Thirst Trips Are Trending and These Are the Year’s 13 Hottest Destinations

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Did you know that between Presidents’ Day and Memorial Day, nearly 100 days pass without a federal holiday? Talk about a total bummer. But that doesn’t mean you need to store your luggage away until summer. Data from has revealed that there’s a new trend on the rise that could be the perfect antidote to the springtime slump: the Thirst Trip. “This 3-day weekend drought leaves people parched for a getaway,” the brand explains. So what are these dehydrated travelers to do? Quench their thirst, of course. The company is dubbing it spring’s hottest travel trend, as evidenced by long weekend trips increasing in demand. Data showed that the search for poolside properties is up 35 percent from February to April, while “weekend getaways” has piqued interest on Google Trends the last two spring seasons. Bottom line: we aren’t pining for summer anymore.

A bonus of these weekend trips is that travel between Presidents’ Day and Memorial Day means that prices are around 10 percent lower, with the biggest dip coming in March before spring break season begins. Getting thirsty yet? From Mexico to North Carolina and Washington State, here are the 13 hot spring destinations to inspire your next thirst trip, according to data pulled by With world-class art, culture and outdoor activities—plus relaxing hotels—these vibrant cities are quickly and easily accessible by car or plane, so you can maximize that vacation time.  

The Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S.

thirst trips: san diego, california
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1. San Diego, CA

Follow the Pacific Coast Highway south of Los Angeles and you’ll find yourself in sunny San Diego. First stop? Balboa Park, also known as the “Smithsonian of the West”—and for good reason. The grounds hold a whopping 17 museums dedicated to a vast range of interests, including art, anthropology, natural sciences and aviation, meaning you can get your culture fix in just one afternoon. Then, head to Old Town San Diego, known as the “birthplace of California.” The area abounds with restaurants, shops, boutiques and historic buildings, including the Whaley House. According to the Travel Channel, it’s the country’s most haunted house—enter if you dare. Finally, did you really go to SD if you didn’t hit the beach and the food scene? Sunbathe at Moonlight State Beach or hang ten at Swami’s before heading off in search of the city’s California/Baja mashup cuisine, which has foodies worldwide raving.

thirst trips las vegas
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2. Las Vegas, NV

Viva Las Vegas! Sin City is your one-stop destination for every pleasure under the sun, with plenty of entertainment outside the smokey allure of the casinos. Catch an artist in residency, from Keith Urban at Planet Hollywood to Maroon 5 at Park MGM, or party the evening away in a nightclub. Drai's Nightclub and The Cromwell Las Vegas are known to do full-fledged rooftop concerts. For quirky daytime activities, pay a visit to the Burlesque Hall of Fame, which explores vintage and modern burlesque through costumes, comedy, theater, dance and music. Game nerds will love the Pinball Hall of Fame. Unsuspecting on the outside, the inside is a blast of nostalgia, home to the world's largest collection of pinball and arcade machines dating from the 1940s.

thirst trips: mexico city
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3. Mexico City, Mexico

If you’re feeling extra flighty, steal across the border to Mexico City for a quick weekend getaway (it’s less than a four-hour flight from Los Angeles and not even three hours from Dallas). Make Juárez your first stop—it’s a transformed neighborhood known for boutiques and restaurants. You’ll want to pop into Masala y Maiz for Mexican-Indian fusion, and thrift at Loose Blues for vintage records and denim. Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to Gran Hotel Ciudad de México, a former department store circa 1899 whose interior’s shining centerpiece is a Tiffany stained glass ceiling and a staircase inspired by Le Bon Marché’s in Paris. Continue the tour by heading to Palacio Nacional, which features Diego Rivera’s mural “The History of Mexico,” charting the country’s story from Aztec times to industrialization. If you’re more of a Frida Kahlo fan, though, don’t worry: You can visit the artist’s home, which has her paintings, plus those of Rivera and their contemporaries, on display. Finish off the day by polishing off a pile of churros at El Moro Churerría—hot chocolate obligatory.

