How to spend 7 days in California


Are you planning your 7-day California itinerary and wondering how to spend one week in California? Then read on as you will find your answer here.

California is most famous for Hollywood and all the movies that are made there. Still, there are many other fun and exciting things to do here as well and it is a great place to visit. However, it gets a bit problematic as the state of California is very large, and in 7 days in California, you will not see all the beautiful spots/cities.

But there are a few cities that I suggest you visit during your one-week itinerary: San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. 

San Francisco is more in the north of the state and has a different vibe from LA and San Diego in the south, and so you get to experience different atmospheres and places.

If you have time, you can even add in a day trip – but we will talk about that later.

In this post, you will find out:

  • How to Get to California
  • What to Pack for One Week in California
  • Where to Stay in California for 7 Days
  • How to Get Around California
  • More Travel Tips For your California Itinerary
  • Map of Places to Visit for Your 7-Day California Itinerary
  • San Francisco – 2-3 Days
  • Los Angeles – 3 Days
  • San Diego – 1 Day
  • Extra: California Day Trip – Big Sur

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.


First, here are my travel tips for a California itinerary to some of the best destinations.

How to Get to California

When I visited California, I started in San Francisco. I flew into San Francisco International Airport, but you could also arrive via Oakland International Airport. I then took a Megabus to Los Angeles (you can also fly into Los Angeles International Airport, among others). 

This was cheap and all right (and I prefer buses over flying), but the scenery was kind of boring. In the beginning, it was exciting, but there is a lot of nothing in between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Road tripping would probably be more fun (though also more expensive and so environmentally friendly).

You can also travel between cities by train – it takes more time, but the views are supposedly good (you need to get a bus in San Diego to get to the city center).

From Los Angeles to San Diego, it is only about 2 hours by car, train, or bus, and I surely don’t recommend flying there for that short distance though you could fly into San Diego International Airport.

What to Pack for One Week in California

California’s climate is different in the north and the south. San Francisco was cooler than LA or San Diego. Depending on the season, pack appropriately – and most importantly, pack comfortable shoes. San Francisco is very hilly, and you will be doing a lot of walking in the other cities, too.

Where to Stay in For 7 Days in California

You will find some hotel recommendations for each city on this California itinerary below.

How to Get Around California

San Francisco is not geographically big, but due to the many hills, curvy streets, and hidden alleyways, getting around only on foot could be tiring. But I never used any cabs, just walked or took the tram or bus.

San francisco Hyde Street Cable Car Tram of the Powell-Hyde in California USA

Another great way to get around SF is the cable cars, which are a tourist attraction themselves. Also, hop-on and hop-off buses, which I love, include some tours and entries.

In LA, you can get around using the buses and metro or rent a car. It’s very spread out here, and so while you can get nearly everywhere by public transportation, it sometimes takes a long time. But you can also walk places, like when you are downtown.

San Diego has decent public transportation, with buses, trains, and trolleys. You can take a ferry to Coronado Island. But to go to nearby La Jolla, you will probably need to take a cab or Uber or rent a car.

More Travel Tips For your 7-Day in California Itinerary

While I was visiting California, I did not take any special precautions. I felt quite safe, even going to watch the sunset from the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course, LA Downtown after sunset was a bit dodgy, but this is when I left a place – when it feels not safe, leave.

  • Just be careful and keep your belongings close to you and practice common sense.
  • Look into a city pass, like the Go San Diego Pass, for discounted entries to popular tourist spots.
  • If you rent a car, California is well-known for its traffic and its roads that are hard to follow because of changing names and winding streets. GPS or a map is very helpful if you are driving.

Map of Places to Visit in 7 Days in California

One Week in California Itinerary

This itinerary is divided into three parts: San Francisco for 2.5 days, then another 2.5 days in Los Angeles, and 1 day in San Diego. There is about half a day in between each to account for travel time.

San Francisco – 2-3 Days

San Francisco is often called the most beautiful city in the US, and once you visit, you will know why people love the “City by the Bay” so much. Without a doubt, it is one of the best cities to visit in the US (and of course, also in California).

San Francisco - the most beautiful city in the USA @shutterstock

In general, I suggest staying between 2 and 3 days if you have a week in California. Depending on how you get to LA (remember, I took a bus that took quite some time), you have to plan in some time for travel time.

Best view of San Francisco_

Painted Ladies with Arzo Travels

Where to go in San Francisco

  • Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • See San Francisco Bay
  • Ride the cable car
  • See the views at Twin Peaks
  • Visit Alcatraz
  • Relax at Golden Gate Park
  • Visit Fisherman’s Wharf
  • See the sea lions at Pier 39
  • Stop by Lombard Street
  • Visit Alamo Square and see the Full House houses
  • Explore “The Castro”
  • Visit Union Square

I wrote a detailed itinerary for San Francisco that you can check out here.

Where to Stay in San Francisco

  • For a luxury stay, check out The Ritz-Carlton that is perfectly located (close to Union Square) and has all the amenities and facilities you can expect from a luxury hotel.
  • I stayed in a hostel near Union Square, which I actually really liked and the best hostel I have stayed at. Check out the gorgeous hostel – given it is a hostel, prices are quite high, though.

Los Angeles – 3 Days

I arrived by bus in LA and discovered the city – and the beautiful surroundings. There is so much to do and see. Especially outside LA, so you need a minimum of 3 days to get a first glimpse of the area.

Santa Monica pier at Sunset one of the best places to visit in LA in 3 days

LA itself was not my favorite place. I think you are either a NY or LA person, and I am definitely more into New York City. However, I did have some great memories, and I was impressed with the beautiful places around LA, so it is a must for any California itinerary.

Los Angeles - Echo Park a must-see in LA
Hollywood, California a must-do in 3 days

What to do in Los Angeles in 3 Days

  • Stroll Venice Beach
  • See Watts Towers Art Center
  • Visit LA Fashion District 
  • Explore Chinatown
  • Have a picnic at Echo Park Lake
  • Go to the Griffith Conservatory
  • See Shakespeare Bridge
  • Hike the Hollywood Sign Trail
  • Visit the Hollywood Walk-of-Fame
  • Take pictures at Mulholland Scenic Overlook
  • Wander Rodeo Drive
  • Visit Santa Monica Pier
  • Explore White Point Park
  • See the Getty
  • Relax at Huntington Beach

I have a detailed 3-day itinerary LA that you can check out here

Where to Stay in Los Angeles

  • For a luxury hotel, pick Hotel Bel-Air. It is an icon in the city and boasts amenities like an on-site restaurant, pools, etc.
  • A more mid-range option is Level DTLA, which is still a nice hotel and has a great location for getting to some popular attractions.
  • A budget hotel with clean rooms, a good location, and even a restaurant is the New Seoul Hotel.

San Diego – 1 Day

It is only about 2-3 hours from LA to San Diego – you can take a bus, train, or drive there (or fly, but I do not really recommend it due to the proximity to LA). It’s a beautiful trip as you spend some time traveling along the coast. So, make sure to add San Diego to your California itinerary.

Drone view of the Children's Pool in La Jolla San Diego is one of the best things to do in 1 days in San Diego

San Diego is a beautiful city, and I liked the vibe but compared to LA and San Francisco, I found fewer attractions I wanted to see and visit. So, while you could stay longer than 1 day, I think, with only one week in California, 1 day in San Diego is probably enough.

Drone view of the Children's Pool in La Jolla San Diego is one of the best things to do in 3 days in San Diego

Where to Go in San Diego (1 day)

  • Explore Balboa Park
  • Take the ferry to Coronado
  • Relax at Mission Beach
  • Visit La Jolla
  • See the Point Loma Tide Pools
  • Explore San Diego’s Old Town
  • Wander the Gaslamp Quarter

Check out my detailed itinerary for San Diego to find out more about the city and what to do & see.

Where to Stay in San Diego

If you stay in San Diego, I would suggest taking a hotel in the downtown area or La Jolla, which has great ocean views.

  • For a luxury option, I suggest the Pendry San Diego Hotel Downtown, which has great amenities and service, or the Pantai Inn in La Jolla, which offers a boutique experience and great location.
  • For a mid-range hotel, try the San Diego Marriot Gaslamp Quarter in the downtown area, which has a good location, or the Hotel La Jolla, which has pretty balcony views.
  • For a budget option, you could stay at Holiday Inn Express – Downtown San Diego or the La Jolla Cove Suites, which has vintage décor and a good location. 

Extra: More Places to Visit in California

If you want to skip any of these places and take a day trip during your California itinerary, then here is my suggestion:

California Day Trip – Big Sur

This is a place I haven’t gotten to myself, but I recommend it if you want to take a day trip while in California.

California itinerary

Located along the central coast, Big Sur is an area with lots of state parks that are popular for hiking and camping. The Santa Lucia Mountains are on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, so you should have some really nice scenery.

If you take State Route 1, you should also see many views of seaside cliffs and coastlines covered in mist.

Big Sur is between San Francisco and Los Angeles, so if you drive down during your weeklong California trip, you can take this road and see Big Sur on your way.


Hopefully, this California itinerary has shown you the best things to do and places to see while you are here. You can divide the days up to as you like, but with only one week, this is how I would do it.

I stayed a bit longer and created my California itinerary a bit differently back then. However, I hope you will have fun 7 days in California using my itinerary because it is how I would – in hindsight – create my next itinerary like this.

Stay safe and have fun!Safe Travels, Arzo

Categories USA


3 day itinerary Seattle, where to go and what to see in 3 days


Seattle is a fun, lively city with a thriving art scene. This 3-day Seattle itinerary helps you plan your trip. Find out about the best things to do in 3 days in Seattle – what to see, the best attractions, and more travel tips for your trip.

This post was written by CassandraSkyline of Seattle itinerary in 3 days


If you love art, music, and a general funky vibe, Seattle is a great spot to go to. There are tons to do and see in the city, but everything is relatively close together, so you can easily make Seattle a fun 3-day trip.

If you have more time, I’d say to combine your Seattle visit with exploring more of Washington state and the west coast. Just outside the city lies some gorgeous natural beauty worth exploring as well. It’s a unique place merging urban life and nature, so you can definitely have the best of both worlds on your Seattle trip! 


View of downtown Seattle skyline in Seattle Washington, USA best thing to do in Seattle in 3 days

How to Get Around Seattle for 3 Days

  • There is no need for a car in the city – parking prices are high and traffic can be crazy. For day trips – e.g. to Mount Rainier National Park – a car might be a good option. But you will not need a car for the duration of the 3 days.
  • There is plenty of public transportation – including Seattle Streetcars or Seattle Center Monorail.
  • If you want to get around via public transportation, you could get an All-Day Regional Transit Pass for $8 and use it on all of Seattle’s public transportation services except for the monorail and on Washington State Ferries. However, you have to buy an ORCA card first (a reusable transit card that costs $5 and can be refilled) so you can buy the $8 all-day pass from a vending machine. 
  • Seattle is a bike-friendly city and you can rent bikes (via the Uber or Lime App).
  • One of the easiest ways to get around is via taxis and Uber.

Best Time to Visit Seattle

You can visit Seattle year-round, but going in the spring/summer months would be the best weather-wise. 

  • I went in late May and found it perfect. June is also a good time as it September and early October. The weather is pleasant and during these months prices for accommodation drop compared to the summer months.
  • Summer itself is high season, and the city attracts many visitors. So accommodation prices will rise, and it gets busier.
  • From late October to early May it might be very rainy and cold. Seattle is not the best destination then.

Bring layers as the weather can fluctuate. The city can get windy and rainy at times, too. 

Where to Stay For 3 Days in Seattle 

I would recommend staying in the downtown or Belltown areas to walk and explore the area easily. Anywhere near the Pike Place Market is a great spot and not too far from a walk from the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, and the Chihuly glass garden (all must-sees). 

Tips for Solo Female / Security 

The city, like any other, has some rougher areas. There is also a considerable population of homeless, usually in many US major cities. Still, during my visit, most appeared to be drug users or mentally disturbed individuals that would shout at us.

Something to be aware of, I recommend just continuing along your way and ignoring any such behavior. I recommend not walking around alone at night. I walked everywhere during the day with no problems but would suggest using taxi services or Uber after dark.

Downtown Seattle, Pier 66 is one of the best places to visit in 3 days

Costs of Visiting Seattle in 3 Days

  • Seattle is pricey! Most US cities have higher costs, but I was surprised mainly at the high cost of entry for museums and art exhibits.
  • I’m used to entry on a donation basis from many places in NYC, and DC, so I was not expecting to drop $30 pp every time we went into a place, so it added up quickly!
  • Better to be prepared and bring some extra funds for sightseeing.
  • Tap is drinkable, though, so you can save by bringing a reusable water bottle and some pre-packaged snacks on your trip.

Restaurants to Visit For Your 3-Day Seattle Itinerary

  • One of my favorite stops was The Biscuit Bitch for breakfast. It was so good I had breakfast there twice. Plus, it was a lot of fun. There’s barely any seating, so it is best to get it to go. Since it’s a hot spot, you need to get there at opening time. There will most likely still be a line, but they move very fast, and you usually don’t wait too long. Their biscuits are delicious and are served in various ways- with gravy, breakfast sandwiches, or various toppings. They offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, too, so something for everyone, plus a coffee bar. 
  • Another recommendation would be Pike Place Market. It’s an awesome spot to explore and filled with various dining options and fresh goods.

Seattle skyline is one of the things to do in 3 days


So, now let´s talk about the best things to do in 3 days in Seattle.


Day 1 in Seattle starts with the Pike Place Market.

Pike Place Market

I recommend trying to get a flight that lands you there in the morning, so you can still have some time to explore on your first day in Seattle.

After arriving and getting settled, I recommend heading to the Pike Place Market as it is one of the best places to visit in 3 days in Seattle. Pike Place Market is an iconic marketplace that started in 1907 and is the oldest continuously operating farmers market in the US.Visiting Public Market Center is one of the best thngs to do in 3 days in Seattle-clarisse-meyer unsplash

  • Pike Place includes a farmer’s market, a crafts market, and an array of more than 500 shops and restaurants well worth exploring. 
  • It attracts more than 10 million visitors annually – so you can imagine how busy it gets.
  • Start your Pike Place visit with a coffee from the first-ever Starbucks before exploring everything Pike Place has to offer.
  • Beware, it gets crowded! I recommend heading there earlier rather than later. 
  • You can even book a Pike Place Market tour and learn more from a local guide.
  • If you are traveling to Seattle with kids, you might want to visit the Seattle Aquarium, located close by.
  • You have free Wi-Fi at Pike Place Market!

Gum Wall in Seattle

Just near the Pike Place Market is also the iconic gum wall. It’s an alleyway in Post Alley under Pike Place Market completely covered in chewing gum. You can smell the gum (with a typical gum scent like peppermint) and yes maybe it is a little gross but also awesome and worth visiting for a few photos, and this is a must-see in Seattle in 3 days.Gumwall is a must see in Seattle in 3 days

  • The gum wall is a sign of Seattle’s still thriving grunge scene and was created in 1993.
  • In 2015 the alleyway was scraped clean.
  • It took 130 hours to remove the 2,350 pounds of gum. But it didn’t take long for Seattle natives and tourists to build it back up again.

