Editor’s Note: Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure.
Long weekends – whether brought on by national holidays, summer Fridays, or that rogue PTO day you’ve been hoarding – offer the ideal window for a brief reset and change of scenery. Especially now, as people have been quarantining at home and socially distancing while out, you might need a vacation more than ever. In fact, spending a mere 72 hours away can provide a much-needed recharge when you don’t have weeks of vacation to spare.
That said, pinning down a place to visit can be tough when you only have a few days. You’ll want a destination that feels like a real holiday, but is also conveniently located so you won’t have to waste much time on the road (or in the air), as well as feels safe, especially now.
Dreaming of a beach vacation on an island? Head to Bermuda, just a 90-minute flight from New York City, for scuba diving, snorkeling, cliff-diving, or relaxing on one of the many beautiful stretches of sand. Seeking a bit more adventure? Gas up the car and spend your long weekend hiking in Acadia National Park in Maine. Or, do you prefer a bustling city? Philadelphia might be your ticket. No matter where your next vacation takes you, be sure to check state and country guidelines and protocols before visiting.
Here’s where Travel + Leisure editors are hoping to jet off to for a long weekend, from the mountains to beaches and everything in between. As for mustering up the motivation to return to work on Monday – well, that’s on you.
“I went to Bermuda for the first time last fall and fell in love with the island’s brilliant colors and drowsy rhythm. Had I stayed in the capital, Hamilton, I’m sure I would have done a little more sightseeing. But at Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa, a secluded, adults-only paradise on the island’s west end, I relished in my supremely lazy schedule. I’d wake up each morning at 11 a.m., hit a different stretch of pink sand every day (the property is home to four private beaches), enjoy a lunch of fresh fish and a Rum Swizzle at the hotel’s Breezes restaurant, and then watch the sunset from my pastel-pink cottage. This time around, I plan to break up some of the slothfulness with at least a few excursions to island landmarks, like St. Peter’s Church and Fort St. Catherine.” — Siobhan Reid, Associate Editor
“I made my first trip to Twin Farms in March — and can’t wait to go back. This storied inn in rural Vermont is a mainstay in our World’s Best Awards — and for good reason. The 300-acre property, once the estate of Sinclair Lewis and Dorothy Thompson, has everything you’d want for a getaway, from snowshoeing and Japanese baths (for when the weather is still wintry) to canoeing and fly-fishing (for when it starts to warm up). I was there for a food-focused weekend: The resort welcomed chef Jess Shadbolt (of King, one of my fave New York restaurants) and Kristin Tice from the Rosé Project dinner series, who hosted wine tastings, culinary workshops, and some very Vermont multi-course meals.” — Hannah Walhout, Associate Editor
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
“I grew up outside of Boston, and Cape Cod is still one of my favorite places to escape to for a long summer weekend. It’s pure nostalgia: mom n’ pop ice cream shops, clapboard seafood shacks, old-school drive-ins, quaint towns filled with locals rather than swanky big-city folks who fly in for the weekend, and serene dune-backed beaches with lighthouses and swaying seagrass. Round up some friends, rent one of the Cape’s signature shingled cottages for the weekend, and go on a lobster roll crawl to find your favorite. Just don’t expect to find Hampton-style mansions filled with finance-types who come for the sceney bars or pool float Instagrams — which is, frankly, precisely why I love it.” — Karen Chen, Editorial Producer
Finger Lakes, New York
“I’ve been visiting the Finger Lakes region of New York for years, despite the fact that it’s a long drive from my home in NYC. That’s about to change, though, when The Lake House on Canandaigua, a new hotel in the Finger Lakes, starts seaplane service between the city and upstate this summer. You can bet I’ll be onboard, hopefully enjoying a glass of riesling on the way.” — Paul Brady, Articles Editor
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
“It may be a slightly controversial opinion, but I love the Jersey Shore (the place, not the reality show). I’ve always been a sucker for quaint little beach towns, and the Garden State’s 130-mile coastline definitely delivers. Because most of the breezy seaside communities are just a couple of hours from my NYC apartment, I can spend long weekends hopping from one town to another. From the big, colorful Victorian homes of serene Cape May to the bustling boardwalk in Ocean City (where no trip is complete without a stop at the town’s eponymous Coffee Company), New Jersey’s shoreline is the perfect, quick escape to a salty, sea-aired paradise.” — Hillary Maglin, Assistant Digital Editor
“I visit friends in Philadelphia about once a year, and the summer is one of my favorite times to go. From grabbing a coffee at One Shot Cafe in the Northern Liberties neighborhood and strolling around to look at the beautiful townhomes to trying out a new restaurant for dinner and hitting up a beer hall, there’s no shortage of things to do. The people are friendly, history can be found around every corner, and there’s a fun and inventive food scene (including Philly cheesesteaks, in my book, of course). Plus, it’s a quick car or train ride from NYC, making it a perfectly manageable weekend trip.” — Madeline Diamond, Associate Digital Editor
Upstate New York
“Since moving to New York, making a trip upstate has become my favorite way to spend a long weekend. It’s easy, affordable, and the scenery is beautiful. My friends and I have gotten Airbnbs in places like Cold Spring, Woodstock, and Saratoga Springs. We love to find new hikes, try local restaurants and just take in the fresh air. I’m excited to see which town we decide to explore this year!” — Samantha Lauriello, Associate Social Editor
Acadia National Park, Maine
“My husband and I love Maine, and for years, we’ve talked about spending a long weekend exploring Acadia National Park. Under Canvas is scheduled to open its first East Coast location there this summer, and the views of the coastline should be amazing. Plus, we love to hike, so the camp’s proximity to the Cadillac Mountain Trail is a huge plus.” — Sarah Bruning, Senior Editor
“I did a lot of staycations when I first moved to New York City five years ago and couldn’t afford to travel. It wasn’t a total change of scenery, per se, but I found that even escaping my cramped apartment helped me break up the city grind and hit reset. I plan on getting back into the staycation groove by booking a weekend stay at the High Line Hotel, my favorite hotel in the city. It’s a little jewel-box of a place, housed inside a historic seminary and decorated with vintage furniture and antique rugs. And on weekends, when the weather’s good, the hotel’s lobby-level Intelligentsia coffee shop fills with fashionable locals who come to grab a coffee and read the paper on the property’s sun-strewn back courtyard.” — Siobhan Reid, Associate Editor