Tag: day trips

10 Of The Best Day Trips From Boston

There are plenty of wonderful attractions just a few hours away from Boston. While the largest city in Massachusetts is an exceptional destination in its own right, we all need a getaway from the hustle and bustle of a city sometimes. We’ve hand-picked 10 of the best day trips from Boston.

Take a look at the map below for driving directions to each attraction.

Click one of the links below to jump to each section of the article.

  1. Cape Cod National Seashore
  2. Wompatuck State Park
  3. Myles Standish State Forest
  4. Halibut Point State Park
  5. Good Harbor Beach
  6. Rockport
  7. Glendale Falls
  8. Mount Tom State Reservation Area
  9. Salem
  10. White Mountain National Forest

Without further ado, let’s jump into each one of the best day trips from Boston!

Cape Cod National Seashore

Visiting Cape Cod is one of the best day trips from Boston, MA. Sandy beach on a clear, sunny day on the East Coast.
lakewentworth

Distance from Boston: 100 miles (160km), 2 hours one way

Cape Cod is a well-known destination among beachgoers. After all, this region sees tens of millions of tourists from across the world every year. Most choose to come here during the summer, that’s when the weather is ideal for a day of sunbathing.

Best Beaches on Cape Cod

Cape Cod’s pristine sandy beaches are among the best on the East Coast. There are 18 different beaches to choose from, either run by one of the local towns or the National Park Service. You have to visit these three, at the very least:

  • Craigville Beach
  • Monument Beach
  • Nauset Beach

If you’ve seen Jaws, parts of Cape Cod may seem weirdly familiar. That’s because this famous blockbuster was actually filmed all over Cape Cod. Be sure to book a private tour to Martha’s Vineyard to visit some of the filming locations.

Consider going on a boat tour to experience the local marine life up close. There are plenty of operators that offer boat tours to spot whales, seals, and even sharks. Check out Bay Spirit Tours for a variety of daily boat trips.

Wompatuck State Park

rider mountain biking in Wompatuck State Park.
si_kor

Distance from Boston: 25 miles (40km), 40 minutes one way

Wompatuck State Park is easily one of the favorite day trips from Boston. This park is merely a 40-minute drive away from downtown, ideal for a dramatic change of scenery. Travelers can make the most out of over 5000 acres of forests, hike down one of the numerous trails, or stay overnight at the large campsite.

This state park is a top pick among local bikers. There are plenty of trails, ranging from the paved Whitney Spur Rail Trail through to thrilling off-roading trails, ideal for mountain biking. Click here to check out an interactive map of Wompy’s biking trails.

Note that there aren’t any bike rentals available at the Wompatuck State Park. You can, however, rent a bicycle from SouthShoreCycles around 15 minutes north of the park. Alternatively, you could also pick a rental in Boston before driving over to the park.

Myles Standish State Forest

Distance from Boston: 45 miles (70km), 1 hour one way

A visit to Myles Standish State Forest makes for one of the best day trips from Boston. This quiet park is located just an hour away from the city. There are plenty of things to do here all year round.

Visitors to Myles Standish State Forest can hike deep into the forest, the hiking trails add up to 13 miles in total. There are also plenty of trails for bicycles, as well as a campground where you can spend the night.

Cool off at College Pond an adventurous day at the park. Go for a dip in the refreshing water, or sunbathe on the sandy beach. You could also rent a canoe, kayak, or a stand-up paddleboard from Nemasket Kayak.

You can drop your car off at the College Pond car park. It costs $8 for vehicles registered in MA and $30 for those registered in other states.

Halibut Point State Park

Alan Wolf

Distance from Boston: 45 miles (70km), 1 hour one way

Note that Good Harbor Beach, as well as the cute coastal town of Rockford, are both located virtually next to Halibut Point State Park. Therefore, you can easily combine visiting three of these destinations at once for a long day trip from Boston.

This state park offers breathtaking scenery, as well as a serene vibe that’s simply ideal for a quiet afternoon out of town. The waterfront rocks make for a perfect spot to have a picnic, so be sure to bring some snacks with you. There are also lots of scenic hiking trails all over the park.

Keep in mind that swimming is not permitted at Halibut Point State Park. If you wish to go for a refreshing dip, you should head to Myles Standish or Cape Cod instead.

Good Harbor Beach

Distance from Boston: 40 miles (65km), 45 minutes one way

Fancy a beach day? It doesn’t get much better than Good Harbor Beach. This beautiful sandy beach sits less than an hour away from the heart of Boston, making it ideal for a quick day trip from the city. Whether you want to spend the day swimming in crystal-clear waters, or soaking in the sun, Good Harbor Beach is the place for you.

Beachside parking is available at a daily fee. Note that cars with a resident beach sticker are exempt from paying the fee. You can also check the Gloucester Beaches Facebook page for live updates regarding beachside parking.

Rentalmoose insider tip: If Good Harbor Beach is too full, try to visit one of the other sandy beaches in the area. Stage Fort Park Beach and Wingaersheek Beach are always worth a shot.

Rockport

Distance from Boston: 45 miles (70km), 50 minutes one way

Rockport is a cute coastal town located roughly halfway between Good Harbor Beach and Halibut Point State Park. It makes for a great stopover during your day trip from Boston to either one of these destinations. Here’s why.

A stroll through the main street of Rockport is a great starting point for your day trip. Admire the colorful houses and take in the quiet, peaceful vibe. You can unwind at one of the local eateries, too.

A visit to Front Beach is an absolute must, especially if you’re not planning to go to Good Harbor Beach afterward. This sandy beach is the go-to spot for both locals and tourists to unwind, hence it can get a bit busy during peak season and on sunny weekends.

Walk along the Rockport Harbor until you reach Bearskin Neck. Here, you can enjoy panoramic views of both the bay and the harbor.

Rockport- A Dry Town Since 1856

Did you know that Rockport remained dry for over 160 years? Back in 1856, a resident of this tiny village led a procession of over 200 women, destroying all alcohol products along the way. Alcohol has not been available ever since. That is until restaurants were allowed to serve beer and wine in 2006. Then, in 2019, local officials allowed the only grocery store in the village to sell alcoholic beverages, too.

Glendale Falls

Distance from Boston: 120 miles (200km), 2 hours 10 minutes one way

Glendale Falls is an absolute must-visit, and its proximity from Boston makes this destination ideal for a quick day trip from the city. In fact, these falls are among the longest in all of Massachusetts.

Go up to the falls to grab a photo like the one above (mind your step!), hike along one of the remote trails, or simply enjoy the 2-hour drive from Boston. You can learn more about the local attractions on the Glendale Falls website.

What’s more, the road leading to the falls is equally stunning as the destination. Scenic driving roads are the highlight of any great road trip, and they can also be a fun attraction on one of your day trips from Boston. Be sure to drive down Route 112, one of the state’s Scenic Byways.

Mount Tom State Reservation Area

Wilderness at the Mount Tom State Reservation Area. This beautiful getaway makes for one of the best day trips from Boston.
Doug Kerr

Distance from Boston: 100 miles (160km), 1 hour 40 minutes one way

A drive to Mount Tom State Reservation Area is one of the best day trips from Boston for any hiking aficionado. This spot is renowned for its vast forests, as well as seemingly endless hiking trails. Don’t take our word for it, just look at the trail map below.

black and white map of hiking trails in Mont Tom State Reservation Area, Massachusetts.
Courtesy of Mt Tom State Reservation

Once you’re at the top of Mount Tom, you can admire panoramic views of the Pioneer Valley. It’s also a favorite spot for birdwatching, as hawks can often be spotted in this part of the park.

Let’s not forget that Mount Tom State Reservation is a year-round destination, too. During the winter, you can come here to enjoy cross-country skiing along the snow-covered hiking trails. No matter what time of the year you visit Mount Tom, there’s always something to do here.

Salem

Famous Witch House in Salem, Massachusetts. Visiting this witch town is one of the most popular day trips from Boston.
Wikimedia Commons

Distance from Boston: 25 miles (40km), 40 minutes one way

If you’re in the mood for some local history, then a day trip from Boston to the town of Salem is an absolute must. This picturesque town sits less than 30 miles away from the city, making it the perfect destination for a quick afternoon trip out of the city.

This coastal town is famous for its historic significance, particularly the witch trials of the 1690s. You certainly have to visit the local Salem Witch Museum to find out more about these 1692 events. Admission costs $15 for adults, $13.5 for seniors over 65, and $12 for children under 14.

