36 days in United States Itinerary

36 days in United States Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States tour planner

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Route & dates

36 days in United States Itinerary

Start: Wellington
Fly:  18​h 15​min
1
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
Las Vegas
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Grand Canyon National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
4
Arches National Park
— Few hours
Drive:  6​h 30​min
5
Denver
— 4 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
6
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Drive:  9​h 30​min
7
Minneapolis
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h
8
Chicago
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h
9
Columbus
— 1 night
Drive:  15​h 15​min
10
New Orleans
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 45​min
11
Washington DC
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
12
Gettysburg
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 45​min
13
Niagara Falls
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h 15​min
14
New York City
— 5 nights
Fly:  24​h
End: Wellington

3
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Santa Monica Pier and Hollywood Walk of Fame. Get some cultural insight at The Getty Center and Madame Tussauds Hollywood. Change things up with these side-trips from Los Angeles: Oak Canyon Nature Center (in Anaheim) and Santa Monica Mountains (in Santa Monica). The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory, look for all kinds of wild species at Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park, and admire the striking features of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

To find photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Los Angeles trip itinerary planner.

Wellington, New Zealand to Los Angeles is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train, taxi, and flight. You'll gain 20 hours traveling from Wellington to Los Angeles due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Wellington in December, Los Angeles is a bit cooler at night with lows of 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Las Vegas.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Santa Monica, Oak Canyon Nature Center
Highlights from your plan
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory

2
nights
Las Vegas

Las Vegas ©
Nicknamed the "Entertainment Capital of the World," Las Vegas sits in the middle of a desert in the southern section of Nevada.
For more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read Las Vegas trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Los Angeles in December, things will get slightly colder in Las Vegas: highs are around 16°C and lows about 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can travel to Grand Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Las Vegas

Shopping Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trip

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Highlights from your plan
The Strip ©
The Strip
The Mob Museum ©
The Mob Museum
Lake Mead National Recreation Area ©

1
night
Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park ©
The size, shape, and color of Grand Canyon National Park combine to leave an impression on visitors as deep as the canyon itself.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Fri): take in breathtaking views at Grand Canyon South Rim, add some entertainment to your itinerary with Hopi House, then trek along South Kaibab Trail, and finally get great views at Mather Point.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Grand Canyon National Park trip itinerary app .

You can do a combination of car and flight from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Las Vegas in December, you will find days in Grand Canyon National Park are little chillier (8°C), and nights are colder (-11°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to drive to Arches National Park.

Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Trails
Highlights from your plan
Grand Canyon South Rim ©
Grand Canyon South Rim
South Kaibab Trail ©
South Kaibab Trail
Mather Point ©
Mather Point

few
hours
Arches National Park

Arches National Park ©
Mother Nature kept reaching for red when she painted Arches National Park's 2,000 sandstone arches, resulting in one of the country's more distinctly shaped and colored landscapes.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sat): explore the striking landscape at Turret Arch, then hike along Double Arch, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Double Arch.

To see other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Arches National Park trip maker website .

Drive from Grand Canyon National Park to Arches National Park in 6.5 hours. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Grand Canyon National Park in December: highs in Arches National Park hover around 3°C, while lows dip to -11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to travel to Denver.

Things to do in Arches National Park

Parks Nature Trails
Highlights from your plan
Double Arch ©
Double Arch
Turret Arch ©
Turret Arch

4
nights
Denver

Aptly nicknamed the "Mile-High City," Denver sits at an altitude of 1,600 m (5,280 ft) above sea level, located right where the Great Plains give way to the Rocky Mountains.
Visit Union Station and 16th Street Mall for their historical value. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art and Denver Botanic Gardens. Spend the 10th (Tue) on the water with a fishing tour. There's lots more to do: see the sky in a new way at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Trinity United Methodist Church, admire the masterpieces at Denver Art Museum, and contemplate the long history of Molly Brown House Museum.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Denver trip planner .

