Sometimes while traveling, you might find you only have one day to spend in a city or destination that has quite a lot to share. Trying to decide what not to miss can be a tad bit stressful! Here are some tips on how to spend one day in some of America’s top destinations.
As I mentioned in this post about National Parks, one question we get a lot is how to spend your time if you only have one or two days to explore. Whether you’re just passing through on a road trip to your final destination or you’re trying to mark off as many bucket list cities as you can in one trip, deciding what things to do can be tricky.
But thankfully there are people in this world who travel extensively and can share what not to miss, even if you only have 24 hours to spare!
We asked travel bloggers to share how they would spend one day in some of the top U.S. destinations.
Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and get ready to take some notes so you can plan one amazing and adventure-filled trip.
How to Spend One Day In…
Things to Do in San Diego, California
Contributed by: Theresa from The Local Tourist
With nearly perfect weather, visiting San Diego is a trip to Paradise. You could spend a day at one of the pristine SoCal beaches and call it a good visit. But, there’s so much going on besides sand and surf that it would be a shame to miss San Diego’s other gems.
When you’ve only got one day, the easiest way to explore is to take a hop-on-hop-off trolley tour. Not only will you learn the history and fascinating tidbits about the city, but you’ll also get to see several parts of San Diego.
One of the stops is the famous Balboa Park, and you can explore the many museums.
If you’re hungry, the Tea Pavilion by the Japanese Friendship Garden has healthy and delicious cuisine.
Another stop is Old Town, where San Diego began. Take an hour or so to stroll the historic streets and do a bit of shopping.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you could double-up and add a one-hour harbor tour to your day since the trolley has a stop right at the dock. Once you’ve disembarked, board the U.S.S. Midway, a must-see experience that neighbors the tour boat.
Not too far from the battleship is Seaport Village. This is a fantastic place to rest with a wine tasting or some ice cream.
Get your beach fix by taking the trolley across the bay to Coronado Island. Dip your toes in the ocean with the historic Coronado Hotel to your back, and since you’re probably thirsty by now, grab a pint at Coronado Brewing Company.
Then, you can wrap up your day at the festive Gaslamp Quarter. There are plenty of restaurants, but if you haven’t had your taco fix, get it at La Puerta, which is open until 2 am.
Things to Do in San Francisco, California
Contributed by: Emily from Journey of Parenthood
Spending a day in San Francisco, California can be such a romantic trip together. Here are the must-do items to make fill your day with all the best sites, food, and more:
- Be sure to pre-purchase your tickets to Alcatraz as it’s a must-visit while in San Fran and they often sell-out FAST!
- The Golden Gate bridge can be seen from many spots in the city. There are gorgeous views on your boat ride over to Alcatraz as well.
- A trolley ride is also a must-do while visiting the city and is an excellent mode of transportation to visit many of the great spots in the city.
- Be sure to ride the trolley to Fisherman’s Warf. While at Fisherman’s Warf be sure to walk down to Pier 39 and pick up some tasty taffy or make a stop at the famous Ghirardelli while there!
- Fisherman’s Warf is also home to AMAZING seafood spots. Alioto’s is a great spot with gorgeous views and delicious food too.
- Also along the trolley path is a stop that can take you to Lombard Street, China Town, and Coit Tower. Each can be a quick stop without eating up a lot of your day.
- One must-see site that is not on the trolley path is the house featured in Full House. It is a quick Uber Stop and an easy spot to hop out, snap a pic, and hop back in.
- Be sure to stop at Original Joe’s for dinner to complete your fun day together! Right across the street is a delicious spot for gelato too.
- If you have extra time on your trip or during your day two fun bonuses are Urban Putt (a super unique indoor miniature golf experience) and The Walt Disney Family Museum (a BEAUTIFULLY done museum about the life of Walt Disney).
Things to Do in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Contributed by: Tanya from Rad Family Travel
Many outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers know Colorado Springs as the back door to spectacular mountain adventures. If you’re driving through Colorado Springs (elevation 6,035’) up to higher ground, or you have one day to spend in this thriving city, here’s a one-day itinerary for this grand city sitting at the base of Pikes Peak, less than 60 miles south of Denver.