As Salem is known as the Witch Town, you should consider visiting one of the local psychic parlors while you’re here. Head down to Omen at 184 Essex Street, where you can find out about your future during a fortune-telling session. Omen specializes in anything from palmistry all the way to Tarot and Voodoo.

White Mountain National Forest

weesam2010

Distance from Boston: 160 miles (260km), 2 hours 30 minutes one way

At this point, you could argue that we’ve saved the best for last. While we won’t argue whether or not White Mountain National Forest is the greatest day trip from Boston, it is the furthest from the city. In fact, you’ll have to drive for roughly two and a half hours one way to reach this natural wonderland. Is it worth it? Continue reading to find out.

Scenic Drives in White Mountain National Forest

  • Kancamagus Scenic Byway
  • White Mountain Trail Byway
  • Southern Driving Loop

Scenic driving is one of the best activities in the White Mountains. Don’t miss the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, often considered to be one of the best roads in all of New Hampshire. Expect panoramic views, thrilling chicanes, and plenty of overlooks to safely pull over and take in the beauty. The loop stretches for 34 miles in total and connects with the White Mountain Trail Byway.

After you’re done with scenic driving, stretch your legs at one of the park’s numerous hiking trails. Pay a visit to Flume Gorge, the Elephant Head Trail, and the Basin-Cascades Trail.

You can also go on a tram ride to enjoy the best views, or go for a refreshing dip at Echo Lake Beach. The attractions here are nearly endless!

White Mountain National Forest is a great destination that can be enjoyed all year long. If you plan to visit this park in winter, put your skis on and enjoy the best runs at Cannon Mountain.

Rentalmoose insider tip: check out this blog post to properly prepare for a winter road tirp.

Bonus- The Best Way Of Getting Around Massachusetts

There you have it, those are the best day trips from Boston!

No matter which destination you pick, be sure to book a rental car. The comfort of being able to adjust your itinerary on the go can only be achieved when traveling by car. A private vehicle is also a safe way to travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

Unsure about renting a car or taking your own vehicle? This blog post may help.

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform!

The 8 Best Day Trips From Mexico City

Mexico City can get a little overwhelming after a few days in town. Check out these 8 best day trips from Mexico City, to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital.

The 8 best day trips from Mexico City

The area surrounding Mexico City truly has it all, from touring volcanos and visiting Mayan ruins to exploring caves or celebrating the Day of The Dead.

The possibilities are endless! In fact, Cholula alone is famous for its 365 churches- one for each day of the year. In order to see all of these spectacular places, you’d have to move to Central Mexico.

Without further ado, let’s dive into each destination!

Teotihuacan

Large, monumental temples of Teotihuacan date back to the ancient times. The ancient city of Teotihuacan is only half an hour away from Mexico City, making it perfect for a Mexico City day trip.
Photo by German Rojas

A visit to Teotihuacan is unarguably one of the must-do day trips from Mexico City.

The ancient city of Teotihuacan dates back more than a thousand years prior to the arrival of the Aztecs, the homeless wanderers first came to the region in 1300 A.D.

If the Aztecs hadn’t arrived in Mexico at the time of the city’s construction, you’re probably wondering who built Teotihuacan.

Who built the Great City of Teotihuacan

Back when the Aztecs first discovered this town, it had already been abandoned for centuries.

Although the Aztecs did not build Teotihuacan, they are the ones responsible for its name.

Teotihuacan translates to ‘home of the gods‘, which is precisely what the Aztecs decided to name the mysterious abandoned city.

The Great city of Teotihuacan is believed to have been a vivid center of the region, with an estimated population of 200 000 inhabitants.

Though that may not seem like much today, its population was very similar to Rome or Beijing at the time.

Following extensive destruction, looting, and chaos, the city was abandoned by 750AD. It is uncertain what caused the sudden chaos that resulted in inhabitants fleeing Teotihuacan.

Today, Teotihuacan remains one of the most significant ancient ruins in all of Mexico. Don’t miss the famous Pyramid of The Sun, the largest pyramid in the city and one of the tallest in Mesoamerica.

Teotihuacan Entry Fee and Opening Hours

Admission to the Great City of Teotihuacan costs below 100 pesos (US$5) per person. Open daily between 9AM and 5PM.

Tlaxcala

Colorful yellow facades of traditional buildings in the town of Tlaxcala, Mexico. Tlaxcala is the perfect destination for a day trip from Mexico City.
Photo by Actek10

Tlaxcala is the smallest region in Mexico. The state’s capital, also called Tlaxcala, is a cute town with an unbeatable vibe. Visiting it makes for a perfect day trip from Mexico City.

Things To Do in Tlaxcala

  • Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Ocotlan
  • Palacio de Gobierno
  • Firefly Sanctuary
Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Ocotlán

The Basilica of Our Lady of Ocotlan is perhaps the most well-known attraction in the town of Tlaxcala. Many tourists come here from Mexico City just to see the Basilica!

Located just minutes away from the center of this cute town, the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Ocotlán can be admired from both inside and out.

Step inside and take in the decorative, gold-filled interior, or appreciate the monumental architecture from the outside.

Palacio de Gobierno

Get a grasp of the regional Tlaxcalan culture as you walk inside the gorgeous Palacio de Gobierno.

This structure dates back nearly 500 years and is home to decorative murals and an unbeatable vibe.

Palacio de Gobierno is a great under-the-radar destination in this part of Mexico.

History buffs should definitely peek inside the nearby museums. Afterall, Palacio de Gobierno is right in the heart of Tlaxcala.

Firefly Sanctuary

If you’re visiting Mexico between June and August, you are in for a special treat. During those months, local fireflies put on a breathtaking light show every night.

Check out this website to learn more and book your firefly experience. It’s a half-hour drive out of Tlaxcala.

Cholula & Puebla

Monumental facade of a cathedral in Puebla. Catedral de Puebla is one of the best things to see in Puebla.
Photo by Young Shanahan

A drive down to Puebla is another great day trip from Mexico City. This city is located roughly 175 miles from the country’s capital.

What To See in Puebla

The Great Pyramid of Cholula

Did you know that the largest pyramid in the world (by area, not height) isn’t in Egypt? In fact, it’s The Great Pyramid of Cholula.

You might be surprised when you get to Cholula, as the pyramid doesn’t look like a typical Mayan structure. In fact, only a small part of it has been excavated thus far.

Back in the 1600s, the Spanish built the Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies atop the pyramid. Make sure you visit this beautiful cathedral, as it opens up to panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Mercado Cosme del Razo San Pedro Cholula

It should be pretty clear by now that Rentalmoose loves local fresh food markets. No matter whether you’re in Batemans Bay, Marmaris, or Malaga, we recommend visiting a local market.

We believe local markets are the perfect way to peek into the fascinating local life of any bustling town, village, or city. Mercado Cosme del Razo San Pedro in Cholula is no different.

In this traditional market, you’ll be able to find anything ranging from regional fruit and vegetables to handcrafted goods and artwork.

After spending some time in Cholula, it’s time to continue further into Puebla. This city is famous for its beautiful architecture, as well as the Puebla Cathedral and more!

Museo Amparo

Art lovers should not miss out on visiting the Museo Amparo. This museum, set inside a beautiful, colonial building, is home to one of the greatest art collections in Latin America. There aren’t many museums that make for good day trips from Mexico City, and this one is definitely worthwhile!

Admire hundreds of Mexican artworks from different historical periods. Afterward, head up to the terrace and take in the panoramic views of the city.

The best part? Admission is completely free of charge.

Note that Museo Amparo is closed on Wednesdays. Check their website for detailed opening hours.

Catedral de Puebla

Set in the heart of Puebla’s historic center is the monumental Catedral de Puebla. This monumental Baroque church was completed in 1690.

After photographing the grand facade of the cathedral, feel free to step inside and explore the decorative interior.

Open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM, then 4 PM to 8 PM.

While you’re here, take a minute to stroll down Puebla’s scenic historic center.

Restaurante El Mural de Los Poblanos

No visit to Puebla would possibly be complete without indulging in the region’s traditional cuisine. Head to Restaurante El Mural de Los Poblanos, one of the top picks in town, for a delicious lunch or dinner.

This eatery serves some of the best Mexican food in town. Make sure to try the local specialty called Chiles en Nogada.

Open daily from noon to midnight, as well as 8 AM to noon for breakfast service.

Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park

Izta-Popo National Park near Mexico City is home to two famous volcanos. Visiting the park is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of Mexico City.
Photo by Russ Bowling

If you drive 2 hours out of Mexico City, you will reach the beautiful Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park.

