Taking a quick getaway trip for the weekend is something we should all experience at least once in our lives. In fact, it’s probably something we should do with some regularity. There’s nothing wrong with taking an entire weekend to leave home, board a quick flight, unwind in a new city, have fun, release the stresses of your everyday life, and back home in time for work on Monday. Sure it’s a bit chaotic and overly impulsive, but we all need a little bit of spontaneity in our lives. The trick is to plan ahead so that you can hit all the major points on a checklist that are going to get you the most bang for your buck while still having the time of your life.
So once you’ve decided to splurge a bit and throw caution to the wind, where to now? That’s the big question. Where is the perfect destination for your weekend trip? There are plenty to choose from, but when it comes down to it, there are a few cities that simply stand out as your best weekend destinations. They have to offer an abundance of fun activities, great food and a variety of hotel options.
If you are looking to get the most out of your wallet, Las Vegas and New York City are probably at the top of your list. Here are ten reasons to spend a weekend in Sin City and ten more to jet over to the Big Apple.
20 Las Vegas: The Hotels Are Part of the Experience
Unlike New York City, where you will essentially be using your hotel room exactly as it is intended (for sleep), part of the experience in Vegas IS the hotel! One of the most exciting parts of the trip is simply selecting which hotel you are going to book. With so many different options from the famed Bellagio to the MGM Grand or the Palms Casino Resort and Caesar’s Palace, you'll find it hard to pick one.
Each of these hotels, and many more, offer incredible rooms with all the amenities you would expect to go along with unmatched views of the city and access to their world-class casinos and restaurants. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself not wanting to leave your hotel for the remainder of your trip.
19 NYC: There’s More Than Enough to Do in a Weekend
With a city like New York, you’ll find that a getaway there is going to leave you with a small dilemma. There is so much to do, you’ll have trouble narrowing down your activities to one weekend. It’s a problem, sure, but one that you probably won’t mind having especially when you’re choosing between options like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Empire State Building and Central Park!
18 Las Vegas: The Breakfast Buffets
This might seem like a trivial reason to call out, but some of the buffets offered at these top-notch hotels are something to write home about. In fact, many of them have become pretty sought after. You get the opportunity to dine on some pretty incredible food prepared by world-renowned chefs and served in heaps at a price you just can’t argue with.
Plus, since it’s a weekend trip, the brunch served up during your getaway is going to be one of the highlights.
17 NYC: All of the Food!
Speaking of great eats, NYC simply cannot be beaten when it comes to the food you will find throughout the city. In fact, it’s more than enough reason on its own merit to plan a trip.
With food from all around the world, you will quite literally find any kind you are hoping to chow down on.
Whether you’re looking to try hot dogs and falafels from the street cart vendors, Cuban sandwiches in the Bronx, dumplings in Chinatown, New York style pizza in Brooklyn or the finest dining by the world’s best chefs in midtown, you’re in for a treat.
16 Las Vegas: The Casinos
This is a pretty obvious one and it sort of goes without saying, but the casinos are plenty of reason to visit Vegas for a weekend. If spending a few hours here is your thing, there’s no better place in the world to divulge your vice.
But if spinning wheels, flipping cards and rolling dice aren't quite up your alley, the casinos still offer up a diverse range of activities and entertainment, for people of all ages.
Careful though - the casinos don't have clocks on display, so you can easily lose track of time.
15 NYC: The Shopping
Saks Fifth Avenue. Barneys. Macy’s Flagship Store. The original Tiffany and Co. Bloomingdale’s. The list goes on and on. New York is probably the retail capital of the country. And worldwide, it’s up there with Paris.
With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for no matter what item is on your checklist. With so much retail potential, your credit card might take a beating.
14 Las Vegas: Fat Tuesday Slushies
If you are looking for some relief from the relentless Nevada desert heat, Fat Tuesday’s has got you covered. Famous for their daiquiris and adult slushes, residents and tourists alike have come to fall in love with the staple of the city. Walk around the city’s attractions and you’ll be sure to see plenty of folks with the signature longneck, colorful bottles in hand.
Considering the often hot temperatures in Vegas (it is in the middle of the desert, after all), a cold drink goes down like a treat.
13 NYC: 9/11 Memorial and Museum
A weekend in New York City isn’t complete without a detour to one of the country’s most important sites. A trip to the September 11 Memorial and Museum is a must for every local and foreigner, and more than enough reason to book a flight.
Be prepared for a coming of emotions, as both the memorial that now sits where the original towers once stood, and the museum full of meaningful artifacts, pack powerful mementos that will have a profound effect on you.
12 Las Vegas: The Strip
The Strip, Sin City’s most trafficked area, 4 miles of Las Vegas Boulevard, is where all the action is at. The biggest reason most travelers visit the city, is spellbinding and captivating in every way.
A stroll down the Strip will have you walking by the city’s most visited and popular hotels, casinos, restaurants and bars. Most of your time will be here and with good reason!
11 NYC: It’s Easy to Get Around the City
A great reason to choose The City That Never Sleeps is its unmatched accessibility. Even though it packs nearly 10 million residents, the city of New York is actually pretty miniature in size when compared to other major cities. This doesn’t help with its population density, but it’s a dream for getting around from one famed attraction to another.
You can get from the Rockefeller Center to Central Park in minutes whether via 15 minute walk or a 5 minute Uber. Don’t forget the comprehensive subway system, the most used mass transit in all of the country. The accessibility will help you pack more sightseeing into your weekend getaway than you can keep up with.
10 Las Vegas: It’s CHEAP
Probably the single biggest reason to choose Vegas for your weekend destination is the money. With so many travelers choosing Sin City for their bachelor and bachelorette parties, honeymoons, and weddings, the city has become known for its bargain prices on airfare and hotel stay packages.
You can literally find a weekend bundle for two travelers to Vegas for less than a grand. That’s practically a steal considering two people are getting roundtrip flights plus stay at some of the country’s best hotels.
9 NYC: Broadway
If you are still aren’t convinced that taking a getaway trip to New York City is a good idea, then Broadway might be your saving grace. Considered the capital of all theatre districts in the world, Broadway is world-famous for its incredible benchmark of live theatre.
Consisting of musicals and plays, there are so many different shows to choose from, you’ll find it difficult to select only one. Although many major cities see the same shows at some point, nothing can compare to experiencing them right where they originated under all the flashing lights of Theatre Row. A year-round experience, you can book one at any time.
8 Las Vegas: It Has a Bit of NYC In It
If you’re struggling between selecting Vegas or NYC, you might want to consider the fact that Vegas actually as a little of the Big Apple right on the Strip. You could kill two birds with one stone by booking your stay in Sin City at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino.
A hotel designed to resemble 1940’s NYC, the entire complex is a smaller replica of the city, complete with the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and Grand Central Terminal. Once inside the property, the casino is modeled after the streets and neighborhoods of NYC, really making the experience even more authentic!
7 NYC: The Museums
There’s no other city in the world that is going to give you the full experience of museums that New York has to offer. Sure, Paris has the Louvre, but the Big Apple is home to some of the most expansive and respected museums, making it number one.
With options that have even been featured in famous films and educational specials like MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Met, the Museum of Natural History, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, to name just a few. That list is already more than enough to choose from, and we haven't even left Manhattan yet.
6 Las Vegas: It Even Has Paris Too
If you’ve always wanted to visit Paris, France, but don’t quite have the funds for such an extravagant trip, Vegas has got you covered. You can stay at the Paris Las Vegas, a hotel on the Strip which obviously features a Parisian theme throughout the grounds.
With replicas of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to France. The replica of the Eiffel Tower even allows visitors to transcend to the viewing deck, which provides great views of the Strip
5 NYC: The Festivals Will Keep You Busy for The Entire Weekend
If you want to bypass all the tourist attractions and famous landmarks the city has to offer, you can always hand pick a weekend that coincides with any number of festivals that might interest you. The city hosts countless festivals throughout the year and it’s a rarity that New York would go a single weekend without a one in any of its parks or neighborhoods.
You can choose from famous annual events that are televised like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting. You can also choose from any number of art, film and music festivals, some large like the Tribeca Film Festival and many that are popups throughout the city’s parks that add to the authenticity of the celebration.
4 Las Vegas: The Shows
NYC has Broadway which is pretty hard to compete with, but Las Vegas also has its world-famous entertainment shows that have become one of the city’s biggest draws. Not limited to plays or musicals, these shows can also include live musical performances from some of the world’s biggest acts like Celine Dion or Britney Spears, Cirque de Soleil, the Blue Man Group, and Penn and Teller.
Whatever you are in the mood for taking in on any given night, the city has your flavor.
3 NYC: The Parks
The city is known as the “Concrete Jungle”, but don’t take away from its impeccably beautiful green space. New York makes a concerted effort to build and maintain their city parks and it has made it a destination for many of its residents.
With spaces like the famous Central Park, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Bridge Park, the High Line and Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park, you’ll find yourself forgetting that you're surrounded by so many skyscrapers. Contrary to popular belief, we can get lost in NYC's idyllic greenery.
2 Las Vegas: Three Days is More Than Enough
In fact, you might always want to limit any trip to Vegas to just a weekend. It has nothing to do with the city not having enough fun activities for more than just a few days. On the contrary, there’s plenty.
But anything more than a weekend and you might find yourself in some financial trouble, or just plain burnt out. With so many places to spend money in such a short period of time, not to mention the casinos, Vegas is built for the perfect short getaway!
1 NYC: The Views
The views in NYC simply cannot be beaten. If you want to be in awe of a city’s skyline, there isn’t another that can compete. Sometimes sitting from your hotel room at night, depending on where you’ve selected to stay, you’ll find yourself inspired by the New York City skyline.
Visitors can check out any of the towering observation decks the city has to offer. Do so, and you'll be rewarded with a bird’s eye view of the city of lights (move over, Paris) surrounding you in every direction.
On any trip to the Big Apple, taking it all in from above is a must.