My First Vacation! ...for four days.
March 26, 2011 7:25 PM   Subscribe

I have four free days to do anything. What would you do to maximize the awesomeness?

Back story: I'll be completing my university degree in a month. I was lucky enough to get a full-time job at an awesome company right out of school. Unfortunately, it means I don't really have any time off between work and school (I was originally planning on a trip to Australia). I've never really been on a vacation anywhere and went immediately from high school to university and now from university to a career.

Current situation: So I have four full days between by last exam and my first day of full-time work. What can I do to maximize the awesomeness of my big four-day vacation?

A couple notes:
- I'm open to any suggestions as long it's something awesome and/or is the most productive use of time. (I don't want to waste any time since it's so limited.)
- Assume there's no budget (although cheaper is better).
- I'd love to travel somewhere, but I'm afraid only four days could be a bit of a waste.
- FWIW, I'm in Winnipeg (medium-sized Canadian city with not a tonne to do) and it looks like there could be a little snow lingering around still by then.
- My "new" job is a place I've been working part-time at, so prep-ing for the job isn't needed.

Otherwise, give me your suggestions! The more the better. How would you make the absolute most of four days of freedom?
posted by Kippersoft to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Ever been to a boutique hotel? Spend four days sleeping in nice sheets, eating well, and sitting in a hot tub. Effectively, be a tourist in your own city.

If you don't have any in Winnipeg, take a flight to Montreal - there are a ton off of Rue St. Christophe (Katuma is my personal favorite).

Other suggestions of mine would involve camping, backpacking, cycling, and otherwise doing outdoorsy stuff - something which your mention of the snow might make it an issue (I'm a fan of Canmore, Alberta type geography - something Winnipeg is not particularly close to).
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:42 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

4 days is more than you think, if you're traveling someplace that's no more than a few hours away. Obviously Australia would be out, but you could hit just about any city in North America if it's got a nonstop flight from Winnipeg. You can pack a lot into 4 days as a tourist.
posted by katemonster at 7:43 PM on March 26, 2011

Leave the exam, go directly to the airport, and grab your flight to... Vancouver, Quebec, Toronto or Chicago - anywhere you can get a non-stop flight. Three full days in any of those cities plus one to return is enough to have a good browse of any of those cities. Schedule a MeFi meetup now!
posted by DarlingBri at 7:43 PM on March 26, 2011

Pop down to Vegas, drive up into Utah. See Zion, Monument Valley, Capitol Reef, Bryce..then head back to Vegas and fly home. I can fill in more blanks if you like, but I've done exactly what I propose, at exactly that time of year, as a means to introduce my dad to Utah.
posted by notsnot at 7:46 PM on March 26, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I would do something that interests you as a hobby, and take it a step farther.

Me? I like to wander around and photograph insects and spiders and look for fossils. I would head out to Kemmerer, Wyoming and look for fish fossils for a day or so, camp out in the middle of nowhere for a few days, and come back home. If I had 6 days, I would head out to Delta, Utah and look for trilobites.

You get the gist though. Take a trip that will satisfy a hobby or interest you like to do in your spare time and take it to the next level.
posted by sanka at 7:53 PM on March 26, 2011 [3 favorites]

When I graduated from college, I was in an extremely similar situation; my internship had turned into a job, and I only had a few days off. Looking back, I really wished I had asked for some more time. Even just two or three days more would have made a difference. It's a big transition, and you deserve some time and space to take it all in and breathe.
posted by charmcityblues at 9:27 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Is this happening soon? If so...

I'd fly up to Churchill and see the polar bears up close.
Or fly down to San Francisco and spend a few days soaking up the local culture
Or I would fly to Vancouver and from there to Tofino, and soak up several days by the Pacific Ocean. Learn to surf, eat good food, linger on the large empty beaches.

those would be my top 3 suggestions for close-to-winnipeg, yet a world away.
posted by seawallrunner at 10:19 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Toronto is an hour and a half away if you are an urban person. You ought to be able to find something to do there for four days.

You don't say what you like to do, so it's hard to add more value than that. But definitely seconding the "get out of Dodge" advice here.

For cheap flights, subscribe to Air Canada and WestJet emails. Every week they'll send you a list of discounted fares and you can choose one and boogie.
posted by salishsea at 12:35 AM on March 27, 2011

You've seen Ferris Bueller's day off? Most cities have plenty to do under the surface.
posted by chrisinseoul at 1:27 AM on March 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Most cities have plenty to do under the surface.

We're talking about Winnipeg here. It's not 'most cities'.

My suggestion - since budget is an issue, but you want a nice experience, wherever you go look into Priceline or Hotwire for hotels. You can usually book a nice 4-star hotel for the price of
a much lower quality off-the-rack room.
posted by Gortuk at 5:46 AM on March 27, 2011

I'd find a cheap Caribbean vacation package.
posted by smokingmonkey at 7:35 AM on March 27, 2011

posted by cyndigo at 9:38 AM on March 27, 2011

SKYDIVING. I bought a groupon for $100 with a group of people. Serious awesomeness.
posted by allymusiqua at 9:42 AM on March 27, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I think you've all convinced me to still take a trip somewhere.

I guess the ideal place would be something urban enough to enjoy the evenings (a good meal and a concert or something), but something with a bit of a small-towny feel where I could just walk around and randomly explore some place -- relaxing with a little adventure. Winnipeg is flat surrounded by more flat, so any place with any sort of landscape gets moved right up to the top of the list. I also enjoy nature/scenic stuff and I like the idea of turning this into a bit of a photography trip.

These in mind, where can I get the biggest bang for my buck/time?
posted by Kippersoft at 10:25 AM on March 27, 2011

San Francisco!
posted by Kololo at 10:43 AM on March 27, 2011

Seconding San Francisco. There's tons to do, it's very walkable, and it's beautiful. It's not cheap, by any means, but you're only going for 4 days.
posted by desjardins at 1:13 PM on March 27, 2011

I'm a Seattleite, so I encourage you to explore the area around the Pacific Northwest if you're looking for landscape diversity. If you're into volcanes, there is Mt. Rainer and Mt. St. Helens -- and some excellent caves as well. You've got a great combination of land, water, mountains, and forest that's ripe for photography. And if you are graduating in June, there are baby seals!

Portland definitely feels smaller than Seattle if you want to stay in one area.

How mobile are you going to be -- are you looking to fly into an airport and drive, or find a smaller place and explore? Are you outdoorsy, or looking for "accessible nature"?
posted by cynthia_rose at 1:13 PM on March 27, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks all. San Francisco seems to be a popular suggestion and a pretty good place to check out. I'm really interested in some of the day/over-night trips offered in the Yosemite region. Does any happen to have any experience with these?
posted by Kippersoft at 5:05 PM on March 27, 2011

San Francisco AND Yosemite is too much to do properly in 4 days. Also, I don't know for sure, but I'd imagine there's still snow in Yosemite in April.
posted by desjardins at 7:33 PM on March 27, 2011

San Francisco + Monterrey might be more doable. There is nice hiking in Point Reyes just north of SF as well. It's ~4 hrs drive to Yosemite, and that might just be to the entrance. It is breathtaking though, but it would really cut into your time in SF.

Also, in SF - there is this amazing greenhouse in one of the parks (I forget what it is called exactly, but maybe this). It's an art deco-ish building with amazing plants. There is something similar in detroit, but I've never seen anything like it elsewhere.
posted by lab.beetle at 6:45 PM on March 28, 2011

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