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West Coast USA

California & the West

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WEST USA? NO WORRIES.

Brushed by the Pacific Ocean, the West Coast of the USA stretches from the snowy mountains of Washington State all the way down to California’s sun-soaked beaches. Scenic Oregon sits in-between, while the dusty deserts of Arizona and Nevada branch inland towards the east. It’s a diverse and dramatic region, serving up some of the USA’s best national parks and most iconic cities. So you can expect plenty of adventures on your holiday to California and the West.

Whether you want to focus your attention on one area or you’re planning a jam-packed road trip across multiple states, you’ll have no trouble filling your time in West USA. Nature-lovers will be amazed by the scenery – whether you’re admiring the peaks of Olympic National Park in Washington State, the lush forests of California’s Yosemite National Park, or the otherworldly rocks in Arizona’s Monument Valley. Beach-seekers will feel at home on California’s powder-soft sands, while foodies will love Oregon’s thriving craft beer scene – especially in Portland – and the world-famous wines of Napa Valley. Alternatively, if you want to tick some bucket-list landmarks off your list, why not make tracks for Los Angeles, Las Vegas or San Francisco?

There’s so much to see, in fact, that a road trip – or a self-drive tour – is often the best way to see California and the West USA. You could drive up the beach-lined coast of the Golden State, before heading inland towards Sin City. Or perhaps you’d prefer to start in Seattle and drive through mountainous national parks towards Portland? Or maybe the rolling deserts of Arizona and Nevada have caught your imagination? Whatever you’re into, speak to our experts to plan your dream holiday to California and the West.

Iconic cities

National parks

Road trips

Best time to go

Iconic cities

The West of the USA is home to some of the country’s most famous cities. In California, you can discover Los Angeles – the glittering home of Hollywood – and tick off the postcard-worthy sights of San Francisco, like Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and bustling Fisherman’s Wharf. Or you can enjoy some downtime on the sun-soaked beaches of San Diego and Santa Monica.

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Over the state border in Nevada, meanwhile, you’ll find the neon lights of Las Vegas. Boasting enormous casinos and eccentric themed hotels, Sin City should be on everyone’s bucket list – it’s a place which needs to be seen to be believed. You can watch a dazzling show, fly abovethe Strip in a helicopter, and dance the night away.

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Prefer to take the road less travelled? Then head to Portland. The biggest city in Oregon, this oh-so-cool place takes pride in its craft microbreweries and hip coffees houses. Plus, it’s well placed for daytrips to some of Oregon’s beautiful national parks.

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National parks

If you love the great outdoors, a holiday to California and the West will be right up your street. The Golden State is associated with sandy beaches and rolling surf, but there’s a lot more to discover beyond the coast. About 160 miles west of San Francisco lies Yosemite National Park. This stunning wilderness is a must-visit, boasting giant sequoia trees, granite mountains and tumbling waterfalls, plus all sorts of wildlife.

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Further west, the rust-coloured landscape of Arizona is where you’ll find two of the USA’s most famous national parks. Marvel at the impossible scale of the Grand Canyon, and explore the mysterious Monument Valley – you’ll recognise it from a number of films, including Forrest Gump and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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Further north, lesser-known Oregon is often overlooked. But for nature-lovers, the Beaver State offers a chance to explore some quieter – but no less impressive – national parks. You can walk around Crater Lake, discover Columbia River Gorge, and see the snow-sprinkled peak of Mount Hood. Similarly, Washington State is home to some beautiful hiking spots, including Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park.

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Road trips

A road trip is a fantastic way to see as much of California and the West as possible. And our experts can tailor your itinerary to you.

California’s scenic 650-mile Pacific Coast Highway is a popular choice for beach-lovers, as it weaves through popular places like LA, Big Sur, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. But it’s not your only option. You could start your trip in San Fran, then journey north to the vineyards of Napa Valley, before continuing southwest to Yosemite National Park.

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Show Less

Alternatively, why not go on a road trip through the desert? Start your holiday with a few days in Las Vegas, then drive to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. From there, you could either drive northeast to Monument Valley, or southwest to Joshua Tree National Park.

Or drive through scenic Oregon. Starting and ending in Portland, you can enjoy a brilliant road trip as you admire Mount Hood, explore the Oregon Dunes, go wine-tasting in Willamette Valley, and visit Salem’s historical sites.

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Show Less

Best time to go

Due to the sheer size of the West USA, there’s no single best time to go. Spring is a great time to visit the national parks of California and Oregon, as the melted snows reveal walking trails and waterfalls. Meanwhile, in Southern California, the beaches benefit from longer, warmer days in spring – so you can enjoy the crowd-free sands before summer. Or, if vineyards are on your to-do list, why not visit in autumn for the grape harvest? 

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Summer is also a great time to visit California and the West. Oregon and Washington State see blue skies and plenty of sunshine, with temperatures hovering in the low twenties. California is even warmer and the inland states of Arizona and Nevada are hotter still. In July and August, the mercury often soars above 40°C in Las Vegas – so this time of year might be too hot for some, depending on your itinerary.

