• Last Minute

31 Last Minute Weekend Getaways & Cheap Vacations

Last Updated By VacationIdea Staff on December 25, 2023

Last Minute Weekend Getaways & Cheap Vacations

  • 1. Weekend Getaways - East Coast

Weekend Getaways - East Coast

Head to Florida , famous for its sandy beaches and warm weather, visit the parks in North Carolina and enjoy the beaches of South Carolina .

  • 2. Last Minute Vacations - West Coast

Last Minute Vacations - West Coast

The state of Oregon , offering many cheap vacations, is home to beautiful beaches and unique towns and cities , including Eugene , Seaside , Astoria , and other romantic spots . For more last minute travel deals and getaways near me, look at Washington State which is well known for its islands, wineries and pristine nature.

  • 3. Last Minute Trips & Weekend Getaways for Couples - Midwest

Last Minute Trips & Weekend Getaways for Couples - Midwest

Last minute travel deals usually include room specials, unique amenities like free massages, or free dining credit.

  • 4. More Cheap Vacations & Weekend Getaway Ideas

More Cheap Vacations & Weekend Getaway Ideas

Plan a romantic trip to the Southwest , whether you enjoy golf, shopping or art on your weekend trips. Sometimes you can find great last minute deals on flights to Hawaii, letting you experience magical Oahu , Kauai or the Big Island at a fraction of the coast. Keep reading for more getaways near me.

  • 5. Fun Family Weekend Getaways

Fun Family Weekend Getaways

On a sunny day, take the whole family to scenic spot and take that perfect Christmas card photo, followed by a lunch at one of the local eateries tasting new cuisine. In the evening, see a famous musical, opera, concert or a theatre performance after a fun family dinner. Keep reading for more fun weekend getaways and last minute vacation packages.

  • 6. Quick Getaways: Jacksonville

Quick Getaways: Jacksonville

This is also the place for an incredible urban dining experience. Find Things to Do in Jacksonville or keep reading for more cheap weekend getaways.

  • 7. Fun Weekend Getaways: Palm Springs

Fun Weekend Getaways: Palm Springs

Lucky last minute getaways could coincide with Palm Springs International Film Festival or Coachella Valley Music Festival. Keep reading for more inexpensive vacations and cheap weekend getaways for couples. Things to Do in Palm Springs

  • 8. Places to go near me: Columbia, MO Getaway

Places to go near me: Columbia, MO Getaway

Keep reading for more cheap vacations, last minute vacation packages and weekend getaways for couples near me. Things to Do in Columbia

  • 9. Inexpensive Vacations: Greenville, SC

Inexpensive Vacations: Greenville, SC

Nature tours explore the wilderness of Jocassee Gorge, Lake, and waterfalls, a Saturday sunset cruise on Jocassee Lake, and an adventure tour of Lake Jocassee’s wild rivers, swimming holes, and waterfalls. Other impromptu must-do activities include exploring nights outsuggestions like dueling pianos at Jack n’ Diane’s, or comedy dinner theater at Café and Then Some. Find Things to Do in Greenville or continue reading for more cheap weekend getaways for couples.

  • 10. Last Minute Vacation Deals: Cincinnati Getaway

Last Minute Vacation Deals: Cincinnati Getaway

More things to do in: Alabama , Alaska , Arizona , Arkansas , California , Colorado

  • 11. Fort Lauderdale Getaway Deals

Fort Lauderdale Getaway Deals

More things to do in: Connecticut , Delaware , Florida , Georgia , Hawaii , Idaho , Illinois

  • 12. Cheap Vacations This Weekend: Nashville

Cheap Vacations This Weekend: Nashville

More things to do in: Indiana , Iowa , Kansas , Kentucky , Louisiana , Maine , Maryland

  • 13. Places to go near me: Phoenix Last Minute Getaways

Places to go near me: Phoenix Last Minute Getaways

More things to do in: Massachusetts , Michigan , Minnesota , Mississippi , Missouri , Montana

  • 14. Great Pittsburgh Last Minute Vacations

Great Pittsburgh Last Minute Vacations

More things to do in: Nebraska , Nevada , New Hampshire , New Jersey , New Mexico , New York

  • 15. Fun Weekend Getaways: Fire Island

Fun Weekend Getaways: Fire Island

More things to do in: Upstate New York , North Carolina , North Dakota , Ohio , Oklahoma , Oregon

  • 16. Last Minute Place to Go This Weekend: Asheville

Last Minute Place to Go This Weekend: Asheville

More things to do in: Pennsylvania , Rhode Island , South Carolina , South Dakota , Tennessee , Texas

  • 17. Last Minute Place to Go Near Me: Fredericksburg

Last Minute Place to Go Near Me: Fredericksburg

More things to do in: Utah , Vermont , Wisconsin

  • 18. Cheap Vacation Last Minute: Taos, NM

Cheap Vacation Last Minute: Taos, NM

More things to do in: Wyoming , Virginia , Washington

  • 19. Vacation Spots Near Me: Cape Cod

Vacation Spots Near Me: Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a top New England destination for couples booking a last minute getaway. Outdoor enthusiasts can jump right in biking, hiking, or riding horseback along the Cape Cod Rail Trail. The 22-mile paved trail connects to many of the island’s natural highlights, including Cape Cod National Seashore at trail’s end. The Marconi portion of the 40-mile coast has spectacular sand cliffs and epic views. Much of the coastline is pristine beaches. History buffs should make their way to Provincetown where they’ll find the Pilgrim Monument commemorating the site of the Mayflower landing.Cape Playhouse in Dennis is the country’s oldest summer theater, perfect for a night out. Things to Do in Cape Cod

  • 20. Sacramento


Couples looking for a last minute getaway in Sacramento could spend their entire time on the Delta King Riverboat, permanently moored on Sacramento’s Riverfront, or use it as their base of exploration. Couples who dig street art can use a Sacramento Mural Map on their tablets or smartphones and peruse all 685+ of the city’s murals with Instagram links to 80% of them. Couples looking for a relaxing stroll should head to Discovery Park where they can also play Frisbee, fish, and bike. There’s no shortage of incredible restaurants in Sacramento. Foodies could eat somewhere new at every meal and never be disappointed. Keep reading for more getaway deals. Things to Do in Sacramento

  • 21. Last Minute Weekend in Panama City Beach

Last Minute Weekend in Panama City Beach

Eco-conscious couples will appreciate St. Andrews State Park, and Panama City Beach Conservation Park.Dining and shopping enthusiasts will love the oceanfront Pier Park. Things to Do in Panama City Beach

  • 22. Albuquerque Last Minute Travel

Albuquerque Last Minute Travel

Albuquerque is the hot air ballooning capital of the world, so couples opting for this last minute getaway will want to take advantage of that fun fact. Located in New Mexico’s high desert, there are a host of other outdoor activities too. Couples can hike the Sandia Mountains, bike the popular Paseo del Bosque Trail, or grab a seat on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. Historic Old Town and Historic Nob Hill are must-see neighborhoods for couples wanting to explore the history and culture of Albuquerque. A visit to Acoma Pueblo and Sky City Cultural Center will offer traveling couples insights into pueblo culture. Couples who are kids at heart will have a blast with the Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure. Keep reading for more cheap vacations. Things to Do in Albuquerque

  • 23. Portland Last Minute Vacations

Portland Last Minute Vacations

Couples looking for a little romance on a last minute getaway to Portland, Maine, may want to explore Casco Bay, which offers an array of fun things to do like exploring the art scene, kayaking, biking, or taking the ferry to Peaks Island, known as the Coney Island of Maine. Other outdoor experiences include touring the city’s six lighthouses, taking a tour devoted to Portland’s maritime history, orlobstering with Lucky Catch Cruises.Old Port provides couples with a quaint, yet upscale shopping and dining experience. For a quirky way to spend some time, couples can make the 12 minute ride to Scarborough to visit Lenny, the 1,700 pound chocolate moose at Len Libby Chocolatier. Find Things to Do in Portland, Maine or keep reading for more last minute getaways.

  • 24. Lenox Last Minute Travel

Lenox Last Minute Travel

Lenox, Massachusetts, is a thriving New England town that serves as the gateway to the Berkshires . It’s the perfect last minute getaway for couples who appreciate nature and history. Couples can commune with nature and each other walking or biking the trails of Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. During summer, the Boston Symphony Orchestra makes its home in Tanglewood, which includes Lenox. Historic downtown Lenox is a quaint, walkable village with a few architectural landmarks like the Lenox Library. The village food scene thrives on locally grown farm-to-table fare.Fall provides an explosion of color during peak fall foliage in October, and winter skiing abounds on local downhill resorts. Keep reading for more last minute travel deals and weekend breaks.

  • 25. Last Minute Romantic Weekend in Harrisonburg, VA

Last Minute Romantic Weekend in Harrisonburg, VA

Harrisonburg affectionately referred to as both “The Friendly City” and “Rocktown,” is a vibrant, diverse, and contemporary city featuring a passion for libations and delicious local food. It is also a cutting-edge culture and arts town with historic roots. The stunning Shenandoah landscape, remarkable mountain ranges, and wide array of outdoor recreational spaces are some of the biggest draws for couples and nature enthusiasts. It is also home to Virginia’s first recognized Arts and Cultural, and Culinary Districts, a 40-block area filled with architecture, views, restaurants, galleries, and boutiques. Top attractions include the Valley Turnpike Museum, the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, and the Hillandale Park.

The 31 Last Minute Weekend Getaways & Cheap Vacations & Fun things to do near me today:

More in miami package, honeymoon package in the seychelles, family getaway package at the houstonian, full day spa package in pennsylvania, in-room spa package in oxford, md, midweek package in cape may, nj, island babymoon package, artful miami package, the breakers palm beach package, water park ideas, tips for travelers.

  • From Los Angeles - cheap vacation ideas : Plan a last minute weekend getaway from the city to relax, unwind and reconnect with your friends and family in a beautiful setting. Shutters on the Beach is an oceanfront weekend getaway from LA, set on a sandy beach in Santa Monica. Santa Monica is a Southern California vacation destination offering visitors numerous activities, shops and restaurants. Bike paths let you explore the area by bike, there are many concerts and theater. Couples can visit galleries or head to a nightclub. The Huntley Hotel , also in Santa Monica, offers luxury amenities such as private chauffeur service in an exclusive Maserati QuattroPorte. If you are looking for last minute weekend getaways in Monterey, Hyatt Regency Monterey offers renovated guest rooms and a new spa. Monterey offers shopping, wine tasting, surfing lessons and golf. Cannery Row is features a collections of shops, local artists' galleries, restaurants and attractions such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You can rent a bike and follow the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail to explore the town. Monterey is about 6 hours from Los Angeles. If you are taking the scenic Highway 1 through Big Sur, the trip usually takes an additional hour. San Ysidro Ranch has 41 individually-decorated cottages set on 500 acres, ideal for romantic walks and plenty of privacy. Get a taste or Europe on your vacation at Les Mars Hotel in Sonoma. The hotel offers Swiss-trained staff and 16 guest accommodations decorated with 18th century antiques.
  • From New York City : Last minute weekend getaways from New York include romantic inns, full-service resorts with spas, beach getaways and more. Elm Court is a romantic historic getaway in Lenox where you can book a suite with a whirlpool and a fireplace. Berkshire County in Western Massachusetts is a famous fall foliage weekend getaway where you can go apple picking, take a scenic drive or rent a canoe. Or take advantage of the Berkshires 4 Theatre Collaborative designed to make theatre more affordable for residents of and visitors to the Berkshires to see two or more different plays in the area. Shakespeare & Company, based in Lenox, offers a number of different performances year round. The White Elephant Hotel on Nantucket is a weekend getaway with a spa, ocean views and a gourmet restaurant. Plan a last minute vacation in the off season and enjoy this charming island without the summer crowds. Visit the lighthouses, take photos on one of the beaches and try local beer at Cisco Brewers. The Daffodil Festival in April features 3 million bright yellow blooms. In the winter, enjoy Nantucket Noel and the Christmas Stroll. Wequassett Inn Resort & Golf Club overlooks the ocean in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, offering stylish oceanview accommodations and golf privileges at Cape Cod National Golf Club. Or plan a last minute weekend getaway to A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay which has just nine guest bedrooms.

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25 Best Luxury Weekend Getaways in the U.S.


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East Hamptons

The best weekend getaways from NYC

Escape the hustle and bustle with these weekend getaways from NYC

While we can never quit NYC, with its  amazing restaurants , internationally-recognized bars and world-class museums , the crowds, the hustle and the pace, however, can lead to some serious stress and, well, sometimes we need a weekend trip.

Fortunately, the location of our fine city affords easy access to many other exciting, yet more relaxed destinations. These weekend getaways from NYC offer fun, relaxation and a little something different not too far from home.

Whether you’re taking a car or public transportation, these destinations are easily accessible in five hours or less. Enjoy nature, chill by a lake, take in some art or do a little shopping. From quaint towns to beachy locales, a weekend away will be just the thing to recharge. If you don’t have a whole weekend to spare, consider one of these day trips from NYC . Looking for a longer getaway? A road trip from NYC might be for you. But these weekend getaways are just right, opening up a whole new world in upstate New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and more.


🚕  Best things to do in upstate New York 🏖️  Best beach hotels near NYC 🍺  The best Airbnbs near breweries outside of NYC ⛰️  The coziest Airbnb cabins near NYC

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Weekend trips from NYC

Bear Mountain, NY

1.  Bear Mountain, NY

1hr 15 mins from NYC

In the time it would take to make it across town during rush hour, adventurers can get to Bear Mountain for an easy escape from city madness.

Do this: The state park, situated in the mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River, which offers a bevy of hiking and biking trails, as well as picnic groves, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool and a zoo.

Stay here: Bear Mountain Inn , originally built in 1915, hosted Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower back in the day, and has been extensively renovated to include 15 luxury guest rooms, plus a spa and a restaurant. 

Asbury Park, NJ

2.  Asbury Park, NJ

1hr 30mins from NYC

The summertime gay community in this shore town has actually been active since the 1950s—and over the past few years, the scene’s really heated up.

Eat here: MOGO Korean Fusion Tacos, a favorite among both visitors and locals. 

Stay here: Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel , which was originally designed by noted Beaux Arts architect Whitney Warren.

Beacon, NY

3.  Beacon, NY

Beacon is steeped in history (Beacon Mountain, the tallest point of the Hudson Highlands, played a significant role in the American Revolution), but besides its storied past, it’s also packed with modern-day culture. The city has an arty, indie spirit that attracts…arty, indie people.

Do this:  A former Nabisco box-printing facility on the banks of the Hudson, Dia:Beacon holds collections from the 1960s to the present. Exhibitions meld with works on long-term view from artists including Walter De Maria and Dan Flavin. 

Stay here: Sitting at the base of Mount Beacon—a mile and a half from the town’s center—the Swann Inn of Beacon is a charming bed-and-breakfast. Situated in an 1866 Gothic house, it has five uniquely decorated rooms, which all have retro-cool vibes that would make Wes Anderson blush, including the Red Parlor Suite, a romantic respite complete with a friggin’ front porch). 

New Hope, PA

4.  New Hope, PA

1hr 45mins from NYC

New Hope is Bucks County’s jewel, unhurried and unassuming, with indie boutiques, seasonal-focused eateries and forget-all-your-troubles B&Bs galore. Between hopping to different quaint spots, be sure to get back to nature. We suggest cruising on a rented bike down the Delaware Canal towpath.

Do this: With 134 acres featuring hundreds of species of native plants (including more than 80 that are rare or endangered) and stunning woodlands and meadows throughout, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve offers guided walks in addition to talks and workshops (“Focus on Ferns,” anyone?). 

Stay here: A AAA Four Diamond winner for eight consecutive years, The Inn at Bowman’s Hill is damn swoonworthy. Rooms, like Fountain View and Orchard Retreat, have heated tubs for two—if that’s your bag. For platonic pals, there’s the Penthouse Suite, with its private deck and panoramic views of the property. 

New Paltz, NY

5.  New Paltz, NY

1hr 45 mins from NYC

Beyond all the worth-the-trip views of riverside bluffs and verdant trees, New Paltz is the most historic on this list, with preserved houses that were around 100 years before we even became the U.S. of A. So, yeah. Pretty old.