You can fly from Arches National Park to Denver in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 7°C in December, and nighttime lows around -8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to travel to Rapid City.

Things to do in Denver

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Denver Art Museum ©
Denver Art Museum

2
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, then cruise along Loop Road, then take an in-depth tour of Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, and finally do a tasting at Firehouse Wine Cellars. On the next day, get a taste of the local shopping with Suzie Cappa Art Center, appreciate the history behind Mount Rushmore National Memorial, then explore the activities along Sylvan Lake, then take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel, and finally wander the streets of Downtown Rapid City.

Start your trip to Rapid City by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

You can fly from Denver to Rapid City in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Denver in December, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Rapid City: temperatures range from 1°C by day to -10°C at night. On the 13th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Minneapolis.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Badlands National Park, Custer, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel

2
nights
Minneapolis

Minneapolis ©
Located on both banks of the Mississippi River, Minneapolis salutes the state's love of the outdoors with numerous lakes, wetlands, creeks, and waterfalls--many connected to one another by a national scenic byway great for sightseeing.
On the 14th (Sat), identify plant and animal life at Wood Lake Nature Center, examine the collection at Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, take a peaceful walk through Baker Park Reserve, then explore the world behind art at Minneapolis Institute of Art, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedral of Saint Paul. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, explore the landscape on two wheels at Spring Lake Park Reserve, then don't miss a visit to Summit Avenue, and finally admire the natural beauty at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Minneapolis travel route planner.

Traveling by flight from Rapid City to Minneapolis takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Rapid City to Minneapolis due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Rapid City in December, plan for little chillier days in Minneapolis, with highs around -2°C, while nights are about the same with lows around -10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Chicago.

Things to do in Minneapolis

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Saint Paul, Wood Lake Nature Center, Baker Park Reserve, Kordiak County Park, Spring Lake Park Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Baker Park Reserve ©
Baker Park Reserve
Minneapolis Institute of Art ©
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve ©
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

2
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Tue): enjoy breathtaking views from Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower, admire the masterpieces at The Art Institute of Chicago, then appreciate the history behind Cloud Gate, then get to know the fascinating history of Millennium Park, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with The Magnificent Mile. On the 18th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the landmark architecture of Marquette Building, then examine the collection at The Field Museum, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Lincoln Park Zoo, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary.

To find traveler tips, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Chicago trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Minneapolis to Chicago takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and subway; or drive. Traveling from Minneapolis in December, expect Chicago to be a bit warmer, temps between 3°C and -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can travel to Columbus.

Things to do in Chicago

Parks Museums Zoos & Aquariums
Highlights from your plan
Millennium Park ©
Millennium Park
The Art Institute of Chicago ©
The Art Institute of Chicago
Field Museum ©
Field Museum

1
night
Columbus

Columbus ©
More than just one of the nation's top business centers, Columbus is a mixture of many different parts of America, situated at the spot where the so-called "Bible Belt" meets the varied cultures of the Great Plains and Appalachia.
On the 19th (Thu), take a stroll through Easton Town Center, brush up on your military savvy at Motts Military Museum, then admire the natural beauty at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and finally admire the masterpieces at Columbus Museum of Art.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read Columbus holiday planner.

Traveling by flight from Chicago to Columbus takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time is 1 hour. In December, daytime highs in Columbus are 7°C, while nighttime lows are -1°C. On the 20th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to New Orleans.

Things to do in Columbus

Museums Shopping Parks

Side Trip

Motts Military Museum
Highlights from your plan
Motts Military Museum ©
Motts Military Museum
German Village ©
German Village

1
night
New Orleans

New Orleans ©
Known for its Creole cuisine, rich musical tradition, and nearby swamps and plantations, New Orleans is one of the nation's oldest cities.
On the 21st (Sat), take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Louis Cathedral, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Jackson Square, then see the interesting displays at The National WWII Museum, and finally take a stroll through Garden District. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun): stroll through Audubon Zoo and then explore the striking landscape of Chalmette National Historical Park.