Winter is more varied. Some cities in the West USA stay warm all year round. In Los Angeles, for instance, it rarely drops below 18°C in winter. But further north, Portland and Seattle see a lot of rain and temperatures plummet to single figures. Even Vegas gets a winter chill, as nighttime temperatures fall below freezing.

Show More
Show Less

Iconic cities

Iconic cities

The West of the USA is home to some of the country’s most famous cities. In California, you can discover Los Angeles – the glittering home of Hollywood – and tick off the postcard-worthy sights of San Francisco, like Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and bustling Fisherman’s Wharf. Or you can enjoy some downtime on the sun-soaked beaches of San Diego and Santa Monica.

Show More
Show Less

Over the state border in Nevada, meanwhile, you’ll find the neon lights of Las Vegas. Boasting enormous casinos and eccentric themed hotels, Sin City should be on everyone’s bucket list – it’s a place which needs to be seen to be believed. You can watch a dazzling show, fly abovethe Strip in a helicopter, and dance the night away.

Show More
Show Less

Prefer to take the road less travelled? Then head to Portland. The biggest city in Oregon, this oh-so-cool place takes pride in its craft microbreweries and hip coffees houses. Plus, it’s well placed for daytrips to some of Oregon’s beautiful national parks.

Show More
Show Less

National parks

National parks

If you love the great outdoors, a holiday to California and the West will be right up your street. The Golden State is associated with sandy beaches and rolling surf, but there’s a lot more to discover beyond the coast. About 160 miles west of San Francisco lies Yosemite National Park. This stunning wilderness is a must-visit, boasting giant sequoia trees, granite mountains and tumbling waterfalls, plus all sorts of wildlife.

Show More
Show Less

Further west, the rust-coloured landscape of Arizona is where you’ll find two of the USA’s most famous national parks. Marvel at the impossible scale of the Grand Canyon, and explore the mysterious Monument Valley – you’ll recognise it from a number of films, including Forrest Gump and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Show More
Show Less

Further north, lesser-known Oregon is often overlooked. But for nature-lovers, the Beaver State offers a chance to explore some quieter – but no less impressive – national parks. You can walk around Crater Lake, discover Columbia River Gorge, and see the snow-sprinkled peak of Mount Hood. Similarly, Washington State is home to some beautiful hiking spots, including Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park.

Show More
Show Less

Road trips

Road trips

A road trip is a fantastic way to see as much of California and the West as possible. And our experts can tailor your itinerary to you.

California’s scenic 650-mile Pacific Coast Highway is a popular choice for beach-lovers, as it weaves through popular places like LA, Big Sur, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. But it’s not your only option. You could start your trip in San Fran, then journey north to the vineyards of Napa Valley, before continuing southwest to Yosemite National Park.

Show More
Show Less

Alternatively, why not go on a road trip through the desert? Start your holiday with a few days in Las Vegas, then drive to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. From there, you could either drive northeast to Monument Valley, or southwest to Joshua Tree National Park.

Or drive through scenic Oregon. Starting and ending in Portland, you can enjoy a brilliant road trip as you admire Mount Hood, explore the Oregon Dunes, go wine-tasting in Willamette Valley, and visit Salem’s historical sites.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to go

Due to the sheer size of the West USA, there’s no single best time to go. Spring is a great time to visit the national parks of California and Oregon, as the melted snows reveal walking trails and waterfalls. Meanwhile, in Southern California, the beaches benefit from longer, warmer days in spring – so you can enjoy the crowd-free sands before summer. Or, if vineyards are on your to-do list, why not visit in autumn for the grape harvest? 

Show More
Show Less

Summer is also a great time to visit California and the West. Oregon and Washington State see blue skies and plenty of sunshine, with temperatures hovering in the low twenties. California is even warmer and the inland states of Arizona and Nevada are hotter still. In July and August, the mercury often soars above 40°C in Las Vegas – so this time of year might be too hot for some, depending on your itinerary.

Winter is more varied. Some cities in the West USA stay warm all year round. In Los Angeles, for instance, it rarely drops below 18°C in winter. But further north, Portland and Seattle see a lot of rain and temperatures plummet to single figures. Even Vegas gets a winter chill, as nighttime temperatures fall below freezing.

Show More
Show Less

Chat With Our West Coast USA Experts

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Our top 5

Arizona

Spend some time in trendy Scottsdale, hopping between the city’s artisan coffee shops, pretty gardens and breathtaking hiking trails

Our top 5

Yosemite National Park

Explore one of the USA’s most impressive national parks, where you’ll be able to see glacial lakes, grand mountains, wildflower meadows and native wildlife.

Our top 5

Napa Valley

Sip Californian vintages in the world-famous Napa Valley. Or, for something a little different, discover 500 vineyards in Oregon’s lesser-known Willamette Valley.

Our top 5

Olympic National Park

Go hiking through Washington State’s million-acre park – you’ll discover everything from rich rainforests to turquoise lakes to snow-dusted mountains.

Our top 5

Las Vegas

Have an adventure in Sin City. Whether you fancy a flutter in the casinos, an all-night party or a daytrip to the Grand Canyon, this place has got it covered.

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How to do California & the West

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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