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West Coast America Road Trip: Must-See Sights

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By Amelia Bristow

Last updated: 3rd April 2024

Are you dreaming of touring the West Coast of America? Wondering what destinations to visit to live the American dream? We have got you covered! With glorious national parks to explore with stunning views to the sunny surf beaches to kick back and relax on. The West Coast of America has the best views along the whole way from Seattle to San Diego. This guide can help you decide the best American road trip for you and how you want to do it based on the must-see sights! If you’re an independent traveller, why not get in the driver's seat yourself? I mean literally, get in the driver's seat. Why not check out our Campervan Hire - travel in style in our handpainted campervans with up to 5 of your mates! Save the dollar on hostels and call this home during your West Coast America road trip. If this isn’t your cup of joe then we have several group trips that visit the West Coast and are just as fantastic!

1. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco 

Goldern Gate Bridge from the beach during a sunset

The Golden Gate Bridge is simply iconic and essential to add to your bucket list when travelling around the USA. The bridge was built in 1937, connecting San Francisco and the Marin Headlands across the Pacific Ocean. Drive along Route 101 to be one of many cars driving across the bridge. Then park up at the Presidio of San Francisco and walk along to the best viewpoints of the bridge. Trust us, the pictures are worth the walk!  After all that excitement, head into the city and hop on the cable cars, visit Chinatown for food and check out the different museums!

2. Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles

Hollywood sign on the hill in Los Angeles in the USA

Los Angeles is the land of stars! Walk the street of Hollywood and see the shining sign on the hills. Take a hike to the sign for a closer look which roughly takes 3 hours but is a steady walk for all capabilities. Marvel at the best views of Los Angeles from this hike with your mates before descending the climb! For another view of LA, head up to the Griffith Observatory! This building features in many films, but the best view is behind it! After this, stroll along Venice Beach or take an exciting trip to Universal Studios in Hollywood! 

3. Beach Broadwalk, Santa Cruz

Boardwalk fun fair on the beach in Santa Cruz

This amusement park on the beach is a traditional funfair with classic rides. Walk around the funfair and grab classic American snacks like kettle corn or deep-fried Twinkies! It is free to walk around the boardwalk, so you should take advantage of it. Snap some fun photos of the famous background that features in many films such as Us, Bumblebee, Chasing Maverick and the classic The Lost Boys. If you aren’t feeling the funfair, the beach has the best views of Santa Cruz. The beach has natural bridges from the rocks and has the most relaxing atmosphere. Take a blanket and watch the best view of the sun setting over Santa Cruz before heading back to the campervan for a cosy night before your next adventure! If you fancy an organised visit to Santa Cruz, book our Canyon, Coasts and Casinos trip for an arranged adventure around the West Coast. 

4. Surfing in Santa Monica 

Santa Monica roads during sunset

Santa Monica is full of a buzzing atmosphere! On average Santa Monica is sunny 280 days of the year. If you’re a beach babe, head here to surf all day on these beautiful white sand beaches, work out at the open-air gym, experience the thrill of the historic pier, and shop in the independent boutiques; the choice is yours. Pack your shades and sun cream because this place is a small piece of paradise!  

5. La Push Beach, Olympic Peninsula

Misty La Push beach of landscape

La Push Beach is famously known for featuring in the Twilight films! The dramatic beaches are incredible, with long sandy shores and large forest trees surrounding the coast. Take a stroll along the shore just like Bella and Jacob, and take in the atmosphere. This beach is located in the Olympic Peninsula by the Pacific Ocean. La Push has 70 miles of protected beaches populated with wild animals like eagles, deer and bears! La Push Beach is a total must-see to kickstart your trip.

6. Space Needle, Seattle

Space Needle lit up in the cityscape of Seattle

The Space Needle is a total must-do because of the views over Seattle. The landmark was constructed in 1962 and included a glass tilt, making you feel like you’re floating on air whilst seeing the whole of Seattle from above! If all of that has worked up a thirst, you're in luck because Seattle is commonly known for some of the best coffee. Head down to Pioneer Square - one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Seattle. Explore this fantastic neighbourhood with all the shops and cafes it has to offer! 