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square is another must-see in 3 days in Seattle and a popular Instagram place in Seattle. After all the walking, I’d recommend a stop for lunch at Piroshky Piroshky before heading to Pioneer Square with a nice walk along the waterfront.

Iron Pergola on Pioneer Square is a must-see in 3 days in Seattle
  • It is in the southwest of Seattle Downtown and was the heart of the city once. Pioneer Square is especially known for its Renaissance Revival architecture.
  • Pioneer Square has been around since 1852 and has several stops worth visiting, including the waterfall garden, the Klondike Goldrush historical park, the Tlingit Totem Pole, or visit Seattle’s oldest skyscraper, on your way up to the 35th-floor speakeasy-style Observatory Bar.
  • You can choose to do an underground tour which takes place in the subterranean passages at Pioneer Square. These passages were created in 1889 after Seattle’s Great Fire when the city was rebuilt over the ruins. 
  • The passages are known to have paranormal activity and are brimming with the history of the city.
  • When you’re ready for dinner, head back towards Pike Place for some good food and locally brewed beer at the Pike Pub.


This is the day where you wake up early and get to it!

First, stop at opening time (8 AM) Biscuit Bitch for an amazingly delicious breakfast and fun experience. There will be a line, but the line moves quickly, and it’s worth it.

The Space Needle

Afterward, head to The Space Needle. You’ll want to stop here first before lines get long. After getting your ticket and traveling to the top for amazing views, you should visit 2 of my favorites – Mo Pop and Chihuly Glass Garden. All 3 places are right next to each other.The Needle in Seattle, Washington

  • It was built for the 1962 World’s Fair – the Century 21 Exposition “The Age of Space” so the design was perfect.
  •  The Space Needle is 605 feet tall and an amazing vantage point for views of Seattle. It’s a must-do on anyone’s first trip to Seattle and the ultimate icon of the Seattle skyline with glass walls and floors.
  • It also includes an upper-level outdoor observation deck with open-air glass walls and Skyriser glass benches.
  • Prices range between $32.50 and $37.50 (adults) and with that ticket, you get a trip to the top of the Space Needle and access to two floors of experiences at the top.
  • Plan around 90-120 minutes for this attraction.

Museum of Pop Culture

Mo Pop (Museum of Pop Culture) is another unique spot to add to your 3-day Seattle itinerary. It is a non-profit museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture. 

Museum of Pop Culture Seattle a place to go in 3 days
  • It is showcasing musical history, rock stars, and of course Seattle’s own grunge subculture. It’s a fun and interactive museum unlike any other.
  • They have fun and unique pop culture showcases such as the “Horror” or “Sci-fi” features I visited during my stay and plenty of rotating features as well.
  • Plan 1,5-3 hours for the museum and there is an entrance fee of $30 (adults).

Chihuly Glass Garden

The neighboring Chihuly Glass Garden is a very different side of Seattle’s art scene featuring elegant glass creations indoors and outdoors by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Garden and Glass museum conservatory a must for a 3-day Seattle itinerary
  • It opened in May 2012 at the former site of the defunct Fun Forest amusement park and even those that aren’t art lovers will still appreciate the unique sculptures and beautiful gardens.
  • Plan at least 90 minutes for this attraction and the entrance fee is around $32 (adults).

All 3 stops should take up most of your day, and at some point in between, you’ll get hungry. A good local spot to grab lunch nearby would be the Skillet Counter.

Olympic Sculpture Park

While in this area, be sure to walk through the Olympic Sculpture Park as well. It’s a lovely walk right on the waterfront. The park opened in 2007 and comprises 9 acres of sculptures on display by the Seattle Art Museum (which is also nearby if you have some spare time). 

Olympic sculpture park, Seattle 3-day i tinerary
  • Good news: To enjoy the outdoor sculpture park with both permanent outdoor sculpture, temporary works, and site-specific installations you do not have to pay an entrance fee.
  • When you’re ready for dinner, head back downtown and grab a meal at Lola’s for some delicious Mediterranean fare.

If you’re a grunge music fan, be sure to grab an Uber out to Viretta Park to see the memorial bench for Kurt Cobain and his old home.


Although Seattle is a big city, it is surrounded by big nature! So, whether you want to hike near Seattle or do other activities, I highly recommend on one of your days to book a day tour out of the city. 

San Juan Island

My recommendation would be San Juan Island. San Juan Island has a completely different feel than the city.

Mount Baker from the San Juan Islands is a good day trip from Seattle
  • Laidback island life, lighthouses, vineyards, and a charming coastal town to stroll through will give a nice break from the city’s hustle and bustle.
  • However, plan in a 2-3 hours driving time (one way). A rental car, in this case, would be a good idea.
  • To visit San Juan Island, you need to start early or probably get here in the evening before so you can start exploring San Juan Island in the morning.

Mt. Rainier National Park

Another option is a day trip to Mt. Rainier National Park. This is a perfect choice if you enjoy hiking and wildlife spotting

Mt. Rainer National Park near Seattle_
  • Mt. Rainer is a glaciated volcanic peak soaring over 14,000 feet.
  • It’s a gorgeous sight even from afar. If you visit over spring, you’re likely to see the slopes covered in wildflowers and rivers rushing by from melted snow.
  • Getting here from Seattle takes about 1,5-2 hours by car.

Snoqualmie Falls

If you want something a bit more mellow but still want some glimpses of the surrounding natural beauty, a day trip to Snoqualmie falls which usually includes some vineyard visits for wine tasting, would be a great option.

Snoqualmie Falls near Seattle
  • The waterfall is absolutely gorgeous and doesn’t require any strenuous hiking to get to.
  • Nearby are several vineyards where you can taste, sample, and sip the locally made Washington state wines.
  • This day trip from Seattle is probably the easiest. It takes about 30-45 minutes by car from Seattle.

No matter your style, there’s an option for everyone! Most of these tours take up a full day, so when you get back to the city, head out to grab your last dinner in Seattle.

I recommend El Borrachos. It is a tasty authentic style Mexican spot by Pike Place with tons of options, including a vegetarian and vegan menu.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Seattle For 3 Days

Seattle is a very unique city – and there is a lot to do and see. Hopefully, this 3-day Seattle itinerary has helped you plan your trip to the city and learn how to spend 3 days. Stay safe.


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Seattle, USA in 3 days, an itinerary

About the Author

Cassandra is a US-female travel addict who loves traveling the world and works as a tour operator. She is a freelance writer for Arzo Travels, where she shares her expertise and has a special love affair with Mexico – so she knows pretty well what she is recommending to you.

Follow Cassandra on InstagramSafe Travels, Arzo

Categories USA

Best 3-Day San Diego Itinerary

Best things to do in 3 days in San Diego, itinerary


San Diego is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the US on the west coast. Although it is not as well-known as Los Angeles or San Francisco, it is still a great choice for a trip at any time of the year. With great weather and lots of beaches, museums, and parks, this city has something to please everyone – families, couples, or solo travelers.

If you are looking for the best way to spend 3 days in San Diego, this post will help. Find out where to go and what to see. It also has some travel tips to make your own San Diego itinerary even better.


The post was written by Rebecca.


Before talking about the main activities for your 3-day San Diego trip, here are some important travel tips for a smooth trip.

How to Get to San Diego

You can fly into San Diego International Airport, and from there, take a taxi or rental car to your hotel. If you are driving in from the north, take Highway 101, aka the Pacific Coast Highway. And from the east, take Interstate 15. 

Once you arrive, you can take a bus from Terminal 1, a tram, or a taxi to your hotel. There is also a shuttle service. The best option will depend on the location of your hotel.

How to Get Around in 3 Days San Diego

San Diego has public transportation throughout the city, including buses, trains, trolleys, ferries, and taxis, not to mention Uber. So, you can get along fine with these for the popular attractions and within the downtown area.

There’s even a ferry that will take you across the bay to Coronado.

But when it comes to visiting La Jolla, Legoland, and other things that are farther, I suggest renting a car. The bonus is that you can drive down scenic coastal routes, like the Pacific Coast Highway, which starts in San Diego and follows the ocean all the way to Oregon.

Weather in San Diego

The weather in San Diego is really nice, year-round. Summer temperatures range from 67ºF-77ºF, and winters are from 49ºF to 66ºF.

The rainy season is from December until March. Generally, I have found that the mornings feel a little chilly, but everything warms up quickly once the sun is out in force.

What to Pack for 3 Days in San Diego

Since San Diego has pretty mild weather normally, you can pack pretty much the same all year. During the summer months, take some sandals, shorts, and t-shirts with you for the warmer afternoons, but make sure you have a jacket, just in case you’re out at night.

For winter, sneakers, boots, pants, and long-sleeved shirts are great but be prepared for warm-ish afternoons and colder evenings. Also, there’s nothing more chilling than a cold rain, so pack a coat in case you run into a storm.

3-day San Diego itinerary – Where to Stay

There are so many hotels in San Diego, not to mention the little neighborhoods throughout the area, like La Jolla. I would suggest taking a hotel in the downtown area of La Jolla, which has great ocean views. Or, if you don’t mind the move, take one night in each!

  • For a luxury option, I suggest the Pendry Hotel downtown, which has great amenities and service, or the Pantai Inn in La Jolla, which offers a boutique experience and a great location.
  •  For a mid-range hotel, try the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter in the downtown area, which has a good location.
  • For a budget option, you could stay at Holiday Inn Express – Downtown San Diego, which includes breakfast, or the La Jolla Cove Suites, which has vintage décor and a good location. 

Note that most of the hotels are more expensive in La Jolla than in San Diego proper, so just keep that in mind as you are booking.

San Diego, California, USA downtown city skyline

More Travel Tips For Your San Diego Itinerary

If you plan to stop at many main attractions, such as the Air & Space Museum, Legoland, and Belmont Park (and others mentioned in this post), I suggest getting the Go San Diego Pass. You can get one for just 3 days, and it will save you money on entrance fees.

Travel can get pretty bad, especially on Interstate 5. To avoid this, there may be times when public transportation is the way to go. Look into trolley, train, and bus schedules to save you time and frustration.

Day trips to Tijuana are very common since San Diego sits right on the US-Mexico border. To make it fun, do a little research on where to go when south of the border. Also, note that while the drinking age for alcohol is 21 in the US, it is 18 in Mexico.

The hotel tax in San Diego is 10.5% and 12.5% for larger hotels with 70+ rooms. So, don’t be surprised if you see this added to your bill. 

Avoid visiting during the giant Comic-Con convention unless you’re attending. The city hosts about 150,000 attendees, and hotel room rates are super high and sell out fast. It’s usually at the end of July each year.


After all the travel tips, here is your itinerary.


Let’s start with day 1 in San Diego.

Balboa Park in San Diego

Balboa Park is a must on any 3-day itinerary in San Diego. Encompassing 1200 acres, this park is more than a park and has something to offer every visitor. It is near downtown San Diego and the largest urban cultural park in the US. It was First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, which makes it is also one of the oldest city parks in the country and it is the most visited single destination in San Diego. So, it surely is none of the hidden gems in San Diego.

San Diego's Balboa Park in San Diego California USA

It is home to 16 museums, arts venues, gardens, trails, and many other creative and recreational attractions, including the San Diego Zoo. So, a lot of your first day in San Diego will be at Balboa Park.

Botanical House

Gardens dot the park, so you can enjoy beautiful greenery wherever you are.

Balboa park Botanical building and pond San Diego, California USA

The Botanical Building was built for the 1915-16 Exposition and along with the adjacent Lily Pond and Lagoon, this historic building is actually one of the largest lath structures in the world. Also, the most famous of the Balboa Park is probably the Botanical Building with the Lily Pond and Lagoon in the foreground.

Bring your own breakfast and have it on a bench among the 350 plant species so you can get an early start on your first day. Here, you will also find seasonal flower displays. 


  • Free to the public on Friday through Wednesday, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Closed Thursdays and holidays

From here, head to one (or all) of the museums that are housed within Balboa Park.

San Diego Museum of Art

If you like art, stop at the San Diego Museum of Art located within Balboa Park. It specializes in Spanish Renaissance (even the architecture is done in this style) and Baroque paintings.

Check their website to see what programs are running for fun cocktail events, film screenings, and activities for the kids.

  • Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday – 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Closed on Wednesdays
  • Tickets are around $15 for adults (discounts available)

San Diego Natural History Museum – The Nat

If you’re traveling with kids, the Natural History Museum be a good stop within the park. The Nat has four floors of exhibitions – examine fossils, explore different ecosystems, and see 3D displays that bring the Ice Age to life. 

Even adults will find the exhibition fun and interesting. 

  • Open from Friday to Tuesday from 10 am – 4 pm
  • Closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • Admission is around $20 for adults – discounts available

San Diego Air & Space Museum

This museum is also located in Balboa Park and is an homage to the evolution of human flight.

You’ll find reproductions of the Wright Brothers’ glider from the first flight ever and artifacts from Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh. Flight simulators are really cool for adults, and if you’re traveling with a family, the Action Hangar is set up as a play area for kids.

  • Open 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Closed on Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day
  • Tickets are around $22.00 (discounts available)

If you’ve had your fill of museums, stroll over to the next landmark in Balboa Park.

Old Globe

The Old Globe Theater was built as part of an expo in 1935 and is a replica of the original in England where Shakespeare’s plays were performed. It has three stages, and one is outdoors.

San Diego Balboa Park Old Globe Theater

It is not just a random theater – the Old Globe is one of the country’s leading regional theatre complexes, California’s oldest professional theatre, and San Diego’s largest theatre organization. 

If you’re in the mood for a play, check the schedule. There are usually two performances a day and three on the weekends. Or, just wander around and take in the architecture and atmosphere of this Tony-award-winning institution.

  • Open from Tuesday to Sunday 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Also closed on some holidays

This stop at Balboa Park should have taken about 2-5 hours, depending on how many museums you visited. 

And now it’s time to leave Balboa Park and head the harbor.


One of the best things about San Diego is its closeness to the water. Embarcadero is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal, do some shopping, and take in the views. It is a busy cruise ship hub, with a lot to do and see.

Walk along the harbor and see Coronado island right across the bay. If you happen to be visiting in the summer, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra performs from the end of June until September. Also, Waterfront Park has interactive fountains and playgrounds for kids to enjoy.

If you’re wondering what to do in San Diego in 3 days, then here’s what Embarcadero has to offer.

USS Midway Museum

Here at Embarcadero is the USS Midway Museum. Take a tour of the USS Midway Museum and the aircraft carrier with a self-guided audio tour. You can climb into cockpits and try simulators to feel like you’re actually flying, as well as check out the below-decks areas.

