Booking.com Reveals the Best Weekend Getaways to Plan Before Summer Ends
Searching for an end-of-summer-sixteen adventure that won't break the bank? Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travelers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has revealed its list of customer-verified getaways for travelers living in or near New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Boston.
These top-notch picks make it clear that travelers don't have to jet off to a remote island to have a good time. Each of the recommendations on this list has been endorsed by over 90% of Booking.com reviewers and was selected based on the suitability of its endorsements to the weather (i.e. "beach" for sun, "museums" for rain).
Travelers looking to take advantage of an extended weekend are not alone. Data from a Booking.com survey of 2,000 nationally representative respondents shows that 83% of Americans took short domestic breaks (1-4 days) in 2014 and 93% hoped to do so in 2015. With higher percentages and nothing to lose in 2016, why not join in?
If you live in New York
Ever tire of waking up in a city that never sleeps? The buzz of the Big Apple is simply incomparable, with an endless roll-call of things to see and do. But for days when you're not in a New York state of mind, there's a whole world to explore outside the city limits. Sunshine or showers can't hold you back, just hop on the highway and away you go!
Sunny skies? Head to…Rehoboth Beach
Endorsed for: beach, shopping, relaxation, family friendly, restaurants
Nothing but blue skies ahead? Grab the car keys and take a road trip down to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. This all-American resort town draws visitors in with golden sands, tax-free shopping and the quintessential beachfront boardwalk. Booking.com reviewers rave about its family-friendly funfairs, unique shops and nostalgic food, from Dolles' iconic saltwater taffy to Grotto's legendary pizzas.
Where to stay for the weekend: The sun's just setting over Rehoboth Bay and the boardwalk's abuzz with strolling weekenders. You owe it to yourself to stay the night. Don't worry if you haven't booked ahead: one touch of the Booking Now app will bring up the best pick of nearby accommodations. Cream of the crop in the heart of town is the Bellmoor Inn and Spa, which wins praise for its outdoor pools, elegant design and hearty breakfast spread. Its lush gardens provide a peaceful haven from Rehoboth's nearby beach, shops and restaurants.
"This hotel is awesome. Just stayed there for a fall weekend getaway and was pleasantly surprised! Great location, very friendly staff. Delicious morning breakfast was included in the rate. Can't beat that. I'm totally making this place my regular hotel when I visit :-)" - Bianca, USA
Rainy days? Head to…Philadelphia
Endorsed for: history, museums, food, monuments, sightseeing, culture
If the sun isn't on your side, forget the beach and head for Philly. Ok, so the TV show title may have stretched the truth, but this historic city drums up a warm welcome no matter how wet the weather. Booking.com reviewers were won over by the friendly people and filling food, from cheesesteaks to cheesecakes. Even in the rain, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell never fail to inspire, and you can dodge the downpour while recreating Rocky's run on your way up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Where to stay for the weekend: So Philadelphia's independent spirit has rubbed off on you and you want to stay the night. A quick tap of the Booking Now app will show you everywhere worth staying in seconds. For a sightseeing head start, try the Morris House Hotel, just a few steps from the city's main sights. This 1787 colonial house is a National Historic Landmark, complete with Revolutionary-era décor and antique furniture. After a long day of sightseeing, relax with hot coffee and homemade cookies in the cozy lounge.
"Beautiful, historical building. Very helpful and friendly staff. Gorgeous rooms. Very comfortable bed. Free glass of wine in the afternoons and homemade cookies at 3pm! Would absolutely stay here again!!" - Victoria, United Kingdom
If you live in Los Angeles
Some come to the City of Angels to make their dreams come true. But what's an Angelino to do when their dream is to escape the urban sprawl? Don't let Tinsel town get you down - sunny beach breaks and city shopping sprees await. Whether you choose to cruise the coastal highway or sit back and relax on the Amtrak, a wealth of California day trips are right on your doorstep.
Sunny skies? Head to… Santa Barbara
Endorsed for: beach, shopping, relaxation, food, wine travel, scenery
Sun is shining, the weather is sweet - and nowhere is sweeter than Santa Barbara. A sweeping, south-facing bay is fringed by fragrant orange blossoms, swaying palm trees and the soaring Santa Ynez Mountains. Santa Barbara's 300 sunny days a year mean the beach is always on the cards, while the Funk Zone's urban wine trail is a real winner with Booking.com reviewers.
Where to stay for the weekend: Once you slip into that laid-back Santa Barbara vibe, it's very hard to go back. But who says you have to? Check your Booking Now app and you might just find that staying the night is irresistible. A popular pick with Booking.com guests is Harbor House Inn, perfectly placed just steps from West Beach. Free bikes let you cruise the oceanfront boulevard, while its flower-filled gardens make for an idyllic chill-out spot.
"We have traveled all over the world...this was the most comfortable, fully equipped, charming suite we have ever stayed in. Will definitely recommend it to friends and will stay here again if we come back to Santa Barbara." - Kathlina, USA
Rainy days? Head to… San Diego
Endorsed for: zoo, food, shopping, sightseeing, museums, old town
Even when all the leaves are brown and the sky is grey, you can rely on San Diego for a vibrant shot of color. Its glittering skyline overlooks a stunning natural harbor, while the trolley zips along from bustling downtown past the Midway Museum to the colonial Old Town. If the heavens open up, take shelter in the tropical heat of Balboa Park's Botanical Building. Nearby, the world-famous San Diego zoo offers shuttle buses to keep you dry as you flit from giraffes and gorillas to polar bears and pandas.
