Your Perfect 14 Days USA Travel Itinerary
Planning a trip to the USA can be a very stressful thing to do depending on many factors. What cities should I visit?, Which is the best place to stay?, What activities can I/we do?, How many days should I stay in each place?. Those questions and many more come to your mind and leave you overwhelmed and thinking about surrendering and postponing those desired vacations.
It this is the first time you are going to visit the USA, it is normal you feel in that way. If you search on the Internet you will find thousands of recommendations from many travelers around the world. You can lean on their experiences when traveling to the USA and plan your own vacations based on the information you find.
However, we decided to advance part of that research just for you. In this article, you will find some recommendations you need to consider when going to the USA and those cities and activities you should experience in this amazing country. So, do not stress and read what we have prepared for you!
Things To Consider In The USA
Let’s start with several recommendations to take into account before and during your stay in the USA. If you follow this few suggestions you will definitely enjoy your trip:
This is an important part of the salary of some service employees. Tipping in the USA is a very common thing to do and although is not mandatory, the Americans almost consider it as such. However, there are places that take advantage of tourists and charge extra fees as a “tip”, so be careful with that. If you do not know how much you should tip, use this short guide to tipping:
- Tour Guide: If you consider the tour guide did a great job, you can give him/her a 15 or 20% of the ticket.
- Taxi Driver: There are two types of tips depending if it is a cab driver or an Uber driver. You can tip a 15% to a cab driver, while you can give $1 or $2 to a Uber driver for a short trip.
- Doorman: Give him $1 if he gets you a taxi.
- Bellman: Tip $1 or $2 per bag.
- Parking Valet: From $1 to $5 when you leave your car and when you pick it up.
- Chambermaid: It is acceptable to give them from $2 to $10.
- Waiter: You can tip 15 or 20% of the total tax.
- Bartender: Give him/her $1 per drink.
Americans like punctuality, so they are on time when they set a reunion or any other activity. So, if you are going to meet with an American or you will be attending to a show, try to be on time and take into account different factors like a traffic jam that may delay your arrival to the place.
Do Not Smoke
This is a very important aspect to consider because the USA is very strict with anti-smoking measures. Cities like Washington, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, New York, and some others, do not allow smoking indoors like bars, clubs, restaurants, malls and some other places. So, be careful with that and avoid that uncomfortable moment.
Avoid Using Slang
Please, you need to also be careful with the way you talk and the things you say. Americans may consider inappropriate if you talk about politics, races or ethnic groups. Do not try to talk like them or use their phrases or expressions because it can be considered something offensive.
There are some other general advice and etiquettes you should know about if you are traveling for the first time. You can find them in our article 27 Travel Etiquette Tips. Now, let’s officially start our trip around the USA with this perfect 14 days travel itinerary!
14 Days USA Travel Itinerary
Days 1-4: New York
This amazing city is one of the most visited cities not only in the USA but also in the whole world. When talking about New York City we think about many things like the famous Central Park, the incredible New York Fashion Week, the iconic Statue of Liberty and some other things that characterized this beautiful place.
- Central Park: Let’s start this first part of the trip visiting one of the most well-known Parks in the world. Full of trees and fresh air, this park is the perfect place to walk around, have a picnic or ride a horse while you enjoy the beautiful views of this park. If you visit Central Park during summer days, you can rent a boat in the boathouse.
- Empire State: As one of the most iconic places in the city, this huge building is visited the whole year by tourist from all over the world. With 102 floors, this skyscraper is the 28th tallest building in the world. You will definitely get breathtaking pictures from the heights, but you need to be prepared to be among a bunch of people in the same place.
- Brooklyn Bridge: Connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge is the first steel-wire suspension bridge in the world. Since it is one of the most emblematic spots in New York, tourists take a walk across the bridge while they take a lot of great pictures. This is a must-do activity when visiting Brooklyn, so do not miss this chance!
- Statue of Liberty: This is definitely one of the most iconic symbols of the entire country. Located in the Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the “Lady Liberty” was finally completed in 1886. More than 4 million tourists visit this monument each year, but only 240 people are allowed to go up to the crown each day. So, you need to book a boat tour in advance and be prepared to spend almost the whole day there.
Days 5-8: Las Vegas
This city is also one of the most recognized ones in the country. Just during 2018, Las Vegas received more than 42 million people, increasing its popularity over the years. Although this city is very associated with casinos and gambling, there are more activities to do and more places to visit.
- Las Vegas Sign: Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign has been there since 1959 and it is one of the first things you should do when you arrive at Las Vegas. Although there is nothing else to do more than taking a picture, this is something that all tourists do when visiting Sin City. Do not miss the chance to save this great memory forever and share your picture with your friends and family.
- The Venetian Resort: This can be the most similar place to the real Italian city gondola rides in Italy, so we recommend you to include it in your list when planning your trip to the USA. There you will enjoy gondola rides that can be indoors or outdoors. If you choose the first one, you will go along the Great Canal Shoppes and you will see different cafés and other stores. But if you choose the outdoors ride, you will go under a bridge and along the front of the resort. We recommend you to book your tour in advance!
- Bellagio Fountains: Located at the very famous Bellagio Hotel, this is one of the most visited attractions in Las Vegas. Bellagio Fountains are the result of a beautiful combination of water, lights, and music. More than 30 different songs accompany this incredible audiovisual performance. The best part is that you can enjoy this show for free! But make sure to look for the hours of operation for that day and try to be there a few hours before.
