What are the best one week vacations? And why follow this list?
Embarking on a one-week vacation can be the perfect escape from the bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, nature lover, food enthusiast, or a history buff, North America offers a stunning array of experiences that can be tailored to suit your unique preferences. From sun-kissed beaches to mountainous trails, bustling metropolises to tranquil countryside, the adventures are endless. As we delve into this journey, we’ll explore some of the top destinations that promise an unforgettable week packed with exploration, relaxation, and inspiration.
- The Ultimate One Week Vacations in North America
- Drive Down the Historic Route 66
- Hike Part of the Appalachian Trail
- Columbus, Ohio
- Hilton Head, South Carolina
- USA and Canadian Rockies
- Lake Tahoe, California
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- Dia de los Muertos in Oaxaca
- Lake Michigan
- Key West
- Yosemite National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Acadia National Park
- Rocky Mountain National Park – Rocky Mountains
- Palm Springs
- Zion National Park
- Olympic National Park
- Yellowstone National Park
- Cape May
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Mount Rainier
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- North Carolina
- Southern California – Scenic Drives
- Costa Rica
- Puerto Rico
- Santa Barbara
- Santa Monica
- Kansas City
- Santa Fe
- Grand Canyon
- Myrtle Beach
- Big Sur – Camping in Big Sur
- Salt Lake City
- Disney World
- New Orleans
The Ultimate One Week Vacations in North America
Drive Down the Historic Route 66
Kick off your week vacation with a breathtaking drive down the historic Route 66. Starting from Chicago, the largest city on the route, you will immerse yourself in the rich history of America as you journey through vibrant cities and picturesque landscapes.
Hike Part of the Appalachian Trail
For outdoor enthusiasts, a week-long hike on the Appalachian Trail offers stunning views of untouched nature. Enjoy the panoramic views that stretch as far as your eyes can see. And, don’t forget your camera, for these sights are worth capturing.
Next, visit Columbus, Ohio, an often-underestimated city that is brimming with unique attractions. Take a leisurely walk through the Columbus Park of Roses or venture into the COSI science museum for some interactive fun.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Your next stop is Hilton Head, South Carolina, with its beautiful beach and turquoise water. The island is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Try paddleboarding, kayaking, or simply relax and enjoy the views.
USA and Canadian Rockies
Now, drive north to the USA and Canadian Rockies. With its stunning views, the region is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike, go horseback riding, or just enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
Lake Tahoe, California
On your journey westward, stop by Lake Tahoe. Known for its clear turquoise water, it’s the perfect spot for a refreshing swim or a relaxing day on the beach. And in the evenings, enjoy some of the best stargazing the country has to offer.
Next, head to the vibrant city of San Francisco. Walk through Central Park, take a cable car ride, and don’t miss the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. With its eclectic mix of attractions, San Francisco is a city that caters to all tastes.
In Southern California, San Diego is a must-visit. Explore Balboa Park, home to a zoo, several museums, and beautifully maintained gardens. Enjoy a day of sightseeing and relax in the evening with some local cuisine.
Dia de los Muertos in Oaxaca
If your timing is right, travel south to Oaxaca, Mexico, to experience Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). This vibrant festival is a unique cultural experience that you won’t want to miss.
Back in the United States, take a detour to Lake Michigan. With its beautiful beaches and clear waters, it’s a perfect spot for water sports and relaxation. Don’t miss the stunning views at sunset.
Head south to the tip of Florida and explore Key West. Known for its laid-back atmosphere, the island offers plenty of water sports and stunning views. Be sure to visit the southernmost point in the continental US.
Yosemite National Park
Up next, Yosemite National Park in California. Here you will find some of the most breathtaking views of waterfalls, cliffs, and valleys. Be prepared for a week full of hiking and exploration. For outdoor lovers this is easily one of the best week vacations.
Glacier National Park
Another haven for outdoor enthusiasts is Glacier National Park. This park offers stunning views, hiking trails, and the chance to see some wildlife.
Acadia National Park
Make your way to the east coast and visit Acadia National Park. This stunning park offers a mix of mountain and coastal landscapes, with plenty of hiking and biking trails.
Rocky Mountain National Park – Rocky Mountains
The Rockies are next on your itinerary. In Rocky Mountain National Park, enjoy the stunning views and vibrant wildlife. The park is perfect for hiking, camping, and horseback riding.
