Photo by: Christopher Seufert

With vacation times growing shorter and cities getting more crowded, the weekend escape is evolving into the world’s standard vacation. Getting out of the city is essential to the trips, but what you can do is varied and expanding in diversity. The antithesis of the city is the country, which attracts many variables such as a serene natural environment, comfortable hotel room, lack of noise, and usually good food. Vineyards are a popular option for many regions of the world, as are national parks, beaches, gambling, and luxury resorts.

  1. Tuscany, Italy Perhaps the ultimate city escape in all of Italy is Tuscany, the quaint hills and farming villages, home of Chianti wine, and agro-turismo.
  2. Macau, China China’s Las Vegas is just forty miles west of Hong Kong, across the Pearl River Delta. Luxury hotels, casinos, beaches, colonial architecture, and the latest in Chinese modernity.
  3. Napa Valley From either San Francisco or Los Angeles you can hop in your car and enter one of the world’s great wine regions. Apart from the wine, you’ll find delightful inns and lavish spas strewn about the countryside.
  4. Cape Cod, Massachusetts There’s room for more than just the Kennedy’s at the Cape. Small towns and friendly summer beaches are just what every kid from Boston needs.
  5. Provence, France The French countryside is where all of Paris goes to escape the crowds and thoughts of the city and allow their mind to rest and dream. Vineyards, hearty country meals, chateaus and inns.
  6. Ohakune, New Zealand This is the North Island’s top ski destination and sits near Tongariro National Park. The resort is home to the highest vertical drop in Australasia, has the largest ski terrain in the country, and the highest lift access terrain.
  7. Hunter Valley, Australia The Hunter Valley is Australia’s most notable wine region and sits just 2-3 hours drive north of Sydney. It’s home to several of the largest vineyards, as well as small inns, cellars, and decent dining options.
  8. Mendoza, Argentina The center of South America’s wine industry is among the best weekend getaways in the Americas. Apart from wine spas, vineyard tours, and wine therapy you’ll find boutique hotels, skiing, horseback riding, hiking, and some of the best dining in Argentina.
  9. Himalayan Hill Stations, India These hill stations such as Nainital and Musoorie Himalayas were built by the British in the foothills to escape the intoxicating heat and crowds of New Delhi and other Indian cities. Today they are lined with charming inns, honeymooners, and peaceful overlooks.
  10. Viña del Mar, Chile Whether coming from Santiago or next door Valpo, Viña del Mar offers perhaps the best choice for a beach scene in central Chile. Not only is there a massive summer concert, but hip inns and chic dining and nightlife.

Click here for our Top 10 Weekend / City Escapes in Europe