Thinking of heading to west coast America? From Los Angeles to Seattle, the west coast of the USA
is a fun, exciting and unique destination that offers travellers some of the best American experiences. From bustling cities to beautiful mountain-scapes, here’s what you can expect to find on your west coast trip!
Home to all things celebrity, Los Angeles is one of the most loved tourist destinations in the world. It is often a popular choice when it comes to creating USA holiday packages and west coast journeys.
LA city tours are available which will take you to the most popular attractions including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood sign and Madame Tussauds. Drive past prestigious celebrity homes in Hollywood, Malibu and Beverly Hills or partake in movie studio tours at Universal, Warner Bros. or Paramount. You may even be able to see the filming of a real TV show!
Venice Beach is an ideal location for lunch or for an all-American roller-skate or bike ride. If you prefer fishing or swimming head to Santa Monica Beach or Pier. Other great beaches include Malibu, Long Beach and Half Moon Bay Beach.
If you’re travelling as a family, don't forget the theme parks! California has long been home to amazing amusement parks, and there is enough variety to satisfy adults and kids alike. No trip to California would be complete without a visit to the infamous Six Flags Magic Mountain. It has a range of huge, thrilling rollercoasters, like the Goliath, as well as many family friendly and children-oriented rides, all alongside various shopping outlets, show stages and food kiosks. Possibly the most famous of the parks is Disneyland - visit and you will be hypnotised by the Disney magic!
Why not leave LA behind and head up the coast? The best way to do this is to hire a car and get out on the open road! Big Sur is a leading destination offering gorgeous coastal mountain scenery and glimpses of unique American wildlife. Take in remarkable coastal scenery and stunning National Parks whilst driving North, just be sure to drive slow so you don't miss anything!
Accommodation along the coast route is comprehensive and includes hotels, camping grounds, cabins, inns and resorts. Popular activities to break up the driving include hiking, fishing, surfing, scuba diving, hot spring bathing and horseback riding. Shopping and dining are readily available as well.
On reaching Monterey, many travellers either head inland to San Jose and onto San Francisco.
San Francisco is known as the cultural capital of California. In San Fran, you’ll be able to walk or ride over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, or head over to Alcatraz to take a tour of the famous island prison.
Shuttle tours are a great option if you want to make the most of this vibrant west coast city and its surrounds. Stops and sights include Chinatown, Lombard Street, the Palace of Fine Arts, Twin Peaks, Muir Woods and even the Napa Valley. A ferry cruise is also highly recommended, as is an iconic tram ride, and because the city is built on steep hills, you'll definitely need to use some kind of public transport at least once!
If you are a nature lover, Oregon should definitely be part of your USA holiday! Oregon’s coast is brimming with natural attractions and key spots include Mount Hood, the Oregon Dunes, the Sea Lion Caves, Crater Lake, the Columbia Gorge waterfalls, Hells Canyon, the cheese factory at Tillamook and the mountain town of Bend.
If you prefer spending time in, and exploring, big cities then Portland offers an impressive array of cafes, restaurants, shopping and nightlife. The city is known for its parks, bridges and bicycle routes, which means it is easy to explore on two-wheels. There are plenty of microbreweries and coffeehouses for those who prefer to sit back, relax and watch the locals go about their business.
From Oregon, Seattle is just a short jump (around 3 hours drive) across the Washington border. This bubbly, musical city is full of casual wonder and tourists will adore the city bustle blended with beautiful coastal surrounds.
The lush environments of Green Lake Park, the Gasworks Park and Kerry Park are a must-see. Other places not to miss include the Woodland Park Zoo, the Space Needle, the Pike Place Market and the jazz scene on Jackson Street. For history buffs, an underground tour is also an incredible experience where you’ll get to explore the underground ruins of the old city, which was destroyed in the famous Seattle fire. Did you know that the first Starbucks coffee shop was located in Seattle?
A visit to many of the city’s museums, like the Burke Museum or the Museum of Flight, is highly recommended, but if you’re keen to connect with nature instead, take a day trip to Snoqualmie Falls or the San Juan Islands. There are also several national parks close by, such as the Olympic National Park and Forest and the Mt Rainier National Park.
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