Do this: Learn about the lives of the 17th-century Huguenot settlers , as performers (dolled up in duds from the period) take you through 30 buildings over 10 acres, including seven historic homes and a reconstructed 1717 church. (Want to retain the back-to-basics spirit as you take in the National Historic Landmark District? Leave the selfie stick at home.) 

Stay here: Mohonk Mountain House , set in the Shawangunk Ridge on Lake Mohonk, is sporting and sophisticated, a sort of East Coast version of The Shining grounds (without all the killing and stuff). Whether you choose one of the classic, wood-paneled rooms and suites or one of its private cottages two miles away, your nightly rate gets you access to a range of complimentary activities like boating and swimming, not to mention meals in its dining room. 

Lake Placid, NY

6.  Lake Placid, NY

The beloved lake is just the beginning: This prime Adirondacks spot features art, shopping, hiking, swimming and one killer mountain. 

Do this: If you're already planning to go out to admire all the greenery upstate New York has to offer, visiting The Wild Center is a must if you want to experience truly unreal nature views. That is, as long as you aren't afraid of heights. Why? Oh, because when you go, you'll be walking an elevated trail across the Adirondack treetops. No big deal!

Stay here:  The seven-acre, 131-unit Mirror Lake Inn can’t be beat. Every room looks over the lake, and the cozy fireside accommodations (along with two restaurants and a spa) will keep you in your robe late into the day. Or check in to the aesthetic and cozy Eastwind Lake Placid .

Hudson, NY

7.  Hudson, NY

2hrs 20mins from NYC

You’ve probably heard a lot about Hudson , and here’s why: food and antiques. The place does both extremely well—it’s a prime option for rustic fine dining (Ca’Mea) and rare retro finds (just about any storefront on Warren Street). But the other big reason why droves of New Yorkers and, fittingly, DIY businesses and developments are staking their claim on the town is because it’s all ensconced in a gorgeous Hudson River–side environment, dotted with quaint historic homes.

Eat here: The communal, high-end restaurant Wm. Farmer and Sons has a cozy-yet-urban energy, serving up bar snacks, small plates and big plates that make use, whenever possible, of local ingredients. 

Stay here:  The Hudson Whaler beautifully blends old-timey flavor with contemporary amenities. Set in an Art Deco building, the hotel has 16 well-appointed guest rooms with sleek, sculptural furnishings that match the Deco tone, as well as free Wi–Fi, an iPad lending library, Keurig coffeemakers, pillow-top mattresses and Lather Aromatherapy bath products.

Phoenicia, NY

8.  Phoenicia, NY

2hrs 30mins from NYC

Tucked into the Catskills, this Ulster County hamlet is a real melting pot, the kind of place where you can expect to see a conservative old-timer and a Brooklyn lumbersexual sipping Buds along the bar in perfect harmony. For every no-nonsense staple (Phoenicia Diner), there’s a hipster newbie (the Graham & Co.). The mellow, no-frills, hippie-dippie local culture makes it easy for anyone to relax here.

Do this:  Explore downtown Phoenicia, go whitewater tubing on Esopus Creek, or explore Kaaterskill Falls. Phoenicia has plenty of adventures, from mild to wild. 

Stay here: Located directly on Esopus Creek in the heart of the Catskills,  Phoenicia Black Bear Campground  is rustic without being primitive. Choose your own adventure: There’s swimming, biking, horseback riding and more nearby. 

Shelter Island, L.I.

9.  Shelter Island, L.I.

2hrs 30 mins from NYC

A midsize island just a seven-minute ferry ride from Greenport, NY, and surrounded by Shelter Island Sound and Gardiner’s Bay, Shelter Island is all about unwinding, with historic plantations, unassuming cafés, kayaking and, of course, those views that will make your pals rageful that they didn’t join you.

Do this: With more than 2,000 acres of tidal creeks, mature oak woodlands, fields and freshwater marshes, Nature Conservancy’s Mashomack Preserve is one of the richest habitats in the Northeast. Edged in white by 12 miles of coastline, Mashomack attracts birders and botanists looking for ospreys and a number of rare plants—and regular people like us who just want our Facebook feed to look awesome. 

Stay here: Every room at the perennially popular Sunset Beach Hotel has a private sundeck with water views (and loads of Kiehl’s products in the bathrooms, yay). Sunset Beach’s area, with its curving shoreline and spectacular light, is pretty darn similar to the French Riviera.

The Berkshires, MA

10.  The Berkshires, MA

3hrs from NYC

Think of the Berkshires as the Hamptons, minus the nightlife and plus all the art, theater, dance, music and small-town simplicity you could want. Yes, the mountainous region in western Massachusetts has luxury, but it’s served in a laid-back setting. And given its jaw-dropping bucolic backdrop, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities, either.

Do this: One of the country’s largest centers for contemporary art, MASS MoCA , which is set in a converted factory building, focuses on large-scale, immersive installations that more conventional museums just can’t handle. There’s just as much focus on performing arts as there is on visual here; each year touts more than 75 performances of music (Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival has been held here), dance, films, theater and more.   Another surefire bet for the performing arts is Shakespeare & Company in nearby Lenox. The thriving regional theater company mixes traditional Shakespearean productions with contemporary works across multiple, indoor and outdoor stages. And do we need to mention that weed is legal here? Try paying a visit to the closest cannabis dispensary to the New York state border: the chic and friendly Rebelle located in Great Barrington.

Stay here: Oriented toward health, wellness and pampering, Canyon Ranch , which is centered around the century-old, lovingly restored Bellefontaine Mansion, has a lot to offer: tennis, aerobics, guided hikes and bike rides, canoeing, croquet and more than 40 seminars and classes daily such as “Finding Forgiveness.” After all that fresh air and, er, learning, relax in the spa while enjoying the signature Canyon Stone Massage or the candlelit Euphoria body treatment. 

Cape May, NJ

11.  Cape May, NJ

Rediscover your inner summertime kiddie at this seaside destination, which has some of the East Coast’s most unspoiled beaches. The unpretentious fun peaks on Fourth of July weekend—when a full-on carnival and an impressive fireworks display bring in throngs of people—but the good times continue throughout the season, with boardwalk vendors and even dolphin-spotting tours.

Do this: Yup, Jersey Shore Alpacas sounds like an MTV spin-off (and it’d be an awesome one). At this small alpaca farm in Green Creek, a quaint town right next to Cape May, mingle with the critters—well taken care of by owners Jim and Tish Carpinelli—during Open Farm Saturdays, when you can meet the cute creatures at the fence and feed them (carrots are provided). 

Stay here: Cape Resorts . One of the area’s Victorian buildings, the 200-year-old Congress Hall is America’s oldest oceanfront resort. It has 104 rooms, as well as a restaurant, bar and lounge, outdoor pool, spa and a fitness center. But despite the full-service amenity list, the best things here are the simple ones, like the smell of salty sea air outside your open window. (Book an Atlantic-view room for the best relaxation results.) 

Philadelphia, PA

12.  Philadelphia, PA

2hrs from NYC by car, 1hr and 23min by train 

Aside from the wild football fans and patriotic Liberty Bell-seekers, the city of brotherly love caters to the artistic set through major attractions such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Go to get cultured, but stick around for the amazing restaurants, beer gardens and the cheesesteaks ( duh ) that truly make the city a smash.

Do this: As the crown jewel of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the  Philadelphia Museum of Art should arguably be the first stop on your list. (Yes, even before the aforementioned cheesesteak). Inside, you’ll find an impressive collection of 19th-and early-20th-century paintings and artifacts. After peeping the creative works, refuel at Reading Terminal Market . The famous indoor farmer’s market hawks everything from food and housewares to speciality snacks and treats all under one roof. Grab a takeaway treat from notable sellers like Famous 4th Street Cookie Company, Beiler’s Doughnuts and Little Thai Market. Once you’re full, head to Independence Beer Garden (an outdoor brew den) to down a few pints while playing games like giant jenga. What’s missing? Oh, right: End your night with a cheesesteak at any one of these spots.

Stay here:  Rest your head at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco . This is one of the city’s coolest hotels with post-modern meets art-deco inspired decor and a trendy rooftop bar. Added bonus: The hotel is located right next to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

The Hamptons, L.I.

13.  The Hamptons, L.I.

2.5 hrs from NYC

The Hamptons’ gorgeous sandy respites, dunes and relatively untouched landscapes aren’t just for the jet set. The area boasts gratis culture (the Dan Flavin Art Institute ) and no-nonsense places to eat ( Lobster Roll ) and drink (Fellingham’s), plus plenty of other casual nooks for the rest of us.

Do this: Coopers Beach  is the only stretch of silky, fine-grained white sand in Southampton that’s open to the public. So you can look like a baller in your sunset Instagram pic—without having to actually throw down a ton of dough. 

Otherwise, you pay to park at Main Beach in East Hampton or park and walk to Montauk’s Kirk Park Beach. 

Don’t miss a trip to the Montauk Lighthouse for some gorgeous views or a shopping spree in Sag Harbor.

Stay here: Privacy, luxury and amenities reign supreme at the Reform Club . The main building houses seven suites with wood-burning fireplaces (you’ll want to turn them on, even in the summer, just for the fun of it), oversize marble baths and white wainscot walls with original artwork. 

Cooperstown, NY

14.  Cooperstown, NY

4hrs from NYC

Cooperstown has way more than baseball, and every true brew head knows this. With four breweries in town, Cooperstown was once the country's hops-growing capital.

Do this: Brewery Ommegang , is located on a 135-acre hops farm and offers daily tours. 

Stay here: The Otesaga , the charming (and reportedly haunted) historic hotel, is celebrating its 106th anniversary. It offers fishing and boating—and serves Ommegang beer, to boot.

Newport, RI

15.  Newport, RI

4hrs 30mins from NYC

It’d be easy to dismiss the town as a tourist trap, but what often brings people back to Newport (other than yacht races, tours of a Vanderbilt mansion and smiley locals) are the newish spots.

Eat here: Revolving Door , where regional and national chefs hunker down for several weeks—sometimes up to a month—creating, cooking and serving an inspired prix-fixe menu.

Stay here: The Attwater , a design-driven seven-room boutique hotel off of historic Bellevue Avenue, recently acquired a Victorian manor next door and renovated it from top to bottom.

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The best Hudson, NY, hotels and B&Bs

The best Hudson, NY, hotels and bed-and-breakfasts for the next time you need to escape the city for a relaxing getaway

The best bed-and-breakfasts in NJ

The best bed-and-breakfasts in NJ

Looking for a great bed-and-breakfast? NJ offers plenty of sleepy towns with cute B&Bs for rejuvenating getaways.

Five magical treehouses near NYC that you can rent on Airbnb

Five magical treehouses near NYC that you can rent on Airbnb

With these magical treehouse rentals, all within a five-hour drive of New York, you can get right in the thick of it. Literally.

Five dramatic lighthouses that you can rent overnight near NYC

Five dramatic lighthouses that you can rent overnight near NYC

Not only will you gain some perspective during your stay, but you’ll literally be able to see for miles

Three architecturally stunning geodesic domes you can rent right now

Three architecturally stunning geodesic domes you can rent right now

These vacation rentals all offer the chance to be immersed in some pretty stunning architecture

Weekend getaways: City breaks

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11 Easy Weekend Getaways From San Francisco

Get away from the city with one of these easy, drivable weekend getaways..

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Curving highway along coast near Point Reyes

The Tule Elk Preserve is one of many places to visit during a weekend in Inverness and Tomales Bay.

Photo by Jessie Beck

San Francisco is an amazing city in its own right , but one of the best parts of living here is that you can be at a world-class vineyard, on a beach, or up a mountain within a short drive. There are the North Bay’s oyster farms and vineyards, the (sometimes) snowy Sierras to the east, the quiet of Tomales Bay. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or a change of scene, consider one of these 11 easy weekend getaways from the San Francisco Bay Area.

A woman sitting at a picnic table in a grove of Redwood trees outside of Healdsburg (left); the calm Russian River outside of Healdsburg below a bridge, surrounded by trees (right)

Healdsburg, California, is more than wine: Redwood forests and stretches of the Russian River to kayak are also accessible from this small town.

Photos by Jessie Beck

1. Healdsburg and Sonoma wine country

  • Distance : 90 minutes north of San Francisco
  • Best for : a low-key wine and food getaway

It’s hard to see all of Sonoma wine county in a single weekend—it’s larger and more spread out than neighboring Napa Valley. Instead, make the northern town of Healdsburg, which is experiencing something of a revival, your home base for the weekend. In the past two years, a long list of exciting new hotels, restaurants, and tasting rooms have joined the area—giving the historic town a burst of new energy.

What to do in Healdsburg

Yes, of course, you could spend an entire day tasting wine (it is Sonoma County, after all), but you’ll also want to explore the area’s natural beauty. To do so, join a cycling tour at Russian River Adventures to explore the area on two wheels with a knowledgeable guide, or combine your ride with a kayak adventure on Getaway Adventures ’ pedal-paddle tour.

Healdsburg’s food scene is also a big reason to visit: It’s home to three- Michelin-starred restaurant SingleThread (and awardee of a Michelin Green Star ), and the team’s newly opened vegan café, bar, and restaurant, Little Saint. (Pro move: You can also try their dips while sampling pinot noirs at the beautifully designed, downtown tasting room for Marine Layer.) For a more casual lunch or dinner, grab a pizza on the rooftop at the Matheson , or settle down for cocktails and fried chicken at Lo+Behold . The town also has an excellent farmers’ market on Saturdays.

Where to stay in Healdsburg

For a truly luxurious retreat, book one of the tree houses at the Montage Healdsburg , a 258-acre property that officially opened its doors in 2020, making it the first major resort property in the Healdsburg area. Or head over to the Madrona, a historic property originally built in 1881 as a private residence that is now a beautiful, maximalist boutique hotel designed by Jay Jeffers. Prefer something within walking distance of Healdsburg’s square? Then check into eco-friendly Harmon Guest House, a peaceful yet centrally located hotel only a block away from dozens of fantastic restaurants, tasting rooms, and bars. Coming in the summer? Rest assured: All three options have swimming pools.

Read More: Your Perfect Weekend Getaway in Sonoma Wine Country

Point Arena lighthouse on the Mendocino Coast

Fill your weekend exploring tide pools on the beach and exploring small towns along the Mendocino Coast.

Photo by The Life in Pics/Shutterstock

2. Mendocino coast

  • Distance: three hours north of San Francisco
  • Best for: a remote drive along Highway 1

The Mendocino coast is no secret weekend getaway spot. While most visitors will focus on exploring the coastal town of Mendocino and its surrounds, there’s much to be discovered along the 90+ miles of Mendocino’s coastline. That said, if it’s your first time in the area, go ahead and base yourself in the small town of Mendocino—beaten path or not, its proximity to trails, beaches, restaurants, and small locally run shops make it a must on any California getaway list. Or explore a new stretch of the coast, like the small town of Elk and nearby Salt Point State Park to the south of Mendocino.

What to do on the Mendocino coast

You could easily fill your weekend exploring tide pools on the beach and hiking trails with dramatic ocean views, but part of the Mendocino coast’s charms are in the small towns near the highway. Save plenty of time for pit stops from Guala to Fort Bragg; shop the variety store Matson Mercantile in Elk; enjoy vegetarian fare and wine at the hip and colorful Fog Eater Cafe in Mendocino; or sample fresh local seafood at Wild Fish .

Where to stay on the Mendocino coast

For classic Mendocino coast, book a stay in the town of Mendocino. Right in the heart of downtown is JD House , a six-room bed-and-breakfast with ocean views and decor that lands somewhere between ship captain’s home and modern hygge. Or immerse yourself in nature at Mendocino Grove , where you can stay in safari tents complete with beds, rugs, and firepits. The new for summer 2023 sauna and espresso bar make it an extra dreamy glamping experience. For a more removed but no less beautiful home base, head 15 miles south to the small coastal town of Elk and reserve a room at the Harbor House Inn , a hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant perched on a cliff above a private, pebbled beach.

