2 Weeks In The United States [5 Sample Itineraries]

NIagara Falls, Los Angelos City, New York City, and Silver Springs Florida Collage pictureWe’ve traveled in the US for a total of over a year and a half, covering 45 states across the country. People often ask us to help them plan a trip to the United States, and we can see why. There’s is just so much to see and do that it can feel overwhelming, visiting for the first time. In this post, I want to suggest five possible itineraries that can help you plan a fantastic trip. These itineraries are based on our experience, with the exception of Florida, which we’ll be visiting in March 2020 (so the itinerary is based on our extensive research and planning for our own trip).

You’ll find day-by-day detailed trip plans for both the west coast, the east coast, and the Rockies. You’ll need to rent a car to take any of these trips but hey, a road trip is fun! This is a long post, so grab a coffee, and let’s hit the road! And don’t forget to leave a comment when you’re done and let us know what you think of these!

Itinerary #1: The East Coast

It’s best to tour the United States’ east coast during the spring, summer, and fall. These months will see the largest cities on the coast burst with life and activity. Come winter, most of the pit stops on any potential road trip will still be busy, but you’ll need to take extra precautions to endure the eastern winter.

In total, this first road trip will take you over 1,278 miles in two weeks. That may seem like a lot to cover, but with this itinerary in hand, you won’t miss a thing.

Day 1-3: New York City

It’s best to start any tour of the United States’ east coast in New York City. The city that never sleeps will keep you more than occupied during the first three days of your trip. No matter what your interests are, you’ll be able to find a unique and appealing attraction in NYC. This includes theater through Broadway or smaller organizations, art and science exhibits at any of the local museums and shopping for anyone looking to bring souvenirs back home.

Some of the most notable attractions in New York City include:

  • The Statue of Liberty
  • Central Park
  • Fifth Avenue Shopping
  • The Empire State Building
  • Rock Observatory
  • The American Museum of Natural History
  • The Met
  • The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
  • Broadway

Don’t feel as though you have to hit all of these attractions over your three-day visit, but do your best to find the spots that interest you the most!

In our experience:

To date, we’ve spent only four days in New York City and while it’s certainly a bucket list destination, we’re in no rush to return. There’s a lot to do there, for sure, but it’s pretty expensive too. Traveling with young kids, we settled for Central Park (including the zoo!), taking the ferry to view Lady Liberty and basically walking just about everywhere in Manhattan.

A favorite spot for us was the Highline Trail – just a lovely long park in the middle of the city.

Father with his sons walking at Highline Trail Central Park, New York City

Day 4: Philadelphia

Once you’ve wrapped up your time in New York City, it’s time to head south towards Philadelphia. This trip, by car, will take you about two hours, and is 95 miles in total. Philadelphia isn’t quite as busy as New York City, but it’s no less appealing to the inexperienced traveler. Here, you’ll find icons from American history alongside modern marvels, including:

  • The Liberty Bell Center
  • The Hall of Independence
  • Peddler’s Village
  • Reading Terminal Market
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park
  • Longwood Gardens
  • Please Touch Museum

You can’t go to Philadelphia without trying a Philly cheesesteak. Even if you can only visit for the day, make sure to weigh in on the local debate between cheesesteak shops. You’ll be able to determine for yourself whether Joe’s, Tony Luke’s, or another shop makes the best cheesesteak in the city.

In our experience:

For Americans, a tour of Philadelphia could easily take two full days. For us, a single day was enough. We visited the federal mint, took the tour of the Independence Hall, viewed the Liberty Bell from outside and even had lunch at the City Tavern restaurant which is part of the historic national park.

Day 5-6: Washington, D.C.

After spending a day in Philadelphia, it’s time to move onto the nation’s capital. Washington, D.C. is 139 miles and two and a half hours away from Philadelphia. Once you’ve settled in, you can start exploring the political center of one of the most expansive and complicated nations on the planet.

If you’re intrigued by the nation’s ongoing political struggles, why not schedule a tour of the White House or the Capitol Building? Alternatively, you can spend your day walking from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. Any history buffs you bring on your trip will not want to miss the Smithsonian and its many exhibits on the National Mall. The National Mall is also the best place to score a Washington D.C. hot dog, so plan your visit accordingly!

