10 Last-Minute Weekend Getaway Ideas for Families and Couples
Are you looking for a last-minute weekend trip for your entire family or your significant other?
Not to brag, but our team at Merry Maids® is a pretty well-traveled group, having worked and vacationed in little-known spots across the U.S. As a result, we have the inside scoop on some weekend locales that won’t put you in financial straits. Plus, you can still book these gems off the beaten path before Labor Day Weekend.
Whether you’re an avid outdoor lover or prefer to lounge next to a serene body of water, we’ve compiled a list that will find you jet-setting across our great country whenever you have some downtime.
1. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
If you’re from the South, you’ve likely heard people talking about (or been to) Gatlinburg. But most “outsiders” aren’t yet privy to this inexpensive weekend getaway. Anyone who considers themselves an adventurer needs to take a hike through the Great Smoky Mountains.
For families and couples looking to get away from it all, Gatlinburg also offers various family-friendly attractions. Book a ride on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway or take a leisurely stroll across Skylift Park’s Gatlinburg SkyBridge, which is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America.
Lodging in Gatlinburg is easy to find with your pick of chalets, B&Bs, hotels, motels, rental condos, and campgrounds galore!
2. Gulf Shores, Alabama
When you think of pristine beaches, Alabama is probably not the first state that comes to mind. But, surprise! Gulf Shores, Alabama, has something for everyone with hiking trails, beach fun, and amazing golf courses for the potential PGA tourney contenders in your household.
Obviously, you can’t go to Gulf Shores without spending some time getting that summer glow at Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. The area touts miles of white sandy beaches you probably thought you’d only find in an international tropical destination. Luckily, you don’t have to go far (or shell out a lot of money) to enjoy a relaxing time at a beach-front resort.
Sites like Vrbo have many rental options that you can book at the last minute, whether you have one or more guests staying with you. On average, you can find a lovely seaside rental for less than $150 a night.
3. Memphis, Tennessee
Nestled next to the Mississippi River and having solidified its influential claim on blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis is a gem among gems (and an inexpensive, historical place to venture for any musicophile).
Hitch a ride on the Backbeat Tours’ bus for a 90-minute excursion to Memphis’ most famous music scenes, including Stax Studio, Sun Studio, and other world-renown locations having housed recordings by BB King, Elvis Presley, and Bruno Mars. And, of course, you can’t forget to walk down Beale Street for local eats and blues aplenty.
For the history buffs looking for a site off the beaten path, the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum in Memphis is a reverent place to be transported back in time and learn about Memphis’ connection to the Underground Railroad.
When you’re ready to take a load off and get some grub, Memphis is one of the best cities in America to sample barbeque. Check out Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous for its famous ribs and southern experience like no other.
After your trek through the city and a belly full of tasty barbeque, you can get comfy at Kasa Memphis Downtown for under $100.
4. Kemah, Texas
Located near Houston and Galveston, Kemah, Texas, is a coastal town with southern charm and nautical influences. With copious attractions, you can have seaside fun at Kemah Boardwalk or catch a ride on one of the many ferries for an evening boat tour. Once you’re finished with fun in the sun, you and the family can head over to NASA’s Johnson Space Center for an audio-guided tour to learn about human spaceflight training and research.
With several hotels priced below $80 a night—including Kemah Edgewater Hotel—there’s no shortage of waterfront locations ready to help you relax.
5. Williamsburg, Virginia
History enthusiasts will find little shortage of historical landmarks in Williamsburg, Virginia. You and your family can experience the largest outdoor educational museum in North America when you visit Colonial Williamsburg. The city of Williamsburg is home to amazing food and outdoor activities, perfect for couples who just want to get away. You and your significant other can climb aboard a chartered ship with Yorktown Sailing Charters for a two-hour sunset cruise.
After an evening on the water, you’ll be tuckered out and want to rest. Fortunately, Williamsburg’s Historic District has a bevy of century-old estates converted into stunning bed and breakfasts and hotels.
