10 Great Destinations for a US Staycation

Thanks to the sheer scale and diversity of the US, you don't need to travel internationally to see fresh horizons or enjoy a different pace of life. Whether you're a city slicker looking for a rural escape or a spiritual type in need of a recharge, these destinations are ideal for long-weekend getaways or pit stops on longer journeys.

Destinations for a long weekend in the US


California, United States

Best for: Creative folk in need of vitamin sea

Let the ocean breeze tousle your locks as you cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway to this artistic colony and unassuming retreat of the stars; Doris Day, John Steinbeck and Clint Eastwood (who was once mayor) rank among former residents. Days are best spent dipping in and out of independent boutiques and cafés - don't miss the 18th-century Mission San Carlos Borromeo del río Carmelo - before ambling along flaxen sands flanked by shoreside cliffs and cypress trees. For something quieter still, or perhaps an add-on to a long weekend break, drive 40 minutes up the coast to the pastel-hued beach town of Capitola.

Where to stay: Hotel Carmel

Washington DC

United States

Best for: Culture vultures keen to stray beyond the marble monuments

Thought DC was just a destination for politicos? Think again. This is a city built on culture. With November's presidential election set to create an electric atmosphere, we're coupling visits to white-marble monuments and museums with adventures into the capital's thriving underground arts and entertainment scenes - don't miss the National Museum of Women in the Arts and Dupont Underground. Navigate the Tidal Basin or trace urban green trails across the National Arboretum before ordering Afro-Caribbean small plates in Kith/Kin for dinner. The city has a packed events calendar; check ahead when planning your trip.

Where to stay: The Line DC


Colorado, United States

Best for: Nature lovers who don't want to sacrifice luxury

An hour's drive from Telluride, this 1880s mining town had been all but abandoned until it was bought by entrepreneur Christoph Henkel in 1994. Today, thanks to a sensitive restoration carried out by local craftsmen, its sprawling meadowland and evergreen forests are flecked with luxe log cabins and a bougie riverside camp. Use them as your base for exploring the San Juan Mountains, taking a dip in the Dolores River, knocking back whiskey in a saloon once frequented by Butch Cassidy or toasting s'mores around an open fire. Time to spare? Plan a scenic drive through the Ute Mountain Reservation to the Four Corners, where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet.

Where to stay: Dunton River Camp

Eureka Springs


Best for: Libertarians in need of a retreat from the 2020s

This cliff-hugging town is perhaps Arkansas's most liberal enclave, despite being home to the state's most famed Christian landmarks - the 20m-tall Christ of the Ozarks statue and Thorncrown Chapel. It's on the National Register of Historic Places, so you can expect to trade in chain stores for a Victorian-era downtown filled with independent boutiques and craft emporiums. Once you've done rubbing shoulders with its resident hippies and leather-clad bikers, take a dip in Eureka's eponymous natural springs or get your outdoor fix in the Ozark Mountains.

Where to stay: This 30s treehouse cabin overlooking Lake Lucerne


United States

Best for: Hipsters with a penchant for the outdoors

In the US's most progressive city; creativity, eco-consciousness and small, independent businesses reign supreme. Knock elbows with artists and musicians as you cycle along streets lined with murals and food carts, venturing from craft breweries to quirky cocktail bars. When you've had your fill of kombucha, take an excursion to Cannon Beach (crowned by Haystack Rock, of Goonies fame), hike around the Columbia River Gorge, drink your way through the Willamette Valley or grab your skis and hit the slopes at Mount Hood.

Where to stay: Ace Hotel Portland



Best for: Farmer's market mavens with a soft spot for old-school traditions

If Vermont were a person she'd be an adorable grandma - full of heart and ready to ply you with home-baked apple pie. The ultimate distillation of Vermont can be found in the old village of Newfane, where typically white-washed, New England-style buildings play host to a handful of zany, old-fashioned stores. Pop into The British Clockmaker or Olde and New England Books and swing by Dutton Berry Farm, which will just be coming into season in spring. Alternatively, fob off all the attractions and hunker down with a slice of pie at the Four Columns Inn.

Where to stay: Four Columns Inn

The Great Smoky Mountains


Best for: Hands-on nature fiends

The Great Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee -North Carolina border make a perfect weekend getaway in spring, when the low-lying vapour of their namesake peaks becomes dappled with over 1,500 types of wildflowers. Soak up local wines and views as you stumble along the Rocky Top Wine Trail or choo-choo you way down the Little River Trail - a disused railroad speckled with decrepit but charming old holiday cabins. And of course, there's always the Dollywood amusement park if you find yourself hankering for a good ol' throwdown and a rip-roaring adrenaline boost.

Where to stay: Blackberry Farm

Windham Mountain

New York

Best for: City slickers looking for a rural escape

We know, we know. It's perhaps an obvious choice, but when it comes to weekend breaks you can't beat the Catskills. Cheaper (and less stuffy) than the Hamptons and two-and-a-half hours' drive from the Big Apple, this area is a natural oasis. We're making a beeline for Windham Mountain. It's home to the Kaaterskill Falls - a 230ft cascade with pools for swimming - and paths primed for chunky walking boots and a healthy stash of energy bars. Trust us, you'll need them.

Where to stay: Eastwind



Best for: Spiritual types who need to recharge

We simply can't get enough of Sedona's swollen, red-hot, rocky landscape. Some might call it hokey, but if you're spiritual type then hop it to this little town in Arizona. Plan a tour of the energy vortexes at Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon, where the land is supposedly charged with exceptionally powerful electromagnetic energy. Shop for crystals in town or check-in with a tarot card reader. The force is strong here.

Where to stay: Enchantment Resort



Best for: Urban explorers with a more-is-more mentality

Long overshadowed by Chicago, this Midwestern city could be coastal for all the jet-skiers and kayakers that skim the sandy perimeters of Lake Michigan. You'll find us hanging out in the refurbished warehouses of the Historic Third Ward, where a bunch of the city's most exciting galleries are clustered, or eating our way through the plant-based menu at Strange Town. Arrive on Friday and head straight to one of the city's infamous Friday Fish Frys. What started as an old Roman Catholic tradition has been turned into a proper shindig in recent years, with locally caught fish served to the accompaniment of a live polka band and local craft ales, followed by dancing.

Where to stay: Kinn Guesthouse

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