he West Coast is arguably the coolest region of the USA, which is why it’s one of the most popular with travellers. Many never go any farther than California; with its famous cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and more), jaw-dropping national parks, and world class wine, it can claim many of the best things to do in the USA. Further up the coast, Oregon and Seattle have plenty to offer too.
1. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway, California
The USA is the land of iconic road trips, but the Pacific Coast Highway is arguably the best. Stops along the 1000km+ route include San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Malibu, and LA, but pretty much the entire thing is ridiculously scenic. Hire a convertible and hit the road!
2. Marvel at Yosemite National Park, California
First, learn to pronounce it (Yoh-sem-i-tee), and then spend at least a few days exploring the park’s incredible natural wonders. Between granite cliffs, waterfalls, mountains, lakes, giant sequoia groves, and more, you could spend a whole year here and never see it all.
3. Don’t die in Death Valley, California
This is one of the hottest places on the planet (they literally won’t let you enter if you don’t bring enough water), but the sweeping, barren landscapes are well worth the heat. Head down to Badwater Basin to reach the lowest point in all of North America.
4. Celebrate life with a drink in Napa Valley, California
Like fine wine, good weather, and spectacular views? You shouldn’t miss the numerous vineyards and wineries of Napa Valley – the only difficulty is choosing which to visit.
5. Chill out at Lake Tahoe, California
Visit in the summer and Lake Tahoe is a beautiful (if a little crowded) spot to relax and take a dip in the sun. It gets cold in winter, which thins out the crowds so you can properly enjoy the various walking trails around the lake.
6. Eat Mexican food in San Diego, California
Its location near the Mexican border makes San Diego one of the top places in the USA to get the best fajitas, tacos, and burritos you’re ever likely to taste (plus you can eat them on the beach).
7. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
You can’t visit California without seeing one of the USA’s most iconic landmarks. There’s so much to do in San Francisco, but seeing the morning fog peel back from the famous bridge is a moment you will never forget.
8. Get arty at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California
SFMOMA makes up for its clumsy acronym with sheer size, its numerous collections and exhibitions sprawling over 10 floors. Whether you’re an art lover or a shameless poser, you’ll find something here to capture your imagination.
9. Walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles, California
Covering the sidewalks of 15 blocks in glittering LA, these famous stars are dedicated to the leading lights and legends of the entertainment industry, including the likes of Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise and, er, the Olsen Twins.
10. Feel dwarfed by Sequoia National Park, California
Found in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, Sequoia National Park is famous for the gigantic sequoia trees that only grow here. They can grow to be a staggering 250 feet+ tall! The largest here is the General Sherman Tree, the largest on Earth, standing 275 feet tall and 102 feet around its trunk.