galena, to take a step back in time and see how everyday people lived at the turn of the 20th century. A whopping 581 acres of the town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and there are several interesting house museums you can visit. Get all the maps and information you need at the Galena Welcome Center which was once the Old Market House, before making your way to see the Ulysses S. Grant Home, the Elihu B. Washburne House, Dowling House (which was once an overnight stop for visiting fur traders), the Galena History Museum and the (still operational) Old Blacksmith Shop.

Nature enthusiasts can go hiking or cycling in the Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve, which offers wonderful views of the Mississippi River bluffs or take a tranquil walk through the West Street Sculpture Park or the privately-owned Linmar Gardens which boast themed gardens, waterfalls, fountains and sculptures. The Galena Center for the Arts is a magnet for art lovers, while wine connoisseurs will not want to miss a tour of Galena Cellars Winery and Vineyard where they can experience a variety of wine and food tastings and pairings.

In winter everyone heads to the Chestnut Mountain Resort, a popular skiing destination which offers particularly challenging snow-boarding trails at The Farside all-terrain park.

Bloomington, IN

Bloomington is a picturesque city just 50 miles south of Indianapolis which has a reputation for charming visitors with its unique limestone architecture, parks and museums. You can take a campus tour of the Indiana University to see the historic buildings and find out all about the academic programs. While you are there you can visit the iconic triangular building which houses the Indiana University Museum of Art, widely acknowledged to be one of the best in the country. Also on campus is the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where you can attend a music recital or watch a popular ballet. Other interesting city attractions include the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, Wylie House Museum and the fascinating WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology which provides hours of immersive fun for all ages.

Outdoor enthusiasts will also find plenty to do in Bloomington, starting with water-related activities on Monroe Lake (boating, fishing, kayaking and water-skiing) or walking, hiking or cycling through the surrounding wilderness areas. If you prefer a guide, IndiGo Birding Nature Tours will arrange a photographic, nature or bird watching tour to suit your interests.

After you have worked up a thirst you can make your way to Oliver Winery or Butler Winery to taste some unusual local cultivars or tour the cellars. (Beer drinkers may prefer to visit Uplands Brewpub to see how their favorite brew is produced).

Kansas City, MO

Kansas City is an amazing getaway destination offering a diversity of cultural, educational and just plain fun attractions that will suit all tastes and ages. The city has a proud jazz heritage which is showcased at the American Jazz Museum in the vibrant 18th and Vine Jazz District. Right next door you will find the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum where you can learn all you ever need to know about the origins of African-American Baseball.

Kansas City is also home to some of the country's most unusual museums - start your tour by visiting the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, then move on to see the Money Museum (situated at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City), the Kansas City rail experience at Union Station and the Arabia Steamboat Museum. Arts enthusiasts are spoilt for choice in Kansas City and can enjoy the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the award-winning Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and the lovely Kansas City Fountains which are dotted all over the city. To taste local foods you can try a Taste of Kansas City Food Tour and visit the bustling daily City Market.

There are some brilliant attractions suited to children including the Hallmark Kaleidoscope Center (which has several hands-on creative rooms for children to enjoy), the SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium and Kansas City Zoo.

Huntsville, AL

Nicknamed “Rocket City” for its close relationship to the US space mission, Huntsville is a high-tech city with a host of interesting activities to keep visitors engaged and entertained. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is a must-see attraction that has one of the world's largest collections of space-related items including missiles and rockets; you can also watch space-themed movies at the IMAX Space Dome Theater. To further pursue the theme you can visit the Von Braun Astronomical Society's planetarium and two observatories in the Monte Sano State Park.

History buffs can step back to the 19th century at Burritt on the Mountain, where you can tour the Burritt Mansion and visit Historic Park (which features a replica 19th century farm) and then visit the historic Weedon House Museum and Garden. For art lovers there is the Huntsville Museum of Art which specializes in American art from the south-east, and also houses a good international collection, and Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment where dozens of local artists showcase their work. Outdoor enthusiasts can go walking along the Madison County Nature Trail or go hiking, biking, star gazing and camping in the Monte Sano State Park.

Families can take children to Sci-Quest, where they can learn about everything from robots to reptiles, the Early Works Children's Museum and to enjoy the pop-jets and dancing fountains at the Bridge Street Town Center.