Best All-Around Getaway: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
You like the outdoors? You don't have to travel too far from Downtown Pittsburgh for perfect for day and long-distance hiking with varied terrain, including old-growth forests, fields of wildflowers, waterfalls, and rugged trails with scenic sandstone outcrops. You can also kayak the rivers in summertime, with guided options that include fireworks and full-moon tours. You just like the views of the outdoors but not the actual activities associated with them? Drive to the appropriately named Grandview Overlook and explore the Mount Washington neighborhood.
You like sports? The open-air Heinz Field, home of the Steelers, is located just on the other side of the Ohio River from the heart of Downtown. Just a few steps away from Heinz Field is PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. They might not be the best team in the league, but their riverfront stadium is one of the best ballparks in the MLB.
You like art? The Andy Warhol Museum is the largest museum in North America dedicated to a single artist, and tells the story of Warhol's life, work, and legacy, starting with the Pop Art icon's early days growing up in Pittsburgh. And while the Warhol Museum is indeed something to see, the Mattress Factory is unlike anything you've seen before. The contemporary art museum features multiple floors of large-scale site-specific installations created by artists from around the world, including permanent exhibits from Yayoi Kusama -- looooooooong before she became Insta-famous. Oh, and there's also a bunch of Carnegie Museums.
You like food? Pittsburgh is a woefully underrated food city chock full of talented chefs who could compete in New York or Chicago. Every so often one of these places earns some national buzz and it seems like Pittsburgh's time in the breathlessly Instagrammed spotlight is imminent, but then it dies down back to business as usual. Just be sure to loosen up your belt a notch because Pittsburgh portions are notoriously huge.
By car: Four-and-a-half hours
By train: About seven-and-a-half hours via Amtrak (with a connecting bus and transfer in Toledo)