Travelers looking to jet set off to some of the world's greatest places can enjoy weekend getaways at these gorgeous locations, ranging from beachfront paradises to remote cities tucked into the hills of some of the world's greatest natural wonders. Island getaways like the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands showcase colonial architecture and pristine beachfront stretches perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and watersports, while vibrant metropolises like Toronto, London, and Vancouver are home to some of the world's greatest cultural and historical attractions. Lively Mexican and Central American destinations like Cancún and Baja California make for amazing spring break getaway destinations, home to luxurious all-inclusive resorts and upscale shopping and dining experiences.
The Bahamas are one of the Atlantic Ocean's most scenic island chains, home to over 700 islands, cays, and inlets within the West Indies' Lucayan Archipelago. The charming island archipelago is a resort destination paradise, home to world-class luxury resorts in tourist areas like Grand Bahama, Paradise Island, and Nassau. Chances for scuba diving and snorkeling abound at the stunning Andros Barrier Reef, the black-coral gardens of Bimini, and the famed Thunderball Grotto, immortalized in the James Bond film franchise. Nassau's Straw Market is home to a plethora of regional arts and crafts vendors, while its downtown district showcases preserved British colonial architecture. Famed beaches include the stunning pink sand Eleuthera. Each year, the islands celebrate the annual Junkanoo festival, which showcases lively parades with opulent costumes.
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Baja California is a gorgeous Mexican district on the beautiful Baja California Peninsula, located just south of the state of California and the city of San Diego. The stunning peninsula is a top resort getaway area for visitors from the Pacific Coast, home to lively metropolises like Tijuana, famed for its traditional markets and vibrant nightlife destinations. Charming villages like Puerto Nuevo showcase delicious coastal cuisine and local favorite beers like Tecate, while bayside cities like San Miguel attract the world's best surfers. The beautiful Guadalupe Valley is the home of Mexico's wine country, showcasing boutique vineyards along its lovely Ruta del Vino wine route. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound, ranging from swimming and surfing on the beaches of resort towns like Rosarito to opportunities to view native wildlife and natural wonders at areas like Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park.
Banff is a delightful resort town in Alberta, Canada, located within the boundaries of splendid Banff National park. The gorgeous mountain resort town is located within the shadow of some of the Rocky Mountains' most majestic mountain peaks, including immense Mounts Rundle and Cascade. Visitors can enjoy excellent opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation throughout the park, including chances for boating on the waters of Lake Minnewanka and whitewater rafting on the picturesque Bow River. Unique attractions include the Banff Upper Hot Springs geothermal spa and the scenic Banff Gondola, which ascends to the top of Sulfur Mountain. In town, visitors can stay at château-style hotels and explore eclectic shops and restaurants along Banff Avenue.
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Belize is a gorgeous Central American nation located along the country's Caribbean Sea coastline, best known as the home of the immense offshore Belize Barrier Reef, part of the massive Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, and its rich undersea marine life. The island nation is one of the top spots in the Caribbean for snorkeling and scuba diving throughout the year within the world's second-largest barrier reef system. The nation's interior rainforest areas are home to spectacular preserved Mayan ruins at sites like Caraol, Lamanai, and Altun Ha, while its coastlines are home to natural wonders like the massive Great Blue Hole sinkhole. Luxury resorts line the shores of the Placencia Peninsula, while nightclubs populate regions like Caye Caulker. Stunning beaches are showcased at tourist destinations like San Pedro Town and Ambergris Caye.
Bermuda is one of the most famed destinations in the Caribbean, known throughout the world for its gorgeous pink sand beaches and preserved British-American colonial culture. The charming North Atlantic Ocean island territory is home to world-class beach destinations like Horseshoe Bay and Elbow Beach, which attract tourists throughout the year for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and watersports. Capital city Hamitlon is home to splendid attractions like the Royal Naval Dockyard complex, the interactive Dolphin Quest, and the National Museum of Bermuda. High-end retailers line the city's Front Street, which is also home to a plethora of restaurants and bars serving up traditional Bermuda cuisine.