Your number one stop is the Garden of the Gods. With 1,300 acres of jutting, towering sandstone rock, plus hiking trails and an informative Visitor’s Center, stretch your legs and enjoy photo shots as you explore this city-owned free park.
Second, head south to the historic Broadmoor Hotel, and walk around this luxury resort inside and out. Splurge on a meal or people watch. Then decide if you’re up for the short hike to Seven Falls (owned by the Broadmoor) or head to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo just two miles down the road. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo offers up close and personal encounters with animals and boasts — feed the giraffes face to face – it’s the best!
Enjoy burgers at the Skirted Heifer downtown, followed up with Josh and John’ homemade ice cream. Other scrumptious local places to eat include Urban Egg for breakfast and lunch or the Bristol Brewery at the old Ivywild School turned neighborhood hangout. To wrap up your adventure-filled day, head up the hill to Manitou Springs for an hour of good old-fashioned fun at the Penny Arcade.
For a splurge, stay at the luxurious Broadmoor Hotel. For family fun, crash at the Great Wolf Lodge, but then you might need two days to get the most of the city and this active hotel. For an awesome free breakfast buffet, including made-to-order omelets, head to Embassy Suites.
Discover more of the best things to do in Colorado Springs from Rad Family Travel.
Things to Do in Miami, Florida
Contributed by: Charmaine from Jamaica Travel Saver
Miami is well known for its glitz and the glamour, nightlife, white sand beaches, and warm weather. Although it is not possible to explore all of Miami in one day, my itinerary will expose you to this diverse and unique city.
You can start your day off in South Beach; a good place for breakfast is the Front Porch Café or the Pura Vida Café. You can spend the rest of the morning exploring the Art Deco District. The best way to experience the art deco district is to take a walking tour. You can take a walking tour with Art Deco Walks or the Miami Design Preservation League.
In the afternoon you can visit Little Havana, the hub of Cuban culture. You can take a walking food tour where you here magical stories of this unique neighborhood while tasting some of the best Cuban food in the area.
Miami is world renowned for its nightlife so a day in Miami is not complete until you experience it. First, however, you need some sustenance. There are a number of world-class restaurants in Miami. A few that come to mind are Cvi. Che 105, Kyu, and Joe’s Stone Crab. After dinner, you can sample one or more of the many nightclubs in Miami. If clubbing is not your scene, a great alternative is to check out the events at the New World Symphony.
It is impossible to visit all the attractions in 24 hours, but these are a few of my favorites.
Things to Do in Chicago, Illinois
Contributed by Diana from The Elusive Family
Chicago is an international city and one that has a plethora of activities, events, things to do and see, and a host of wonderful food to eat. It is a mix of thousands of cultures but also has its own flair and lifestyle. Chicago has plenty of ways to spend a lot of time there, but if you are only going to spend one day in Chicago, be sure to see, eat and do the following:
Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s and Gino’s East are all well-known pizza pubs found all over Chicago. Be sure to get the Chicago style deep dish pizza if you choose to have lunch at any of these pizzerias. It is also great to try a classic Chicago style hot dog, which you can get at a lot of eateries especially Chicago’s Dog House, or Wolfy’s.
Millennium Park is well worth a visit. The prominent park is located on Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s premier shopping district. Just south of the Chicago River, Millennium Park has the famous “Bean,” an outdoor pavilion and the famous Art Institute of Chicago, both great ways to spend a few hours. Take a stroll along Lake Michigan and visit the city’s famous Navy Pier.
Finally, no visit to Chicago is complete without going to the Skydeck of the Willis Tower where you can step out onto a glass ledge overlooking the city below. It isn’t for the faint of heart, however, as it is a completely see-through glass encasement with unbelievable views of the city. After Willis Tower, make your way over to the Chicago River or to the infamous L train and take a loop around the city on the elevated train tracks for a bird’s eye view of Chicago.
Things to Do in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Contributed by: Martha from Quirky Globetrotter
Minnesota’s Twin Cities is best known for the Mall of America, the largest mall in the United States. Though it would be easy to spend the entire day at the MOA touring Legoland and Nickelodeon Universe, there are many more sites to see in the Twin Cities.
