Top 10 Weekend Getaways
The Great Smoky Mountains roaring fork motor trail

Standing by Roaring Fork Creek, you can hear the water rushing over the rocks and feel a refreshing mountain breeze. Can't you just feel yourself unwinding already?


If you're overwhelmed from work responsibilities or burnt out from life in general, a weekend getaway is a refreshing break from your daily obligations. The trend is moving away from longer summer vacations and toward shorter, frequent getaways [source: Belson]. The decline of the traditional vacation began in the mid-80s, and the popularity of shorter vacations is on the rise [source: Brown]. A study by the U.S. Travel Association reveals that travelers avoided more than 40 million trips by air between 2008 and 2009 because of a growing frustration with the state of air travel [source: U.S. Travel Association]. Limited time and resources coupled with the hassles of air travel have shifted the focus from the traveling component of the vacation to the destination.

Enter the weekend getaway where fresh adventures await a few hours from your doorstep. To make the most of your getaway, plan a three- or four-day weekend a few hundred miles (or less) from home. Leave on Thursday night or Saturday morning, returning on Monday rather than Sunday, to avoid the heaviest traffic en route and spend more time enjoying your trip.

Explore 10 wonderful weekend getaways from the comfort of your keyboard, and then pick one and make it happen. Just imagine how you'll feel when you unplug from the computer and turn off your Smartphone. When you immerse yourself in the spirit of the getaway, you'll return refreshed and able to tackle the challenges ahead with a renewed vigor and a brightened outlook.