6.The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are a gorgeous volcanic archipelago in the Caribbean Sea that are governed as an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, comprised of four main islands and a large group of smaller islands. The stunning island chain is known for its coral reef-lined beaches and resort towns, which are popular yachting destinations throughout the year. Visitors can explore the beautiful island of Tortola, which is home to vibrant capital city Road Town, showcasing lively attractions like the beautiful J.R. O'Neal Botanical Garden and the bayfront Tortola Pier Park complex. Sage Mountain National Park protects a gorgeous stretch of tropical rainforest, home to a plethora of native wildlife. The beautiful beachside boulder formations of the Baths draw tourists to lovely Virgin Gorda for photo opportunities.
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Cancún is a famed resort town on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, located along the country's Caribbean Sea coastline. The charming resort town was once a hub for indigenous Mayans, showcasing many preserved archaeological sites throughout its surrounding region, including the structures of the El Rey Archaeological Zone. Today, it has become a famed hub for university spring breakers and romantic getaway seekers, home to the massive Zona Hotelera tourist district, which showcases luxury high-rise hotels and resorts, vibrant nightlife destinations, and a wide variety of shopping and dining options. The region's beautiful beachfront areas offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and watersports throughout the year.
8.The Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands are a collection of three islands within the western Caribbean Sea that are overseen as British Overseas Territory, known as a popular year-round getaway destination for visitors from around the world. The charming island stretch is known for its gorgeous lavish beach resorts on Grand Cayman, which are popular scuba diving and snorkeling destinations. Beachfront areas include acclaimed Seven Mile Beach, known for its expansive pristine sands and gorgeous turquoise waters. On Cayman Brac, visitors can embark on deep-sea fishing excursions offered by a variety of tour companies throughout the area. Quaint Little Island is known for its native wildlife populations, including endangered species like Cayman iguanas and red-footed boobies.
9.The Dominican Republic
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The Dominican Republic is a charming Caribbean Sea island nation located on the island of Hispaniola, adjacent to the nation of Haiti. The lovely Caribbean nation is a top destination throughout the year thanks to its luxurious resorts and pristine waterfront stretches at areas like the 64-kilometer Coconut Coast. Visitors can explore the historic Spanish landmarks of Santo Domingo's Zona Colonial, home to beautiful architectural landmarks like the Gothic Catedral Primada de America and the picturesque Calle de las Damas. Charming Santiago de los Caballeros is home to the landmark Monument to the Heroes, while Puerto Plata showcases Victorian-era architecture, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants. The Caribbean's tallest mountain, Pico Duarte, is showcased within the island's rainforest interior.
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Iceland is one of the world's most gorgeous island nations, known for its spectacular volcanoes, hot springs, lava fields, and geysers. The lovely Nordic island nation protects some of the world's largest remaining glaciers, including sites showcased at Vatnajökull and Snæfellsjökull National Parks. Spectacular natural wonders abound, including the iconic Gullfoss Falls and Dettifoss waterfalls, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, and Landmannalaugar, a popular destination for hiking and camping throughout the year. Eco-friendly capital city Reykjavik showcases attractions connected to the region's Viking history, including the splendid National and Saga Museums. Unique city attractions include the beautiful Hallgrimskirkja church, the rotating Perlan glass dome, and the Laugavegur shopping district.
Isla Mujeres is a gorgeous Mexican island within the Caribbean Sea, located just off the coast from the city of Cancún and known for stunning beachfront stretches like Playa Norte. The island, which is named for the Spanish phrase for "Island of Women," is home to luxurious resort hotels along its four-mile shoreline and is known as a popular day trip destination for visitors from nearby Cancún, accessible via ferry boat service. Punta Sur showcases an historic lighthouse and the remains of a Mayan temple, along with a sanctuary for native sea turtle species. Opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving abound, including group excursions by local tourism companies. Visitors can also swim with dolphins, explore the unique Cancún Underwater Museum and its sculptures by Jason deCaires Taylor, or dine at restaurants serving up traditional Mexican and Caribbean cuisine.