In our experience:

We spent three days in DC on one of our trips. There is definitely a lot to see and do here. In addition to everything mentioned so far, we also booked a tour of the Pentagon. If you have the time, do that too.

Father holding his son while posing in the Lincoln Memorial Statue

Day 7: Shenandoah National Park

One hour and 19 minutes away from Washington D.C. rests Shenandoah National Park, a must-see for nature lovers and history buffs alike. Seventy-five miles outside of Washington D.C., you’ll be able to tour Skyline Drive free of the urban hustle and bustle. You can spend your day hiking along the park’s many trails or biking past some of the area’s most diverse patches of wilderness. You can return to a hotel or spend your night camping under the stars.

The park is open 365 days a year, though it will close if the weather is set to be poor. You’ll be able to visit from sunrise to sunset. Entrance fees range as follows:

  • Single Vehicles:$30
  • Single Motorcycles: $25
  • Individual Walk-Ins: $15

In our experience:

This is a great park for hiking and experiencing the Appalachian mountains. If you’ve already visited some of the parks of the Western US, such as Yellowstone or Yosemite, lower your expectations. The scenery doesn’t really compare, though it is gorgeous in its own right. Still, a great place for hiking in the woods, and taking a break from the big cities.

Mother walking along with sons on the Appalachian mountain trails

Day 8-9: Pennsylvania

Once you’ve finished your day in Shenandoah National Park, you’ll be able to spend the next day or two touring through Pennsylvania. You can make the drive back to Philadelphia if you like, or you can visit some of the state’s other attractions, including Gettysburg, Lancaster, and the state’s Amish Villages, including Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand. Other must-sees in Pennsylvania include:

  • Hershey Park – any chocolate lovers on your trip with you will be able to smell Hershey Park before they spot it. Near the Hershey plant, this amusement park embraces its founders’ love of chocolate with sweet-themed rides, plays, and attractions.
  • Falling Water – any art buff will recognize Falling Water as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous architectural feat. Schedule a tour of this renowned home and see for yourself how Wright made history with his architectural creativity.
  • Eastern State Penitentiary – are you afraid of ghosts? If so, maybe keep the Eastern State Penitentiary off of your itinerary. Those brave enough to visit will be able to tour this historic prison and learn more about its tragic history – and about the superstitions that haunt the halls to this day.

In our experience:

Even though our kids were the right age, we skipped Hershey Park. We did have a lovely time Couchsurfing with a local Mennonite family, experiencing the Dutch farm life way of life. We also enjoyed visiting Gettysburg where the kids got yet another Jr. Ranger badge.

Kids holding toy guns with the instructor behind them at a Jr. Ranger activity at Gettysburg
Our Dan during a Jr. Ranger activity at Gettysburg

Day 10: Niagara Falls

Once you’ve finished your time in the city, you can spend a day getting back to nature by visiting Niagara Falls. Three hours and 41 minutes (and roughly 228 miles) away from Shenandoah National Park, you’ll be able to tour the falls at your leisure. Schedule a tour with the Maid Experience to get up close and personal with America’s largest waterfall.

A tour of the falls costs $46 for adults and $35 for children.

In our experience:

This was hands-down the most impressive spot we visited in the East Coast. Yes, it’s a bit too touristy and feels commercial but it’s also the most significant natural landmark on this side of the continent. We didn’t spend a lot on the attractions and mostly experienced the falls by walking along the promenade but we didn’t miss taking a boat tour to get closer to the falls.

A happy family wearing water cellophanes near Niagara Falls

Day 11-12: Finger Lakes Area

Just 2 hours and 15 minutes and 137 miles away from Niagara Falls, you’ll find the Finger Lakes Area. Spend a few days decompressing from your trip with time out on the water. You’ll be able to fish, hike, bike, and swim in any of the area’s larger lakes, including:

  • Seneca
  • Cayuga
  • Keuka

Spend an afternoon in Watkins Glen State Park, or head out on the town for some low-pressure souvenir shopping. You can also visit the Corning Glass Museum for a taste of the local art scene. If you happen to visit during the winter, you may even be able to enjoy a few days of skiing!