To find maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our New Orleans trip itinerary builder app .

Getting from Columbus to New Orleans by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and train. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. When traveling from Columbus in December, plan for somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in New Orleans: temperatures range from 16°C by day to 16°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Washington DC.

Things to do in New Orleans

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Highlights from your plan
St. Louis Cathedral ©
St. Louis Cathedral
The National WWII Museum
The National WWII Museum
Garden District ©
Garden District

3
nights
Washington DC

Washington DC ©
The capital of the United States, the District of Columbia contains the lion's share of the country's most treasured monuments, memorials, and public museums.
Museum-lovers will appreciate National Air and Space Museum and National Gallery of Art. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Washington National Cathedral and Georgetown University. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Washington DC: Baltimore (Horseshoe Casino, Saint Alphonsus Church, & more). Next up on the itinerary: look for all kinds of wild species at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, admire nature's wide array of creatures at National Zoological Park, appreciate the extensive heritage of Tomb of the Unknowns, and contemplate the long history of Arlington National Cemetery.

To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read Washington DC trip site .

Fly from New Orleans to Washington DC in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from New Orleans to Washington DC is 1 hour. Traveling from New Orleans in December, you will find days in Washington DC are little chillier (12°C), and nights are much colder (3°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Gettysburg.

Things to do in Washington DC

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Baltimore, Arlington, Hidden Oaks Nature Center
Highlights from your plan
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier ©
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
National Air and Space Museum ©
National Air and Space Museum
National Gallery of Art ©
National Gallery of Art

2
nights
Gettysburg

Gettysburg ©
Located near the memorial park marking the site of one of the largest Civil War battles, the town of Gettysburg sits in a landscape of rolling green hills with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Thu): take an in-depth tour of Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, explore and take pictures at Gettysburg National Military Park, then contemplate the long history of Eisenhower National Historic Site, then take in the history at Confederate Trails of Gettysburg, and finally learn about winemaking at Adams County Winery.

To see photos, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Gettysburg trip maker app .

You can drive from Washington DC to Gettysburg in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi; or do a combination of train, flight, and taxi. Traveling from Washington DC in December, things will get slightly colder in Gettysburg: highs are around 8°C and lows about 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Niagara Falls.

Things to do in Gettysburg

Tours Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trip

Adams County Winery
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls ©
The city of Niagara Falls houses the U.S.
On the 27th (Fri), contemplate the long history of Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House Complex, then Head underground at Cave of the Winds, and then see the interesting displays at Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at Niagara Falls, make a trip to Old Fort Niagara, then try your luck at Seneca Niagara Casino, and finally brush up on your military savvy at Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park.

To see photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Niagara Falls trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Gettysburg to Niagara Falls by car takes about 7 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, train, and flight; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Gettysburg in December; daily highs in Niagara Falls reach 3°C and lows reach -3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to travel to New York City.

Things to do in Niagara Falls

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Buffalo, Genesee Country Village & Museum, Old Fort Niagara
Highlights from your plan
Cave of the Winds ©
Cave of the Winds
Genesee Country Village & Museum ©
Genesee Country Village & Museum
Niagara Falls ©
Niagara Falls

5
nights
New York City

New York City ©
Writer Pearl Buck once called New York City “a place apart,” and this giant urban center remains unlike any other in the world.
Visit 9/11 Memorial and Hamilton Grange National Memorial for their historical value. Escape the urban bustle at East River Waterfront Esplanade and Bronx Zoo. The adventure continues: explore the world behind art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, admire the landmark architecture of Federal Hall, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and take in panoramic vistas at Empire State Building.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the New York City online holiday planner .

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Niagara Falls to New York City takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Niagara Falls in December, expect New York City to be somewhat warmer, temps between 10°C and 2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in New York City

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trip

Bronx Zoo
Highlights from your plan
9/11 Memorial ©
9/11 Memorial
The Metropolitan Museum of Art ©
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Times Square ©
Times Square