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GREAT ONE-WEEK VACATIONS IN THE U.S.
While Alabama has many excellent attractions, I personally don't think any one particular area in the state is worthy of a 7-day vacation. I would say that the Alabama coast (e.g. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach) and northern Alabama (e.g. Huntsville) would each make a great 3-4 day trip. If you combined both of those with a road-trip between them, I think that would make for a highly enjoyable week.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Alabama, click here.
Here are my five choices for areas that can provide a great week-long vacation in Arizona:
✮ Grand Canyon National Park, Flagstaff and Williams
✮ Phoenix and Scottsdale
✮ Tucson and more of southern Arizona (e.g. Bisbee, Tombstone)
✮ Page and Kanab (UT)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Arizona, click here.
There are a few areas in Arkansas that have enough attractions to fill an entire week. Here are my two top choices:
✮ Northwestern Arkansas (e.g. Bentonville, Eureka Springs, Fayetteville)
✮ Hot Springs, Little Rock, and Pinnacle Mountain State Park
For a comprehensive travel guide to Arkansas, click here.
California is one of the most attraction-packed states in the U.S. There are dozens of places where you could easily spend a full week. Here is a list of many of the best such places:
✮ Big Sur Highway and the central California coastline (e.g. Los Angeles to Monterey)
✮ Lake Tahoe and Reno (NV)
✮ Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Anaheim
✮ Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley
✮ Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and Joshua Tree National Park
✮ Redwoods National Park and the northern California coastline
✮ San Diego
✮ San Francisco
✮ Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park
You could also easily spend an entire week in just Yosemite National Park, especially once Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road open for the season.
For a comprehensive travel guide to California, click here.
Colorado is an outdoor paradise, packed with not only beautiful scenery but many amazing attractions. Here are some places that you could easily spend a full week in:
✮ Boulder, Estes Park, and Rocky Mountains National Park
✮ Central Colorado (e.g. Aspen, Breckenridge, Glenwood Springs, Vail)
✮ Denver, Colorado Springs, and Manitou Springs
✮ Durango, Mesa Verde National Park, and more of southwestern Colorado (e.g. Ouray, Silverton, Telluride)
If it's winter and you enjoy winter recreation, you could easily spend a full week at just one of Colorado's famed ski towns.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Colorado, click here.
While Connecticut has many excellent attractions, I don't think any one particular area is worthy of a 7-day vacation. There are a few areas worth spending at least a few days in, including (a) Hartford and its suburbs; and (b) the Mystic area. If you enjoy the great outdoors, a trip of 3-5 days in northwestern Connecticut is also recommended.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Connecticut, click here.
The Delaware coastline is fantastic, and I know many people spend a full week there each year.
✮ Atlantic Ocean coastline (e.g. Rehoboth Beach, Lewes Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Delaware, click here.
Florida has a million attractions, and so it's very easy to fill up a seven day trip there. Here are some ideas:
✮ Central Gulf Coast (e.g. Anna Marie, Bradenton, Sarasota, Siesta Key)
✮ Key West and the Florida Keys
✮ Miami and Everglades National Park
✮ Northern Atlantic Coast (e.g. Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, St. Augustine)
✮ Northern Gulf Coast / Florida Panhandle beaches (e.g. Destin, Pensacola Beach, Panama City Beach)
✮ Southern Atlantic Coast (e.g. Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach)
✮ Southern Gulf Coast (e.g. Marco Island, Naples, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island)
✮ Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater
Take note that Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island were hit especially hard by Hurricane Ian in 2022. It may take several years for these places to fully recover.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Florida, click here.
There are a few areas in Georgia where I would spend a full week. I didn't include Atlanta in the list below, but you could probably gather enough things to do there to fill out a week, specially if you enjoy cycling since the city has an awesome bike trail network.
✮ Savannah and Hilton Head Island (SC)
✮ Northern Georgia (e.g. Helen, Blue Ridge, Dahlonega, various state parks) and Chattanooga (TN)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Georgia, click here.
Idaho's attractions tend to be well-scattered across the state, but there is one specific area in Idaho that I would say is worth a full week of your time. In addition to what is listed below, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and the town of Ketchum are probably worth a full week of your time if you are an avid hiker or backpacker.
✮ Coeur d'Alene, Sandpoint, and Spokane (WA)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Idaho, click here.
Ignore what you hear on the news about Chicago. It's an amazing city and you can easily spend a week there, especially if you enjoy museums. If you love the great outdoors and hiking, Southern Illinois is also worthy of a weeks' vacation.
✮ Southern Illinois (e.g. Shawnee National Forest, Garden of the Gods, Giant City)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Illinois, click here.
