So, the time has come. You’ve decided that you want to be a Travel MANager and you have set out a plan for the perfect weekend. You’ve given it some thought. You’ve checked out all of your options. You’re pretty much checked off all the boxes and you are now ready to start making some firm commitments.
One of the most important, and most fun, parts of being the Travel MANager that you are is researching all of the awesome vacation spots you can visit. In the U.S. alone, the possibilities and the variety seems to be endless. Do you want warm or cold? City or country? Fast-paced or laid back? Touristy and active or lazy and relaxed? These answers will determine the spot you will plan the trip for and that will pretty much determine what type of weekend escape this will turn out to be.
As a fellow Weekend Escape Artist, I’ve done this a few times. It’s never easy and you will always feel like you are missing something, be it a cool spot, dope activity, or hot new restaurant. Don’t worry about all of that. Nail down the big stuff and the rest will fall right into place.
That all being said, I think it’s time for me to share my Lucky 7 Weekend Escape Artist Locations For Any Travel MANager. I tried to make the list varied enough that there are options but also not too unwieldy where it seems overwhelming. Here’s my lucky 7 in no particular order of preference:
Downtown Miami/Brickell Area (FL)
Miami is caliente’. What? Yes, I said that. The Miami of old is being reborn as an ultra-hip, ultra-sexy, chic beach spot that has all the goodness of a Caribbean island, but even better. How about great restaurants, insane nightclubs, booming cultural institutions, and a great design and shopping scene. This city has all you need for a sweet weekend escape to hero-land.
Tour the nearby Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, or take your family for a fun day at the Miami Seaquarium located on Virginia Key and nearby Key Biscayne. An urban city with all the amenities, sights, sounds, and experiences mixed with miles of gorgeous beaches, then doused with some Latin American flavor. Plus, it’s a short plan ride from NY (hey, it is my list). What more could you ask for??
Laguna Beach/Aliso Viejo (CA)
The Laguna Beach area is the Southern California (SoCal if you’re nasty) destination of everyone’s dreams. It’s beautiful. It’s glamorous. It’s uber-upscale. It’s laid back yet still refined. And what can you say about the weather? Sure, it’s a long haul for a NYer, but who cares!! It’s a great weekend escape for any travel MANager. You literally can’t go wrong with this spot.
Take in some culture at the Laguna Art Museum, or stroll through the many city parks including Aliso Beach Park and Aliso & Wood Canyons Park. Annual local events include the Newport Beach Film Festival and Laguna Beach Music Festival.
Charleston/Mt. Pleasant (SC)
Charleston is a true jewel of a city. It has true southern charm. It has historic, simply beautiful buildings. It has a great restaurant that has become known all over the U.S. Check out the shops full of design, antique, and southern charm. Walk the waterfront and picture yourself way back a century ago.
Get outside the city and see some history, too. Visit Ft. Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired or tour historic Boone Hall Plantation. Patriots Point Naval Maritime Museum is a short drive, too. Tour the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier, a submarine to get the full maritime effect.
The Second City. The City of Big Shoulders. The Beast from the Mid, um, West. I’m not sure about that last one. What I am sure of if Chicago’s awesomeness. I’ve spent a lot of time here for work in my day and I loved every minute of it. It’s NYC with a mid-western flair. It’s a great, down to earth city that is world-class all the way.
From the high-end shopping of the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Ave) to Navy Pier to Millennium Park and it’s Museum Campus and the amazing Wrigley Field and Wrigleyville area, Chicago has something for everyone. Even Lake Michigan is big-time, baby.
Texas is big. It’s very big and it has a lot of great cities and towns in it. One of the most unique, most un-Texas (yet still very much Texas) has to be Austin. “Stay Weird” is the calling card here, and they make it work. It’s a college town on steroids. It’s a high-tech mecca. It’s also considered to be the live music capital of the world. Experience the excitement of Austin’s entertainment districts, including 6th street, West 6th and Rainey Street. Enjoy both the new, hipster locavore cuisine that’s booming, while taking it slow and chowing down on some world-renowned Texas-Style BBQ. It’s a big town with a lot going on, with a little something for everyone.
It’s our nation’s capital. That should be enough. But it’s also a lot more than that. The federal buildings and historic sites are more than enough for any weekend, and that wouldn’t even be enough. From the White House to the Capital to the many amazing, truly breathtaking monuments, DC is a gorgeous city.
There are many great neighborhoods, with none more refined than Georgetown. This is where all the best shops and some of the best restaurants play…all within a perfectly preserved Colonial-era townhouse setting. It’s an invigorated downtown with emerging areas, like the Yard by the new Washington Nationals baseball park. It has character and history, and it’s all good. If you haven’t visited our nation’s capital…shame on you. It’s time for a weekend escape.
New York City/Long Island City (NY)
Well, you knew I would put this on the list. Yes, it’s my home town, and yes, it’s the best. I may be biased, but what can you do? At least I’m biased for a world-great like New York. It’s the Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps, and the best place in my world for my money. You have everything you could imagine, and all of it is big, bold, ultra-cool, and world-class. To me, it’s the best-of-the-best.
From the museums like the Met and the MoMA to Central Park and Coney Island, NYC is an excited place to visit. Check out a Broadway show or eat of a 5-star restaurant. Take in a game or stroll around one of NYC’s coolest new areas, like Brooklyn or Long Island City. This is where all the magic is happening, people. Always has and always will.
Well, there you have it. A little bit of everything from a lot of points around the U.S. I hope there is something on this list that peaks your interest and makes you want to make that final leap to Travel MANager. Become that weekend escape artist that your spouse will love. Have a good time. Have an adventure. Get out there and see the world, in easy to consume, weekend pieces. There’s a lot to see and do, you just have to do it. Don’t you think it’s…time…oh, that was awesome.