For many people, a city break is the ideal way to experience a new destination. It’s short enough to fit in with your day-to-day life, but offers a chance to see all the sights and experience a little of everything the destination has to offer.
And it’s not all about the sights, many of these destinations are also popular with families too. Whether it’s an adventure-packed weekend in Europe or a relaxing break in the USA, you’ll find something for everyone.
New York City
With a city like New York, you can spend a few days on a sightseeing trip and still have plenty of energy to go out for dinner or a show in the evening. Its thriving arts, food and fashion scenes, combined with its historic landmarks, make New York one of the best places to see in the world.
As a melting pot of different cultures, New York is home to a diverse population. About 23 percent of its denizens are foreigners and over 800 languages are spoken here.
The diversity of the city’s people is why it’s one of the most dynamic and exciting places to visit in the world. It’s no wonder why more than one million people travel to New York every year.
If you’re looking to get out of the city, a visit to Staten Island is a great option. The borough’s scenic and historic attractions are well worth the trip, as is the famous Statue of Liberty.
Take in the views on a cruise, from Edge’s observation deck or on the bridge to the island. Or, head to Ellis Island, which was once the point of entry for millions of immigrants and remains a popular destination for visitors today.
You can also visit the New York Public Library, which offers free access to its vast collections of books, archives and art. And don’t miss the Empire State Building, which is the tallest in the city and provides a spectacular view of the skyline from its top floor.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, New York welcomed millions of immigrants. The city’s tenement buildings stand as testament to this migration. You can tour them to learn about the hardships and hopes of these brave souls.
Another must-see is Central Park, which boasts a variety of parks and gardens for people to enjoy. Whether you’re paying tribute to someone who passed away, enjoying a picnic or skating on Wollman Rink, there’s something for everyone in this iconic green space.
New York’s shopping scene is one of the most vibrant in the country, with designers such as Calvin Klein, Prada and Armani among the biggest names. But there are many stores in the city that offer more than high-end labels. You can find designer brands and lesser-known chains that will fit your budget.
As one of the oldest cities in America, Philadelphia has a rich historical background. This is evident in the city’s many iconic landmarks and museums. From the Liberty Bell to Independence Hall and the Declaration of Independence, the city has a long history of defining the United States.
While the city is famous for its grit and tolerance, it’s also an ideal destination for families. From the kid-friendly River Adventures exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History to the Dentzel Carousel, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Families can also enjoy a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This stunning building is home to a collection of Impressionist art and works from artists such as Renoir, Van Gogh and Monet. There are also a number of unique exhibitions such as the Japanese Teahouse, Chinese Palace Hall and a 16th-century Indian temple hall.
For foodies, the city has some of the best restaurants in America, including DiNic’s Roast Pork sandwich and a classic cheesesteak from McNally’s Tavern. The city’s diverse ethnic and cultural mix is reflected in the food.
Another great place to eat is Reading Terminal Market, which is a vibrant food mecca. Here, you can find artisan pizza and vegan delights, as well as blue-collar heartiness in the form of a cheesesteak sandwich or a soft pretzel.
The city’s public transportation system is another big plus, with more than 70 bus routes and a subway and rail system. About 25% of residents use this service, making it easy to get around the city without a car.
Philadelphia is a great place to live, with a strong sense of community and an abundance of attractions. It’s also a popular choice for students, who can choose from some of the best universities in the country. This shifts the city’s dynamic and makes for a lively, energetic vibe in daily life.
As a result, the city’s population is a mixture of old stock groups and newer immigrants from Europe. It’s a fascinating mix of cultures that makes the city such an interesting place to visit. The city is known for its beautiful architecture and a thriving arts scene, which is reflected in its numerous art galleries and museums.
If you’re looking for a short but equally entertaining city break, look no further than San Diego. This coastal city in California is famous for its warm weather and pristine beaches, as well as a vibrant collection of world-class family attractions.
Whether you’re seeking art, science, history or something else, the city has an abundance of attractions to satisfy all interests. A highlight is the dazzling Balboa Park, home to the San Diego Zoo, as well as numerous museums, gardens and art galleries.
A rich maritime heritage is also celebrated at the Maritime Museum, which features a number of historic ships and a steam ferryboat. You can also explore the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier that’s open to the public.
With a year-round climate, San Diego is a pleasant place to visit from early spring through late fall. Its average temperature is a very mild 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with low humidity and relatively little rainfall.
The city’s beaches are popular with families, particularly Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, which have a boardwalk that is packed with shops, bars and restaurants during the summer months. Other areas of interest include the pier in Pacific Beach and a seaside amusement park in Mission Beach.
When it comes to transportation, the best way to get around the city is on foot or bike. The Gaslamp Quarter is a great place to rent a bike, or you can take advantage of the city’s excellent public transit system (the San Diego Trolley).
If you’re a thrill seeker, consider an exciting sunset sailing tour of San Diego Bay. You can choose between a small sailboat or a jet boat for this unforgettable experience, and you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the stunning scenery along the way.
Another option is to ride a go-cart on the Downtown waterfront, which will allow you to see the sights from a different perspective. You’ll have an expert on hand to explain the history of each landmark you pass, and it’s a fun, interactive way to learn about the city.
Alternatively, if you’re into the outdoors, there are plenty of places to hike or mountain bike in the surrounding area. The Cleveland National Forest and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park are both easy to reach, and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a short drive east of the city.
Seattle has a lot to offer – it’s the largest city in Washington state, surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests. Its skyline is punctuated by the iconic Space Needle, and the Pacific Ocean is framed by Mount Rainier.
The city has many attractions ranging from the famous Pike Place Market, to museums, and outdoor activities. Whether you are looking for a quick break or to spend an entire weekend, this city has it all!
For those who love to explore nature, the area is full of national parks. These include Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park and Olympic National Park. In addition to a slew of hiking trails and lakes, these national parks also have beautiful waterfalls, glaciers and rainforests that are perfect for exploring.
If you prefer to stay in town and are looking for a fun day out, head to Discovery Park which is a 534-acre park in the Magnolia neighborhood of the city. It is a great spot for hiking, bird watching and picnicking. You can also find a beach, a boat launch and fire pits to set up campfires at.
Alternatively, take a ferry to San Juan Island and enjoy some scuba diving or kayaking. Another great way to see the city is by taking a Washington State Ferry trip which is an experience not to be missed!
As far as the museums go, the Museum of History and Industry is a great place to learn about Seattle’s rich culture. It is also home to a variety of other museums such as the Seattle Art Museum and the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum.
Music enthusiasts will find plenty of musical delights in this city, with the Showbox venue being a popular destination for live shows. This venue has seen a lot of great acts over the years, including Modest Mouse, Coldplay, Ice Cube, Pearl Jam and many more.