6. Santa Claus, Indiana
When you tell your kids you’re on your way to Santa Claus, Indiana, they might think they’re headed to the birthplace of Santa (or at least his off-season hideout). Still, you and the entire family can enjoy various Christmas-themed attractions all year long, such as Santa’s Candy Castle and Frosty’s Fun Center. The city is also near Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, where remnants of Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home once stood.
The Corner House bed and breakfast is the perfect place to settle in for the night or celebrate an event with family and friends. With relaxing rolling hills and several acres of farmland, you’ll start to believe in the rejuvenating power of the outdoors.
7. Boulder, Colorado
Foodies and outdoorsy types will absolutely love a last-minute weekend getaway in Boulder, Colorado. World-renowned chefs, award-winning breweries, and a vibrant downtown area encompass the best of both city-living and outdoor adventure.
What’s so unique about the area is that you could spend a day cross country skiing in the mountains, and the next day you’re hiking at Eldorado Canyon State Park or kayaking at Boulder Reservoir. Outdoor activities are abundant, but we can’t forget about the food! Boulder is so well-known for its restaurants. You can also bring your foodie checklist to make sure you hit all the local eateries and sample the cuisine.
After a day of eating and exploring the wilderness, book a room at Basecamp Hotel Boulder downtown. This contemporary spot features unique amenities and assures “accommodations that respect your budget.”
8. Lake Placid, New York
Yes, it’s that Lake Placid, just like the movie—sans the oversized man-eating croc, of course. Nature is never far away in Lake Placid, New York, where you and the family have ample opportunity to hike in the Adirondack Mountains or enjoy scenic and peaceful paddling along the many rivers and lakes in the area.
While the town is in the middle of infrastructure changes and multi-billion-dollar expansion, you can still take a seat at locally owned and operated restaurants and community haunts. Experience Adirondack-style comfort food at Salt of the Earth Bistro or elegant farm-to-table fare at Liquids and Solids at the Handlebar.
Hotels on Lake Placid can get a little pricey, but if you’re keen on staying 20 minutes outside the town, you can find affordable lodging. At $90 a night, you can stay in rustic luxury and experience simple pleasures at the RoosterComb Inn located in Keene Valley.
9. Big Sur, California
Los Angeles is usually the talk of the town when visitors start planning a weekend getaway to California. However, you’d be surprised at the various locations people overlook—Big Sur, California is definitely one of them. While a far cry from the expansive sun-baked beaches of Southern Cali, Big Sur offers cooler weather and spectacular scenery. Andrew Molera State Park welcomes visitors annually to walk its mile-long path to the beach. Share a romantic picnic with your significant other or play along the coastline with your kids.
If you stay at the Big Sur Lodge, you can get a special offer available from November 1, 2021, through February 2022 that knocks $50 off your per-night costs. Additionally, you can gain access to three of the town’s most beloved state parks.
10. Springdale, Utah
Housing a population of just over 500 residents, Springdale, Utah, is Zion National Park travelers’ quiet, stunning host town.
Your cheap weekend getaway wouldn’t be complete without a guided tour of the area from East Zion Jeep Tour. You and your loved ones will get an up-close and personal glimpse of scenic overlooks and majestic wildlife.
Flanked by regal red dirt hillsides, the restaurants of Springdale will sate your appetite and give you natural views you won’t want to turn away from. For quality pub food and craft drinks, places like Zion Canyon Brew Pub won’t disappoint. However, if you prefer healthier options and meals designed to fit special dietary requirements, try Café Soleil.
Making your way outside Springdale to Apple Valley, you can stay in quaint and updated cabins at Gooseberry Lodge for $129 a night. These unique accommodations are located close to Zion National Park, so you don’t have to worry about leaving the beauty of nature.
We Can Help You Prepare for Your Weekend Getaway
We know any last-minute getaway you plan won’t be enjoyed unless you know your home is well taken care of while you’re gone. Merry Maids has various cleaning services that make it easy to take an extended vacation to unknown destinations inside and outside of the U.S.
Let us give you peace of mind that your home will be spotless when you return, so all you have to do is unpack and relive the memories you’ve made.
Find your location today to request an estimate or call (888) 490-4227 for more information.