Read More: Local Getaways: Escape to the Mendocino Coast

River and mountain in Hope Valley

Turn off your phone and head to Wylder Hotel for a remote mountain getaway.

Courtesy of Wylder Hotel

3. Hope Valley

  • Distance: four hours east of San Francisco
  • Best for: a less-crowded escape to the Sierra Nevadas

A short drive south from Lake Tahoe , Hope Valley has all the beauty of a Sierra Nevada mountain getaway—minus the crowds. It’s an ideal weekend destination to retreat to the woods for a few days of digital detox amid alpine lakes and pine forests.

What to do in Hope Valley

Like much of the Sierras and Tahoe, Hope Valley is known as an outdoor destination. In warmer months, grab your hiking shoes or mountain bike to explore miles of trails in the nearby wilderness, like the range of trails around scenic Echo Lake or Snowshoe Thompson’s Cave, which is “a short 1.15-mile hike filled with lore,” says AFAR travel news editor Michelle Baran .

In the winter, opt for a snow-filled adventure snow-mobiling or snowshoeing on one of the trails at Hope Valley Sno-Park then warm up in the natural hot springs at nearby Grover Hot Springs State Park .

Where to stay in Hope Valley

Wylder Hotel , which has rustic but refurbished log cabins, yurts, and budget-friendly campsites, is an ideal homebase in Hope Valley.

Read More: Local Getaways: A Beautiful Mountain Escape in Northern California

Yoga among the redwoods at Canyon Ranch Woodside

Yoga among the redwoods is one of many activities at Canyon Ranch Woodside.

Courtesy of Canyon Ranch

4. Santa Cruz Mountains

  • Distance: one hour south of San Francisco
  • Best for: wine, hikes, and mountain bikes

Bay Area residents often come to the Santa Cruz Mountains for day trips and brief weekend adventures. But if you plan to stay longer, you won’t be bored—there’s enough winery hopping and hiking among the redwoods to fill an entire weekend.

What to do in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, road cycling, and rock climbing are the main draw for visitors to the Santa Cruz Mountains. After you’ve worked up an appetite on the trails, visit one of the area’s wineries, like award-winning, family-run Mindego Ridge , or the many ranches and farms—an afternoon picnic and visit with the goats at Harley Farms Goat Dairy is a local favorite—to relax and refuel.

Where to stay in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Book yourself into a luxurious tree house at Canyon Ranch’s Woodside Retreat , which includes a full schedule of activities, like hikes and yoga sessions, and three healthy, locally sourced meals each day.

Read More: Local Getaways: The Santa Cruz Mountains Offer a Much-Needed Escape to Nature

Glamp in a classic Airstream or safari tent at Autocamp Russian River.

Glamp in a classic Airstream or safari tent at Autocamp Russian River.

Courtesy of Autocamp

5. Guerneville

  • Distance: one hour, 45 minutes north of San Francisco
  • Best for: summer fun and food by the Russian River

Although scenic year-round, Guerneville’s location alongside the Russian River makes it an especially popular weekend destination in the summer, when you can float, kayak, or canoe in the water. Off the river, this tiny town is also home to a surprising number of delicious places to eat—with even more restaurants, breweries, and wineries a short drive away.

What to do in Guerneville

In the summer months, pack a floatie and a cooler full of snacks to spend the day lazing around on the Russian River. Visitors can also rent a canoe from Burke’s Canoes . Afterwards, this Sonoma County town is an excellent homebase for food and wine lovers—biscuits at Big Bottom Market , winetasting at Hartford Family Winery , beers at Stumptown Brewery , and ice cream at Nimble & Finn’s are a few of the area’s tasty highlights.

Where to stay in Guerneville

For classic Guerneville, you can’t go wrong renting a house by the river or booking a romantic retreat at the adults-only Boon Hotel + Spa , an intimate, LGBTQ-friendly boutique hotel with a pool, spa, and breakfast delivered to your room each morning. Prefer to glamp? Head to Autocamp and stay in a tricked-out Airstream trailer for the weekend.

Or, consider one of the newer hotels to the area: including the luxurious, 21-room boutique hotel, Stravrand (opened in 2021) located on a former orchard, and Dawn Ranch (opened in 2022), a collection of stylish cabins nestled in the redwoods, complete with restaurant and spa. Read More:

  • A Weekend Getaway Guide to Guerneville
  • Where to Eat on the Russian River

Exterior of restaurant at the Lodge at Bodega Bay alongside Adirondack chairs circled around a firepit

The Lodge at Bodega Bay is set on a quiet, scenic stretch of California coast—and has no shortage of scenic views.

6. Bodega Bay

  • Best for : escaping the summer heat, kayaking, and relaxing in a newly renovated lodge

If you’ve spent any time exploring Northern California, you’ve likely passed by Bodega—the Highway 1 goes through this small blip of a town, located between Tomales Bay and Jenner on the Sonoma coast. Although it’s close enough to San Francisco for a day trip, the newly renovated rooms at the Lodge at Bodega Bay are reason enough for locals, out-of-towners, and north-bound road-trippers to turn their visit into a full-fledged weekend getaway.

Pro tip: Although San Francisco residents rarely have any summer heat to escape from, folks elsewhere in the Bay Area should take note. Bodega can be as much 20 degrees cooler than inland areas, making it an ideal summer retreat for anyone who wants respite from high temps.

What to do in Bodega Bay

Although you might be tempted to spend the entire weekend with a book and a beverage while enjoying the coastal views (and we won’t judge you if do), the natural beauty of the area will likely convince you otherwise. If you’re so inclined, start your morning by kayaking along the coast ( Bodega Bay Surf is a friendly spot for rentals) or hike on the scenic Bodega Head Trail. The area also happens to be an excellent spot for bird-watching, especially along the Birdwalk Coastal Access Trail in Doran Regional Park . In the mood for a beach day? Grab your blanket and head to Doran Beach or Campbell Cove.

After a day of adventuring, refuel with calamari at the Tides , fish and chips at Fishetarian Fish Market , or a cocktail and crudo at Drakes Fireside Lounge .

Where to stay

Book a room at the sprawling Lodge at Bodega Bay , a few minutes south of town. Each of the spacious 83 rooms features comfortable beds, plush robes, and westward-facing balconies with unobstructed views of the marsh and ocean. The area can get chilly at night and the lodge offers plenty of ways to warm up: in-room fireplaces, hot tub, sauna, or with a cocktail at its on-site bar and restaurant.

Cove and beach in Big Sur

Big Sur has something for varied adventures and budgets, from basic campsites to five-star luxury.

Photo by Pete Niesen/Shutterstock

  • Distance: three hours south of San Francisco
  • Best for: a classic California coastal getaway

With its dramatic coastlines, waterfalls plunging into the ocean, and expansive, rugged redwood forests, Big Sur is one of those quintessential California destinations—and also a fortunately easy weekend getaway destination from the Bay Area.

What to do in Big Sur

“Nature is one of the region’s biggest draws, but there’s plenty of exploration to do beyond the trees,” says AFAR senior editor Aislyn Greene. Places like Tassajara Zen Mountain Center , Hearst Castle , a California condor tour with Ventana Wildlife Society , and a tour of the Point Sur lighthouse , as well as shopping for local art at Hawthorne Gallery or Coast Big Sur are all excellent things to do while in Big Sur.

Where to stay in Big Sur

Accommodation in Big Sur ranges from basic campsites , like those at Pfeiffer State Park, to five-star luxury. Some of our favorite Big Sur hotels include the spectacular, all-inclusive Ventana Big Sur resort, which gives guests the option to choose between staying in one of its luxurious suites or getting in touch with nature in its safari-style tents, as well as the creative rooms at Post Ranch Inn —weekend retreat in a tree house , anyone?

Read More: Embrace the Slow Life—and Maybe a Few Trees—in Big Sur

Trees and vineyard in Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley (not to be confused with nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea) is less than three hours from San Francisco by car.

Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch

8. Carmel Valley

  • Distance: two hours, 30 minutes from San Francisco
  • Best for: a wine country escape to the south

Napa Valley and Sonoma County aren’t the only places to go for a weekend of winetasting and sunshine (though you’ll rarely see us turn down a trip there). Carmel Valley (not to be confused with nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea) to San Francisco’s south is an equally fantastic, but often overlooked, destination for wine and food adventures.

What to do in Carmel Valley

Plan your weekend around winetasting at the area’s vineyards, like western-style Cowgirl Winery or Joyce , which specializes in wine from sustainability-minded vineyards. Then, decompress with an afternoon of hot and cool outdoor pools and a massage at Refuge Spa or a stroll through the shops at Carmel Valley Village.

Where to stay in Carmel Valley

Relax with a room at family-friendly Carmel Valley Ranch . Or for a more Tuscan-esque experience, stay at Bernardus Lodge & Spa , a wine country escape with rooms that overlook its 28-acre vineyard.

Read More: Why Carmel Valley Is the Wine Country Escape You Need

Footbridge over low tide at Tomales Bay

This 15-mile stretch of watery inlet is home to many dairy and oyster farms, as well as excellent natural vistas.

Photo by Jules Fairley/Shutterstock

9. Tomales Bay

  • Distance: one hour, 30 minutes north of San Francisco
  • Best for: oysters, cheese, and kayaking in the sea

If a weekend of eating fresh seafood, sampling locally made cheese, and kayaking in a tranquil bay sounds like your kind of getaway, then head to Tomales Bay. This area, just north of the Point Reyes National Seashore, refers to the 15-mile stretch of watery inlet separating Point Reyes Peninsula from mainland Marin County. It also happens to be home to many dairy and oyster farms, as well as scenic parks and natural vistas.

What to do in Tomales Bay

Start off your weekend in Tomales Bay with an outdoor activity or two, like watching elk in the Tule Elk Preserve , hiking to the Point Reyes Lighthouse, or kayaking in Tomales Bay. ( Blue Waters Kayaking in Marshall is a great place to rent from.)

After you’ve worked up an appetite, eat your way through the area’s specialties, oysters and cheese, with a stop at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company just north of Point Reyes Station, oysters at Hog Island or Tony’s Seafood in Marshall, and a locavore dinner at Saltwater Oyster Depot in Inverness. Locals know: For oysters to go, no-frills Tomales Bay Oyster Co. is the best in the bay.

Where to stay in Tomales Bay

Point Reyes Station is where all the action is, but we prefer to cozy up in a bay-side Airbnb, like Enchanting Garden Getaway in the tranquil town of Inverness on the west side of Tomales Bay.

Wooden footpath along the Pacific Ocean near Cambria

Take a leisurely walk along the Pacific Ocean while relaxing in Cambria.

Photo by Mada_Cris, Shutterstock.

10. Cambria

  • Distance: four hours south of San Francisco
  • Best for: whale watching, wine, and relaxing on the beach

Equidistant from San Francisco and Los Angeles, the coastal town of Cambria is further than most of the other weekend getaways on this list, but it offers a blissfully relaxing break for those who brave the extra miles. Known as where the pines meet the sea, this low-key town is full of opportunities to get outside and hike, explore tidepools, or hang out on the beach—then fill up on delicious seafood and wine while admiring views of the sunset.

What to do in Cambria

Lean into Cambria’s laid-back charm and while away your day with walks along Moonstone Beach or hike the bluffs at Fiscalini Ranch . Come sundown, enjoy a glass of wine and bite to eat at one of several locally owned eateries, like seaside Sea Chest Oyster Bar or Madeline’s , which sits along the just-lively-enough Main Street. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a drive to explore nearby sights like the tiny town of San Simeon and Big Sur to the north, Morro Bay State Park for hikes or beach hangs to the south, or Paso Robles wine country to the east.

Where to stay in Cambria

At the north end of Moonstone Beach, family-friendly Oceanpoint Ranch has comfortable rooms (many of which have wood-burning fireplaces), plenty of activities (shuffleboard, croquet, horseshoes), and an onsite restaurant that serves to-go breakfasts and hearty suppers. For a more woodsy experience, Cambria Pines Lodge is a cozy, forest retreat complete with a lounge perfect for enjoying a glass of local pinot by a warm fire.

Read more: Why Cambria Is Central California’s Most Relaxing Weekend Break

Row of five glasses and bottles of brandy at the new California Brandy House in Napa

Instead of wine, taste brandy, at the new California Brandy House in Napa.

Courtsey of California Brandy House

11. Napa Valley

  • Distance: one hour to 90 minutes northeast from San Francisco
  • Best for: wine, of course, but also so much more

Napa Valley may feel like an obvious choice for a Bay Area getaway (it is undeniably easy), but that doesn’t mean your itinerary has to be predictable. With an exciting array of new restaurant and hotel openings in the past two years, as well as lesser-known tours, activities, and tastings (and we don’t just mean wine), it’s easy to go beyond the most well-known attractions. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you could even turn your Napa getaway into a mini road trip from Napa Valley to Mendocino along the scenic Highway 128.

What to do in Napa Valley

Napa is about more than wine (though winetasting is certainly a top thing to do here). To see a different side, spend the day cycling its back roads with Napa Valley Bike Tours , hang out with a (very cute) crew of rescue animals at Oasis by Hoopes , or taste brandy at California Brandy House . Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Empress M , the vision of entrepreneur Margaret Wong that features gourmet Chinese dishes like shrimp dumplings, Sichuan calamari, and roast duck; Lucy Restaurant at Bardessono , a tranquil restaurant with seasonally inspired dishes like asparagus en cocotte; or North Block , whose menu by Momofuku alum chef Nick Tamburo revolves around a wood-fired oven and features such items as sourdough pizzas and cured trout with almond milk and trout roe.

Where to stay in Napa Valley

There’s no shortage of incredible hotels and resorts throughout Napa Valley, but there are several new and noteworthy places to consider checking in to. The George in downtown Napa is a nine-room inn in a historic, recently restored, 19th-century home where guests are treated to plush towels, comfortable beds, and fresh English muffins from nearby Model Bakery .

Further north in Calistoga, the iconic Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs has been transformed with its chic, fully renovated, midcentury modern–inspired rooms, an on-site eatery, House of Better , that serves Southwestern-style fare, a new outdoor spa, and several new room concepts, like a stand-alone one-bedroom bungalow.

Read more: Napa’s in Bloom: How to Plan the Perfect Spring Weekend

This article originally appeared online in 2020; it was most recently updated on June 22, 2023, to include current information.

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Weekend Getaways in California: 34 Trips You Can Take

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If you want to take a weekend trip in California, this guide includes more than three dozen places you can go for a quick getaway, from beautiful beaches and stunning forests to film locations and wine tastings.

If you're interested in finding things to do or planning a weekend getaway that might be closer to your home, you can skip on over to browse weekend getaways in Northern California or find out what the best things to do are in Southern California.

Beverly Hills

Who isn't familiar with Beverly Hills after the iconic drama 90210? Popular with art lovers and shoppers, this city is for anyone looking to enjoy a day of luxury or enjoy the most elite nightlife. Roam around and check out the million-dollar mansions, top designer showrooms, or art and film museums in the area.

California's Big Sur coast is the place most people think of when they say "California coast highway," a landscape of mountains diving into the sea, with a ribbon of road clinging to the cliffs. In Big Sur, the stars are brighter, and there's plenty of undeveloped landscape and some fantastic beaches.

Big Sur is popular for romantic getaways, outdoor recreation, driving tours, and hiking. It has some extraordinary beaches, too.

The northernmost town in Napa Valley is beautiful enough to take your breath away. Calistoga is the spa capital of Napa Valley, a charming small town with less pretense than some of its southern neighbors. You'll find some interesting things in the area besides its visitor-friendly wineries, making it an excellent place to enjoy a "wine country" scenery but with different things to do while you look at it. It's great for family outings, romantic getaways, and wine tasting.

Cambria is a longtime favorite of visitors to California's central coast, and with good reason. It's far enough from the ocean to be sunny even when the beach is shrouded in summer fog and a cute little downtown to stroll and browse through. The lodgings along Moonstone Beach below town represent possibly the greatest concentration of nice places to stay in the state, and the area is filled with a lot of nice bed and breakfast inns. Cambria is a good place to base a visit to Morro Bay or Hearst Castle as well.

