Bleisure travel has hit a new high in recent years, with workplace trends showing more jobs moving remote and workers realizing their need for a little R&R before or after a hectic work trip.
But what exactly is the meaning of bleisure?
It’s where business and leisure meet to create a well-rounded (might we say fun?) work trip for the traveling professional.
Remote work statistics show that remote work has grown 44% over the past five years, meaning that the lines between business and leisure trips are becoming less defined. So when your boss tasks you with that annual work trip or you need to attend a networking opportunity for your contracting business, feel free to add on a couple of days to your work trip to explore the place for yourself. Because that’s what bleisure is all about.
You may hear bleisure travel under different names (workcation, bizcation, or flexcation, to name a few), but the idea is often the same. Tacking on some extra days to your work trip can improve your work–life balance and save money in personal travel costs.
No matter if you’re just dipping your toes in as a bleisure tourist or if you’re no stranger to a workcation, you’ll want to know the best places to combine work and play. We’ve rounded up some of the top cities for bleisure travel, meaning that they have ample industry work opportunities while satisfying your travel bug.
Let’s get started. Here are the top 10 cities for bleisure travel.
10. Stamford, Connecticut
Boasting one of the largest financial sectors outside of New York City, Stamford really lives up to its nickname “the city that works.” This seaside town situated on the Long Island Sound is a prime spot for businesspeople in the finance and investment banking industries to plan a bizcation.
If your business is settled in one of these vital local industries, head to Stamford for that bleisure trip you’ve been planning. You’ll be able to meet with potential new clients as well as mingle with folks in your business vertical, expanding your network. Booking a meeting room online is easy with Alliance. We have several Stamford meeting rooms to make working away from your normal setup a seamless experience.
When you’re not working, stroll through the quaint downtown and stop in at a local pub or restaurant along Bedford Street for a taste of New England. To really unwind, hit the beach at Greenwich Point Park or Cove Island.
9. Des Moines, Iowa
A small capital city in the Iowa plains, Des Moines might not strike many as a top location for business leisure travel. But did you know that Des Moines is a hub for the insurance and financial services industries? In fact, it has the highest concentration of employees in the insurance industry compared to other U.S. metro areas.
If you’re an insurance contractor, chances are you may be traveling here for the Global Insurance Symposium, an annual event for insurance professionals, with panels, talks from experts in the industry, networking opportunities, and more. Need a professional place to meet with potential clients? Book a Des Moines meeting room or conference room in downtown and start prepping that pitch.
Consider extending the business trip for personal travel and staying in Des Moines a few extra days for a flexcation. For starters, tour the Iowa State Capitol in East Village, then head to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden for a taste of the outdoors (stop at Daisy Chain Coffee along the way for a tasty drink). Downtown Des Moines has a lot to offer visitors, with cozy restaurants, rowdy bars, and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, where you can truly decompress while picnicking among art.
8. Carlsbad, California
Carlsbad, about a 30-minute drive north of San Diego, is one of the best workcation locations, given its growing number of companies and business opportunities in the biotech and software industry spheres. In fact, locals in these sectors call the area “Silicon Beach” due to the Carlsbad/San Diego metro’s growth in IT and general tech jobs in recent years.
If you’re considering heading to the West Coast for bleisure travel, Carlsbad is the place to go. There’s nothing better than expanding your business contacts and contract work beachside, right?
What to do on that long weekend you’ve planned around your business trip? If you’re here in the spring, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are worth the visit; if you need a nature fix any other time of year, explore the lush San Diego Botanic Garden. Head to Carlsbad State Beach to watch the sunset over the water—and maybe catch a few waves from your boogie board while you’re at it.
Get your sweat on by hitting the links at The Crossings, an 18-hole golf course, renting a bike and cycling along the pedestrian pathways along the coast, or lacing up your sneakers and exploring the trails in nearby Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve.
And when you need an office to get some work done, book a hot desk at this Carlsbad coworking space. Don’t show up unprepared: Here are the most important things you should bring to a coworking space.
7. Huntsville, Alabama
When you think of Huntsville (also known as Rocket City), government defense, NASA, and Southern comfort might come to mind. Traveling here for a workcation is a must if you’re a government, engineering, or IT contractor or own a small business in cyber security. You may be headed here for one of the many annual conferences held in this progressive town, from DevSpace to WeRockIT to the National Cyber Summit. Or perhaps you’re meeting clients at Cummings Research Park, one of the leading research centers in the country.
Whatever your reason for a ‘Bama bleisure trip, feel confident meeting with clients, investors, or contractors in an Alliance meeting room in Huntsville. Book a day office, conference room, or a larger event room, depending on your needs.
Extend your trip and plan a little bizcation in Huntsville. Head just outside of town to check out the U.S. Space & Rocket Center for a little science and history, and continue on your museum kick by touring the Huntsville Museum of Art. Stroll around Big Spring International Park and maybe tuck into the cozy Cotton Row bar and restaurant for a bite and a sip.
When you need to take a nature break, Monte Sano State Park—a gorgeous area with hiking and biking trails and beautiful vistas—is less than 15 minutes from downtown Huntsville.
6. Indianapolis, Indiana
Boasting several industries—including life sciences, tech, and aerospace—as well as an area ripe for exploring, Indianapolis is a great workcation location. Indy is a prime spot for meeting with fellow contractors, freelancers, or business owners in the digital marketing sector as well as in tech and fintech.
