If you’re going to explore the U.S. then you should definitely start on the west side of the country. With everything from sunny Californian cities to magnificent deserts in Nevada, the best destinations and spectacles are to be found in western America. But you need to really take it all in – you need to go beyond a snapshot view of these fantastic places. A road trip lets you see wonderful locations and all the intriguing places in-between. In this article, we’re not only going to talk about some of the best destinations you can visit on the west side of the United States but also some of the places you should stop to admire along the way. A road trip is about the journey as much as it is about the destination. These suggestions should help you to plan the perfect all-American western adventure.
Los Angeles, California.
L.A. definitely needs to be included on your road trip. It wouldn’t be a tour of California or western America if you didn’t visit this world-famous city. And there’s a lot to unpack when you visit Los Angeles. There are many different sides to it. Obviously, there’s Hollywood. Whilst the reality of this home to the most famous actors and films in the world might differ a little from the way it seems in the media, that just makes all the more interesting. Of course, Hollywood (even with its beautiful hills) only makes up a small part of L.A. You should head downtown and explore. The Grand Central Market is a wonderful little collection of restaurants, and live music is often on offer. Head towards the coast and find the famous Venice Beach. You could kick back and relax here or follow the path that takes you past glorious palm trees and the endless stretch of market stalls alongside the beach. There’s a lot to experience in Los Angeles; you might even want to spend a few days off the road so that you can really explore the place.
Las Vegas, Nevada.
The city of Las Vegas is entirely unique and entirely worth at least one visit in your life. Of course, the journey there should be fun too. Depending on which route you take from California to Nevada, you should relish in the adventure of the trip. Lake Tahoe is a beautiful body of water on the California-Nevada border that you should stop to admire if you’re heading from Northern California. But let’s talk about Vegas itself. You wouldn’t expect to find the bustling and vibrant entertainment capital of the world in the middle of nowhere, but that’s exactly what you get with this city.
You should obviously start by visiting some of the famous casinos, such as Bellagio and The Venetian. You get not only huge casino areas but fantastic dining spots and live shows. That’s what Las Vegas is known for, after all. Once you’ve had enough of that (and, hopefully, not gambled your money away), you should admire some of the incredible natural scenery surrounding this city. Escape from the chaos of Vegas on Route 85 and embrace the desolation and sun-soaked beauty of Death Valley. The mammoth sand dunes and the endless open space will leave you breathless.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona.
If you’re still going at this point then you’re on one crazy road trip. Still, your dedication is commendable, and the Grand Canyon is a destination well worth visiting on your road trip through western America. When it comes to iconic locations, this famous river valley is a real testament to the architectural prowess of nature itself. Whilst there’s a lot that you could see in the state of Arizona, this landmark should certainly be the priority on your list. Admire not only the beautiful Colorado River that runs through this valley but the goliath natural rock formations that define the landscape of this beautiful national park. Pictures really don’t do this place justice. It’s often hard for places to live up to expectations, but the Grand Canyon really does exceed them. You have to witness it in person. You could even cheat a little on your “road trip” and book a helicopter tour so that you can admire the valley from high above.
For the next part of your trip, you should visit the wonderful state of Colorado. You’ve admired its famous river, but now it’s time to see what the state itself has to offer. Whilst you’re probably keen to explore one of the bigger and more famous cities of the state (we’ll get onto those), you might want to stop off at a smaller destination on your travels. The town of Minturn is just outside Denver, and you’ve probably never heard of the place. But it’s a beautiful little place to visit if you want to explore some of its surrounding forests and trails. The Lionshead Rock Trail is particularly awe-inspiring if you fancy a hike. You could even look into ATV tours that take you a few miles out to some of the Colorado backcountry trails around the town of Red Cliff. There are so many incredible natural locations to explore in this state.
Less than 2 hours of driving from Minturn will take you to Denver, the capital of Colorado. There’s so much to do in this fascinating city, but you should definitely start by soaking up all the culture that this place has to offer. The Denver Art Museum is definitely one of the most interesting places to visit. You’ll get to see a slice of history through the works of famous artists such as Van Gogh and Salvador Dali, but you’ll also get to see some beautiful modern pieces from contemporary artists. When you get bored of staring at pieces of art, you should check out the Denver Botanic Gardens. These gardens showcase the beautiful and vibrant types of plant that are native to Colorado. There’s a lot to see in this city.