We Charlotteans are pretty lucky. Living in the 704 affords us so many advantages, including close proximity to the beach and mountains for fun weekend trips. But we also have the benefit of a world-class airport with direct flights to so many destinations. Here’s a quick list of iconic American cities you can travel to–and when you bundle your flight and hotel with American Airlines Vacations, the process is easy and money-saving. Make this the year you visit some wonderful places less than 3 hours away with a direct flight!

Chicago, Illinois

The Second City might be its nickname, but Chicago is tops when it comes to a weekend visit. The fabulous architecture can be viewed by a boat tour, there are dozens of museums and galleries and the lake offers summertime boating and activities. Then there is the food–with more than 7,000 restaurants and award-winning chefs galore, Chicago is a top destination for a weekend trip any time of the year.

Nashville, Tennessee

This southern gem has climbed on to almost everyone’s top cities to visit list in recent years. The so-called Music City truly has it all for visitors–great food, a live music scene that rivals the bigger cities, arts and culture and a beautiful outdoor landscape that invites activity. On top of all that, Nashville is highly acclaimed for both its friendliness and affordability; so don’t delay planning a visit to this nearby destination.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Another gem in the Southeast is one of the most diverse cities in the country. New Orleans has a blend of influences that are reflected in its food, music, architecture, art and even its way of life. There are probably a thousand reasons to visit New Orleans, as it’s one of the most eccentric, vibrant cities in the world. But we’ll name just a few: Jazz Fest, Crawfish, Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, Café Du Monde, Live Jazz–the list is endless. If you are in the mood for a party, make sure you put New Orleans at the top of your travel list.

Austin, Texas

You’ve all heard the slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” That sums up the counter culture reputation of one of the country’s fastest growing cities. It’s a college town and bubble of progressiveness in deep red-meat Texas that prides itself (among other things) as being the barbecue capital of the universe. But that’s not all there is to eat. Austin has some of the best restaurants and breweries around, so bring your appetite. And be sure to bring a love for live music because there is plenty of that, too. Add a little history and culture (The LBJ Presidential Museum is a must-visit) and you have the makings of a fun-filled long weekend.

New York, New York

No list of great American cities worth visiting would be complete without mention of the Big Apple. Tourists flock to NYC for so many different reasons, and it’s hard to name them all. But whether you haven’t been in a while or you visit multiple times a year, there are always new things to do and see. The “city that never sleeps” has an experience for everyone. Make 2019 the year you see a new Broadway show, visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, bicycle around Central Park, eat in Chinatown, walk over the Brooklyn Bridge or just stand on a street corner and take it all in.

If you want to take a quick trip to a special U.S. city, call Mann Travels at 800-343-MANN. The experienced travel advisors and American Airlines Vacations make weekends in these destinations easy to plan.

SIDEBAR: Roni Fishkin is the Marketing Director of Mann Travels, which, with local ownership in Charlotte, has been serving travelers with personalized service for more than 40 years.