Bleisure travel has never been so easy in Indy. Book an Indianapolis coworking space or meeting room, network with other professionals in the biz, and then start getting to know the town. Explore Newfields, a beautiful campus housing several art museums, a nature park, a beer garden, and more. Rent a pedal boat or a kayak to coast through White River State Park, the nation’s only urban state park. Round out your flexcation on Mass Ave, a street in Mile Square filled with restaurants, bars, and shopping.
5. Boulder, Colorado
Planning a Boulder bizcation? We’ve got you covered for workcation ideas in this Rocky Mountain town. Don’t let the relaxed, college-town feel fool you. Boulder, Colorado, is one of the newest hubs for the tech industry—from cleantech to IT and software as well as digital marketing agencies. There are several heavy hitters in the area: Qualcomm, Google Boulder, and IBM to name a few. This outdoorsy city is attracting not only the big industry players but also small business owners, freelancers, and contractors in tech.
When you’re not connecting with local clients or fellow professionals in your business vertical, enjoy what this town is known for—the outdoors. Rent a bike and cycle along the vast network of more than 300 miles of bike-friendly paths. Pack a picnic and hike up to Realization Point for some scenic views of the Boulder Valley.
Need a taste of the city life? Spend the rest of your bleisure travel hitting a couple of Boulder’s breweries and strolling along the historic Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-only, outdoor area in downtown that is perfect for shopping or snagging a bite to eat.
If you need to pop into the Denver metro area for a tech conference or to meet with investors or clients, reserve an Alliance meeting room for a professional and well-equipped space.
4. Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale is one of the best places on the map for a workcation. There’s a reason you’ve heard that the desert air is can work wonders. Scottsdale has that magical combination of business-focused professionals and a relaxing, desert environment. Businesspeople flock here to network with entrepreneurs in the finance, insurance, and tech industries.
While you’re in Scottsdale, don’t rely on coffee shops or your hotel room to serve as a makeshift meeting space. Reserve one of Alliance’s Scottsdale meeting rooms to make a good impression on potential clients or investors.
Make the most of your bizcation in Scottsdale by hiking popular Camelback Mountain and exploring the Scottsdale Waterfront, a trendy area full of hip bars, shopping, and restaurants. Reward yourself for all that hard work by planning a spa day at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess or at the Four Seasons.
3. Charlotte, North Carolina
With close to one million residents and several industries claiming space here, Charlotte is a city ripe for expansion. It’s one of the nation’s largest banking and finance hubs, with Bank of America and Wells Fargo’s East Coast headquarters calling this southern city home. But that’s not all. The digital marketing space has grown here, as companies and small business owners move here to access the area’s low cost of living, opening up roles for contractors and freelancers to lend their marketing skills.
It’s safe to say that Charlotte is a top business leisure travel destination. Get funky in Plaza Midwood, a lively neighborhood offering visitors cozy restaurants, vintage shops, hip bars, and a lot of that Southern charm. If you’re feeling adventurous, head to the U.S. National Whitewater Center and hit the water in a rented kayak, raft, or paddleboard.
Whether you’re traveling here for a conference to network with like-minded professionals in your business vertical, chances are you might need a workcation coworking space to get work done while you’re away. Alliance Virtual Offices has two professional Charlotte coworking offices in the metro area to set up your laptop.
2. Madison, Wisconsin
Ranked by Aim Institute as one of the top five Silicon Prairie cities for its promising tech environment, Madison has emerged as a top contender in the tech, health tech, and software industries. Madtown is the place to take your next bleisure trip if you’re a small business owner, contractor, or freelancer in the tech sector. Win more business and snag new contracts by leveraging Madison’s vast network of potential clients and professional peers. And while you’re at it, get to know what makes this outdoorsy city so inviting.
When you’re not meeting with clients or getting work done in a Madison meeting room, fulfill the bleisure tourist definition by taking some workcation time to explore the city’s network of biking and walking trails along Lake Mendota, stroll through the Olbrich Botanical Gardens (don’t miss the butterfly conservatory!), and dine out in downtown Madison.
1. Austin, Texas
Coming in at number one on our list is Austin, where cowboy hats meet tech and finance. It’s no surprise that Texas’s capital city is a top tourist destination. But it’s also become one of the best places for business leisure travel, given its ranking as a top hub for tech and financial services and its claim to some of the best BBQ and outdoor activities.
Austin has become a prime locale for bleisure travel by millennials who are coming to the area for festivals like Austin City Limits and SXSW, as well as for hitting the bars and live music venues on Congress Avenue.
Extending your business trip for personal travel is the perfect thing to do in Austin. Meet with clients and business owners during the weekday or grab a coworking space to have uninterrupted work time. Then, the South Texas fun begins. Tour through downtown Austin, check out the state capitol building, kayak in the Colorado River, and take a dip in Barton Springs, a spring-fed, natural pool near Zilker Park.
There’s no doubt about it: Bleisure travel is here to stay. Wherever you choose to take your next trip, these top 10 workcation locations are great contenders.
Alliance is here to help your bleisure trip be successful. We have virtual office locations throughout the country that also have professional meeting rooms and coworking spaces. We are the leader in flexible workspace, and our cost-effective pricing and plans make us the solution for any bizcation workspace needs.