Top 5 U.S. weekend breaks from Vancouver

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Fancy getting out of town for the weekend? Vancouver is situated within driving distance to some fantastic US destinations, or just a short flight if you’d rather kick your feet up and avoid the highway.

Pack your passports and explore what West Coast North America and beyond has to offer, with Vancity Buzz’s top five U.S. weekend breaks.

Seattle

Probably the quickest and easiest US trip from Vancouver is Seattle. The beautiful coastal seaport city is a just few hours on the Boltbus departing from 1150 Station Street, taking you right into Seattle’s Chinatown for as little as $40 round trip. Be sure to check out the famous Space Needle, boasting 360-degree views of the city 520 feet up, and get lost in pop culture at the EMP museum featuring exhibits from Nirvana to Icons of Science Fiction.

A must-do is lunch and a wander around Pike’s Place Market, which featured in the 1993 rom-com Sleepless In Seattle, as well as home to the world’s first ever Starbucks!

Seattle / Shutterstock
Image: Seattle skyline via Shutterstock

Las Vegas

Looking for a wilder weekend? Westjet regularly offer last minute round trip deals for under $300 to the place also known as Sin City and a dream for gambling, shopping, fine dining and nightlife!

In the day, take advantage of the blazing sunshine and visit the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, less than 30 minutes from the city. We’ve all heard of those ‘what happens in Vegas’ moments and many of them have taken place at the Storybook Wedding Chapel, where you can get hitched (or more sensibly, renew your vows) whilst being serenaded by an Elvis impersonator.

Be sure to enjoy one of the musical residencies ranging from ballad warbling Canadian legend, Celine Dion at the Caesars Palace Colosseum, or relive the late ‘90s as Britney Spears performs her classics at Planet Hollywood.

Las Vegas / Shutterstock
Image: Las Vegas via Shutterstock

San Francisco

One of America’s most picturesque cities is San Francisco. No visit is complete without a walk along the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, sampling fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf, or some dim sum at the largest Chinatown outside of Asia.

Beach Blanket Babylon at Club Fugazi is the longest running musical review in history and one of the most popular shows to experience in San Francisco.

We recommend a trip to the Alcatraz Island, one of the most infamous prisons in the world, via alcatrazcruises.com.

Westjet offer round trip deals for around $400 depending on season. Alternatively you may want to drive down the West Coast if you have more than just a weekend.

San Francisco / Shutterstock
Image: San Francisco via Shutterstock

Portland

Portland is a relaxing and beautiful city with acres of nature thrown in. If you’re planning on shopping in the US then save it for here – it’s tax-free!

The city is also known for its eclectic nightlife; whether you’re in the mood for a dance club, live music, local comedy or LGBT bars or clubs, Portland definitely delivers. Party goers can walk off that hangover in the morning with a hike along Forest Park, the largest urban park in the county.

Hunt for deals on the Boltbus or the Greyhound Bus, or find a friend who is willing to drive there.

Portland / Shutterstock
Image: Portland via Shutterstock

Los Angeles

For an epic adventure, head down direct to LA on Westjet for as little as $300 round trip and stay in Hollywood (or trendy WeHo).

There are tonnes to do from floor gazing on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, window-shopping on Rodeo Drive, to viewing the Hollywood sign from the Griffin Observatory. It’s worth renting a car because the city is so spaced out and LA public transport is certainly no Vancouver.

Take advantage of the rays and enjoy some of the vibrant beaches LA has to offer, including Santa Monica beach with its fairground and Venice Beach lined with skateboarders and muscle men flexing their biceps.

As you’ve come all the way, it’s worth a day trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, or for those slightly more time-strapped then Universal Studios is located within LA and does not require an entire day.

Don’t forget to sample Californian favourite In-N-Out Burger and finish off with a trip to Yoghurtland!

Los Angeles / Shutterstock
Image: Los Angeles via Shutterstock

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James Wong Entertainment Reporter for Vancity Buzz. James moved to Vancouver from London, England in January 2014.

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