People planning a vacation in the western United States usually make two big mistakes.
The first is that they spend too much time in Los Angeles. But there is so much more to do in the western United States than explore the bubble of rich homes and Hollywood clones, that we would argue you should skip LA completely.
The second mistake is that they assume Las Vegas is all about the gambling, and miss out on the geological wonderland and incredible natural surrounds. And while we’ll include Las Vegas in this itinerary, we do so as a base for exploring further out.
Western USA is an incredible region for a road trip, and travelers have a diverse range of exciting cities, coastal towns, and natural wonders to choose from when planning an itinerary. But being that there is so much to cover, we wouldn’t blame you if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
If you’re struggling with planning your route, use the following guide to fill two weeks worth of driving. These are the highlights of Western USA … not including LA.
Given that Florida boasts more miles of coastline than any U.S. state other than chilly Alaska, you might have imagined it would be relatively easy to find a peaceful beach here, away from the tourist throng.
Alas, it’s actually a far-from-straightforward task, in large part because the locals aren’t usually too eager to tell you about them (understandable, after-all, why would you not want to keep such secluded gems to yourself!)
The good news, though, is that we’ve strung together many of the best secret beaches based on our own local knowledge from 8 years living in the Sunshine State.
Nostalgia is big in today’s pop culture, and if there ever was a country full of nostalgia, it would be the United States.
Historic sites and forgotten routes still line its borders, and none more so that the historic Route 66. From ‘great displays of neon signs, rusty middle-of-nowhere truck stops, or kitschy Americana’, this legendary old road is sung about in ballads and romanticized in movies.
Passing through the heart of the United States on a diagonal trip that takes in some of the country’s most classic roadside attractions, if you’re a road trip enthusiast, Route 66 should be a must for your itinerary.
Even if you’re strapped for time and only able to drive part of it, make sure you experience at least a little of Route 66.
While New York City may be a maze of congested roadways and skyscrapers, Long Island offers the perfect escape from city life where you will find all kinds of adventurous outdoor activities.
Stretching nearly 120 miles from New York Harbor to Montauk Point, it is the longest island in the contiguous United States. Because of its sheer size, both in terms of area and population, knowing where to base yourself in Long Island is key.
Ideally located in the heart of Long Island, the area around Patchogue offers accommodation that will allow you to easily visit all the island has to offer.
From natural hot springs to beautiful art museums that aptly describe the cultural history of the state, Arkansas is the perfect choice for a much needed rejuvenating getaway.
And whether you’re interested in an active vacation that allows you to reconnect with nature, or visiting one of a kind small towns, there are plenty of things to do in this hidden gem of a State.
Often an overlooked destination, Arkansas is exceptionally blessed. It has a range of natural and musical landmarks, well presented State and National Parks, more than a dozen scenic byways, and historic mountain towns.
While the list of must see places is endless, the following are our five favorite things to do.
When it comes to traveling, how you prepare and plan for a trip will greatly determine the whole experience. There are so many modes of transport and choosing the right one is highly influenced by a number of factors.
Bus travel is a favorite for those traveling between New York City and Philadelphia, for both its cost and convenience. You’re definitely not pressed for choice when it comes to NYC to Philly bus deals; there are around 114 buses a day that take the two hour journey.
With so many buses available at all times, that means that as a traveler you have the power of choice over your journey. With that in mind, the following are things you should consider when traveling by bus between Philadelphia and NYC.
So you love being on the water, and always admired others who enjoy getting out on their own and kayaking away. But perhaps you’re worried that you’ll find yourself paddling around in circles for most of your day.
Even if you have never kayaked, there is no need to fret: there are plenty of fabulous spots for kayaking beginners all over the world. And the great news is that kayaking is a great sport for any beginner to learn.
It’s relatively simple to pick up kayaking, and this is a great way to get close to nature, and access remote sightseeing that you wouldn’t usually be able to enjoy on land.
The following are the best kayaking spots around the world for beginners. If you find yourself in one of these destinations, consider renting a kayak!
Experiencing underwater life never ceases to inspire and amaze. Offering an entirely different pace, human beings have long been enchanted by the blue silence, surrounded by marine life.
It is true that some of the coolest places on the planet are under water. There are hotels, shipwrecks, temples, museums, restaurants and other underwater sites around the world that are worth diving and snorkeling for.
While the list of exceptional underwater experiences seems as endless as the great depths of the sea, we’ve put together our favorites; some the top sites to don a full face snorkel mask and explore underwater life.
Only a short one hour drive from the strip of Las Vegas is a geological wonderland, the Valley of Fire State Park. The beauty of this park captivated my heart with it’s bright red Aztec sandstone formations, and beautiful limestone rock faces.
Covering some 40,000 acres, sandstone outcrops are the main attraction here, along with ancient petrified trees, and petroglyphs which date back 2,500 years. There is something very special about this place that evokes a sense of grounding and peacefulness; this is nature at it’s greatest.
