From coastal cities and towns to mountain resorts, New England is the perfect place for road trips. But how do you fit six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont all in 24 hours? Well, you probably can't! Lucky for you, though, whichever destination you choose in New England it is guaranteed to be an adventure.
For today’s guide, let’s just say you decide to spend 24 hours in Boston, Massachusetts. It is home to Logan International Airport and there are a variety of rental car companies, so inevitably this is where most individuals start out.
Boston is the largest city in New England, and it is a hub of culture, history, architecture, and food. It’s a bustling city, but one that has a small-town feel to it. Here are some of the best spots that you should check out:
The Freedom Trail: a 2.5-mile trail that leads you to 16 nationally significant historic sites. Preserved and dedicated by the citizens of Boston in 1951, the Freedom Trail is home to a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burial grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers; each landmark telling a story of the American Revolution and beyond.
Beacon Hill: Uncover the classic beauty of Boston, with a visit to Beacon Hill. Red-brick mansions, narrow cobblestoned streets, and quaint streetlamps, this historic neighborhood is the postcard picture of Boston. This district is filled with cozy cafes, small antique shops, local eateries, and plenty of photo opportunities.
Boston Common and Public Garden: The Boston Public Garden is a large space located in the heart of the city, and it was the first public botanical garden in the US. The Boston Common is a historic site holding the title of the oldest city park in the US, dating from 1634.
These two gardens are separate attractions, but they are directly next to each other, so they can easily be visited in one trip.
Faneuil Hall: The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a bustling market with a large and diverse variety of locally produced goods. You will find many different shops and food vendors, selling pretty much anything and everything! Faneuil Hall is a fun stop in between historic sites to get a glimpse at the local Boston life.
Newbury Street: Located in the Back Bay neighborhood, Newbury Street is lined with high-end shopping and lots of delicious places to stop for food. Similar to Beacon Hill, Bay Back is known for its rich history and architecture with Victorian brownstone houses lining the streets.
Famous Food: Make sure to take advantage of the fresh seafood right off the coast while dining out as clam chowder and lobster rolls are a couple of tasty dishes that Boston is renowned for. If that isn’t up your alley check out The North End, home to Boston’s Italian population, filled with many incredible Italian eateries. Boston is filled with hidden treasures when it comes to food, so look around or even stop in at Quincy Market to get a great meal!
Boston may seem small, but it is definitely filled with lots of culture, history, and a big personality. There are plenty of fun activities and sights to enjoy, enough to keep you entertained for a few days, to say the least! With only 24 hours and the right preparation and planning, you can accomplish a lot in Boston. And hey if you enjoy just a small sliver of New England, come back, and check out some other great destinations throughout the other 5 states!
24 Hours in Orlando Guide
Located in central Florida, Orlando is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. The majority of its popularity comes from its selection of world-famous theme parks. Orlando is home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld. You could spend 24 hours at any of these parks, but where is the adventure in that?
Beyond its family-friendly attractions, Orlando is a great city to explore. So if you don’t know where to go in Orlando in one day without stepping foot in a theme park, follow along for a complete 24 hours in Orlando guide.
Winter Park: Start off your day in the suburb of Winter Park, located north of downtown Orlando. It is a pleasant city known for its outdoor spaces, museums, and art galleries. You can stroll around and do some shopping and then grab a coffee or snack at one of the local cafes.
Mead Botanical Garden: Just a short 30-minute walk or less than a 10-minute drive from Downtown Winter Park is the Mead Botanical Garden. It is a 47.6-acre garden that houses several different ecosystems. In addition to beautiful flowers, ponds, and butterflies you can even bring some binoculars and spot birds. Listed on the Great Florida Birding Trail, this garden is home to many different species including blue herons, cardinals, and woodpeckers.
Orlando Museum of Art: The next stop not far from the Mead Botanical Garden is the Orlando Museum of Art. Opened in 1924, the museum has amassed a collection of 2,400 artifacts. The exhibits focus mostly on modern American art and African art, but they host one of the largest collections of ancient American art in the Southeastern USA. If you’re interested in another pit stop, the Orlando Science Center is right next door!
