Albuquerque, NM

5 Under-the-Radar Towns Worthy of a Weekend Escape; Hint: Start with Albuquerque

Melinda Crow

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1FoZxP_0Z3HDmBm00Photo by Stephanie Klepacki on Unsplash

Getting away for the weekend is not always about heading to the latest and greatest hotspot. More often than not, what you need for a weekend escape is somewhere away from the roar of the crowd. A place that you can call your own, maybe even a place you can return to and explore time after time. You need a fun place to stay, good food, and not many tourists. Here's a list from around the country to get you started.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The largest city in New Mexico rarely gets its due when it comes to great weekends. While all the tourists head north to Santa Fe, try spending a weekend in the city. For a great place to stay, take a look at Hotel Parq Central. This quirky hotel has a bit of haunted history. Originally built as a hospital for railroad workers, it then served as a mental hospital for a bit before being abandoned for a number of years, only to be resurrected as a boutique hotel in the heart of the city. Fun stuff to do in Albuquerque includes riding the tram to the top of Sandia Peak, visiting the BioPark Zoo, and wandering the streets of Old Town. Food advice is easy-- eat tacos and drink local beer.

Waco, Texas

Waco is a little less under the radar than ever before, thanks to HGTV's Fixer Upper couple Chip and Joanna Gaines, but you still won't find hordes of tourists. Their Magnolia House B&B and their rentals have a bit of availability, but if you prefer slightly less famous accommodations. Try Hotel Indigo, near the Baylor University campus. Other than a visit to Magnolia Market, spend time at the Dr. Pepper Museum, the Texas Ranger Museum, or just hang out in beautiful Cameron Park along the Brazos River. Food advice: Pizza for lunch and Buzzard Billy's for dinner.

Ellensburg, Washington

Lara Dunning, blogger at Small Town Washington recently visited the quaint college town of Ellensburg, in eastern Washington. "It has all the things I look for in a small town – very walkable, a unique stay, fantastic food, wine, beer, lots of history, and day trip activities," she reported. The idyllic small town boasts a brewery, wine bars, and two museums to explore. Food advice: eat and drink your way through the four square blocks bounded by 3rd and 5th, and Main and Pine.

Oxnard, California

Oxnard is one of those places that every time you go you ask yourself why you waited so long to come back. There are enough food and fun throughout Ventura County to make it a perfect repeat weekend haunt. The Mandalay Bay Embassy Suites is ideally located on the beach, but not too far from everything else you want to explore. For fun, the Channel Islands National Park is a must-do. Island Packers offers trips of all variety to get you there and the gear to make it an adventure. For local waterfront fun, talk to the folks at Hopper Boat Rentals for stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and electric boat rentals. Food advice: dinner after a wine tasting at Tierra Sur at the Herzog Wine Cellars.

Sussex County, New Jersey

Unless you live in the area, Sussex County is way off the radar, making it perfect for a quiet retreat from the rest of the world. Think of farmland, small towns, and parks when you think of Sussex County. The Wooden Duck Inn near Newton is centrally located for your explorations of the whole county. For things to do, consider a drive to High Point State Park, which as the name implies, is the highest point in the state, complete with a three-state view, and access to the Appalachian Trail. Food advice: The Boat House Restaurant on Swartswood Lake outside of Newton serves an amazing beef tenderloin. Be sure to save room though for soft-serve ice cream at the Dairy Queen in Newton.

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