Is the weather getting too brisk and those snowy blustery days becoming a bit much? Do you find yourself dreaming of lounging on a sandy, sparkling beach? Perhaps it's too hot and you're looking to take a breather and escape to a region where the warm weather isn't so brutal in the summertime. Or maybe you just need a break from the monotony of routine?
Whatever the reason is behind your longing to drift away for a few days or longer, there are many options in the United States during any given time of the year, thanks to the different climates spread out throughout the country. There are destinations you can either put together on a whim or plan well in advance. Which location you choose may depend upon what season you plan to have your getaway in.
Treasure Island, Florida (and surrounding towns)
Located on the Gulf Coast just south of Tampa, Treasure Island is a great place for a getaway, especially during the cold winter months. Many airlines create specific deals towards winter destinations for the Tampa/St. Petersburg region. This destination is a favorite of mine to visit in the Sunshine State. I suspect one of the reasons it's so attractive to many people is largely due to its laid back atmosphere.
Treasure Island (or Madeira Beach -- can't recall), is where I saw my first pelican
Las Vegas, Nevada
Jetting off to Las Vegas is great way to escape the cold and frigid temperatures that much of the United States experiences during the winter months. If placing bets is your thing, this city is the king of the gambling scene. Even if you hate to gamble, there is still plenty to do. You can see the shows, enjoy the warm air and eat at one of the numerous restaurants. Or perhaps even venture outside the city limits. It is common to find fabulous flight deals to Vegas at pretty reasonable rates, making it a prime winter destination.
There are many attractions to be enjoyed in Orlando. You have Disney World, Universal, and plenty of dinner theatres to choose from, along with a host of other activities in the area. A getaway to Orlando is always a great choice, and since the winter months are less humid, it's a terrific opportunity to explore what else is in Orlando without worrying about finding ways to beat the heat. November through January are my most favorite times to visit.
Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
The Hunter Mountain festivals are a huge attraction in the late spring to early fall months. While enjoying the "themed" festivals you can take a ski lift to the top of the mountain for a spectacular view of upstate New York. Pristine beauty at its best. There are many accommodations in the area ranging from full service hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts. If you plan to go during a peak time, such as during the summer festivals, this is one trip you might want to plan in advance and book a little early because lodging does fill up quickly. I haven't been up to the Catskills in recent years, but have visited many, many times in the past (mostly during the summer). I miss it!
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Myrtle Beach has it all, gorgeous beaches, golf, great night life and fabulous restaurants. There is something for everyone in this popular destination and it's just the right type of atmosphere for a getaway. Spend the days on the beach, and dance the night away on the town. See a show. A trip to Myrtle is a good way to get revitalized.
New Jersey Shore
New Jersey houses some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. It's no wonder people flock from all over to go "downtheshore". From Seaside Heights down to Long Beach Island, Atlantic City or Cape May, you can find a great niche at one of these, or other shore towns, to quench your thirst for the beach. I have fond memories of our family going on a road trip to hit the wonderful Jersey beaches for a weekend getaway. Still a family favorite.
Sunrise at Long Beach Island
New York City
In the Big Apple there is always something to do and never a dull moment. This city truly never sleeps, no matter if it's spring, summer, fall or winter, there is always something happening. Tour a museum, see historical landmarks, see a Broadway show or just wander the downtown streets and and drink in the atmosphere. If anything, go just for the pizza! In all seriousness though, the possibilities are endless, in any season.
A must-do thing while in NYC is to have a slice of pizza! One of the things I miss about living up north.
If you love history or are fascinated by government, Washington D.C. is the ideal place to go. It's an area that is very diverse and full of museums, historical monuments, great restaurants and simply oozes of various types of history. Spring or fall is the best time to visit in my opinion, but visiting the District is truly interesting at any time of the year. If you don't want to stay downtown, there are plenty of great places in nearby Northern Virginia (and probably sections of Maryland) to check out since it's a short drive or Metro ride into the city. There are also many lovely places to visit in the Maryland and Northern Virginia regions while you're in the area. I recommend Old Town Alexandria if you're looking to explore.
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. is one of my favorite times of the year to head downtown.
San Francisco, California
The city located on the Bay offers much to see and do and the temps are pretty consistent year round (I'd recommend regardless of season, bring a jacket!). Tour Alcatraz, hop on a trolley through the magnificent city and catch a glimpse of all that this cultural gem has to offer. You'll enjoy this one so much, you're bound to want to return to San Francisco for a longer period of time. I know I do.
The U.S. houses so many great destinations that, at times, I've found it hard to choose. Every year my family makes a point of trying to see something new (usually a road trip - sometimes local - sometimes further away). Although, sometimes you can find a good flight. Check your favorite travel planning websites and see what they have to offer, sometimes you can find good deals that way too. The above are some of my favorite picks, and there is still so much to see.
What are your favorite seasonal destinations in the United States?