If you’re living on the East Coast and constantly craving a get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s a whole world of options for potential places to go that don’t have to occupy more than 48 hours of your life. The concept of a weekend getaway allows us to go on vacation without spending nearly as much money as we would on a more extended break, and also doesn’t require us to use any of our precious PTO or sick days. So where should you go this weekend?
If you crave the excitement and flashy lights of a Las Vegas casino, then look no further than Atlantic City, New Jersey. Widely considered to be the “Vegas of the east,” Atlantic City offers all the flashy lights, cameras, and action of its west coast counterpart. Within the past few years Atlantic City has undergone extensive redevelopments to cater to a more sophisticated clientele, however, the beaches, boardwalk and casinos maintain the classic AC charm that many of us have grown to love.
The New Jersey Transit system also allows for easy train travel for individuals from Pennsylvania, New York or other parts of Jersey. Once arrived, travelers can choose between a myriad of highly-rated seafood establishments and steak houses. Resort and spa deals help emulate a relaxing weekend in paradise for visitors, while casinos will give that AC energy that most are looking for.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Since summer is right around the corner, Cape Cod is next up on the list. Cape Cod, Massachusetts is the epitome of beach town postcard views and “fun in the sun” energy, all year round. Even during the winter months, the city thrives with travelers who enjoy their many famous golf courses, wineries/bars, and whale watching excursions; which are typically the most successful in the winter months when whales are migrating through the area.
Lighthouses and a series of intimate Inn’s surrounded by the town’s most famous seafood establishments give the town an old-school beach vibe. If you’re from Boston, there’s plenty of public transport options for you to get to the boardwalk promptly. If you’re from New York, you may want to consider a three-day weekend, as getting there could take up to five hours via public transport.
Long Island, New York is a popular getaway for anyone working in surrounding metropolitan areas because of how many different towns and activities there are to do. Out east, there’s the Hamptons and Long Island’s wine country which will give any adult a little taste of west coast napa valley life on a weekend budget. The Long Island Railroad allows for easy travel coming into the island as well as travelling around it if you’re feeling a more nomadic experience.
Long Island is known for its diverse range of food establishments to eat at, and the pizza and bagels are just as famously good as they are in New York City. Speaking of, unless you’re coming in from the city of course, NYC is just a short train ride away for exploration, the LIRR will even bring you right to Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan.
Lake Champlain, Vermont
Vermont may not seem like it would be a top priority in terms of weekend destinations, however, unless you’ve already been don’t knock it until you try it. Burlington, to be more specific, is just over three hours from the city of Boston, and has direct one hour flights from NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., allowing for easy access. The city is known as a biking town when the weather allows, as the Lake Champlain Bikeway surrounds the entire perimeter of Lake Champlain, giving some of the most incredible views.
In addition, Burlington is the home of famous ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, so feel free to take a factory tour while you’re visiting and reward yourself after a long bike ride around the lake with a pint of your favorite flavor. Like every other option on this list, Burlington is also home to a whole slew of fancy restaurants and comfortable/affordable hotels.
Finally, the furthest getaway spot on our list goes to Miami, Florida.While Miami is more than just a simple drive for those of us on the northern end of the East Coast, a two hour flight really isn’t that bad if it means spending time on a warm white sandy beach. Besides a year-long sunny climate and landscape beach views, Miami is one of the most social cities in America. They have a buzzing nightlife, accompanied by famous restaurants and hotels, including the Versailles Restaurant Cuban Cuisine in Little Havana, Joe’s Stone Crab seafood restaurant, and La Mar by Gaston Acurio, which is most famous for it’s instagram-worthy waterfront view.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.