The park is home to 2 of the most famous volcanos in Mexico: Popocatepetl and Iztachihuatl.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Note that it can get quite cold at this altitude. Bring appropriate clothing!

Paso de Cortes

Begin your visit of the park with a drive across the scenic Paso de Cortes. This chicane-filled road is one of the best scenic drives in Mexico!

This mountain pass was named after being used by Hernán Cortés back in the 16th century. Cortés was the one who conquested the Aztec Empire back in the 1500s and claimed Mexico.

Right by the large roundabout, you’ll see the park’s museum. You can head inside and learn more about local history. Admission tickets can be purchased here, too. From here, you can enjoy unobstructed views of both volcanos.

Open daily between 7AM and 9PM.

Iztachihuatl

After viewing the volcano from the distance, it’s time to come closer to it. Drive down the unpaved road towards the Iztachihuatl volcano.

You can leave your car at the La Joyita area and continue further up on foot. The climb is challenging and only recommended for experienced hikers. However, the views from the top are absolutely unbeatable.

Cascada Apatlaco

Drive back from the foot of Iztachihuatl Volcano and turn into a small road on your left. Follow the road and after a while, you’ll be able to see the spectacular Apatlaco Waterfalls.

Quezadilla Dona Gloria

On your way back down to Mexico City, make sure you stop by to try delicious quesadillas.

Pop by the cozy Quezadilla Dona Gloria to recharge your batteries before driving back to the city. The obscure cabin serves some of the best food you can find around the park.

Guided Tours

Although you can visit the Izta-Popo National Park independently, there’s also the option to book a private tour. An experienced guide will let you in on the park’s secrets and show you the hidden gems of the park.

Consider booking a guided tour of the park with Aztec Explorers.

Mixquic

Cemetery full of people and illuminated by candles during the spectacular Day of The Dead Celebrations in Mixquic. Make sure you see these celebrations, perhaps on a day trip from Mexico City.
Photo by カルロスVG

You need to go on a day trip from Mexico City to Mixquic, especially if you’re in town in early November.

The Day of The Dead celebrations is famous around the world. If there’s one place in all of Mexico that has the most spectacular, authentic celebration, it has to be Mixquic.

When is The Day of The Dead

November 2nd

Contrary to popular belief, the celebrations begin on the 31st of October. The bells of the beautiful San Andres Apostol ring 12 times, as the souls of the children are believed to arrive.

Although the celebrations continue on the 1st day of November, The Day of The Dead is on the 2nd of November every year. Undoubtedly, the most magical time to visit Mixquic is on that day, particularly after the sun sets.

Young girl smiling in makeup and costume during celebrations of the Day Of The Dead at a cemetery in Mixquic, Mexico. The Day Of The Dead is a must-see on any Mexico trip itinerary
Photo by Jordi Cueto-Felgueroso Arocha

As dusk falls, the pantheon is illuminated by thousands of decorative candles. The families spend the night in the company of their deceased loved ones. This emotional celebration is bound to leave you speechless for the rest of your trip.

Taxco

Beautiful Panoramic view of Taxco. Taxco is a former silver mining town that has become a great tourist destination. Located near the capital, it makes for great day trips from Mexico City.
Photo by Laurent Espitallier

Taxco is a breathtaking town, formerly a hotspot for silver mining. Despite the fact that the mines shut down over a century ago, Taxco has remained a spectacular and populated town. It’s the ideal authentic town that makes for great day trips from Mexico City.

Note that the best way of getting around the narrow, cobblestone streets of Taxco is on foot.

The Best Things To Do In Taxco

Santa Prisca de Taxco & Plaza Borda

Begin your visit of Taxco right in the heart of town. After you leave your car at the car park, stroll down the cobblestone streets on foot.

You will soon reach Plaza Borda, the booming heart of Taxco.

Take your time to peek into the many regional eateries and shops within the authentic colonial buildings.

Unarguably, the biggest landmark in Taxco is the monumental Santa Prisca de Taxco. The history of this church dates back to the mid-1700s, back when there was lots of silver mining going on around Taxco. Admire the facade or step inside the decorative cathedral.

Mina Prehispanica de Taxco

As Taxco was once a booming mining town, you should definitely visit Mina Prehispanica. The silver mine is estimated to date back to times when Mexico was a Viceroyalty of New Spain. It was likely hidden by the locals from the Spanish.

In 2013, the mine was accidentally rediscovered during the remodeling of a local hotel. The hotel bar was quickly turned into an archeological site, and today it serves as a great spot to visit what was once common in Taxco.

Open daily from 9AM to 6PM.

Cable Car & Montetaxco

Get a panoramic view of the area around Taxco when you take the Cable Car up to the upscale Montetaxco hotel. Seeing the sunset from up here is a must when in Taxco.

Rosa Amaranto

After a day of walking up and down the winding streets, relax at one of the town’s best restaurants. Head up to Rosa Amaranto for a great dining experience accompanied by an astonishing view of Taxco.

Open daily from 8 AM to 10 PM.

Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park

Photo by Christian Ramiro González Verón

The Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park is home to one of the largest cave systems on the planet. Hence it’s one of the most popular day trips from Mexico City, and it’s easy to see why.

The caves were rediscovered by a Mexican shopkeeper hiding in them from the authorities back in the 1800s. Since then, they’ve become a famous tourist attraction.

Today, anyone can visit the enormous cave system on a guided walking tour. The system is made up of 20 large halls, reserve around 2 hours to visit them.

Travelers can visit the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa every day from 9AM to 5PM. Admission costs 90 pesos ($4.5) per person. Note that most guides only speak Spanish, an English-speaking guide will likely cost more to hire.

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

Photo by Rafael Saldaña

One of the best day trips from Mexico City is a visit to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, around 100 kilometers (60 miles) outside of the town. It’s criminally underrated, too.

Click here for a detailed guide to visiting the 4 butterfly sanctuaries here that are open to the public.

Don’t miss the El Rosario sanctuary!

Angangueo

Before heading back to Mexico City, pay Angangueo a visit. This cute former mining town, although not as spectacular as Taxco, is worth at least a short peek. Unlike the Butterfly Sanctuaries, Angangueo is a year-round attraction.

Don’t skip the town’s two beautiful churches. They are facing each other, making for a great spot for photos.

You can admire a panoramic view of Angangueo and its natural surroundings from the Monumento Al Minero terrace.

Lastly, take a photo with the colorful Mural in the heart of this little town.

Bonus- What is the best way of getting around Mexico?

The best way of getting around is by car, especially if you’re planning to go on multiple day trips from Mexico City.

That way, you’ll get to see scenic drives and see areas that you’d never get to visit otherwise. Not to mention the irreplaceable freedom of altering your itinerary on the go, whenever you please.

Rental Car Insurance in Mexico

Check out this informative blog post to learn all you need to know about rental car insurance in Mexico. It’s not as complicated as it may seem!

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure.

On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe.

Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

The 10 Best Things To Do in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is the most popular getaway in Baja California. Find out the best things to do in and around Cabo with our curated travel guide.

No matter if you’re on your way to Cabo San Lucas right now or you’re planning a trip for next summer, you’ll want to know what the best things to do in Cabo are.

  1. Visit Land’s End
  2. Unwind At The Best Beaches In Cabo
  3. Drive To San Jose del Cabo
  4. Dive At Cabo Pulmo Marine Park
  5. Whale-Watching Tours
  6. Go On A Day Trip To La Paz
  7. See Todos Santos
  8. Play Golf
  9. Explore Santiago
  10. Visit El Triunfo

Year by year, Cabo San Lucas continues to amaze international and domestic tourists as one of the best getaways in Mexico. After all, Baja California is home to exceptional beaches, spectacular landscapes, tasty cuisine, and quirky towns.

Bonus: Rent a Car In Mexico

Unless you’re planning to stick to just one city, the best way of getting around Mexico is by car.

Check out these blog posts to make the best of your next trip to Mexico.

These Are The 10 Best Things To Do In Cabo

Without further ado, let’s jump into each one of them!

Visit Land’s End

Spectacular rock formations at Land's End, which is one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico.
Photo by Liezelzpineda

A visit to Land’s End is unarguably one of the best things to do in Cabo. The rock formations are perhaps the most famous landmark here, so you simply have to see them.

How can you get to Land’s End?

The only way to reach the picturesque Land’s End is by either water taxi, boat, or kayak. You can catch a water taxi from Cabo’s Medano Beach.

Rentalmoose insider tip: For the most unforgettable experience, consider hiring a glass-bottom boat!

