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7 North American Cities Perfect for a 3-Day Weekend

SmarterTravel

Looking for a city you can savor on the rare three-day weekend, rather than on that’ll have you scrambling to see everything? You can cross these North American spots off your list in just a few days, and come home feeling cultured and invigorated, not tired and overwhelmed.

Best 3-Day Weekend Cities in North America

There’s an eclectic array of three-day weekend options around North America thanks to growing second cities and new flight routes. Here’s where to find them.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

There’s more to see in Minnesota than you might expect, and the larger of its Twin Cities beckons beer, music, and outdoor lovers for a three-day weekend. Often named the most bike-friendly city in America, Minneapolis can be easily canvassed on two wheels to fit in all its green parks, hip breweries, public art (like the famed Spoonbridge and Cherry at Walker Art Center), and swimmable spots like Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun—this is the City of Lakes, after all. Of course, you’ll need to visit in warmer weather if you want to enjoy all the city’s outdoor adventures. Don’t miss music-famous spots like the First Avenue nightclub and Prince’s home and studios at nearby Paisley Park.

Thanks to the recent expansion of Minnesotan low-cost carrier Sun Country, Minneapolis is newly accessible to parts of the country like Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Santa Barbara, California.

Book it: Get prices for the Marquette Hotel and other area hotels

Savannah, Georgia

Slow down with Savannah’s warm sun and equally warm people on a three-day weekend of tantalizing food, iconic historic sights, and a heavy dose of Southern charm. Exploring colonial parks and estates hidden behind moss-draped tree tunnels will help you walk off the fried food and barbecue.

Stay in a historic inn, take a scenic Savannah River cruise, and be sure to work in a ghost or cemetery tour to stay true to Savannah’s reputation as one of America’s most haunted cities. You can also stroll the Downtown Historic District, where artisan shops and outdoor cafes bring new life to the old South. It’s all well within a relaxing weekend’s reach.

American Airlines added new daily flights to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport this year from the Miami and Chicago areas, and the airport serves most major U.S. cities.

Book it: Get prices for the Stephen Williams House and other area hotels

Montreal, Canada

You don’t need to fly to Paris to experience incredible French food and feel immersed in the language. Montreal, Canada is a stone’s throw from most of the Northeastern U.S., but delivers a three-day weekend that feels far-off.

Trendy Mile End eateries and the famed Mount Royal hiking trails are perfect year-round for a romantic getaway that might not even require airfare. Nightlife revelers can head to Rue St. Catherine’s bustling bars, festival connoisseurs love Montreal for its near-weekly festival offerings in warmer months, and history buffs can take to Old Montreal for a food or walking tour that feels more like you’re exploring a historic French port than a French-Canadian one.

Book it: Get prices for Novotel Montreal Center and other area hotels

West Hollywood, California

Introduce yourself to Los Angeles by opting for a high-energy three-day weekend in its trendiest neighborhood, West Hollywood. A trip to WeHo means boisterous nights out on the Sunset Strip, hiking and/or shopping by day, and a hotel pool to relax at in between. A rooftop patio, famous live-music bar, or row of chic independent boutiques is never far away.

Gay Pride and Halloween weekends are favorite times to visit this tiny corner of Hollywood, if you’re looking for a reason to take a vacation day. 

Book it: Get prices for The London West Hollywood and other area hotels

Portland, Oregon

Oregon’s City of Roses is a gourmand’s dream, and has enough biking paths, trolleys, and cable cars for visitors to cover it almost completely without getting in a car. Stroll Pearl District cafes and shops, hop the Aerial Tram at Oregon Health and Science University or bike to Pittock Mansion for the best views, and hike Forest Park within the city limits for a mix of urban and natural scenery.

Mississippi Avenue eateries and McMenamins’ brew-and-view movie theaters offer a way to slow down and relax, or you can hop a tour to nearby Mount Hood and bike to Multnomah Falls if you’re looking for more adventure. Portland proper and the Columbia River Valley are close enough to fit both into a three-day weekend, and flights to PDX are cheaper than ever thanks to Alaska Air’s recent expansion.

Book it: Get prices for Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland and other area hotels

Houston, Texas

Forget Austin’s pricey flights and crowded bars, and try an underrated Texas city that often feels anything but Texan. Houston is a surprisingly diverse and bikeable hub perfect for exploring art and science museums, eating international cuisine in Little Saigon and Little India.

From craft beer to the Space Center, Houston’s possibilities are endless, but accessible enough to do in a weekend. It’s ideal as a family vacation or a treat-yourself couple’s getaway. Plus, you might be surprised how cheap it is to fly to one of Houston’s two international air hubs, no matter where in the U.S. you live. 

Book it: Get prices for Hotel Derek and other area hotels

Nashville, Tennessee

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The small but bustling city of Nashville is just as rock ‘n’ roll as it is country, and packed with enough unique to-dos to please any type of traveler. America’s Music City has its own full-scale replica Parthenon, historic mansions and parks, and museums covering topics ranging from science and art to Johnny Cash. There are enough hot chicken and live-music spots to ensure you couldn’t miss out on either even if you tried, and local breweries and the Jack Daniels Distillery are favorites to wash it all down.

Allegiant expanded to Nashville this year, opening low-cost options to Florida and Virginia. An abundance of Southwest options out of Nashville also makes it an easily affordable destination from most U.S. air hubs.

Book it: Get prices for Renaissance Nashville Hotel and other area hotels

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SmarterTravel Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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