Exploring Baguio in Just One Day
Let us say you have only 24 hours or less to spend in Baguio City -- how would you make the most out of your trip?
Folks visit the city for many reasons and do not always come up on vacation. The reasons coming up on a short trip would be business, or maybe to attend a friend or relative's wedding, or maybe to use the city as a jump-off point to places like Sagada and other
places in the Cordillera Region of the Philippines. So if you want to take in a bit of sightseeing or shopping, here are some suggestions for you.
For purposes of this article, we will assume that you will be here during daylight hours and that you will be going around in your own vehicle, okay? Of course we will leave it up to you to "insert" your appontment wherever you should.
Breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins
Cafe by the Ruins is right across Baguio City Hall and both places are great for photos. The Cafe serves native ethnic cuisine fused with Western influences and is a good place for breakfast with their homemade camote bread paired with a pot of tea.
Burnham Park is at the heart of the city and is the heart of the city. It is a wide expanse of green in what is a rapidly urbanizing city center. You may want to take in a boat ride or maybe check out the Orchidarium while there. 10:00 am:
Leonard Wood Area | Teachers Camp | Botanical Garden | Wright Park Riding Circle | The Mansion | Mines View Park | Good Shepherd Convent
Now on to the pretty part of the city -- a drive through Leonard Wood Road on the east side of the city gives you a glimpse of the American colonial hill station that Baguio was. Enter Teachers Camp, stop by the Botanical Garden entrance to have your photo taken with the natives. On to Wright Park Riding Circle for 30 minutes to 1 hour on horseback, especially if the kids are with you, after which you can drive up to The Mansion for photos there and at the Pool of the Pines en route to Mines View Park. At Mines View, do a bit of shopping, get dressed in a bahag, and stop by Good Shepherd Convent to buy up some baked goodies, ube (purple yam) jam, or cashew brittle. 12:00 am:
Lunch at Camp John Hay
Mile-Hi Center has a good selection of restaurants and is a good starting point for our tour of Camp John Hay. There are also some souvenir shops located there. Find other eating places at The Filling Station and the Ayala Technopark. Of course one may want to dine at the upscale hotels there, such as The Manor or Le Monet. Please know also that picnic tables are located in front of Filling Station -- everyone loves a picnic! 01:00 pm:
Explore Camp John Hay | The Manor | Historical Core
Another place that is a must visit is Camp John Hay, that former US Armed Forces rest and recreation facility. It gives visitors a glimpse of beautiful old Baguio with wide avenues, and a competition golf course redesigned by Jack Nicklaus. The condotel named The Manor is located in the area of the former Main Club and has a garden with a spectacular view of the Cordillera Mountain Range. The Historical Core area has the Bell Ampitheater and the Commander's Cottage and a nice trail. Camp John Hay has many other attractions and one would normally spend a whole day there, but three hours' total for dining, touring and shopping will have to do if you have only a day to spend in Baguio City. 03:00 pm:
Baguio City Market for Souvenirs
Of course no trip is complete unless one brings home a SACK of "pasalubong" items from the Baguio City Market -- stawberries, brooms, blankets, ube, vegetables and more! 05:00 pm:
Session Road | Baguio Cathedral
A stroll up and down Session Road provides visitors with a unique shopping experience. You may want to climb the stairs on the side of Mt. Mary Hill to get to the majestic Baguio Cathedral (or start from the Cathedral and descend to Session Road instead. Be sure to check out the crafts and trinkets being sold by young artists along the sidewalk at the La Azotea building.
Optional: Dinner at the Central Business District
Since this is the last leg of "Speed Baguio" the choices are limitless! My personal recommendations are at the Baguio restaurants page.
Taking in a Little Bit of Everything Baguio City in Just One Day
Please note: Getting from place to place depends on the traffic conditions, of course. For example, this itinerary is so not possible during Panagbenga weekends, during Holy Week or during the Christmas break, when the city is packed with visitors.
Baguio City has so many more attractions and recreational activities for you and your family to explore and enjoy. It would really be a pity to limit your visit to just one day or less, so of course we would suggest you stay and extra day or two to maximize your visit.
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