Mini Vacation Ideas: 15 Best Mini Vacations In The U.S.

If you are blessed with free weekends and a spare travel fund, then sky is the limit. Going on a mini vacation every couple of weeks not only gives you a break from monotony, but also increases your efficiency at work by reducing stress.

Often, people don’t know where to go on a weekend getaway. Well, don’t worry about it. I have prepared a list of the best mini vacation ideas in the US for you to explore and enjoy. There are options for leisure, relaxation, adventure or just romance. So here goes!

Cheap Mini Vacation Ideas In The U.S.

These are all great for a mini weekend vacation getaway or for spending a week or more!

Watch Hill, near Boston

Situated in Rhode Island, this extravagant coastal village offers a ceaseless coastline, gorgeous beaches and a great deal of history to unearth. Home to the pop icon Taylor Swift, this place came to prominence for its affluent Victorian cottages.

If you are up to splurge some money on a nice romantic mini vacation, head onto Watch Hill. Book a room in the Ocean House and just relax! The place offers spectacular ocean views and a decadent aura with its fancy yet soothing interiors.

Key West, near Miami

This cuter little town cannot be ignored for long, if you are a resident Floridian. There Atlantic Ocean on the left and Gulf of Mexico to the right. Not to mention the amazing Seven Mile Bridge that deserves a drive at least once in your life.

This getaway is perfect for a family mini vacation. Try water sports on the beach while your kids make sand castles. Then take them to Fort Zachary Taylor Florida State Park. This magnificent landmark built on a historic fort offers a great educational experience. Go for a guided tour to know this place better.

Bimini, near The Bahamas

Bimini is a 2 hour drive from Miami by boat. Popularly mostly for an array of underwater adventures, Bimini offers excellent corals for diving and snorkeling. Do explore the magical Bimini Road, an underwater rock formation that is said to have been a part of the underwater world of Atlantis. 

Check out the famous Dolphin house here. Dolphins are resident in the waters here around the year. And with a bit of scouting, you can get lucky to see a few. The waters around Bimini are ideal for Paddle-boarding and Kayaking. Bimini Bull Run is a dock-side cave that lets you have a close look at the deadly Bull Sharks.

Taos, New Mexico

The clear blue skies of Taos are no secret from the locals and tourists living in Santa Fe and nearby areas. The legendary American village of Taos Pueblo is a 1000 year old UNESCO World Heritage and till today, resides the Tiwa tribes of the Pueblos.

The art devotees can check out one of the many art museums stationed in this town. Then there is the Taos Valley, Rio Grande and Taos mountains, offering a bunch of extreme adventure sports to try. For mountain bikers, the east side of the town offers an excellent trail.

Jackson, near New Orleans

New Orleands in itself is an enticing city. Jackson only adds to its scenic beauty and heavenly aura. You would like living in one of those magical postcards that seem so surreal. The arcadian wooden sheds with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, it’s like an American Switzerland, only more beautiful.

Do check out the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar for some amazing spirits and a quirky collection of cowboy souvenirs.

Jekyll Island, near Jacksonville

The most stunning member of the Golden Isles of Georgia, Jekyll Island is just a half an hour drive from Jacksonville. The driftwood beach is all about leisure, with trees frilled along the shore. The place is perfect for destination weddings.

Don’t miss out the popular Rah Bar for a nice afternoon meal, a gorgeous wharf view, a fancy cocktail and delicious seafood.

Greenville, South Carolina

The pedal power of Greenville is no secret. This place has gained significance for its rocky terrains and cultural pursuits. For people who are much into theater, art, music, ballet and such arts would love Greenville. Besides, there are many kids-centered activities and places to enjoy. Like Mice on Main, Children’s Garden, Water Jets at the City Plaza, Falls Park and many more.

En route to Greenville, you can halt at one of the many brew pubs offering excellent beer.

cheap mini vacation ideas

Big Sur, near San Fransisco

One of the most iconic roads of the great American Road Trip, Pacific Coast Highway can be missed if you are a Californian. The popular Bixby Creek Bridge is worth a hundred clicks for its spectacular location with the rugged cliff-side and the ocean views.

