Last updated: 02:00 AM ET, Wed March 25 2015

How To Spend the Perfect Weekend in Wales

Destination & Tourism | Visit Wales | Kristina Rundquist | March 25, 2015

How To Spend the Perfect Weekend in Wales

PHOTO: Cardiff Castle. Courtesy of VisitWales.

With much of our country still knee-deep in snow, it's understandable that a person’s fancy would turn to lush rolling hills, fresh spring color and crisp clean air. What better way to indulge this fantasy and celebrate the end of the winter doldrums than with a weekend break in Wales?

With more than 8,000 square miles of countryside and close to 1,700 miles of coastline, it's hard to know where to start. Here are some suggestions:

For first-time visitors, Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is the perfect jumping-off point. This vibrant city has a little something for everyone, whether they are a history lover, a foodie or a shopaholic -- and it doesn't hurt that it gets 10 percent more hours of sunshine and 10 percent less rain than the rest of Wales.

Start off your getaway with a visit to Cardiff Castle, a gargoyle-bedecked gothic fantasy and one of the city's most popular heritage attractions. Conveniently located in the city center, visitors can take in more than 2,000 years of Welsh history and see what an unlimited imagination -- and budget -- can create.

Got your fill of culture? Then it is time to get your fill of some of Cardiff's homegrown delicacies. Start at the one of Cardiff's four farmers' markets and grab a picnic lunch to enjoy in Bute Park or walk across the road into town and have your pick of restaurants and bars to suit every appetite.

Art lovers will want to spend the remainder of the day indulging their creative side at the nearby National Museum of Cardiff, home to one of Europe's largest art collections, including world-renowned impressionist and post-impressionist work, 1930’s surrealism and 20th-century Welsh art.

Those looking to splurge on themselves should head to Cardiff's high street or one of the city's six Edwardian and Victorian arcades. These historic buildings house chic boutiques, jewelry stores and high-end fashion shops. Don’t miss a visit to the St. David's shopping center and its flagship store, John Lewis and find out for yourself why Cardiff is rated among Britain's top 10 shopping destinations

Round out the afternoon with a visit to Techniquest, where more than 150 exhibits make this hands-on science discovery museum a must-see. Science not your thing? How about fantasy? Because the "Dr. Who Experience" is almost as good as stepping into the TARDIS. Maybe better since, when you step out, you can head across to Mermaid Quay for a bite to eat.

Start day two with a visit to St. Fagans Natural History Museum, where visitors can wander through more than 40 historic buildings recreating the farms, schools, chapels and houses of long ago. Visitors have the chance to learn about traditional life and craftsmanship for themselves as they wander through galleries and exhibitions showing how people in Wales lived, worked and played in the 16th century.

After a hearty lunch, it's time to head to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Fourteen miles of layered cliffs plunge down to occasional bays and coves make it a popular destination for families and surfers and the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

For more information:

For more information on Visit Wales, Wales

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