12.Jaco, Costa Rica
Jacó, Costa Rica is a lovely town on Costa Rica's Pacific Ocean coastline, located just southwest of capital city San José. The charming beachfront town is best known as the gateway to spectacular Carara National Park, which protects the nation's northernmost remaining intact rainforest stretch and is home to significant populations of scarlet macaws and crocodiles. Stunning Jacó Beach is home to rocky gray sands, offering opportunities for swimming and sunbathing throughout the year, while Hermosa Beach is one of the country's best surfing destinations. Visitors can explore beautiful rainforest terrain within Pura Vida Park, including chances to see the stunning Bijagual Waterfall.
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Jamaica is one of the world's most beautiful island getaways, home to over 635 miles of stunning Caribbean Sea coastline showcasing pristine white sand beaches and beautiful barrier reefs. The lushly-forested island is home to stunning rainforest, mountain, and reef habitats, offering opportunities to explore gorgeous natural areas like the world-renowned Seven Mile Beach. Luxury all-inclusive resorts line the shores of lovely Montego Bay, which showcases British colonial architecture, and Negril, considered to be one of the Caribbean's top snorkeling and diving destinations. Capital city Kingston showcases attractions connected to the island's legacy of reggae music, including the Bob Marley Museum.
London is one of the world's most iconic metropolises, serving as the capital city of both the country of England and the United Kingdom. The historic city showcases some of the world's great preserved royal and civic attractions, including the famed Houses of Parliament, royal coronation site Westminster Abbey, and the iconic Big Ben tower clock. Visitors can explore the city's lovely national museums, stroll through lovely Trafalgar Square, or peruse the city's many historic vendor markets, many of which have been in operation for centuries. The massive London Eye observation wheel overlooks the banks of the Thames River, providing unparalleled skyline views. Visitors can also catch performances at the reconstructed Globe Theatre, connected to the life and legacy of renowned playwright William Shakespeare.
Mexico City is the vibrant capital city of the country of Mexico, one of North America's most populous major cities. The beautiful city showcases a plethora of attractions connected to the region's colonial rule, including the stunning Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an iconic Catholic pilgrimage site, and the splendid National Palace, which serves as the seat of the country's government. Cultural attractions abound, including the Museo Nacional de Antropología, the Museo Nacional de Arte, the indigenous-focused Museo Anahuacalli, and the Frida Kahlo Museum. Visitors can also view preserved Aztec ruins like Templo Mayor and the Pyramid of the Sun, enjoy outdoor recreational opportunities at areas like Desierto de los Leones National Park, or visit lively Six Flags Mexico, known for its high-thrill roller coasters. Massive main square Zócalo is home to a plethora of public events throughout the year, while Plaza Garibaldi showcases live mariachi performances throughout the week.
Montréal is the largest city within Canada's beautiful Québec province, located on an island within the picturesque Saint Lawrence River. The gorgeous city is home to some of North America's most iconic preserved Old World architecture, including French Colonial sites and cobblestone streets preserved within the city's Old Montréal district. Stunning architectural landmarks include the Gothic Revival-style Notre-Dame Basilica, while cultural attractions include the lovely Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Visitors can also explore the preserved attractions of the 1967 World's Fair exposition, which gave birth to massive theme park La Ronde and its modern roller coasters, or view preserved attractions connected to the city's 1976 Olympic Games, including its iconic Olympic Stadium. Gourmet gastronomy abounds, including some of Canada's most refined French-influenced bistros and steakhouses.
