Five Great Getaways in the USA

BreakingModern — If you dread the scrutiny of your relatives during the Thanksgiving holiday, you may need pre- or post-turkey getaways. Why not consider a quick respite to a nearby vacation spot? Whether you prefer the East Coast or the West Coast (or any place in between), a short vacation in the good ol’ U.S.A. can provide a great and affordable spike of rest and relaxation. Here are five swinging spots for deals. And don’t forget that Airbnb has shared-economy options for each of the cities listed.

Las Vegas

There are always lodging deals in the “City That Never Sleeps” because there are oodles of hotel accommodations available. The Las Vegas Strip alone boasts over 62,000 rooms.

Las Vegas Strip USA Getaways

The Strip’s latest darling is the SLS Las Vegas, which opened in late August after a $415 million makeover of the legendary Sahara Hotel. The SLS “Be Legendary” deal, with promo code: SBELGND gives you a 25 percent discount on rooms at the resort, which features cuisine from José Andrés, Katsuya by Starck and Umami Burger. Although New Year’s Eve is a blackout date, the deal is available for Thanksgiving and Christmas. When I checked prices for a two-night stay in November or December, rates ranged from $67 to $104, not including tax and the $25 daily resort fee that provides in-room Internet, pool and fitness center access, etc.

Additional savings on food, beverages and rooms are available when you join The Code, the free SLS membership program. Although there is a current discount to save CODE members 40 percent off a stay at SLS Las Vegas, I found cheaper room rates using the Be Legendary code, which doesn’t expire until May 31, 2015 (additional blackout dates apply in 2015). Las Vegas is a drive destination from many western states, and there are frequently airfare and package deals from the Midwest and East Coast.

Greenville, South Carolina

“Greenville?” you may ask. And Greenville would reply: “Yeah, that Greenville.” That’s because the city is savvy enough to know that when someone says, “Name an awesome southern destination,” the city in upstate South Carolina may not be on the tip of anyone’s tongue. The area, in fact, is booming and represents a great hidden value for all vacationers.

Video: People Are Talking About Greenville SC

There are lodging deals all over the place. For example, rates at the Westin Poinsett in downtown Greenville are typically less than $200 per night. In 2012, Southwest Airlines added direct flights from Chicago, Nashville, Houston, Dallas and BWI Airport in Maryland. I found roundtrip fares on Southwest in early December for $249 from Dallas to Greenville and $278 from LaGuardia, NY, to Greenville.

BMW located its U.S. auto factory to Greenville 20 years ago and you can explore the company’s Zentrum Museum Monday through Friday for free. Tourists can also visit a plethora of local breweries with Greenville Brew Tours. And don’t forget about all the multi-use pedestrian and bicycle trails in the area, such as the 17.5-mile Swamp Rabbit Trail that has a variety of attractions all along the path. Visitors can rent a bike or take advantage of Greenville’s bikesharing program — a 24-hour membership is only $5.

Finger Lake Region, New York

FingerLakes Watkins Glen True Love 2 Seneca Lake USA GetawaysThe Finger Lakes are 11 glacial lakes surrounded by 14 counties with fall and winter activities that include biking, hiking, skiing and other winter sports. TripAdvisor lists the Gorge at Watkins Glen State Park as the No. 1 attraction in the region, and the area has numerous affordable lodging and dining options.

Unique museums such as the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning and the National Museum of Play in Rochester are recommended for all visitors. You can also spend a day or a weekend wine tasting or beer tasting. Local brew enthusiasts created a Finger Lakes Beer Trail to guide visitors and locals to the best beer in the region. The Finger Lakes are easily accessible via airports in Rochester or Syracuse or highways in the Northeast. It is a great driving destination from Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and other nearby cities. And if you love Airbnb, check out these options in and around Watkins Glen.

Del Mar, California

Unlike some Southern California seaside villages, Del Mar is a fun place to explore on foot.  Shops and restaurants are just a short stroll away. The San Diego Zoo is about a half-hour drive and the coastal hiking trails in La Jolla’s Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve are 10 minutes away.

During a September visit, I had a spa treatment and took a private yoga class on the beach with Place 360 Health + Spa, a local oasis that offers wellness treatments ranging from massage to Pilates and acupuncture. But the main reason Del Mar made my shortlist for fall getaways is that the Del Mar Race Track is hosting its inaugural Bing Crosby Fall Meet with 15 days of horse races. Plus, hotel rates in the area are generally lower than in San Diego. For example, Hotel Indigo Del Mar, where I was a guest in September, has starting rates ranging from $120-$197 in November and December. Rates at the Hotel Indigo in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter were at least $100 higher. Roundtrip airfares from San Francisco or San Jose typically start at $150.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia skyline daytime USA getawaysPhilly is a town with something for everyone — it doesn’t matter if you’re interested in beer or Ben Franklin.

There are a lot of great day trips out of Philadelphia too. You can easily drive or catch a train to Valley Forge, or make your way to Bucks County to sample its Wine Trail or tour the Pearl S. Buck house. Although the city is a driving destination for many in New Jersey and Maryland, you can save 30 percent off a companion fare on Amtrak through December 19. When I check prices for a Friday to Monday trip next weekend, Nov. 21-24 and in early December, the discount reduced the fare for two travelers to $82 each way. Last minute jaunts to Philly from the West Coast tend to be pricey unless you use frequent-flier miles or are willing to let opaque sites like Priceline or Hotwire dictate what time you fly. (As you may know, opaque sites do not show the airline or time of flight until after you pay.)

If you can, take some time this Fall to explore the getaways in the USA.

For BMod, I’m Terry Gardner

First Image: By Nandaro (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Second Image: Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance

Third Image: Philadelphia skyline-daytime” by Jeffrey M. VinocurOwn work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Featured/Header Image: Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance

Terry Gardner

Author: Terry Gardner

Based in Santa Monica, CA, Terry Gardner is a freelance journalist whose passion for travel, scuba diving and the environment led to a career as a travel journalist. She blogs for various websites, including the Los Angeles Times Travel & Deal blog and Huffington Post. Terry's website is www.terrytravels.com. Her Twitter and Facebook handles are terrytravels1.

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