In our experience:

We totally enjoyed our time in the Finger Lakes area. Hiking along Watkins Glen was fastastic!

Beautiful hiking trail at Watkins Glen with a cute kid lying his back at rocky wall

And the glass museum was an unexpected and very pleasant surprise. There were tons of demos and activities and the kids really enjoyed it all. Dan even helped create a glass goldfish which he got to take home.

A young boy holding a glass goldfish at Glass Museum

Day 13-14: Boston

After a few days out in the Finger Lakes area, you’ll want to make your way back to another one of the East Coast’s urban hubs. 5 hours and 41 minutes away from the Finger Lakes area, you’ll find Boston ready and willing to help you wrap up your trip. After driving 370 miles, you’ll be able to pick up any last-minute souvenirs while hitting some of Boston’s most exciting attractions, including:

  • The Freedom Trail
  • Boston Common
  • The Museum of Fine Art
  • The Paul Revere House
  • The Museum of Science

In our experience:

We spent a couple of days touring Boston. The kids loved the Freedom Trail, which we walked along to from the Boston Common all the way to the USS Constitution at the harbor. We didn’t check out the museum (having seen too many of those that week) but the USS Consitution was a great tour in its own right.

Father happily raising their arms while taking a picture with the USS Constitution

Itinerary #2: The West Coast

I confess, we love the American West. The sheer size, distances and places to see, along with unique things that you can find nowhere else on earth, and scenery like no other. This itinerary will get you the very best of the urban destinations of the southern west coast, with a taste of Vegas.

Days 1-3: San Francisco

There’s no better place to start a tour of the west coast than San Francisco. The city is full of exciting attractions, including:

  • The Golden Gate Bridge
  • Golden Gate Park
  • Alcatraz Island
  • China town
  • Fisherman’s Wharf

In our experience:

You can spend a few nights in San Francisco before moving on to your next spot. To date, we’ve spent three weeks touring San Francisco and the cities of the Bay Area. There’s just so much to see and do and we love the atmosphere. If you’re science geeks like us, don’t miss out on the California Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park.

A young boy taking picture at a scenic view of San Francisco

Day 4: Monterey

After a few days in California’s cultural north, you’ll want to head south two hours and 119 miles to the city of Monterey. This resort town is one of the best places to rest, relax, and enjoy the best that California has to offer. While you’re in the area, you can visit:

  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Cannery Row
  • Old Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea
  • Point Lobos

In our experience:

Monterey is a perfect family destination. We actually ended up spending over a week there in total and never got bored. You can read more here about things to do in Monterey, and here about Day Trips around Monterey.

Days 5-6: Highway 1 to LA

Once you’re finished in Monterey, you’ll want to take the scenic Highway 1 down to Los Angeles. You’ll want to spread this trip out over two days, stopping in Morro Bay overnight. As you go, be sure to enjoy the unmatched view of the Pacific Ocean – it’s the highlight of any West Coast road trip.

In our experience:

Yes, it’s definitely scenic and we do not regret driving it along this bucket list road. However, it is a very long drive and the road is pretty curvy in parts, so if you’re prone to car sickness or just don’t have time, this could be a place where you can save a day. If you’re going on the drive, check out post about driving Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles for more information on what to see and do along the way.

Mother and son taking picture near a bridge located in Highway 1

Days 7-9: Los Angeles

At the end of your five hour, 318-mile trip, you’ll have made your way to Los Angeles. Take a few days to rest and visit many of the city’s hotspots, including:

  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Disneyland Park
  • The Hollywood Sign
  • The Hollywood Walk-of-Fame
  • Santa Monica Pier

In our experience:

LA can be a lot of fun but it is very urban and traffic can be difficult. If you’re visiting, try to avoid driving during rush hour. Our own favorite and most “LA” thing to do was touring the Walk of Fame and then catching a movie at the official Disney El Capitan Theatre. And sure, Disney and Universal Studios!