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17.Niagara Falls, Ontario
Niagara Falls, Ontario is a lovely Canadian city located at the site of the famed waterfall of the same name, known around the world as one of North America's greatest natural wonders. The falls, which are actually three separate waterfalls, rush more than six million cubic feet or water per minute over the beautiful Niagara River's cliffs. Visitors can view the falls from several observation sites or ride aboard the famed Maid of the Mist tour boat, which approaches the edge of majestic Horseshoe Falls. The lively city's Clifton Hill district is home to a plethora of family-friendly tourist attractions, ranging from arcades, miniature golf courses, and Ripley's-connected museums to international chain restaurant favorites like Hard Rock Cafe and Rainforest Cafe. The Skylon Tower is home to a midcentury revolving restaurant, while the Niagara SkyWheel offers panoramic views from enclosed gondolas.
Panama is a gorgeous country located on the isthmus linking South and Central America, known around the world for its spectacular Panama Canal, which was considered to be one of the world's great engineering feats at the time of its construction in 1881 and links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans for commercial boat travel. Lovely capital city Panama City is home to the quaint historic center Casco Viejo, famed for its colonial-era landmarks, including the Neoclassical-style Palacio Presidencial. Visitors can view ships traveling through the canal at the Miraflores Locks or explore the city's gorgeous bougainvillea-lined plazas, which are home to hip cafes and bars. Natural Metropolitan Park preserves some of the region's most diverse rainforest areas, home to a plethora of native wildlife.
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Québec City is a charming city located on the banks of Québec's beautiful Saint Lawrence River, dating back to the early 17th century during Canada's French colonial era. The city is home to gorgeous preserved historic attractions within its fortified colonial core, including the historic Citadelle of Québec fortress and the stunning Château Frontenac Hotel, set atop a hilltop overlooking the city's skyline. Gorgeous Petit Champlain is home to cobblestone streets, French-style bistros, and hip boutiques, while the city's Old Port district showcases marinas and ferry services. Family-friendly attractions include the Museum of Civilization, the Aquarium of Québec, and the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec, which offers cable car rides up a hilltop. Free guided tours of the city's Parliament Building showcase the province's government operations.
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Toronto is Canada's largest city and the world's most diverse metropolis, located within the beautiful province of Ontario on the northwestern shores of beautiful Lake Ontario. The dynamic city is home to world-renowned landmarks like the massive CN Tower, the Western Hemisphere's tallest freestanding structure, which offers unique observation experiences. Gorgeous green spaces line the city's neighborhoods, including massive 400-acre High Park. The city's bustling waterfront district is home to a plethora of restaurants, shops, and nightlife opportunities, while its hip neighborhoods like Kensington Market and the Annex showcase some of Canada's best live music venues, bars, and culinary offerings. Offshore, the quaint Toronto Islands are accessible via ferry, showcasing an old-fashioned family amusement park and opportunities for picnics and cycling.
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21.Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos are an archipelago of 40 beautiful coral islands within the Atlantic Ocean, located just southeast of the Bahamas and overseen as a British Overseas Territory. The gorgeous island nation is best known as the home of spectacular Grace Bay Beach, which stretches for seven miles along beautiful gateway island Providenciales. Provo, as it is referred to by local residents, is known for its luxurious all-inclusive resorts, charming shops, and delicious restaurants serving up local and global cuisine offerings. Visitors can enjoy world-class opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling along the island's 14-mile outlying barrier reef or explore underwater sites like Grand Turk Island's spectacular 2,000-meter underwater wall.
22.The United States Virgin Islands
The United States Virgin Islands are a collection of islands within the Caribbean Sea that are overseen as a United States territory, located within the Lesser Antilles' Leeward Islands and the Virgin Islands archipelago. The gorgeous islands are known for their pristine white sand beaches and gorgeous tourist destinations, including famed island cities like St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. Capital city Charlotte Amalie showcases Danish colonial architecture sites like Blackbeard's Castle and offers opportunities to embark on unique tourist excursions, including the Skyride aerial tram, which travels to nearby Paradise Point. St. John is home to beautiful Virgin Islands National Park, while St. Croix's lovely towns of Frederiksted and Christiansted are home to historic attractions connected to the island's Danish rule.