Catalina Island

Catalina Island is only 26 miles from bustling Los Angeles but a world apart. Preserved in a conservancy, the island has only one town of any size, where residents often drive golf carts instead of automobiles. It's a place of extraordinary natural beauty and one of the best places to de-stress in the state.

Catalina is popular for romantic getaways, active weekends (especially diving), and family fun. It's a good place to get away from it all, rest and relax, or enjoy a romantic interlude.

Crescent City

Crescent City is on the northern California coast, just off U.S. Highway 101 and only 20 miles from the California-Oregon state line. It's the home of a port for a commercial fishing fleet and offers a variety of things to see in do for both locals and visitors. It's famous for the nearby redwood forests and whale watching, and finding agate rocks on the beach has become a touristy thing to do as well.

Death Valley National Park

TripSavvy / Amanda Capritto

In Death Valley, the earth sheds its mantle of green and gives way to fantastic geologic formations with fanciful names like Devil's Golf Course and Badwater Basin. It's the lowest (and hottest) place in the United States, yet its historic National Park lodge, the Inn at Death Valley (formerly the Furnace Creek Inn), offers pamper-me luxury and finer service than you might expect in the middle of the desert.

Death Valley is perfect for outdoor recreation and driving tours. Many visitors also enjoy the nearby ghost towns, and it's a photographers' favorite.

 Kevin Nguyen-Tu / Flickr / CC BY ​2.0

There's enough to do at Disneyland and California Adventure to keep people busy for days, but you can have a fabulous visit in just a couple of days if you use a few of our secrets. Ride the rides, try all of the delicious foods, and create those magical memories that'll last a lifetime.

Eureka is a good base location if you're interested in exploring Humboldt County and the redwood forests of Northern California. Or maybe you'd rather go looking for Bigfoot — the mythical creature has supposedly been sighted more here than in almost any part of California.

It's a great destination for hiking and outdoor recreation, or for just enjoying the beautiful Victorian architecture.

Hearst Castle

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Built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, the Hearst Castle is a fascinating look into the lifestyle of one of early 20th-century America's richest men. It sits atop a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with the bigger-than-life main house surrounded by guest quarters bigger than most visitors' homes. The castle is especially fun during an evening tour (summer only) or when it's decorated for the holidays.

Hearst Castle is perfect for family outings. Architecture-lovers may be interested in its designer Julia Morgan, and history buffs may enjoy the summer night tours, which showcase the Castle as it was in Hearst's day.

Hearst Castle is within 200 miles of Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose.

It's been decades since Hollywood gained its reputation as the center of American filmmaking, and today's Hollywood sometimes fails to live up to visitors' ideas of it. Nevertheless, it's fun to visit for the people who enjoy more touristy attractions, such as the Walk of Fame. It's also the home of the Hollywood Bowl, the Dolby Theatre where the Academy Awards are held, and more.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is perhaps Orange County's least-overdeveloped beach town and one of its prettiest. Created as an artist's getaway, Laguna Beach still feels artsy, with excellent art galleries and some fun summer arts festivals.

Head to Laguna Beach for beach play, shopping, art galleries, and festivals — its seaside location also creates the perfect mood for romance.

Lake County

Lake County lies north of Napa Valley, its southernmost town just up the hill from Calistoga. It's home to the largest natural freshwater lake named Clear Lake. It's completely within California's borders and about 100 miles in circumference. It's one of California's nicest hidden gems and is a must-visit for those interested in fishing, boating, and small wineries.

A clear lake in a natural bowl formed by the granite mountains around it, Lake Tahoe is a favorite of Northern Californians year-round. Although it's famous for winter skiing, it's even busier in summer when there are more things to do and a perfect place to escape the summer heat.

Lake Tahoe is great for family outings, outdoor recreation, skiing, driving tours, hiking, fishing, boating, and doing nothing. If you're interested in gambling, you can stay on the Nevada side of the lake.

Lassen National Park

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In 1915, decades before Mt. St. Helens blew its top, Mount Lassen erupted, raining volcanic ash for 200 miles. The blast created an other-worldly landscape of boiling mud pots, steaming ground, roaring fumaroles, and escaping sulfurous gasses, giving rise to place names like Bumpass Hell and Fart Gulch. Lassen National Park offers great experiences for family outings and outdoor recreation, and it has some beautiful driving tours. The thermal features draw photographers who try to capture their beauty. This lightly-visited national park deserves a lot more attention than it gets, so go now before everyone else discovers it.

Often overlooked as a tourist destination, Long Beach offers a central location for exploring other parts of the Los Angeles area, close to major freeways and with some fun attractions of its own, such as a gondola ride or an art walk in the East Village Art District.

Long Beach is great for family getaways and with night owls who enjoy music and dancing. It's also one of the country's most dog-friendly cities.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the biggest and most famous city in California, and there are more than just a few things to do and see.

Lining the Santa Monica Bay north of the Los Angeles Airport, the towns of Venice Beach and Marina Del Rey offer a wide variety of things to do and a range of environments from funky Venice Beach to the high-end hotels lining the marina. These beach towns offer beach play, shopping, water sports, and amusement rides.

The three main beach towns south of LAX—Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach provide some of the best places for a visitor to get a look at the real California beach life. You'll find places for long walks beside the ocean, volleyball games on the sand, surfers, and scenic piers where you can watch them.

If you're interested in the cultural and artistic side of L.A., you can explore more than 200 professional theaters and 300 museums, more than any other U.S. city. As long as you enjoy the arts, you'll find something in Los Angeles that fits your particular taste, whether it's cutting-edge or ultra-traditional.

It's hard to talk about Los Angeles without including movies and films. Many big films premiere in L.A., and the downtown area is full of beautiful, old movie palaces. It's the perfect destination for film buffs of all kinds, from those who enjoy classic silent films to cutting-edge indies.

The Malibu coast on the north edge of Los Angeles has a reputation bigger than its geographic area. If you're planning a trip to California and are looking forward to a beach day, Malibu is probably one of the first locations you'll think of, and for good reason. There are almost two dozen beaches in Malibu, and they all have their own unique characteristics. Outside of the beaches, you'll find some excellent wineries in the mountains just inland.

Mendocino Coast

California's Mendocino coast boasts some of its wildest and most spectacular coastal scenery. The area seems almost littered with cute little bed and breakfast inns, and few can resist the sight of the town of Mendocino and its New England-style architecture. The forests are filled with blooming rhododendrons in spring, and the Mendocino Botanical Garden always has something in bloom. It's a good place to settle into comfortable lodgings and do nothing at all.

Mono County

The area east of the Sierras is little visited, but one of California's most fascinating places. Its high desert landscape features dormant volcanoes, unique rock formations, a lake so salty that little can live in it, steaming geothermal features, and some of the country's best snow skiing.

If you're looking for a location great for family outings, outdoor recreation, driving tours, hiking fishing, and photography, Mono County is the destination for you. It's also affordable, with moderate hotel prices and many free attractions.

 Taylor McIntyre / © TripSavvy

Of the three towns on the Monterey Peninsula (the others are Pacific Grove and Carmel), Monterey is the most traditional, staying close to its roots as a cannery town. Today, carefully tended sea creatures find a home at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (a former sardine cannery) and Fisherman's Wharf is home to more whale-watching boats than fishing trawlers, but Monterey is still a favorite place for many visitors. Maybe it's those gorgeous ocean views.

Napa Valley

The long, narrow valley anchored by the town of Napa on the south and Calistoga on the north makes a perfect place for a weekend escape. Besides the obvious wine and food-related activities, you can have fun getting muddy during a spa day at the area's famous mud baths.

Newport Beach

Many Southern California residents don't even know about the charming part of Newport Beach, Balboa Peninsula, and the islands that cuddle inside the marina. This part of Orange County seems like it came from a different era and it's sure to charm you. Take a leisurely stroll on the pier, take a harbor cruise, or rent a Duffy boat.

Perhaps best known for its annual New Year's Day parade and as the home of Cal Tech University, Pasadena carries an air of early 20th-century elegance and is home to some of the best Arts and Crafts-style architecture you'll find anywhere. Check out the many fun museums the city has to offer, like the Kidspace Children's Museum .

Pasadena is good for architecture, art, and public gardens.

Palm Springs

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

In the 1950s, Palm Springs was Hollywood's playground, the site of many big-name movie stars' second homes. After a period of decline, the city is once again glamorous, with many of its "mid-century modern" (designer-speak for the 1950s) properties being restored to their former glory. Tour companies can take you to visit Indian Canyons, through the desert in a Hummer, for a drive along the San Andreas Fault, or to see the electricity-generating windmills up close.

Palm Springs is great for driving tours, shopping, casinos, golf, and simply laying around a swimming pool.

Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach is a collection of luxury hotels and challenging golf links, strung along the legendary 17-Mile Drive south of Carmel. Its natural beauty is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors, whether you're soaking up the sun or hitting the green of the many golf courses.

Pebble Beach is popular for golfing, outdoor recreation, excellent lodging, and dining—and its luscious scenery and top-notch restaurants make it ideal for romantic escapes.

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach calls itself "classic California," and with good reason. A five-minute drive from busy Highway 101 takes you to the quintessential California beach town, with a bustling fishing pier, surfers in the water, amazing saltwater taffy, and clam chowder for sale nearby. Just around the edge of the bay, you'll find Oceano Dunes, a large sand dune park where you can play all day.

Head to Pismo Beach for family outings, outdoor recreation, driving off-road vehicles on the sand dunes, beach camping, fishing, and beach play.

Russian River

The Russian River runs southward from northern California, turning west through Sonoma County toward the sea. The small towns on and near the Russian River are some of the cutest in this part of California—and each has a distinct personality. Swimming, kayaking, and canoeing are all welcome on the beautiful water, or if you prefer to stay on land, you can walk around the redwoods instead.

San Diego is California's sunniest coastal city and offers lots of water-oriented activities. It's also home to animal-based attractions and a fun theme park based on LEGO toys. San Diego's tourist scene changes slowly, but if you've never been or haven't been there in a long time, give it a try.

San Diego also boasts historic sights that include the state's first Spanish mission (1769), Old Town (and the new Gaslamp Quarter that replaced it), and a monument to the first European to explore the California coastline.

San Francisco

This tasty mix of tourist attractions and the real city behind the tourist facade will have you planning a return trip lickety-split.

Known for the Golden Gate Bridge, the iconic cable car, and the home of everyone's favorite family, the Tanner's (from the television show Full House), San Francisco is a diverse enough city that it has a little something for everyone.

If movies are your thing, San Francisco is an oft-repeated backdrop for films of all kinds. Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope Studios are here (in the oddly-shaped building at Kearny and Columbus), as is Lucasfilm (in the Presidio). The city is also known for its multitude of film festivals.

Santa Cruz sits at the north end of the Monterey Bay and is home to the largest surviving oceanfront amusement park in California. It's a cozy town with a lively music scene, extraordinary natural beauty, and a laid-back ambiance that makes it easy to relax. On summer weekends, Highway 17 going toward Santa Cruz is choked with cars heading for the beach, but the rest of the year, it's less crowded and more fun.

Santa Cruz is popular for family outings, outdoor recreation, surfing, boating, and shopping. In the winter, monarch butterflies congregate on the trees near Natural Bridge.

Santa Monica

It's technically a part of Los Angeles, but as L.A.'s most famous beach area it's worthy as a destination of its own. With a beautiful stretch of sand, a lavish oceanfront path, and a seaside amusement pier, it's easy to see why this is one of L.A.'s best attractions. If you're looking for a spot for a beach day or a place to spend all your money in shops, Santa Monica is a great choice.

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park and adjacent Kings Canyon are a great alternative to Yosemite. It's less visited, has bigger trees (it's home to General Sherman, the largest living thing on Earth), and features a glacier-carved granite valley that's beautiful. While the two are separate national parks, admission to one gets you admission to them. both.

Sequoia National Park is perfect for family outings, outdoor recreation, driving tours, and hiking. It's also a good place to get away from it all.

Yosemite is one of the country's oldest national parks and one of the most popular. Unfortunately, the park's beauty threatens to be its downfall, with the valley overcrowded in summer and the campgrounds so packed that you may feel like you're in the middle of a freeway at rush hour. Go to the valley off-season or head for locales outside the valley any time, and you'll have a lot more room.

Yosemite is iconic for its outdoor recreation, driving tours, hiking, fishing, wine, and cuisine. Off-season, it's a good place to get away from it all.

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Caribbean vacation charm is the order of the day in The Bahamas, where you’ll find pristine beaches and calypso beats down every street. And at the newly revamped Perfect Day at CocoCay, a Royal Caribbean® private destination, you’re in for game changing ways to chill and record-breaking thrills, like the tallest water slide in North America. Soak up all the adventure on 2, 3 or 4-night cruise sailing from Miami ,  Fort Lauderdale , or Port Canaveral (Orlando) .


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A respite for sun and sand seekers, the Bahamas is home to light blue beaches, translucent underwater caves, a rich royal heritage and exclusive private isles. These can all be found throughout a beautifully scattered string of 700 islands. Cruise to the Bahamas to take a dive and witness a majestic coral garden at Orange Bowl reef, hang out at ultra-luxurious resorts like Atlantis, and shop resort fashion in Paradise Island or Nassau .


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Soak up Mediterranean vibes in Catalina Island . Indulge in traditional Mexican flavors and spices in Ensenada , home of the fish taco. Or jump into the emerald waters of Cabo San Lucas. Adventure is calling. Travel back in time as you roam thousand-year-old Maya temples in Cozumel . There are plenty of weekend cruises sailing from Los Angeles or Florida .



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Weekend cruises are easy to grab and they sail from every coast. Visit the top weekend destinations conveniently with home ports across three states — sunny Florida, Lone Star-studded Texas and golden California.

Long stretch of Miramar Beach, in Destin, Florida and the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

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Four convenient home ports make Florida the undisputed cruising capital of the world. Depart from sultry Miami or tropical Fort Lauderdale . Venture to the Gulf Coast and sail from Tampa . Or blast off on a weekend cruise from Port Canaveral .


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Start your adventure with some good old-fashioned southern hospitality in Galveston, Texas . Don’t miss the city’s must-see landmark buildings and bustling Pleasure Pier. Then board your ship and sail on a short cruise getaway to the beautiful shores of Mexico and the western Caribbean.


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Los Angeles isn’t just the city for the stars — it’s the place to get your ultimate weekend getaway started. You’re in for incredible sights on picture-perfect west coast shores — from the Old-World Mediterranean charm of Catalina Island to Baja gem Ensenada and energetic Cabo San Lucas.


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Trade same old for way bold on a weekend getaway unlike any other — with short cruises you can travel directly from L.A. or Florida for a mini vacation.

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What happens on The World’s Biggest Weekend is too big to stay here. Get onboard one of the most unbelievable ships at sea and refuel with over 40 ways to dine and drink. Take on the longest, fastest Ultimate Abyss℠ ever. New chart-topping showstoppers blow your mind on stage, ice, water and air. And pool hop till you drop with countless ways to make a splash.


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Navigator of the Seas®

Your weekend plans are getting the ultimate upgrade —on the Amplified fleet favorite Navigator of the Seas® . Soak up the sun, and the scene, at the resort-style pool deck, and get in an island state of mind at the three-level The Lime and Coconut®. Swap going out for going all out with tiki-chic cocktails at The Bamboo Room, and the hottest tables this side of Vegas at Casino Royale℠.


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allure of the Seas®

Trade the same old for way bold. Allure of the Seas ® brings on thrills of Oasis Class proportions all in one weekend. Like an adrenaline-amping zip line ride and tide-taming FlowRider®* surf. Mouthwatering Italian dishes at Giovanni’s Table. And gravity-defying shows at the AquaTheater. Plus, unplug and chill at the adults-only Solarium.



Take memories to the max on short cruises to Perfect Day at CocoCay — our award-winning private destination in The Bahamas, where you can dial up the adventure with record-breaking ways to thrill and chill. Plus, savor craveworthy flavors onboard and ashore on your short cruise getaway.

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Chill out at your choice of six stretches of beach, each with its own vibe. Take a dip in the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, Oasis Lagoon® . Or luxe the day away in your choice of cabanas — including the first Overwater Cabanas in The Bahamas.