The boat trip around the scenic rock formations is an absolute must-do when in Cabo.

Don’t forget to snap a picture of the world-famous El Arco.

Playa Del Amor

After a visit to Land’s End, see both Playa Del Amor and Playa de Los Amantes.

These two beaches are best accessed by water taxis. You could try walking across at low tide (from Divorce Beach) though it is not particularly safe. An inexpensive water taxi from Medano Beach is your best bet!

Keep in mind that the sandy beaches at Land’s End have no facilities. It’s best to bring your own snacks and water if you’re planning to spend time here. The crystal-clear water and spectacular scenery will make it worthwhile.

Spend a Day At One Of Cabo’s Best Beaches

Scenic beach resort in Cabo. Chilling at a sandy beach is one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
Photo by Robbert van Bloemendaal

In case you didn’t know, Cabo San Lucas is home to some of the best beaches in North America.

These are the best beaches in Cabo

If you’re looking for the best beaches in Cabo, be sure to check out the following spots:

Santa Maria Beach

Are you a snorkeling fan? If so, don’t skip Santa Maria Beach.

This pristine, sandy beach is absolute heaven for snorkelers, as Santa Maria Bay is filled with tropical fish. The crystal-clear waters make the waters here perfect to explore.

As the beach is around 15 minutes outside of Cabo itself, it’s less crowded than some beaches in town.

The best way to reach Santa Maria Beach is by car.

There’s a free car park, public restrooms, and showers available for beachgoers.

Playa El Chileno

Right behind Santa Maria Beach lays another one of the best beaches in Cabo, Playa el Chileno.

This sandy beach, much like Santa Maria Beach, is ideal for both snorkeling and swimming.

You can rent an umbrella at Playa El Chileno for around 200 pesos ($10) per day.

There are public restrooms and showers available for beachgoers. What’s more, there’s the upscale Chileno Bay Club at the end of the beach, where you can enjoy locally-caught seafood for lunch.

Cerritos Beach

Cerritos Beach is one of the favorites among surfers in the Baja California Peninsula.

This sandy beach is perfect for surfing, both beginners as well as experts. What’s more, the wide sandy shore is great for sunbathing and people-watching.

The coast is lined with upscale, beachfront hotels where you can spend the night.

After a day at the beach, pop by the waterfront La Mision Restaurant for an exceptional dinner overlooking the sea.

Cerritos Beach is a 45-minute drive away from the heart of Cabo. Todos Santos, a great town worth visiting, is just a stone’s throw away!

Playa Balandra

Playa Balandra isn’t exactly in Cabo. In fact, it’s a 2-hour drive away from Cabo San Lucas, near the town of La Paz. Is the drive worth it?

Simply put, yes. But don’t take our word for it, check out this video to see why you need to visit Balandra.

As you can see, Playa Balandra looks absolutely spectacular. To no surprise, it is often dubbed the best beach in Mexico.

A short look at virtually any photo of the beach on the internet is enough to understand why. Let alone being able to see it yourself.

When visiting Playa Balandra, make sure you also stop by La Paz itself.

Drive To San Jose del Cabo

Shoreline of San Jose Del Cabo, beautiful tranquil sandy beaches and palm trees, as well as elevated whitewashed buildings.
Photo by Alvaro Bejarano

Get in your rental car and drive east along the main highway, leaving Cabo behind. In around half an hour, you will arrive at the scenic town of San Jose del Cabo.

When in San Jose del Cabo, go for a stroll in the heart of the town.

Mision San Jose del Cabo, beautiful whitewashed church outside of the resort town is one of the best things to do around Cabo San Lucas, Baja California
Getty Images

Snap a photo with the picturesque Mision San Jose del Cabo (photographed above), or walk down the vibrant Art Walk, and explore the street lined with quirky galleries.

Octopus Aguachile is a seafood dish at Don Sanchez restaurant, one of the best Mexican restaurants in San Jose del Cabo in Baja California.
Octopus Aguachile, one of the go-to dishes at Don Sanchez

Don’t skip a meal at the scenic Don Sanchez Restaurant, one of the top picks in the region. Choose from a selection of delicious dishes, such as tacos or local seafood. Take a look at these mouth-watering photos of what you can expect at Don Sanchez. Yummy!

Surf and Turf Taco at Don Sanchez is a modern take on Mexican cuisine. Don Sanchez is an award-winning restaurant in San Jose del Cabo by Todd Chapman.
Surf and Turf Taco at Don Sanchez

Don Sanchez is open daily from 6 PM to 10 PM.

Catch the sunset at the panoramic Cielomar Rooftop located at the top of the upscale Viceroy Hotel. Admire the spectacular sunset while sipping on a refreshing drink, or pop by for dinner. Open daily until 10PM.

Dive At Cabo Pulmo Marine Park

Shore of Cabo Pulmo National Park seen from right above the surface of the ocean. Cabo Pulmo Marine Park is a diver's paradise near Cabo San Lucas.
Photo by Clr_flickr

A 2-hour drive from Cabo San Lucas will take you to a paradise among divers, Cabo Pulmo Marine Park.

The tiny Cabo Pulmo village was established back in the late 1980s to protect one of the gems of Baja California, the largest living coral reef on this continent.

Today, the village is a great starting point for unforgettable diving and snorkeling tours.

Companies like Blue Passion Baja offer a wide selection of diving tours, as well as introductory courses for beginners, every day of the week all year long. Make sure to take a look at their website to book your adventure.

If you’d prefer snorkeling, Blue Passion Baja also offer daily snorkeling tours to the breathtaking coral reef.

Cabo Pulmo has a few great alternatives for those who would rather stay on dry land as well. Admire the scenic natural beauty of the region during an ATV tour, and see spots that are otherwise inaccessible.

Adrenaline junkies should check out the 3.5-hour long Mountain Biking tour across the desert landscape. Keep your eyes wide open, this remote area is home to some fascinating wildlife!

Go Whale-Watching

A large whale is emerging from the surface of the water. Beautiful marine life is a reason why you should go on a whale watching tour in Cabo San Lucas. One of the best things to do in Cabo is whalewatching.

The marine life off the shore of Cabo San Lucas is diverse, lively, and perhaps some of the best in this part of North America. Afterall, Cabo Pulmo Marine Park is home to one of the largest living coral reefs in the world.

When can you see whales in Cabo?

The best time of the year to go on a whale-watching tour in Cabo San Lucas is from January to March, though the season starts in December and finishes in April.

If you go whale-watching during those months, seeing a whale is pretty much guaranteed.

There are various different whale-watching tour operators in Cabo San Lucas. Rentalmoose recommends booking your tour with Whale Watch Cabo. Unlike other operators, Whale Watch Cabo gives you a guarantee of sighting a whale.

If there are no sightings during your tour, you will be offered another one at no extra cost. Note that the Whale Guarantee is offered only during the whale season (December 15th-April 15th).

What’s more, the daily tours are guided by marine biologists who will share lots of insight about marine life with you.

Go On A Day Trip To La Paz

A family of three watching the sun set on a sandy beach in La Paz, Mexico. Some say Baja California is home to some of the most wonderful sunsets on the planet, and this vibrant photograph proves it.
Photo by Yotut/flickr.com

No trip to Baja California could possibly be complete without paying a visit to its capital, La Paz. Most travelers only focus on visiting the resort of Cabo, without considering to see La Paz. In effect, La Paz has become a more authentic, under-the-radar destination.

As La Paz is a 2-hour drive away from Cabo San Lucas, we recommend setting off early in the morning. That way, you can see most of what this fascinating city has got to offer.

Local Market- Mercado Municipal General Nicolas Bravo

Rentalmoose loves local food markets. We think they’re one of the greatest ways to take in the hustle and bustle of any city or town. No matter whether you’re in Athens, Cameron Highlands, or Tallinn, the local market is the vibrant heart of local life.

The fresh food market here in La Paz, Mercado Municipal General Nicolas Bravo, is a must-visit in town. Make sure to get here early, the market is open from 6AM daily.

Historic District

Spend some time at the cozy Jardin Velasco park, or cross the street and admire the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de La Paz. The cathedral dates back to the 1800s!

From there, you can cross a couple of blocks on foot and you’ll find yourself on the panoramic Malecon.

Malecon

This waterfront promenade stretches for 3 miles (5 kilometers) and it’s undoubtedly the favorite hangout among locals. You’ll find joggers getting their morning exercise here, or groups of friends hanging out at the sandy beach.

