If this is your first visit to Israel and your time is limited, I wouldn't even view Haifa (although the Bahai Gardens are beautiful and a UNESCO World Heritage Site) as an essential destination to visit. On the other hand, Galilee is. My recommendation is to spend at least two days in Israel's northern region, this includes both Galilee and the Golan Heights. Sites you should include on your itinerary would depend, to some degree, on your religious background. Are you interested in a more Christian-oriented program or are you, perhaps, of Jewish background? Places such as Akko in Western Galilee, Zippori in the central hill country of Lower Galilee, the Sea of Galilee and Tel Dan in the Finger of Galilee should be of interest to people of all backgrounds. I can provide more suggestions if you tell me more about your interests.
I am Jewish and it is my first time. I want to see the Bahai Gardens, but, you are right, I could limit my visit to Haifa to just that. Our interests: Jewish Historical sights, archeological sights, good food (preferably Kosher, but we have no problem eating vegetarian/dairy). I am traveling with my husband and two daughters (ages 12 and 18). Our plan right now is a week in Tel Aviv (DD18 wants to hit some night clubs) and a week in Jerusalem (with a day trip to Masada/Dead Sea). I thought it much too hot in June /July to go any further south, so that will have to wait for a second trip. This is somewhat last minute, even though I have been thinking about the trip for several years. I have not planned as much as I should have by this point.Edited: 24 May 2011, 19:26
I suggest you re-think the time you have planned for Tel Aviv and cut it down a bit so that you can have 3 days (2 nights) in the north. There is so much to see in the north - Jewish historical sites, archaeological, etc. Just for starters you can visit Megiddo, Tzippori, Kinneret, Katzrin in the Golan, Banias and the list goes on.
If you spend a few nights in the north you will make more of your time and not spend it "commuting" back and forth to Tel Aviv. This will still leave you time in Tel Aviv and time for your daughter to check out some night clubs:)
You should have no trouble at all finding great places to eat that are kosher all over - after all, it is Israel.
I absolutely agree with Oreets and Dave.
There are also lots of fun things for kids and teens to do in the north - probably more so that in Tel Aviv (besides the beach and clubs!).
Couldn't have answered you any better than Oreet. She's 100% right. There is so much to see in the Galilee and Golan Heights that you really should spend more time in that region. I'd add Tzfat and the Baram Synagogue to Oreet's list, but there's also so much more.
Glad to see you'll be spending time in Tel Aviv - capital of "Mediterranean Cool" and my hometown. One can't fully understand the modern State of Israel without experiencing Tel Aviv. You can skip Dizengoff St. (passe) and instead focus on Yafo, Neve Zedek, HaTachana, Rothschild Blvd area and the Tel Aviv Port. While you're in Tel Aviv, make sure you visit Caesarea further north along the coast. You can do it as a day trip or stop there on your way north to your base in Galilee.
Enjoy your trip!
Thank you. Now I just have to convince my girl that there is more to life than lying on the beach. That's a tough one, because I tend to believe it too.
I totally agree with the opinions expressed. I live next to Lake Kinneret and there's so much to see in this area including Bet Shean which has an amazing event called "Shea'n Lights" which is a unique experience.
We are hosting overseas visitors for a week and have so many wonderful places to show them including The Gilboa, Tiberias, Rosh Pina, Metulla, Golan Heights it'd be a shame not to spend a few nights in this region to take advantage of this beautiful part of the country.
I would actually visit Haifa as part of your trip North.
Come and see the Galilea it's beautiful.
We all know that convincing an 18 year to understand what is best for them is not so easy. Coming to Israel is an experience and although she wants to visit clubs it would truly be ashamed to miss out on the wonders of this country. In any case after traveling back and forth from T.A. to the north she will be too tired to party. I am all for rethinking your trip and going to the north for most of the week you planned in Tel Aviv. She can easily get to Tel Aviv during your stay in Jerusalem and/or visit clubs in Jerusalem to stay nearer to you.