If you are interested in art, take a stroll in the Walker Sculpture Garden located near Minneapolis’ downtown. You’ll spot the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture. There is even a mini golf course in the sculpture garden to entertain you. You can even jaunt over to the Minneapolis Institute of Art where there is an expansive exhibit about local architecture Frank Llyod Wright whose influential work can be seen all across the United States.
If the weather is not ideal, head to downtown Minneapolis and explore the city through the maze of skyways. These are enclosed walkways that connect many of the downtown buildings. There are numerous delicious eateries dotted throughout the skyway system. Make sure to take a few minutes to enjoy the up-close look of the Minneapolis skyline during your adventure.
The Twin Cities’ food scene has been rapidly changing in the past several years. If you are looking for a unique twist on authentic cuisine take to Lake Street to explore food from all around the world. If you’re lucky enough to be in Minnesota during the summer months you can head to Marquette Avenue during the lunch hour to sample many of these unique treats from several local food trucks. Don’t forget to wash down all that good food with some craft beers. There are numerous craft breweries to choose from but Lakes and Legends is one of my favorites.
Things to Do in Las Vegas, Nevada
Contributed by: Mayuri from To Someplace New
Las Vegas is one of the unique places on earth. Located in the Mojave desert in the state of Nevada, USA, Las Vegas is an amazing holiday destination. A desert, but as soon as you enter the city, you will find palm trees, beautiful and unique architecture, glamour and TONS of free things to do!
There are many things that you can see and do in a day in Las Vegas. Start your exploration at the STRIP Las Vegas. After you check in to your hotel, which we hope is at the strip – start strolling down the LV Strip and admire all the unique hotels and buildings
Grab a bite to eat and sip on some frozen margarita as you explore!
You can easily spend 3-4 hours at the Strip, admiring the different buildings. Here are some of our favorites:
- New York New York – Don’t forget to take awesome pictures by the Brooklyn Bridge
- Paris Eiffel Tower – Your Paris dream is closer than you think. Enjoy the views or hop in for lunch
- Bellagio Hotel – Watch the free fountain shows every 15 – 30 minutes. The Bellagio is a luxurious hotel, also a great venue for weddings.
- Venetian Hotel – Take a gondola ride at the Venetian Hotel
- Mandalay Bay Hotel – The Shark Reef Aquarium is a great attraction at the strip in Las Vegas. It is less known, but definitely, a must visit. Tickets start at $25 USD.for adults. The aquarium consists of an underground aquarium, with varieties of sharks and aquatic animals. You can swim with them too!
- Stratosphere Hotel – If you like adventure sports, head to the Stratosphere Hotel. You can enjoy the Big Shot ride at a 160 feet high tower, soaring the Vegas region.
In the evening, head to the downtown Las Vegas area to explore the Fremont experience. You can also take an evening lights tour to explore both the Strip and the Downtown/Fremont Experience. Tours last 2 hours or so and you can see the Vegas lights and signs in all its glory. Fremont experience is free entertainment with lights and music in a covered arena in downtown Las Vegas. Spend some time here, get photos clicked with Elvis Presley and eat 0.50 cent hot dogs!
Reserve the late night hours for a Las Vegas Musical show or any event of your choice. Make sure you book tickets in advance!
Things to Do in Cleveland, Ohio
Contributed by: Amanda from The Cleveland Traveler
Even though it’s one of the larger cities in Ohio, Cleveland is actually really manageable for a short trip. Downtown Cleveland isn’t sprawling, meaning you can pack a lot into just one day.
Start your day in Cleveland right at Phoenix Coffee, a local coffee roaster that now has five cafe locations around the city. Pop into the E. 9th Street location to enjoy a coffee and a fresh bagel from The Cleveland Bagel Co.
After getting fueled up, you can take a stroll down Superior or Euclid to admire some of Cleveland’s downtown architecture. Make sure to go inside the Heinen’s at the corner of 9th and Euclid to see the domed rotunda and The Arcade between Euclid and Superior. End your stroll at the newly-designed Public Square, where you can see the Terminal Tower, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, and the historic Old Stone Church.
Next, it’s time to hit up one of Cleveland’s many great museums. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or Cleveland Museum of Art are my top two picks, with the latter being free to visit. For lunch, both of those museums have an on-site cafe that serves up good eats.
