Things to Do in Western USA
With a wide array of natural landscapes and unique cities and good quality roads, Western USA is the ultimate road-tripping region. Stretching from the breezy beaches of San Francisco to the mountains and glaciers of Alaska, a holiday in the west offers the perfect mix of big cities, beautiful beaches and the freedom of the open road. Further inland you’ll find the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park and the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains, while out in the Pacific the idyllic Hawaiian islands offer beaches, wildlife and volcanoes galore. To decide on your adventure, take a look at our top things to do in Western USA:
Hike through the Grand Canyon
Definitely one of the grandest natural wonders you’ll ever see, the Grand Canyon is an incredible 277 miles long and one mile deep. To marvel at the sheer scale of the canyon, there are numerous vantage points, plus the ability to hike down it (just remember you’ve got to walk back up!), or see it from above in a helicopter.
How to do it: Embark on our California & Canyons itinerary and spend two nights in the Grand Canyon.
Admire the views in Yosemite National Park
Drawing over 3.7 million visitors each year, this national park in the Sierra Nevada is a haven for nature lovers, with over 700,000 acres of beautiful wilderness to explore. Perfect for one or two nights, during your stay you can hike the trails, climb the rocks, raft the rivers, admire the views and be at one with nature.
How to do it: Spend two nights in Yosemite National Park on our Northern California in Depth holiday.
Drive the Las Vegas Strip
While you can fly there, nothing quite compares to driving through the desert and into the brightly lit strip of Las Vegas (in a convertible for full effect). Famed for its hangovers and brat pack, the adult playground is everything and anything but boring. Embrace the surreal and enjoy a famous circus show one minute and a roller coaster the next; all taking place in casinos of course!
How to do it: Your Flight Centre USA Expert can help you arrange your own tailor-made self-drive holiday to Las Vegas.
Bike ride over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge
The seaside Californian town draws travellers near and wide with its iconic Golden Gate Bridge intriguing history and creative culture. To see it in all its splendour, hire a bike and cycle across it, or enjoy a Bridge to Bridge Harbour Cruise. While you’re in San Francisco, make time to visit the surrounding wineries and don’t miss an eerie visit to Alcatraz Island.
How to do it: A cycling trip across the Golden Gate Bridge or a Bridge to Bridge Cruise can be added to any of our San Francisco holidays.
Chill out in Los Angeles
Many people are drawn to LA for the bright lights of Hollywood, but it’s not the only thing worth visiting for. Hire a car and explore the city beyond the walk of fame and you’ll find a relaxing city of palm tree lined beaches, rolling hills and yoga-culture. And, when you’re in need of a thrill, embrace your big-kid side with a visit to Disneyland and Universal Studios.
How to do it: Take a look at Flight Centre’s favourite Los Angeles holidays here.
Look for grizzly bears in Denali National Park, Alaska
Home to Mount McKinley, North America’s highest mountain at 6,190m, the rivers, lakes and thick evergreen forests of Denali National Park hide grizzly bears, wolves, moose and caribou, and make a great safari spot. Come in summer for hiking and rafting, or winter for dog sledging, snowshoeing and skiing.
How to do it: Spend two nights in Denali National Park at the Denali Grizzly Bear Resort on Flight Centre’s Yukon & Alaska Explorer holiday.
Marvel at the vibrant colours of Yellowstone National Park
A wild geological landscape, Yellowstone was founded in 1872, making it the oldest national park in the USA. Set atop an enormous super volcano dotted with bright blue hot springs and erupting geysers, plus various canyons, mountains and rivers, the park has been home to Native Americans for 11,000 years. Get back to nature and explore by car, by boat or on foot and look out for bison, elk and grizzly bears.
How to do it: Set off on our Wild Wonders of the West itinerary and spend two nights in Yellowstone National Park.
Go whale watching in Maui, Hawaii
There’s a little bit of magic about Maui, which draws sun worshippers and bronzed surfers to its rolling waves and peaceful beaches. Inland, the 65-mile Road to Hana makes for a great day trip, its 620 corners and hairpin bends passing by rugged coastline, tropical waterfalls and thick forests on the way from Kahului to Haleakala National Park, where humpback whales are often glimpsed offshore.
How to do it: Whale watching can be incorporated into any of our tailor-made Hawaii holidays. Give our Hawaii Experts a call to book one of our Hawaii holidays today.
Ski or Snowboard in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains
With the onset of winter, the snow begins to fall across the Rocky Mountains and Colorado’s ski season kicks off, most famously in Aspen. Depending on the snow levels, the ski season is usually in full swing by December and lasts right through to the end of April, so there’s plenty of time to get your skis on. And if skiing doesn’t float your boat, what about snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling?
How to do it: Chat to Flight Centre’s USA Experts to arrange your tailor-made USA holiday including Colorado.