 

Young kid standing at one of the stars in Hollywoods Walk of Fame

Days 10-11: San Diego

After a few days in Los Angeles, it’ll be time to move on. San Diego is two hours and 120 miles away from Los Angeles and has as many attractions for you to explore as the City of Angels. Whether you’re looking to relax or want to keep the high of your road trip going, you can visit any of the following spots:

  • Black’s Beach
  • Coronado Beaches
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Legoland
  • Sea World
  • Balboa Park

In our experience:

San Diego was the first place we ever visited in the United States. We fell in love with the city and spent ten days there. It’s an awesome destination for families with young kids and the long stay allowed us to make the most of the multi-day passes to local theme parks and attractions. If you’re looking to save, check out our list of free fun things to do in San Diego.

Days 12-14: Las Vegas

California doesn’t make up the full extent of the west coast, though. After San Diego, Nevada waits for you. Take the five hour, 332-mile drive out of California, and you’ll find yourself in Las Vegas. There’s more to do in the area than visit casinos. If you’re looking to end the last two days of your trip on a high note, you’ll want to try and visit the following attractions:

  • Red Rock Canyon National Park
  • Fremont Street Experience
  • The Neon Museum
  • Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
  • Adventuredome Theme Park

In our experience:

We’re not huge fans of Sin City, I have to say, especially not with kids. However, there’s plenty to do and if you’re not traveling with kids, this is a bucket-list destination for sure. You may love Las Vegas or you may hate it but it’s unlikely to leave you indifferent. And if things get too hectic, there are actually plenty of cool things to do in the area too. Check out this list of awesome day trips around Las Vegas for more ideas.

One place that many people don’t want to miss out on is the Grand Canyon – you can take an organized tour from any Las Vegas hotel, or even book a helicopter ride above the greatest canyon on earth. Zion National Park and Bryce National Park are also not far away, and you can switch a couple of days in Vegas and add them to your plans.

Itinerary #3: California & Las Vegas

What if you want to add a bit of wilderness to your tour of the west coast? You can diversify the previous itinerary with a trip out to Yosemite, so long as Tioga Pass is open. We recommend traveling in the spring, summer, and fall when the weather will be most agreeable and the wildlife most active.
Be prepared for a long trip, though – over two weeks, and you’ll be traveling 945 miles! Let’s highlight some of the stops you’ll come across along the way.

Days 1-3: Los Angeles

We’ve already touched on Los Angeles’ many appealing hotspots. You’ll start this modified road trip in the City of Angels. For your first three days, you’ll have ample opportunity to explore the many theme parks, beaches, and other attractions in the area.

Days 4-5: Highway 1

After that initial taster, you’ll want to take to the road via Highway 1 and follow the coast of California up to Monterey. You can break this five-hour trip up into two days, stopping at Morro Bay for some rest and relaxation after your first day. Be sure to have your camera at the ready – nothing beats the view off of Highway 1.

Day 6: Monterey

Once you’ve pulled off the highway, you can spend a day exploring the nooks and crannies that makeup Monterey. A solid 318 miles away from Los Angeles, you’ll be able to enjoy a bit of urban energy without the stand-still traffic.

Days 7-9: San Francisco

After Monterey, it’s two hours, 119 miles to drive up to San Francisco. You can spend two days in this sprawling city, traveling via cable car and enjoying the local foodie scene. Take some time to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge or sun yourself on the beach before hitting the road once more.

Days 10-11: Yosemite

After your trip north through California, it’ll be time to head east. You’ll drive for just over three hours and 167 miles to reach the outskirts of Yosemite. Over the next day and a half, you’ll be able to explore the national park while staying in Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite National Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Entry fees break down as follows:

  • Motorcycle: $30
  • A non-commercial vehicle with 15 or fewer passengers: $35
  • Bicycle, horse, or foot entry: $20

You can camp in the park so long as you’ve made a reservation.

In our experience:

Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited. If you’re trip happens to be anytime between April and early July, you simply must visit to see the waterfalls in all their glory. We visit the park three times already and I just know that we’ll be back!