From your museum of choice, I recommend spending the rest of your day in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood on the city’s west side. Within just a few blocks you can visit the 100+-year-old West Side Market, more than half a dozen craft breweries, and several cool shops and restaurants. For dinner, try The Black Pig, SOHO Chicken + Whiskey, or TownHall. Round out your evening with a scoop or two from Mitchell’s Ice Cream, which serves up hand-crafted ice cream in a renovated theater space.
Things to Do in Albany, New York
Contributed by: James from Travel Collecting
Albany is the state capital of New York, and is the perfect size for a one-day trip. It is at the northern end of the Hudson Valley, about three hours north of New York City. Unlike many state capitals in the United States, which are small cities with nothing but a domed capitol to indicate that they are the capital of a state, Albany very clearly indicates that it is an important city of an important state.
New York State’s nickname is “the Empire State” (hence the Empire State Building in NYC) and the main government buildings and institutions are centered around the long and imposing Empire State Plaza. The plaza is filled with a long rectangular reflecting pool and government buildings along the sides. At one end is the state capitol.
Bucking the trend of capital cities in the United States, this does not have a dome. Instead, it is a beautiful Romanesque Revival confection dating from the late 1800s. There are free one-hour tours at several times throughout the day.
Nearby is The Egg, a performing arts center and convention center that looks like an egg-shaped UFO. The Corning Tower has 42nd-floor observation decks with great views over the plaza and beyond.
After you have taken plenty of photos, head to the other end of the plaza, where the imposing New York State Museum towers monolithically. You can easily spend half a day (or more) wandering through the labyrinth of displays covering everything from the native Americans who lived in the area, prehistoric animals (including an incredible life-sized mastodon), through history up to 911.
For lunch, try a modern hipster twist on Mexican food at Ama Cocina and for dinner, end of your day with fish and chips and a pint of ale at the Olde English Pub.
Things to Do in New York City, New York
Contributed by: Kate from Tear Free Travel
NYC is a perfect city to enjoy a day exploring! Although you won’t be able to cram all the sights into one day, there are lots that can be done in just one day in the city.
Start out with a stroll in Central Park where you can stop in to see the iconic Strawberry Fields Imagine Mosaic.
From there, head to the upper west side, and visit the American Museum of Natural History. This huge museum is one of the largest natural history museums in the world and houses some iconic exhibits including the 94-foot blue whale and the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Consider a stop at Tom’s Restaurant for lunch afterward, this local diner is known for being featured on the hit sitcom Seinfeld.
Afterward, catch a taxi or uber to 5th avenue for some shopping along one of NYC’s most iconic streets. Stop in at the Rockefeller Centre for a tour of NBC studios, and see the sets of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, and more.
If television isn’ your thing, instead grab tickets for “Top of the Rock” and check the most amazing view of the city from their observation deck.
Grab some dinner and take in the sights of Times Square and then head to a Broadway show to cap off your day. A perfect day in NYC!
Things to Do in Rochester, New York
Contributed by: Lori from Bashful Adventurer
It is possible to see all that there is to see in Rochester, N.Y. in a single day, but it’s going to be a busy one!
Experience what life and photography were like before Instagram by heading to the home of the founder of Eastman Kodak, a camera, and film manufacturing company. The George Eastman Museum at 900 East Avenue, Rochester, N.Y. 14607, houses 400,000-plus photos and negatives. Visitors can see historic exhibits, tour Eastman’s mansion, and walk the grounds to get a sense of the history of imagery and of life as the founder of a very successful startup from a slightly different century.
Those seeking to indulge their more playful sides will appreciate the National Museum of Play at 1 Manhattan Square Drive, Rochester, N.Y. 14607. From antique dollhouses to historic video games (remember Pong?), the museum offers delight to the young and the young at heart.
Get a dose of history by visiting suffragette Susan B. Anthony’s house. Anthony fought for civil rights at a time when women were denied the right to vote. The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House at 17 Madison Street, Rochester, N.Y. 14608 provides education about voting history as well as insight about one ardent influencer’s life. Anthony is buried at Mount Hope cemetery at 1133 Mount Hope Ave., Rochester, N.Y. 14620. So is abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
It is worth making a special trip to the city to experience its annual Lilac Festival, held every May.