thirst trips: sandia tramway at sunset in . Albuquerque
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4. Albuquerque, NM

While it may be home to a certain High School Musical, the city of Albuquerque has plenty of other shining qualities that make it a fun little thirst trip. As it sees about 310 days of sun a year, it’s pretty much a year-round escape, but springtime temps are most pleasant, hovering in the high 60s. Explore the outdoors by kayaking the Rio Grande or hitting the Paseo del Bosque Trail, which offers 16 miles for running, walking, biking and even horseback riding. A tram will take visitors up Sandia Peak, where a breathtaking panoramic view sparkles in the dark of night. In Old Town Plaza, you’ll find adobe structures intermingling with Victorian architecture; the neighborhood dates to the 18th century and has over 100 shops, restaurants and museums.

thirst trips: ferris wheel myrtle beach south carolina
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5. Myrtle Beach, SC

With 60 miles of sand and sun, Myrtle Beach is a beloved destination for Southerners, and it’s easy to see the appeal. Plus, it’s got its own airport, making getting there a breeze. Aside from lazy beach days, the area is rife with activities. Explore the farmers markets that abound in the area selling local produce and handmade goods, perfect for a picnic on the sand. Kids will get a kick out of the WonderWorks sensory museum, where they can experience hurricane winds, a bed of nails, ropes course and laser tag—that’s just getting started. Spend a peaceful afternoon wandering Brookgreen Gardens, which is home to the largest outdoor collection of American sculpture showcased among the towering oaks of former rice plantations. Another must-see is Myrtle Beach State Park, where the forest meets the ocean. The peaceful nature trail makes it a fun spot for families, and kids will delight in scavenging the occasional shell and shark tooth.

thirst trips los angeles
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6. Los Angeles, CA

Everything’s a little bit more magical in La La Land. Packed with art, culture and, of course, Hollywood history, Los Angeles never fails to dazzle. You can be there from San Francisco, Denver and Salt Lake City in under three hours. You’ll want to see the city skyline from Griffith Observatory, but for a less crowded experience (and better view of the structure itself), drive over to Griffith Park. Film buffs will appreciate the Academy Museum, which explores the history of the film industry, while art appreciators will want to see the famous LACMA urban lights and Yayoi Kusama’s infinity mirror rooms at The Broad, a free contemporary art museum. Cap off the visit with a stop at Grand Central Market, a European-style food hall (eating at Eggslut is a must) and a mosey down The Strand. The bike bath starts at Will Rogers State Beach and ends at Torrance County Beach, but if you prefer to stroll, it forks at Santa Monica, Venice Beach and Manhattan Beach.

thirst trips: orlando, florida skyline
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7. Orlando, FL

This one’s for the Midwesterners and East Coasters who need reprieve from the cold. Think of Orlando and your mind may automatically think Disney World. And while we love Mickey, the area does have plenty more to offer in the realm of nature and history. Gatorland Bird Rookery is a fun spot for birders and photographers who will find over 20 species to observe, while Blue Spring State Park has options to boat, kayak or canoe on the St. Johns River. Go at the right time, and you may get a visit from the manatee aggregation that takes an annual swim. Space buffs will, of course, want to check out the Kennedy Space Center, which offers immersive activities and the ability to meet astronauts and see launches.

thirst trips austin texas
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8. Austin, TX

Music reigns supreme in Austin, known as the “Live Music Venue of the World,” so where else would you go if you wanted a weekend jam-packed with tunes at every corner? With over 250 live music venues—which includes clubs, coffee shops, bars and concert halls—there are music festivals galore. And barbecue. Did we mention the barbecue? You have to eat at County Line on the Hill. Then, if you want to get out of the city, Hill Country makes for a quick afternoon getaway with its historic towns and vineyards. The options are vast, but Boerne’s historic downtown, filled with antique and specialty shops and art galleries, is worth a stop. So too is Willie Nelson’s beloved Spicewood, where you have to eat more barbecue, of course. When you get back to town, end the day with another can’t-miss cuisine: Tex-Mex at Matt's el Rancho.