While no one particular area in Indiana is worth a 7-day vacation in my opinion, if you patch together some sites in Indianapolis with attractions in southern Indiana you can create a fine week-long trip:
✮ Central and southern Indiana (e.g. Indianapolis, French Lick, Nashville, Santa Claus)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Indiana, click here.
Please don't laugh when I say this, but Iowa is a seriously underrated state. If you combine Des Moines with other attractions and towns in central Iowa you can absolutely plan and enjoy a great week-long vacation.
✮ Des Moines and more of central Iowa (e.g. Pella, Winterset)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Iowa, click here.
I can't think of any one specific part of Kansas that I would recommend spending a full seven days in. I think the Wichita area is certainly worth 3-4 days. If you combined Topeka, Kansas with Kansas City, Missouri I think that is certainly worth seven days though.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Kansas, click here.
You could easily spend 1-2 weeks touring Kentucky, but the attractions of this state are really scattered everywhere. There really isn't one particular area that I think appeals to the average traveler as a week-long destination. Here are some areas that I think are worthy of at least a 3-4 day trip though: (a) the Louisville and Bardstown areas; (b) the Lexington, Berea, and Frankfort areas; (c) Mammoth Cave National Park and Bowling Green areas; (d) the Red River Gorge and surrounding area; and (e) the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area and surrounding area.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Kentucky, click here.
While you likely don't want to (and probably shouldn't) party in New Orleans for a full week, there is enough to see and do in the city to hang out there for that long. Outside of New Orleans, I can't really think of any other destination in Louisiana that's good for a week. Baton Rouge and Lafayette are certainly worth visiting for a few days each, just not a full week in my opinion. If you combine both of them and the attractions surrounding them, then sure.
✮ New Orleans
For a comprehensive travel guide to Louisiana, click here.
Maine is New England's largest state and there are several areas that can easily deliver an enjoyable week-long vacation. They include the following:
✮ Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park
✮ Portland and the southern coastline (e.g. Ogunquit, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach)
In addition to the two regions listed above, the North Maine Woods can be enjoyed for a full week if you are an avid outdoors person (e.g. canoeing, whitewater rafting, hiking, fishing, etc.). You could explore Millinocket, Baxter State Park, Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, and surrounding areas.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Maine, click here.
Baltimore certainly has its rough areas, but if you spend a few days there and a few days in Annapolis I think the end result could make for a fine week-long vacation. The Maryland coastline and western Maryland are also worthy of a week each as well.
✮ Baltimore and Annapolis
✮ Eastern shore (e.g. Ocean City, St. Michaels, and Assateague Island)
✮ Western Maryland (e.g. Frederick, Antietam National Battlefield)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Maryland, click here.
I may be biased because I live there, but I think Boston is worth a full week, especially if it includes a day trip out to the Boston Harbor Islands. Spending a week on Cape Cod is the norm for many people each year, and if you combine a few days on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard islands you can craft a nice week vacation out of that too. While there's no one particular area in the Berkshires that I would spend a week, you can easily pick a few different places to add up to a week.
✮ Cape Cod (e.g. Chatham, Falmouth, Wellfleet, Provincetown)
✮ Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard islands
✮ The Berkshires (e.g. Great Barrington, Lenox, Stockbridge, North Adams)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Massachusetts, click here.
I think both the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan have areas that make for great week-long vacations.
✮ Lower Peninsula-Lake Michigan central shoreline (e.g. Saugatuck/Douglas, Holland, Grand Haven)
✮ Lower Peninsula-Lake Michigan northern shoreline (e.g. Ludington, Frankfort, Traverse City, Charlevois, Mackinac Island)
✮ Upper Peninsula-West (e.g. Copper Harbor, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Isle Royale National Park)
✮ Upper Peninsula-East & Central (e.g. Grand Marais, Munising, Marquette, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Michigan, click here.
In addition to the two regions of Minnesota that I've listed below, you could easily spend a week in northern Minnesota if you enjoy the great outdoors (e.g. take an extended canoe trip in the exceptional Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness).
✮ Duluth and the North Shore
✮ Minneapolis, Bloomington, and St. Paul
For a comprehensive travel guide to Minnesota, click here.
I struggle to think of any particular region of Mississippi that would be appealing for a week-long vacation. However, if you combined Jackson in central Mississippi (which is famous for its museums) with some of the areas along the southern coast (e.g. Biloxi, Gulfport) you could create a nice seven day trip.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Mississippi, click here.
Missouri has a few areas that I think are deserving of a full week:
✮ Branson and more of the Ozark region
✮ Kansas City and Topeka (KS)
✮ St. Louis
For a comprehensive travel guide to Missouri, click here.
I think you could easily spend a few week in either of these Montana destinations:
✮ Bozeman and Big Sky
✮ Glacier National Park and Watertown Park (Canada)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Montana, click here.
