10/01/2014 04:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Too Cool for School: 8 Fun End of Summer Escapes

It's time for back to school shopping, last minute science experiments, packed lunches, and busy weekends filled with ballet recitals and soccer practices. With the hectic schedule that follows the start of a new school year, it can seem almost impossible to find time for the perfect end of summer getaway.

Fortunately, hotel search has gathered eight of the best destinations across the country for drivable, last-minute weekend trips before the leaves turn to crimson and the crisp fall air rolls in.


San Antonio, TX

With its rich history and limitless attractions like the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and the breathtaking Hill Country region, the southern charm of San Antonio is a must-see for native Texans and visitors alike. Entertain the kids at Six Flags Fiesta Texas or bike around the scenic Mission Inn trails. End the evening in the trendy neighborhood of Southtown to enjoy the warm autumn night on a patio with an ice cold beer or fusion cocktail.


Minneapolis, MN

The green lifestyle of Minneapolis is alive with outdoor enthusiasts enjoying the numerous bike trails, kayaking down the Mississippi River, or taking an evening stroll through downtown. Indulge in tax free shopping at the Mall of the America or amaze the kids and visit attractions such as the Nickelodeon Universe or Barbie Dreamhouse Experience. Minneapolis's world known music venues offer everything from rock to jazz and are guaranteed to deliver the ultimate concert experience.


Sonoma County, CA

As the birthplace of California's wine industry, Sonoma County is home to over 400 wineries and boasts over 60,000 acres of never-ending, lush, ripe vineyards. In addition to the luxurious wine culture, Sonoma is also a haven for relaxation. The rejuvenating day spas and peaceful resorts will help you de-stress and energize your mind and body. For a more active vacation, travelers can hike through the wondrous redwood forests, fish along the coast, or simply enjoy the natural beauty of northern California's beaches.


Boston, MA

Cobblestone pavements and red brick houses tell the tale of one of our nation's oldest settlements -- Boston. Walk amongst the spectacular New England foliage as you experience the history of the Civil War along The Freedom Trail. Discover lighthouses or lounge on the ferry while you travel to the islands around Boston Harbor. Back on the mainland, sample award-winning craft beers during a tour of the iconic Samuel Adams Brewery and reward your taste buds with New England's famous lobster rolls.


Savannah, GA

Lush green squares, elegant architecture and the famous southern hospitality draw visitors from all over to America's sweetest southern belle, Savannah. One of the most walkable cities in the U.S., Savannah offers 22 tree-lined squares -- some of which date back to 1733 -- ornamental ironwork, and Antebellum-style homes as far as the eye can see. If sandy beaches and salty breezes are more your style, Tybee Beach is definitely worth a visit.


Annapolis, MD

Tucked away on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland's capital boasts a maritime heritage unlike anywhere else. One-of-a-kind boutiques, home décor shops, antique stores, and fine art galleries line the waterfront streets of Downtown Annapolis. The whole family can enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Navy Academy campus and even attend a spirited Navy football match. A trip to Annapolis wouldn't be complete without getting on the water for an early morning sailing session or a sunset harbor cruise.


Columbus, OH

Just a short drive from major cities like Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati lies Ohio's capital -- Columbus. Tour Europe without leaving the country as you stroll through the historic German Village, filled with beautifully restored homes, classic bakeries, and delicatessens. Have fun with science at over 300 interactive exhibits at The Center of Science and Industry (COSI), or see animals from all over the world at the nationally acclaimed Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.


Kansas City, MO

For a truly off-the-grid and budget-friendly weekend destination, Kansas City's Midwestern allure is impossible to miss. Known for jazz, fountains, and barbeque, Kansas City is considered the "Heartland of America." Jump on board the Arabia Steamboat Museum for a glimpse of frontier life and buried treasure, or brace yourself for roller coasters at the Worlds of Fun amusement park. The Tuscan-inspired Briarcliff Village sits on the top of a hill and is the perfect place for outdoor shopping, dinner, and a breathtaking view of downtown.

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