5 Weekend Travel Destinations in the USA
By: Caroline Maher
Post-pandemic, scenic drives and local camping trips suddenly feel enticing and more luxurious than ever.
As we joyfully leave 2021 in the rearview mirror and ring in the new year ahead, there is hope in sight for those who have been bitten by the travel bug. Contrary to popular belief, there is so much to experience in our very own backyards. Here are five can’t-miss weekend travel destinations in the U.S.
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia
Known as one of America’s most scenic drives, the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina offers breathtaking overlooks, scenic picnic areas, and numerous hiking trails. Whether you’re seeking adventure or a leisurely drive atop picturesque mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway doesn’t disappoint. With many camping spots and hotels situated at the entrance to the park, you’ll be able to find everything you need within a short drive.
Letchworth State Park, New York
Renowned as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this New York State Park is a five-hour drive from the city and is nothing short of spectacular. Once in the park, you’ll find the Genessee River roaring through the gorge over three jaw-dropping waterfalls. If you’re in the mood for an authentic, unique experience you won’t forget, this park offers hot air balloon rides in the summer (weather permitting). Other activities offered at this park include kayaking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and hiking. If you’re looking for a scenic destination with a jam-packed itinerary, Letchworth State Park is it.
Estes Park, Colorado
For the avid hikers and passionate cross-country skiers alike, Estes Park is less than a two-hour drive from Denver and offers some of the most scenic trails in the West, as it sits near the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. With numerous restaurants, lodges, and gift shops, this quintessential mountain town makes for an ideal basecamp to the Rockies or the perfect weekend getaway all year round.
New Orleans, Louisianna
Known for its invigorating spirit and captivating nightlife, The Big Easy is a city unlike any other. Although Mardi Gras will continue to look different in 2021, many of the city’s restaurants and bars are still open, albeit in a more confined capacity. Whether you’re looking to indulge in southern cuisine, catch a jazz dinner cruise, or head to one of the city’s historic museums, New Orleans has it all (and then some).
Eclectic, creative, and picture-worthy sum up this Northwestern metropolis in a nutshell. Under-rated in every sense, Portland is home to a world-class food scene, unconventional microbreweries, and Powell’s Books, the world’s largest bookstore. It’s safe to say Portland offers a truly memorable experience for every taste.