where should I go with this Southwest voucher?
February 10, 2017 1:55 PM   Subscribe

I just realized a Southwest voucher I have needs to be used before April 20th. Travel must be completed by the expiration date. The voucher is worth about $300. I want to do this trip relatively cheaply, so I'd like to keep the total ticket price under about $500.

My favorite things to do in a new city are eating and seeing live music. I also love craft beer. I will be traveling alone. I'm willing to rent a car but would prefer a city I can easily get around without one.

I'm currently considering Nashville, Memphis, and Kansas City. Any recommendations or thoughts to help me decide would be much appreciated!
posted by treachery, faith, and the great river to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I did a similar thing a long time ago and picked Nashville. It was a great time, and it's a great city, and I would do that again in a heartbeat. I've been to KC and it is also quite nice; haven't been to Memphis.
posted by hijinx at 2:20 PM on February 10, 2017

Where are you coming from?

Philadelphia can be both car-free and beer-friendly (Yards, Victory, Slyfox, Dock Street, Manayunk). Great restaurants. Less sure about the music scene, though.

Nashville's also a great little city.
posted by basalganglia at 2:22 PM on February 10, 2017

Sorry, forgot to mention I'm coming from the DC area!
posted by treachery, faith, and the great river at 2:26 PM on February 10, 2017

Looks like you can also get from BWI to Austin for $500 or so if you're careful about the days. They do run a couple of nonstop flights per day to Austin.
posted by cnc at 2:57 PM on February 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

Atlanta! So much good food, good beer too. Memphis is also a solid choice.
posted by Fig at 3:08 PM on February 10, 2017

New Orleans or Charleston. Southwest has direct flights for both from DCA, typically around $250-300, and both are great destinations for early spring.

BWI also has direct flights to Portland and Seattle that would probably come in around the $500 mark.
posted by veery at 3:24 PM on February 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

Denver is a good craft beer city and you can get downtown now via the new airport train line.
posted by mmascolino at 3:56 PM on February 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Southwest was having a huge sale on LAX - PVR earlier this week. Maybe they have a good rate out of DC as well.
posted by vignettist at 4:16 PM on February 10, 2017

New Orleans' craft beer scene is still in its infancy, but for overall eating, drinking, and seeing music, you can't find a better city.
posted by tryniti at 6:47 PM on February 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

Nthing New Orleans. It has so much amazingness that you won't miss Awesome Craft Beer Everywhere - there's not none, but that's not what it's known for. Everything it is known for is well worth it, especially if you can get a direct flight. Go.
posted by rtha at 8:26 PM on February 10, 2017

Nashville and Memphis are 200 miles apart, or 3 to 3 1/2 hours by car. Even if you have only a few days, you can easily take in the best of both cities.

Each city by itself compares favorably with New Orleans and Austin when it comes to offering everything you say you like. But Nashville and Memphis together--they kick the shit of everywhere else.

Go to Tennessee
posted by BadgerDoctor at 10:25 PM on February 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would have said New Orleans, too, but it's probably too late for you to make plans to be there for Mardi Gras and (at least when I last visited, which was admittedly a while ago) a lot of the town seems to take a break after Mardi Gras season, which might be an issue if you have to have your travel completed by April.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:47 PM on February 10, 2017

Most of the stuff you'd see in Memphis is in or around downtown, or is a short trip from there. You could taxi or Uber to Graceland or Midtown if you were interested.

We have the Beale Street Music Festival the first weekend in May, on the riverfront parks. You'll be visiting far enough before then that the riverfront parks will be open (vs. being closed for stage construction). The Mud Island River Park will open April 8, and includes a scale model of the lower Mississippi River.

You don't need to go to Nashville (says the guy who lives in Memphis but hasn't visited Nashville.)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:20 AM on February 11, 2017

On the live-music front, Songkick is a good site to use to see all the shows that are happening in a particular city during a particular string of dates, if a certain concert would tip the scale for you.
posted by lisa g at 1:01 PM on February 11, 2017

Memphis has a growing craft beer scene.

And also the world's largest Bass Pro Shop... in a pyramid. So there's that.
posted by raspberrE at 7:10 PM on February 11, 2017

Columbus, OH. Our craft beer scene was just named 2nd only to Portland, we have a crazy food scene and all kinds of great music venues.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 12:05 PM on February 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ok, I realize this is out there, but SWA has crazy cheap flights to **Havana, Cuba(!!)** with a stop in Ft. Lauderdale! I just searched out of Reagan-National and it was $420! Live music and great food are definitely on tap, even if craft beer is not. (Maybe it is? Who knows?) I suspect this fare will not be available forever, so this is a good time to take advantage of Havana.
posted by *s at 2:23 PM on February 16, 2017

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