  • Open every day from 10 am – 4 pm
  • Tickets for adults are around $26 (discounts available)
  • You can also buy tickets online and skip the lines
Take a Harbor Cruise

Since you are right in San Diego Harbor, why not take a cruise? You’ll get to see some of the city’s many landmarks, not to mention views from a whole new angle. This will be especially fun on a warm, sunny day. 

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA USA Coronado ferry boat Embarcadero

Spot wildlife like sea lions and pelicans. And listen as an experienced guide tells you about the marine habitats and history. Cruises last one hour. Check out ticket prices online.

If you want to end your first day with a dinner cruise check out prices here.

Whale Watching in San Diego

Another must-do in San Diego if you are visiting from December through April is to go whale watching. This is the time of year that the California Gray Whale migrates from Alaska to Baja.

These cruises have a naturalist on board as a guide to answer questions. Cruises can last up to four hours. Check out prices for whale and dolphin tours in San Diego.

Extra: Coronado

You might be able to add Coronado to your 1 day in San Diego – however, you might also have to skip it, depending on the time of your arrival in San Diego. Either way, it is a place that might be perfect for you.

Coronado is located on the peninsula of San Diego Bay. Famous for its landmark hotel, this is also the home of some of the US Navy SEAL teams, which can be seen working out on Coronado Beach sometimes.

Panorama of Coronado old pier reflecting on in San Diego Bay from Coronado Island, California

The Hotel del Coronado, the world’s largest resort hotel when it opened in 1888, was the place to go for the rich and famous, like Babe Ruth, Edward VIII, Charlie Chaplin, and 16 different US presidents.

It’s also been featured in a dozen movies. Take a 75-minute tour through the building and ornamental gardens to get a look at this famous resort. Even if you do not take the tour, you can stroll the area and enjoy some beach time.

This stop at Coronado should take about 2-3 hours.

That’s about all we can fit into Day 1. This stop at Embarcadero should have taken about 3-4 hours unless you did the whale watching cruise. So, get a good night’s sleep before we start Day 2 at the beach. 


We’re starting Day 2 at some of San Diego’s best beaches.

Mission Beach

Lined with a boardwalk with its own small amusement park, Mission Beach is a lot of fun. If you’re visiting in the early hours, then rent a bike, traverse the boardwalk, play some mini-golf, have a coffee in one of the lovely gardens, or take the kids to a playground.

Mission Beach Sunset and View of Downtown, San Diego California, USA

If you want to lay out in the sand, you’ll have plenty of company year-round. So long as the weather is good, people will be out at this popular beach spot.

Belmont Park

If you love amusement parks, it will be hard to resist Belmont Park which is also at Mission Park.

Located on the boardwalk, this park has 12 rides, including the Giant Dipper – a wooden roller coaster named a National Historic Landmark and a favorite of locals. There’s also an 18-hole Tiki-themed mini gold course and eateries. 

This stop at Mission Beach and Belmont Park should have taken about 2-3 hours. Once you’ve gotten your roller coaster fix, let’s head to La Jolla or Pacific Beach. 

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach is a rather tranquil spot compared to other beaches, so it is a perfect place to enjoy the sea, sand, and sun in the morning.

Crystal pier in San Diego, California

Take a walk on Crystal Pier and watch waves break. You have a great view of the city and the town of La Jolla from the end of the pier. The beach has lifeguards, so this is a good place to bring kids.

This stop at Pacific Beach should take about an hour. 

Not far from Chrystal Pier is La Jolla – it is about 3miles away and you could walk from one beach to the other or just visit one of the beaches.

La Jolla

This seaside community sits on land that juts right out into the ocean, surrounded by water on three sides. There are lots to do here, from hiking to surfing to exploring sea caves.

La Jolla, California is one of the best places to visit in 2 days

La Jolla has a very chic, cosmopolitan vibe about it. Filled with boutiques and cafes, it has a different atmosphere from many other parts of San Diego. 

Stroll down Prospect Street and stop at the Legends Gallery. Here you’ll find original art displayed, including from a former resident, Theodor Seuss Geisel – Dr. Seuss!

Stop for a little while to relax in one of the beautiful parks. If you’re visiting in the summer, the Ellen Browning Scripps Park offers open-air concerts, so you might be able to enjoy some live music, too.

Children’s Pool Beach

Whether you’re traveling with children or not, definitely check out this part of the beach. Because La Jolla’s surf can be powerful, they constructed a seawall to protect an area of the beach and make it safe for children to swim in the calmer waters.

Drone view of the Children's Pool in La Jolla San Diego is one of the best things to do in 3 days in San Diego

An unexpected byproduct was that it was also a prime location for seals and sea lions to come and give birth to their pups. From December to May, they arrive.

Access to the beach is limited for this reason, but you can climb up the seawall to get a great view of these adorable sea animals.

La Jolla Cove

This cove is a must-visit, one of the most famous on the US’s west coast. The views are gorgeous and definitely Insta-worthy. 

Drone view of the Children's Pool in La Jolla San Diego is one of the best things to do in 1 days in San Diego

With tons of sea life in the water and sunning themselves on the rocks, you’ll take some great pictures in this cove. But I’d avoid swimming because the waves are powerful here. Another option would be to take a bike tour or go kayaking. 


There are lots of places to surf, and not just in La Jolla. About 30 minutes north of the area, you will find Swami’s, a popular surf spot. Oceanside and Del Mar are also good choices and less populated. If you need to rent surf gear, each beach has a rental spot nearby.

And if surfing isn’t your thing, then grab lunch at an oceanside restaurant and watch others hang ten while you enjoy your meal.

Then, let’s head north to a beautiful nature reserve to end the day. This stop in La Jolla should take about 2-4 hours, depending on how long you spend shopping or at the beach.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

About 15-20 minutes (drive) north of La Jolla, you will find Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

Broken Hill at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and State Park La Jolla San Diego California

This huge, 2000-acre park is home to the endangered Torrey Pine tree. It also consists of eight trails for hiking and walking, empty beaches to relax, and gray and blue whales’ sightings during their migration season. 

This park is also situated on a plateau that offers some really gorgeous water views, so make sure you take a moment to breathe in the salty ocean air and take in the scenery.

If you’d like to take a guided walk, they are available on certain days at 10 am and 2 pm, starting at the visitor’s center. This stop should take about 2 hours.

Torrey Pines Gliderport

For all you adventurers out there: check out the Torrey Pines Gliderport on your San Diego trip. At the edge of the park, you’ll find a platform used for hang-gliding and paragliding. They also offer tandem flights for a fee. 

Torrey Pines Gliderport is one of the top places to go in 2 days San Diego

But this location isn’t just for adventurers. If you just want to check out the cliffs’ views, this is a great vantage point. Benches are situated around the area. 

By this time, you are probably nearing sunset, and this is the perfect place to see it. Enjoy the views, grab dinner, and either head back to the hotel or spend a lively evening at Mission Beach.


For day 3 in San Diego, consider visiting these places.

Point Loma

Our first stop this day will be the Point Loma Lighthouse, built in 1855.

This is a local landmark and a very cool place to tour. Not only do you get great views from this lighthouse, but you can check out the keeper’s quarters and the lens that can see almost 25 miles out to sea. 

Point Loma Tide Pools

If you catch the tides at the right time, you can actually climb down into the pools and look around at the sea caves and ocean life down there when the tide is out. Starfish, hermit crabs, and even octopus have been spotted.

POINT LOMA, CALIFORNIA is one of the best places to add to your 2-day San Diego itinerary

After Point Loma, let’s head to the Old Town. This stop at Point Loma should have taken about an hour or so.

San Diego Old Town

The term “Old Town” means something very different in America than it does in Europe. San Diego’s Old Town is actually the first European settlement site in the state, from 1820-1870. The neighborhood, its adobe buildings, and the streets are well preserved.

Check out Casa de Estudillo for a lovely example of Spanish architecture.

Presidio Park is a good place to see historic settlements, specialty shops, art galleries and get authentic Mexican food. There’s even a real-life blacksmith that you can see working at the forge.

The stop in the Old Town will take about 2 hours.

Liberty Public Market

Visit the Liberty Public Market, a fun and exciting town market set up in a former navy building. Lots of fresh food, pastries, and arts and crafts are a great stop for lunch and see where locals and tourists do specialty shopping.

Open 7 days a week from 11 am-7 pm, you’ll find souvenirs for your trip and great examples of regional cuisine here. This stop at the market should take about an hour.

Gaslamp Quarter

When planning 3 days in San Diego, you don’t want to forget the Gaslamp Quarter. Enter through the archway on Fifth Avenue and stroll the 16-block downtown area. Full of eclectic charm, this area has something for everyone.

Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego

Look over the historic buildings. Stop for a bite at one of the many sidewalk cafes. Check out a movie at the Rooftop Cinema Club – a fourth-floor outdoor movie theater where you can see a flick and the sights at the same time. 

If you come at night, you’ll find plenty of clubs, bars, and breweries, many with rooftop lounges.

Visiting the Gaslamp Quarter will about 1-5 hours, depending on what you do while you’re here.

Extra: Mission San Diego de Alcalá

I added this attraction as an extra activity because it is located a bit outside and though it is interesting, you might not be able to squeeze it all into your 3-day itinerary.

Head to the Mission San Diego de Alcalá to see the first Franciscan mission in California, established in 1769.

Daily tours are available. See the choir stalls, living quarters of the friars, and the artifacts and tools from the Kumeyaay tribe that inhabited the region.

This stop should take about an hour.


With so much to do in San Diego, it’s hard to fit in the things that are just outside of the city. So, as an alternative to any of the days on this itinerary, here are three great day trips to consider for your vacation.

Day Trip 1 From San Diego: Legoland

Located just 30 minutes from San Diego, Legoland is a great stop if you travel with kids. This amusement park is Lego-themed, full of roller coasters and other rides and playgrounds, and kid-centered activities. 

Park hours are 10 am-5 pm daily. Prices range by age, but there is a discount for Go San Diego Pass holders.

Day Trip 2 From San Diego: Pacific Surfliner

The Pacific Surfliner is a great way to travel along the California coastline. The train ride offers amazing views, especially in the stretch right out of San Diego.

You could make a day trip to Los Angeles and use this as your main transportation. The train will even get you to Disneyland in two hours – which is great considering the crazy traffic in this area.

Tip: Sit on the right side of the train if you want to catch the sunset on your way back to San Diego.

Day Trip 3 From San Diego: Mission Trails Regional Park

This huge natural reserve is found at the northeast edge of the city. The sixth-largest park in the country, it deserves its own day. 

Here you can enjoy horseback riding, hiking, cycling, and climbing. You can even get up to the highest point in the city for the best views available – the tip of Cowles Mountain is almost 1600 feet up! You have amazing panoramic views from this spot (even if it is a bit of a hike).

Take in the beautiful scenery and natural surroundings right inside this major US city. 


San Diego is surely one of the best places for a long weekend break in the US. I hope this 3-day San Diego itinerary will help you plan an amazing trip. There is a lot to see, and it is a great location for families, couples, and solo travelers to enjoy nature, the beach, and city life, all in one place. 


Pin me for later.3-day San Diego itinerary, California USA, Arzo Travels

About the Author:

This post was written by Rebecca, who runs her own blog at The Journey at Home – where she writes about her life as a mother of 5 with everything that comes along with it. She lived in New York for a long time before she moved to Las Vegas. She also works as a freelancer for Arzo Travels.

Safe Travels, Arzo

Categories USA

Best Things to do in 3 Days in Boston

best things to do in Boston in 3 days


You are thinking of visiting Boston, Massachusetts, and are wondering about the best things to do in 3 days in Boston? Well, you have come to the right place. This 3-day Boston itinerary will help you decide the best way to spend your time and what to do and see in this historic American city.

It is located on the eastern coast of the US, north of New York. Boston is the largest city, and the capital, in the state of Massachusetts.

Founded in 1630, it is (by American standards) an old city. But Boston is even more famous for its part in US history, especially the events of the American Revolution. 

Though not as famous as San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Chicago, it is a great place to visit for a few days and one of the best places for a short weekend break in the US.

3 days in Boston will allow you to find many historic landmarks and sites, cobblestone streets, and buildings that date back to Boston’s roots.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

The post was written by Rebecca.


Before we get to what to do in 3 days in Boston, here are some travel tips to make your stay smoother.

How to Get to Boston

  • BY AIR: If you are flying into Boston, you will be arriving at Logan International Airport (BOS), which is located only 4 miles from the city center. You can easily grab a taxi, subway, or even a water taxi from the airport to your hotel downtown. 
  • BY CAR: If you are driving in, then you can take Interstate 84 from the south, Interstate 90 from the west, or Interstate 95 from the north. Keep in mind that parking is hard to find in Boston, and your hotel will likely charge you per day to park in their garage.
  • BY TRAIN: Public transportation is great in Boston, so you can also take the Acela high-speed train into the city.
Boston, best cities to visit in spring

Weather in Boston

The weather in Boston is really nice. It is a little humid in the summer but still the best time to visit (along with spring and fall). The average temperature at the height of summer in July is between 66ºF and 82ºF. Rain is moderate throughout the year.

If you decide to visit in the winter, it is definitely a bit colder. The average temperatures in January are between 22ºF and 37ºF. New England winters are no joke, and you will see the most snow in January and February.

What to Pack for 3 Days in Boston

  • If you are coming in the spring, summer, or fall, you can usually pack light clothes, like jeans, t-shirts, shorts, and dresses. Bostonians aren’t known for their high fashion and tend to dress according to the weather. Boston is also a big college town, so the basic jeans-and-shirt look works all year round. Sneakers are fine since you will be walking a lot (though locals prefer loafers).
  • If you are coming in winter, make sure to pack a warm jacket (preferably waterproof), scarf, gloves, and hat (bonus if it’s a Red Sox one – Boston takes their sports seriously). And boots are a must during the snowy winter weather. 

Where to Stay For 3 Days in Boston 

There are many possibilities for accommodations in Boston, some with a lot of charm and history. Here are a few suggestions for different budgets during your 3 days in Boston.

  • For a luxury hotel, try the Fairmont Copley Plaza, located in the Back Bay area, close to popular spots, like Newbury Street. It’s a historic building that’s been redone with modern décor and is particularly favored by couples. You can find out more here.
  • A mid-range option would be the Revere Hotel, which has a great location near beautiful Boston Common and the Visitor Center. It’s also very sleek and modern. Check it out here.
  • There are not many budget hotels in Boston, but the HI Hostel would be a great choice for couples and solo travelers, with breakfast provided and private rooms with en suite bathrooms. Located near Boston Common as well, it offers easy access to public transportation. Find more information here.

