Arriving in Mumbai might not always have a specific motive, but many of us board flights to the City of Dreams due to work commitments. For others, Mumbai becomes a destination to turn aspirations into reality or simply to unwind with friends and absorb the city's ambience. Regardless of the reason, Mumbai's allure is undeniable. Yet, there exists a treasure trove of lesser-explored destinations around the city that often remain under the radar. While popular names like Khandala, Lonavala, and Matheran take the spotlight, over 20 weekend getaways from Mumbai within a 3-hour road trip offer an enriching weekend escape. Let's delve into the array of exceptional weekend getaways encircling Mumbai.\
Nestled amidst the gentle Sahaydri range, Durshet becomes an idyllic hill station near Mumbai, a weekend escape with a celestial backdrop for true holiday bliss. Witness the river meandering through the valley or relish breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. The locale is renowned for its rice plantations, a chance to explore the art of rice planting. The vast expanse of rice farming is a sight to behold, conveniently just 1.5 hours from Mumbai.
Lonavala and Khandala aren't leading the list. Unlike typical destinations, Karnala remains a hidden gem. The Karnala Bird Sanctuary shelters around 200 species, some exceptionally rare. Covering a compact 12 km area, this sanctuary offers a serene weekend getaway from Mumbai's commotion. The Karnala Fort, a significant historic landmark from the 15th century, also adds allure to this spot.
Perched in the Karjat district, Matheran, translating to 'forest on the forehead,' is a charming hill station. Despite being approximately 80 km from Mumbai, it's around 120 km from Pune. Its uniqueness lies in being Asia's sole automobile-free hill station, offering a pollution-free and tranquil ambience amidst splendid vistas. Reach via a toy train and explore the area on hand-pulled rickshaws and horse carts. Adventure seekers can enjoy paragliding, horse riding, and valley crossing.
A clichéd yet cherished weekend spot for Mumbaikars, Lonavala consistently attracts many visitors. Surrounded by lush foliage, its allure peaks during monsoons, although it retains charm all year round. Savour the famed chikki sweet and explore attractions like Rajmachi Point, Lonavala Lake, Tiger's Leap, Duke Nose, Bhushi Dam, Karla Caves, and Lohagad Fort.
Rajmachi, one of the most known historical places around Mumbai, shines during monsoons with its lush greenery, fort allure, earthy aromas, and cool breezes that culminate in a remarkably memorable weekend. Housing Shrivardhan Fort and Manaranjan Fort, Rajmachi becomes a monsoon wonder. The trek to Rajmachi Fort is a favourite among locals and adventure enthusiasts, offering a mesmerising view as a reward.
Opt for a captivating ferry ride to Alibaug instead of the typical road journey. This historical town features the Kulaba Fort, a relic from the era of the renowned warrior Shivaji. Sun worshippers can relish Nagaon Beach, Kashid Beach, Versoli Beach, and Akshi Beach. For a deeper experience, venture to Phansad Sanctuary or embark on the Sagargad Trek for adrenaline-filled endeavours. Stay in one of the best beach resorts near Mumbai and enjoy a memorable trip!
Nestled in the Raigad district, Kolad, although a small village, beckons nature and adventure enthusiasts alike. Set against the picturesque Sahyadri Ranges backdrop, Kolad boasts milky-white waterfalls, majestic valleys, and verdant meadows. During the monsoon, Kolad transforms into a lush spectacle. Notable attractions include Tamhini Ghat Waterfalls, Devkund Waterfall, Ghosala Fort, Tala Fort, and Kuda Mandad Caves. Adventure seekers can indulge in white water rafting, kayaking, rappelling, paragliding, parasailing, and trekking.