Road Trippin’ In The Great American West
Offering everything from sweeping landscapes to bustling cities, the Great American West is one of the world’s most iconic travel destinations. Just like much of the rest of the States, a road trip is probably the best way to get around and gives you the ultimate freedom to see whichever different sights you want.
In this blog, we give a possible route of that great trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, also taking in the majesty of the Grand Canyon and bright lights of Las Vegas.
A city of charm and character, San Francisco is a firm favorite amongst travelers. From the modernity of Union Square to the seaside quaintness of Fisherman’s Wharf, there really is something for everyone. The city is known for its steep hills, which you can navigate by hopping on one of the city’s classic cable cars. The buildings are bright and colourful, matching the style of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Rather than driving over it, a good way to enjoy the full scale of the bridge is taking a bike ride across. The other most famous attraction is of course Alcatraz. This former island prison has been the setting of countless movies and TV shows, and now is home to a fascinating museum. Make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
“Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.” The words of the city’s most famous resident, John Steinbeck still echo around this place. A rugged coastal town, the city is famous for its countless seafood restaurants and bars housed in abandoned factories. Also on the list of top attractions is the incredible Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the grandest in the whole of America. You should also not miss out on a trip to the waterfront street of Cannery Row for a true indication of what Steinbeck was writing about all those years ago.
Yosemite National Park
One of the most incredible natural wonders in the US, Yosemite is in the heart of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The best thing to do while you are here is pull on your hiking boots and start trekking. Near the top of the list is Glacier Point, considered one of the best spots to enjoy panoramic views of the park. Another hugely popular viewpoint is the one known as Tunnel View, allowing you to stare straight with mountains towering above on either side. Also don’t miss out on the roaring Yosemite Falls, watching the water cascade down a near vertical drop.
The fact that you would get a city like Las Vegas right in the heart of the desert shows you the incredible diversity of this great region. Choose one of the grand hotels to stay at, and take in all the sights and sounds of Sin City. Have a gamble if you like, but remember there’s so much more to this place than just betting. Make sure to take a trip down the Las Vegas strip and stop off in the various casinos along the way. From resident performers to one-off extravaganzas, don’t miss out on taking in one of the famous shows while you are here. Tickets for all kinds of performances can be found through www.vegastickets.com/concerts. For the best views over the city, take the elevator 113 floors up to the top of the Stratosphere. For those who are feeling brave, buy a ticket for the three rides at the top. One of them is a roller coaster carriage that dangles you directly over the drop…guaranteed to turn you into a shaking wreck!
This one needs no introduction. At 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon really is one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the canyon, whether on foot, bicycle or even helicopter ride. The Southern Rim is where most people go for their stay here, while the Northern Rim is located 200 miles away. Experienced trekkers may want to attempt the strenuous 21 mile hike across the canyon. Mule rides are also available into the heart of the canyon but be warned that these book up a long time in advance. Back to brave people once again, try out the Skywalk which allows you to walk on glass with the canyon stretching out below. Again, not for the faint hearted!
On the central Californian coast is the beautiful seaside city of Santa Barbara. If Los Angeles seems too big and overwhelming for you, this one is a great alternative. It still has a vibrant nightlife culture which is driven by the students that call this place their home. The Old Mission is the center point of town, while Stearns Wharf is a great place to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat. Check out the Botanic Garden if you are looking for a beautiful green area in which to enjoy some peace and quiet.
A city that encapsulates celebrity culture like no other, LA is also famed for its stunning beaches and year-round fantastic climate. For those with stars in their eyes, they will want to visit Hollywood, the Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame or even take a tour of the houses of the celebrities themselves. Universal Studios is also a popular attraction and seems to get bigger and better year after year. If you are looking for something a little more educational, the Griffith Observatory or California Science Center are both excellent choices and give you a completely different side to the City of Angels.
With so many choices of places to visit along the way, this is just one idea of a possible route. There’s no doubt that a road trip will give you the ultimate freedom and flexibility to take in the various sights around this incredible area of the world.