Sometimes you just need a vacation, but don’t have the budget nor the money to travel through Italy for two weeks. Well, in comes mini vacations. They’re usually cheaper (keyword: usually), less exhaustive to plan, and more chill.
Now that I’m working regularly, I’m learning the absolute necessity in planning mini vacations during the weekend to escape the city and explore somewhere else. Whether this place is a plane ride away or a short car ride, I take great pleasure in finding somewhere that helps me find peace, comfort, and relaxation — and, if I’m feeling extra courageous, adventure.
1. New York, New York
If you’re on the East Coast, I recommend taking a trip to New York City for a mini vacation. Granted, there is a lot more to see in New York City than a long weekend can afford you, but as someone who loves seeing new cities and wants to escape mine for a few days, NYC is always at the top of my list.
Whether you’ve been there a bunch of times before or whether this is your first time, you can pack your days with as much as they can fill and know you’ll be getting an amazing experience and vacation away from home.
2. Prince Edward County, Ontario
Visiting PEC for a weekend is like feeling as if you’re visiting an entirely different world, but you’re really only a car ride away (if you’re in the Ontario area). Really, what more could you want on a long weekend? Easily accessible and an exceptional retreat. Oh and wine. Can’t forget the wine!
3. Tobermory, Ontario
Another Canadian favourite and on the bucket list of most Canadians during the summer is Ontario’s beautiful Tobermory, a village on the Bruce Peninsula so beautiful you’ll feel, upon arriving, as if you’ve entered a different place. It’s quaint, relaxing, idyllic — what more could you really want from a mini-vacation?
As much as I love to travel, I relish in the weekends where I can pause my busy weekday life and swim in the water or explore a sea-side-type village, like Tobermory. If you’re in Toronto, I would highly recommend taking the four-hour journey because it’ll be like stepping into a beautiful oasis.
4. Nashville, Tennessee
This city has been on my bucket list for SO long, and I’m still hoping to make it a reality one long weekend. If you’re in and around the area or it’s simply easy for you to get to, then I highly recommend going to Nashville, Tennessee.
If you’re a country music fan, well, there’s no better place for you, but if you’re just looking for a getaway and the energy of a different city, this might just be the place. I myself am a major music person — all kinds of music! — and I would definitely make it a priority to see the Country Music Hall of Fame and Ryman Auditorium. You can see so much but also feel as if you can relax and really enjoy the hospitality of Nashville.
5. Tofino, British Columbia
If you’re on the West Coast of Canada, in particular, Tofino is a chill oasis nestled deep into the west coast of Vancouver Island and brings together the surfers, beachgoers, and explorers alike. What’s beautiful about Tofino is that it’s small enough that you don’t have to take a long time to explore it, but enjoy relaxing on the beach without worry.
There are so many good places to go for food and exploration, as well as outdoor activities like hiking and surfing lessons. This is the ultimate vacation spot if you’re looking for some serious relaxation.
6. Seattle, Washington
Another excellent weekend getaway if you’re on the West Coast — and especially if you like coffee. Seattle is home to some seriously aesthetic spaces, including, but by no means limited to Capitol Coffee Works, Totokaelo, and Copal. Plus, if you do happen to love coffee, go to the original Starbucks to see where it all began.
Take a trip to and photo at the infamous gum wall, take a tranquil walk through the Chihuly Garden and Glass, and treat yourself to a float or ice cream at Smith Tower Provisions. If you’re in the mood to explore a new city for your next long weekend, yet still have it be pretty low key, Seattle is definitely one of the best places to visit.
7. New Orleans, Louisiana
Oh New Orleans. I have spent a lot of my time imagining the possibility of once visiting this vibrant and energetic city. There is something in the atmosphere of New Orleans that is intoxicating and infectious, a perfect long weekend destination for the party goer and lively tourist.
If you’re a history buff you’ll also really appreciate this city, with its rich character, traditions, and past. Take a walk through the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, two of the most famous areas in the city, and walk through all of the beautiful streets that contribute to the city’s history. Everything you see in New Orleans will be an absolute marvelous treasure in the trove that is the city.