18:08 PM

Close to home: Four quick and easy weekend getaway ideas from TPA

1)  Washington, DC: A delight for foodies and museum-lovers, this fast-moving city is full of surprises. If you’ve yet to explore our nation’s capital, begin your trip with a stroll down the National Mall. This iconic area begins at the Lincoln Memorial and ends at the Capitol. Grab food at the Old Ebbitt Grill (the oldest saloon in town) or wander the weekend markets in Chinatown. The Washington metropolitan area is serviced by three airports: DCA, IAD and BWI. DCA is closest to the heart of Washington and is connected to TPA by American and Southwest. Washington's Dulles Airport (IAD) has nonstop flights on United and Baltimore's BWI Marshall Airport is connected to TPA by Southwest and Spirit.

2) Raleigh, NC: Raleigh continues to grow quickly and is becoming an economic powerhouse. If a downtown with easy access to the mountains is your vibe, this gem is a great option for a weekend getaway. Downtown Raleigh offers loads of shopping and restaurants: Don’t miss out on dinner at Centro or grab a cup of joe at Heirloom Coffee in the Warehouse District. If adventuring and hiking in nature is more your speed, a short drive from Raleigh will take you to Medoc Mountain where views and hiking trails abound.  American, Delta, Southwest and (soon!) Avelo offer nonstop access from Tampa to this booming region. 

3) Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX: DFW needs no introduction to many. This sprawling area is filled with food and touristy treats alike. Wander through the Dallas Museum of Art or drink in the views at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Or, if you’re in the mood to get your “western” on, stop by the Fort Worth Stockyards for a cattle drive and loads of BBQ. American and Spirit offer nonstop flights to DFW, with Frontier resuming their nonstop service soon. Those looking for closer proximity to Dallas itself might consider flying Southwest Airlines, which offers nonstop service to DAL (Love Field).

4) New Orleans, LA: Last, but certainly not least, New Orleans offers those looking for a weekend full of fun and food the perfect place for both. Mardi Gras is held each February in The Big Easy, launching a days-long celebration that involves lots of treats and dancing. Wander the French Quarter or take in the amazing views of Jackson Square, and be sure not to miss out on live jazz music night after night. Spirit, Southwest and Silver offer nonstop options from TPA.