I have always dreamt about going to the USA. Since I was a teenager I have been thinking about my trip to the States and I was attaching posters with the New York skyline on the walls of my room. I guess after years of consuming American cinema and culture I just wanted to go there and see these extraordinary places with my own eyes.
Finally, I decided to go in 2020. Well, bad timing. Due to the pandemic I had to reschedule my trip for a year. I was planning to go in September 2021, but Americans had a different idea and decided to keep theirs borders closed for most European countries. Recently I have moved my US vacation to May 2022. Third time lucky?
I think it is a time to publish my American itinerary on this blog. Perhaps you can get some inspiration or even use it for your purposes, modifying it (or not) according to your own preferences. Let’s go to the USA!
Days 1-6: FIVE DAYS NEW YORK CITY
Day 1: Landing in the JFK airport in the late afternoon. Evening helicopter flight above Manhattan.
Day 2: Visiting World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial & Museum, having a Staten Island ferry and wandering around Soho and Wall Street.
Day 3: Visiting Central Park (walking and cycling around) and American Museum of Natural History. Sunset in the Top of the Rock Observation Desk in Rockefeller Centre. Walking around Broadway and Times Square just before midnight.
Day 4: Visiting Brooklyn with Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO and Manhattan Bridge as highlights.
Day 5: A walk in High Lane and afterwards wandering around Manhattan (Grand Central Terminal, Greenwich Village, Chrystler Building, Washington Square Park, Union Square and more…).
Day 6: Walking along 5th Avenue to see the most famous landmarks (Empire State Building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Madison Square Garden, Flatiron Building etc.) and to visit the most interesting shops there.
A trip to New York will include trying loads of local food in several recommended locations, visiting local markets (Chelsea Line Market or Farmer’s Market) and hopefully experiencing live jazz music and listening to a gospel choir in one of the churches in Brooklyn.
Day 7: PHILADELPHIA
Getting an early bus to Philly. Having a one day, 8-10 hours walk around historic sites in the city centre. Finding the biggest landmarks, trying famous Philly Steak and remaking the final scene of following clip no matter how cheesy it is… Because who cares, it is only a one life we have!
Day 8: PHILADELPHIA/WASHINGTON D.C.
Getting a bus to Washington and having a brief walk in the capital city (e.g. Georgetown and/or District Wharf).
Day 9: WASHINGTON D.C.
Sightseeing the most famous sites in The Mall such as The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool, Vietnam Weternas Memorial Wall, The White House and The Capitol – both outdoors only. A brief visit to National Air And Space Museum if there is enough time.
Day 10: WASHINGTON D.C.
A morning visit to Arlington National Cementery. Then having a flight from Reagan National Airport to Bozeman, Montana. Renting a car and check-in nearby Yellowstone.
Days 11-13: THREE DAYS IN YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Three full days in amazing Yellowstone National Park. Driving around the whole Grand Loop and enjoying the biggest attractions.
Days 14-15: TWO DAYS U.S. ROAD TRIP
Two days road trip through Idaho and Utah towards Monument Valley (app. 1200 km to drive). Enjoying landscapes and nature on the way. If there is enough time, driving 3h long Scenic Route in Arches National Park nearby or increasing the road trip for another 300 km through beautiful “Scenic Route 12”.
Day 16: MONUMENT VALLEY
Exploring Monument Valley by car (Tribal Park Loop) and by foot (Wildcat Trail). Enjoying attractions nearby such as Valley of the Gods, Forrest Gump Point and Mexican Hat. Trying authentic Navaho Native American’s cuisine for the dinner.
Day 17: ANTELOPE CANYON
Starting a day with a visit to Horseshoe Bend and afterwards visiting Antelope Canyon X with a local guide. Driving towards Grand Canyon.
Day 18: GRAND CANYON
A full day in Grand Canyon South Rim. Exploring The Canyon by car (Dessert View Drive) by foot (walk to Yavapai Point from Grand Canyon Village) and by bicycle (Hermit Road).
Day 19: DEATH VALLEY
Driving from Grand Canyon towards Yosemite National Park through Death Valley. On the way enjoying viewpoints and attractions in The Valley (Zabriskie Point, Bad Water, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunnes and optionally Dante’s View or Artist’s Palette).
Days 20-21: TWO DAYS IN YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Nearly two full days in Yosemite. Starting with a scenic drive through Tioga Road (if accessible) and then exploring stunning nature in the valley, including several short walks. Afterwards driving to San Francisco. Returning the car.
Days 22-24: TWO DAYS IN SAN FRANCISCO
Day 1: A full day wandering in San Francisco. Exploring such places as Cupid’s Span, Farmer’s Market, Financial District, Union Square and Chinatown. Taking famous San Francisco’s Cable Car. Walking downhill on California St. Visiting a point view in Colt Tower and eventually watching sea lions in Pier 39.
Day 2: Renting a bike and cycling the whole day. Passing the Golden Gate Bridge, cycling to local beaches, Land’s End, Golden Gate Park, Haigh-Ashbury, Alamo Square, Mission District and finishing day enjoying sunset from Bernal Heights.
Day 25: BACK HOME
In the morning visiting last places in San Francisco (if it was not enough time to see them during previous days) and in the evening flying back home.
|DISCLAIMER: The itinerary may be sometimes extremely tight. It will require getting up around early in the morning and coming back to the accommodation late, loads of driving (at least two drivers should be available), good preparation, eating mostly street food or quick meals from local markets or diners and therefore it is not recommend for travelers who are not experienced, well organised and can’t manage stressful situations easily. Once the trip is finished, I will post more details, tips and useful information from several visited locations. Sign up for the newsletter to get these updates!|
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