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Dream Vacation Ideas
Whether you are planning a quick weekend getaway, family vacation, honeymoon or a road trip, there are many amazing choices in the United States and abroad. If you only have a few days, browse our weekend getaways page for choices near you so that you can take a short drive rather than spend precious vacation time on travel. If you have a long weekend or a full week, consider a trip to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Europe, California and other fun places around the world.
Most couples consider Maui, U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Barbados, Maldives, Bora Bora and other tropical island destinations some of the most romantic places in the world. On the East Coast, Hilton Head Island, Nantucket and island resorts in Florida offer the perfect escape from the stress of daily life.
If you love the mountains, check into a historic Rocky Mountain lodge or visit remote places in Alaska and spend your vacation reconnecting with nature.
- Best Beach Vacations for Couples: Couples often like similar things: spas, golf, hiking, swimming or just relaxing by the pool. The best way to find your perfect vacation is to make a dream list of 10 things that would make you most happy. Bucket list destinations in the U.S. include Key West, New York City and Sanibel Island.
- Anniversary Vacation Ideas: We often write about top romantic destinations in the world, spa resorts, wedding and vow renewal destinations. Just like with planning a dream romantic getaway, your anniversary trip should include types of activities that you both enjoy. Best honeymoon destinations: vacation getaways on the East Coast, West Coast, Europe.
- Vacation Packages: More hotels, resorts and inns offer romantic, family, wedding, honeymoon and other packages than people realize. If your heart is set on a particular getaway, check their web site for current offers. In some cases, the property will offer a romantic package that you can add on to the cost of your stay, such as flowers or a gift that can be prepared ahead of time. In other cases, the romantic package will include the room rate as well. When you are researching the best places to vacation, it pays to check for packages.
- Best Family Vacations Whether you want to take a trip to a relatively undiscovered destination or vacation in a famous resort town, the choice of the best vacation spots will depend on your budget and personal preferences. A wide range of inexpensive family vacations are available just a short drive away, inviting you to go on a two day trip or a week long getaway.
Popular places to visit with kids include San Francisco, Portland and Washington, D.C. Kids of all ages will be kept busy at children’s museums, great parks, botanical gardens, kid-friendly restaurants and unique hands-on attractions. For a quieter family holiday, consider a full service resort on the beach or one with a waterpark near you.
Best Weekend Getaways
From inexpensive options near your home to luxury suites at full service resorts, there are many great weekend trips to choose from. We've included great ideas based on traveler interest, such as vacation spots for garden lovers, amazing aquariums in the U.S., family vacation ideas, honeymoon escapes, inexpensive bachelorette party ideas, overnight spas and gourmet vacations. You can often find some nice vacation spots that are on other people's bucket list quite close to home. If you are wondering where to go on vacation, our weekend getaways section is the best place to start.
- Weekend on the Beach: Weekend trips that include relaxing on the beach are always a good idea. Visit the Florida Keys where you can check into one of the island resorts or explore fun attractions and restaurants in Key West. During the summer, many lake and ocean beaches are within driving distance on the East Coast, West Coast, the South and Midwest. During the warmer season it's easy to plan a day trip or an affordable overnight stay. In the winter, inexpensive vacation spots may be harder to find and you may have to take a plane to get to a tropical beach in South Florida, Hawaii or the Caribbean.
- Romantic Weekend Getaways: Romantic weekend getaway ideas include visits to botanical gardens, art museums, or a long weekend trip to San Juan, Maui, Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.
- Spa Weekends: Checking into a spa for a weekend can be the perfect answer to a busy schedule. Plan an overnight spa trip with your partner, research unique bachelorette getaways, get away with your girlfriends, or your daughter to relax and rejuvenate with pampering treatments. Look up last minute specials at a hotel or resort near you and and escape with a travel deal for some well deserved rest. More spa vacation ideas, yoga, spiritual and wellness retreats, and other travel ideas.
- Holiday Weekends: During most times of the year, you can get away with last minute vacation planning, but major holidays like New Year's, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Christmas often mean sold out airline seats and hotel rooms, so it's a good idea to do your research and reservations ahead of time. People often postpone trip planning because it's difficult to decide where to go and what to do. Browse our ideas by month section which includes suggestions for every month of the year as well as Valentine's Day, Mothers & Fathers Days, fall foliage trips, 4th of July events and other trip ideas for families and couples.
- Golf Weekends: Great for team building and re-connecting with friends, golf getaways can include a day trip to a nearby public course or a weekend vacation to a luxury resort. Plan on PGA courses in California, check into a famous resort in Florida or play a few rounds on your business trip to Las Vegas. Best vacations for golfers can also mean a day trip to a nearby golf course which is fun and cheap.
Family Vacation Ideas
Family vacations create lasting memories of a slower pace of life, fun activities and new adventures. If your kids are young, it may be easier to drive to your weekend destination. Older kids can have fun exploring a new city, unique museums and historical sights. Be sure to leave plenty of time for family dinners, group activities and relaxation by the pool.
- Best Family Beach Vacations: Dream vacations with kids often include plenty of play time on the beach. Popular family beach destinations on the East Coast include Daytona Beach, Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island. On the West Coast, visit the beautiful beaches in Southern California, including Laguna Beach, Encinitas and Newport Beach.
- Family Adventure Vacations: U.S. National Parks offer a fun and affordable way to spend time outdoors, learn about nature and explore new destinations. In the Southwest, visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Arches National Park in Utah, Petrified Forest National Park and many amazing places.