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Perfect Day at CocoCay delivers plenty of thrills to get your adrenaline pumping. Take on the longest waterslide in North America at Thrill Waterpark® . Conquer the Caribbean’s largest wave pool. Zoom along 1,600 feet of zip line. And even soar above the island on a helium balloon flight !

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When it’s time to refuel, the signature wings at Captain Jack’s® hit the right spot. Dig in to all-you-can-eat deliciousness at two buffets. Try one of the famous chicken sandwiches dressed in our secret sauce at Snack Shack. Or indulge in the lobster roll at Coco Beach Club® .

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Discover the ultimate beachfront party for your weekend getaway — Hideaway Beach℠ . From non-stop beats and endless craft cocktails to cabanas with exclusive plunge pool access and a personal attendant, this is your adults-only weekend in paradise.

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No matter which coast you’re on, you don’t need a lot of days off to enjoy a short weekend getaway. Snag our best weekend deals and level up a quick vacation getaway like never before. From laid-back beachside lounging to adrenaline-amping thrills — do it all along the tropics’ most sought-after shores.

Unwind on Cabo ’s world-famous beaches. Swim with stingrays in the turquoise waters of The Bahamas . Or brave the biggest wave pool in the Caribbean at our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay. Whether you sail from L.A. , Miami , Fort Lauderdale , Tampa or Orlando , you have more ways than ever to pack big adventures into a short weekend getaway — onboard the best and boldest ships in the world.

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Set sail to the best kid-friendly destination in the world on a cruise from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando to Perfect Day at CocoCay and discover all the amazing family-friendly activities, award-winning shows, and record-breaking attractions.

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Explore all the restaurants on the Perfect Day at CocoCay island and discover all the complimentary dining venues that offers loads of food and drink favorites that will fuel you up in between adventures.

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Celebrate your newly-wedded bliss on a romantic Caribbean honeymoon cruise to Perfect Day at CocoCay, the best Caribbean destination for newly married couples. Find cruise deals to Perfect Day at CocoCay

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Planning your time at the new CocoCay? If you want to unwind, head to Chill Island on the east side of CocoCay. Or visit the Oasis Lagoon or the Thrill Waterpark to get on the side of adventure.

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Experience the top 7 most thrilling things to do at the Perfect Day at CocoCay from sliding down the tallest waterslide in North America to zip lining across the island and much more.

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Discover Chill Island insider tips to all the relaxing things to do from renting overwater cabanas with VIP services, snorkeling with the friendly manta rays to finding the best places to unwind and soak up the island vibes.

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Thrill Waterpark at Perfect Day At CocoCay top 4 insider travel tips uncovers free things to do, places to go and thrills you can share with friends. Find cruise deals to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

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Six Secret Getaways in New Jersey Login or Register to save this to your Favorites.

Plan a weekend getaway at these hidden gems..

Sure, New Jersey has some incredible vacation destinations, from  Atlantic City  to  Cape May —but what about off-the-beaten-path gems, those small towns with charming Main Streets, quiet parks and independent restaurants and theaters? Take a weekend trip to discover our lesser-known destinations with this roundup of “secret” getaways throughout the state.  

Weekend Trip Idea #1 – Natural Beauty and Local Fare in Sussex County Escape to the breathtaking natural beauty of northern New Jersey, where rolling hillsides and sweeping views of the Kittatinny Mountains await. The stylish Fox and Bear Lodge in Glenwood makes the perfect home base. Be sure to check out one of the many restaurants and farm stands nearby—like Mohawk House (Sparta), Cow Patty’s (Wantage) and Pochuck Valley Farm Market (Glenwood). Looking to sip some local wines? Head to nearby Ventimiglia Vineyard (Wantage). Explore New Jersey’s great outdoors on the Appalachian Trail Boardwalk (just a half-mile from the lodge!), or venture to nearby High Point State Park (Sussex), the Stairway to Heaven Trail (Vernon Township) and Wawayanda State Park (Hewitt).  

Weekend Trip Idea #2 – Outdoor Activities and Theatre in Newton Surrounded by 14 acres of serene woodlands,  The Wooden Duck Bed & Breakfast  offers a much-needed reprieve from daily stresses. Enjoy the quiet country life as you spot birds and herds of grazing deer or as you unwind by the on-site pool or gardens. During the day, enjoy a variety of outdoor activities—from horseback riding or mountain biking to fishing or hunting—at nearby  Kittatinny Valley State Park . At night, head into the town of Newton for a movie, live concert, or theatrical production at  The Newton Theatre .  

Weekend Trip Idea #3 – Pick Your Passion in Somerset County Gardens and arboretums, eclectic dining and culinary activities, horseback riding, museums—find it all (and more!) in Somerset County . For a place to lay your head, stay at Bernards Inn (Bernardsville), a boutique hotel in the Somerset Hills. Dine on-site, or venture to a nearby restaurant like Osteria Morini , The Claremont Tavern , Bistro Seven Three , Tsuki Japanese Restaurant , The Station or Ninety Acres . Foodies can sharpen their culinary skills with a class at The Cooking School at Natirar or take a food tour of nearby Somerville with Beyond The Plate Food Tours . And there’s no shortage of other things to do in the area…

Check out one of the many gardens and arboretums, like Cross Estate Gardens (Bernardsville), Leonard J. Buck Garden (Far Hills) and Duke Farms (Hillsborough). Those looking for more active pursuits will feel right at home at Natirar , a 400-plus-acre property with paths for walking, jogging, biking and horseback riding (like the 1.3-mile Great Meadow Trail and 1-mile Upper Field Nature Trail). Museum lovers can head to the USGA Museum (Liberty Corner) and nearby Hunterdon County’s Northlandz (Flemington).  

Weekend Trip Idea #4 – Bright Ideas in Ocean County Toms River may elicit thoughts of summer and the Shore, but it’s a fantastic year-round destination. Stay at Mathis House , a charming B&B in the heart of downtown —and host to a renowned Victorian tea service. Learn something new at the Township of Ocean Historical Museum , Toms River Seaport Society & Maritime Museum and Insectropolis (the “bugseum” of New Jersey). Or head to Ocean County College, where you can see the stars at Robert J. Novins Planetarium or take in a show at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts . Or exercise your mind at one of two escape rooms in Toms River: East Coast Escape Room and Solve the Room .  

Weekend Trip #5 – History and Wine in Mays Landing The historic waterfront town of Mays Landing dates back to the 1700s, and its prime river location allowed it to become a bustling port during the Revolutionary War. Enjoy the local history when you stay in  The Inn at Sugar Hill , an 1840s mansion with six antique-filled rooms and an on-site restaurant serving up traditional American cuisine. Just a few miles south, explore the beautiful wetlands and local wildlife by walking along the 1.8-mile Swamp Trail Boardwalk at  Estell Manor Park , which was once home to Native Americans, followed by an 1800s glassworks factory and then a munitions plant during World War I. Now it is home to 1,700 acres of natural landscapes and the  Warren E. Fox Nature Center . Also nearby, sip award-winning wine at  Balić Winery , which dates back to the early 1900s, when descendants of early settlers planted the vineyards.  

Weekend Trip #6 – Arts, Culture and Cruising in Millville In Millville, stay at  Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott  for cozy accommodations and free breakfast, and get ready for a weekend of arts, culture and more. At The Museum of American Glass at  WheatonArts and Cultural Center , marvel at impressive works of glass displayed in eye-catching exhibits, or walk through the craft studios to watch artisans in action as they create colorful glass pieces. In the afternoon, spend a leisurely two hours with  Maurice River Cruises —and spot wildlife-filled meadows and waterways along the route. Once the sun goes down, catch a live concert, comedy or musical production at the  Levoy Theatre , where a packed schedule offers an array of entertainment.   

For even more weekend getaway inspiration, sign up for our e-newsletter , download a free official travel guide or check out other  New Jersey trip ideas . And as always, be sure you have the most up-to-date info about your destinations by checking their websites and social media pages before you go.

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Things to Do in Moscow, Russia - Moscow Attractions

Things to do in moscow, explore popular experiences, top attractions in moscow.

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1. Red Square

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2. Saint Basil's Cathedral

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3. Moscow Metro


4. State Tretyakov Gallery

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5. Moscow Kremlin

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6. Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve


7. Armoury Chamber

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8. Kolomenskoye Historical and Architectural Museum and Reserve

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9. Bolshoi Theatre

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10. The Museum of Cosmonautics

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12. Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory)

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Best romantic getaways in the u.s. for 2024.

Sometimes it's necessary to take a break from the stresses of real life and spend quality time with the person you love. And what better way to do that than to travel? To help you and your sweetheart plan the ideal romantic retreat, whether it's for an anniversary or just because, U.S. News considered ambiance, privacy and access to couple-friendly activities to rank the best romantic getaways in the USA. Use this list to pick your next one-on-one vacation, and vote for your favorite locales below. Looking to stay even closer to home? Check out these romantic weekend getaways by state .


Napa valley, charleston, sc, big sky, mt, amelia island, adirondacks, martha's vineyard, jackson hole.

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Kaua'i offers many distinct ways for both thrill-seeking and sun-worshipping couples to up the romance factor. You and your sweetheart can lounge on secluded beaches , relax in a private luxury villa or go on a kayaking adventure along the picture-perfect Napali Coast. For even more opportunities to marvel at nature, check out Kaua'i's scenic state parks like Koke'e and Waimea Canyon. Once you've tackled the Hawaiian island's trails hand in hand, consider booking a private helicopter tour for a bird's-eye view you and your better half will never forget.

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Few things are more romantic than sharing a remote island with your beau. Lanai's exclusivity can make it feel like the two of you are alone with the Hawaiian island breeze. Head to a luxury hotel or resort to indulge in high-end cuisine and soak up some sun by the pool before exploring the tiny island's landscape side by side. For a memorable hike that requires little effort, follow the short trail from the Four Seasons Resort Lanai to the Pu'upehe overlook. Also known as "Sweetheart Rock," this landmark offers stunning views of Hulopo'e Bay, especially at sunset.

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Brimming with rolling vineyards , cozy wine caverns, chic restaurants and top-notch hotels, this wine lover's paradise 60 miles north of San Francisco is the ultimate romantic getaway. Wine enthusiasts can sip Napa's award-winning reds at intimate venues like O'Brien Estate and Jarvis Estate or while savoring gourmet cuisine on the Napa Valley Wine Train. When couples need a break from being wined and dined, they can explore the scenic Napa River via kayak, take to the skies on a hot air balloon ride, or visit the town of Calistoga in northern Napa Valley for its spas and hot springs.

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Another ideal retreat for wine connoisseurs , Sonoma is known to be more laid back than its neighbor, Napa, and boasts more than 425 wineries. However, strolling through vineyard vines isn't the only must-do activity for twosomes. Outdoor lovers will want to explore regional parks such as Taylor Mountain (for its trails) and North Sonoma Mountain (to enjoy a picnic surrounded by the peaks of Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley). Plenty of Sonoma's hotels offer spa treatments, but what could be more memorable than a massage in a 22-foot wine barrel? Book side-by-side treatments at Magical Massage for a one-of-a-kind experience.

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A low-key getaway, Charleston, South Carolina, is filled with pastel-hued historic homes, art galleries and tasty Lowcountry cuisine (perfect for foodie couples). To dial up the romance, take in the sights from a horse-drawn carriage or sign up for a sunset harbor cruise just for two. For a quiet shoreside escape free from crowds, head to one of the nearby beaches like Sullivan's Island. Accommodations range from beachfront resorts to charming bed-and-breakfasts but keep in mind you'll likely have to pay a pretty penny for a stay in the historic district.

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It's easy to proclaim your love when you're suspended atop red rocks and looking out upon miles of colorful Arizona landscape. After working up a sweat hiking Sedona's sandstone buttes, bring those romantic vibes indoors for a couples massage at one of the city's world-renowned wellness retreats . Or, if you and your amour prefer relaxing with a glass of vino, save time for a self-guided tour of the Verde Valley Wine Trail, which boasts 15 venues ranging from small tasting rooms to vast wineries sprawling along the banks of Oak Creek. At night, hold your loved one close and gaze at the star-filled sky.

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Travel to Big Sur for its windswept coastline and rugged mystique. This peaceful destination carved out of the California coast offers a couple of luxurious hotels, but nature is the real star in Big Sur. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike the area's redwood-lined trails and admire picturesque Pfeiffer Beach before setting up a tent and roughing it beneath the stars. For an atmospheric picnic, head to Sand Dollar Beach, where couples can admire the scenery sans the crowds. For a more upscale outing, take a day trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea for its art galleries and fairy tale cottages.

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Let Big Sky's vast terrain, fresh air and rustic romance carry you and your loved one away from the ins and outs of everyday life. Every winter, couples flock to this Montana destination for its top-notch ski resort (complete with a heated chairlift), though the offseason has its charms, too (think: fly fishing on scenic rivers, hiking under an endless blue sky or taking a road trip to Yellowstone National Park.) For a curated Montana experience, spring for an all-inclusive ranch, where you'll find private cabins, homegrown cuisine and personalized service.

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What could be more romantic than a sunrise beachfront horseback ride for two? Or a private sunset cruise aboard a 40-foot catamaran? You and your love can experience this and more on Amelia Island, one of Florida's Atlantic coast barrier islands. Hop on bikes and explore the scenic Amelia Island Trail, or pedal to downtown Fernandina Beach for its Victorian-style architecture, antique shops and galleries. After a day spent sightseeing, pamper weary muscles with a couples massage at one of the luxury resorts that call the island home.

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This tiny Massachusetts island exudes New England charm. Stroll arm in arm with your sweetheart down cobblestone streets, unwind on white sand beaches and snap selfies in front of iconic lighthouses, such as Brant Point Lighthouse and Great Point Lighthouse. Then, grab a lobster roll to share from one of the island's premier seafood restaurants, and revel in the extraordinary Atlantic Ocean views from the Sconset Bluff Walk. When you're ready to retire for the night, you'll have your pick of quaint Nantucket inns.

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Whether you time your trip for summer boating, fall leaf peeping or snow season, upstate New York makes for an intimate setting. Depending on when you visit, you can bond with your beloved on a sleigh ride, a paddling trip or a scenic hike, where you'll be treated to awe-inspiring views of the Adirondacks' forests, lakes and mountains. When you're adventured out, bop between some of New York's most iconic small towns, including Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, for local dining and shopping. What's more, you can choose from accommodations ranging from luxe lodges packed with amenities to secluded wooden cabins for two.

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Savannah, Georgia, is tailor-made for a weekend getaway. Spanish moss hangs over sidewalks that lead past hundreds of historic homes. The lively River Street area features a bevy of shopping, dining and nightlife options, while nearby islands provide a relaxing respite. Meanwhile, Forsyth Park provides the ultimate romantic backdrop for memorable couples photos, and if you're feeling brave, you can hold each other tight during a ghost tour at the hauntingly beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery. For charming digs in the heart of the city, hang your hat at one of Savannah's charming bed-and-breakfast accommodations, or rent a snug carriage house.

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If your ideal romantic escape entails a lazy agenda, shingle-covered beach houses and quaint towns, Martha's Vineyard is just the place. On this Massachusetts island, you can relax on quiet beaches, sample decadent fare at upscale restaurants and explore the historic Edgartown Lighthouse, which offers incredible views of the harbor and neighboring Chappaquiddick Island. On a warm, sunny day, venture to Oak Bluffs, where you'll find charming gingerbread cottages at The Campground. For the ultimate romantic retreat, book a stay at one of the island's top hotels, some of which offer complimentary bike rentals, beach chairs and continental breakfast to guests.

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Reconnect with your sweetie during a getaway to Jackson Hole. This piece of Wyoming paradise is ideal for all kinds of outdoor pursuits, including hiking and skiing. Should you need to soothe your aching muscles after an active day, go for a dip in the Granite Hot Springs, Astoria Hot Springs or your high-end resort's outdoor hot tub. Whether your dream romantic vacation includes horseback riding through the majestic Grand Teton National Park, sipping wine by a crackling fireplace or unwinding at a world-class spa, Jackson Hole is the perfect place for you and your other half.