Need fortification from visiting so much of what Rochester offers? Stop by Bagel Land at 1896 Monroe Ave., Rochester, N.Y. 14618 (at 12 Corners) for a pizza bagel.
Looking for a slightly heartier meal? Head to Nick Tahou Hots at 320 W. Main Street, Rochester, N.Y. 14608, for a garbage plate—meat, beans, and potatoes put together in a way Rochesterians love.
Things to Do in Columbus, Ohio
Contributed by: Blismerssion Family Travel Blog
If you find yourself waking up one morning in Columbus, Ohio… Lucky you! Start your day with a coffee from Crimson Cup, a local coffee chain (there are only three shops in Ohio). From there, head on over to Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. You and your family can explore the outdoor children’s garden. If it’s too cold or too hot, there are also several distinct gardens indoors. Just down the street, you’ll come across the Columbus Museum of Art. It is a wonderful place to wander and they even have a Wonder Room for kids.
For lunch, check out Cap City Diner, one of Cameron Mitchell’s restaurants. Any of his restaurants are awesome and definitely worth a visit!
After lunch, there are many activities to do in Columbus. Try your hand at ax throwing. Take a class with Aerotique, an aerial acrobatic studio. During the summer, take in Shakespeare in the Park at Schiller park (it’s free). Be sure to leave time to visit Columbus Zoo, a world-renowned zoo and one of the biggest in the USA. On the same campus is the water park Zoombezi Bay! If there’s not too much already packed into your day, be sure to check out COSI (Center for Science and Industry) a science-focused museum for kids.
If being outside is more your style, check out one of the many metro parks in Columbus or go chasing waterfalls. There are three beautiful waterfalls hidden within Columbus.
Remember to stop by Jeni’s Ice Cream before you leave. With flavors such as Lemon Buttermilk, Middle West Whiskey and Pecans, Gooey Butter Cake, and more, you’re sure to satisfy your quest for unique flavor combinations.
Whew, I’m exhausted! Columbus has a lot to do. One day might not be enough!
Things to Do in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributed by: Derek from Robe Trotting
Philadelphia is a gem of a city in the northeast – often overlooked for the bustle of the Big Apple or overshadowed by the political drama of DC, Philly sits squarely between the two along the 95 corridors. As the birthplace of America and the former capital, history comes alive in Philadelphia.
While the rough and tumble reputation of the city is a little overblown, the hard edges have been smoothed over in the last decade. Yes, Philadelphia’s downtown has undergone an urban renaissance and boasts some of the hottest restaurants and cocktail lounges mixed along with historic brownstone houses. Pop up beer gardens have replaced empty lots and there is a vibrant young energy that radiates from the Delaware River Waterfront to the Schuylkill River Trail – in fact, that very trail is a great place to start your day with a morning run (or casual stroll) along the Schuylkill River to catch an unbelievable view of the city skyline.
9:00 A Post-Run Breakfast
There are a ton of breakfast options in Philadelphia, from booze-filled bottomless champagne brunches to vegan food truck breakfast bowls, but one standout breakfast place is Green Eggs Cafe. Loved by locals and with three locations around the city, this spot is one to hit for a good hearty start to the day.
10:30 Rediscover History
Philadelphia is home to Independence Mall – the most historic block in the most historic square mile of the most historic city in America. Pay a visit to the meeting place of the Continental Congress where the Declaration of Independence was signed – Independence Hall. You can reserve tickets and time online (free with a $1 reservation fee) and pair the visit with a walk through the exhibit of George Washington’s residence in Philadelphia and the Liberty Bell pavilion which are conveniently located right across the street. You can pick up your tickets at the Independence Welcome Center (41 N. 6th Street) from 8:30am-6:00 pm.
12:00 Lunch Time
A seasonal favorite located along Independence Mall is Independence Beer Garden (100 S. Independence Mall W). This outdoor garden has 40 beers on tap, cocktails, wine and lite fare sandwiches and snacks. For a more substantial lunch, you can head to Revolution House (200 Market Street) for “New American fare” and a rustic ambiance with a hip deck for outdoor seating.