How to Get Around Boston For 3 Days

  • One of Boston’s nicknames (besides “Beantown”) is “the Walking City.” So, bring your walking shoes as you explore the city and the destinations on this itinerary that are nearby each other.
  • Other than that, public transportation is the way to go. Trains, trams, buses, and subways can be found all over the city and are the cheapest and most convenient way of getting around Boston.
  • You can easily buy one-way paper tickets (known as “Charlie Tickets”) at most stations for $2.75. If you want to get a Charlie Card, you can preload it, and rides are only $2.25. This also offers a free transfer to the buses.
  • If you drive your own car or a rental, expect an on-site parking fee at most hotels, as well as difficulty parking, as many areas require a residential-only neighborhood permit.

More Travel Tips For Your 3-Day Boston Itinerary

  • When you stay in Boston for 3 days, you should know that Boston is an expensive city. And hotels are no exception. The most expensive time to visit Boston is in mid-May (when many of the colleges are having graduation ceremonies) and in September/October (conferences in town and visitors coming for the changing of the leaves/fall foliage).
  • Many buildings and hotels in Boston are historic and converted over the years, but they still retain things like no elevators, steep stairways, etc. Europeans may not find this unusual, but Americans from other cities may be surprised. If you need accessible hotel rooms or want central air conditioning, check before you book.
  • Boston also has many brick and cobblestone streets, which can be tricky when wearing high heels or when there is snow. Just be aware as you make your shoe selection where you will be sightseeing.
  • It is actually illegal in Boston to have happy hour drink specials. Instead, they offer food specials from 4 pm-6 pm.
  • Smoking marijuana is illegal in public, but the purchase and possession of it are legal in Massachusetts. Just don’t take it over state lines.
  • This is not a 24-hour town. Boston mostly closes up by midnight (bars at 2 am), and the last subway leaves at 12:30 am. There are, however, a few all-night supermarkets, restaurants, and nightclubs.
  • Boston is a safe city, so long as you use common sense and proper precautions. Avoid side streets after dark and subway stations late at night if you are alone. Keep your possessions close to you at all times. And probably avoid the more crime-ridden areas of Roxbury and Dorchester.


After all the travel tips, let´s get started with the 3-day Boston itinerary.

Day 1 of 3 Days in Boston

Day 1 in Boston starts with walking the Freedom Trail. There are many sights along the way, and I will focus on a few only. The last stop is not part of the Freedom Trail.

Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a path lined with red bricks and connects many famous historical landmarks of the city, and it is a must-see/do activity for 3 days in Boston. 

Freedom Trail in Boston is a must in 3 days

It tells the story of the American Revolution. The trail is about 2.5 miles (4km) long, and the best way to see the trail is on foot. It is well marked throughout the city. Of course, you do not have to walk all the way but can just start or end it at any point – the trail is largely marked with bricks.

You will pass 16 locations significant to the history of the United States if you walk the whole trail. It really depends on how much time you spend at certain stops – walking the Freedom Trail can take from 3 hours to almost a full day. So, assuming it takes about 4-5 hours, you will still have some time for other activities on day 1.

Some of the sights you will see are the Park Street Church, Old State House (the oldest public building in the city), and the Benjamin Franklin statue.

Here are some of the main stops of the Freedom Trail.

Old North Church

The Old North Church could be the first stop of the Freedom Trail. If you like historic churches, then the Old North Church is a good stop. Founded in 1722, it was made famous as the place from which Paul Revere received the British’s signal, which led to the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 and ignited the American Revolution.

Old North Church in Boston, visiting is one of the best things to do in 3 days

The church attracts over 150,000 people from all over the world who want to find out more about its history.

  • There is a $5 admission fee to do a self-guided tour of the church.

After a half-hour here, you will probably be ready for our next stop on this Boston itinerary. Continue walking the Freedom Trail and stop at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is also part of the Freedom Trail. It is huge, encompassing four different historic buildings from the early 1800s converted into a place for shops, restaurants, and even a promenade. Faneuil Hall is an indoor/outdoor mall and eatery

Faneuil Hall Marketplace a must on a 3-day Boston itinerary
  • Besides the North and South Markets, the other famous building is Quincy Market (a favorite among locals and tourists).
  • Quincy Market is a lively and exciting place, perfect for souvenir shopping, tasting local delicacies, and just wandering.
  • There are tables set up for anyone who wants to stop for a game of chess.
  • And if you have ever seen the American TV show Cheers, a replica of the bar is here, too.

This market deserves at least a few hours of your time. It’s a lot of fun and a great place to eat a meal. Then, head to our next destination, about 10 minutes away on foot.

Boston Common

Boston Common is part of the Freedom Trail and our first stop. The park is actually the oldest city park in the US, dating back to 1634. Puritan colonists purchased the land rights to the Common’s 44 acres from the first European settler of the area.

  • While it is now a tranquil area, it had not always been like that – so were pirates, murderers, and witches hanged from the tree known as “The Great Elm.”  This tree stood there until 1876.
  • In the center of the park, you’ll find Frog Pond, a reflecting pool that makes a nice place to sit and enjoy the early morning light.
Boston Common and Frog Pond
  • It’s turned into an ice skating rink and even has a skating school nearby in the winter. In summer, it’s a spray pool.
  • There’s also a children’s carousel, so this is a great stop for families, too.

After an hour or so at Boston Common, we can head to our next Boston attraction. Esplanade is about 1miles away.


The Charles River Esplanade is a park located in the Back Bay area of the city. It is also located on the south bank of the Charles River Basin. This park is a nice place to picnic or relax and wander. 

Take a breath and enjoy the cute, picturesque bridges, lush grassy areas, and view of the water.

This is all for day 1 in Boston. After dinner and all the walking on day 1, you might want to take it easy and not squeeze in more activities.

Day 2 of 3 Days in Boston

Day 2 in Boston starts with another charming outdoor area in the middle of Boston – let’s head to one of the city’s most popular public gardens.

Boston Public Garden 

The Boston Public Garden was created in 1634 and went through a few changes in the Victorian Age to become the haven of plants and flowers today. It is located right next to Boston Common that was listed on day 1 of your Boston itinerary.

Boston Public Garden
  • You’ll find over 80 different local species, some a result of new techniques like hybridization, as well as exotic trees and plants. All of this gives the garden a gorgeous, colorful, and vibrant feel that is really nice to stroll through.
  • Besides the plant life, another very popular thing to do here is taking a ride in the lake’s Swan Boats. Over 100 years old, these boats are a fun activity for adults and kids alike. If you want to sit back and relax, though, grab one of the many benches and enjoy the morning. 

This stop should take a couple of hours.

Then head to Mary Eddy Baker Library – it is a research library, museum, and repository for the papers of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. It is about 15 minutes away by train from Boston Garden.

The Mapparium at Mary Eddy Baker Library

The Mapparium is a free area within the Mary Eddy Baker Library. The Mapparium is a popular spot with its 1930s neo-classical architecture. This fascinating section is a must-see in Boston.

Built by map-guru Rand McNally in 1935, the Mapparium is a 3-story, stained-glass globe. The Mapparium’s three-dimensional perspective of the world is enhanced by A World of Ideas. This is an original presentation that features a rich orchestration of words, music, and LED lights to illustrate the changes that have taken place in borders and even country names over time.

But even if you aren’t a huge geography buff, the Mapparium is breathtakingly beautiful and too pretty to skip. Half an hour is all you need to take in its charms.

After visiting the Mapparium, you may also want to stop and get a bite to eat.

Grab the train for 10 minutes to the west or walk for 15 minutes to get to your next stop.

Fenway Park Tour

I mentioned that Bostonians take their sports seriously, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone here who isn’t a Red Sox fan. And Fenway Park is where they play, and a Fenway Park Tour is an amazing activity for any sports enthusiasts or anyone curious to learn more about baseball.

Fenway Park in Boston is a must on Boston 3 days itinerary
  • This baseball stadium is the oldest in the country. It is relatively small but has hosted numerous baseball, soccer, hockey games, and religious and political rallies.
  • Take a fun tour of the stadium and see the players’ clubhouses, the press room, and the seats that are above the infamous “Green Monster,” which is the 37-foot-high wall in left field that is very difficult to hit a ball over because of its proximity to home plate.  
  • Tours last about 1 hour – you might have to tweak your itinerary, depending on what time tours are offered. Check out prices and tour dates here.

When you’re done seeing Fenway, let’s head over to another cultural landmark in the city, albeit of a very different sort. It is an art museum.

To get to the Museum of Fine Arts, you can either take a 10-minute train ride, but I suggest walking it for the same amount of time through the “Emerald Necklace,” a series of city parks.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is one of the oldest in the country and one of the most comprehensive. It houses 450,000 pieces of art, so I don’t think you’ll get through it all today!

Museum of Fine Arts Boston is a top in 3 days in Boston
  • Your ticket does allow for a free re-entry within 10 days of your first, so if you can’t get enough on Day 2, you can come back the next day. 
  • Take in the vast collections, galleries, and architecture of the building itself.
  • This is a great destination for solo travelers, couples, and families that enjoy art and strolling through beautiful things.
  • TIP: To save on the $25 entrance fee, consider planning your trip for a Wednesday after 4 pm when the museum is free and open late, until 9 pm. Also, check their website for any free days that are coming up.
  • This stop could take you a few hours, depending on how much you love fine art. But take your time because our last stop of the night is open late.

Stop for dinner and then grab the train 10 minutes east.

Wally’s Café Jazz Club

This cozy Jazz club is a great way to end your evening. One of the oldest continuously-running jazz clubs in the US, old-school jazz and blues are performed here nightly by students and locals.

  • Sit back, have a cocktail, and enjoy the talents of the local musicians.
  • Tip: Bring cash. They may take cards, but cash is easier at this little spot.
  • If you’re visiting with family, Wally’s may not be the best spot for you and your kids, so my alternate suggestion is to take the family about 30 minutes east by train to try a Boston tradition. South Boston Candlepin Bowling is tougher than regular bowling and fun nighttime activity for pretty much anyone, but kids especially will love the challenge.
  • Check out the website of Wally´s Cafe Jazz Club here.

And that’s the end of Day 2. 

Day 3 of 3 Days in Boston

For day 3 in Boston, let’s begin in a fun and lively area of the city. 

Beacon Hill

This area is full of Federal-style row houses and is often what you see depicted in movies about the city. It’s also the most desirable part of Boston to live in.

Beacon Hill in Boston
  • Stroll the brick sidewalks and narrow streets that run through Beacon Hill, Charles Street, and Louisbourg Square.
  • Adorned with charming lampposts, the area is full of cute cafés and small shops, as well as luxurious residences.

After an hour or so, you can head to a unique park that is not like any other park – the Lawn on D is about 2 miles away (30-minute walk or 30-minute train ride).

The Lawn on D

Morning outings to the green areas of Boston seem to be a theme, but don’t skip the Lawn on D because it isn’t like other parks here.

  • This grassy area is nice for picnics and relaxing, but people really come here for the events and games. If you’re coming in the warm parts of spring or fall, and especially in summer, you can enjoy an area devoted to fun and silly lawn games, as well as oft-scheduled outdoor events.
  • There are also kiosks, so you can grab a snack when you work up an appetite.
  • Speaking of food, I hope you have been trying some of the local cuisines. And if so, I suggest either Flour Bakery or Mike’s Pastry for a chance to try one of Boston’s most famous desserts: Boston Crème Pie.

The Lawn on D can be a lot of fun, but we still have other stops – so after a couple of hours, let’s head north for a different kind of museum – one on the water! You can walk or take the train. Either way will take about 15-20 minutes.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

The Boston Tea Party at Griffin’s Wharf in Boston was an important event in American History. The Boston Tea Party was a political protest that occurred in 1773. American colonists, frustrated at Britain for imposing “taxation without representation,” dumped 342 chests of tea imported by the British East India Company into the harbor. This event was the first major act of defiance to British rule over the colonists and rallied American patriots across the 13 colonies to fight for independence.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum is one of the best places to go in 3 days

Now you can visit the museum that’s been created to share artifacts and information about it – on a ship!

This is a fun stop, with interactive exhibits, actors playing out the scene, and even the chance to throw some tea overboard yourself. There is a café and gift shop on this restored ship that you can check out when you’re done. This stop takes about 1-2 hours.

Then it is time for another museum – a particular favorite of families, or for those of us who are kids at heart (about 25 minutes by train) – the Boston Children´s Museum.

The Boston Children’s Museum 

Created in 1909 by local science teachers, the Boston Children’s Museum is a fun, hands-on learning and playing environment popular for locals and tourists.

  • It is dedicated to providing new resources for teachers and students to exchange materials and ideas to advance teaching. The focus is on science, culture, environmental awareness, health & fitness, and the arts.
  • There are tons of exhibits, and the educational aspects are perfectly complemented by the fun of digging in and doing a wide variety of activities. 
  • Check out the sculpture on the first floor that children can safely climb – up 3 floors!
  • This is a great place for families, as it’s clean, safe, and well-run.
  • It’s also a lot of fun, especially if visiting in the winter to warm up.

Our last stop for Day 3 is the picturesque Harborwalk, located about 30 minutes north and across the water.


If you’ve had dinner, this is a great place for an after-meal walk. The waterfront skirts along the edges of piers, wharves, beaches, and the shoreline.

Boston Skyline from Downtown Harborwalk

The Harborwalk is actually in the process of being expanded, and once done, it will be almost 46 miles long in total. But for now, enjoy the walk, the views, and the art that is placed throughout.

  • Particularly on a warm summer evening, this is the place to go.
  • Join other locals and tourists, from families to couples to singles, who are enjoying some fresh sea air and exercise while taking in some lovely areas of the city that you haven’t yet seen.

Take in a sunset or see the glitter of the city lights from this new vantage point. This is a lovely way to end your visit to the city of Boston.


Another interesting place to visit in 3 days could be the world-famous Harvard University.

Who hasn’t heard of this iconic university? If you are interested in spending time on the campus, you could easily visit yourself – it is quite close to the city center – or you could do guided tours to learn more about this special university.


I hope this 3-day Boston itinerary has given you a good idea of where to go and what to do.

There is a lot of history and fun to be had in this popular American city, and 3 days in Boston may not be enough to see it all, but this list gives you the highlights and will hopefully enable you to plan your own exciting Boston trip soon.

About the Author:

This post was written by Rebecca, who runs her own blog at The Journey at Home – where she writes about her life as a mother of 5 with everything that comes along with it. She lived in New York for a long time before she moved to Las Vegas. She also works as a freelancer for Arzo Travels.Safe Travels, Arzo

Categories USA

Best Outdoor Places in the USA to Visit

Best outdoor places to visit in the USA


The US has some amazing cities and towns – that is for sure. But the US also has amazing national parks and beaches that have to be on your itinerary.

While it is almost impossible to see all of the 58 US National Parks and the endless amount of stunning beaches, this post introduces you to some of the most amazing places in the USA – so be prepared to find out about the best outdoor places in the USA to visit.

With one post on the most beautiful cities and towns in the US, this post only covers nature lovers’ most beautiful places.

