Weekend Vacation Ideas

Weekend Vacation Ideas #1: Memphis - The third weekend in May is when Memphis, Tennessee hosts the delicious Memphis in May World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest. Wow, that’s a mouthful, and so is the pork that will be barbecued all over the 33 acres event grounds. It’s the largest pork barbecue cooking contest in the country.

Memphis invites in hundreds of teams from around the world to compete for the top pig cooking prizes. In between sampling the entries, you can enjoy live music and dancing as well as the Hog Calling Contest and the Ms. Piggy Contest.

This Barbeque Cooking Contest is actually part of May’s month-long series of events promoting Memphis' cultural heritage. In between bites of succulent pork barbecue, you may want to take the twenty minute drive over to Graceland for a tour of Elvis Presley's famous home.

#2: San Antonio - We recently took a vacation at the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio. We only live five minutes away, so we are very familiar with the area. We were not looking to spend a lot of money, which is the reason that we stayed so close to home.

We did things that we would normally do on our time off, like weekends. We went to the mall, we went out to eat, worked out in the fitness center, and on the last night, we even watched two movies in our hotel room.

The Alamo
The Alamo in San Antonio

The San Antonio Riverwalk was an especially nice experience and we enjoyed seeing the famous Alamo. I think that because we weren't in our own home, these activities took on a very vacation-like experience. If someone is looking for a relaxing, yet inexpensive weekend getaway, I would definitely recommend vacations like this.

I feel like our experience was a great example of not having to spend a lot of cash to escape to an exotic location to have a great time! It also allows someone the ability to explore their own city through new eyes. - Kari from TX

Weekend Vacation Ideas #3: Rodeo in Las Vegas - The first two weekends of December are the time to head to Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo. This exciting event (it actually runs for nine days starting with the first Friday in December) is where all the top winning professional rodeo cowboys go up against each other. It’s the big money event that they have been working towards all year.

Millions of dollars in prize money and endorsements are at stake. There are ten rodeo performances each year and the tickets go fast. Don’t wait until the last minute. These events feature both cowboys and cowgirls in seven main events – bull riding, bareback riding, team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and saddle-bronc riding. Even if you are not a die-hard rodeo fan, this Las Vegas Rodeo sounds like a heck of a lot of fun.

National Finals Rodeo

#4: Sundance Film Festival - Just about everyone loves movies, so have some fun at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. This is one of the hottest film festivals around. Here’s your chance to see the works of top independent filmmakers.

Many successful films and producers have gotten their big break from this world-class film festival. The Sundance Film Festival is held every year during a ten day period that starts on the third Thursday of January.

Get away for a few days, watch some 200 great films, take in one of the live music shows, see if you can spot some celebrities and get in some skiing. After all, Park City is a very popular ski destination.

Dickens on the Strand
Dickens on the Strand
Weekend Vacation Ideas #5: Christmas in Texas - - Here’s something different for a short vacation. Take a trip to the Texas coast for North America’s largest Victorian Christmas celebration. What is this you ask? Well, every year during the first weekend in December, thousands of people head to Galveston, Texas for Dickens on the Strand.

They all dress up in Victorian period costumes and party as they salute the literature and culture of nineteenth-century England. This may sound a little "out there" but the Dickens on the Strand is actually one of the state’s top wintertime events.

Most of the fun takes place in Galveston’s The Strand National Historic Landmark District. There are parades, costumed street musician and vendors with tasty goods. Holiday decorations are everywhere. This is just an all-around great family style good time getaway.

Weekend Vacation Ideas #6: Sante Fe - Visit Santa Fe, New Mexico on the weekend after Labor Day for their annual Fiesta de Santa Fe. Although the name is fairly recent, the celebration has been a tradition for 300 years. The point of it all is to banish gloom and bring joy into the lives of everyone with parades, fireworks, food, dancing, arts & crafts and general merrymaking.

The Fiesta de Santa Fe

The Fiesta de Santa Fe is kicked off with the burning of Old Man Gloom. A forty foot tall puppet called Zozobra is set afire in the city’s central plaza symbolizing the banishment of gloom and negativity. Other highlights include a Children’s Pet Parade, the Historical, Hysterical Parade and the Fiesta Ball. Santa Fe is a center for art and culture with over 150 art galleries and museums. The city is also popular in the Southwest for its excellent food which highlights the Anglo, Native American and Spanish cuisine.

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