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For lovebirds who enjoy skiing and cuddling up by a fireplace, Aspen is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Spend your days sharing ski lifts in the snow-capped mountains before partaking in the highly touted après ski scene. If you arrive during the warmer months, take advantage of superb hiking and scenic gondola rides. Then, retreat to one of the many hotels and resorts that offer glitzy accommodations for two – not to mention some must-visit spas . If you're not ready to turn in just yet, Aspen's nightlife options include plenty of live music venues, clubs and cocktail lounges.

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With 40 miles of protected seashore, this region of Massachusetts offers plenty of space for that long walk on the beach. And the slow pace of Cape Cod means you don't have to focus on the hustle and bustle of daily life – you can spend quality time together swimming, biking and eating fresh seafood instead. Cape Cod is also home to a handful of breweries and wineries, so you can toast to your special someone during a tasting. Splurge on one of the Cape's five-star accommodations for spectacular ocean views and sumptuous amenities like soaking tubs for two, in-room fireplaces and private balconies.

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Home » Europe » Moscow

EPIC MOSCOW Itinerary! (2024)

Moscow is the heart of Mother Russia. Just the mention of this city conjures images of colorful bulbous pointed domes, crisp temperatures, and a uniquely original spirit!

Moscow has an incredibly turbulent history, a seemingly resilient culture, and a unique enchantment that pulls countless tourists to the city each year! Although the warmer months make exploring Moscow’s attractions more favorable, there’s just something about a fresh snowfall that only enhances the appearance of the city’s iconic sites!

If you’re a first-time visitor to Moscow, or simply wanting to see as much of the city as possible, this Moscow itinerary will help you do just that!

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Best Time To Visit Moscow

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Here is a quick look at the seasons so you can decide when to visit Moscow!

The summer months (June-August) are a great time to travel to Moscow to take advantage of the enjoyable mild temperatures. This is considered peak travel season. Bear in mind that hotel prices rise along with the temperatures!

when to visit moscow

If you’re planning a trip to Moscow during fall (September-November) try to plan for early fall. This way the temperatures will still be pleasant and winter won’t be threatening.

Russian winters (December-February) are not for the faint of heart as Napoleon learned to his peril. Some days the sun will be out for less than an hour, and snow is guaranteed. Although winters are exceptionally cold, this is when you’ll get a true glimpse of the Moscow experience!

The best time to visit Moscow is during spring  (March-May). The temperatures will begin to creep up and the sun begins to shine for significant portions of the day. Hotel rates will also have yet to skyrocket into peak ranges!

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With a Moscow City Pass , you can experience the best of Moscow at the CHEAPEST prices. Discounts, attractions, tickets, and even public transport are all standards in any good city pass – be sure invest now and save them $$$ when you arrive!

Moscow is a large city with many accommodation options to choose from. Staying in a location that fits with your travel plans will only enhance your Moscow itinerary. Here is a brief introduction to a few great areas of the city we recommend checking out!

The best place to stay in Moscow to be close to all the action is Kitay-Gorod. This charming neighborhood will put you within walking distance to Moscow’s famous Red Square, thus cutting down on travel time. This will allow you to see more of the city in a shorter amount of time!

where to stay in moscow

It’s surrounded by restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. If you’re a first-time visitor to Moscow, or just planning a quick weekend in Moscow, then this area is perfect for you!

Another great area to consider is the Zamoskvorechye district. This area of the city offers a blend of new and old Moscow. It has an artsy vibe and there are plenty of fun sites you can explore outside of the main touristy areas of Moscow.

Of course, as in all areas of Moscow, it’s close to public transportation that will quickly connect you with the rest of the city and make your Moscow itinerary super accessible!

Best Airbnb in Moscow – Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow

Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow

Modern and cozy, this apartment is in the heart of Old Moscow. Bordering the Basmanny and Kitay-Gorod districts, this two-bedroom flat is walking distance to the Kremlin and Red Square. Safe, quiet, and comfortable, this is the best Airbnb in Moscow, no question!

Best Budget Hotel in Moscow – Izmailovo Alfa Hotel

moscow itinerary

The Izmailovo Alfa Hotel is a very highly rated accommodation that provides all the components necessary for a comfortable trip to Moscow. There is an on-site restaurant, bar, fitness center, and an airport shuttle service. The rooms are modern and spacious and are equipped with a TV, heating/air conditioning, minibar, and more!

Best Luxury Hotel in Moscow – Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre

moscow itinerary

If you’re touring Moscow in luxury, the Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre is the hotel for you! Elegantly furnished rooms are equipped with a minibar, flat-screen TV,  in-room safes, as well as tea and coffee making facilities! Bathrooms come with bathrobes, slippers, and free toiletries. There is also an onsite restaurant, bar, and fitness center.

Best Hostel in Moscow – Godzillas Hostel

moscow itinerary

Godzillas Hostel is located in the center of Moscow, just a short walk from all the major tourist attractions and the metro station. Guests will enjoy all the usual hostel perks such as self-catering facilities, 24-hour reception, Free Wi-Fi, and security lockers. This is one of the best hostels in Moscow and its wonderful social atmosphere and will make your vacation in Moscow extra special!

Godzillas Hostel is one of our favourites in Moscow but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

An important aspect of planning any trip is figuring out the transportation situation. You’re probably wondering how you’re going to get to all of your Moscow points of interest right? Luckily, this sprawling city has an excellent network of public transportation that will make traveling a breeze!

The underground metro system is the quickest and most efficient way to travel around Moscow. Most visitors rely exclusively on this super-efficient transportation system, which allows you to get to pretty much anywhere in the city! It’s also a great option if you’re planning a Moscow itinerary during the colder months, as you’ll be sheltered from the snow and freezing temperatures!

moscow itinerary

If you prefer above-ground transportation, buses, trams, and trolleybuses, run throughout the city and provide a rather comfortable alternative to the metro.

Moscow’s metro, buses, trams, and trolleybuses are all accessible with a ‘Troika’ card. This card can be topped up with any sum of money at a metro cash desk. The ticket is simple, convenient, and even refundable upon return to a cashier!

No matter which method you choose, you’ll never find yourself without an easy means of getting from point A to point B!

Red Square | Moscow Kremlin | Lenin’s Mausoleum | St. Basil’s Cathedral  | GUM Department Store

Spend the first day of your itinerary taking your own self guided Moscow walking tour around the historic Red Square! This is Moscow’s compact city center and every stop on this list is within easy walking distance to the next! Get ready to see all of the top Moscow landmarks!

Day 1 / Stop 1 – The Red Square

  • Why it’s awesome: The Red Square is the most recognizable area in Moscow, it has mesmerizing architecture and centuries worth of history attached to its name.
  • Cost: Free to walk around, individual attractions in the square have separate fees. 
  • Food nearby: Check out Bar BQ Cafe for friendly service and good food in a great location! The atmosphere is upbeat and they’re open 24/7!

The Red Square is Moscow’s historic fortress and the center of the Russian government. The origins of the square date back to the late 15th century, when Ivan the Great decided to expand the Kremlin to reflect Moscow’s growing power and prestige!

During the 20th century, the square became famous as the site for demonstrations designed to showcase Soviet strength. Visiting the Red Square today, you’ll find it teeming with tourists, who come to witness its magical architecture up close!

The Red Square

The square is the picture postcard of Russian tourism, so make sure to bring your camera when you visit! No matter the season, or the time of day, it’s delightfully photogenic! 

It’s also home to some of Russia’s most distinguishing and important landmarks, which we’ve made sure to include further down in this itinerary. It’s an important center of Russia’s cultural life and one of the top places to visit in Moscow!

In 1990, UNESCO designated Russia’s Red Square as a World Heritage site. Visiting this historic site is a true bucket-list event and essential addition to your itinerary for Moscow!

Day 1 / Stop 2 – The Moscow Kremlin

  • Why it’s awesome: The Moscow Kremlin complex includes several palaces and cathedrals and is surrounded by the Kremlin wall. It also houses the principal museum of Russia (the Kremlin Armory).
  • Cost: USD $15.00
  • Food nearby: Bosco Cafe is a charming place to grat a casual bite to eat. They have excellent coffee and wonderful views of the Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin!

The iconic Moscow Kremlin , also known as the Kremlin museum complex, sits on Borovitsky Hill, rising above the Moscow River. It is a fortified complex in the center of the city, overlooking several iconic buildings in the Red Square!

It’s the best known of the Russian Kremlins – citadels or fortress’ protecting and dominating a city. During the early decades of the Soviet era, the Kremlin was a private enclave where the state’s governing elite lived and worked.

The Kremlin is outlined by an irregularly shaped triangular wall that encloses an area of 68 acres! The existing walls and towers were built from 1485 to 1495. Inside the Kremlin museum complex, there are five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers.

The Armoury Chamber is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace’s complex and is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1851. It showcases Russian history and displays many cherished relics. Definitely make sure to check out this museum while you’re here!

The Moscow Kremlin

The churches inside the Moscow Kremlin are the Cathedral of the Dormition, Church of the Archangel, Church of the Annunciation, and the bell tower of Ivan Veliki (a church tower).

The five-domed Cathedral of the Dormition is considered the most famous. It was built from 1475–1479 by an Italian architect and has served as a wedding and coronation place for great princes, tsars, and emperors of Russia. Church services are given in the Kremlin’s numerous cathedrals on a regular basis.

The Grand Kremlin Palace was the former Tsar’s Moscow residence and today it serves as the official workplace of the President of the Russian Federation (Vladimir Putin seems to have bagged that title for life) .

Insider Tip: The Kremlin is closed every Thursday! Make sure to plan this stop on your Moscow itinerary for any other day of the week!

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Lenin’s Mausoleum

  • Why it’s awesome: The mausoleum displays the preserved body of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin .
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Khinkal’naya is a charming Georgian restaurant with vaulted ceilings and exposed brick. It’s a popular place with locals and right next to the Red Square!

Lenin’s Mausoleum, also known as Lenin’s Tomb, is the modernist mausoleum for the revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. It’s located within the Red Square and serves as the resting place for the Soviet leader! His preserved body has been on public display since shortly after his death in 1924.

It’s located just a few steps away from the Kremlin Wall and is one of the most controversial yet popular Moscow attractions!

Admission is free for everyone, you’ll only need to pay if you need to check a bag. Before visitors are allowed to enter the mausoleum, they have to go through a metal detector first. No metal objects, liquids, or large bags are allowed in the mausoleum!

Lenins Mausoleum

Expect a line to enter the building, and while you’re inside the building, you’ll be constantly moving in line with other visitors. This means you won’t be able to spend as long as you’d like viewing the mausoleum, but you’ll still be able to get a good look. Pictures and filming while inside the building are strictly prohibited, and security guards will stop you if they see you breaking this rule.

The mausoleum is only open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday – unless it’s a public holiday or a day scheduled for maintenance. The hours it’s open for each day are limited, make sure to check online before you visit to make sure you can fit this into your Moscow itinerary for that day!

Insider Tip: The Lenin’s Museum is there for people to pay their respect; remember to keep silent and move along quickly, it’s not intended for people to congregate around. Also, men are not allowed to wear hats and everyone must take their hands out of their pockets when inside the building.

Day 1 / Stop 4 – St. Basil’s Cathedral

  • Why it’s awesome: A dazzling designed cathedral that showcases Russia’s unique architecture. This cathedral is one of the most recognizable symbols of the country!
  • Cost: USD $8.00
  • Food nearby: Moskovskiy Chaynyy Klub is a cozy cafe serving food items and pipping hot tea; it’s the perfect place to go if you’re visiting Moscow during the winter months!

Located in the Red Square, the ornate 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral is probably the building you picture when you think of Moscow’s unique architecture. Its colorful onion-shaped domes tower over the Moscow skyline!

The cathedral was built from 1555-1561 by order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. It was designed with an iconic onion dome facade and enchanting colors that captivate all who see it. Fun fact: If you’re wondering why Russian churches have onion domes, they are popularly believed to symbolize burning candles!

This iconic cathedral has become a symbol of Russia due to its distinguishing architecture and prominent position inside the Red Square. It’s one of the most beautiful, wonderful, and mesmerizing historical cathedrals in the world!

St. Basils Cathedral

The interior of the church surprises most people when they visit. In contrast to the large exterior, the inside is not so much one large area, but rather a collection of smaller areas, with many corridors and small rooms. There are 9 small chapels and one mausoleum grouped around a central tower.

Visiting the inside is like walking through a maze, there are even small signs all around the cathedral tracing where to walk, and pointing you in the right direction! The walls are meticulously decorated and painted with intricate floral designs and religious themes.

The church rarely holds service and is instead a museum open for the public to visit.

Insider Tip: During the summer months the line to go inside the cathedral can get quite long! Make sure to arrive early or reserve your tickets online to guarantee quick access into the cathedral!

Day 1 / Stop 5 – GUM Department Store

  • Why it’s awesome: This is Russia’s most famous shopping mall! It’s designed with elegant and opulent architecture and provides a real sense of nostalgia!
  • Cost: Free to enter
  • Food nearby: Stolovaya 57 is a cafeteria-style restaurant with a variety of inexpensive Russian cuisine menu items including soups, salads, meat dishes, and desserts. It’s also located inside the GUM department store, making it very easily accessible when you’re shopping!

The enormous GUM Department Store is located within the historic Red Square. It has a whimsical enchantment to it that sets it apart from your typical department store.

A massive domed glass ceiling lines the top of the building and fills the interior with natural sunlight. There are live plants and flowers placed throughout the mall that give the shopping complex a lively and cheerful feel! A playful fountain sits in the center, further adding to the malls inviting a sense of wonder and amusement!

The GUM department store opened on December 2, 1893. Today, it includes local and luxury stores, including Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and many more! There are numerous cafes, restaurants, and even a movie theater inside!

GUM Department Store

For a special treat, head into Gastronom 1. This 1950s-style shop sells gourmet food items, like wine, freshly-baked pastries, cheese, Russian chocolate, and of course, vodka! Also, be on the lookout for a bicycle pedaling ice cream truck with an employing selling ice cream!

The ambiance is simply amazing, a trip to this idyllic shopping mall is an absolute must on any Moscow itinerary!

Insider Tip: Make sure to carry some small change on you in case you need to use the restroom, you’ll need to pay 50 rubles – or about USD $0.80 to use the bathroom in GUM.

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Novodevichy Convent | Gorky Park | State Tretyakov Gallery | All-Russian Exhibition Center | Bolshoi Theater

On your 2 day itinerary in Moscow, you’ll have a chance to use the city’s excellent public transportation service! You’ll explore a few more of Moscow’s historic highlight as well as some modern attractions. These sites are a little more spread out, but still very easily accessible thanks to the metro!

Day 2 / Stop 1 – Novodevichy Convent

  • Why it’s awesome: The Novodevichy Convent is rich in imperial Russian history and contains some of Russia’s best examples of classical architecture!
  • Cost: USD $5.00
  • Food nearby: Culinary Shop Karavaevs Brothers is a cozy and simple place to have a quick bite, they also have vegetarian options!

The Novodevichy Convent is the best-known and most popular cloister of Moscow. The convent complex is contained within high walls, and there are many attractions this site is known for! 

The six-pillared five-domed Smolensk Cathedral is the main attraction. It was built to resemble the Kremlin’s Assumption Cathedral and its facade boasts beautiful snowy white walls and a pristine golden onion dome as its centerpiece. It’s the oldest structure in the convent, built from 1524 -1525, and is situated in the center of the complex between the two entrance gates.

There are other churches inside the convent as well, all dating back from many centuries past. The convent is filled with an abundance of 16th and 17th-century religious artworks, including numerous large and extravagant frescos!

Novodevichy Convent

Just outside the convent’s grounds lies the Novodevichy Cemetery. Here, you can visit the graves of famous Russians, including esteemed authors, composers, and politicians. Probably the most intriguing gravestone belongs to Russian politician Nikita Khruschev!

The Novodevichy Convent is located near the Moscow River and offers a peaceful retreat from the busy city. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The convent remains remarkably well-preserved and is an outstanding example of Moscow Baroque architecture! 