Across the street from the promenade, you’ll find amazing restaurants and bars that provide great views of the shore. Don’t know which one to pick?

Drop by Restaurantes Bismark, one of the best picks in town. Apart from serving a wide variety of tasty meals and drinks, this eatery provides unbeatable views of the Malecon.

Restaurantes Bismark is open daily between 8AM and 11 PM.

Oh, when you’re in La Paz don’t forget to drive up to Playa Balandra!

See Todos Santos

colorful traditional decorative flags waving in the air above a street in Todos Santos, a peaceful town 30 minutes away from Cabo. Todos Santos in Baja California Mexico.
Thomas Hawk/Flickr.com

Hop on the highway along the west coast of Baja California and drive along the coast. Around an hour after leaving Cabo, you will reach the popular town of Todos Santos.

Since 2006, The Mexican government dubbed Todos Santos a Pueblo Magico. The government selected only around 100 towns in the country for the title, honoring the spots for their cultural influence, natural beauty, or historical significance.

As beautiful as Cabo is, there’s no denying the fact that it is full of tourists. Todos Santos, on the other hand, feels like a completely different world. It’s so serene that it’s hard to believe that the booming resort town of Cabo is just an hour away.

Once you’re in Todos Santos, find an on-street parking spot in the heart of the town and explore it on foot.

Hotel California

Don’t skip a visit to the Hotel California. Despite the urban legend, this is not the place that Glenn Frey sang about. Nonetheless, the hotel is a major attraction in Todos Santos and it’s worth dropping by for a visit.

Punta Lobos

Punta Lobos is a secluded, sandy beach favored among surfers. If you’re lucky, you might spot a whale from the shore!

There’s a large boulder next to the beach. If you decide to hike up to the top, you’ll be presented with panoramic views of the area. For the most magical experience, get to the top during the sunset.

El Faro Beach Club

After the drive, why not relax at a sandy beach? Visit the upscale El Faro Beach Club for the ultimate luxury experience in Todos Santos.

Sip on a colorful drink while overlooking the ocean, swim at the infinity pool, or book a massage at the Arena spa.

If you’re willing to escape the Cabo craze for a little longer, you can spend the night at the beachfront Guaycura Hotel.

The beach club is open Wednesday thru Monday from 10:30 AM to 7 PM.

Play Golf

Photo by Jeff Shewan

Golfing is a big-time activity in and around Cabo San Lucas. There are tens of different country clubs, both public and private, where experienced golfers (as well as beginners) can head for a game.

The only issue with golfing in Cabo is deciding which club to pick.

The best golf club in Cabo San Lucas

Quivira Los Cabos

Without a doubt, the most spectacular golf club in Cabo is the Quivira Los Cabos. This incredible golf course has earned countless awards, including a spot in the top 100 best golf courses in the world by Golf Digest.

This 18-hole course spans over 7000 yards, opening up to spectacular waterfront views.

After an exciting game, head over to the Quivira Golf Clubhouse for a juicy steak, or to simply take in the views once again.

Explore Santiago

Canon De La Zorra, Santa rita hot Springs are two scenic spots in Santiago Baja California. One of the best things to do in Cabo san Lucas, Mexico.
Photo by J M/Flickr.com

Much like Todos Santos, Santiago is a cute little town that can serve as a great escape from the craze of Cabo.

This tiny town dates back to the early 1700s, it specialized in agriculture. Over the last centuries, the town hasn’t really changed. Its untouched beauty makes Santiago one of the best places to visit around Cabo San Lucas.

When you’re in town, don’t miss the pretty Mision de Santiago Church that can be admired both inside and out.

Make sure you head up to the Canon de la Zorra. Admire the waterfalls set in a beautiful, desert setting.

This scenic spot is perfect for a swim, or simply photographing the beautiful views. You can either visit it independently (the entry fee is around 150 pesos [$7.5]) or on a guided tour.

Note that the only way to get to the canyon is via a sandy, unpaved road.

Before heading back to Cabo, stop by the Santa Rita Hot Springs. Open all week except Wednesday between 7AM and 7PM.

Visit El Triunfo

Photo of El triunfo mining town sign, stating the city only has 327 inhabitants as of 2010. El triumfo is a great under the radar destination near La Paz, Baja California, Mexico.
Photo by Amante Darmanin

If you’re a fan of spots that are very under-the-radar, you will love El Triunfo. As you can see in the photo above, El Triunfo has a population of just 327 people.

To be completely honest, El Triunfo is far from an attraction-packed tourist hotspot. In fact, the top-rated attraction in town, according to Tripadvisor, only has 3 reviews. Believe it or not, that’s exactly why the rustic town of El Triunfo is worth visiting.

The town was first established in the 1700s as a mining town. Once the mines shut down in the 1920s, the majority of the population moved elsewhere. Until fairly recently, El Triunfo remained essentially untouched for the past century.

In order to attract tourists, the 327 inhabitants began restoring some of the historic buildings and turning them into quirky restaurants, galleries, and other touristy attractions.

Today, El Triunfo remains one of the best-preserved former mining towns in all of North America.

What can you do in El Triunfo?

The highlight of any visit to El Triunfo is the town’s landmark, La Ramona Chimney. From there, you can see the rest of the mining complex, including Panteon Ingles and El Mirador.

Afterward, explore the heart of town right across the monumental chimney. For the best pizza in town (frankly speaking, there is no competition, though the pizza here is in fact great!), pop by Cafe El Triunfo.

Before leaving, pop by one of the town’s museums or galleries. The El Triunfo Piano Museum is set inside a 19th-century building, and well worth a visit when in town.

Don’t forget to book your rental car in Cabo with Rentalmoose, a worldwide car rental broker with over 15 000 locations around the globe.

We plant a tree for every booking made with us.

These Are The Best Day Trips from Seattle For Nature Lovers

We all need a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of a city as busy as Seattle, Washington. This blog post will cover the best day trips from Seattle, perfect for both locals and tourists visiting the area.

What are the best things to do outside of Seattle?

Seattle is one of the most frequently visited cities in the United States. Many visitors stay within the city, overlooking some of the great attractions that are accessible just a drive away from town. These are the best day trips from Seattle.

Beautiful sunset and Mount Rainier National Park make the perfect backdrop for the skyline of Seattle, Washington.
Sunset in Seattle

What is the best way to travel around Washington?

Unarguably, the best way to see all of these spectacular attractions around Washington State is by car. If you’re here by car, that’s great!

However, if you flew into Seattle, or you don’t have access to a car, it’s best to get a rental car for these day trips. Use Rentalmoose to browse tens of rental cars available in the city and pick your ideal car for this trip.

Olympic National Park

Travel time: 2 hours 30 minutes one-way.

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, Washington, United States of America. Spectacular rock formations on a dark, sandy beach
Photo by Roger Mosley

The Olympic National Park is one of the best parks in the entire nation, and an absolute must on a day trip from Seattle. Take note that the drive to this National Park is around 2 and a half hours one-way, though you can easily add an overnight stay around the park.

Before visiting the park, check the official website for any closures and safety alerts. The entrance fee, as of October 2020, is $30 per vehicle.

Note: If you love National Parks, check out this blog post where we showcase the 7 best National Park road trips!

What are the best things to do in Olympic National Park?

Kalaloch

The first stop on your drive from Seattle to the Olympic National Park will be Kalaloch, one of the most popular destinations within this park. Kalaloch Beach is a perfect spot to catch the sun rising or setting. If you’re lucky, you might spot some of the park’s diverse wildlife.

If you wish to stretch your legs after the drive from Seattle, hike the mile-long Kalaloch Nature Trail through the vibrant forest.

Don’t miss the spectacular Tree of Life, located near the Kalaloch Campground. The tree is alive despite its roots being clearly visible, creating a truly impressive sight.

Kalaloch is home to a campground, as well as the waterfront Kalaloch Lodge, where you can spend the night.

Ruby Beach

Before you head back inland, make a stop at Ruby Beach. This spot is a beach like no other. Instead of sunbathing or swimming in the ocean, travelers come here to admire the spectacular rock formations, photograph wildlife, and hike the nature trails.

Ruby Beach is worth at least a short stop on your day trip from Seattle.

Hoh Rain Forest

After a drive along the coast, turn right into Upper Hoh Road and drive into the vibrant rainforest. The winding road will take you to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, where you can pick up a comprehensive map ideal for your self-guided tour of the Olympic Park.

Hike along one of the trailheads and explore this lush forest. There are two pleasant hiking trails that form 1-mile loops around the forest: The Hall of Mosses (0.8 miles/1.3km) and The Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 miles/1.9km). If you’re down for a longer stroll, hike The Hoh River Trail which is over 17 miles long (27.4km) in total.

Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach is a perfect destination in the Olympic National Park, where you can observe the breathtaking force of the ocean. Waves crash against the coastal rocks, putting on a spectacular show to admire.

Don’t miss the Hole In The Wall, this location is perfect for exploring tide pools and makes a great photo opportunity. Beware of high tides, as the area may quickly become accessible. Click here for details.

Lake Crescent

This deep-blue lake, carved by a glacier, is another incredible spot at this National Park. It’s a perfect getaway, located just west of Seattle.

During the summer and autumn, travelers can rent a canoe and explore the lake on their own. There are different hiking trails that you can hike to take in the serene vibe of this part of the park.

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge is yet another must-see during a day trip from Seattle. Drive down the Hurricane Ridge Road to get here. Leave your car and admire the panoramic views. Afterall, Hurricane Ridge is the most accessible mountain area in the park.

During the glorious winter season, you can enjoy snowshoeing or skiing. You can get more information about the winter activities and equipment rental right here.

Note that Hurricane Ridge Road is only open on weekends during the winter (if the weather permits it), and all-week during the summer season. Consult the park’s website for information on current closures.

Alternatively, check out the other day trips from Seattle listed below.

Mount Rainier National Park

Travel time: below 2 hours one-way.

Reflection of snow-covered Mount Rainier seen in crystal-clear alpine lake surrounded by tall, green trees. Washington State
Photo by Skeeze

Mount Rainier National Park is another must-visit destination, ideal for day trips from Seattle. The park is located just south of Seattle. Mount Rainier is the tallest mountain in all of Washington State.

Check for any closures and safety alerts on the park’s official website right here. The admission fee costs $30 per vehicle, as of November 2020.

What are the best things to do at Mount Rainier?

Paradise

Take the scenic chicane-filled Paradise Valley Road until you reach Paradise. As the name suggests, this area looks straight out of a fairytale. Expect truly spectacular scenery, including tall waterfalls and wildflower meadows. Take in the view at Inspiration Point, this pullout offers amazing mountain views.

Rental Moose mascot sitting happily on a wooden bench overlooking the forest in Washington, United States. See Mount Rainier with the best Seattle day trips with Rentalmoose

You can pop by the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center and pick up a comprehensive pamphlet to learn more about the park.

This part of the park is home to exciting hiking trails, such as Nisqually Vista Trail, Alta Vista Trail, or Pinnacle Peak.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Drive up to the Reflection Lake and take the perfect photo, capturing the mountain’s reflection in the deep-blue water. Remember to post your photos online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!

Grove of The Patriarchs Trail

This fascinating 1-mile (1.6 km) trailhead will take you to a fairytale-like island, via a fun swinging suspension bridge. Once on the island, travelers are surrounded by thousand-year-old Douglas fir trees.

The grove is easily accessible, perhaps the easiest hike in the entire national park. Don’t miss it on your day trip!

Silver Falls Trail

The Trail to Silver Falls is a moderate, 3-mile (4.8km) loop ideal for an afternoon stroll. The total duration to cover this loop is around 2 hours, the easy hike is child-friendly and perfect for a family adventure.

What’s more, you will also see natural hot springs when hiking along this trail. After the hike, feel free to pop by the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center to learn more about the area.

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park, beautiful autumn colors on green hills, alpine lakes and snow-covered mountains in the distance.
Photo by E. Thorsen

Travel time: 2 hours one-way.

The North Cascades National Park is widely regarded as one of the best National Parks you can visit in this part of the United States. It is just 2 hours away from Seattle, making it the perfect destination for one of your day trips from Seattle.

You can easily spend one day to cross this scenic park by car, stopping at different overlooks, and completing a few hikes.

Before visiting the park, make sure to double-check the current safety alerts and closures on the official website. North Cascades can be visited free of charge!

What are the best things to do in North Cascades National Park?

North Cascades Highway Scenic Drive

Enter the park via the scenic North Cascades Highway. Expect wonderful panoramic views during this 30-mile (50km) drive, scattered with pullouts and overlooks where you can stop by to take in this wonderland. Pretty much all of the park’s attractions are situated along this drive.

If you’re short on time, make sure to at least see Diablo Lake from the Diablo Lake Vista Point.

Sterling Munro Trail

This trailhead is the perfect chance to get an unobstructed view of the impressive mountains. Trust me, the views are simply unbeatable!

The 300-foot long (90 meters) boardwalk is worth at least a short visit. Its easy accessibility makes it perfect for the entire family.

What’s more, you can pop by the North Cascades Visitor Center which is right at the beginning of the trail.

Diablo Lake Vista Point

The Diablo Lake Vista Point is unarguably one of the prettiest sights in the entire park, you simply have to see it on your day trip from Seattle. The picturesque Diablo Lake is known for its unique, nearly turquoise shade of water. It makes for a perfect photo opportunity, with the enormous mountains as a backdrop.

Ross Lake Overlook

The point that overlooks Ross Lake may not be as impressive as the one overlooking Diablo Lake, though it is still worth at least a short peek. This overlook is located right on the North Cascades Highway, no detour required.

Rainy Lake

Continue further down the North Cascades Highway and stop at the Rainy Pass car park. Leave your car here and follow the 2-mile (3.2km) paved trailhead to enjoy a perfect view of the serene Rainy Lake.

Take note that you need to be a Northwest Forest Pass holder to hike down this trail. It is sold for $5 at the trailhead.

Washington Pass Observation Point

The final must-see in the North Cascades during your Washington day trip is the Washington Pass Overlook. You can admire the view as Highway 20 twirls around the monstrous Liberty Bell Mountain. It is the perfect sight to take in before heading back to Seattle.

Mount Saint Helens National Monument

Travel time: 3 hours one-way

Mount Saint Helens National Monument, erupted back in the 1980s causing enormous damage to the state of Washington. Snow covered mountain seen during sunset on a clear day
Source: Public Domain Pictures

Mount Saint Helens is a volcanic site, infamous for its eruption back in May 1980. This eruption, the most catastrophic in US history, claimed 57 lives and ruined hundreds of homes.

What are the best things to do at Mount St. Helens?

Mount St. Helens Visitor Center

Before heading to see the Volcanic Monument itself, be sure to pay a visit to the Visitor Center located in Silver Lake. Inside, you can learn about the history of the mountain, and the terrible effects of its eruption.

You can check the opening hours and the admission fee on this website. As of October 2020, the visitor center remains closed due to COVID-19.

Coldwater Lake

Coldwater Lake is a fun recreational area at the foot of Mount St. Helens. During the summer season, visitors can enjoy canoeing on the waters, or go for a picnic at one of the tables near the parking area.

If you wish to stretch your legs after the 3-hour drive from Seattle, hike down the Birth of A Lake. The 0.6 miles (1km) trail is easily accessible and opens up to panoramic views of the lake.

Windy Ridge Viewpoint

Don’t miss the Windy Ridge Viewpoint during your day trip from Seattle. From here, visitors can get a true sense of the scale of the volcano’s eruption. This eerie sight, although beautiful, is a chilling reminder of what nature is capable of.

The access road to Windy Ridge Viewpoint is closed in winter.

Chuckanut Scenic Drive

Travel time: 1 hour 20 minutes

View of the Pacific Ocean seen from Chuckanut in the northern part of Washington State. Chuckanut is famous for its scenic coastal drive
Photo by E. Thorsen

The Chuckanut Scenic Drive is a Scenic Byway less than 90 minutes north of Seattle, and it is the perfect destination for day trips from Seattle. It is the only spot where the Cascades meet the ocean, providing some spectacular natural beauty.

Oyster Dome Trailhead

One of the must-see stops on this coastal drive is the beginning of the Oyster Dome trail. This scenic hike will take you up to the Samish Overlook, where you can admire the perfect views from an elevated perspective. On a clear day, you should be able to see San Juan Island!

Larrabee State Park

Pass the town of Chuckanut and turn right into the Larrabee State Park, Washington’s first-ever State Park. This area is known among locals for its great hiking trails, fishing opportunities, and shellfish harvesting. Off the coast, the waters are a popular dive spot.

Bellingham

The scenic drive finishes in the cute town of Bellingham, which is another must-see during a day trip from Seattle. This small town is the northernmost city in the United States (excluding Alaska, of course). Pop by the town and peek inside its local museum, shops, or head for lunch to one of the cozy restaurants.