- Children's Museums: Children's museums, science museums and planetariums offer a great way for younger kids to have fun, meet new friends and learn with hands-on activities. Many cities and towns offer a kid-friendly museum. Find more family vacations.
- Day Trips with Kids: While day trips with kids require more planning and packing of all the essentials especially with babies and toddlers in tow, they offer an easy and affordable way to get away and have great experiences together as a family. Go apple picking at a nearby farm, go on a short hike in a state park and stop at a kid-friendly restaurant on your drive back.
- Overnight Trips with Kids: Most kids love to travel. Teach them to pack their own bag and allow them to participate in choosing the next destination by asking about their favorite things to see and do. While some romantic inns require guests to be over a certain age, most hotels and resorts not only welcome kids but also pamper them with special gifts and amenities. If you want to bring your family dog or pet with you, it's a good idea to research any additional fees and restrictions ahead of time, especially if you have to fly to get to your vacation destination.
- Amusement Parks: Indoor and outdoor waterparks offer plenty of fun for the whole family. Some of the top vacation places to visit with kids include Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis Paradise Island, LEGOLAND Water Park in California and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park in Tennessee.
Whether you are celebrating your birthday, anniversary, national holiday or just planning a relaxing mini vacation, there are many exceptional romantic getaways to choose from: castles, cabins, rooms with jacuzzis, luxury suites and themed villas. Check into a secluded inn, five star hotel, scenic resort or a romantic cabin and unplug for a few days in a new setting.
- Romantic Destinations: From Carmel, Portland and Lake Tahoe on the West Coast to Nantucket, Atlantic City and Bar Harbor on the East Coast, there many awesome places to explore on your trip. Find best romantic inns, hotels and resorts in: Oklahoma, North Dakota, Iowa, Colorado, Missouri, Wisconsin and more.
- Tropical Vacations: Plan a honeymoon to Fiji, a romantic holiday on Maui or a trip to the Maldives.
- Art Museums: Visit top art museums in the U.S. on your romantic getaway, such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Cincinnati Art Museum. Look up best things to do in a city near you or travel across the continent or to Europe to view famous art.
- Romantic Parks & Gardens: Stroll through romantic parks and gardens on your couples' getaway, including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Sarasota Jungle Gardens and other romantic places. Find more romantic getaways.
- Romantic Restaurant: A romantic breakfast, lunch or dinner can be the highlight of a vacation, letting you celebrate with great food in a new setting. Browse top culinary destinations in the United States for more ideas and plan your anniversary getaway, honeymoon or romantic vacation.
- Luxury Vacations: From the world's best honeymoon suites and Caribbean escapes, to overwater villas and five star private islands, if money is no object it's easy to make the ultimate dream list.
- Famous Attractions: Visit famous bucket list destination such as Niagara Falls in NY, Haleakala on Maui, Yellowstone in Wyoming, Glacier National Park in Montana, and Maligne Lake in Canada.
Best Things to Do
Nearly everyone likes a diverse choice of things to see and do on vacation, from museums and historic attractions to tours and adventures. Popular actities include paddleboarding, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, golf, film festivals, skiing in Aspen, ziplining, kayaking tours, surfing, waterpark rides, amusement park rides, mini golf and other cool things to do.
- Unique Museums: If you are traveling with someone who considers museums boring, you can change their mind by taking them to someplace unique and exciting, like the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC or the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin.
- Fun Tours: Take a helicopter tour, romantic carriage ride, Broadway tour, food tour, dinner cruise, photo tour, cycling, sailing or walking tour of a new destination to get to know if better. Even if you've been to New York a few times, you can always learn something new by signing up for one of these awesome tours.
- Best Parks & Gardens: Some of the most beautiful spots can often be found in the city's gardens and parks. Not only will you get a chance to admire spectacular blooms, there are also sculptures, lakes, water fountains and interactive features for kids. If you are planning to propose on vacation, parks are often the perfect choice.
- Wilderness Adventures: Getting close to nature can be an experience of a lifetime, especially for those of us who spend most of our time working at a desk. There are many cool tours and safaris to go on in the United States that are great for kids and grown-ups alike. See the amazing Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), polar bears, moose and other wildlife on one of the national parks or sign up for a week-long adventure. Find great things to do in the U.S.
- Best Aquariums: Some of the world's aquariums, like the Georgia Aquarium, are eye popping, incredible places to discover.
Best Places to Visit Next Weekend
Spend your weekend on the beach in Miami, explore the sights in New York City, or take a road trip in California - here are some of the top ideas.
- Florida: Whether you love art, gourmet restaurants or beaches, Florida is a great place to visit on the East Coast of the United States. Have a romantic lunch with a view in Naples, explore historic St. Augustine, relax on white sandy beaches of Fort Lauderdale or get away from it all at a secluded island resort in the Florida Keys. More Florida vacation ideas.
- East Coast Beach Destinations: In addition to the beautiful beaches in Florida, the East Coast of the United States is home to scenic beach towns all along the coast. Visit Portland ME, Portsmouth NH, Atlantic City NJ, Long Island, Myrtle Beach SC and other beautiful places.
- New York State: New York is home to some of the best historic mansions, well-preserved estates, castles, vineyards and museums, such as the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, and the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historical Site. Explore the Hudson Valley, go beachcombing in Montauk, Long Island and see the attractions in Albany. More New York vacation ideas.
- Pennsylvania: Visit the Poconos, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Milford, Jim Thorpe and Kennett Square.
- California: California is often a favorite getaway for couples and families, home to sandy beaches, laid-back towns, great wine growing regions like Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles, as well as leading universities, great museums and attractions.