Make the most of 72 hours

5 ideas for a long weekend trip

Summer is the perfect time to plan a short trip. All you need to do is tack on a Friday or Monday to a weekend getaway and you’ve got an excellent three-day mini-break on your hands. Take your pick from the following cities and get ready for a long weekend filled with eating, drinking, and outdoor fun.

1. Asheville, North Carolina

1. Asheville, North Carolina

Located in western North Carolina, Asheville has a combination of city attractions and outdoor activities to please everyone in your travel party. Spend a couple of hours exploring the trendy downtown area, particularly the shops and restaurants along Lexington Avenue. To lean into the city’s hippie culture, head to the River Arts District, where more than 150 artists showcase work in their studios. Asheville is also known for its craft beer scene, so book one of the many brewery tours in town to sample some of the best.

2. Chicago, Illinois

2. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is easily one of the most exciting big cities in the country, but it’s a tad easier to navigate in a short period of time than, say, New York or Los Angeles. You could spend one afternoon in and around Millennium Park, taking selfies at The Bean and walking over to the Art Institute of Chicago. Make sure to also take the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s river cruise, which is the most relaxing way to see the city. Come dinnertime, try to snag a table at one of the city’s most famous deep-dish pizza joints. Locals will never agree on which place is the absolute best, but you can’t go wrong with Pequod's, Lou Malnati's, or Burt's Place.

3. Kansas City, Missouri

3. Kansas City, Missouri

Proving that the Midwest is more than just a flyover region, Kansas City is ready to charm visitors with its jazz clubs, restaurants, and friendly locals. Start your trip with a shopping spree at The Plaza, a gorgeous open-air mall about 20 minutes south of downtown KCMO. Then fill up on burnt ends and brisket at one of the city’s many barbecue joints, like Q39, Gates BBQ, or Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que. Spend a romantic evening cozied up at the Green Lady Lounge, a dimly lit jazz club with 1920s speakeasy vibes.

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

Spending a full week in Las Vegas would be exhausting, but dedicating a long weekend to Sin City is just the right amount of time. Try to stick to one casino resort for dining and clubbing to keep things manageable—you can’t go wrong with behemoths like Aria or The Cosmopolitan. The next day, take to the skies with a ride on the High Roller, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel at 550 feet. Then experience the glory that is the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace: a spread of 500 dishes that you have to see to believe. Cap off your trip with a classic Vegas show, like Cirque du Soleil or Penn and Teller.

5. Seattle, Washington

5. Seattle, Washington

Coffee, Nirvana, and Space Needles. Who could ask for more? Of course, there are plenty of reasons to visit Seattle aside from its most famous points. In western Seattle, spend an afternoon exploring the Olympic Sculpture Park, a free outdoor gallery operated by the Seattle Museum of Art. Then head a few minutes south to Pike Place Market to sample goods from local vendors (and watch them toss a fish across the market at remarkable speed). For a unique view of the city, book a flight tour with Seattle Seaplanes—the 20-minute ride will give you a bird’s-eye view of the skyline (and yes, it includes the Space Needle).

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