1:30 A Quest For Freedom
Now that you’re in a revolutionary history-minded mood, head to Olde City Escape Games (220 Market Street) and test your intellect with a Revolution-themed escape room challenge. The cost is $30 per person, and you will act as Ben Franklin’s assistant to escape the room and help the colonies win the war of independence.
3:00 Constitution Center
After making history in the escape room, head to The Constitution Center (525 Arch Street) and close out the afternoon at this non-partisan, non-profit museum dedicated to preserving the Constitution. You’ll learn about the history that Philadelphia played in the drafting of the Constitution and there are new exhibitions seasonally, so check out their website to find out what exhibits you’ll get to enjoy.
5:00 Betsy Ross House (239 Arch Street)
From March through November this museum, which was once the home to Betsy Ross, is open until 6 pm with extended hours in the summer months. Entry is $4-5 and you can upgrade with an audio guide. It’s a nice walk through history and to see the role that this colonial woman played in crafting the stars and stripes of America’s flag.
6:00 Sunset Walk to Spruce Street Harbor Park (Spruce Street & Columbus Boulevard)
Walk along the water from Penn’s Landing to Spruce street. You’ll see the brilliant waterfront parks and scenic views of the Delaware River as you trek to Spruce Street Harbor Park. This is a gorgeous park with food vendors and brightly lit gardens that make it a great place to end the day. There are hammocks for you to relax in and plenty of traditional seating on floating barges where you can relax and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat from one of many food trucks. Save room for dessert – ice cream or a soda float from Franklin Fountain. They have a stand-in Harbor Park or you can visit their location at 116 Market Street for the best ice cream in Philadelphia.
Of course, there are some amazing fine dining options and fantastic nightlife options to explore on your own, but you won’t be disappointed by the history, sites and good vibes of Philadelphia.
Things to Do in Charleston, South Carolina
Contributed by: Margie from DQ Travel
Charleston was the heart of the South for many years. It is an old colonial city that is filled with history, charm, and character.
If you only had a day to spend in Charleston, I would make sure to walk through the downtown area where the Charleston City Market is located and walk through King Street where the local shops are found.
A walk along the riverfront is quite scenic, as is the famed Rainbow Row, a series of colorful historic houses located on the Charleston Battery.
If you enjoy history, take a ferry to Fort Sumter to explore the place where the start of the Civil War occurred or tour a World War II aircraft carrier, planes, and a submarine across the bay at Patriot’s Point.
Ghost tours are also a popular nighttime attraction in Charleston. Walking tours are offered throughout the city and around nearby graveyards.
Just outside of Charleston, there are various southern plantations that offer tours of the grounds. Boone Hall and Magnolia provide the opportunity for visitors to take a step back in time and learn about the Southern culture/way of life in the 1700-1800s.
Another essential part of visiting Charleston is eating some delicious Southern cuisine. Charleston has become a foodie haven for upscale Southern cuisine and unique versions of the city’s signature dish – shrimp and grits.
Whether you are visiting Charleston with kids or by yourself, it is truly a city with Southern charm, delicious food, and plenty of things to do even if it’s for one day.
Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee
Contributed by: Jill from Let’s Travel Family
Spending one day in Nashville, TN can be an exciting experience! You see, it’s called the Music City for a reason, as you can often see famous country music singers walking down Broadway and singing or performing at the famous Grand Ole Opry.
Start your day by visiting Centennial Park to get a glimpse of the complete replica of the Parthenon from Athens Greece. Then drive to downtown Nashville and park at Cumberland Park just across the river from Broadway street. You’ll have a great view of downtown Nashville as you walk across the Cumberland footbridge.
Whether you’re looking for kid friendly things to do in Nashville, or just looking for the top places to visit, I highly recommend visiting The Country Music Hall of Fame. Explore the exhibits that not only talk about country music legends but also Elvis Presley and some other great artists.
When evening hits, you’ll want to walk up and down Broadway to take in the entire feel of Nashville. There are many restaurants to choose from with live music coming out of most of them each night.
If you have kids with you as we did, then I’d recommend arriving before 6 pm and visiting The Wildhorse Saloon where there is a large dance floor and a huge stage with live music. The kids will get a kick out of dancing and you’ll feel comfortable that it’s not too late with the adult-crowd.