Nebraska has many great attractions, and pockets of the western part of the state are known for their beautiful scenery. Other than maybe the Omaha area, I personally don't think any one area in Nebraska stands out as a 7-day destination though.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Nebraska, click here.
Most people can't imagine spending a full week in Las Vegas, but if you combine some time on "The Strip" with some nearby outdoor activities and some of Las Vegas's non-casino attractions, you easily can.
✮ Las Vegas and southern Nevada (e.g. Valley of Fire State Park, Red Rock National Recreation Area, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead)
✮ Reno and Lake Tahoe (which is mostly in CA)
If you are an avid hiker, you could easily spend a week exploring the Ruby Mountains.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Nevada, click here.
For outstanding week-long vacations in New Hampshire, head straight to the White Mountains region. I think both sides of the White Mountains are easily worth a week each. There are so many tourist attractions and outdoor recreation opportunities on both sides. Make sure to drive the Kancamagus Highway (NH-112) from Conway to Lincoln and US-302 from Twin Mountain to North Conway while you are there.
✮ White Mountains (e.g. Lincoln/Woodstock, North Conway, Jackson)
✮ Lakes Region (e.g. Lake Winnipesaukee)
For a comprehensive travel guide to New Hampshire, click here.
Northern New Jersey has plenty of attractions, and if you patched them all together you could spend a week exploring there. My choice for a one-week vacation in New Jersey would be along the southern coast though.
✮ Southern NJ coast (e.g. Cape May, Ocean City, Wildwood)
For a comprehensive travel guide to New Jersey, click here.
Northern New Mexico is one of my favorite areas in the country, and spending a week there barely touches the surface. I also think if you combine some places in southern New Mexico with western Texas you can create a nice week-long trip too.
✮ Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos
✮ Southern New Mexico (Carlsbad Caverns NP, White Sands NP) and Western Texas (Big Bend NP, Guadalupe NP, Davis Mountains State Park)
For a comprehensive travel guide to New Mexico, click here.
There are many areas in New York that you can easily spend a full week in, including:
✮ Buffalo and Niagara Falls (but only if you also include the Canadian side of Niagara Falls)
✮ Finger Lakes region and Ithaca
✮ Lake George and Saratoga Springs
✮ Lake Placid and the Adirondacks
✮ New York City
For a comprehensive travel guide to New York, click here.
North Carolina has a few areas that I would encourage you to spend an entire week, including:
✮ Asheville and the North Carolina Mountains (e.g. Boone, Blowing Rock, Linville, Pisgah National Forest)
✮ Outer Banks (e.g. Cape Hatteras, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Corolla)
✮ Wilmington and the southern beaches of North Carolina (e.g. Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Topsail Beach)
For a comprehensive travel guide to North Carolina, click here.
I personally don't think any one area in North Dakota stands out as a week-long destination. I do think the Medora and Teddy Roosevelt National Park area is great for 3-4 days though.
For a comprehensive travel guide to North Dakota, click here.
Ohio is an underrated/underapprecated state. There are a few areas I would spend a week in Ohio in, including:
✮ Cleveland and Cuyahoga Valley National Park
✮ Cincinatti and Dayton
✮ Sandusky, Toledo, and the nearby Lake Erie islands (e.g. Kelleys Island, Put-In-Bay)
I also think Columbus and the surrounding area (central Ohio) is worth a few days as well, maybe 3-5 days worth. Avid hikers could probably also spend at least 3-4 days (maybe even a full week) in southeastern Ohio visiting Hocking Hills State Park and Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Ohio, click here.
If you combine the cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa I think you can easily fill a weeks' worth of your time. There are many excellent museums in these two cities. Oklahoma City also has the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
✮ Oklahoma City and Tulsa
For a comprehensive travel guide to Oklahoma, click here.
Oregon is one of the most beautiful states in the country, and so it's fairly simple to plan a week-long vacation there. Here are some one week vacation ideas for Oregon:
✮ Bend, Sisters, and more of central Oregon
✮ Crater Lake National Park and more of southcentral Oregon
✮ Oregon northern coastline
✮ Oregon southern coastline
✮ Portland, Hood River, and the Columbia River Gorge
There are also several national forests in Oregon where outdoors-loving people could fill an entire week.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Oregon, click here.
There are three areas in Pennsylvania that I suspect most would thoroughly enjoy spending a week in. They include:
✮ Amish country (e.g. Lancaster, Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand), Hershey, and Gettysburg
✮ Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania (e.g. Longwood Gardens, Valley Forge)
✮ Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania
For a comprehensive travel guide to Pennsylvania, click here.
