The United States is a totally huge country to explore! Filled with some epic cities, the most incredible national parks and beautiful places in California, you’ll honestly be spoilt for choice on where to explore. That being said, there are some incredible and best places on the west coast of the USA that you really shouldn’t miss.

This is why I wanted to pop a few spots you should think of seeing when you next visit. 

Now, it doesn’t really matter if you’re starting in the epic city of Seattle or exploring the more southerly cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, the west coast is easily accessible by car. 

Honestly, it’ll be totally easy to drive to some of the best places on the west coast of the USA as long as you’ve got a driver that is!

Now, I’ve included some epic spots that aren’t just on the coast itself. Some are a few hours drive island but I really wanted to show a heap of the diverse places you can see whilst exploring the west coast region. 

Best Places On The West Coast of the USA

With that in mind, take a little gander at some of the best places on the west coast of the USA to visit on your next trip. Have the best time exploring; it’s one epic region! 

1.) San Francisco

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One of the best things about San Francisco is how vibrant the city is. It’s got everything and anything you can imagine. From a heap of history to trendy little cafe and book stores; it’s got something for everyone.

Each day in the city can be completely different, with new things happening every day. It’s the joy of being is such a buzzing place.

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Make sure to go out exploring Fisherman’s Wharf and visiting the infamous Alcatraz, too.

Plus, head out and wander around Haight Street and having brunch in the Castro District; it’s a city that is welcoming and warm, making it the perfect place for us travellers to explore.

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For a little break away from the city, take a short drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods to see some of the absolutely massive redwoods which call this park home.

It really is one of the best places on the west coast of the USA if you fancy a city break. Oh, and don’t forget to check out all the free things to do in the city, too.

Read more: Best things to do in San Francisco

2.) See Death Valley

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Death Valley is one of the hottest places on Earth. Literally!

This scorching desert landscape is perched on the border between California and Nevada and well worth a visit but only if you have enough water and supplies to enter.

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Explore its iconic landscapes and experience a little of why this place is called Death Valley.

As with all extreme environments, make sure you always act with sense and safety in mind; it really is a challenging environment.

Water will be your friend here!

Honestly, if you love alien-like landscapes and want to explore one of the more dramatic landscapes near the west coast, then make sure to pop over to Death Valley. It really is one of the best places on the west coast of the USA.

Visiting California? Check out these must-see spots

3.) Experience Lake Tahoe 

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Lake Tahoe is one of those places that changes quite a bit between summer and winter.

In the winter months, you can actually head out skiing and snowboarding on the slopes nearby, whilst in the summer you can chill out and relax in the piping hot sun-soaked shores of the lake itself.

Whatever time of the year you visit, I’m almost positive you’ll love this place

Read more: Best national parks in the USA

4.) Enjoy a tipple in Napa Valley

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If you’re a wine lover (like me) – you’re just going to love Napa Valley.

Filled to the brim with wineries and vineyards, Napa Valley has become known as one of the most famous wine regions in the United States.

Make sure you visit some of the smaller wineries and really try some bespoke blends and ages that are grown in the region.

Just make sure you designate a driver before having a tipple. No one likes a drunk driver.

Read more: Map of places to see across the USA

5.) Hike the trails in Oregon

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Oregon is a relatively rural state, with lots of beautiful nature, stunning scenery and gorgeous coastlines to enjoy.

Make sure to pack your hiking boots and check out some of the very best hikes that are well worth an explore, especially around Abiqua Falls and Opal Creek. 

As with all hikes, prepare in advance, check weather conditions and always tell others where you’re going. It’s easily one of the best places on the west coast of the USA. 

6.) Immerse yourself in Seattle

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Seattle is one of the most amazing cities in the USA (shh, don’t tell the others). With the famous sites like Pike Place Market and the true home of Starbucks, Seattle is much more than many people realise.

This diverse city is a buzz and a cultural heartland for the west coast.

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Enjoy the amazing art scene, discover the natural beauty that’s a stone throw from the city itself (via the ferry) and chow down on the most amazing sourdough and clam chowder.

Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Oh, and take a little ferry trip over to Bainbridge Island, too.

Read more: Best things to do in Seattle

7.) Find Salvation Mountain

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Salvation Mountain is a pretty unique site when it comes to places to visit.

Located at the southern tip of California, Salvation Mountain is an art exhibition that’s been around for a few decades.

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It’s a great place to stop and marvel and a completely surreal landscape that is truly unique.

Read more: Planning your trip to Salvation Mountain

8.) Drive the Big Sur

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No trip to visit the best places on the west coast of the USA would be complete without Big Sur.

Drive the California coast and discover some of the state’s most impressive natural sites.

You’ll quickly realise why so many people love this area.

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It really is a beautiful landscape and pretty close to Monterrey if you want a little city living too.

Just make sure to pack lots of snacks; no one likes a hangry driver! 

See our complete road trip route for California

16 Epic Places To Visit In California On A Roadtrip



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