Best Long Weekend Getaways From the East Coast

By Jessica Russo


Maybe it's a holiday weekend, or maybe you just feel like taking a personal day; adventure doesn't need an excuse! Next time a coworker asks you, "how was your weekend?", answer by showing them photos of Costa Rican waterfalls or your selfie at Temple Bar in Dublin.

Sure, there are some great cities within the U.S., but why not try something totally different? You have a passport (that you haven't used in way too long) and your calendar is free - so, what's stopping you? Pack a bag and check out these not-so-far bucket-list destinations.


Colombia

How long does it take to get there?

4h from NYC
2h 40m from Miami
5h 30m from DC

Why you need to go:

Whether you're in the mood for a bustling city like Bogota, a colorful playground like Cartagena, a beach paradise, or a jungle adventure, Colombia is an oasis of possibilities. In just a few hours, you can become immersed in Colombian culture, from delicious food to vibrant music and dance. Stroll through stone streets of eye-popping bright colors, lush flowerbeds, and colonial architecture, or relax on a beach with a cold cocktail in-hand. Ready, set, Colombia!


Iceland

How long does it take to get there?

5h 30m from NYC
5h from Boston
5h 45m from DC

Why you need to go:

Who says you can't have the adventure of a lifetime in a few days? Fly into Reykjavik, Iceland's largest city, which holds fascinating Viking history. Visit cool museums, treat yourself to Icelandic cuisine, then begin your thrilling trek! Iceland is filled with natural wonders like the Blue Lagoon, Gullfoss, Geysir, Jokulsarlon, and of course, the Golden Circle. Oh, and you might want to see one other little tidbit - the Northern Lights! Take a few days to explore this bucket-list whimsical wonderland and create memories you'll hold onto forever.


Mexico

How long does it take to get there?

5h 30m from NYC
6h from Boston
5h from DC
2h from Miami

Why you need to go:

Viva Mexico! Instead of hitting up your favorite Mexican restaurant this Friday night, why don't you visit the real thing? Leave all your stresses at home and relax on the bright turquoise waters of Cancun. In the mood for a bit more buzz? Head to Mexico City! If that's not enough thrill, explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Teotihuacan, or Tulum. While you're at it, indulge in tamales, enchiladas, and other authentic Mexican favorites.


England

How long does it take to get there?

7h from NYC
7h from DC
6h 15m from Boston

Why you need to go:

Sip on some tea and spend a lavish weekend in the land of class and sophistication. Fly into London, give a royal wave to Big Ben and take a ride on the London Eye. See the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, take a selfie on the Tower Bridge, then end the night with a pint in a local pub! If you're looking for a quaint village getaway, rent a car and find a cute B&B in the Cotswolds. Yes, the time difference may be 5 hours, but you'll gain those hours when you come home, which will make going to work on Monday that much easier.


Ireland

How long does it take to get there?

6h 30m from NYC
6h from Boston
6h 55m from DC

Why you need to go:

Immerse yourself in the luck of the Irish! Hop over to the Emerald Isle, where you'll find vibrant cities, rolling greenery, and a happy-go-lucky drinking culture. Fly into Dublin for a weekend of buzzing pub life, or fly into Shannon, where you can rent a car and discover Ireland's colorful villages and natural beauty. Stroll through the adorable streets of Adare, Killarney, and Galway and gaze out at the stunning Cliffs of Moher! Clink glasses at Temple Bar while you dance the jig to live music; Ireland awaits!


Ecuador

How long does it take to get there?

6h 15m from NYC
4h 20m from Miami

Why you need to go:

People are going crazy for Quito! Surrounded by ecological parks, wildlife, and volcanoes, Quito is a bustling culture hub that sits right on the Andean foothills. Stroll through its colorful colonial center and admire 16th- and 17th-century churches and buildings - all while enjoying picturesque views of the mountainscapes in the distance. Be sure to savor the flavors of Ecuador and try camarones, ceviche, and cuy! (Yes, cuy is guinea pig, but don't knock it til' ya try it).


Portugal

How long does it take to get there?

7h from NYC
6h 20m from Boston

Why you need to go:

Portugal is one of Europe's hottest new destinations, hands down. While not as famous as huge cities like Rome and Madrid, Lisbon boasts many of the same dazzling traits - with half the crowds! Walk this hilly city and find charming old, pastel-colored buildings, innovative restaurants, stunning castles, and historic towers. Nestled right on the coast, Lisbon is an eclectic, picture-perfect city filled with coloful culture, rich history, and phenomenal food.


Costa Rica

How long does it take to get there?

3h from Miami
5h 25m from NYC
6h 55m from DC

Why you need to go:

What!? In just a few hours I can be near volcanoes and waterfalls? You betcha'! Fly into San Jose, Costa Rica's capital, a city so rich in architectural beauty and vibrant culture. Admire Spanish colonial buildings, visit awesome museums, and hit up some authentic restaurants. Once you've seen the city, adventure out! Head to beautiful Arenal Volano and soak your stresses away in a natural hot spring. Then, take a drive to Monteverde Cloud Forest, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, or the beautiful beachfront town of Jaco. All you need to bring is your love for nature and a camera.


Scotland

How long does it take to get there?

6h 35m from NYC

Why you need to go:

Take an evening flight, sleep the whole way, and wake up in Scotland! Home to famous castles, Scotland's crown jewels, storybook-like stone streets, and picturesque parks, the capital of Edinburgh is a must-see. This city is packed with medieval old-world beauty, green gardens, and a vibrant spirit. Speaking of spirits, the Scots love their whisky! Cheers to the long-weekend of a lifetime.

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