Then once you reach Big Sur, there are a lot fun activities for every age group. You can go camping or hiking with your friends, or enjoy some beach-combing with the family.

Hudson Valley, near New York

For New Yorkers, this precinct is a perfect getaway from the cosmo chaos. 150 miles north of Manhattan is this valley near the Hudson river. There is camping, apple picking, boating, wine tasting and a lot of scenic beauty to enjoy. The place is encircled by lovely mountains, pretty much like a European countryside. You can rent a cute little hotel with a gorgeous and practice Yoga in the morning.

Paso Robles, near Los Angeles

California’s wine capital offers the perfect location and weather for producing the most exquisite wines across the States. People in Los Angeles and San Fransisco must spare a mini vacation in Paso Robles, sipping a crisp glass of Vino while enjoying the warm days and cool nights.

The endless vineyards and olive orchards spread across thousands of acres make the place truly magical.

Navajo County, Arizona

To escape the scorching heat of this state, Navajo County offers a fine and dandy weather along with beautiful panoramas. Pinetop, the top location in this area, in incredibly beautiful vistas of ceaseless lakes and mountains.

You can go fishing in one of the lakes, or try a hand at horse-riding on one of the trails. Grab a beer at one of the Cowboy bars or get a taste of local live music at the Lion’s Den.

Hilo, Hawaii

Hawaii is a mandate when it comes to holidaying in the States. Located at the foothills of three volcanoes is Hilo. Although a weekend trip won’t be enough to explore this island to the fullest, you can at least see some. There are amazing waterfalls, vast rainforests, blooming gardens and an ever-ending Aloha spirit.

Take your kids to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Imiloa Astronomy Center for a good learning experience. Other than that, there are many museums, art galleries and local shops to delve into.

The beach activities and water sports are endless. Head on to Leleiwi Beach Park for a family picnic. The black sand Richardson Beach Park is unique with the colors and offers a perfect semblance for swimming and snorkeling.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

If you are stationed in Nevada and enjoying the winter season, Lake Tahoe is waiting for you this weekend. The location of this place is such that you can enjoy plenteous varied activities on your weekend. Skiing, swimming, golfing, shopping, clubbing, hiking, it’s all covered.

The Emerald Bay State Park, like the other countless State Parks, is a beautiful landmark with magnificent views. Go Vikingsholm, Eagle Fall Trail-head or Fallen Leaf Lake for a great mountaineering experience.

Indianapolis, Indiana

The Sports-centric city of the States hosts many exciting events like Basketball, Super Bowl, and the Indianapolis 500. besides this, it houses the world’s largest children’s museum and a world class zoo. For families, Indy is an unequaled holiday location in this area.

Car racing buffs must visit the Brickyard and try a hand at the open wheel Indy cars.

San Diego, California

The huge city has an intriguing small town charm. A weekend holiday to this place and you could explore some of the most beautiful beaches of the US. The weather is great almost all the time. For kids, there is Legoland, Sea World Theme Park and San Diego Zoo- enough for a short trip.

The beaches are quite popular among the surfers. You could find many of them surfing with their dogs. All in all, it is a great option for the West Coast people.

US is huge. So naturally, there are countless places to be explored. The above mentioned list is but a brief of what this continent has to offer. Give your weekend fun a head start with this list and go on exploring the hidden treasures. The States won’t let you down!

How to plan a mini vacation

You only really need a few things!

After you pick your place, you need to find a hotel that is affordable and in a good location.

I always use this website to research places to stay. It has user reviews and experiences. I rely on them a lot.

And then I usually end up booking my accommodation on or on Expedia.

If you are flying to get to your destination, Expedia is a good place to find flight prices as well.

And if you are renting a car, you can use They work with the major car rental companies so you can choose the cheapest rental car company.

Leave a Comment:

Myna Sain says

There are no snow-capped mountains near New Orleans…..perhaps in Jackson, Wyoming which is no where close.

Ginger says

Just wanted to point out that Jackson is not near New Orleans. Thought maybe they meant Jackson, MS but the mountains and bar are def Jackson Hole, WY. I just spent 2 days there & stayed in the hotel with that bar. Amazing town, breath taking views, shopping, nightlife, history, wildlife, very impressive!!!

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