Where to stay for the weekend So much to see, so little time - but what's the rush? Take a glance at Booking Now's selection of nearby accommodations, and you could find that staying over is the easy option. One all-weather winner is the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, located near the happening Gaslamp Quarter and Seaport Village shops. With a heated pool, cozy fire pit, multiple in-house dining options and stunning bay views, you need never step outside again.
"Location, location, location. Great amenities such as nicely heated pool, fire pit for S'mores, hot tub, nice sports bar." - Edwardo, USA
If you live in Miami
Let's face it, Miami has it all. It's nearly impossible to tire of this multicultural wonderland of glitzy resorts and glamorous Art Deco buildings. But if you can bear to tear yourself away from its soaring skyscrapers and sensuous salsa clubs, you'll find Florida's captivating contrasts stretch far beyond the city.
Sunny skies? Head to…Key West
Endorsed for: sunsets, nightlife, relaxation, beach, food, snorkeling
Sun's out, the wind's in your hair - now all that's left to do is drive. Cruising south until there's no more road left brings you to Key West. Once Hemingway's hideaway, this tropical land's end is closer to Havana, Cuba than Miami. Snorkel tours explore hidden coves, while scooter rentals cover every corner of the island. Just make sure you're back at Mallory Square in time for that famous Key West sunset, before giving in to Duval Street's neon-lit charms and pulsing beats.
Where to stay for the weekend: Lingered too long over that picture-perfect sunset? Relax - the Booking Now app will have a roof over your head in no time. Guests recommend the Avalon Bed and Breakfast for a slice of old-school Florida. This classic colonial-style house has a tropical feel and a porch perfect for people-watching - complete with fresh lemonade and tasty home-baked cookies.
"Perfect location, walking distance to everything. Perfect breakfast, lots of fruit, cheese, breads, cakes, yoghurts, all day fresh lime water or home made lemonade, lovely touches, nice little pool." - Edward, Ireland
Rainy days? Head to…Sarasota
Endorsed for: sand beaches, shopping, relaxation, restaurants, museums
A beachfront break is all well and good, but what if Florida's famous sun refuses to come out and play? Fear not - Sarasota's sandy shores may seem like the main attraction, but Booking.com reviewers also praise the city's seafood restaurants, unique stores and vibrant arts scene. When storms strike, make for the Ringling complex to take in the Circus Museum, Florida State Art Museum and the spectacular Cà d'Zan mansion.
Where to stay for the weekend: Weighed down by shopping bags and a belly full of fresh local fish, you're in no mood to drive home. Never mind, just wing it! Booking Now will point you in the right direction: The Hotel Indigo, say. As well as having the friendliest staff you're ever likely to meet, guests rave about its arts district location, tasteful décor and handy lobby hydration station - that's free chilled water to you and me.
"From the pleasant young lady at the front desk to the shuttle bus driver, they could not have been more accommodating. The vibe was hip, relaxing and friendly. We enjoyed the free Hydration station (water fountain) and wifi. A short walk to Main St. was a plus!" - TVT731, Bermuda
If you live in Boston
Old and new collide in this colonial gem-turned-major city, where culture lurks around every cobbled corner. But amid all these historical buildings and world-class colleges, doesn't it all get a bit, well…serious? If you've ever dreamed of taking off into the big wide somewhere, now's your chance!
Rainy days? Head to… Saratoga Springs
Endorsed for: horse racing, food, relaxation, health spas, live music
Just because the weather's less than ideal doesn't mean staying indoors. Blow those cobwebs away on the scenic ride up to Saratoga Springs in New York. This pretty spa town's imposing Victorian houses open onto wide tree-lined avenues filled with shops and restaurants, while visitors flock to take a gander and a gamble at the world-class race course. Keep out the chill with a hot soak in the Roosevelt Baths and Spa, fed by the mineral springs which give the town its name.
Where to stay for the weekend: Whether you've won big on the horses or splashed all your cash in the shops, Saratoga's small town charm may well have you reaching for the Booking Now app. For a truly unique stay, try the Batcheller Mansion Inn, all fairytale-castle spires and antique furnishings. Booking.com reviewers couldn't say enough about this restored Victorian manor's old-timey ambience, personal attention and perfect location in the heart of town.
"Our stay at Batcheller Mansion Inn was, without exception, one of the finest inn experiences my husband and I have ever enjoyed. From the moment of our arrival, we were treated to top-notch service and hospitality. Fresh-from-the-oven cookies delivered to our room, a luxurious hot tub, a wonderfully cozy bed, and even a full-sized pool table right in our room... it just couldn't have been any better. Can't wait to return!!" - Lex, USA
Sunny skies? Head to… Montauk
Endorsed for: beach, relaxation, fishing, seafood, surfing, hiking
Enough stuffy summer days in the city, it's time to get back to nature. Whether you drive to Montauk via New York or take the ferry from New London, Connecticut, this idyllic Long Island retreat is deliciously remote - not for nothing is it known as The End. Less crowded than its swanky Hamptons neighbors, down-to-earth Montauk is a top sport fishing and surf spot surrounded by wild beaches and protected parks. Visitors come back time and time again for its peaceful vibe, coastal scenery and fresh seafood.
Where to stay for the weekend: So you've got a taste for Long Island life? Well you don't have to leave just yet - all it takes is a quick tap of the Booking Now app. One well-loved option is the laid-back Ocean Resort Inn, situated just a block from the beach. Its peaceful outdoor areas have picnic tables and sun loungers, while free rental bikes let you cruise the shoreline to your heart's content.
"This hotel is quaint and location in the heart of the town. The beach is down the block, everything is in walking distance or you can ride a free rented bike. Watch the sunrise or sunset on the beach too. You can relax on the property on a swinging chair, picnic table, garden chair or lay out in a beach chair to catch a tan." - Jessica, USA