Grand Canyon in Arizona

Recommended by Arzo from Arzo Travels

Grand Canyon @shutterstock
Grand Canyon @shutterstock

Outside the US, the Grand Canyon is probably the most famous national park. After visiting myself on a day trip from Las Vegas, I can clearly see why this place is so popular amongst foreigners and locals.

Ideally located for people who like to escape Las Vegas’s craziness, the Grand Canyon makes a wonderful day trip – though, you will only see a small fraction of this giant national park located in Arizona.

There are plenty of things to do – hiking and cycling (depending on the weather), rafting, and enjoying the amazing views are just a few options that you have. While you basically have these views from everywhere, there are some special viewpoints: the Grand Canyon Skywalk is extremely popular among visitors, though less popular among the Native tribes that live there.

So, while I think that the Grand Canyon was an amazing part of my US trip, it is important to remember to be careful where you go and where you leave your garbage – this applies to all the places you go, but it is even more important with parks and beaches.

Sequoia National Park in California

Recommended by Kirsty from Travel With Meraki

Sequoia National Park packs a punch. The world’s largest tree to granite rocks towering above the wilderness, amazing wildlife, and magic underground crystal caves.

With so many things to pick from to do in the park, one of our favorites was standing next to the largest living sequoia. The General Sherman Tree makes you realize just how small we are in the scale of things. Over 11 meters in diameter and 83 meters tall, this 2000+-year-old tree is hard to get into just one photograph!

If seeing this huge tree has given you a taste for sequoias, The Giant Forest’s Big Trees Trail should be your next stop. Wandering amongst these regal giants seems to give you a sense of peace, and you can see visitors often finish this walk in total silence, just soaking in the views and atmosphere.

After seeing the National Park from the first floor, you need to head up Moro Rock to see its vast scale from above. The 350 steps leading up this huge granite dome are no small feat, but the view from the very top is definitely worth the climb.

We left Sequoia National Park with a little bit of enchantment in our hearts after walking amongst giants, seeing a mama bear and her two cubs, and relaxing amongst wilderness at Silver City Mountain Resort. 

Glacier National Park in Montana

Recommended by Nathalie from Unbridled

If you ever plan a road trip through the North of the U.S., you should definitely hit the Glacier National Park.

My favorite of all places in the U.S. Montana’s only National Park is a playground for hikers and outdoor junkies. It has many stunning trails for day hikes and trekking, crystal-clear lakes for kayaking, and remote areas for relaxation. You can fully disconnect from your stressful life because cell phone service is non-existent.

My favorite hike was the Highline Trail, which offers incredible views of the mountains and valleys. Kintla Lake is another fantastic place in the very North of the park. It is tranquil because it is far away from the visitor center and only available by dirt road.

If you are like me, you will be camping. The campsites are very popular, so you should reserve your site before you go or get up extremely early so that you can get one of the precious spots at Lake McDonald or Rising Sun.

Glacier National Park is one of the few places in the U.S. with the clearest night sky. On cloudless nights, you get to enjoy the impressive milky way that will appear over your head. There are even stargazing gatherings with telescopes in summer.

Divine nature and remoteness make Glacier National Park the best place to visit in the U.S.

Joshua Tree National Park in California

Recommended by Marta from Learning Escapes

Joshua Tree National Park is a wondrous place.

Here, two desert systems meet the Colorado desert, which lies in the park’s Eastern part. The Mojave desert, which is higher in elevation, has distinctive traits such as giant smooth boulders and the famous Joshua trees that park its name.

The Joshua Trees are unique to this area and were named Mormon settlers who thought they looked like the prophet Joshua with his arms stretched towards the heavens.

You can visit Joshua Tree National Park all year round, and the best activity here is hiking: there are paths for all levels of ability, and the views are spectacular!

If you love camping, campsites are available in the park but make sure you are prepared for the weather as, especially in summer, the heat is intense!

Joshua Tree can be visited in a relatively short period of time, and it is even possible to get a sense of the beauty of the park driving through it.

The park has many sites of interest, such as Skull Rock and the Cholla Cactus garden. What is special here is the vast desert landscape with the evocative Joshua trees, giving the park a distinctive otherworldly and unique appearance.

Volcano National Park in Hawaii

Recommended by LC Hunter from Birdgehl

The Big Island of Hawai’i doesn’t see nearly as many visitors as the other Hawaiian islands of Oahu or Maui. This is silly because the island has something the others don’t – Hawai’i Volcano National Park, which makes a trip there worth it, alone.

The island comprises five volcanoes – Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea. Three are considered active, with Kilauea erupting continually since 1983.

Entry to the National Park is $25, and a pass will last you a full seven days. On entry, you can see steam vents, walk through lava tubes, visit both an observatory and museum, or check out the action at the Volcano’s summit.

Best of all, the park is open 24/7. You can rock up any time of the day and night. I’d advise arriving about an hour before sunrise – there’ll be fewer people there (only the very dedicated), and it sure is a sight to see the glow of the volcano against the backdrop of millions of stars. It’s somehow even more impressive than witnessing it in the light of the rising sun.

You can also ride a bike or walk from the town of Kalapana to the ocean’s edge, where if you’re lucky, you’ll see lava fields flowing straight into the water. Try to arrive an hour before sunset to scope out a decent spot.

The park is a two-hour drive from the city of Kona and around forty minutes from Hilo. You can also stay onsite within the park, but accommodation is generally cheaper in either of the island’s two big cities.“

Finger Lakes in New York

Recommended by Sky from Sky Vs. World

When traveling through the East Coast of the United States, the Finger Lakes region of New York is a must-visit.

The area is known for several long, thin lakes that resemble “fingers” and is one of the best wine regions in the country. The Finger Lakes encompasses around 9,000 square miles and many small towns and a few larger cities, like Ithaca and Corning. Besides wineries, the region is also known for beautiful hikes and waterfalls at state parks.

Ithaca is home to Cornell University, one of the best universities in the country, and the Buttermilk State Falls. The Buttermilk Falls are absolutely stunning when there’s been rain, though the hike to the top is considered strenuous.

Watkins Glen is another area with many beautiful waterfalls and cute towns. Wineries can be found all around the lakes, with wine trails set up on Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake. For those looking for a little more, Seneca Falls is a quaint historic town known as the Women’s Rights Movement’s birthplace.

The museum there is definitely worth checking out! Overall, you really can’t go wrong with a visit to the Finger Lakes, whether you want to sip on wine, take a hike, or enjoy small-town New York!

Yosemite National Park in California

Recommended by Taiss from Together To Wherever

National Parks in the United States are some of the most amazing places to visit in the world.

We may be a bit biased as Californians, but we’d say that Yosemite is the absolute best of all to visit. The natural beauty alone is more than mind-blowing, even if you’ve already seen pictures of this place. The awe-inspiring sights at Yosemite National Park provide a backdrop to any vacation one may choose.

There are plenty of adventures to be had, such as epic hikes on Half Dome, as well as checking out several viewpoints like the famous Glacier Point, along with chasing some of the waterfalls that are dotted all around the park. Yosemite offers tremendous value to visitors on any budget.

Getting around the park is easy and free with the buses provided there, and the park entry is good for up to three days. There are various options for accommodations ranging from renting a campsite and pitching your own tent to motels, bed, and breakfasts or renting cabins.

However, park visitors can also enjoy some luxury amidst the raw natural experiences by staying at a high-end hotel-like Tenaya Lodge. The luxury accommodations there include a spa, steam and sauna rooms, as well as several pools.

So, whether you are into camping or glamping or you want to see some stunning landscapes, courtesy of mother nature, Yosemite National Park should be high on your list of must-see places in the US.

Naples Beach in Florida

Recommended by Lori from Travlinmad

Soft white sand? Check! Crystalline blue water? Check! Warm enough to swim year-round? Check, check, and check! Welcome to Naples, Florida.

Located in the subtropical southwest corner of the state on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, the summers here are hot and humid, while the winters offer perfect warm temperatures and little to no rain.

And although there’s the typical great shopping, dining, and cool arts scene here, perhaps the biggest draw to Naples are the spectacular beaches – after all, what better to do than relax at the beach with more than 300 sunny days a year!

There are several great ones to head to – from a family-friendly and dog-friendly -, but Barefoot Beach Preserve tops the list for one of Naples’s best beaches. With a secluded location, natural dunes, and nice wide beaches, the Preserve is 342 acres of natural land and one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast.

You could hardly be blamed for spending the entire day here relaxing in paradise. And the icing on the cake is one that kids of all ages will love — Barefoot Beach Preserve has some of the most spectacular shelling in the world, where little gifts from the sea wash ashore against your ankles.

Just be sure and return the live shells to the sea!

Redwood National Park in California

Recommended by Sam from Alternative Travelers

The United States’ wilderness is one of the country’s biggest assets and visiting the Redwood National and State Parks in California is a must-see for travelers to the U.S. West Coast.

This is one of the only places in the world where you can stand in the presence of such massive and humbling trees. In fact, the tallest measured tree in the world, named Hyperion, is located within the Redwood National Park.

Wandering among the trees truly feels like entering another world as the unique redwood coastal ecosystem is home to several rare species. The Redwood National and State Parks are now a protected UNESCO World Heritage site and an International Biosphere Reserve.

The best way to experience these magnificent trees is to take any of the numerous hikes with varying levels of accessibility. While camping is restricted to backcountry camping in the national parks, state parks have more accessible campsites that allow visitors to spend a few nights under the canopy of the redwoods.

There are many scenic drives through the forest, such as the Avenue of the Giants or Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, for those who cannot or do not want to hike or camp.

Visiting the redwoods is a great stop on a West Coast road trip, or even a few days trips from San Francisco. The state of California alone has nine national parks, so if you plan on visiting a few, make sure to grab a yearly parks pass, as it will save you tons of money! You can buy them at any park, and you can even pick up a park’s passport too so that you can collect stamps at each park that you visit.

Sanibel Island in Florida

Recommended by Bret from Green Global Travel

Located on Florida’s gulf coast, just minutes from Fort Myers, Sanibel Island offers Florida’s nostalgic taste as it was 40-50 years ago.

Visitors may get the feeling of having stumbled onto their own private paradise. Neon, stoplights, and fast-food restaurants are prohibited (except for a Dairy Queen built before 1974). Businesses are prohibited from using gaudy colors or building taller than the tallest palm tree. Homes must be built a certain distance from the shore. These are just a few of the reasons Sanibel has kept me coming back over and over again since my first visit in the early ’90s.

Sanibel is a barrier island created by nature to buffer the mainland from the elements via native palm and mangrove trees. Its gorgeous white sand beaches are consistently ranked among the world’s finest, lined with sea grape and sea oats that lend themselves to striking sunrise/sunset photography.

Sanibel is also widely considered the #1 shelling beach in the world: Take a stroll along it, and you’ll see many people searching in a position known as the “Sanibel stoop.”

The island is a haven for nature lovers, thanks to the 5,200-acre J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which protects one of the country’s largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystems.

Hiking, biking, or driving through the refuge is a must, revealing wildlife ranging from raccoons and alligators to a world-renowned assortment of birds that includes herons, egrets, and the fluorescent pink Roseate Spoonbills. We recommend taking a naturalist-led kayaking tour in Tarpon Bay, which was voted one of the Top 10 places to paddle in the nation by Canoe & Kayak magazine.

From learning about marine conservation at Sanibel Sea School and mollusks at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum to fishing for tarpon and Sea Trout just offshore, this quiet little island offers a surprising array of attractions and activities. The only problem is, after visiting once, you may find yourself wishing you could call it home!

Antelope Canyon in Arizona

Recommended by Christine from The Traveling Pinoys

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon in the Navajo Nation – a native American Indian territory that covers three states: Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon in the Navajo Nation – a native American Indian territory that covers three states: Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.

The Canyon has 2 separated sections: the Upper Antelope Canyon and the Lower Antelope Canyon. Both sections offer amazing landscapes, and the only differences are the cost, your own mobility, and the crowd.

Upper Antelope Canyon is more expensive and popular – hence it is more crowded. However, it offers more dramatic views because of the light beams from the slots. The trail is also easier.

While the lower canyon offers a more secluded tour and less expensive, the trail can be quite tricky. Antelope is also a decent drive away from Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, and Grand Canyon, making it ideal if you want to do an epic road trip in Arizona. If you are a photographer, it will give you one of the best photo sessions you won’t forget.

It gives you the feeling of being in a different world – with its unique landscape that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

Fairbanks in Alaska

Recommended by Rebecca from Tattling Tourist

Fairbanks, Alaska is one of the top destinations to visit in the USA because of its offers.

It is best to start a visit here with a trip downtown and to the museum to learn about the town’s gold rush history.

Then, enjoy one of the many tours offered in the area. Earn bragging rights as you cross the Arctic Circle while touring the Ice Road Trucker’s Dalton Highway. Keep your eyes open for wildlife as you make your way on the 2-hour journey to see the highest peak in North America, Denali.

Head to Chena Hot Springs, where you can relax after visiting the nearby Aurora Ice Museum, the largest year-round ice museum in the world. Get a close-up of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline on the way back into town.

It is easy to enjoy Fairbanks no matter what time of year you visit.

Enjoy long summer days spent hiking, fishing, panning for gold, or enjoying a festival. In the winter, despite the short days, there are many activities to keep you busy, such as dog-sled tours, ice fishing, skiing, a visit to the Santa Claus House in the North Pole, and viewing the Northern Lights. Fairbanks, Alaska, is a town full of history and activities to keep you busy year-round.

Tip: It is recommended to stay in the downtown Fairbanks area since everything is within walking distance.

This is convenient in the winter as some hotels, such as the Springhill Suites by Marriott, provide free pick up and drop off at the airport. With all the tours that offer pick-up service, driving on the snow-covered roads in a rental car is unnecessary.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in N. Carolina and Tennessee

Recommended by Ashley from A Southern Gypsy

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of my favorite places in the entire world. It consists of large portions of Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina in the United States.

Being from Tennessee, I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Smokies often, and they always blow me away by their beauty. This national park is the most visited national park in the US, and for a good reason.

Some of my favorite things to do include driving and hiking the 11-mile Cades Cove loop for the best black bear sightings, seeing the synchronous fireflies in June (one of only two places in the world to see them), spotting elk in the Cataloochee Valley, exploring the ghost town of Elkmont and all the hiking you could ever want.

The Smokies offer a little something for everyone and is a spot that should not be missed in the United States.  Many people come to this area for Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge but forget about the amazing outdoors right at their backdoor.

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming

Recommended by Ljojlo from The Traveller’s Guide

Yellowstone National Park is a volcanic wonderland located mainly in Wyoming, with small sections sprawling into Montana and Idaho.

This place is special because it is the first recognized National Park in the USA, but it is full of wildlife and spectacular geothermal activity. There are countless areas of Yellowstone to explore however are dependent on the time of year because, during the winter, much of the park is closed.

Spectacular spots not to be missed include Yellowstone Lake, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon. Yellowstone Lake took my breath away because, in the middle of April, it was still frozen.