- Fremont Street: This is one of the most incredible and interesting places to go in Las Vegas. You will definitely have so much fun and you will enjoy each one of the activities there. You can visit some of the oldest casinos in Las Vegas and see how everything was years ago. There is also the Neon Sign Museum where you will see all kind of neon signs with great colors and designs. If you enjoy the adventure, you can try the SlotZilla zip line that whizzes you across Fremont Street at speed.
Days 9-11: Los Angeles
Officially City of Los Angeles but known as L.A, this Californian city is the second most populous city in the United States. As a cultural, commercial and financial city, Los Angeles offers many interesting places to visit and plenty of activities to enjoy. Check some of the most touristic places in L.A:
- Universal Studios: This is the oldest Universal Studios theme park. It opened more than 100 years ago only as a movie studio, but in 1964 it opened as a theme park. This park combines different movie and television studios and the opportunity of enjoying different attractions as well. Visiting Universal Studios not only implies attractions and roller coasters. You can also make a tour around the different stages of American movies and series. This park is divided into different sections representing the environment of movies and TV shows like Harry Potter or the Simpsons. But is not only about the stages, but actually, you can also find typical food and beverages like the Duff Beer or the Butter Beer from Harry Potter.
- Hollywood Walk of Fame: With more than 10 million visitors each year, this is one of the most emblematic tourist attractions of Los Angeles. The idea first came in 1953 to “maintain the glory of a community whose name means glamour and excitement in the four corners of the world”. At present, there are more than 2600 stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can look for your favorite artist’s star and take a picture with it. Do not feel embarrassed to sit on the floor and take the picture, that’s what almost everybody does with visiting the Walk of Fame.
- Griffith Observatory: You can appreciate the enormous extension of the city of Los Angeles from this place. The Griffith Observatory is a great green area which is very pleasant to walk and take a break. The Griffith Observatory was ceded to Los Angeles by Colonel Griffith, who specified in his testament that he wanted to build a planetarium and an exhibition hall. The observatory was also used by astronauts during the Cold War as a place of practice.
- Beverly Hills: It is -par excellence- the neighborhood of Hollywood stars. This exotic district has large mansions and spectacular villages where many artists tend to reside. It is not strange to find more than one known face of the big screen if you take a walk in this area. Beverly Hills is not only about big houses and rich people; there are other zones that attract a lot of tourists like Rodeo Drive and Canon Drive. It is the best-known shopping street in Beverly Hills. Rodeo Drive has a large number of trendy shops, bars, and restaurants.
- Santa Monica: This place means leisure, beach, and sun. The popular City of Los Angeles has an amusement park, a beautiful wooden pier, a walk for the entire beach and another that is full of clothing stores. All of this is always accompanied by warm sun. You will love their clean and well-maintained beaches. You can go to Pacific Park, which is the famous fairground park known for Hollywood movies. Located next to the Santa Monica Pier, Pacific Park is a must-go place because of its magic and enchantment.
Days 12-14: San Francisco
We choose San Francisco as the fourth and last city to visit during this trip. Sadly, there is not more time to visit some other amazing places, but we hope you enjoy this last 4 tourist spots:
- Golden Gate Park: This Park has an extension of 5 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide. These measures make it practically impossible to walk entirely. If you compare it with Central Park in New York, the Golden Gate Park is much bigger. Luckily for visitors, the park has minibusses just in case you want to know the most interesting places in the park. The park has hundreds of beautiful spots and it would take a long time to know them all. Some of the most interesting areas are the large Dutch mill, the garden of fragrances, some wooded areas with giant ferns, lakes and lagoons, a Japanese garden decorated with bonsai and pagodas, or the Shakespeare’s garden, with more than 200 flowers cited in his works.
- Golden Gate Bridge: With 2.7 kilometers length and 227 meters high, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the longest and highest suspension bridges in the world. And it is the most representative symbol of the city of San Francisco. Before the construction of the bridge, the only way to cross the bay of San Francisco was by ferry, in the 20th century, the bay was obstructed by a large number of ferries that circulated there.
- Chinatown: As it names suggests, this is a neighborhood with a large Asian population. It has colorful facades, lanterns, temples, restaurants, and hundreds of stores that look huge. The Chinatown neighborhood of San Francisco is the second largest Chinese community in the United States, after the one in New York. Probably the best way to enter Chinatown is by crossing the large typical entrance gate of the Chinese villages that are located in the southern part of the neighborhood. Once inside the neighborhood, it is a good idea to visit Portsmouth Square. In this square, the flag of the United States was raised for the first time in the year 1846. Nowadays, you can see the people of the neighborhood practicing tai chi or playing some games like mahjong.
- Alcatraz: Located in the Bay of San Francisco, Alcatraz was a solitary island until it was transformed into a fort. During the Civil War, more than 100 guns and 400 soldiers were installed there and the island became part of the defense plan of the United States. In 1934, Alcatraz reopened as a federal penitentiary, a maximum security prison where they transferred the prisoners considered dangerous. Some of the best-known prisoners are Al Capone, George Kelly, and Robert Stroud. If you want to visit this prison, the adventure begins at Fisherman Wharf, where you take a boat to the island in only 15 minutes. When you arrive, you can walk around the tiny cells, the dining room, the library and you can also see the playground through a small window. The itinerary will also take you through “Block D” to the punishment cells, where the prisoners with bad behavior were locked up.
The USA offers many places to visit and a huge amount of activities to do in 14 days. Of course, 2 weeks are not enough to travel around the whole country, but you can take this perfect 14 days travel itinerary as an example. Share with us some other places or activities we should take into account when visiting the USA.
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