The Valley of Fire is a traveler’s paradise that can accommodate campers, hikers, and drivers, and you’re more than welcome to bring your pup! There are 14 points of interest in the park, however the following were my highlights if you’re wondering where to start.
The global fish market set a record in 2017 for sales, which comes as good news to Boston’s uncertain seafood future. This comes after a questionable cod ban and host of regulations has threatened to wipe out New England’s seafood industry for good.
Fortunately, even if the supply of seafood in New England was upended, the demand in Boston for great seafood could never falter. For Beantown residents, seafood is as much a part of its culture as pizza is to Brooklyn or coffee to Seattle.
While Boston is known for its freshly shucked oysters and gourmet lobster rolls, any type of local fare is guaranteed to be delicious here. Being a harbor town and a connoisseur of seafood, Boston tends to offer some pretty amazing bites.
The following are our six favorite Boston seafood joints, you just have to try!
People describe Orange Country as the paradise of Southern California. The hype has been heightened by the fact that most films have been shot there, including the reality show, The Real Housewives of Orange County.
The OC is a place known for its serenity and extensive beauty, and has become a major destination for many tourists from all over the world.
There are so many reasons why you should consider a visit here. Here are the top reasons as to why you should explore Orange County!
We all love an epic road trip, and as far as choosing the perfect destination, California is one of the most diverse states in the world. Byways and highways wind through dramatic scenery and connect some of the biggest cultural hubs in the United States.
But road trips aren’t ever about getting from point A to point B, they’re about the stop offs and itinerary you create inbetween.
Whether you’re simply looking for some time to relax and recharge, or you want to embark on an adventure before you’re stuck behind a wheel for several hours, California has plenty of stop-offs to keep you entertained.
If you have ever wanted to actually hold a piece of a mammoth, there is no better place in the U.S. to do so than the Peace River in central Florida. In addition to holding the remains of fossilized mammoth teeth, bones, and ivory, the River is a treasure trove for countless other prehistoric beasts and native peoples.
I’ve always loved visiting Vegas – though not for the gambling, shot gun weddings or party scene on the strip. But because there’s so much competition from one hotel to the next, it’s a unique chance to stay in luxury for an affordable price.
But nothing has ever been this affordable – discount travel site Hotwire has gone a little crazy (but let’s face it, Vegas inspires all kinds of crazy!) and launched a ‘Million Dollar Sale’ – they’re investing a million dollars to offset the cost of 5 star hotels so travelers can book them at just $50 a night!!!
Ever since same-sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001 (props to the Netherlands for always being at the front of progressive change), the legalization of same-sex marriage has snowballed throughout the world.
28 countries (26 with another two pending) now legally recognize the right for same sex couples to marry, so if you’re part of the LGBTQI community, and want to travel, live overseas, or plan a destination wedding, these countries will recognize your right.
More than 760 million people now live in countries where same-sex marriage is legal, and I encourage all travelers to support those countries at the forefront of equality and recognition of human rights. I also have one thing to say to my own country, in a slogan they coined: Australia, where the bloody hell are you?
The United States of America is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. With so many diverse landscapes and environments, it’s no wonder 77.6 million people visit every year.
However, with so many places to visit and so many great things to do, you would be gone for a lifetime if you tried to see the whole country in one trip. So if you’re struggling to pick a vacation spot, we can hopefully take the effort out of planning your trip.
The following are our three favorite vacation destinations in the USA. We hope they’ll be yours too!
San Francisco is one of those cities that has a little bit of everything. From stunning landscapes to iconic monuments, along with a thriving arts, culture, and food scene, there are plenty of things to do and see.
But if you only have time for a brief visit, using this itinerary will help you pack the highlights into three days.
California is home to some of the most incredible beaches in the US. With its diverse wildlife and landscapes, each coastal area is unique in its own way.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, adventure is not hard to find in these seaside paradises. We’ve listed some of our favorite beaches on the West Coast to help you plan your next holiday in the Golden State.
One of the great wonders of the world, no trip to the US is complete without stopping to experience the Grand Canyon. But at almost 450 km long, and over 1,100 km in circumference, how do you even know where to start?!!
There are options to take in the West Rim glass skywalk, and stay overnight at a ranch on native land. You can choose to travel on horseback, and witness the magic of a sunrise which most tourists will never understand.
The following are the pros and cons of visiting each of the Grand Canyon’s 4 available rims. If you can’t make it to Arizona you can take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon from Vegas too.
When it comes to the natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls continues to intrigue. Created as water flowed into the Niagara River from the North American Great Lakes 12,000 years ago, these three spectacular waterfalls form the hub of a sightseeing and recreational area with enough outdoor and indoor activities to make a great weekend getaway or extended vacation.
As for what to do once you’re there, you can fill your days and nights nonstop or you can kick back and relax. Niagara Falls has something for everyone. Here are seven of them: