Hear that “oooophhh” noise? That’s the sound of an entire nation sighing as the end of August rapidly approaches — and with it comes the unofficial end of summer. But don’t fret quite yet — you’ve still got time to squeeze some summer travel adventures in. Time to pack your bags and head off for one last summer road trip.
A quick trip out of your city is absolutely doable. Scroll on for our fave weekend getaways, easily accessible from eight major metro areas.
1. Seattle to Willamette Valley: Pacific Northwest wine lovers, rejoice: Willamette Valley is this region’s must-visit spot for must-sip wine. Located in Seattle’s neighbor to the south (yep, we mean Oregon), the valley is home to nearly 200 wineries, many of them serving up some of the best glasses of pinot noir in the states. Make sure you “cheers” to the end of summer with an incredible wine tour that’s just a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Seattle. (Photo via Don Hankins)
2. San Francisco to Sausalito: Ever wonder what sits beyond the Golden Gate Bridge? Head over to postcard-perfect Sausalito to find out. Get a little sweaty by hiking through Muir Woods, then cool off with a dip at Stinson Beach. Don’t forget to explore the cute town of Sausalito itself! At only an hour’s drive from San Francisco, this is definitely a quick end-of-summer getaway worth taking. (Photo via Michael Theis)
3. Chicago to Lake Geneva: This classic lakeside resort town in Wisconsin is just a one-and-a-half-hour drive from the Windy City, but you’ll feel like you’re worlds away once you arrive. If you get in enough beach time and want to try something different, hop on a historic boat cruise around the lake, or visit the area’s many mansions to ogle at how the other half lives. (via Adam Simmons)
4. NYC to Rehoboth Beach: Yes, Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach is a bit of a hike from the Big Apple (it’s just under four hours away by car), but heading further south past the packed beaches of the Jersey Shore will give you a way more ocean-side solitude, with a funky retro feel to boot. Spend one of your last summer weekends hitting up the classic wack-a-mole games and other carnival rides at Funland, a classic beach boardwalk amusement park. Then shop for some new-to-you vintage baubles and quirky dresses in classic cuts at Downtown Cowgirl so you can head back to the city in style. (via Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce + Visitors Center)
5. Nashville to Lookout Mountain: Impress your friends when you post photos of yourself at the top of Lookout Mountain, where you’ll be privy to a view of seven different states (yep, seven!). Just two-and a-half hours from Nashville, Lookout Mountain is the perfect outdoorsy escape for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Not the rugged mountain-climbing type? No worries, the Incline Railway has got you covered — the super cute train service will take you from the shops and restaurants in St. Elmo to the tip top of the mountain, no hiking involved. Ride the train up and hike down to experience the best of both worlds. (Photo via Rob Shenk)
6. L.A. to Santa Barbara: Escape the hustle and bustle of L.A. for the 1930’s architecture and beautiful beaches of Santa Barbara, where the mountains meet the sea. You can “ohh” and “ahh” over Santa Barbara’s pretty red-roofed courthouse while taking in a movie there — the courthouse hosts movie nights every Friday throughout the summer. Santa Barbara is less than a two-hour drive from L.A., though we recommend you tack on a half hour of driving time to your trip and take the scenic route up the Pacific Coast Highway. (Photo via Michael Theis)
7. Atlanta to Savannah: Ready to get your southern drawl on? Head to Savannah for a magical weekend beneath sprawling southern oaks. This gem of a city combines amazing southern eats (check out the riverwalk for prime pickings) with beautiful public squares and breathtaking historic homes for one unforgettable weekend getaway. Savannah can get blazing hot during the summer, so take the half-hour trek to nearby Tybee Island to beat the heat at the beach. (Photo via Jeff Gunn)
8. Boston to Cape Cod: It’s the classic Boston weekend escape for a reason. With clapboard-sided houses, wavy fields of long grass and miles of soft sandy beaches, Cape Cod is the ultimate “relax and unwind” destination. To change things up a bit, skip the crowds at Provincetown and head to Truro, a tiny town that’s the perfect, peaceful place to while away one of the last weekends of summer. (Photo via Massachusetts Office of Tourism)
Where will you be heading on your end-of-summer weekend getaway? Tell us in the comments below!