Insider Tip: To enter the cathedrals inside the complex, women are advised to cover their heads and shoulders, while men should wear long pants.

Day 2 / Stop 2 – Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

  • Why it’s awesome: A large amusement area in the heart of the city offering many attractions!
  • Cost: Free! 
  • Food nearby: Check out Mepkato, located inside Gorky Central Park for a casual meal in a cozy setting. There are indoor and outdoor seating options and the restaurant is child-friendly!

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is a large green space in the heart of Moscow. The park opened in 1928, and it stretches along the scenic embankment of the Moskva River. It covers an area of 300-acres and offers a lovely contrast from the compact city center.

You’ll find all sorts of wonderful attractions, from boat rides to bike rentals to tennis courts and ping-pong tables, and much more! there are an open-air cinema and festive events and concerts scheduled in the summer months.  A wide selection of free fitness classes is also offered on a regular basis, including jogging, roller skating, and dancing!

Although many of the options you’ll find here are more suited for outdoor leisure during the summer, you’ll also a selection of winter attractions, including one of Europe’s largest ice rinks for ice-skating!

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

If you’re trying to decide what to do in Moscow with kids, the park also offers several venues designed specifically for kids. Check out the year-round Green School which offers hands-on classes in gardening and art! You can also feed the squirrels and birds at the Golitsinsky Ponds!

The park is very well maintained and kept clean and the entrance is free of charge, although most individual attractions cost money. There is also Wi-Fi available throughout the park.

With so many attractions, you could easily spend all day here! If you’re only planning a 2 day itinerary in Moscow, make sure to plan your time accordingly and map out all the areas you want to see beforehand!

Day 2 / Stop 3 – The State Tretyakov Gallery

  • Why it’s awesome: The gallery’s collection consists entirely of Russian art made by Russian artists!
  • Food nearby : Brothers Tretyakovs is located right across the street from the gallery. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric restaurant serving top quality food and drinks!

The State Tretyakov Gallery was founded in 1856 by influential merchant and collector Pavel Tretyakov.  The gallery is a national treasury of Russian fine art and one of the most important museums in Russia!

It houses the world’s best collection of Russian art and contains more than 130, 000 paintings, sculptures, and graphics! These works have been created throughout the centuries by generations of Russia’s most talented artists!

The State Tretyakov Gallery

The exhibits range from mysterious 12th-century images to politically charged canvases. The collection is rich and revealing and offers great insight into the history and attitudes of this long-suffering yet inspired people!

All pictures are also labeled in English. If you plan to take your time and see everything inside the museum it will take a good 3-4 hours, so make sure to plan your Moscow trip itinerary accordingly! This gallery is a must-see stop for art lovers, or anyone wanting to explore the local culture and history of Russia in a creative and insightful manner! 

Insider Tip: When planning your 2 days in Moscow itinerary, keep in mind that most museums in Moscow are closed on Mondays, this includes The State Tretyakov Gallery!

Day 2 / Stop 4 – All-Russian Exhibition Center

  • Why it’s awesome: This large exhibition center showcases the achievements of the Soviet Union in several different spheres. 
  • Food nearby: Varenichnaya No. 1 serves authentic and homestyle Russian cuisine in an intimate and casual setting.

The All-Russian Exhibition Center is a massive park that presents the glory of the Soviet era! It pays homage to the achievements of Soviet Russia with its many different sites found on the property.

The center was officially opened in 1939 to exhibit the achievements of the Soviet Union. It’s a huge complex of buildings and the largest exhibition center in Moscow. There are several exhibition halls dedicated to different achievements and every year there are more than one hundred and fifty specialized exhibitions!

All Russian Exhibition Center

The Peoples Friendship Fountain was constructed in 1954 and is a highlight of the park. The stunning gold fountain features 16 gilded statues of girls, each representing the former Soviet Union republics. 

The Stone Flower Fountain was also built in 1954 and is worth checking out. The centerpiece of this large fountain is a flower carved from stones from the Ural Mountains! Along the side of the fountain are various bronze sculptures.

You will find many people zipping around on rollerblades and bicycles across the large area that the venue covers. It’s also home to amusement rides and carousels, making it the perfect place to stop with kids on your Moscow itinerary! Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and allow a few hours to explore all the areas that interest you!

Day 2 / Stop 5 – Bolshoi Theater

  • Why it’s awesome: The Bolshoi Theater is a historic venue that hosts world-class ballet and opera performances!
  • Cost: Prices vary largely between USD $2.00 –  USD $228.00 based on seat location.
  • Food nearby: Head to the Russian restaurant, Bolshoi for high-quality food and drinks and excellent service!

The Bolshoi Theater is among the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world! It also boasts the world’s biggest ballet company, with more than 200 dancers!

The theater has been rebuilt and renovated several times during its long history. In 2011 it finished its most recent renovation after an extensive six-year restoration that started in 2005. The renovation included an improvement in acoustics and the restoration of the original Imperial decor.

The Bolshoi Theater has put on many of the world’s most famous ballet acts! Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake premiered at the theater in 1877 and other notable performances of the Bolshoi repertoire include Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker!

Bolshoi Theater

Today, when you visit the theater, you can expect a magical performance from skilled singers, dancers, and musicians with the highest level of technique!

If you don’t have time to see a show, the theater also provides guided tours on select days of the week. Tours are given in both Russian and English and will provide visitors with a more intimate look at the different areas of the theater!

The stage of this iconic Russian theater has seen many outstanding performances. If you’re a fan of the performing arts, the Bolshoi Theater is one of the greatest and oldest ballet and opera companies in the world, making it a must-see attraction on your Moscow itinerary!

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Cosmonautics Museum | Alexander Garden | Ostankino Tower | Izmaylovo District | Soviet Arcade Museum

Now that we’ve covered what to do in Moscow in 2 days, if you’re able to spend more time in the city you’re going to need more attractions to fill your time. Here are a few more really cool things to do in Moscow we recommend!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

  • Hear the timeline of the ‘space race’ from the Russian perspective
  • This museum is fun for both adults and children!
  • Admission is USD $4.00

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is a museum dedicated to space exploration! The museum explores the history of flight, astronomy, space exploration, space technology, and space in the arts. It houses a large assortment of Soviet and Russian space-related exhibits, and the museum’s collection holds approximately 85,000 different items!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

The museum does an excellent job of telling the full story of the exciting space race between the USSR and the US! It highlights the brightest moments in Russian history and humanity and is very interesting and fun for all ages!

If you’re a fan of space or just curious about gaining insight into Russia’s fascinating history of space exploration, make sure to add this to your 3 day itinerary in Moscow!

The Alexander Garden

  • A tranquil place to relax near the Red Square
  • Green lawns dotted with sculptures and lovely water features
  • The park is open every day and has no entrance fee

The Alexander Garden was one of the first urban public parks in Moscow! The garden premiered in 1821 and was built to celebrate Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s forces in 1812!

The park is beautiful and well maintained with paths to walk on and benches to rest on. The park contains three separate gardens: the upper garden, middle garden, and lower garden.

The Alexander Garden

Located in the upper garden, towards the main entrance to the park is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with its eternal flame. This monument was created in 1967 and contains the body of a soldier who fell during the Great Patriotic War!

The park stretches along all the length of the western Kremlin wall for about half a mile. Due to its central location in the city, it’ll be easily accessible when you’re out exploring The Red Square.

It provides a bit of relief from the city’s high-energy city streets. Bring a picnic lunch, go for a walk, or just sit and people watch, this is one of the best Moscow sites to wind-down and relax!

Ostankino Television Tower

  • Television and radio tower in Moscow
  • Currently the tallest free-standing structure in Europe
  • Make sure you bring your passport when you visit, you can’t go up without it!

For spectacular views of the city, make sure to add the Ostankino Television Tower to your itinerary for Moscow! This impressive free-standing structure provides stunning views of the city in every direction. The glass floor at the top also provides great alternative views of the city!

Ostankino Television Tower

It takes just 58 seconds for visitors to reach the Tower’s observation deck by super fast elevator. The tower is open every day for long hours and is a great site in Moscow to check out! There is even a restaurant at the top where you can enjoy rotating views of the city while you dine on traditional Russian cuisine or European cuisine!

The tower is somewhat of an architectural surprise in a city that is not known for skyscrapers! To see the city from a new perspective, make sure to add this stop to your Moscow itinerary!

Izmaylovo District

  • The most popular attractions in this district are the kremlin and the flea market
  • Outside of the city center and easy to reach via metro
  • Most popular during the summer and on weekends

Travel outside the city center and discover a unique area of the city! The Izmaylovo District is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and one of the coolest places to see in Moscow! The two main attractions we recommend checking out are the Kremlin and the flea market.

The Izmailovo Kremlin was established as a cultural center and molded after traditional Russian architecture. This colorful complex is home to several single-subject museums, including a Russian folk art museum and a vodka museum!

Izmaylovo District

Next to the Kremlin is the Izmailovo open-air market, which dates back to the 17th century! The market is connected to the Izmailovo Kremlin by a wooden bridge. Pick up all your Russian souvenirs here, including traditional handicrafts, paintings, books, retro toys, and Soviet memorabilia!

You will find many hand-made and hand-painted options available at higher prices, as well as mass-produced souvenir options at lower prices!

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

  • Closed on Mondays
  • Filled with old arcade games that visitors get to try out!
  • The museum also includes a small cafe and burger shop

For something a little different, check out the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games! The museum features roughly 60 machines from the Soviet era, including video games, pinball machines, and collaborative hockey foosball! The machines inside the museum were produced in the USSR in the mid-1970s.

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

The best part is, most of the games are still playable! Purchase tickets and try the games out for yourself! The museum also has a neat little screening room that plays old Soviet cartoons and an area with Soviet magazines! This unique attraction is a fun addition to a 3 day itinerary in Moscow, and an attraction that all ages will enjoy! 

Whether you’re spending one day in Moscow, or more, safety is an important thing to keep in mind when traveling to a big city! Overall, Moscow is a very safe place to visit. However, it is always recommended that tourists take certain precautions when traveling to a new destination!

The police in Moscow is extremely effective at making the city a safe place to visit and do their best to patrol all of the top Moscow, Russia tourist attractions. However, tourists can still be a target for pickpockets and scammers.

Moscow has a huge flow of tourists, therefore there is a risk for pickpocketing. Simple precautions will help eliminate your chances of being robbed. Stay vigilant, keep your items close to you at all times, and don’t flash your valuables!

If you’re planning a solo Moscow itinerary, you should have no need to worry, as the city is also considered safe for solo travelers, even women. Stay in the populated areas, try and not travel alone late at night, and never accept rides from strangers or taxis without a meter and correct signage.

The threat of natural disasters in Moscow is low, with the exception of severe winters when the temperature can dip below freezing! Bring a good, warm jacket if you visit in Winter.

However, please note that Russian views on homsexuality are far less accepting than those in Western Europe. Likewise, Non-Caucasian travellers may sadly encounter racism in Russia .

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Now that we’ve covered all the top things to see in Moscow, we thought we’d include some exciting day trips to other areas of the country!

Sergiev Posad (Golden Ring)

Sergiev Posad Golden Ring

On this 7-hour guided tour, you’ll visit several scenic and historic areas of Russia. Start your day with hotel pick-up as you’re transferred by a comfortable car or minivan to Sergiev Posad. Admire the charming Russian countryside on your drive and enjoy a quick stop to visit the Russian village, Rudonezh!

You’ll see the majestic Saint Spring and the Church of Sergiev Radonezh. You’ll also visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, one of the most famous Orthodox sites in Russia!

Lastly, you’ll swing by the local Matreshka market and enjoy a break in a nice Russian restaurant before returning to Moscow!

Day Trip to Vladimir and Suzdal

Day Trip to Vladimir and Suzdal

On this 13-hour trip, you’ll discover old Russia, with its picturesque landscapes and white-stoned beautiful churches! You’ll visit the main towns of the famous Golden Ring of Russia – the name for several cities and smaller towns north-east of Moscow.

Your first stop will be in the town of Vladimir, the ancient capital of all Russian principalities. The city dates back to the 11th century and is one of the oldest and the most important towns along the Ring! Next, you’ll visit Suzdal, a calm ancient Russian town north of Vladimir with only 13,000 inhabitants!

The old-style architecture and buildings of Suzdal are kept wonderfully intact. If you’re spending three days in Moscow, or more, this is a great option for exploring the charming areas outside the city!

Zvenigorod Day Trip and Russian Countryside

Zvenigorod Day Trip and Russian Countryside

On this 9-hour private tour, you’ll explore the ancient town of Zvenigorod, one of the oldest towns in the Moscow region! As you leave Moscow you’ll enjoy the stunning scenery along the Moscow River, and make a few stops at old churches along the way to Zvenigorod.

Upon arrival, you’ll explore the medieval center, including the 14th-century Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery. Next, you’ll take a break for lunch (own expense) where you’ll have the chance to try out the Russian cuisine! Next, you’ll visit the Museum of Russian Dessert and sip on tea at a Russian tea ceremony.

The final stop of the day is at the Ershovo Estate, a gorgeous place to walk around and enjoy nature!

Day Trip to St Petersburg by Train visiting Hermitage & Faberge

Day Trip to St Petersburg by Train visiting Hermitage and Faberge

On this full-day tour, you’ll enjoy a a full round trip to St Petersburg where you’ll spend an exciting day exploring another popular Russian city! You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Moscow and be transferred to the train station where you’ll ride the high-speed train ‘Sapsan’ to St Petersburg.

Upon arrival, you’ll start the day by touring the Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace. Next, you’ll visit the Faberge Museum, where you’ll explore the impressive collection of rare Faberge Eggs! In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing boat ride and a traditional 3-course Russian lunch.

If you’re spending 3 days in Moscow, or more, this is an excellent trip to take!

Trip to Kolomna – Authentic Cultural Experience from Moscow

Trip to Kolomna - Authentic Cultural Experience from Moscow

On this 10-hour tour, you’ll escape the city and travel to the historic town of Kolomna! First, you’ll visit the 14th-century Kolomna Kremlin, home to the Assumption Cathedral and an abundance of museums!

Next, enjoy lunch at a local cafe (own expense) before embarking on a tour of the Marshmallow Museum – of course, a marshmallow tasting is provided!  Your final stop is the Museum of Forging Settlements, where displays include armor and accessories for fishing and hunting.

Discover this beautiful Russian fairytale city on a private trip, where all of the planning is taken care of for you!

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Find out what people want to know when planning their Moscow itinerary.

How many days you need in Moscow?

We recommend that you spend at least two or three days in Moscow to take it all in.

What’s the best month to visit Moscow?

The best time to visit Moscow is over the spring, from March to May as temperatures are mild, crowds are thin and prices are reasonable.

What are some unusual things to do in Moscow?

I mean, queuing up to see an almost 100 year old corpse is pretty unsual! Check out Lenin’s Mausoleum if you fancy it!

What are some fun things to do in Moscow?

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is a fun place to explore the famous space race from the perspective of the ‘other side’!

We hope you enjoyed our Moscow itinerary! We’ve made sure to cover all the Moscow must-sees as well as some unique attractions in the city! Our addition of insider tips, favorite food stops, and day trips from Moscow is an added bonus and will guarantee you make the most out of your exciting Russian vacation!

Immerse yourself in the modern and traditional Russian lifestyle! Get lost in museums, witness awe-inspiring architecture, and indulge in Russian cuisine! Spend the day strolling through all of the charming sites of Moscow, admiring the beautiful scenery and discovering the city’s fairytale-like enchantment!

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And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

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Travel Itinerary For One Week in Moscow: The Best of Moscow!

I just got back from one week in Moscow. And, as you might have already guessed, it was a mind-boggling experience. It was not my first trip to the Russian capital. But I hardly ever got enough time to explore this sprawling city. Visiting places for business rarely leaves enough time for sightseeing. I think that if you’ve got one week in Russia, you can also consider splitting your time between its largest cities (i.e. Saint Petersburg ) to get the most out of your trip. Seven days will let you see the majority of the main sights and go beyond just scratching the surface. In this post, I’m going to share with you my idea of the perfect travel itinerary for one week in Moscow.

