A trip to the west of the USA has a lot to offer. Pulsating metropolises, untamed #coasts, beautiful #nationalparks and seemingly endless desert #landscapes create unforgettable impressions and experiences. In this guide we would like to introduce you to the places that you should not miss on your journey through the #westoftheusa.
These are our highlights (among many others, which you can find below in the itinerary)
„If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.“ San Francisco: the city of hippies, creative minds and thinkers. Of colorful, beautiful little houses, many small cafés and roasting houses.
But keep in mind that #sanfrancisco is a really expensive city. So be prepared for high prices and budget before you arrive. It’s not uncommon for you to pay up to $30 per person for breakfast!
If you don’t have that much time, it is quite possible to experience the magic of #bigsur on a day trip. But, let’s start with the basics: Big Sur is a 90-mile stretch along the Pacific Coast Highway. It has no official start point and end point but most say it begins at the Carmel River and ends just north of San Simeon. Big Sur is considered one of the most scenic drives in the USA for its dramatic coastal views.
We recommend these stops especially:
- Point Lobos Natural State Reserve
- Garrapata Estate Park & Calla Lily Valley
- Bixby Bridge
- Pfeiffer Beach
- McWay Falls
Let’s go to Sin City – Las Vegas! #lasvegas is one of those destinations where you can experience as much or as little as you like, but there is always something to do. You should not miss it on your #westcoasttour.
No trip to Las Vegas is complete without visiting the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. This iconic neon sign is located in the median at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South.
The Neon Museum (770 N Las Vegas Boulevard) is also a sight not to be missed. Not only is it one of the best photo spots in Las Vegas, but it’s an amazing slice of Vegas history. It’s a non-profit outdoor museum that displays old neon signs from the Las Vegas area.
Grand Canyon National Park
Even if you’re already turning your back on Las Vegas, you can look forward to the coming days in the national parks and #nature. The Grand Canyon is part of every West Coast tour. It extends over an area of almost 5000 square kilometres and is a very popular destination for excursions. About 5 million people visit the park every year. The South Rim is the most visited point at the #grandcanyon due to its good connection. From Flagstaff AZ you reach the South Rim via the US Hwy 180. Especially in summer you should leave early as it can get very crowded. The entrance fee to the park is 25$ per car for one week.
Once in the park, you can explore the Grand Canyon on the Rim Trail. The trail is 20 km long, offers enough shade, comfortable paths and many viewpoints. If you don’t feel like walking, you can also take an air conditioned shuttle bus from A to B.
The #antelopecanyon is a slot canyon located just east of Page, on Navajo land. It’s known for its wave-like walls and beautiful light beams. The #canyon formed as a result of millions of years worth of erosion. Waters, primarily from flash flooding, carved pathways through the soft sandstone. Antelope Canyon is separated into two separate sections, Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. A tour by a licensed operator is required to visit either of the sections. There are different tours that operate Upper and Lower, and separate bookings are required if you wish to visit both.
Our tip: Both of the canyons are extremely popular and can get very crowded. We would recommend making a reservation in advance.
It offers a real „Western feeling“. In the middle of an empty red sandy desert, free-standing red mesas rise up. This motif can be found in countless films, travel guides, brochures or magazines. Thus it is probably one of the most famous motives in the west of the USA. The plain on the Colorado Plateau is located at the southern border of Utah as well as in the north of Arizona. #monumentvalley is within the Navajo Nation Reservation and is administered by the Navajo Indians.
If you like the idea of exploring sand dunes, climbing down into an extinct volcano, hiking through canyons, and seeing one of the United States’ most unique landscapes, #deathvalley is calling your name. It is one of the most understated national parks and largest U.S. National Park outside of Alaska, from multi-colored mountains to sand dunes. This location offers all that and so much more.
The first thing you will see is the park entrance sign. About one mile down the road is a pay station. There is no park ranger or ticket booth here like in many other national parks. You simply park, pay your fee ($30 per vehicle, valid for 7 days) at the automated pay station, put your receipt/ticket on the dashboard, and then continue on your way.
Yosemite National Park
A visit to Yosemite National Park is a must on a road trip through the western USA. In the middle of the Sierra Nevada in the east of California lies the #yosemitenationalpark. High mountains, waterfalls, sequoia groves and the Yosemite Valley can be discovered in the park. You can explore the over 3,000 km² National Park either on the well-developed road network or with one of the free commuter buses. Furthermore, there are numerous hiking trails with different levels of difficulty at your disposal. A walk through the park is definitely recommended and will take you from one great view to the next. 🙂 Yosemite National Park is open all year round and has 3 visitor centers: Tuolumne Meadows (east), Yosemite Valley, and the Wawona (south) Visitor Centers. Stop at any of these to get a souvenir and talk with a park ranger about all the things to do in #yosemite. And don’t forget to get your National Park Passport book stamped! (Also, don't pay $30 for this book. You can grab one at almost any visitor center for around $10.)