Being from Australia, seeing a frozen lake doesn’t happen ever, so seeing this was magical. Mammoth Hot Springs is a sight to be witnessed by all. The colors and the features can’t be described but must be seen. So, do yourself a favor and visit.

Lucky last on my top three was the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. As the name suggests, this is an impressive canyon topped off with a raging waterfall. Other spots to be noted are Old Faithful, a cone geyser always waiting to excite onlookers, and finally getting a campsite and staying in the park.

Without a doubt enjoying the park from the comfort of our RV was undoubtedly a highlight.

Yellowstone National Park is a must-see purely because I have seen nothing like it and nothing quite as spectacular, except maybe Antarctica, but that is another story.

Big Sur in California

Recommended by Sierra from Passport Voyager

One of my favorite places in the entire world is Big Sur, California.

I grew up in Monterey, about 40 minutes north of Big Sur, and visited regularly. The Big Sur coastline boasts incredible natural beauty and many iconic sights, including McWay Falls, Pfeiffer Beach, Garapatta State Park, and Bixby Creek Bridge.

Stopping on the drive up or down the coast to visit any of these spots is a great way to break up the trip! Another beautiful viewpoint is at the famous Nepenthe Restaurant, which offers lots of delicious food (including vegetarian and vegan options), as well as a gorgeous view down the coastline from their upper deck.

If you’re on a budget, try eating at Cafe Kevah downstairs, which has a slightly more affordable menu.

Hiking through the beautiful state parks and spending time on the iconic beaches are two of the more classic Big Sur activities, but there are lots of other options as well! For a truly magical experience, I recommend staying at Deetjen’s Inn (or just grabbing a meal there if you can)!

This inn is made up of a set of rustic cabins set back in the Redwood forest of Big Sur and will provide a cozy experience no matter how long you stay. Big Sur is a must-see location because of its unique, exceptional natural beauty and local charm and a perfect addition to your California itinerary.

Bryce Canyon in Utah

Recommended by Danielle from Like Riding a Bicycle

Everyone thinks the best of this area is the Grand Canyon, and while stunning, to me at least, it didn’t hold a candle to Bryce Canyon.

Located in southern Utah, with beautiful canyons all around the area, Bryce Canyon has stunning rock formations that look like pillars coming out of the ground. You can drive up and see this amazing canyon from above, or go for a hike right down into it – and a much less strenuous hike than at the Grand Canyon, might I add!

It’s best to go during the daytime, of course, so that you can see it all, but I highly recommend early morning, as watching the sunrise above the canyon is spectacular. The canyon is huge, and while we did one hike down into it, there are many different options, so if you’re lucky, you’ll rarely see another person or can take a quick break to separate yourself from the rest.

I always prefer hikes that are along (or just with my group), so it’s wonderful that this is so much less crowded than the Grand Canyon. Bryce Canyon is an essential place to go to if you find yourself in Utah – believe me. You’ll be sorry if you don’t!

Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan

Recommended by Natasha from The World Pursuit

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park in Northern Michigan covers over 35 miles of beautiful and almost untouched coastline.

When you visit, the water is so blue. You would think you are in the Caribbean.  It’s the perfect place to visit in Michigan to relax and be at one with nature. There are some beautiful and historic hotels in the area, or you can take a campervan.

The whole area is great for hiking, canoeing, and being out on the water, especially in June, July!

Some ideal things to do there are to venture out on a Dune Climb, take in the stunning overlooks as at Pyramid Point, and stop off for an ice cream ice-cream cone in Leelanau County.

In the heart of winter, the whole area turns into a winter wonderland as well! In general Sleeping Bear Dunes is a great spot on any USA trip. It provides beautiful water, relaxing towns, and amazing forestry to vacation in.


Images: all images from


There are so many stunning places for nature lovers in the US. It would be impossible to add them all to this list. However, this list of beautiful places is pretty great to start exploring the best spots in the US.

For the best cities to visit in the US, check out my “best cities and towns to visit.”

What are your favorite places to visit in the US? Have we missed an awesome outdoor spot in the US? Let us know.

Safe Travels, Arzo

Categories USA



My favorite city in the world? It surely is New York. The city is one of a kind – if you are planning your New York itinerary, you might be wondering about the best things to do in New York in 4 days.

4 days in NYC is surely not enough time, but you will be able to cover the most famous attractions and tourist hotspots in that time. Whether you visit from within the US or abroad, NY is one of the best cities to visit in the US (if not in the world).

When I booked my trip, I thought that 8 days in one of the most famous cities on the planet might be too much – but it definitely was not. With that “many“ days, I had the chance to stroll around aimlessly and get lost (sometimes even literally). Since I did not use all my days “efficiently”, and most of you probably have less time for your NYC trip, I created this 4-day New York itinerary. 4 days in NY is a good amount to spend – you will get a good idea of this amazing city and get to see some of the best places. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.


So, ready to find out how to spend 4 days in New York and learn about what to do and see? Here are some quick but useful travel tips before we discuss your NY itinerary.

How to Get to New York For a 4-Day Trip

  • By plane: If you are flying into NYC, you can arrive at either John F. Kennedy International Airport or LaGuardia Airport. From there, you can take a shuttle, bus, train, taxi, or rental car to your hotel.
  • By train: If you arrive by train, the Long Island Rail Road can bring you in from the east, and Amtrak and NJ Transit from the other directions. The trains stop at Penn Station in Manhattan, and from there, you can catch a cab, subway, or bus. 
  • By car: If you are driving in, be aware of traffic and construction. Also, parking is hard to come by. So, getting to NYC by car is probably the most stressful option (depending on where you come from, of course).

How to Get Around New York in 4 Days

  • I mostly walked in New York. Of course, only walking will not get you everywhere in 4 days, but with good and comfy shoes it is quite easy to walk to many sights. The city is flat and there are no cobbled-stoned streets which make getting around on foot quite easy. Also, with all the traffic, walking is often the fastest way to get around.
  • If you don’t want to venture on foot, then I’d recommend the subway or bus. Public transportation is good in New York City and also frequent, affordable, and easy.
  • You can purchase a MetroCard for the subway and bus fares and load them in kiosks at the terminals and subway stations. Using this instead of paying taxi fares will save you a lot of money.
  • Parking is difficult, so I advise leaving your car at the hotel (or not even bringing one) unless you plan on making a day trip outside the city.

Where to Stay in New York City for 4 Days

Depending on what you have planned and where, as well as your budget, choose a hotel that will make a good base for your outings. New York City is fairly large but accessible by public transportation but most attractions are in/close to Manhattan – which is also the most expensive area to stay. 

New Jersey could be another option if you have to watch your budget closely but it is outside of New York City and includes some commuting. While other neighborhoods in NYC are also quite interesting and are becoming more popular, for first-time visitors I highly recommend staying in Manhattan. 

  • Budget-friendly hotel: This HI NYC Hostel might be a good choice for you if you like staying in hostels and make friends. 
  • Mid-range hotel: East Village Hotel seems like a good choice if you are looking for a decent hotel in a good location.
  • Luxury hotel: The Plaza is one of the most famous in the world and probably a great choice if you want to splurge and spoil yourself with a luxurious hotel.

Keep in mind:

  • On top of the rates for the room itself, the City of New York charges a hotel tax of 14.75 % and also an occupancy tax of $3.50 per day.
  • While there are hundreds of choices within the city, make sure you book ahead of time if you arrive during busy seasons, like the holidays or Fashion Week.

Weather in New York

New York weather is wet and cold in the winter (-3°C / 27 °F), and hot and humid (up to 30°C / 84 °F) in the summer. Consequently, the nicest times to visit the city are from March to June and from September to October when the weather is nice and warm.

If you visit in the winter, you might find yourself experiencing snow. It doesn’t rain very much in New York City, and it’s about the same month to month (except in the winter when it is snowing). This mostly occurs between December and March (check out my “NY in winter guide“). December is a great time to visit if you want to experience the magical time of the year in a unique city – if you do not mind the cold.

New Year´s Eve in New York is also a great time to visit.

What to Pack for New York City

If you’re wondering what to wear in NYC, let me offer a few suggestions.

  • It is best to pack for the cold during the winter, bringing warm clothes, a jacket, scarf, and gloves. I’d suggest comfortable shoes – or better yet, winter boots – because you’ll probably end up walking quite a bit. New Yorkers tend to dress well, so if you want to fit in, pack some nicer clothes as well.
  • In fall and spring, the temperatures are mild, so pants and short-sleeved shirts are good. But also bring jackets for the evenings or colder days. 
  • In summer, because of the heat and humidity, shorts and skirts are probably best. Sandals are common, too. New York is very diverse, and so are the clothes you will see.

More Tips for your Itinerary New York in 4 Days

  • New York City is an expensive place in general. But within Manhattan, the prices are higher than, say, in Brooklyn. So, the closer you are to touristy areas and upper-class neighborhoods, the higher the prices for food, clothes, etc. Check out my budget travel tips for NY.
  • Traveling in New York City can be very safe so long as you use caution. Be careful when traveling at night.
  • Avoid neighborhoods that have higher crime rates. Avoid empty subway platforms at night and badly lit side streets. Stick to populated areas, particularly after dark. And always keep your valuables close to your body and in sight.
  • New York City has stringent no-smoking laws. Smoking is not permitted in any indoor area (including bars and clubs) or outdoor public areas (like beaches and parks). There are also high taxes on cigarettes in the city.
  • The drinking age in the United States is 21. Even if you are not planning to drink alcohol, most places that serve it will not allow admittance without a proper government-issued id or passport. So, carry yours on you if you plan to go to any bars or clubs.


Four days in NYC is not a lot of time for a city as full of attractions as this one. So, to make the most of this New York itinerary, you will have some busy days. But don’t worry – there are some breaks built in for you to rest and relax while still enjoying this amazing city.


The best place to start is Midtown Manhattan. The heart of the city boasts many famous landmarks and it’s also home to NYC’s entertainment venues, including Broadway shows and iconic Fifth Avenue. So, let’s get started.

Fifth Avenue

A lot of day 1 in New York will be about Fifth Avenue, also known as Millionaire’s Row. This famous street is the dividing line between the East and West sides of Manhattan and it crosses the whole of Manhattan from north to south. It is the city´s most expensive and famous shopping street with some of the world’s most expensive retail spaces.

  • The whole street is about 10km (6miles) so you might (not want) to walk all the way up (or down). You could start at the height of South Central Park and walk down further south.
Fifth Avenue is a must go on any 4-day New York itinerary

Here you will find high-end retailers, like Saks, Tiffany & Co., and Louis Vuitton. If you are in the mood for shopping, then you can spend the morning exploring the stores and buildings. 

There are many places worth a stop – the most famous are probably like the Flatiron Building. It has a very unique and interesting shape and thus has become a famous attraction.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

While you walk down 5th Avenue, you could stop at this beautiful cathedral located on Fifth Avenue – St. Patrick’s Cathedral. While it’s not nearly as old as many churches found in Europe, it is one of New York’s landmarks, a tribute to the religious freedom many immigrants found when they arrived in America.

St. Patrick's Cathedral beautiful place in NY

Built in the mid-19th century this Roman Catholic church has a characteristic Neo-Gothic style. If you love architecture and old churches, this is a great stop to make on your visit to New York City. You can wander throughout the church and take pictures as long as a mass is not being held.

  • Exploring the cathedral should take you about an hour max.

New York Public Library & Bryant Park

After you quick stop at the St. Paul´s Cathedral, keep walking south 5th Avenue and you will see the beautiful Bryant Park and this library. The New York Public Library is a great landmark you should see during your visit.

New York Public Library a must on a 4-day NY itinerary

It is an impressive building with stone lions guarding the front doors. Inside, there are large windows and beautiful art-covered entire walls. The library has an extensive collection, including a children’s section. The architecture of the building, known as Beaux-Arts, is also impressive.

  • You will probably only need an hour here. The library is open from 10 am-5: 45 pm (except Sundays: 1 pm- 4: 45 pm).

Bryant Park is located adjacent to the New York Public Library and a green, lush park surrounded by some of the iconic NY skyscrapers. It is a great place to rest and have a late lunch/early dinner before you continue your journey.

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is amazing and it is close to Bryant Park, so you can quickly walk there. It is not just a place to jump on a train, but a place to visit in and of itself. I found it interesting and fun, with so many things to see and do.

Grand Central Terminal Manhattan

Built in 1871, the terminal was rebuilt twice to be the building it is today. It is one of the busiest train terminals in the world. You will find restaurants, shops, and artwork here.

I especially liked the Whispering Gallery. There is a place in the terminal by the Oyster Bar where, if you whisper into one corner, a person standing in the opposite corner can hear you (as if you had shouted) because of the way the arches and acoustics are. You have to try it!

I did several free walking tours in NY, and one of them included  the terminal’s history and see all the cool features and secrets. You can check these tours out here.

  •  This stop will probably take about 1-2 hours, or more if you explore thoroughly.

Times Square

Then it is time for another NYC iconic! Of course, you have to see Times Square! This famous landmark is great to see either day or night. Here, you have the hustle and bustle New York is known for.

Times Square in NYC @shutterstock
Times Square in NYC @shutterstock

Times Square is a major destination for tourists, so you can expect it to be busy. Here you will find stores, restaurants, towering billboards, and crazy characters. The famous Naked Cowboy was not there during the time of my visit – even though I was at Times Square a couple of times! What a disappointment, but the other (interesting) people and attractions made Times Square made it still a fun place to visit. 

  • There are many attractions to enjoy in Times Square, so I suggest you set aside at least 2 hours for this stop.

Broadway Shows

Watching a Broadway show is one of the most popular things to do in New York – whether you are here for 4 days, a week, or just a night. Broadway is a street that runs right through Times Square and houses some of the world’s best plays and musicals. 

I admit that I did not get a chance to see one while I was here (long story!), but it is an absolute must for many NY visitors.

If you like shows and want to end the night in a relaxing and entertaining way, this is a good stopping point for Day 1. You can get tickets at the booth in Times Square for some of the shows playing, or even venture off-Broadway to see one of the smaller productions there or you can buy them online. This is a quite popular Broadway show.


For the second day of your New York itinerary, you will be heading to the south end of the city, spending the day in Manhattan and Brooklyn. So, you may want to grab your walking shoes and MetroCard for today.


Take the N or R train to Canal Street, the heart of New York’s Chinatown.

Street view of Chinatown in NYC one of the top things to do in 4 days

Chinatown is an amazing, lively, and chaotic place. There is so much to see, from the shops to the street vendors. There are lots of knockoff handbags and electronic items for sale, and pretty much everything else. Tea shops, restaurants, and other businesses line the streets.

When the Chinese immigrated to America, many of them moved to Chinatown. They opened businesses and moved into the apartments above. So, while this is a popular tourist destination in New York City, it is also a thriving local community.

There are a lot of restaurants along Canal Street, many with options that are vegan and vegetarian.