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure. On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your next road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

Magical white disney neuschwanstein castle in a green forest on a sunny day

The best day trips in Munich, Germany by rental car

The best day trips from Munich, Germany by rental car.

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (the distance is one way) :

Munich to the Neuschwanstein Castle- 110 kilometers (70 miles)📍  

Munich to Salzburg and The Eagle’s Nest- 180 kilometers (110 miles)📍

Munich to Nuremberg- 170 kilometers (105 miles)📍

Munich to Stuttgart- 230 kilometers (140 miles)📍

Munich to Passau- 190 kilometers (120 miles)📍

880 kilometers (550 miles) in total + returns to Munich

Tags: Travel guide, Day Trips, Germany, Short Distance

Bavaria is considered one of the best places to visit in Europe. Visit fairytale castles, Nazi-hideaway-turned-restaurants, medieval towns and a lot more on the best day trips from Munich.

This travel guide takes you on short day trips from Munich. Alternatively, you can change the itinerary into a single road trip between each milestone. Rentalmoose recommends adding a few days to explore The Black Forest, you won’t regret it!

Planning- Before You Leave

Before setting off on the best day trips from Munich, take a look at some essential information listed below.

When is the best time to visit Southern Germany?

Enjoy the hottest weather when you visit during the Summer. Keep in mind, however, that the tourist season peaks in the heart of Summer (July through August). During that time, some attractions might get overcrowded. If you go during the “shoulder season” before or after the Summer, you may be able to catch the best weather without the hordes of tourists.

Trip Extensions

Munich is only a few hours away from the picturesque Black Forest, one of the most underrated travel destinations within Germany. Extend your trip and drive through the scenic Black Forest High Road, wander around the ruins of a monastery and observe the tallest waterfall in the country, before heading off to Switzerland. Click here for the guide.

You can also head south into the Swiss Alps and explore the glorious mountains, drive up to the top of Europe or ski in the world’s most prestigious resorts. Check out the Swiss Alps Travel guide and plan your ideal road trip.

Why should I book a rental car in Germany?

Germany, especially the southern part of the country, is absolutely perfect to be discovered via a rental car. The toll-free German highway network (Autobahn) is very well-developed and maintained. What’s more, spectacular roadside views are guaranteed around Neuschwanstein, Salzburg and the Eagle’s Nest.

Germany and Austria are both members of the open-borer Schengen zone, therefore border crossing is quick and hassle-free. When driving in Austria, you are required to have a highway vignette. The routes suggested in this guide avoid highways in Austria. In this case, a vignette is not necessary.

For extra peace of mind during your road trip, Rentalmoose recommends adding excess coverage when booking your rental car. Once you’ve picked up the car, don’t forget to take photos of the car to qualify for a 50% discount from the excess coverage fee.

Can tourists drive in Germany? 

Absolutely! Tourists above the age of 18 can freely drive using a foreign driver’s license for up to 6 months, without the need for an International Driving Permit.

When driving on the German Autobahn, remember to stick to the right lane unless overtaking. Some segments of the Autobahn have no speed limits, it is especially crucial not to block the overtaking lanes on unrestricted segments.

Speed limits are enforced quite strictly in Germany. You may come across well-hidden radars, especially in urban zones. Pay attention to road signs at all times and stay within the limit.

If you do happen to get a speeding ticket, you will be pleased to hear that the fines are rather low.

Getting caught at 11-15km/h (6.8-9.3 MPH) above the limit outside of urban zones will result in a 40 Euro ticket.

Germany, as well as Austria, have right-hand side traffic.

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into the best day trips in Munich!

Munich

munich old town medieval church seen from above next to traditional bavarian buildings on a cloudy day germany. Enjoy the best day trips in Munich with Rentalmoose

Photography by Ian Kelsall.

This adventure begins in one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. The picturesque city is loved by tourists for its medieval architecture, rich history, plentiful cultural venues, and various outdoor activities. Football fans are in for a treat, as Munich is home to FC Bayern. 

This city will serve as the base for your day trips from Munich. Make sure you explore the fascinating city first, before setting off on Munich day trips.

For maximum convenience, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car directly from Munich Airport, Munich Hauptbahnhof Train Station, or the central bus station. Browse through rental companies that support airport pick-up via Rentalmoose.

Don’t forget to take check-in photos using the Rentalmoose app once you’ve picked up your rental car to qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee. 

Is Munich worth visiting?

Absolutely! Munich is a fascinating historic city that is filled with attractions for history lovers, art aficionados, foodies, photographers and shoppers of all kinds. Also, don’t forget the region’s football culture and intense matches that take place at the world-class Allianz Arena.

When in Munich, you can’t skip a visit to the Marienplatz, a historic square that has been the heart of the city since the 1100s. Admire the golden statue of the Virgin Mary in the middle of the square or grab a coffee at one of the local cafes. Stroll around the area and feel the real medieval vibe.

Foodies should definitely head to the Viktualienmarkt just a walk away from the main square. The former farmer’s market has been around for hundreds of years and has all sorts of deliciousness in store for you, ranging from local Bavarian specialties to exotic fruit.

The market operates between Monday and Saturday from 10 AM onwards. Closed on Sundays.

When visiting Marienplatz and its surroundings, it’s best to drop off your rental car at one of the spacious multi-story car parks located just a short walk away from the heart of the city.

Rates vary between 2 and 6 Euros per hour.

Wandering around the glamorous Munich Residence, the stunning structure was originally built in the 1380s. The vast majority of the residence was destroyed during the Second World War, though it has been carefully reconstructed in the 1980s.

Today, the complex consists of 130 charming rooms and 10 colorful courtyards. Admission costs below 10 EUR per person, tickets can only be purchased by cash or credit card upon entrance.

Oktoberfest

If you’re visiting Munich in the second half of September, be sure to drop by the famous Oktoberfest. The festival is filled with countless food stalls, theme park rides, local souvenir shops, parties, and parades.

Of course, the highlight is beer which is available all over the place. Check for details on the official website.

Experience Bavarian cuisine and hospitality at the Hofbrauehaus. The famous beer hall has been welcoming guests since the late 1500s and is the favorite go-to tavern among locals as well as tourists.

Guests can choose from a variety of local Bavarian dishes and beverages (including non-alcoholic beers).

Rentalmoose order tip: Be sure to try the favorites, such as Pretzels and Wiener Schnitzels.

What are the best hotels in Munich?

Luxury travelers should consider checking into the Mandarin Oriental Munich. The elegant 5-star hotel in the heart of Munich’s Old Town features prestigious rooms and suites, as well as luxurious amenities such as a spa and wellness center and a fine-dining restaurant that offers a mix of exceptional Japanese and Peruvian cuisine.

In the summer, guests can relax at the terrace that offers panoramic views of the area.

Traveling on a tighter budget? The Achat Hotel Muenchen Sued might be the perfect choice for you. The 4-star hotel offers modern, well-equipped rooms as well as a fitness center, a restaurant, and a bar, all at an affordable price tag. A private car park is available for hotel guests.

Once you’ve spent enough time in the city, begin your Munich day trips.

First day trip from Munich: Neuschwanstein Castle, 1 hour 50 minutes

Neuschwanstein Castle

neuschwanstein white magical disney castle on green hill forest greenfields and lake in background germany bavaria. See it during a short day trip from Munich with Rentalmoose

The Neuschwanstein Castle is a magical structure located less than 2 hours away from the city, making it the perfect destination for a day trip from Munich.

Why is Neuschwanstein Castle famous?

The fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most famous castles in the entire world, commissioned by King Ludwig II in the 19th century. 

King Ludwig II was known for fairytale-like buildings, and the Neuschwanstein Castle remains the most famous structure commissioned by him. The king was meant to live in the castle, but he ended up dying before getting the chance to move in. 

The magical Neuschwanstein Castle has been a symbol of Germany ever since. It even inspired Walt Disney’s fairytale castle found in Disneyland parks.

Admire the castle and its scenic surroundings from the nearby viewpoint, or head to the Skywalk to observe the view from a different perspective.

Afterward, head to the ticket center in the Hohenschwangau village near the castle, as it is the only place to purchase tickets to the Neuschwanstein Castle.

The admission to Neuschwanstein Castle costs below 15 Euros per person, children younger than 18 can enter free of charge. Walk through the castle’s monumental rooms and decorative chambers.

 After a visit to the castle itself, travelers can hike across the monumental mountains surrounding the castle. Hike along the allgaeu hiking trails. Be sure to bring your camera with you, as there will be plenty of scenic viewpoints along the way!