Looking for a change of pace? Palm Springs, California, offers luxury, relaxation, and plenty of sunshine. Enjoy a day by the pool or explore the trendy downtown area.
Start your vacation by taking a relaxing dip in one of the many luxury hotel pools. Enjoy the sunshine while you soak up the stunning mountain views, or people watch from the poolside cabanas. After your swim, take a stroll through downtown Palm Springs to explore all of the trendy shops and delicious restaurants that line the streets.
Zion National Park
A trip to Utah would be incomplete without visiting Zion National Park. With its red rock cliffs, waterfalls, and emerald pools, the park offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and photography.
For the nature lover, a visit to Zion National Park promises an unforgettable experience. Start your day with a sunrise hike in one of Zion’s picturesque canyons. Enjoy the vibrant colors and breathtaking views as you make your way through the canyon and take in the sights that make Zion so unique.
Olympic National Park
Head northwest to Olympic National Park in Washington. Known for its diverse ecosystems, you’ll find everything from rainforests to mountain peaks.
Start your adventure in the heart of Olympic National Park at the Hoh Rainforest. You’ll be amazed by its lush green canopy and cascading streams, as well as a variety of wildlife. The trails provide opportunities to explore the old-growth trees, and you may even spot some elk or even a bear!
Yellowstone National Park
Your next stop is Yellowstone National Park, known for its geysers, hot springs, and vibrant wildlife. Explore the park’s trails and take in the stunning views of this unique landscape. There is some great camping in Yellowstone to experience as well.
Cape May, New Jersey, is a charming seaside town with Victorian architecture and a beautiful beach. This is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway.
First, you can take a leisurely stroll along the Boardwalk. People watching and soaking up the sun are two of the main attractions here. The beach is perfect for swimming, surfing, kayaking, or simply lounging and enjoying the view.
For a bit of history, you can explore the historic district located in downtown Cape May.
Joshua Tree National Park
In Southern California, visit Joshua Tree National Park. Known for its unique rock formations and Joshua Trees, the park offers scenic drives and beautiful hiking trails.
Begin your adventure with a drive through the park. Along the way, you can stop and admire the unique landscape, including Joshua Tree forests and desert terrain. There are several pull-offs for photo ops or just to take in the vastness of the desert.
Visit Mount Rainier, one of the most iconic landmarks in the Pacific Northwest. The breathtaking views from the summit are worth the challenging hike.
Start your week off with a trip to Mount Rainier National Park. Located near Seattle, this majestic mountain is the perfect destination for a one-week vacation. Experience the beauty of the Cascade Range and marvel at the snow-capped peaks that reach 14,410 feet into the sky.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Your journey continues in Bryce Canyon National Park, known for its unique geological formations. The park offers panoramic views that will leave you in awe.
Upon arrival in the park, you’ll be greeted by an array of stunning red rocks and hoodoos, a type of rock formation created over time through wind and water erosion. You’ll find yourself captivated by these majestic scenes whether you’re driving along the rim or hiking one of the many trails.
Next, explore North Carolina. From the mountains in the west to the beaches on the coast, this state offers a variety of landscapes and activities.
Experience the culture and history of the Appalachian Mountains. Visit Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock State Park, and Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. Explore the picturesque mountain towns of Asheville, Boone, and Blowing Rock.
Enjoy the outdoor activities that North Carolina has to offer. Hike trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or much more.
Southern California – Scenic Drives
Take a scenic drive through Southern California. From the stunning coastline to the vibrant cities, there is something to see at every turn.
Start off your journey in San Diego. From here you can take a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway and enjoy views of the majestic La Jolla Cove, and Coronado Beach. You’ll also find plenty of beachside restaurants to stop at and get some lunch.
Continue your journey up to Los Angeles. Cruise through Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and other iconic neighborhoods.
Finally, fly down to Costa Rica. Explore the rainforests, visit the beautiful beaches, and enjoy the local cuisine. This tropical paradise is the perfect way to end your week-long vacation.
Start your week in the capital city of San Jose. From there, explore the colonial architecture and take a guided tour to learn about Costa Rica’s history. Make sure you visit the Jade Museum, where you can find some fascinating artifacts from pre-Columbian cultures.
If you have a bit more time, head to Puerto Rico. Enjoy the vibrant city life, beautiful beaches, and rich history. Explore the El Yunque rainforest or visit the stunning Flamenco Beach.
