From Route 66 all the way to the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, the United States is filled with fantastic road trips that have long been alluring travellers out onto the open road. All you need is a car, some fantastic music and maybe a few tasty American snacks and you’re all set to have the road trip of your life.
However, the United States is a pretty large country. With so many different routes to take, it’s near impossible to decide on just one road trip to take. So, we’re starting with just the east coast. You’ll get to witness stunning seascapes, beautiful foliage and lots of friendly locals.
From San Diego all the way up to Sacramento and further up towards Oregon and Washington, here are seven of the best west coast US road trips you can take that won’t force you to traverse the entirety of the United States.
West Coast US Road Trips
Countless LA locals make the road trip out to Joshua Tree National Park when they’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. And, on your way to visit the beautiful Joshua trees, you’ll be able to visit Death Valley as well. Stop for a fantastic photo op at the Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes before moving onto Joshua Tree. There are nine different campgrounds here, so definitely come prepared to spend the night under the stars.
When it comes to West Coast US road trips, there are few that are as iconic as driving down the Pacific Coast Highway. This is the ultimate road trip to take with friends, especially if you’re looking to spend more than a few weeks on the road. Start anywhere you’d like, but it’s especially great if you start all the way at the top or bottom. Explore sleepy surf towns, lots of dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
The entire state of California is full of delightful national parks, but Southern California specifically provides travellers with the perfect mixture of city lights and desert sights. Go on one of the best west coast US road trips and visit Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park. It’s the lowest point in North America. Then, visit Joshua Tree, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the Mojave Desert and Red Rock Canyon.
If you’ve got about three weeks, take a road trip through the west coast’s best national parks. You’ll get to experience some of the finest natural wonders all the way from California up to Washington. The perfect itinerary will take you from Los Angeles and up through Sequoia before visiting San Francisco, Yosemite and the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
If you’re flying into Vegas to celebrate something special, chances are that you’ll need to recuperate after lots of fun in Sin City. What better way to do so than to take a week-long trip out to the impressive Grand Canyon? You’ll get to stop by the Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park on your way out there. It’s one of the best west coast US road trips for people who love hiking and the great outdoors.
As an international traveller, flying into Portland is one of the best ways to visit Yellowstone. You can drive leisurely up to Montana before arriving to the iconic Yellowstone National Park. There, you’ll be able to explore natural springs, wait for Old Faithful to erupt, see bison in their natural habitat and so much more. You’re definitely going to want to spend a few days here exploring before you head back to Portland.
If the idea of moody Twilight-esque adventures gets your travelling heart racing then you can’t miss out on the chance to explore Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Seattle is a great jumping-off point for this road trip, but really you can start anywhere along the coast. After snapping photos of the numerous beaches, definitely be sure to visit San Juan Island where you can go whale watching and even see a few Orcas.