thirst trips panama city beach florida
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9. Panama City Beach, FL

Sun and sand, what more could you want from a weekend trip? Panama City Beach has plenty going for it that comfortably fills a two- or three- day itinerary. Head to Shell Island to spot wildlife, including bottlenose dolphins, and also go kayaking and snorkeling. If you want your beach time but don’t want the crowds, St. Andrews and Camp Helen State Parks are known to be more off the beaten path if you’re in the pursuit of more tranquility. Panama City Beach is also home to one of the Gulf Coat’s longest piers, Russell-Fields, where visitors like to watch the sunset, go fishing and people watch. Before you head home, pick up a souvenir from The Beach House Market or Coastal Cottage Emporium and then slurp down a frozen marg at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.

thirst trips charlotte north carolina
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10. Charlotte, NC

Charlotte is a great pick if you want to eat your way through a weekend. First up, give Carolina barbecue a go with a visit to Sweet Lew’s BBQ. Continue the food tour by hitting up Optimist Hall, the city’s largest food hall in what was a former textile mill. And if you find yourself needing a little vino, wine country isn’t far. Raffaldini Vineyards is your Italian escape while Childress Vineyards is the project of NASCAR owner Richard Childress. Get to know Charlotte through any one of the numerous tours, from Carolina History & Haunts to the Liberty Walk and City Brew Tours, if you want to explore the city via its beers. And then, for the night owls, all the fun happens at AvidXchange Music Factory, an all-in-one entertainment emporium with bars, nightclubs and concert venues.

thirst trips: salt creek beach in dana point, orange county california
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11. Orange County, CA

Orange County is for people who want options because it encompasses several cities. Disney fans know this is the home of the original Disneyland, so a visit is a must. But if hanging with Mickey isn’t your bag, there are plenty of other activities in the area. Spot whales and dolphins swimming through crystal blue waters at Dana Point; head out to Catalina Island; or spend an afternoon at the Casa Romantica Cultural Center in San Clemente. The 1927 Spanish colonial revival home hosts lectures, dance performances and live music throughout the year. At Crystal Cove State Park, visitors will find 18 miles of trails with hermit crabs, starfish and anemones. You can even rent historical seaside cottages Crystal Cove Historic District. Then, there’s Heisler Park of “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County” fame. Pack a picnic, watch the sunset and wander the four beaches and their tide pools.

thirst trips: camelback mountain phoenix arizona
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12. Phoenix, AZ

Who knew that the desert would be an art mecca as much as a nature one? Phoenix proves it does both, and you can pack it all into three days. If you’re an experienced hiker, you’ll love the challenge of the Sonoran Desert’s Camelback Mountain, 20 minutes from downtown. Those who scale the strenuous terrain are rewarded with panoramic views. Cholla Trail and Echo Canyon Trail are both access points. In town, make sure to head to Roosevelt Row, Phoenix’s walkable arts district brimming with art galleries, bars and boutiques. It also hosts a First Fridays Art Walk. You should also sample the iconic brunch at Matt's Big Breakfast. Time permitting, CityScape is another fun neighborhood to visit, functioning as downtown’s pulsing heartbeat. Love comedy? Stand Up Live is a venue that hosts SNL and MTV alums, so you know the laughs will be good. End your stay with a drink at the renowned Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour before heading home.

thirst trips seattle washington
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13. Seattle, WA

Seattle may have a reputation for being rainy but coming here for a weekend trip most definitely will not rain on your parade. From dizzying views at the top of the Space Needle to chowing your way through Pike Place Market (Pike Place Chowder supposedly rivals New England’s), it’s an affordable weekend destination packed with plenty to do. Visit Pioneer Square—the city’s oldest neighborhood is great for people for people-watching, and the literati and arts set will appreciate the plethora of bookstores, café and architecture. Need to escape the concrete jungle? Bainbridge Island is 150 acres of gardens, ponds and meadows. It’s accessible via ferry, and one thing you must do before going back to town is have a scoop at Mora Iced Creamery. Mojito ice cream, anyone?

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