Then walk two blocks down to grab dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery or anywhere else on Broadway. Finishing out your evening with a great meal and live music so that you can get the feel of what Nashville has to offer.
Here’s another Nashville, TN tip for this beautiful and amazing city!
Contributed by: Holly from Four Around the World
Nashville Tennessee is an easy city to spend a day (and hopefully a night), whether you are visiting solo, with friends and family, or even with the kids. Even if you aren’t a country music fanatic, you will find something to love about Nashville!
With only one day, kick off with a bit of history by doing a city walking tour or visiting one of the local plantation homes, such as Belle Meade or Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. Alternatively, for fans of the television show Nashville, there are plenty of related tours to show you the famous sights from the show.
For lunch, grab yourself some Hattie B’s famous hot chicken or head over to The Gulch for some Biscuit Love, and check out the street art in this trendy part of town.
If music history is something you love, a tour of the Grand Ole Opry is a must. You may even be lucky enough to catch a performance if your timing is right. There are daily tours through the Opry if you want to see behind the scenes. The Johnny Cash Museum and Country Music Hall of Fame give some more music city history too.
When the evening rolls around, head to downtown Nashville and take a stroll along Honky Tonk Highway. The main street is lined with Honky Tonk bars, with live music streaming out every doorway. Find yourself a place that serves some great food and entertainment, enjoying a live performance and possibly even some line dancing lessons between sets! We loved the Wildhorse Saloon for all of the above! It’s family friendly too. Don’t forget your cowboy boots – you can buy them everywhere!
Things to Do in San Antonio, Texas
Contributed by: Umiko Buhl of Two World Treasures
As one of the must-visit cities in Texas, San Antonio has so much to offer to its visitors. Here’s what you can do when you only have one day to spend here.
Start your visit early in the morning by exploring The Missions National Historical Park, the first World Heritage Site in Texas. There are 4 missions in this trip built during the Spanish Colonial era that makes you feel somewhere in Europe. Drive or take a bus to do the missions.
Back to downtown, it’s time for lunch. What’s better than eating at one of the restaurants in the famous River Walk? Boudro’s, Acenar, Ocho, and Thirsty Aztec are some of the people’s favorite that serves Mexican, Tex-Mex, American, to the best drink in the River Walk. Try to get a table outside so you can enjoy beautiful views while eating. But, this is a tourist area. Expect to pay $$-$$$$!
After lunch, go on a River Boat cruise – a great way to experience the world-famous San Antonio River Walk. This narrated river cruise takes around 35 minutes where you’ll learn about the history and culture of San Antonio, as well as the architecture along the river. The boat leaves every 15 minutes from 3 different docks, and you can buy the ticket on-site or online.
When you’re done, stroll along the River Walk is what you do. Lots of photo opts, a.k.a. Instagram heaven. Just make sure you take a picture of a moving boat from the bridge. A classic must-have.
Last stop for the day is the famous Alamo. Walk through the church and the compound, and don’t forget to stop at the Alamo Film and Long Barrack Museum. Your day in San Antonio ends here.
Good night San Antonio. Until next time!
Things to Do in Moab, Utah
Contributed by: Jamie & Dave from Photo Jeepers
If you only have one day to spend in the adventure town of Moab, Utah, you must visit the two national parks and one state park near the town. These parks are in remote areas that have limited services.
Before you leave Moab, fill your gas tank and pack water, snacks, and lunch. You’ll also want a hat, sunscreen, and lotion to combat the sun, dry air and elevation.
Start the day at Arches National Park and arrive before 9:00 am to avoid the crowds. Drive straight to The Windows first so you can find a parking spot.
Explore the short trails to see the Windows, Turret Arch, and Double Arch. Be sure to stop at the Delicate Arch viewpoint to see the iconic arch.
Stop and eat your packed lunch at the picnic area across from Balanced Rock.
From Arches, head to Canyonlands National Park. You’ll want to see the amazing views at Grand View Point and Green River Overlook. If you have time for a short hike, we recommend the Mesa Arch or Aztec Butte trail.
You definitely want to be at Dead Horse Point State Park for sunset. The view of the Colorado River and canyons is one you won’t see anywhere else!
Head back into Moab to eat at Zax, which has been a local favorite for 15 years!
