West Coast Hotspots

West Coast Hotspots

            Planning a trip to the west coast of the United States? With so many hotspots spread across the coast, the western coast is one of the top tourist destinations for international travellers. There are so many options of where to vacation---from charming, quaint small towns to bustling cities. Where do you begin planning your west coast trip? Check out some of these hotspots to help plan an exciting vacation route!

            Seal Beach, California is one of the west coast hotspots. Check out the long Seal Beach Municipal Pier while watching seals frolic in the waters below. The Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens provides stunning lovely views to help you relax. There are a bunch of popular outdoor sports that you can try out, including windsurfing and sandcastle contests.

            The second west coast hotspot is edgy Los Angeles. With lovely weather, stunning beaches and a world-famous amusement park, you will not run out of things to do here! Head over to Disneyland Park to entertain the kids. For celebrity buffs, take TMZ's trolley tour to learn more about the lives of the rich and famous. On the tour, you will see Hollywood soon. Science enthusiast can check out the Griffith Observatory to learn more about the solar system. Also popular is Universal Studios Hollywood, where you can see how portions of your favorite movies were made, including the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle from Harry Potter.

            Another California hotspot in San Francisco. Whether you want to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge or visit Alcatraz, there is something here for everyone! The iconic bridge provides ample opportunities for stunning photographs, especially when foggy. Alcatraz, a former maximum-security prison that held some of the most dangerous criminals. Although it was supposed to be impossible to escape from the prison due to high security and shark-infested waters, one prisoner did manage to escape. Alcatraz also inspired Hollywood movies, including Alcatraz. It was also once home to the infamous Al Capone. While in San Francisco, Lombard's winding street provides another popular scenic destination as does Fisherman's Wharf.

            We temporarily leave California to introduce you to another hotspot out west, known as the Grand Canyon in Arizona. This stunning canyon is located over the Colorado River and is home to many different animal species and gorgeous rock formations. If you are not sure where to start, there is a visitors center to help you get started. The Grand Canyon Railway can be used for scenic tours of the southern rim of the canyon. Donkey rides are available to take tourists down into the canyon.

            Yosemite National Park is a wilderness adventurer's dream location. With ample hiking, camping, and rock-climbing options. There is also ranger-led or automobile tours of the park. Additional options for seeing the park via bike and horseback are also available. Some of the most notable places to visit while in Yosemite National Park include Yosemite Valley, where waterfalls meet meadows and rocks. You might feel small next to the astonishingly large Giant Sequoia trees in Mariposa Grove, which has more than 500 of these unique trees. Crane Flat area is where you can see meadows and forests. There is also birdwatching and fishing in the park, as well as many other unique species of wildlife.

            Death Valley, a national park in California, also makes the list. This stunning park provides so many things to do. You can walk up to a volcano, see wildflowers bloom in the spring season, and stargazing in the evening. There are tons of trails for hiking and exploring. The sand dunes, which are constantly shifting, as well as Badwater Basin (the lowest area of land in all of the western hemisphere), provide other popular must-see tourist destinations. Death Valley is known for its extremely hot temperatures, so make sure to come prepared.

            Cannon Beach located in Oregon is another popular west coast destination. It is most known for Haystack Rock, a unique large 235-foot rock that juts out of the ocean and you can walk out to it during low tide. Finding treasures on this beach is incredibly easy, so feel free to search the beaches. While there, you will see families making sandcastles and checking out some of the tide pools in the area.

            The Emerald City, or Seattle as it is also known, is another hotspot on the west coast. This Washington State city is known for its Space Needle, which allows visitors to look down from more than 500 feet in the air, and its breathtaking ferry rides. Seattle's Waterfront Park is home to the Olympic Sculpture Gardens as well as many shopping and dining venues. While there, make sure to check out the evergreen forests which are very green from all of Seattle's rainy days.

            The final spot on our hotspot list is the most challenging to access. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve are located in Alaska. This unspoiled park will leave you breathless when you see snow-capped peaks reflecting in the crystal blue waters below. It is home to snowshoe hares, waterfowls, and wolves. While visiting, you can enjoy kayaking, fishing, or birdwatching. There are also hiking trails and options for overnight camping. You can enter on your own or take on of the many cruises through the area. Make sure to bring your camera to capture these amazing views while travelling on your us visa!