How to Experience a City in a Weekend

Exploring a city can be an adventure, and with a little preparation you can avoid lots of frustration. See pictures of city skylines.

Visiting a new city can be a fun and thrilling experience. But on a limited timetable, it can also be stressful. Which neighborhoods do you visit? What's the best place to eat and shop? Should you go for the tourist-friendly side of town or dive deep into the city that the locals are used to?

It's a good idea to get the answers to these questions before you actually travel to the city. You don't want to spend the first part of your trip sorting through all the options available to you. And it's just as important to realize that no matter how efficient you are, you're probably not going to see everything. If you can resolve yourself to the idea that you might just miss out on a few things, you'll be able to enjoy your visit with less frustration.

First, you'll need to define for yourself what experiencing a city entails. It might involve visiting historic sites or famous landmarks. Or maybe you want to go to museums or theatres. Even a plan as simple as enjoying the local cuisine could give you a head start on planning your trip.

Every city has its own personality. Some, like New York City, are enormous, crowded and hectic. The pace in New York is much different from that of a city like Asheville, North Carolina, for instance. Depending upon the size and population density of a city, you may need to focus your trip on a very specific section of town. A trip to New York City to visit all five boroughs would require you to stay on the move for nearly the entire duration of your stay!

Now that the basics are out of the way, let's take a look at ways to research your weekend trip.