The western part of the United States is well known for its large open spaces, tall mountains, and stunning Pacific views. From famous National Parks to incredible beaches, there are so many amazing places you can visit, so we have outlined some of the best recommendations!
Disneyland Park, California
Disneyland, California, is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country. It consists of Disneyland Park and the newer Disneyland California Adventure Park.
The original Disney features all kinds of rides, shows, attractions, and gift shops to visit. The famous park has been visited millions of times by international tourists from all over the world. The inspiration for all Disney parks that followed, Walt’s original Disney is still the most treasured and is an absolute must-see for a trip west.
San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge spans the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. Spanning a length of an impressive 1.6km, the iron bridge is a captivating sight.
San Francisco is also home to the famous Alcatraz Island featuring the one-time federal prison. 2km off the coast of San Francisco, ‘The Rock’ was one of the most formidable prisons of all time in the US and is well worth a boat trip out across the harbor to visit.
The Golden Gate City is also home to several other great places to visit. From the quirky painted houses that comprise the ‘Seven Sisters’ to tram rides along the steep streets or a walk along the beautiful bay shore, ‘Frisco’ is not missed.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is a national park in California that’s very well known for its amazing landscapes and waterfalls. With over 3,000 square kilometers, many different species and wildlife live in the forests and mountains.
Lovers of the outdoors will not want to miss Yosemite with its trails and routes perfect for everything from family days out to hardcore hikes.
Joshua Tree National Park
Staying in the beautiful national parks of the West Coast, the Joshua Tree National Park is located in California, close to Palm Springs. Covering just under 800,000 acres, the park is slightly bigger than the US state of Rhode Island!
It has many impressive rock formations, great for climbing and long walks, perfect for hikers. Being mostly comprised of the desert, the park is home to many different animal and insect species. There are also many beautiful and unique trees and bushlands to explore.
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo is home to a whopping 12,000 animals across more than 650 different species!
An internationally renowned conservation center, the zoo is a great visit for nature enthusiasts and families alike. As well as the animals, there are many themed climates and hands-on experiences to explore, making the zoo a must-see as you take in Southern California.
Head out east from Downtown LA to follow Frank Sinatra’s footsteps and the Rat Pack in the unique and unmissable Palm Springs. The desert playground in the shadows of the beautiful San Jacinto mountain range, Palm Springs features a lively downtown area and some of the country’s best golf clubs and resorts.
Take a trip up the mountainside in the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to enjoy stunning views down on the town and across the surrounding desert landscape.
Malibu beach is located to the west of Los Angeles County, about 30 miles from Downtown Los Angeles. Home to many of LA’s rich and famous names, Malibu Beach is definitely worth a visit for some celebrity spotting.
Known locally as ‘The Bu,’ Malibu is also very well known for its tropical Mediterranean climate, reaching temperatures up to about 35 degrees in the summer.
Hollywood and the sign
The Hollywood sign, originally built to advertise local real estate as the Hollywoodland sign, is situated on Mount Lee in the hills high above LA. One of the most iconic and recognizable icons globally, the sign has been featured in numerous movies and popular culture.
The letters are 13.7 meters tall and over 100 meters long. The sign was originally constructed in 1923, and the surrounding hills are now home to some of the most celebrities in the entertainment industry.
Visitors can hike to the sign from the Bronson Canyon, the entrance to Griffith Park, or from the nearby Griffith Observatory.
In the hills below, the world-famous Hollywood Bowl has played host to everyone from Elvis to the Rolling Stones over the years, and a walk through the streets of Hollywood is a must for some star gazing and bright light fun.