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Vancouver is Canada's westernmost metropolis, located along the country's British Columbia seaport at the Pacific Ocean shoreline. The ethnically diverse, highly cultural city is known around the world as a top film and television filming destination, surrounded by gorgeous mountain peaks and home to iconic attractions like the 1889 Capilano Suspension Bridge. Visitors can explore gorgeous museums like the Vancouver Art Gallery, showcasing works by regional and national artists, and the Museum of Anthropology, noted for its First Nations exhibits. Family-friendly attractions include the Vancouver Aquarium, located within spacious urban oasis Stanley Park. Granville Island is home to a massive public market and hip restaurants, shops, and bars.
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Victoria is British Columbia's gorgeous capital city, located on the southern banks of Vancouver Island. The charming city showcases many sites connected to the region's British colonial past, including elegant Craigdarroch Castle, which displays stunning preserved Victorian-era architecture. 55-acre Butchart Gardens is home to gorgeous floral displays and a carousel, while Beacon Hill Park showcases ponds and landscaped gardens. Unique family-friendly attractions include the Victoria Bug Zoo, the Royal BC Museum, the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, and the unique Miniature World display gardens. Fisherman's Wharf Park is home to a plethora of food vendors, while Fan Tan Alley is noted for its unique shopping destinations.
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Whistler is a resort town located just north of the city of Vancouver, known around the world as one of Canada's top destinations for skiing and winter sports. The city is best known as the home of Whistler Blackcomb, one of North America's largest skiing resorts, which offers opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tobogganing, and ski jumping. Olympic Park, a venue for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, is open to the public for winter recreation. Top mountain climbing sites in the area include Blackcomb Peak and the majestic Black Tusk. In town, visitors can stroll through the charming chalet-style village and explore unique attractions like the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, honoring the region's indigenous culture, and the lovely Audain Art Museum.
25 Best Weekend Getaways Around the World
- The Bahamas, Photo: lightbringer/stock.adobe.com
- Baja California, Photo: Galyna Andrushko/stock.adobe.com
- Banff, Photo: estivillml/stock.adobe.com
- Belize, Photo: Matyas Rehak/stock.adobe.com
- Bermuda, Photo: Kerry/stock.adobe.com
- The British Virgin Islands, Photo: XtravaganT/stock.adobe.com
- Cancun, Photo: franz massard/stock.adobe.com
- The Cayman Islands, Photo: emperorcosar/stock.adobe.com
- The Dominican Republic, Photo: Maciej Czekajewski/stock.adobe.com
- Iceland, Photo: JFL Photography/stock.adobe.com
- Isla Mujeres, Photo: Darren/stock.adobe.com
- Jaco, Costa Rica, Photo: mera_tho/stock.adobe.com
- Jamaica, Photo: Debbie Ann Powell/stock.adobe.com
- London, Photo: jotily/stock.adobe.com
- Mexico City, Photo: kmiragaya/stock.adobe.com
- Montreal, Photo: Kristaps/stock.adobe.com
- Niagara Falls, Ontario, Photo: Olesya/stock.adobe.com
- Panama, Photo: cratervalley/stock.adobe.com
- Quebec City, Photo: merrvas/stock.adobe.com
- Toronto, Photo: Curioso Photography/stock.adobe.com
- Turks and Caicos, Photo: travnikovstudio/stock.adobe.com
- The United States Virgin Islands, Photo: Chad/stock.adobe.com
- Vancouver, Photo: clarke/stock.adobe.com
- Victoria, Photo: Debbie Ann Powell/stock.adobe.com
- Whistler, Photo: Jenny Thompson/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: bbourdages/stock.adobe.com