Things to Do in Kanab, Utah
Contributed by: Audrey from Memorable Women’s Travel
Southern Utah is a great place to travel to see nature at its finest – beautiful red sandstone hills and rugged vegetation. It also offers a number of wonderful national and state parks. The city of Kanab is a great base location. It has plenty to do in town and nearby.
Start your morning with breakfast at Kanab Creek Bakery. It has European-style baked goods and delicious coffee. The owner is from Belgium and she brought her artisanal experience and recipes with her. From croissants and baguettes to quiche, salads, and crepes, there’s a lot to choose from if you’re hungry.
Book a tour of a local slot canyon for a unique hiking experience. We visited Peek-a-boo Canyon with Coral Cliff Tours of Kanab. Peek-a-boo Canyon is a great place for a first time visitor. The trail is short, flat and fairly easy to hike.
Nearby enjoy pizza, burgers or salads for lunch at Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Pizza restaurant. Afterward, head over to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park for some fun. It’s hard to resist the opportunity to walk, run, bike, hike or surf down the endless pink/red sand dunes. Off-roading is allowed in 90% of the park and is a big draw. They also welcome RV’s and campers.
Relax with a drink at Segos Restaurant. You’ll find land, sea and vegan offerings to help you unwind from the day.
Things to Do in Burlington, Vermont
Contributed by: Amy from Two Drifters
Burlington, Vermont is a city that deserves much more than one day of exploration, but even if you’ve only got 24 hours, you can experience the best of this hip, friendly city.
Burlington is perched right along the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain, so you’re going to want to spend part of your day on or near the lake. You can hop aboard a ferry over to NY state, but in the interest of time, we suggest kayaking, sailing, or stand up paddleboarding. If you’re more of a land lover, you could explore the 7.6 mile Burlington bike path which stretches along the shoreline. Catch gorgeous views either by foot or by bike. You can rent cycles right on the bike path from Local Motion.
After hanging out on the lake, you’ll be ready for some shopping and walking along pedestrian-only Church Street. This is the center of the downtown area and is a great place for people watching. There are often buskers playing music as you walk. You can grab lunch along Church Street from one of dozens of restaurants. The Farmhouse Tap & Grill is one of our favorites. After lunch, grab some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from their famous Church St. shop.
As the day winds down, head to the South End of Burlington, a short walk or Uber ride away. This artsy part of town is home to galleries, breweries, and other quirky spots. You can do a quick brewery tour of Burlington right along this corridor, hitting up Citizen Cider, Switchback, and Zero Gravity, just to name a few.
Got more time to spend in Burlington? Other activities to add to your itinerary include hitting up the farmer’s market (Saturdays in summertime), touring the Shelburne Museum, and enjoying some laughs at the Vermont Comedy Club.
Things to Do In Washington D.C., Virginia
Contributed by: Skylar Aria’s Adventures
Washington D.C is such an amazing city to explore. There is so much to do and see here, but if you only have one day, then I would recommend a walking tour of the monuments in the city, as well as a visit to the Smithsonian museums.
You can easily explore the city on foot, but you can find scooter or bicycle rentals throughout the city. The Metro is also a great way to get around, and there are stations located close to all the major attractions in the city.
Some of the highlights are of course the White House, Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol building, and all the War Memorials, which are located within a walking distance of each other.
Washington D.C is also home to World Class museums, and most of them are free!
A few of our favorites has got to be the Smithsonian Museums, particularly the Natural History and the Air and Space Museums. The National Gallery of Art is also amazing, and is home some of the worlds most famous works of Art!
After a long day of exploring, Wharf DC is the perfect place to relax and grab a bite. This is DC’s newest waterfront destination and there are many restaurants and cafes to choose from. This is also a great place to stay, with views of the Potomac River and DC.
Another great place to eat is Union Market. This is the perfect place if your a foodie, with so many unique options to choose from.
Founding Farmers is another one of our favorites, with its farm to table concept. The food is amazing and so is the ambiance. Make sure to reserve a table ahead of time, to avoid the long wait times!
We hope you enjoyed these tips on how to spend 24 hours in some of the top U.S. destinations.
For more tips on things to do in the U.S. and Canada, be sure to check out our Travel Destinations page.