Traveled by many and beloved by all, the West Coast of the United States truly offers its visitors a little bit of everything. Located along the Pacific Ocean, the entire West Coast spans 1,293 miles of rocky shoreline and boasts three of the nation’s most populated cities. The West Coast is also home to some of the country’s most spectacular national parks and other notable attractions.
Whether you fancy the foothills or prefer life in the city, the West Coast has something for you. While planning your trip out west, you will want to be sure your itinerary includes these 10 must-see west coast attractions:
1. Space Needle
The 605-foot Space Needle in Seattle is one of the coast’s most recognizable landmarks. Purchased in 1961 and commissioned for the World’s Fair, the Space Needle was built in record-breaking speed: 404 days total. Today, it features an observation deck and revolving restaurant. We hope you’re not afraid of heights!
2. The Redwoods
The Redwood National Parks are home to some of the oldest and tallest trees in the world. However, the parks also serve to protect prairies, woodlands, rivers, and coastline, a network that supports a “rich mosaic of wildlife diversity and cultural traditions.”
3. Napa Valley
If you dream of becoming a sommelier (or enjoy practicing!), a trip to the West Coast would not be complete without a visit to the regions of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino. Renowned for their vineyards, the region produces some of the world’s best wine.
The Golden Gate Bridge stretches 746 feet in the air and connects San Francisco to California’s northern counties. Like the Space Needle in Seattle, the Golden Gate Bridge has also been the backdrop of many famous movies. As a historic American landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge plays host to more than 10 million visitors on an annual basis.
Known for its waterfalls and more than 1,200 square miles of deep valleys, meadows and wilderness, Yosemite National Park is “not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight…” First-time visitors will be impressed by the magnificence of this famous National Park on the West Coast.
At 3.4 million acres, Death Valley is the largest national park in the United States and also claims the spot for the lowest, driest area in North America. With annual rainfall totals hovering around 1.5 inches, it’s surprising that more than 900 different species of plants live within the park.
Accessible year-round, Joshua Tree National Forest is a unique national park that features two distinct ecosystems: the Colorado and Mojave. The 1.3 million visitors who pass through each year are often amazed by the abrupt transition between the two. To best enjoy your visit, the park offers guides and trails for all ages.
A family visit to the West Coast would not be complete without a trip to Disneyland! Since opening their gates in 1955, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California has welcomed a staggering 600 million guests to its 500-acre family resort destination.
9. Hollywood Boulevard
If you’ve dreamed of becoming famous, then you won’t want to pass up Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. It could be the place where you finally get your big break! Known for its star-studded path, it’s also the home of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre.
10. San Diego Zoo
Rounding out our list of attractions is the San Diego Zoo, one of the largest and most famous zoos in the world. Located in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, the zoo houses more than 3,700 animals and more than 650 species. The zoo is open every day of the year, including all holidays.
From majestic Redwood forests and famous beaches to vast deserts and deep canyons, there are few places on earth that rival the diversity and breadth of the USA’s West Coast. For another coastal adventure, check out our favorite attractions on the East Coast!