Harry P Leu Gardens: With just another short trip you can find yourself at the Harry P Leu Gardens. Spanning almost 50 acres, Harry P Leu Gardens is filled with lots of tropical and sub-tropical gardens. For those interested in history, the gardens are also home to Leu House Museum where you can tour the National Historic Register home.
Colonialtown: Harry P Leu Gardens sits on the northern edge of Colonialtown, so why not continue this one-day adventure with a short walk into this charming neighborhood? Colonialtown is known for its dining scene, filled with hip restaurants, cafes, tapas bars, and brewpubs. This is the perfect stop for some lunch!
Lake Eola Park: After refueling in Colonialtown head up to Lake Eola Park. From the lake’s eastern shores, you can enjoy fantastic views across the water, making this a destination hot spot for both locals and tourists. Take some to rent a paddleboat for a leisurely paddle around the lake or even pop into the World of Beer on the southern edge of the park.
Thornton Park: Just east of Lake Eola Park is a charming residential neighborhood, Thornton Park. It is full of great restaurants, cafes, wine bars, and craft beer joints and has been dubbed as “Downtown for Grownups.” Stroll around and enjoy some popular food and viewing sites in this beautiful town.
Downtown Orlando: If you are going to visit Orlando, heading to Downtown Orlando is a must. The downtown is filled with some of the city’s best eating, drinking, and entertainment, and is a perfect place to wrap up a day of sightseeing.
24 hours does not fit all the beautiful sights and fun adventures that Orlando has to offer. With more time you can enjoy any of the fun theme parks or even explore some other educational centers like the Kennedy Space Center or Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Do some research and see what piques your interest!
24 Hours in Sarasota Guide
Sarasota is an ideal getaway spot that faces the Gulf of Mexico and is home to gorgeous beaches. Gorgeous beaches are not the only highlight of this city though, Sarasota is known for its historic downtown, beach villages, and crazy good food. So, let’s run through some prime spots and fun adventures you can hit while visiting Sarasota.
John Ringling Bridge: A favorite spot among visitors and locals, the Ringling Bridge connects downtown Sarasota to St. Armand’s Circle and Lido Beach. From this bridge you can enjoy great views of the ocean and downtown Sarasota, many locals enjoy visiting during the morning or evening as the sun just gives it a little added touch. There are even activities under the bridge including a fishing dock, a playground, and a small beach, perfect for kayaking or paddleboarding.
LeBarge Tropical Cruise: Sarasota’s waters are home to an abundance of aquatic life, so take a trip and learn about marine biology on the LeBarge Dolphin sightseeing trip. This cruise will take you into Sarasota Bay with a marine biologist where you will look for manatees and dolphins. What better way to view Sarasota’s waters, while also hearing from highly trained marine biologists about Sarasota’s marine life?
If marine life interests you, think about taking a trip to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, a nonprofit marine research institution. It is a unique experience where you can learn about their research and commitment to conservation.
Marina Jack’s and Bayfront Park: Marina Jack’s faces the water and has a clear view of the Ringling Bridge, and it contains a small park, a small water park, and some locally-owned restaurants. Many say this is the best spot to view a sunset and it is just an overall great place to visit.
Ringling Museum of Art: The Ringling Museum is home to several exhibits ranging from Circus in Print, Fabric of India, Watercolors, and Woodblock Prints from Postwar Japan. In front of the Museum are beautiful Bayfront Gardens perfect for viewing or even photo opts.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: What’s a trip to Florida without visiting a botanical garden? The Selby Botanical Gardens are located right on Sarasota’s Bayfront, where you can walk through sprawling gardens, view rare plants, and even an orchid garden. The Selby Gardens even has a one-acre children’s rainforest, making this a great stop for the whole family.
With a short trip of only 24 hours, we didn’t even hit half of the amazing sights and scenes of Sarasota. In addition to all the great adventures listed above Sarasota is home to so much more including stargazing locations, entertainment hubs, gorgeous beaches, and many locally owned and operated restaurants. One thing is for sure, there is something for everyone!