If you split seven days between Newport, Jamestown, and Block Island, I think you could patch together a fine week-long trip in Rhode Island. You could also spend 1-2 days in the Providence area too (e.g. cycle the outstanding East Bay Bike Path)
✮ Newport, Jamestown, and Block Island
For a comprehensive travel guide to Rhode Island, click here.
South Carolina has a few areas where you could spend a week. They include:
✮ Charleston and its nearby beaches (e.g. Folly Beach, Sullivan's Island)
✮ Greenville and the western unit of Sumter National Forest
✮ Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and Murrells Inlet
✮ Hilton Head Island and Savannah (GA)
For a comprehensive travel guide to South Carolina, click here.
The Black Hills region of South Dakota is one of my very favorite areas of the country, and spending an entire week there makes for a highly memorable experience.
✮ Black Hills region, Wall Drug store, and Badlands National Park
For a comprehensive travel guide to South Dakota, click here.
I could spend a week in a few areas of Tennessee, including:
✮ Great Smoky Mountains National park and the surrounding towns (e.g. Pigeon Forge, Gatlingburg, and Sevierville)
✮ Nashville and Franklin
✮ Chattanooga and northern Georgia (e.g. Helen, Blue Ridge, Dahlonega, and various state parks)
For a comprehensive travel guide to Tennessee, click here.
Texas is enormous, and there are several areas where I think you could set up base camp to explore for a week. They include:
✮ Austin, Fredericksburg, and San Antonio
✮ Dallas, Arlington, and Fort Worth
✮ Western Texas (e.g. Big Bend NP, Guadalupe NP, Davis Mountains SP) and southern New Mexico (e.g. Carlsbad Caverns NP, White Sands NP)
I'm torn on whether to include the combination of Houston and Galverson in the above list. Some would say that area is absolutely worth a week, but I see that as a 3-5 day destination. If you enjoy the great outdoors, you could easily spend an entire week in Big Bend National Park and the surrounding area alone.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Texas, click here.
Utah has my heart and I try to spend at least one week there each year. Here are some areas that you can easily stay for a week in Utah:
✮ Moab, Arches National Park, and Canyonlands NP
✮ Salt Lake City, Park City, and the surrounding mountains / national forest
✮ Southcentral Utah (e.g. UT-12, Bryce Canyon NP, Grand Staircase NM, and Capitol Reef NP)
✮ St. George, Springdale, and Zion National Park
✮ Kanab and Page (AZ)
If you are an avid hiker, there are several other places in Utah were you could also spend a full week.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Utah, click here.
Vermont is a gorgeous state and spending a week in the Burlington, Shelburne, and Stowe area would be a week well spent.
✮ Burlington, Shelburne, and Stowe
You could probably also spend a week driving up the entire scenic highway VT 100 from the Massachusetts border to near the Canadian border. This is one of the best scenic drives in the Northeast. I would spend a night in a new place each night (or maybe 2 nights in each place).
For a comprehensive travel guide to Vermont, click here.
There are a few areas in Virginia that I would spend a week, including:
✮ Blue Ridge Parkway (and all of the diversions off of it)
✮ Shenandoah National Park and Charlottesville
For a comprehensive travel guide to Virginia, click here.
I can think of a few regions of Washington state that are worthy of a week-long vacation:
✮ Mt. Rainier National Park
✮ North Cascades National Park, Central Cascades region, Leavenworth, and Winthrop
✮ Olympic National Park and the Olympic Peninsula region (e.g. Port Townsend)
✮ Seattle and Tacoma
For a comprehensive travel guide to Washington, click here.
It's very easy to spend a full week in Washington D.C. if you enjoy museums and memorials.
For a comprehensive travel guide to Washington D.C., click here.
If you enjoy the great outdoors, spending a week in West Virginia is highly recommended. Here's one suggested area:
✮ Monongahela National Forest and northeastern West Virginia (e.g. Harpers Ferry)
You could also probably spend a full week exploring southern and central West Virginia together. You should include New River Gorge National Park in that if you do.
For a comprehensive travel guide to West Virginia, click here.
There are two areas in Wisconsin that I highly recommend spending a full week in:
✮ Green Bay and Door County
✮ Madison, Baraboo, and Wisconsin Dells
For a comprehensive travel guide to Wisconsin, click here.
Northwestern Wyoming is by far the most heavily-travelled area in the state, and I think both the Grand Teton National Park/Jackson and Yellowstone National Park areas are each worthy of a full week vacation. You could also combine the two, spending 2-3 days in Grand Teton National Park/Jackson and 4-5 days in Yellowstone National Park.
✮ Grand Teton National Park and Jackson
✮ Yellowstone National Park and Cody
Lovers of the great outdoors could also easily spend a week in several other areas of Wyoming (e.g. Wind River Range, Bighorn Mountains, etc.).
For a comprehensive travel guide to Wyoming, click here.