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  • Writer's pictureJordan Hinsch

19 Best Weekend Getaways from San Diego (within a 3 hour flight)

Updated: Jan 20




California residents are blessed to be able to ski and surf in the same day. San Diego in particular, is ideally located with easy access to National Parks, mountains, and plenty of other fun destinations within a short flight.


This article will focus on mostly domestic destinations via airplane and car. Here are some weekend getaway ideas for locals in the San Diego area within a non-stop 3 hour flight (with two bonus 4 hour+ destinations). More importantly, these trips are all possible without having to request PTO (for you M-F 9-5'ers), it just depends what you want to do at your destination.






San Francisco, California (SFO, SJC, OAK) - 1.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Tours, Food, Silicon Valley, Golden Gate Bridge, Surfing

When to go?

  • Summer

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $100+

Where can you stay?




Kansas City, Missouri (MCI) - 3 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • BBQ! BBQ! BBQ!

When to go?

  • Year-round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?

Pro Tip:

  • Visit the Power & Light District for a unique nightlife experience & go to Arthur Bryant's for BBQ.



Nashville, Tennessee (BNA) - 4 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Music (not just country), endless bars, brewpubs, hot chicken.

When to go?

  • Spring, Summer and Fall

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?

Pro Tip:

  • Stay in the Gulch or near printer's alley.




Seattle, Washington (SEA) - Just Over a 3 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Whales, Olympic National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, gorgeous views, intelligent individuals, good breweries.

When to go?

  • Summer (you can't really avoid the rain but you can pray)

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $100+

Where can you stay?

Pro Tip:

  • Visit the REI flagship store. Wow.




Miami, Florida (MIA, FLL) - Just Under a 5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Beaches, outdoors activities, clubs, restaurants, culture. I just ask that you please please please venture out beyond Miami Beach.

When to go?

  • Any time of the year, but best is October - February for perfect weather. Avoid the spring break crowd in late Feb/early March the best you can.

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?

Pro Tip:

  • Visit the following neighborhoods to step away from the "typical Miami": Wynwood, Brickell, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Midtown, Edgewater.




Denver, Colorado (DEN) - 2.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Mountains, beer, National Parks, hiking, clean city, nice people.

When to go?

  • Year-round. Ski in the winter. Hike in the summer.

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $100+

Where can you stay?




Los Angeles, California (LAX) - 1 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Surfing, Hiking, Sports, City Life, Culture, Fame, Disneyland, Food.

When to go?

  • Year-round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?





Los Cabos, Mexico (SJD) - 2 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Beaches, fun, great vacations.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $500+

Where can you stay?




Monterrey, California (MRY) - 1.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Big Sur and the Pacific Coast

When to go?

  • Summer

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?





Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS) - 1.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Gambling, Hoover Dam, Death Valley National Park, Valley of Fire State Park, Partying, more Gambling.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $50+

Where can you stay?





Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC) - 2 Hour Flight

Why go?

  • Skiing, Salt Flats, Mormons, and Great National Parks within a moderate drive.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?



Austin, Texas (AUS) - Just Under A 3 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Food, Art, Music, BBQ, Tech, Bach Parties, and All-Around Fun!

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $100+

Where can you stay?





Portland, Oregon (PDX) - 2.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Surfing. Oregon coast is only 1 hour away. Mt. Hood is nearby as well.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?



Lake Tahoe, CA & NV (RNO) - 1.5 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Gorgeous Lake Tahoe! Skiing, water sports, gambling, great scenery, interesting people. Reno is the closest airport, about 45 minutes away.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $200+

Where can you stay?





Chicago, Illinois (ORD, MDW) - Just Under a 4 Hour Flight


Why go?

  • Food, bars, sports, rivers!

When to go?

  • Summer

Who can fly you there?

How much will it cost to get there?

  • Airfare: $300+

Where can you stay?

Pro Tip:

  • For bourbon enthusiasts, visit Untitled Supper Club on W Kinzie for an incredible speakeasy experience.




Joshua Tree National Park - 3 Hour Drive


Why go?

  • Yucca Brevifolia, Beautiful Sunsets, Cacti, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Camping.

When to go?

  • Year-Round

Where can you stay?




Death Valley National Park - 5 Hour Drive


Why go?

  • An underrated park filled with colorful mountains, dry basins, and insane temperatures.

When to go?

  • Year-Round. Use caution during the summer as temps can easily reach 120 degrees.

Where can you stay?



Yosemite National Park - 8 Hour Drive


Why go?

  • One of the best National Parks in the US. Prove me wrong.

When to go?

  • Summer. Tioga Road can be closed up until May and after September due to snowfall.

Where can you stay?




Sequoia National Park - 6 Hour Drive


Why go?

  • The largest trees in the world.

When to go?

  • Summer.

Where can you stay?

  • Camp!





Comments


Hey! I'm Jordan, a native New Yorker who is addicted to adventure travel, photography, content creation, investing, and fitness. Read on, enjoy, and Never Run Out of First Times!

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