Start your Puerto Rican adventure off in San Juan, the capital and largest city. Experience the colonial architecture in Old San Juan or take a walk along La Fortaleza or Paseo de la Princesa. Enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever witness from El Morro Castle. Stroll through La Plaza de Armas and relax under one of its many shade
Back in Southern California, Santa Barbara is a charming city with beautiful Spanish architecture. Enjoy a walk on the beach or a wine tasting in the local vineyards.
Santa Barbara is a great destination for a one week vacation. Here you can find a number of activities to fill your days. Start off the week with a visit to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art or take a stroll through Stearns Wharf and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. From there, head over to one of Santa Barbara’s many vineyards for an afternoon of wine tasting
Next, visit Santa Monica. Take a walk on the pier, ride the Ferris wheel, or simply relax on the beautiful beach.
Santa Monica is a great place to spend a week-long vacation. With its Mediterranean climate, beachfront location, and numerous attractions, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.
Start your Santa Monica adventure by exploring the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Home to arcades, rides, and shops, it’s the perfect place for some family fun. Enjoy a ride on the
Kansas City, with its jazz music, vibrant nightlife, and famous barbecue, is a must-visit. Explore the city’s rich history and take in the beautiful architecture.
Start your trip at the historic Union Station, where you can take a guided tour and learn about the city’s past. Then visit the Kansas City Zoo or the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for some culture. Don’t forget to hit up some of KC’s famous jazz venues like The Blue Room or The Gem Theater.
Last but not least, visit Santa Fe. Known for its art scene, unique architecture, and stunning landscape, Santa Fe is a cultural treasure.
Begin your Santa Fe vacation by exploring the city’s desert landscape. Take a hike through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains for sweeping views of the valley below and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, or meander down one of several nature trails located near downtown. Be sure to take time to admire the many adobe homes, which have been built in this style since the 1600s.
Begin your adventurous week at one of the natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. Let the vast, layered red rocks take your breath away as you stand on the edge of this iconic American landmark. For those seeking a bit of adrenaline, opt for a white-water rafting trip down the Colorado River or a helicopter tour for an aerial perspective of this magnificent formation. Now all you need to do is find the best view of the Grand Canyon.
After your exhilarating adventure, shift gears and head to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Known for its beautiful sandy beaches and calm, turquoise waters, Myrtle Beach is the perfect place for relaxation. Spend a day soaking up the sun, then take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk and indulge in some fresh seafood. The vibrant nightlife here will have you tapping your toes to live music at the local beach bars.
Big Sur – Camping in Big Sur
Next up, journey west to the rugged Californian coast and immerse yourself in the wild beauty of Big Sur. Camping in Big Sur is an experience like no other. Nestled among towering redwoods, set up camp alongside a bubbling creek or perch on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Hiking trails abound for daytime adventures, and the lack of light pollution makes for splendid stargazing at night. Remember to pack your camera to capture the stunning views.
Salt Lake City
From Big Sur, make your way inland to Salt Lake City, Utah. Known for its stunning setting against a backdrop of mountains and the Great Salt Lake, this city offers both urban charms and outdoor thrills. Visit the historic Temple Square, then head out to enjoy some of the world-class hiking, biking, and, depending on the season, skiing.
For your next destination, let your inner child out at the most magical place on earth – Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Regardless of your age, Disney World promises days full of joy, laughter, and wonder. Experience the enchanting fairy tale castles, thrilling rides, and meet your favorite Disney characters.
Finally, let the soulful rhythm of New Orleans, Louisiana, serenade you. Infamous for its vibrant music scene, spicy cuisine, and rich history, New Orleans offers an immersive cultural experience. Stroll through the French Quarter, savor the distinct Creole and Cajun cuisines, and as the sun sets, let the energetic jazz music draw you into the local dance scene.
In just one week, you’ve journeyed through the versatile landscapes of North America, each offering unique experiences and unforgettable moments. You’ve basked under the sun on the gorgeous beaches, explored vibrant cities, tasted diverse cuisines, hiked magnificent trails, and created memories to last a lifetime. These destinations have shown you the stunning beauty, rich history, and diverse cultures that North America has to offer. As you return home, remember that this was just a taste of the adventures you can have in this amazing continent. Until your next vacation, keep these memories close, and let them inspire your future travels.
All you need to do is figure out which one of these best one week vacations you are going to go on first.