If you’re lucky, you might spot some of the local wildlife too.

Next day trip from Munich: Salzburg, 1 hour 50 minutes

Salzburg & The Eagle’s Nest

salzburg town on two banks of calm river surrounded by alps seen from distant field in snowy winter

Photography by Gerald Lobenwein.

What is Salzburg known for?

After a day of exploration at the Neuschwanstein castle, make your way over to the Austrian border and the picturesque city of Salzburg. The famed city is known for being the birthplace of Mozart, and plenty of attractions in town pay homage to the great composer. 

The drive from Munich to Salzburg takes less than 2 hours one way, consider taking the A94 and then the B20, it will cost you just around 10 more minutes but you will avoid Austrian highway tolls (vignette).

The best place to begin your Salzburg exploration is the Old Town, one of the largest UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites on the planet and one of the best-preserved historic districts in this part of Europe.

Stroll around the busy streets, admire the magnificent baroque and medieval architecture or step inside one of the local cafes for a refreshing coffee. 

The Old Town (Altstadt in German) is the perfect spot to satisfy your shopping needs, too. Head to Getreidegasse, where the picturesque street is lined with stores selling anything from souvenirs and antiques to high-end clothing and jewelry. The area is filled with eateries and cafes, don’t hesitate to visit some of them for a slice of freshly-baked cake or an aromatic tea. 

Parking around Salzburg’s Old Town can be stressful, especially during the weekends when the area gets extremely busy. Rentalmoose recommends dropping off your rental car at this Contipark car park, just a short walk from the heart of town. Most of the city’s best attractions are located within the Altstadt, it’s best to leave your car at the car park and continue exploring on foot.

Stroll around the vibrant Old Town until you reach Mozart’s Residence situated on the Makartplatz. The residence was reconstructed after it had been completely destroyed during World War 2.

Today, Mozart’s Residence is a museum filled with the great composer’s memorabilia, as well as a variety of facts about the artist’s family life and the house itself. A visit is an absolute must, not just for Mozart fans.

Open daily between 9 AM and 5:30 PM.

The Eagle’s Nest

the eagle's nest restaurant and nazi hideout structure at steep mountain top in germany

The Eagle’s Nest photographed by John H.

As your day trip from Munich comes to an end, make a slight detour and visit one of the most unique attractions in the region, located in Germany right next to the Austrian border.

The Eagle’s Nest was constructed as a mountain hideaway during the Third Reich era. The eerie structure has since been turned into a unique restaurant atop the mountain. Indulge in regional German cuisine while admiring breathtaking views of the Alps, or enjoy the cool breeze at the outside terrace.

History fans can book a guided tour around parts of the former Nazi hideaway that are off-limits to restaurant guests.

The Eagle’s Nest strategic location makes it impossible to reach by car. Travelers can either hike up to the building (roughly 2 hours one way) or leave their cars at the Documentation Center car park and take the bus up to the end of the road. From there, walk through an eerie tunnel and take the elevator up to the top.

Private cars can’t go further than the Documentation Center. What’s more, the Eagle’s Nest is seasonal and remains closed in winter. 

Next day trip from Munich: Nuremberg, 2 hours

Nuremberg

nuremberg medieval weinstadel structure next to river and green trees on a hot sunny day in germany

Photography by Bluefish_Japan/Pixabay.com

Did you know that one of the oldest cities in all of Bavaria lies just 2 hours north of Munich? The city’s historical significance dates over 900 years back. It’s a perfect destination for a day trip from Munich.

Is Nuremberg worth visiting?

Most definitely! The charming medieval city was bombed during World War II and has been carefully reconstructed. Today, it looks better than ever. The historic streets are absolutely perfect to get lost in.

Begin by exploring the heart of the city’s historic district. Drop off your rental car at the Hauptmarkt car park (current rates on the website) and explore the area on foot. Get a photo by the Weinstadel (photographed above), a medieval wine warehouse.

Admire the structure’s facade and wander around the area, as the warehouse itself is not open for public viewing.

For a panoramic view of the heart of Nuremberg, walk to the Kaiserburg Castle in the northern part of the Old Town. Apart from stunning views of the area, the 11th-century castle has major historical significance.

The castle used to be one of the most important buildings of the Holy Roman Empire and remains one of the city’s landmarks. Photograph the exterior or step inside for a tour revealing the castle’s fascinating secrets. Current admission costs can be found here.

Bratwurst Roeslein

Foodies will find themselves in paradise in Bratwurst Roeslein, the world’s biggest sausage restaurant located in the heart of Nuremberg’s old town.

The eatery has been serving delicious sausages ever since it first opened in 1431 and remains one of the best spots to get a taste of real Franconian cuisine, both traditional and with a modern twist.

Open daily between noon and 8 PM.

Explore the less-comfortable, infamous part of German history at the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in the southeastern part of Nuremberg. The vast majority of the large complex can be explored by visitors, guests can also gather insight at the exhibition located inside the Documentation Center.

The Rally Grounds serve as a reminder of the horrendous part of German history during World War II.

Next day trip from Munich: Stuttgart, 2 hours 30 minutes

Stuttgart

porsche museum main building modern architecture seen from nearby street at night time

Photography by Gabriele Bendler.

Why should you visit Stuttgart?

Stuttgart is on the bucket list of many tourists as it can be considered the birthplace of the automobile. The city is home to the headquarters and factories of two German automotive tycoons: Mercedes Benz and Porsche. The city also offers a wide array of attractions beyond automobiles. The attractions make Stuttgart perfect for a day trip from Munich.

An absolute must-see in Stuttgart is the famous Mercedes Benz Museum. The museum consists of over 1500 exhibits covering 16 500 square meters in total. Learn about the automobile first invented by Carl Benz in 1886 and the invention’s fascinating journey to the modern era.

The engaging exhibits make the museum an exciting spot worth visiting, not just for die-hard petrolheads.

Continue your journey through automotive history when you visit The Porsche Museum. Although much smaller than the Mercedes Benz Museum, it is just as captivating.

Admire more than 80 iconic Porsche automobiles. Some date all the way back to the 1800s, whilst others are among the rarest in the world.

Porsche enthusiasts (or Porschephiles, if you will), can even book an unforgettable drive in a modern Porsche. Details available here.

Art enthusiasts can’t skip paying a visit to the Staatsgalerie. The gallery first opened in the 1840s and holds some of the best artwork in the entire country. Inside, guests can find temporary exhibitions as well as a permanent collection of pieces by artists such as Salvador Dali, Rembrandt, Picasso or Henri Matisse.

The museum in itself is worth mentioning as well, as the artworks are placed inside a monumental Neoclassical building with a Post-Modern extension added in the 1980s.

Next day trip from Munich: Passau, 2 hours

Passau

passau small old town medieval buildings and white decorative church seen from across river with cruise boats

Photography by Kathian Leviasa.

What to do in Passau?

Passau is a cute historic city situated by three rivers, hence it’s often referred to as “The City of Three Rivers”. Located minutes from the Austrian border, Passau is another perfect day trip from Munich.

The charming town is famous for its architecture, which is a mix of gothic and baroque styles, as well as its stunning natural setting between mountains and on the banks of three rivers.

Drop off your rental car here and stroll around the historic part of town on foot.

Step inside the local Glass Museum, which hosts the world’s largest and most diverse collection of Bohemian glass. Admire the collection all week between 9 AM and 5 PM. Admission costs below 10 Euros per person as of 2020.

Continue wandering around the picturesque heart of Passau until you reach the Cathedral of St Stephen. The monumental baroque church is magnificent both inside and out.

Inside, among the decorative interior and historic artwork, guests can find the largest pipe organ in all of Europe and the second-largest in the world. The instrument is a spectacular sight, consisting of over 17 thousand pipes and is magical to see and hear.

Every day at noon (except Sundays), concerts take place at the cathedral. Consider arriving early to purchase tickets as they are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis, the ticketing booth opens around two hours prior to the concert.

Enjoy a regional lunch at the Wirsthaus Bayerischer Loewe, one of the best local eateries in Passau. The restaurant is located in the heart of the old town and serves delicious German dishes, such as various types of local sausages, Schweinshaxe, Schnitzel and more!

Open daily until midnight, including Sundays.

Once you’ve ticked off all the best day trips from Munich, it’s time head back. For maximum convenience, drop off your rental car directly at the Munich Airport right before leaving. Car rental companies that support airport drop-off can be found via Rentalmoose.

Don’t have a car you can take on day trips from Munich? No problem!

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