Chances are that if you have reached this post it is because you have decided to travel through the American West and you are looking for a route through the West Coast of the United States that fits with the days you have on vacation. Very typical. That’s how I was at the beginning, not knowing very well where to start, where to end, where to go, what to see on the West Coast, how long it would take from one place to another… in short, a big mess that can be a headache for more than one if we add that we want to see and do everything in a few days.
First of all, we must make it very clear that this trip is a “roadtrip”. We mean, you are going to do a lot of kilometers. More than half of the trip will be spent on the spectacular American highways, crossing incredible deserts, impressive forests, as well as gigantic scalextric 6 and 7 lane highways. America is a very big country. Gigantic. And the distances between places are therefore… VERY large. And what do I mean by this? Well, simply, the less days we have to assemble our itinerary through the West Coast of the United States, the longer some of the driving stages we will have to do will be. That’s a pine wood drawer.
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To organize a route along the West Coast of the USA without haste or stress, we would reserve at least 2 weeks (if you have more time, even in 3 weeks you will not get bored for a second!)
Some travelers stay less time, but, in a route with such long distances, we believe that it is not worth driving many hours a day to cross off destinations and then not have time to enjoy them calmly.
Of course, this is up to each traveler’s taste. We dedicated 15 days to it and it seemed to us the ideal duration. Although, as you will see below and in our West Coast itinerary, we had no time to spare!
First step to make this adventure a reality: get the flights! Most travelers start their West Coast route in one of these two Californian cities, San Francisco or Los Angeles.
We have already told you that, from Europe, flights to the West Coast of the USA are not cheap: they can be around 700 € or 800 € per person. It is true that from time to time you can find bargains for around 400 €, but it is not the norm.
Excursions west coast united states
To organize your day, we leave you a post with the most important things to see in Los Angeles in 12 hours. You can see almost all of it on our map of Los Angeles. And if you want to know how to get a cheap car to travel the whole route, below we tell you more, but you can check out our post about how to rent a cheap car.
If you can, do not hesitate, spend a day in its incredible beaches. Venice beach or Santa Monica, where the famous route 66 ends, are a clear example of this. How many times have you seen them in movies or TV series? Well, now it’s time to enjoy them. We recommend renting a bicycle and pedaling along the promenade to Venice Beach. After this, the best thing to do is to finish the day visiting the Santa Monica Pier, where you will find many stalls and restaurants. Also, if you like amusement parks, here you can see the famous Pacific Park.
Option 2: If you are short of time, you can make the way to Las Vegas straighter, passing through Barstow or Calico, as we did on our trip along Route 66, (here you can see the Las Vegas-Los Angeles stage of our trip along the legendary American route).
West Coast of California
Every trip through the West Coast of the United States is a route of great beastliness, both natural (with the National Parks) and urban (with its three main cities: Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco, these two in the incredible State of California).
Yellowstone is one of the most BESTIAL things you will find in the United States. It is not a very usual place in a trip along the west coast of the USA, but I have decided to include it because it is one of the things that impressed me the most during my route.
It is one of the largest dormant volcanoes on the planet and its caldera extends over an area of 55 x 72 km ².To learn how to get to Yellowstone click here. And if you ask me if it is worth the detour… I will tell you that it was the most beastly thing I saw in my visit to the West Coast. To find out what to see in Yellowstone, click here .
It is a rock formation of red, orange and white rock, with characteristic stone formations called “fairy chimneys”. Located in the amazing Utah, it is one of the most popular parks in the United States and has one of the purest airs of the whole country, being able to see up to 140 kilometers from its highest point in the clearest days. The reddish color of its rocks is simply captivating. One of the essential places to see on the West Coast of the USA.