Moscow is perhaps both the business and cultural hub of Russia. There is a lot more to see here than just the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Centuries-old churches with onion-shaped domes dotted around the city are in stark contrast with newly completed impressive skyscrapers of Moscow City dominating the skyline. I spent a lot of time thinking about my Moscow itinerary before I left. And this city lived up to all of my expectations.

7-day Moscow itinerary

Travel Itinerary For One Week in Moscow

Day 1 – red square and the kremlin.

Metro Station: Okhotny Ryad on Red Line.

No trip to Moscow would be complete without seeing its main attraction. The Red Square is just a stone’s throw away from several metro stations. It is home to some of the most impressive architectural masterpieces in the city. The first thing you’ll probably notice after entering it and passing vendors selling weird fur hats is the fairytale-like looking Saint Basil’s Cathedral. It was built to commemorate one of the major victories of Ivan the Terrible. I once spent 20 minutes gazing at it, trying to find the perfect angle to snap it. It was easier said than done because of the hordes of locals and tourists.

As you continue strolling around Red Square, there’s no way you can miss Gum. It was widely known as the main department store during the Soviet Era. Now this large (yet historic) shopping mall is filled with expensive boutiques, pricey eateries, etc. During my trip to Moscow, I was on a tight budget. So I only took a retro-style stroll in Gum to get a rare glimpse of a place where Soviet leaders used to grocery shop and buy their stuff. In case you want some modern shopping experience, head to the Okhotny Ryad Shopping Center with stores like New Yorker, Zara, and Adidas.

things to do in Moscow in one week

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To continue this Moscow itinerary, next you may want to go inside the Kremlin walls. This is the center of Russian political power and the president’s official residence. If you’re planning to pay Kremlin a visit do your best to visit Ivan the Great Bell Tower as well. Go there as early as possible to avoid crowds and get an incredible bird’s-eye view. There are a couple of museums that are available during designated visiting hours. Make sure to book your ticket online and avoid lines.

Day 2 – Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Tretyakov Gallery, and the Arbat Street

Metro Station: Kropotkinskaya on Red Line

As soon as you start creating a Moscow itinerary for your second day, you’ll discover that there are plenty of metro stations that are much closer to certain sites. Depending on your route, take a closer look at the metro map to pick the closest.

The white marble walls of Christ the Saviour Cathedral are awe-inspiring. As you approach this tallest Orthodox Christian church, you may notice the bronze sculptures, magnificent arches, and cupolas that were created to commemorate Russia’s victory against Napoleon.

travel itinerary for one week in Moscow

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Unfortunately, the current Cathedral is a replica, since original was blown to bits in 1931 by the Soviet government. The new cathedral basically follows the original design, but they have added some new elements such as marble high reliefs.

Home to some precious collection of artworks, in Tretyakov Gallery you can find more than 150,000 of works spanning centuries of artistic endeavor. Originally a privately owned gallery, it now has become one of the largest museums in Russia. The Gallery is often considered essential to visit. But I have encountered a lot of locals who have never been there.

Famous for its souvenirs, musicians, and theaters, Arbat street is among the few in Moscow that were turned into pedestrian zones. Arbat street is usually very busy with tourists and locals alike. My local friend once called it the oldest street in Moscow dating back to 1493. It is a kilometer long walking street filled with fancy gift shops, small cozy restaurants, lots of cute cafes, and street artists. It is closed to any vehicular traffic, so you can easily stroll it with kids.

Day 3 – Moscow River Boat Ride, Poklonnaya Hill Victory Park, the Moscow City

Metro Station: Kievskaya and Park Pobedy on Dark Blue Line / Vystavochnaya on Light Blue Line

Voyaging along the Moscow River is definitely one of the best ways to catch a glimpse of the city and see the attractions from a bit different perspective. Depending on your Moscow itinerary, travel budget and the time of the year, there are various types of boats available. In the summer there is no shortage of boats, and you’ll be spoiled for choice.

exploring Moscow

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If you find yourself in Moscow during the winter months, I’d recommend going with Radisson boat cruise. These are often more expensive (yet comfy). They offer refreshments like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and, of course, alcoholic drinks. Prices may vary but mostly depend on your food and drink selection. Find their main pier near the opulent Ukraine hotel . The hotel is one of the “Seven Sisters”, so if you’re into the charm of Stalinist architecture don’t miss a chance to stay there.

The area near Poklonnaya Hill has the closest relation to the country’s recent past. The memorial complex was completed in the mid-1990s to commemorate the Victory and WW2 casualties. Also known as the Great Patriotic War Museum, activities here include indoor attractions while the grounds around host an open-air museum with old tanks and other vehicles used on the battlefield.

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The hallmark of the memorial complex and the first thing you see as you exit metro is the statue of Nike mounted to its column. This is a very impressive Obelisk with a statue of Saint George slaying the dragon at its base.

Maybe not as impressive as Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower , the skyscrapers of the Moscow City (otherwise known as Moscow International Business Center) are so drastically different from dull Soviet architecture. With 239 meters and 60 floors, the Empire Tower is the seventh highest building in the business district.

The observation deck occupies 56 floor from where you have some panoramic views of the city. I loved the view in the direction of Moscow State University and Luzhniki stadium as well to the other side with residential quarters. The entrance fee is pricey, but if you’re want to get a bird’s eye view, the skyscraper is one of the best places for doing just that.

Day 4 – VDNKh, Worker and Collective Farm Woman Monument, The Ostankino TV Tower

Metro Station: VDNKh on Orange Line

VDNKh is one of my favorite attractions in Moscow. The weird abbreviation actually stands for Russian vystavka dostizheniy narodnogo khozyaystva (Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy). With more than 200 buildings and 30 pavilions on the grounds, VDNKh serves as an open-air museum. You can easily spend a full day here since the park occupies a very large area.

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First, there are pavilions that used to showcase different cultures the USSR was made of. Additionally, there is a number of shopping pavilions, as well as Moskvarium (an Oceanarium) that features a variety of marine species. VDNKh is a popular venue for events and fairs. There is always something going on, so I’d recommend checking their website if you want to see some particular exhibition.

A stone’s throw away from VDNKh there is a very distinctive 25-meters high monument. Originally built in 1937 for the world fair in Paris, the hulking figures of men and women holding a hammer and a sickle represent the Soviet idea of united workers and farmers. It doesn’t take much time to see the monument, but visiting it gives some idea of the Soviet Union’s grandiose aspirations.

I have a thing for tall buildings. So to continue my travel itinerary for one week in Moscow I decided to climb the fourth highest TV tower in the world. This iconic 540m tower is a fixture of the skyline. You can see it virtually from everywhere in Moscow, and this is where you can get the best panoramic views (yep, even better than Empire skyscraper).

top things to do in Moscow

Parts of the floor are made of tempered glass, so it can be quite scary to exit the elevator. But trust me, as you start observing buildings and cars below, you won’t want to leave. There is only a limited number of tickets per day, so you may want to book online. Insider tip: the first tour is cheaper, you can save up to $10 if go there early.

Day 5 – A Tour To Moscow Manor Houses

Metro Station: Kolomenskoye, Tsaritsyno on Dark Green Line / Kuskovo on Purple Line

I love visiting the manor houses and palaces in Moscow. These opulent buildings were generally built to house Russian aristocratic families and monarchs. Houses tend to be rather grand affairs with impressive architecture. And, depending on the whims of the owners, some form of a landscaped garden.

During the early part of the 20th century though, many of Russia’s aristocratic families (including the family of the last emperor) ended up being killed or moving abroad . Their manor houses were nationalized. Some time later (after the fall of the USSR) these were open to the public. It means that today a great many of Moscow’s finest manor houses and palaces are open for touring.

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There are 20 manor houses scattered throughout the city and more than 25 in the area around. But not all of them easily accessible and exploring them often takes a lot of time. I’d recommend focusing on three most popular estates in Moscow that are some 30-minute metro ride away from Kremlin.

Sandwiched between the Moscow River and the Andropov Avenue, Kolomenskoye is a UNESCO site that became a public park in the 1920’s. Once a former royal estate, now it is one of the most tranquil parks in the city with gorgeous views. The Ascension Church, The White Column, and the grounds are a truly grand place to visit.

You could easily spend a full day here, exploring a traditional Russian village (that is, in fact, a market), picnicking by the river, enjoying the Eastern Orthodox church architecture, hiking the grounds as well as and wandering the park and gardens with wildflower meadows, apple orchards, and birch and maple groves. The estate museum showcases Russian nature at its finest year-round.

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If my travel itinerary for one week in Moscow was a family tree, Tsaritsyno Park would probably be the crazy uncle that no-one talks about. It’s a large park in the south of the city of mind-boggling proportions, unbelievable in so many ways, and yet most travelers have never heard of it.

The palace was supposed to be a summer home for Empress Catherine the Great. But since the construction didn’t meet with her approval the palace was abandoned. Since the early 1990’s the palace, the pond, and the grounds have been undergoing renovations. The entire complex is now looking brighter and more elaborately decorated than at possibly any other time during its history. Like most parks in Moscow, you can visit Tsaritsyno free of charge, but there is a small fee if you want to visit the palace.

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Last, but by no means least on my Moscow itinerary is Kuskovo Park . This is definitely an off-the-beaten-path place. While it is not easily accessible, you will be rewarded with a lack of crowds. This 18th-century summer country house of the Sheremetev family was one of the first summer country estates of the Russian nobility. And when you visit you’ll quickly realize why locals love this park.

Like many other estates, Kuskovo has just been renovated. So there are lovely French formal garden, a grotto, and the Dutch house to explore. Make sure to plan your itinerary well because the estate is some way from a metro station.

Day 6 – Explore the Golden Ring

Creating the Moscow itinerary may keep you busy for days with the seemingly endless amount of things to do. Visiting the so-called Golden Ring is like stepping back in time. Golden Ring is a “theme route” devised by promotion-minded journalist and writer Yuri Bychkov.

Having started in Moscow the route will take you through a number of historical cities. It now includes Suzdal, Vladimir, Kostroma, Yaroslavl and Sergiev Posad. All these awe-inspiring towns have their own smaller kremlins and feature dramatic churches with onion-shaped domes, tranquil residential areas, and other architectural landmarks.

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I only visited two out of eight cities included on the route. It is a no-brainer that Sergiev Posad is the nearest and the easiest city to see on a day trip from Moscow. That being said, you can explore its main attractions in just one day. Located some 70 km north-east of the Russian capital, this tiny and overlooked town is home to Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, UNESCO Site.

things to do in Moscow in seven days

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Sergiev Posad is often described as being at the heart of Russian spiritual life. So it is uncommon to see the crowds of Russian pilgrims showing a deep reverence for their religion. If you’re traveling independently and using public transport, you can reach Sergiev Posad by bus (departs from VDNKh) or by suburban commuter train from Yaroslavskaya Railway Station (Bahnhof). It takes about one and a half hours to reach the town.

Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a great place to get a glimpse of filling and warming Russian lunch, specifically at the “ Gostevaya Izba ” restaurant. Try the duck breast, hearty potato and vegetables, and the awesome Napoleon cake.

Day 7 – Gorky Park, Izmailovo Kremlin, Patriarch’s Ponds

Metro Station: Park Kultury or Oktyabrskaya on Circle Line / Partizanskaya on Dark Blue Line / Pushkinskaya on Dark Green Line

Gorky Park is in the heart of Moscow. It offers many different types of outdoor activities, such as dancing, cycling, skateboarding, walking, jogging, and anything else you can do in a park. Named after Maxim Gorky, this sprawling and lovely park is where locals go on a picnic, relax and enjoy free yoga classes. It’s a popular place to bike around, and there is a Muzeon Art Park not far from here. A dynamic location with a younger vibe. There is also a pier, so you can take a cruise along the river too.

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The Kremlin in Izmailovo is by no means like the one you can find near the Red Square. Originally built for decorative purposes, it now features the Vernissage flea market and a number of frequent fairs, exhibitions, and conferences. Every weekend, there’s a giant flea market in Izmailovo, where dozens of stalls sell Soviet propaganda crap, Russian nesting dolls, vinyl records, jewelry and just about any object you can imagine. Go early in the morning if you want to beat the crowds.

All the Bulgakov’s fans should pay a visit to Patriarch’s Ponds (yup, that is plural). With a lovely small city park and the only one (!) pond in the middle, the location is where the opening scene of Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita was set. The novel is centered around a visit by Devil to the atheistic Soviet Union is considered by many critics to be one of the best novels of the 20th century. I spent great two hours strolling the nearby streets and having lunch in the hipster cafe.

Conclusion and Recommendations

To conclude, Moscow is a safe city to visit. I have never had a problem with getting around and most locals are really friendly once they know you’re a foreigner. Moscow has undergone some serious reconstruction over the last few years. So you can expect some places to be completely different. I hope my one week Moscow itinerary was helpful! If you have less time, say 4 days or 5 days, I would cut out day 6 and day 7. You could save the Golden Ring for a separate trip entirely as there’s lots to see!

What are your thoughts on this one week Moscow itinerary? Are you excited about your first time in the city? Let me know in the comments below!


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Ann Snook-Moreau

Moscow looks so beautiful and historic! Thanks for including public transit information for those of us who don’t like to rent cars.

1 night trip near me


Yup, that is me 🙂 Rarely rent + stick to the metro = Full wallet!

1 night trip near me

Mariella Blago

Looks like you had loads of fun! Well done. Also great value post for travel lovers.

Thanks, Mariella!

1 night trip near me

I have always wanted to go to Russia, especially Moscow. These sights look absolutely beautiful to see and there is so much history there!

Agree! Moscow is a thousand-year-old city and there is definitely something for everyone.

1 night trip near me

Tara Pittman

Those are amazing buildings. Looks like a place that would be amazing to visit.

1 night trip near me

Adriana Lopez

Never been to Moscow or Russia but my family has. Many great spots and a lot of culture. Your itinerary sounds fantastic and covers a lot despite it is only a short period of time.

What was their favourite thing about Russia?

1 night trip near me

Gladys Parker

I know very little about Moscow or Russia for the\at matter. I do know I would have to see the Red Square and all of its exquisite architectural masterpieces. Also the CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE SAVIOUR. Thanks for shedding some light on visiting Moscow.

Thanks for swinging by! The Red Square is a great starting point, but there way too many places and things to discover aside from it!

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Ruthy @ Percolate Kitchen

You are making me so jealous!! I’ve always wanted to see Russia.

1 night trip near me

Moscow is in my bucket list, I don’t know when I can visit there, your post is really useful. As a culture rich place we need to spend at least week.

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Looks like you had a great trip! Thanks for all the great info! I’ve never been in to Russia, but this post makes me wanna go now!

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Wow this is amazing! Moscow is on my bucket list – such an amazing place to visit I can imagine! I can’t wait to go there one day!

1 night trip near me

The building on the second picture looks familiar. I keep seeing that on TV.

1 night trip near me

Reesa Lewandowski

What beautiful moments! I always wish I had the personality to travel more like this!

1 night trip near me

Perfect itinerary for spending a week in Moscow! So many places to visit and it looks like you had a wonderful time. I would love to climb that tower. The views I am sure must have been amazing!

I was lucky enough to see the skyline of Moscow from this TV Tower and it is definitely mind-blowing.

1 night trip near me

Chelsea Pearl

Moscow is definitely up there on my travel bucket list. So much history and iconic architecture!

Thumbs up! 🙂

1 night trip near me

Blair Villanueva

OMG I dream to visit Moscow someday! Hope the visa processing would be okay (and become more affordable) so I could pursue my dream trip!

Yup, visa processing is the major downside! Agree! Time and the money consuming process…

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Air Force 1 เป็นที่รู้จักครั้งแรกในปี 1982 และสร้างนิยามใหม่ให้รองเท้าบาสเก็ตบอลตั้งแต่คอร์ทพื้นไม้ไปจนถึงพื้นคอนกรีต แถมยังเป็นสนีกเกอร์บาสเก็ตบอลคู่แรกที่ใช้ Nike Air แต่ความล้ำนวัตกรรมก็ยังต้องหลีกทางให้ความเป็นไอคอนในแนวสตรีทของรุ่นนี้

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