A family taking a picture at Mirror Lake Yosemite National Park, Trip Memos
At Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake Yosemite National Park

Check out this post for even more gorgeous photos of Yosemite National Park.

Day 12: Drive from Yosemite to Las Vegas

After you’ve spent a few days hiking, biking, canoeing, and enjoying one of the United State’s best known-natural attractions, you can pack up your bags and head south down into Nevada. After a six-hour and 341-mile drive, you’ll find yourself in the Entertainment Capital of the World. There’s more than one way to cover the distance and there’s plenty to see en route. Read this guide to learn more about driving from Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park.

Days 13-14: Las Vegas

You can spend the last two days of your trip enjoying all of the wonders Las Vegas has to offer. This could mean visiting one of the many casinos on the Las Vegas strip or touring the local theme parks and other attractions. Once you’ve come to the end of your visit, you can head home via car or flight through McCarran International Airport.

Itinerary #4: The Rocky Mountains

Probably our favorite area in the entire continent. For summer-specific road trips, you can always take to the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. By far the longest of the road trips noted here, this itinerary will take you over 1,107 miles in two weeks. Pack your bags with care, and be sure to research gasoline prices ahead of time! This trip may be long, but it’s well worth the time.

Day 1: Salt Lake City

You’ll start on your Rocky Mountain adventure when you land in Salt Lake City, Utah. Get comfortable for your first day by taking a leisurely tour around town. Salt Lake City is full of exciting places to eat and visit, including:

  • Temple Square, for Mormon architecture
  • Red Butte Garden
  • Hogle Zoo

Be sure to book a hotel for the night – you’re going to need all the rest you can get for the days ahead.

In our experience:

Salt Lake City is a great base for starting and ending a tour of the Rockies. Half a day to a day exploring the city itself is probably enough, unless your very interested in the local history.

Day 2: Drive to Jackson, WY

After your day in Salt Lake City, it’ll be time to pack up and head towards Wyoming. You’ll spend roughly four and a half hours on the road as you drive towards Jackson, covering a total of 277 miles as you go. Be sure to stop food and photos along the way!

Day 3-4: Jackson and Grand Tetons National Park

After spending a relaxing night in Jackson, you’ll have two days to explore the town and the nearby Grand Teton National Park. Grand Teton is a mere eight minutes away from the center of Jackson, making it a quick and easy trip for anyone looking to stretch their legs or spot some of the state’s iconic wildlife.

Grand Tetons National Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You’ll ideally want to visit in the summertime to avoid the worst weather. Entry fees break down as follows:

  • Private vehicles: $35
  • Motorcycles: $30
  • Foot or bicycle entry: $20

You can also register for an annual pass on the national park’s website.

In our experience:

We spent a total of a week here and that wasn’t nearly enough! This is a gorgeous park and Jackson is a fantastic Western-style town. The only down side to visiting Jackson is that it’s also incredibly expensive. Here’s a tip: Look for accommodation at least half a year before your trip and search for vacation rentals and condos. You should spend at least a couple of hours in Jackson itself and at least a day and a half hiking in the Grand Tetons.

Father with his sons at Grand Tentos

Days 5-8: Yellowstone National Park

Once you’ve finished exploring Grand Tetons, it’s time to head towards the west’s other iconic state park: Yellowstone. Drive just over two hours and 100 miles away from Jackson, and you’ll be able to explore Yellowstone National Park at your leisure. We recommend staying overnight in the park itself – camping or at one of the local resorts – to get the full Yellowstone experience.

Yellowstone National Park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Entry fees break down as follows:

  • Single vehicles: $35
  • Motorcycles: $30
  • Bikers or foot traffic: $20

In our experience:

In a nutshell, Yellowstone is awesome. A unique combination of out-of-this-world scenery, wildlife, and a unique backstory. We spent a total of three weeks in this park and I”m sure we’ll be back. Here’s our top 10 list for visiting Yellowstone.

