12 days in New York City, Philadelphia & Washington DC Itinerary

12 days in New York City, Philadelphia & Washington DC Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States holiday planner

This plan was created by another user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

12 days in New York City, Philadelphia & Washington DC Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly + bus:  8​h 45​min
1
New York City
— 4 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Philadelphia
— 4 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
3
Washington DC
— 3 nights
Fly:  7​h
End: San Francisco

4
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 New York City Hall for their historical value. Get some cultural insight at Times Square and Ellis Island. There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, take in the pleasant sights at Central Park, enjoy breathtaking views from Empire State Building, and admire the landmark architecture of Rockefeller Center.

For photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read New York City journey planner.

San Francisco to New York City is an approximately 9-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also fly; or drive. Traveling from San Francisco to New York City, you'll lose 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from San Francisco in December, expect New York City to be little chillier, temps between 48°F and 36°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Philadelphia.

Things to do in New York City

Museums Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
The Metropolitan Museum of Art ©
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
9/11 Memorial ©
9/11 Memorial
Times Square ©
Times Square

4
nights
Philadelphia

Philadelphia ©
Steeped in cultural and historical heritage, Philadelphia is known as the birthplace of U.S.
Get some cultural insight at Brandywine River Museum of Art and Elfreth's Alley. Your inner history buff will appreciate Valley Forge National Historical Park and Powel House. Change things up with a short trip to Bellview Winery in Landisville (about 56 minutes away). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Independence Hall, make a trip to Rittenhouse Square, admire the striking features of Boathouse Row, and browse the exhibits of Franklin Court.

To see maps, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Philadelphia tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by train from New York City to Philadelphia takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Philadelphia are 48°F, while nighttime lows are 35°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to catch the train to Washington DC.

Things to do in Philadelphia

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Brandywine River Museum of Art, Valley Forge National Historical Park, Bellview Winery
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Valley Forge National Historical Park ©
Brandywine River Museum of Art ©
Brandywine River Museum of Art
Independence Hall ©
Independence Hall

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.
Get some historical perspective at Washington National Cathedral and Capitol Hill. National Gallery of Art and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step out of Washington DC to go to Baltimore and see Sagamore Spirit Distillery, which is approximately 58 minutes away. There's much more to do: examine the collection at National Air and Space Museum, appreciate the extensive heritage of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, explore the different monuments and memorials at Arlington National Cemetery, and learn more about the world around you at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

For more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Washington DC sightseeing planning app .

Traveling by train from Philadelphia to Washington DC takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 51°F in December, and nighttime lows around 37°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Washington DC

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Arlington, Sagamore Spirit Distillery
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier ©
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Washington National Cathedral ©
Washington National Cathedral
National Air and Space Museum ©
National Air and Space Museum

Similar Plans

16 days in New York City BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 13 days in New York City & Washington DC BY A USER FROM INDIA January, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM ITALY December, kids, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in New York City, Las Vegas & San Francisco BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Washington DC & New York City BY A USER FROM MONGOLIA December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in New York City BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA December, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 14 days in Niagara Falls & New York City BY A USER FROM BANGLADESH December, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in New York City & Boston BY A USER FROM FRANCE July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in New York City, Philadelphia & Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES October, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in New York City & Orlando BY A USER FROM INDONESIA December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in California, Orlando & New York City BY A USER FROM INDIA December, teens, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans