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  • Writer's pictureKristy Italiano

Weekend Summer Getaways: Southeast Edition

The dog days of summer are officially here. Is it already time to queue the somber summer sadness music? It seems like the summer months seem to always be over in a blink of an eye!

If you have yet to plan a long weekend away (or two), now is the time to pack your bags and hit the road (or skies). If you're looking to explore somewhere new or revisit an old destination, the southeast has some spectacular towns to help you scratch your summer getaway itch.

Key West, FL

Casa Marina Key West
Casa Marina Key West

Known as Florida's southernmost point (it's roughly 90 miles north of Cuba), Key West is the perfect long weekend destination depending on where you live. It's a diverse, subtropical paradise full of history and culture and Duval Street is where the streets of Key West come to life.

Looking for the ultimate foodie destination? Look no further than the Keys. Be sure to stop by Sunset Pier and One Duval Restaurant for some delicious island food. After a day of exploring and some eats, Casa Marina is a top choice to take in the beach views while enjoying a sunset dinner before you turn in for the night. The hotel has private beach access, an adult and kids pool, and plenty of hammocks to enjoy the ocean breeze after breakfast each morning. Looking for things to do? Swing by and visit the Southern Most Point and Hemmingway Home & Museum while taking in the sights and sounds around town. If you have the time, take a boat or seaplane to Dry Tortugas National Park for a half or full day excursion.

For a tiny island, there's something for everyone so if you've never been to Key West, please do me a favor and add this to your bucket list. It's the perfect island getaway.

Travel Tips: If you plan on flying and have some extra time, fly into Miami International Airport, rent a car, and drive down to Key West to explore all the Keys have to offer. It’s about a 3 hour drive if you don’t make too many stops, but well worth it.

If you're a beach bum, be sure to book your stay where you have private beach access. Not every hotel offers this depending on where they are situated.

Savannah, GA

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

A beautiful coastal destination in Georgia, Savannah rarely disappoints. Cobblestone streets, beautifully landscaped parks, horse drawn carriages, and historic landmarks make this a great destination for couples, families, and just a long weekend away with friends.

While there, be sure to take a stroll through Forsyth Park to admire the Spanish moss draped oak trees. If you're there on a Saturday, be sure to stop by the local farmer's market in the morning on the south side. Savannah City Market is also another great spot to walk around and meet emerging creative and musical artists or take a tour of the city and learn all about it's rich culture and architectural history. With so much to do and so many quaint bed and breakfasts to stay in, this town makes for a perfect getaway.

Travel Tip: If you're looking to take in all the historic sites around town, jump on (and off) one of the trolleys at your leisure to explore all the sites while you're there. For a fee, you can easily get from one side of the city to the next without the hassle of having to park and drive to each location.

Charleston, SC

Charleston Fire Department
Charleston Fire Department

With a rich coastal culture, Charleston is a romantic getaway like no other. This charming town boasts cobblestone streets, historic inns and beachside resorts, boutique shops, and savory restaurants.

As you explore the downtown area, be sure to spend time in the historic district and Waterfront Park. As you stroll through the park, make your way to The Battery and Rainbow Row where you'll discover the infamous row of pastel-colored historic homes. Not sure where to book your stay? You’ve got options including the award winning French Quarter Inn. One of my favorite spots in all the city is the Historic Charleston City Market where you’ll meet locals, find passionate entrepreneurs, talented artists, and a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. What are your waiting for? Grab the hubby (or the girls) and create an unforgettable weekend in Charleston!

Travel Tip: If you're planning to visit in the summer, book early for the best deals. There are plenty of places to stay local to the downtown area or venture further out and stay closer to the beach. Most things are within close proximity so if you have a bike, bring it or rent one to avoid traffic.

Asheville, NC

Switzerland Inn
Switzerland Inn

Known as the 'Land of the Sky', Asheville is nestled less than 100 miles east of the Great Smokey Mountains. This town (and nearby surrounding towns) is big in personality and has plenty to see and do from hikes, waterfall excursions, mountain beaches, swimming holes, restaurants, art galleries, quirky museums, and more.

The Biltmore, a 1895 French Renaissance castle built by George W. Vanderbilt, is a must visit if you're headed this way. At over 8,000 acres, the property and beautiful gardens are perfect to visit any time of year. Downtown Asheville has over 200 shops, boutiques, and art galleries for you to canvas as you take in all the sites and sounds of the town. There are plenty of bed and breakfasts nearby to rest and recharge after a long day of shopping or hiking. It's a great town to get lost in over and over again!

Travel Tip:

You'll only need 2-3 days to experience all that Asheville has to offer, but if you have more time and want to extend your stay, venture to Bryce City and take a train ride on the Great Smokey Mountains Railroad or take a scenic ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Little Switzerland. The views will not disappoint!

Know Before You Go

Travel restrictions and guidelines are changing all the time, so be sure to do your research before you hop in the car (or plane) and go.

What are some of your favorite southeast destinations? Drop a comment below!

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