Hot spring caused by a hot surging lava beneath at Yellowstone National Park

Happy family taking a picture with a beautiful waterfall behind

Day 9: Drive to Denver area

After a few days in Yellowstone, you can head out towards Colorado and the broader Denver area. This leg of your journey will take just under ten hours and will have you crossing 587 miles.

Read our 37 tips for road tripping to make sure these long drives are easy and fun!

Day 10: Rocky Mountain National Park: Estes Park to Granby via Trail Ridge Road

Once you’ve settled in the Estes Parks area, you’ll be able to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Take Trail Ridge Road into the park to enjoy truly unbelievable views. The drive down Trail Ridge Road will take an hour and a half for 74 miles. Once you arrive at Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll be able to stretch your legs on the park’s many hiking and biking trails.

Rocky Mountain National Park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – though do be careful if you’re visiting during the colder months of the year, as snowfall can block off some of the roads. The park’s entry fees break down as follows:

  • Single vehicles: $35
  • Motorcycles: $30
  • Hikers or walkers: $20

You can spend the night after your visit to Breckenridge for a smoother morning drive, or you can head straight on to Independence Pass.

In our experience:

Rocky Mountain is a gorgeous national park that too many people seem to ignore. Spectacular scenery and lots of hiking trails. Just keep in mind that the mountains are tall here, and that means you need to be prepared for mountain conditions even in the summertime.  This picture was taken along the Trail Ridge road in the middle of June –

Family wearing snow gear at Trail Ridge road

The weather was much better on lower elevations that day –

Man standing at the top of a huge rock between two trees

Day 11: Drive along the Independence Pass & hiking the Maroon Bells

The next day – or that same evening – you’ll want to leave Rocky Mountain National Park via Independence Pass. Take some time out of your 45-minute drive to hike the Maroon Bell. Once you’re satisfied with the local views and exercise, you’ll be able to follow the pass out to I-70. Alternatively, you can spend the night in local Aspen to enjoy local cuisine and relaxation.

In our experience:

Driving the Independence Pass and hiking the Maroon Bells were highlights of visiting Colorado. So much so, that we have a post dedicated to driving the Independence Pass. Aspen is an interesting little ski town, quite fancy. Possibly too fancy, for our own taste.

Family standing at the Maroon Bells, Colorado taking a picture
Hiking the Maroon Bells, Colorado

Day 12-14: Drive via i-70 to Denver Area

As your trip comes to an end, you’ll want to take I-70 back into the Denver area. You can use these last two days of your trip to visit the places you didn’t get to see in Denver previously. Ski, shop, eat and make the most of your time. Once you’re satisfied with your stay, you can head to the Denver International Airport to make your way back home.

Itinerary #5: Florida

This trip through Florida will take you over 909 miles in two weeks. Tour Florida between winter or the early spring, and you’ll be able to enjoy some of the state’s biggest attractions without worrying about traffic or crowds. Here’s more about the best time to visit Florida.

Day 1: Miami

Aerial shot of the beautiful Miami, Florida

Where better to start on a trip through Florida than in Miami? As one of the largest urban centers in the state, you’ll find that there’s plenty to do in the city alone. You’re also free to use Miami as a base of operations, going back and forth as you explore the rest of the state.

Some of the best attractions in Miami include:

  • The Bayside Marketplace
  • Jungle Island
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
  • Miami Seaquarium
  • Perez Art Museum Miami

Be sure to try a Cuban while you’re in town! There’s nothing quite like the Miami good scene.

Day 2: Everglades NP Flamingo area

48 minutes and 41 miles away from Miami, you’ll find one of Florida’s largest natural wonders: the Everglades. On the second day of your trip through the Sunshine State, you’ll want to make your way down to the NP Flamingo area. Open between 8 AM and 4:30 PM between November and April, the NP Flamingo area is the perfect spot to canoe, hike, bike, and get a closer look at some of Florida’s native wildlife.

Make sure you read our detailed guide about visiting the Everlgades National Park.

Days 3-4: The Florida Keys

Once you’ve spent the day in the Everglades, you’ll want to head a little further south. 48 minutes and 36 miles away from the Everglades, you’ll find the Florida Keys. The Florida Keys are the perfect marriage of bustling and relaxed. You can spend your two days exploring all of the islands’ nooks and crannies or sunning yourself on the beaches.

