a VirtualTourist member
Planning a short weekend trip to Tripani. I am from the US. Would you rent a car? What nearby places are a must see?
Staying in Trapani for a short time it is not necessary to hire a car as the public transport is good in that area of Sicily.
Must sees for me would include
Erice accessible by cable car
Segesta with its Greek archaeological complex of theatre and temple accessible by bus
Egadi islands accessible by ferry from Trapani
Trapani salt pans
Mozia island accessible by ferry from down the coast
Marsala town with visit to wine factory (a bit further away down the coast)
Mazara del Vallo (a bit further away again down the coast)
Selinunte is a Greek archaeological site further away
Agrigento with the Valley of the Temples probably too far away for a weekend stay
If you let us know your interests, we would be better able to help.
I did a road trip around Sicily with a rented car and Trapani was one of my stops. While you don't need a car in Trapani itself, I found it quite convenient to have the car for day trips--street parking wasn't a problem anywhere. Trapani is great in the evening, with the entire town out for a passeggiata along the very pedestrian-friendly main drag. I wouldn't spend much time in the city itself during the day--you can see the same things at night and most of the stores, etc, stay open fairly late.
What time of year are you going? If it's summer, head north to San Vito lo Capo. Marsala is very cute. Segesta is a great compromise if you can't make it all the way to Agrigento. We didn't make it to Erice or the salt mills, but I've heard that they're lovely. If you're feeling up to it, make your way to Palermo (or maybe you're already going there?) for a day.
During your stay, take a ride on the cable car to Erice from Trapani.
Search out the little shop owned by Maria Grammatica, and try the cannolli - the best on the island.
If you rent a car, you could look up Castellamare del Golfo in about an hour on the autostrada.
A very pretty little fishing village.