7. The Gardens, Portland 

Portland neon sign on top of a building

Portland is known for its different themed gardens that are open for the public to walk through. Connect with your inner zen and head over to Portland's most popular garden the Japanese Garden. This garden is the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan! It also has the International Rose Test Garden, which contains more than 8,000 roses. Portland is the place to park up and relax. Explore these gardens and take in the natural beauty that Portland has to offer. Be with nature after a long drive, and add this place to your West Coast America road trip! 

8. Yosemite National Park, California 

Yosemite National Park landscape of cliffs and trees

Yosemite National Park has some of the best jaw-dropping views out of all the national parks in the USA! With staggering waterfalls and mountainous landscapes, this destination is 100% getting added to your West Coast America road trip if it isn’t already on the list. It is famously known for its giant sequoia trees up to 3,000 years old. These trees can grow up to 250 feet and 30 feet in diameter. Go on some hikes and see the wonders of this park, or even spot some animals like bears and deer. Stay in the campervan to experience Yosemite National Park to its fullest.

9. Casinos and Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas

Las Vegas welcome sign by the road

There’s no place like Las Vegas to party… and what a party this will be! Look around the casinos, play cards, or watch the iconic Bellagio Fountains. There is so much to see and do here you won’t want to leave. Why not see Las Vegas from a different point of view and go up the Las Vegas Eiffel Tower and overlook this fantastic city? The neon lights and party nights might be too tempting to avoid on this road trip. Why not check out our USA West Coast Adventure and explore Las Vegas’s beauty? This trip includes VIP tickets to a club to party like a celebrity! It doesn’t stop there either - the trip visits many other West Coast attractions like The Grand Canyon, Los Angeles and San Francesco.  

10. Balboa Park, San Diego 

San Diego beach with people swimming and sitting on the beach

Balboa Park has large areas to walk around, so pack a picnic and sit in these beautiful gardens for the day. This park contains museums, a few theatres and even a zoo! San Diego also offers stunning beaches to visit and dive into after that long day's drive. If surfing and swimming in San Diego isn’t enough, be a true American and watch the baseball at Petco Park! This baseball stadium is considered one of the best in the country, so grab a corndog, take a seat and watch the thrilling game unfold.

11. Havasu Falls, Arizona 

Blue waterfall at Havasu Falls in Arizona

Fancy seeing these unique turquoise falls in a remote desert land? If you’re travelling during February and November along the West Coast, you just have to add this destination to your trip. You need to book in advance and stay the night at the campgrounds to visit. The hike to the falls can be challenging in some areas, but the final destination is 100% worth it! Don’t forget to pack your swim gear for plunging into the pools at the end of this epic hike. If you want to see the best views, then make your way to Havasu Falls. After your stay, why not check out Pheonix for some cowboy steaks? Yeehaw!

12. Big Sur coastline, Carmel

Hidden cove of the Big Sur with white sand and blue water in the USA

This coastline is phenomenal with its rugged cliffs and hidden coves. It is simply the best view to take in along your journey on the West Coast and driving along its windy roads. The coast looks the most atmospheric when the sea mist rolls in! Park up and camp overnight at the local campgrounds, head down to the beaches and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean… you might even be lucky enough to spot sea otters! Or, during the daytime, hike around Big Sur and explore the coves with its clear blue waters and sandy beaches. 


What a road trip that was! With these recommended West Coast wonders you’re going to have a wheely good time! Whether you want to do it alone, with mates in one of our campervans or if you decide to book one of our USA trips, you’ll make memories you’ll never forget. Travelling the West Coast is a journey that will give you the best views of America, from the Hollywood Sign, Golden Gate Bridge, and Las Vegas Strip all the way to the iconic surf beaches of California and San Diego. Your West Coast America Road trip is bound to be an adventure of a lifetime!

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