Some of the Keys’ best attractions include:

  • Molasses Reef
  • Dolphins Plus Bayside
  • The Overseas Heritage Trail
  • Island Dolphin Care
  • Key West Sunset Sail

At the end of your days, you can return to Key West and Key Largo to rest and recharge for the day to come. Here’s our complete list of the best things to do in the Florida Keys.

Day 5: Fort Lauderdale and the Treasure Coast area

Fort Lauderdale and the Treasure Coast are just north of Palm Beach. The city is only 91 miles and an hour and a half away from the Florida Keys. While you’re in the city, you’ll be able to visit:

  • The Historic Stranahan House Museum
  • The Museum of Discovery and Science
  • Butterfly World
  • Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

Day 6: Kennedy Space Center & Ocala

The Kennedy Space Center is 170 miles away from Fort Lauderdale and is Florida’s hub for space activity. Daily admission for adults costs $57 and $47 for children. There are applicable discounts for active military representatives and seniors. Once you’ve paid your way in, you’ll be able to tour the on-site attractions like:

  • Heroes & Legends
  • Behind the Gates
  • Race to the Moon
  • Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other
  • NASA: Now + Next
  • Plan Your Mission

While you can make the 3-hour road trip back to the city, it’ll be much easier for you to spend the evening after your tour in Ocala.

Day 7: Silver Springs State Park or Homosassa State Park

Big trees with dense vegetation reflecting the waters of SIlver Springs State Park

If you’re looking for a day away from Florida’s urban centers, you can take a twelve-minute drive over to one of the local state parks. Both Silver Springs State Park and Homosassa State Park are close by and will offer you a full day of relaxation and exploration.

  • Silver Springs State Park is open from 8 AM until sunset all-year-round, and it only costs $2 per person to enter.
  • Homosassa State Park is open between 9 AM and 5:30 PM seven days a week. Children can enter for $5 and adults can enter for $13.

You’ll be able to hike, canoe, and bike at both parks.

Days 8-10: Orlando

 

After a day of relaxation, why not head to one of the most magical places on earth? Orlando is only an hour and a half and 76 miles away from Ocala. While there are other attractions in the area besides Universal and Disney, it’s almost impossible to visit Orlando without dropping by one of the two amusement parks. Read more about the cost of a trip to Orlando.

  • The Disney Parks are open between 7 AM and 11 PM daily. A one-day ticket costs $109 for adult visitors.
  • Universal Orlando opens at 9 AM, and its closing time varies. A one-day ticket costs $110 for adult visitors.

Day 11-12: Tampa Bay area

Tall buildings and skyline photograph at dusk

After a few days exploring Orlando’s theme parks, you can drive the hour and a half over to the Tampa Bay area. After your 85 mile drive, you’ll be able to spend a few days coming down from your theme park visit while exploring some of the local attractions, including:

  • Anna Maria Island
  • Fort De Soto Park
  • The Florida Aquarium
  • The Salvador Dali Museum
  • The Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge

Day 13: Sarasota and Naples

On your way out of the Tampa Bay area, you’ll want to pass through Sarasota and Naples via the Tamiami Trail and Shark Valley. On your way, you can stop by the Everglades National Park and take one last airboat tour. Here’s our post about things to do in Naples, FL.

Day 14: Miami

Beaches and tall buildings in Miami with clear blue oceans

At the end of your trip, you’ll want to make the drive back to Miami to wrap up your tour. After a two hour and 126-mile drive, you’ll be able to continue exploring Miami or make your way to the airport, where you’ll be able to head back home.

Explore the USA!

There is just so much to see and do, two weeks is just the beginning! If you can, take more time to explore, or plan on returning again soon (we usually do both!)

We hope these itineraries inspire you to go out and explore these amazing destinations! If you have any questions or comments, please use the comment form below. We love sharing from our experience and helping others make the most of their traveling!

Fort Lauderdale beach at high noon with tall buildings at background

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