  •  I would probably plan an hour for Little China (a bit more if you like to do a massage here). You can stop for breakfast/lunch here before heading on to the next stop on the itinerary.

(By the way, if you prefer Italian food, just a few blocks over is New York’s Little Italy.)

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Then head towards Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – it is time to escape the busyness of Chinatown and spend time in a park.

Botanic Garden Walkway one of the top places to go in NY in 4 days

These gardens are just beautiful. Even if you are not a huge nature lover, you will still fall in love with all the colorful flowers and lush greenery. It is a really nice change after a day in the busy city.  

You can wander the gardens and see everything at your own pace. 

  • Admission is about $15 (tip: if you are visiting on a Friday from March-November, admission is free from 8 am – 12 pm, but please double-check before your visit).
  • Depending on your speed and interest, you will probably finish at the Botanical Gardens within about two hours.


I have not visited, but nowadays (mainly because of Instagram, I guess), Dumbo has become very popular amongst visitors.

With its cobblestone streets and converted Brooklyn warehouse buildings, together with them are the many independent boutiques, high-end restaurants, and cafes, it has become a popular photo location, so I recommend you could add Dumbo to your NYC 4-day itinerary. It might also be time for late lunch/early dinner which you can have in this area.

  • Depending on your speed and interest, you will can spend an hour or two here.

Brooklyn Walking Tour

If you plan ahead, you can also do a Brookly walking tour. There are some tours you can choose from – including free walking tours. I did a couple of them in New York, including a walking tour in Brooklyn. I absolutely loved them. 

And while it is free, it is kind to tip the guide if you enjoyed the tour! You can check out dates and times here – again, I think it is worth it!

  • Tours take about 60-90 minutes. They are offered at certain times, so you might have to plan your day around the tour (if you want to do one).

Brooklyn Bridge & the Brooklyn Heights Promenade

This was one of the highlights of my trip to New York. Crossing over the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan was one of the most amazing travel experiences I have ever had.

I came in the evening, and seeing the skyline and the city’s lights on – it was a great memory. (You may want to move this to the end of the day if you want to cross at night.)

Crossing Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most romantic things

Take a train to Court St/Borough Hall, then walk along Montague Street (here you’ll find lots of brownstones and boutiques) until you reach it. The promenade is a fun place to explore, so wander around and see the 9/11 exhibit and take some photos of Lower Manhattan from this perspective.

Brooklyn Bridge from The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is a must-see in 4 days in New YOrk

If you want to head to Brooklyn Bridge Park, you’ll find other great things to see, including a carousel built in 1922. There are many events and exhibits held in the park, and if you are here in the summer, there is a pop-up pool to cool your feet in. 

Since you are in Brooklyn, you can cross the Brooklyn Bridge heading into Manhattan.

  • The bridge is 1.3 miles (2km) long and will probably take about 20-30 minutes to cross. I loved my view at night, but you can cross in the morning or afternoon, too. The views are gorgeous and unforgettable (and if you are looking for romantic experiences in NY, then it is a must) and I suggest planning a 2-3 hours for this amazing place.
  • Tip: there are no bathrooms here, so you will need to go to one of the shops – and probably buy something before being allowed to use it.

Extra: National September 11 Memorial & Museum 

The last stop for the night is the September 11 Memorial. The Twin Towers once stood and is a somber tribute to those who died from the terrorist attacks that day (and from a bombing in 1993).

Here you’ll find the twin reflecting pools, the inscription of nearly 3,000 names of the dead, and the “Survivor Tree.”

The museum gives a lot of information about the 9-11 attacks and each of the victims. You can walk through this at your own pace or take a tour if you prefer (for an added cost). 

  • You could just walk – once you cross Brooklyn Bridge and are in Manhattan it will take about 10 minutes.
  • The museum is open until 8 pm (last entry at 6 pm) and costs about $26 ($46 with the tour). The memorial itself is free to see.
  • If you arrive by night, it will be closed, so you can either come here earlier in the day, or you visit the memorial without visiting the museum.
  • This stop may take about 30-120 minutes.


For the third day of this New York 4-day itinerary, you will be doing a lot of walking, but also a lot of relaxing. Today will be an easy day.

Hudson River Waterfront Greenway

Spend the morning at the Hudson River Waterfront Greenway. This greenway runs around the island of Manhattan and is very popular for walkers, joggers, and cyclists.

It is gorgeous, but it can also get busy, especially on the weekends. And it is easy to see why. You can see beautiful views of Manhattan and New Jersey. You can visit Chelsea Piers. There are tons of places to stop and rest. 

  • You can spend a good amount of time at the greenway if you choose. It can be a really energizing spot to start the day.
  • There are not a lot of places to get food, but there are some here and there. So, for lunch, I recommend heading to the next stop.

The High Line

Are you getting hungry? I suggest heading to the High Line

Located above the busy streets of Manhattan’s West Side, the High Line used to be a freight rail line that was supposed to be demolished. But instead, it was turned into a public park. Thanks to the high elevation it has a charming urban scenery, greenery, and art exhibits.

HIgh Line. Urban public park on an historic freight rail line on any NY 4-day itinerary

There are many restaurants and small eateries nearby, so you can either sit in and eat or take something to go (vegetarian/vegan foods are available). I suggest take-out so you can enjoy your meal on the beautiful High Line.

The entire line is almost 1.5 miles long, so you may not want to walk the length of it. But it is a gorgeous place to stop for a picnic on your first day exploring New York.

  • Walking all the way from Hudson River Waterfront Greenway to High Line Park is about 3 miles. But there is also metro station quite close by or a bus stop and then it’s about a 5 to 10-minute walk to the High Line.
  • This should take about 1-2 hours.

Empire State Building

Once you had a delicous lunch, head to the Empire State Building. This landmark will give you amazing views of the city, and if you are into views, it might be one of the highlights of your New York in 4 days trip.

New York -#1 @shutterstock
New York -#1 @shutterstock

Built in 1931, this art-deco skyscraper stands at 1,454 feet high. There are two observation decks that you can get to that offer 360º views of Manhattan. I loved the scenery from the top of this building, looking down over Midtown and beyond. It is a highlight for many who stay come to see New York in 4 days.

The observation decks are located on the 86th and 102nd floors. I suggest going right to the top for the best views. It’s a beautiful panorama! And on a clear day, they say you can see 80 miles out.

  • You can walk all the way from High Line – it is about 1,2 miles (less than 2km) and it should take about 30 minutes.
  • The Empire State Building is quite busy. Check out ticket prices for floor 86 here – it is highly recommended to book in advance. 
  • Visiting here will probably take about two hours or more if you check out many of the exhibits.

230 Fifth Rooftop Bar

This is the perfect way to end your night in New York City. This 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar was another highlight of my trip, and I almost didn’t get to see it. I forgot my ID the first time I went so that they wouldn’t let me in. So, remember to bring your ID when you come.

This view is from the rooftop of the 230-fifth Bar one of the best places to visit in 4 days

From the Empire State Building, walk up Fifth Avenue for about 5 minutes, and you will reach the bar. You can choose the fully enclosed lounge, but I suggest going to the open-air rooftop. In the winter, heated igloos are used to keep visitors warm. But in the summer, it is open to the sky.

There is a lovely garden up there, and you have great views of Manhattan. It felt very unreal to me, sitting there and overlooking the city and its lights. But it was a really memorable experience, and with New York in 4 days, I highly recommend coming here for once. 


This is the last day of the trip. There are still some amazing things to see in NY in 4 days so that today will be a few stops at well-known landmarks.

Central Park

The next stop is iconic Central Park. This is 843 acres of park in the center of Manhattan. It’s like a lovely oasis in the midst of the busy city surrounding it. 

Central park in New York - what to do in NY in 4 days

You can enter the park from multiple entrances, so there are many transportation options from the greenway to the park. Once you enter this space, you can stroll around and see all the natural beauty. There are benches along the paths, which run throughout the park. Try to see as much as you can, especially if the weather is good. There are open areas for playing sports or picnicking, too.

  • You could easily spend a whole day here but I suggest, to focus on the main points of interest and then add two more places to your itinerary.
  • You can also rent bikes and explore the park by bike.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of the last stops is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is one of the country’s most famous museums, and it is so large, you will likely not even see half of what they exhibit in one day.
But even if you are not a big art fan (as I am not), there are so many things to see that it is still worth a visit.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York itinerary
Since there is so much to see, I suggest you see whatever interests you most, or stop at the exhibits the museum is most famous for, like Egyptian Art and Greek & Roman Art. But there are also visiting exhibits that change frequently. It is really a lovely museum and beautiful to stroll through. 
  • Admission tickets are about $25 (and they are good for 3 consecutive days if you want to stop back).
  • The museum is open from 10 am – 5:30 pm.
  • To get to the museum from Central Park, just exit the park on Fifth Avenue and walk to the museum (should be only a few minutes). 

Statue of Liberty

This is one of the most famous landmarks in the world – even little kids know about it. The Statue of Liberty!

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was a gift given to the US by the French in 1886 to symbolize their friendship during the American Revolution. It is a symbol of freedom for many.

If you plan on going up to the pedestal of the statue, get your tickets when you buy your ferry tickets. Important: Only buy tickets from Statue Cruises to avoid getting fake ones from street sellers.

The ferry ride felt great when I was on it because it was a rather hot day. So, enjoy the ride (it takes about 15 minutes). A museum on the island and Park Ranger-led tours last about 30-45 minutes (free).

Also, an audio tour comes with your ferry ticket, which you can pick up when you arrive on the island.

If you want to go up to the crown, it’s very limited in access and needs a prior reservation and additional fee. From the pedestal, though, you can get panoramic views of New York, New Jersey, Ellis Island, and New York Harbor.

  • This stop should take about 1-2 hours, or more if you decide to see Ellis Island as well.
  • The hours are 8: 30 am-4 pm.


I hope this NYC itinerary gave you a good idea of planning your trip and all the things to see and do here.

There are so many famous landmarks and attractions, it’s hard to fit them into your New York itinerary, but you will get a good place in this amazing city. Yes, I think New York in 4 days is a good time to explore the main sights.

And it also means you should visit again, or maybe stay longer. It is one of the most interesting cities globally (sorry, LA and San Francisco) Either way, I hope you enjoy your visit to this busy and exciting city.


Visiting New York in winter? Then check out this NY winter post.

Safe Travels, Arzo

Categories USA

Reasons to Do Solo Female Travel in a Camper Van

Solo female travel in a camper van


Hello, world! My absence on Instagram, and here on my blog, doesn’t mean I have stopped thinking about traveling. Though life is crazy at the moment, to say the least, I have another project in my mind that revolves around travel.

Besides lots of research, I haven’t actually started, but my project will be quite big and I can’t wait to actually start physically working on it.

Wondering what it will be? Let me tell you: I will be converting a van! Well, most likely.

No, it wasn’t the #VanLife that is floating around Instagram that got me here. There are many reasons why I want to travel with a van.

I love cliches, that is why I plan to do it. Another solo female traveler who is about to travel the world (or let’s say Europe to start) in a van. With a little dog in tow.

No, seriously, there are many solo female travelers out there who inspired and eventually motivated me to also walk this path. 

BUT,  of course, I am a bit careful after all, so I have done my research and I tried out traveling in a van, too. And I loved discovering Iceland in a van on my own. I visited Iceland twice and in the summer months, I rented a small camper van (without a toilet, shower or anything luxurious) and spent 10 days in Iceland – and in the van. And I loved it.


BUT,  of course, I am a bit careful after all, so I have done my research and I tried out traveling in a van, too. And I loved discovering Iceland in a van on my own. I visited Iceland twice and in the summer months, I rented a small camper van (without a toilet, shower or anything luxurious) and spent 10 days in Iceland – and in the van. And I loved it.

And while I will not be living full-time in my van, I still have big plans for it.

After years of traveling in a car (with some sleepovers when I did not book a hotel on time and had to sleep in the driver‘s seat of my car, which was too uncomfortable to plan on doing it again), I finally will take the plunge and just get a van.

If you have ever wondered why people, including solo female travelers, travel in vans – or you still need an argument to convince you, here is why I think van traveling is an amazing way to explore the world.

Before I share my personal reasons, I will also share a bit of my background.

As some of you might know, I work full-time as a teacher here in Germany. This means… a lot of vacations for me. This allowed me to do many road trips in Europe, whether I road tripped Switzerland (many, many times), Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany or many other countries. So, I am okay with driving long-distances and with so many weeks off, I can continue doing it.

In total, I have more than 12 weeks off (2 weeks around Easter, 6 weeks for the summer holidays, 2 weeks in fall, and 2 weeks for the Christmas holidays, plus a few long weekends here and there).

Best places to visit in the Dolomites

So, besides my Christmas holidays, I plan to travel with a van throughout Europe. However, I do not plan to live full-time in my van.

It will be a van for my travel only. This is probably one main difference that will make a huge difference.

Why do I want to so solo female travel in a van?

Why I want to travel in a camper van

Spontaneity and Freedom

If you have ever followed one of my trips, you probably know how spontaneous (some might call it unorganised) I am and how much I love to decide spur-of-the-moment where I want to stay.

If I like place and enjoy the weather, I want to stay longer – whether it is just a few hours, a few days, or even longer. 

I know many people love to plan weeks or months in advance. 

I am definitely not such a person and you might be able to relate if you like to go with the flow.

Weggis_ hidden gem

If I visit a place, especially an expensive country like Switzerland, I do not want to be stuck in a city with bad weather. If the weather is better further south or up in the north, I want to be flexible. 

With hotels, this can be tricky.

Of course, if you travel during the high season and want to stay at campsites only, planning might be necessary, too. But if you want to camp in the wild, then you have a lot of freedom – a freedom I am looking for and which is my main reason to travel in a van.

I will try to stick to local rules and not break them – and whenever I can (and feel safe), I will camp wild. Because not planning much ahead means freedom to me.


A van is – or can be – quite expensive. The initial costs are quite high. Of course, you can also find very low-budget vans, but most often, they are more expensive than “regular“ cars. 

But not only is the purchase price high, insurance is higher than for regular cars, and they have higher fuel consumption. 

However, once the van is bought, it gets much cheaper to travel.

Especially if you visit expensive countries like Switzerland, Austria, Southern Germany, or other places in Central or North Europe, where you will pay a fortune on accommodations. Even if you stay in budget hotels, it can take a big chunk of your budget.

So, in those countries, it can actually save you tons of money traveling in a van. But before you just go out and randomly buy a van, calculate the costs for yourself.

Since I haven’t bought my van yet, I cannot say how much I will save in the end.

However, if I travel in Europe for 12 week a year (which is realistic with my job), I would have to pay accommodations for more than 90 nights.

In Switzerland, I sometimes paid more than 100€ for a quite basic room (that allowed dogs and was centrally located) during the high season. I am talking about 2 or 3-star hotels that were very simple.

