Three-day weekend coming up? Need a break and have some vacay days you could use? Sometimes all you need to get a weekend trip on the books is a little inspiration—which is exactly what StudentUniverse got for you.
1. New Orleans, LA
Worth Waiting in Line For: Beignets at Cafe du Monde or Cafe Beignet. Cafe du Monde is hands-down one of the best (and oldest!) spots for the iconic NOLA treat. Cafe Beignet is a bit quieter—and their beignets are just as amazing.
Must-Do: Catch live music and indulge in tons to eat and drink with a walk down Bourbon Street and the (only slightly) quieter Frenchman Street. Both are in the French Quarter. Need a little more adventure? A swamp tour will get you up close to the crocs.
Best Time to Visit: Visit between February-May, when temperatures are cooler (and slightly less sticky).
2. Vancouver, Canada
Worth Waiting in Line For: Nanaimo Bars at the Granville Island Public Market. Nanaimo bars are named after the town Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and have three layers: cookie/coconut crumb base, custard icing and chocolate on top. Once you try the OG, you’ll definitely want to try other flavors—and Vancouver won’t disappoint.
Must-Do: Go hiking. It’s no secret that Canada is beautiful and has no shortage of hiking and forests to prove it! Stick close to the city and hang out in Stanley Park for the afternoon. Serious hikers can check out the Joffre Lakes trail or St. Mark’s Summit. Need a good pic for the ‘gram? The Capilano Suspension Bridge is where it’s at.
Best Time to Visit: April to October. Less crowded in spring, less rainy in summer.
3. New York City, NY
Worth Waiting in Line For: Lucali’s, Joe’s Pizza or Di Fara’s for a classic NYC slice.
Must-Do: The real question is, what in New York isn’t a must-do? Head to Times Square and Central Park for shopping, eating, and people-watching. Pay a visit to Lady Liberty, check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met, for short) or head to the top of the Empire State Building for 360° views.
Best Time to Visit: April-June and October-November for the best weather and the least crowds.
4. Santa Barbara, CA
Worth Waiting in Line For: McConnell’s Ice Cream. It’s been a staple dessert shop downtown for since 1949. You’ll find classic favorites (Vanilla Bean, Mint Chip) alongside creative flavors (Eureka Lemon & Marionberries, Whiskey & Pecan Pralines) plus seasonal and dairy-free flavors, too.
Must-Do: Hit the beach. Whether you want to surf, kayak, stand-up-paddleboard or just relax and get a tan, Santa Barbara’s got the beaches. If you need something indoors, grab brunch or Mexican food (there’s plenty of both!) or catch a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl.
Best Time to Visit: Literally anytime. Summer can obviously be quite hot, but with the ocean right there, you’ll be okay. (Ocean temps are warmest in late-summer to fall.)
5. Asheville, NC
Worth Waiting in Line For: Fried-to-order donuts at Hole Doughnuts and Buxton Hall BBQ (for lunch or dinner) or Sunny Point Cafe (for breakfast).
Must-Do: Asheville’s surrounded by mountains, so if you need an escape to the great outdoors, Asheville’s your city. Hike part of the famed Appalachian Trail or hike Mount Pisgah for amazing views (especially in the fall). Want to stay urban? Stroll through the River Arts District downtown with hundreds of artists’ studios and galleries line the river or spend a day tasting craft brews. (Asheville has the most breweries per capita in the US!)
Best Time to Visit: Spring or fall. Spring for all the blossoms, fall for the foliage.