Lets be real, in a perfect world Paid Time Off would never run out. Although that’s not the case, don’t let this awful truth suppress your desire to escape the monotony that is your life! Our great country offers many, many vacation spots with accessibility, affordability and entertainment to leave you rejuvenated and ready to return to the grind on Monday. The key is to pick cities with concentrated attractions so that you really get a lot of bang for your buck in a relatively short amount of time! Explore my top choices and let me know your favorite(s)!
Of course I have to showcase my hometown at the top of the list! NOLA is a “jazzy” city bursting with more sights and sounds than you can handle. For the high-octane type, Bourbon Street and the French Quarter will be your best friends for the liveliest bars and “street entertainment” this side of the Mississippi! If you need something more mellow, walking through Garden District and hanging out on Magazine Street will show you a real good time. No matter your party style, everyone is able to appreciate the myriad of art galleries, museums and most importantly, FOOD that embodies the city.
New Orleans Musts: Beignets at Café du Monde; Charbroiled Oyster’s at Drago’s; Hand Grenades at Tropical Isle; Brunch at Surrey’s; Drinks in the Warehouse District; Jackson Square; Frenchman Street.
For Texans, a weekend trip to ATX is a no-brainer. As the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin’s annual Austin City Limits and South By Southwest festivals are alone great reasons to come for a weekend! The city is home to the largest urban University in the nation, some of the world’s BEST barbecue and a huge cycling and outdoor culture, all surrounded by the famous Texas Hill County.
Austin Musts: Slow Smoked BBQ at Franklin Barbecue; Breakfast Tacos at Juan in a Million; Biking on Barton Creek Greenbelt; Rainey Street Bar District; South Congress; WEST 6th; Tacos at El Arroyo; Texas Country at The Continental Club.
With more than 200 beers crafted in the Mile High City everyday, it’s a beer enthusiasts utopia! Just 15 miles west of Denver, you can take a self-guided tour through the world’s largest single-site brewery, MillerCoors, located in Golden, CO…free beer included! After you’re feeling all loosey-goosey, head down to the ever-popular Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies! For the ladies, Denver is home to the 16th Street Mall which is basically the Rodeo Drive of Denver. This mile-long pedestrian outdoor mall is lined with a variety of stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, making it a great choice for day and nighttime fun!
Denver Musts: Drinks in Larmier Square; Denver Botanic Gardens; Live Music at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater; Coors Brewery; Coors Field.
In what I like to call “A Theme Park for Adults,” Vegas is a frequent destination for people from all corners of the globe! The Entertainment Capital of World never disappoints with its endless lineup of star-studded performances, Cirque du Soleil shows, Hollywood-esque pool parties and world-class gambling. Walking down the Las Vegas strip, your eyes will be captivated by everything see, from the Bellagio Fountain Show to the roller-coaster swirling through the New York New York hotel. If the Sin City scene isn’t your cup of tea, hiking in Red Rock Canyon or visiting the Hoover Dam also make for a great weekend adventure!
Las Vegas Musts: Playing a Hand at Every Casino; Dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant; Gandala Ride Through the Venetian; Any Cirque du Soleil Show; Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville; Shopping in Ceasar’s Palace; Pool Party at Tao
Contrary to popular belief this “Music City” isn’t all twin fiddles and steel guitars. Nashville is home to word-class attractions! However, if country music is your thing, you’re surely in the right place with Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum to explore. There are also countless bars, restaurants, clubs and even a seasonal open air riverfront pavilion where you can enjoy live music over drinks!
Nashville Musts: Hot Fried Chicken at 400 Degrees Soul Food and/or Prince’s; See a Grand Ole Opry show; Johnny Cash Museum; Country Music Hall of Fame