Of course, there were times I paid less. Especially in Southern or Eastern Europe, hotel rooms are cheaper and I paid around 20-40€ for a basic room.

So, it is hard to really come up with a figure, but accommodations could cost me up to 5000€ annually. 

I hope that van life, even with higher petrol costs and insurance, etc., will help me save money!


I often travel with my now 7-year-old dog, Puppygak. Luckily, he loves staying in a car and traveling is very easy with him…

But staying with dogs in hotels or Airbnbs can be… difficult.


Even dog-friendly countries often do not have many dog-friendly accommodations. In countries like Germany – according to my research – only about 50% of the hotels allow pets.

In countries like Bosnia-Herzegovina, the number of hotels that allow dogs were less than 30%.

In the high season, it can be tricky to find a good hotel that is not too expensive. 

Plus, many hotels charge extra for having a dog, and unfortunately, the extra fees for dogs are not always very transparent.

As much as I love traveling with my dog, I hate booking accommodations, so I am looking forward to easier traveling once I travel in a van.


I am a picky eater, yet I love the food I prepare myself. No, I am not cooking fancy stuff – actually basic and simple food, and yet, I enjoy preparing my own food when I travel for more than a week.

Cooking in a camper van

This is for several reasons: First, I am trying to eat vegan as much as possible. While I still eat milk chocolate and eggs here and there, I try to reduce that consumption, and in countries like Switzerland, southern Germany, and many other parts of Europe, finding plant-based food is not very easy.

I love food, but I do not want to spend a lot of time researching restaurants that have plant-based dishes. 

However, I do always think about food and delicious food to eat. 

And though I do book Airbnbs with kitchen access once in a while, it isn’t always possible. And if you move every other day, it is difficult to travel with groceries. In my van, I will have a fridge, my spices, and my staples (spelt pasta, oats, legumes, etc.) – and of course, my vegetables and fruits.

While many of you guys probably enjoy eating out, I am looking forward to dining out only occasionally while cooking my own food most of the time…

And while I might never cook as good as my mom, I still often think to myself, “very well done…“ 🙂


Okay, I said that I am not about Instagram trends. BUT great views are not about Instagram, great views are what I live for.

Whether I do this terrible thing called hiking or pay a bit extra for a hotel room with a good view – a great view is what can make my trip! 

And having the chance to wake up many mornings with great views… it is so worth it! 

I even enjoyed waking up after my daily naps in Iceland and seeing the views…

Piva Lake in Montenegro is the answer to the question where to go

So, there are some more reasons why I want to travel in a van as a solo female traveler (or despite being one?), but the above-mentioned arguments for buying a camper van are my main personal reasons for getting one.

What camper van will I get? I am not sure yet. I have been looking online for used Sprinters, Transits, Ducatos, and other models, but in the end, I will decide based on the price and offer. I most likely will not get a VW Bullie because they are a bit too small but right now, I am just like, let’s see what I will choose.

I plan to convert a van on my own (with 100% help for my electrics and minor help with other jobs), but if I find a great van that is already converted, then I will buy that one.

My decisions on the length and height also aren’t set in stone yet – I would love a high roof, but not a very long van.

I do have some things that I definitely want in my van – like a toilet and a “real“ kitchen – but other than that, I am flexible. I will be spontaneous.

So, if you are also toying with getting a van – or if you would love to find out how my van story will continue – stay tuned and find out about it here on my blog.

I am looking forward to sharing the progress – which van model will I end up with, posts on how I convert the van (probably including the many fails), and of course, where I travel with my van.

It might take several months until the van is bought and converted, but I hope to take you with me on my journey to become a part-time van dweller. 

So, hope to see you soon! Stay safe.

Reasons to travel in a camper van - solo female travel, Arzo Travels
Pic: @unsplash

Categories USA


Best things to do in Dallas in 3 days, Texas


Headed to Dallas and wondering about the best things to do in Dallas? Then read on and find out what to do (and how a perfect 3-day Dallas itinerary could look like).

Dallas is famous for many things – Tex-Mex and football are the first to come to mind. But this city is known for a lot more than that. Located in the northeast corner of Texas, Dallas is a cultural and commercial hub in the southern part of the US.

Many companies are headquartered here, making it a place with lots of income – which means there are lots and lots of entertainment options which makes it one of the best cities to visit in the US.

This post was written by Rebecca (find out more about her below).

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.


If you are looking to plan your Dallas itinerary and are wondering what to do during that time, this post will help. I’ll offer some of the best things to do in Dallas in 3 days, as well as some helpful travel tips for getting around the city and making the most of your time here. 

How to Get to Dallas

  • If you’re flying into Dallas, you will be arriving at one of two airports: the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) or the Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL). From there, you can either take public transportation to your hotel or rent a car.
  • Another more economical option is taking the train. Amtrak has stations in Dallas, making it easy to get here by train ride. Cross-country buses are even cheaper, if a little less comfortable.
  • If you are driving from the north or south, take Route 35 into the city, and from the west and east, you can travel along Route 20.

Weather in Dallas

The weather in Dallas can be beautiful, but some seasons are more comfortable than others. Dallas is the perfect fall and spring destination in the US.

Summer temperatures range from 77ºF to 96ºF, and with humidity, it can feel very hot and muggy.

Winters are between 36ºF and 56ºF, and spring and fall are more temperate, though sudden thunderstorms are not uncommon.

What to Pack For 3 Days in Dallas

Because of the heat and humidity, pack light clothes and sunscreen if you are visiting in summer. Also, Dallas locals put a lot of pride into dressing fashionably, so keep that in mind if you’re looking forward to some nights out on the town.

3 Days in Dallas – Where to Stay

There are a lot of hotels located in the downtown area, as well as near the airports. But here are a few suggestions based on your budget:

  • You can stay at the Hotel Crescent Court, which is very modern, has on-site restaurants, and a private balcony off of each guest room for luxury accommodation. Great for couples and solo travelers.
  • The Omni Dallas Hotel is a good mid-range option with great views and a heated infinity pool that’s especially nice in the cooler months.

How to Get Around Dallas For 3 Days

Dallas is a very spread-out city, so for convenience, renting a car would be my suggestion. You will have to deal with parking and traffic, though, so there is a trade-off for being able to drive yourself. 

Even though a car is the easiest mode of transportation, it’s not the only way to get around. Dallas has an excellent public transportation system known as DART, including bus routes and a train system. It’s also constantly expanding to offer more coverage to the busy areas of the city and suburbs. You can buy single-fare tickets or day passes.

MORE TIPS For YOur Dallas Itinerary

Texas is hot in the summer, and Dallas is no exception. Heatstroke is a widespread malady for first-time visitors, so make sure you stay hydrated. The tap water in the city is well-filtered and safe to drink, so keep a bottle with you at all times and fill up often.

Keep an eye on weather reports when you’re visiting Dallas. From hail storms to tornadoes, extreme weather has been known to hit the region. So, look at the forecast before you head out each morning.

There are many free things to do in Dallas, but many attractions have entry fees. So, to save money, consider getting a City Pass, which will discount prices for popular stops, like the Sixth Floor Museum.

Dallas is a pretty safe city for tourists, so use common sense precautions when visiting. Keep an eye on your belongings, park in lit areas, and be careful of train platforms and side streets when traveling alone at night.

I mentioned that Dallas is a city with a lot of disposable income, so going out is as popular with the locals as it is with the visitors. Expect longer than usual wait times at popular eateries and night spots.


Here are fun things to do and see in Dallas in 3 days.

Day 1 in Dallas

Of course, you can play around and start with “day 2” – this is up to you, but here is how a great start in Dallas could look like.

White Rock Lake Park

Sunset at White Rock Lake, watching is one of the best things to do in 3 days in Dallas

The first stop is White Rock Lake Park because…visiting is one of the best things to do, and it is one of the many free things to do in Dallas.

This huge park just northeast of downtown is perfect for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors. There are biking and hiking trails, kayaking, and a museum, and a cultural center, which I suggest you stop. This is a good place to let the kids get their wiggles out if you’re traveling as a family.

There’s also a picnic area, so bring your breakfast and enjoy the fresh air while you eat. After an hour or two, you can head to the next destination.

George W. Bush Presidential Center

What makes the George W. Bush Presidential Center interesting isn’t so much the president himself, but just the things you can see at a presidential center.

Each president gets one, and this particular one has cool artifacts from Bush’s presidency, including through 9/11 and 43,000 gifts he was given while in office. And if you never get to see the Oval Office in the White House in person, here, you’ll find a replica. This takes about 2 hours to tour.

Highland Park Village

With a lovely Mediterranean Spanish-style architecture, Highland Park Village was the first shopping center in the US, built in 1931.

It’s full of luxury stores, restaurants, and outdoor spaces. Even if you’re not coming to shop, it’s a great stop for nice architecture and something to eat. It was made a National Historic Landmark in 2000. So, grab a coffee/lunch and a bench and just people-watch for a little while before checking out the next stop.

Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren Park, Downtown Dallas, Texas

This urban park is situated over the Klyde Warren Freeway and bridges uptown and downtown.

It has tons of free activities, a playground for kids, and food trucks that provide a variety of local cuisines. It’s a fun environment and very popular among locals and tourists alike. It’s also very close to the next stop on this itinerary.

Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the country and has over 22,000 pieces of art to see.

Dallas Museum of Art on Dallas itinerary, Gilberto Mesquita,
@Gilberto Mesquita –

It’s a really diverse place and has exhibits covering ancient Mediterranean art to 20th century America, Asia and Africa, and beyond. There are even pop culture exhibits about famous musicians, cultural trends, and touchable exhibits. This is an entertaining museum to stop while visiting Dallas’ Art District, whether with kids, as a couple, or solo.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

Our last stop is best seen at night. World-renowned engineer Santiago Calatrava designed the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

It’s beautifully dramatic and can be seen for miles. Illuminated at night, this white arch soars to 400 feet at its center as it straddles the Trinity River. The architecture is really stunning, and I highly suggest making this the last stop of your night. And if you get hungry, there are several restaurants nearby after you’ve gotten some great pictures.

Day 2 in Dallas

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Day 2 will start at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardenm. Dallas aphotostory,

This 66-acre garden is full of bright floral displays for every season and walkways hugged by lines of trees. There are exhibits and events held here throughout the year, and it’s a great place for a picnic. So, take your coffee and breakfast to go and spend a couple of hours strolling through the beautiful natural scenery.

Swiss Avenue

The Swiss Avenue Historic District is a residential neighborhood that you can walk through and see centuries-old architecture examples.

The houses were built in the early 1900s and were done in Colonial Revival and 19th and 20th Century Revival. The houses are even opened up to the public to walk through on occasion. Even if you are not a huge architecture buff, though, these buildings are stately and lovely to look at, plus it’s a nice area for a walk. 

Texas Discovery Gardens

This public park is great for kids because it’s not just a pretty outdoor area but tries to educate the public on ecology and nature.

There’s a very cool 2-story butterfly house and a snake exhibit here, as well as many events. Explore the gardens and exhibits for an hour or two before checking out the next stop.

Old City Park / Heritage Village

This destination is actually now called Dallas Heritage Village, but it’s still an amazing example of what the city used to look like.

Landscape view of the entrance to the Dallas Heritage Village Shutterstock

Restored buildings and furnished homes from the 19th and early 20th centuries create a space here devoted to the cultural and historical heritage of North Texas. Stroll the tree-lined streets and explore the general store. Enjoy a historical reenactment or mock gunfight. This is especially fun for families, but I’d recommend it to any Dallas visitor.

Deep Ellum

Our last stop of the night is Deep Ellum. This quirky and lively art and music district is located in East Dallas.

It’s a fun place to hang out full of experimental theaters, live music shows, and Tex-Mex restaurants. Jazz and blues are big here, but all music varieties are represented.

Check out art installations and grab drinks at one of the lounges. Weekends are especially boisterous in this part of the city. Finish out your night here, enjoying the artsy vibe of Dallas.

Day 3 in Dallas

For your last day in Dallas, you can visit the following places.

Dallas County Courthouse / Old Red Museum

It’s the last day, and our first stop is the Old Red Museum / Dallas County Courthouse.

Old Red Museum, formerly Dallas County Courthouse in Dallas, Texas main sight for Dallas itinerary

This red municipal building was built in 1892 and still has beautiful architecture. Done in red sandstone with marble accents, it’s gorgeous.

And you can go inside and learn even more about the building and the city. In 2007, it became the Old Red Museum, and you should check out its exhibits for an hour or two before heading to the next stop.

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

The Sixth Floor Museum is located in the former Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza.

Dealey Plaza in Dallas a must-see in 3 days
@Rick Seeney –

It gained fame as the place where the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy was when he fired on the presidential motorcade. The museum is fascinating, especially because this particular tragedy is shrouded in conspiracy theories.

Take the audio tour, which is included in the price of admission, and learn more about it. This stop should take about two hours. (Parents should use caution if their children are younger.)

There are also several JFK Assassination Tours that you can book.

Reunion Tower

It just wouldn’t be right to visit a beautiful city like Dallas and not take in the view from above.

The Reunion Tower stands as the sun sets in Dallas, Texas. stock_photo_world,

Reunion Tower is definitely one of those places where you have to go in Dallas in 3 days. Check out the city with panoramic views. The 360-degree observation deck is amazing, and you can also eat here and get souvenirs if you like. But most of all, enjoy the skyline and scenery.

AT&T Stadium

There’s nothing bigger in Texas than football. And the Dallas Cowboys are the hometown heroes.

AT&T Stadium in Dallas fitzcrittle,
@fitzcrittle –

AT&T Stadium was built in 2009 and is one of the most impressive sports stadiums in the country. With a retractable roof and 160-foot jumbotron, there’s a lot to admire. Take a self-guided tour that lets you see the entire stadium and turf. Even if you’re not a football fan, you have to admire the place’s technology and grandeur.

And for sports-loving kids and adults, this is a fun stop. It’s located just outside of Dallas, in Arlington.

Sundance Square

The last stop will be Sundance Square.

This is the only destination located in neighboring Fort Worth, but it’s worth the extra travel time (pun intended). This downtown district is the perfect place to end our visit, with restaurants, theaters, shops, and pubs lining the streets. Stroll through and see what catches your eye.

Enjoy dinner and drinks. Watch a drama or musical performance. Or check out the pools and waterfalls at the nearby Fort Worth Water Gardens. There’s so much to do in this little area, and it’s great for solo travelers and couples, as well as families.


I hope this Dallas itinerary has answered the question about the best things to do in Dallas in 3 days and given you some guidance for your own visit.

This is a huge city with lots to enjoy, so 3 days hardly seems like enough. But this list gives you the best stops to make, and I hope you have a great time exploring this unique city.

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This post was written by Rebecca, who runs her own blog at The Journey at Home – where she writes about her life as a mother of 5 with everything that comes along with it. She lived in New York for a long time before she moved to Las Vegas. She also works as a freelancer for Arzo Travels.

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