3 US Cities Perfect For a Weekend Getaway- Because Why Spend It Watching Netflix?

Even if you can't do everything, these US cities are worth checking out for a weekend.

Weekends aren't just for catching up with your laundry or snuggling up with your Netflix account. Those two days can work for you if you use them wisely. So fight the urge to put on sweatpants and instead pack a day bag and jet set away to a city that's full of fun and personality. Hopping over to Europe might cost an arm and a leg, but zipping away to a US city might just cost you what you spend on a Saturday night out. Below are 3 amazing cities that are perfect for a weekend getaway. Use them to either inspire you to book a ticket for next weekend, or gather inspiration on what you can see in your own town or the city a short couple of hours away.

Remember, you don't have to fly thousands of miles away to have an adventure. You just have to take the time to find the potential and gems of an area!

New Orleans

With a voice like beignets and the happy blast of a trumpet, New Orleans is the perfect weekend getaway because there's so much to do and experience. Where the sweat runs down your back and the streets smell like magnolias and chicory, it's easy to get lost in those winding French streets and the honey drawl of locals. A few notable things to do there are:

  • Buy a cup of chicory coffee and find an empty bench to sit in in front of St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. There's a medley of street bands that play there, either filling the thick air with brassy symbols and laughing horns, or violins that will make you want to dream. 

  • Catch a wedding parade. All you have to do is set up shop in any bar window in the French Quarter and just keep an eye on the street. At one point or other a happy parade of trumpets and trombones will come through, with a bride dancing underneath a white umbrella leading the way, followed by a whole party waving handkerchiefs and singing "When The Saints Go Marching In". It's a sight you can't miss.

  • Do a ghost tour. New Orleans is lousy with ghosts and the locals don't mind sharing their markets or dinner tables with them. Go on a ghost tour (with drinks in hand) in the late evening, learning of all the fallen Civil War soldiers, dark pirates, and gambling ghosts along the way. 

  • Fall in love with the architecture. You have ornate colonial French and Spanish architecture in the French Quarter in a macaron-assortment of colors. You have Victorian mansions in Uptown and wildly colorful shotgun houses in the historical districts. You can literally spend hours walking up and down the streets, imagining what it was like hundreds of years ago, and if much even changed.

  • Do a food tour. From pralines to crawfish, and from bread pudding to po'boys, it's easy.

Chicago

3 US Cities Perfect For a Weekend Getaway- Because Why Spend It Watching Netflix?

Chicago is a hodge podge of the old and new. Its residents are serious about vintage and thrift store finds, while still holding an appreciation for the minimalist and sleek. That's no surprise though- just look at their city. The skyline is a charming jumble of historic skyscrapers and industrial, glass-paned high rises, mirroring the tastes of the people milling on the streets below. With a rich history of jazz, speakeasies, and hooch, there's plenty to do here in a short weekend:

  • Go vintage hunting in the Wicker Park/ Bucktown area, popping into thrift stores or going to warehouse collectives like Beehive Vintage. You'll be sure to find a '50s day dress or a vintage bar cart you can't live without. 

  • Get into a smoky mood and bar hop through Chicago's famous jazz and blues bars, where legends like Louis Armstrong and Buddy Guy started. Grab a gin and tonic in places like Green Mill (a hot spot during the Prohibition Era and a place Capone frequented weekly), Rosa's Lounge (which Rolling Stone dubbed "blues mecca for true believers"), and Kingston Mines (which is open till five in the morning.)

  • Go to a speakeasy. You can't visit Chicago and not go to a speakeasy or two. Dip a toe back into the prohibition era and surround yourself with dim lights, crushed velvet booths, and Persian-like rugs on dusty floors. Must see places are Bordel in Wicker Park, The Drifter in River North (which was a real speakeasy back in the '20s), and Violet Hour in Wicker Park (which has spookily tall backs and armrests on their chairs so no one can see you and your squad). 

  • Take an architectural boat tour. If you're full to the brim with food and drink, take a break with an architectural boat tour through the city. The Chicago River snakes through downtown, so you can spend a lovely hour floating along hearing the history behind the proud buildings lining the lake. 

Seattle

Quirky, down-to-earth, cozy, and artistic, Seattle is a place that won't disappoint. Spend a weekend getting lost in the underground hallways of its fish market, poke around their art and knick-knack stores, and spend more than a couple of hours working your way through their plethora of coffee shops. Some notable things to do there are:

  • Visit Pike Place! The city's famous fish market is a tourist trap for a reason: It's hella fun. Stare at the fish on ice and buy a gorgeous bouquet of flowers for only five dollars, and then go underneath the first floor to get to the good stuff. There's an anarchist book store, street performers that will tug at your heart strings, a gum wall that's equal parts disgusting and hilarious, a vintage Playboy shop, and a magic-selling store. See? Endless hours of fun.

  • Do a coffee shop crawl. A person can never have too many lattes and brownies, right? Each shop has its own personality and mood, so bounce around the city trying to find your favorite one. Some to note are Analog Coffee in Capitol Hill, Cafe Ladro in Lower Queen Anne, Elm Coffee Roasters in Pioneer Square, and Stumptown Coffee Roasters in First Hill.

  • Explore the neighborhoods. Like New York, Seattle is broken up into very distinct neighborhoods, where each one has a very unmistakable and different personality. Spend a day exploring through their streets, soaking in all the different type of people they have to offer. Poke around Capitol Hill for your punks, artists, and generally wonderfully weird people; head to Fremont for your street art and vintage record and second-hand book shops; hop over to Ballard for your Scandinavian buildings and amazing restaurants (food tour anyone?); then shimmy over to Pioneer Square to take in the old 1900's buildings and cobblestone streets. 

  • Tour the history. Did you know there's an underground Seattle, which was the original city that was overrun by prostitutes ad drifters? Or that the streets of Pioneer Square are rich with ghost history? Get a better sense of where the city came from and began by taking one of its many tours- you'll have a better appreciation for the vintage-loving, Macklemore-producing town afterwards. 

Marlen Komar is a writer living in Chicago with a penchant for mom jeans and kimchi tacos, and primarily writes about fashion history. She has bylines in Bustle, CNN Style, Racked, Allure, Curbed, and Apartment Therapy, and rarely stays in one place too long as she travels for most of the year. Website: marlenkomar.com
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