In this post, we’ll share with you the must-see destinations of the Western United States including the 3 top cities in the area (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas) and an adventure through the territory we’ve all seen in Hollywood and John Wayne movies.
The first thing is to decide the city to arrive. Ideally, you should get to Los Angeles, the main port and city in the west, to and from there is possible to find very cheap flights from many destinations.
10 awesome places that will help you get the most out of the western of the United States
1. Northern California Route
California is so spectacular and diverse that we made a post for each one of the places we went. You can read or see the videos about San Francisco, The Sequoia National Park (with the largest living things on the planet) and Yosemite National Park.
2. Los Ángeles
The Mecca of the film industry of the United States (and the world) as a good big city offers a wide variety of places to enjoy like bars, restaurants and of course, filming of all kinds; here instead of hamburger carts in the corners, you´ll find people making movies.
We recommend Griffith Observatory on the hills, where there is a Foucault pendulum (I always thought it was just a book) that makes you feel the earth rotation. From there you can see the famous Hollywood sign of Beverly Hills. Down in the city, you can eat or take some pictures in the Walk of Fame street.
Don’t be surprised if you see Darth Vader walking down at your side. In Los Angeles, what we’re used to see on TV becomes reality.
3. Las Vegas- “The sin city”
Just three hours away by car from LA is Las Vegas, the Sin City. Sex, drugs, casinos, alcohol, good food, and rock and roll, Las Vegas is a Disney park for adults with games, world-class artists, attractions, spectacular shows, unlimited fun, and a lot of crazy people.
Leaving aside all that crazy jazz we are not so fan about, Las Vegas is an experience for all your senses. You can read the post about it here.
The Sin City it’s about that, the chance to forget about reality. LOVE (the Cirque du Soleil show with the Beatles’ music) is the kind of shows will make you fell on a dream that came true! What would the world be without art!
4. Hoover Damm
Hoover Dam is 40 minutes away driving from Las Vegas. This emblematic place is the scenario of many movies including Transformers and San Andreas. The dam was built in the early twentieth century with the labor of 34 thousand workers.
It takes water from the Colorado River and supplies energy to several of the most important cities in the area. It is a mega concrete structure, a marvel of human engineering.
5. Red Rocks Mountain & Valley of fire
Las Vegas is on a desert, yes, and once you have walked in and out every casino, passed by the strip and seen the shows you may like, a great idea if you are a nature enthusiast, is to explore the beautiful national parks just 30 minutes (Red Rocks Park) and 50 minutes away (The Valley of fire) from Las Vegas. Whatever park you decide to explore, you can hike colorful mountains with stunning views and rest from the hectic ambience in the city. Prepare your picnic, bring some beers, or good wine, your camera, good company and enjoy this the views in the middle of the desert of Nevada.
6. Historic Route 66
Is the first route that connected the United States from east to west, from Chicago to Santa Monica in California. We rented a motor home and went to see its historic views, arid but unique, passing many small towns that seemed to be stopped in time. We suggest stopping and walking the streets, enter taverns identical to those on the cowboy movies and feel the history of a country on the road.
7. Grand Canyon
Not in vain, is one of the natural wonders of the world. It´s one of those few places that have been preserved almost like Mother Nature created it. The Colorado River made its part, carving the stone through centuries and drawing these shapes giving life to the Grand Canyon.
If a picture could describe the word “vastness” that image would be one of the Grand Canyon. It’s so big, so big that is VAST.
To enjoy its beauty, the best is to take a helicopter and fly over, but that’s something beyond normal budgets (including us so far). There are many observation points, well-marked and signed that you can reach by bus.
Get your camera ready because there’s a lot to see. There are so many ways to see the Canyon, we chose the North Rim, simply because it was on our route.
8. The Monument Valley
Or “Tse Bii Ndzisgaii” which means “Valley of the Rocks” in Navajo. Is the Colorado Plateau and has a number of giant sand and stone monoliths up to 300 meters high.
It’s something spectacular to see, unique and it’s really is amazing to watch these huge monoliths over the valley. It was the film set of many Wild Wild West movies of the United States in which the white man’s supremacy over the natives was showed.
Today the Navajo Indians managed to recover, manage and govern their territory. It is also very interesting to check the Navajo crafts used to support and preserve their culture and territory.
9. Antelope Canyon
In Page Arizona, there is a group of passageways made of softly rounded walls, molded by the river streams for thousands of years; some walls have up to 40 meters high.
This area is also part of the Navajo territory and should be visited only with a guide of the indigenous community because the passageways can be instantly flooded by rain in a matter of minutes. With just one or two meters wide, people’s exit could be catastrophic.
It’s a spectacular place for photography lovers. IMPORTANT NOTE: The perfect time for pictures is noon, when the sun’s rays fall straight down and illuminate the walls, showing its intense colors and textures.
10. The Horseshoe Bend
Is a beautiful formation of the Colorado River before going into the Grand Canyon. It’s shaped like a horseshoe, hence its name.
Located near Page in Arizona, you get there from the US-89 highway and then you’ll need to walk for about a kilometer. Carry enough water, it’s a short distance but temperatures are high and there’s a high risk of dehydration. It’s great and beautiful so is worth every effort to have the amazing views in your mind.
We hope you enjoy this tour as much as we did. We rented a motorhome that allowed us to sleep, eat and move during the tour (from Las Vegas to the Horseshoe) and it’s a nice comfortable option. It made us think about the detachment and realize we don’t need that many things to live. Hence, we can get higher when we are lighter. We invite you to check the video below:
Tell us what you think about this thoughts. We will be glad to read your comments!
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