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Western USA Travel Guide

Stretching from the rugged Pacific coastline to the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the Western USA is a vast and diverse region that captivates with its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cities. The iconic states of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and others collectively offer a kaleidoscope of experiences.

Natural Splendors:

The Western USA is home to some of the world's most awe-inspiring natural wonders. From the majestic Grand Canyon in Arizona to the towering sequoias of California's Yosemite National Park, the region boasts diverse ecosystems. Explore the geothermal wonders of Yellowstone National Park, the red rock landscapes of Utah's Arches National Park, and the serene beauty of the Pacific Northwest's forests and coastlines.

Metropolitan Marvels:

In contrast to its untamed wilderness, the Western USA is dotted with dynamic cities that embody innovation and cultural richness. Los Angeles, the entertainment capital, dazzles with Hollywood glamour, while San Francisco enchants with the Golden Gate Bridge and historic cable cars. Seattle's tech-forward vibe and iconic Space Needle, along with the vibrant arts scene in Denver and the bustling streets of Las Vegas, add urban flair to the region.

Outdoor Adventures:

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Western USA is a playground of possibilities. Whether it's skiing in the Rockies, surfing along California's coast, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, or enjoying water sports in Lake Tahoe, the region offers a myriad of activities for every adventurer.

Cultural Diversity:

The Western USA reflects a tapestry of cultures and lifestyles. From the laid-back surf culture of Southern California to the eco-conscious communities of Oregon, each state contributes to the region's diverse identity. Native American heritage is deeply ingrained, adding an enriching layer to the cultural mosaic.

Culinary Delights:

Indulge in the region's diverse culinary scene, from the farm-to-table freshness of the Pacific Northwest to the bold flavors of Southwestern cuisine. Food trucks in Portland, seafood in San Francisco, and the blend of Mexican and American influences in Arizona's cuisine offer a gastronomic journey.


Whether exploring the natural wonders, embracing urban sophistication, or savoring cultural richness, the Western USA invites travelers on a remarkable journey where each state unfolds its unique charm. From the glamour of Hollywood to the tranquility of national parks, the Western USA beckons with the promise of unforgettable adventures.

Food & Local Cuisine

The Western USA is a gastronomic playground, offering a diverse array of cuisines that celebrate local flavors, sustainable practices, and international influences.

Pacific Northwest Seafood Delights:

Begin your culinary journey in the Pacific Northwest, where fresh seafood takes center stage. Dive into succulent Dungeness crab in Seattle's Pike Place Market or savor the renowned clam chowder at Pike Place Chowder. The region's commitment to sustainable dining is evident in its emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

Southwestern Fusion in Santa Fe:

Santa Fe, with its vibrant art scene, also boasts a rich culinary tradition. Delight your taste buds with Southwestern fusion cuisine at restaurants like Geronimo, where dishes like green chili-infused elk tenderloin showcase the bold flavors of the region.

California's Culinary Diversity:

California's culinary scene is a melting pot of influences. In Napa Valley, explore farm-to-table excellence at The French Laundry, a three-star Michelin restaurant known for its innovative tasting menu. San Francisco's Chinatown offers a delectable journey into Asian cuisine, while Los Angeles embraces food trucks like Kogi BBQ, pioneering Korean-Mexican fusion.

Mexican Flavors in Southern California:

Southern California is a haven for Mexican cuisine enthusiasts. Indulge in the rich flavors of Oaxacan cuisine at Guelaguetza in Los Angeles, renowned for its moles and traditional dishes. San Diego's Old Town tempts with authentic street tacos and handmade tortillas.

Wine Country Delights in Napa Valley:

Napa Valley is not only a paradise for wine enthusiasts but also a culinary haven. Experience the exquisite French-inspired dishes at The Restaurant at Meadowood or savor Mediterranean flavors at The Charter Oak, both celebrating the region's bounty.

Portland's Food Truck Innovation:

Portland, Oregon, is synonymous with culinary innovation, particularly in its vibrant food truck scene. Enjoy eclectic and inventive dishes from carts like Nong’s Khao Man Gai, serving Thai chicken and rice, or the Grilled Cheese Grill, a local favorite for gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

Las Vegas Extravaganza:

Las Vegas elevates dining to a spectacle, offering a plethora of celebrity chef restaurants. Delight in the culinary creations of Gordon Ramsay at Hell's Kitchen or experience the elegance of Joël Robuchon's French cuisine at the MGM Grand.

Whether savoring the freshness of Pacific Northwest seafood, exploring the diverse flavors of California, or indulging in the bold spices of Southwestern cuisine, the Western USA invites food lovers on a culinary adventure that reflects the region's rich cultural tapestry.

Libations and Entertainment

As the sun sets, the Western USA comes to life with a vibrant nightlife scene, offering an array of sophisticated lounges, iconic bars, and lively entertainment venues.

The Chandelier, Las Vegas (Nevada):

Step into The Chandelier, a multi-story visual spectacle located in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. This glamorous cocktail bar is known for its dazzling chandelier centerpiece and inventive mixology, offering a chic and immersive experience on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Pink Door, Seattle (Washington):

In the heart of Seattle's historic Pike Place Market, The Pink Door captivates with its cabaret-style dining and live entertainment. Enjoy Italian cuisine, waterfront views, and performances ranging from trapeze artists to jazz bands, creating a lively and eclectic atmosphere.

Bourbon & Branch, San Francisco (California):

For a taste of speakeasy allure, venture to Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco. Tucked away in the Tenderloin district, this historic bar offers an intimate setting, creative cocktails, and a reservation-only library room for those seeking a truly clandestine experience.

The NoMad Bar, Los Angeles (California):

Situated in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, The NoMad Bar is an elegant and chic establishment within The NoMad Hotel. Indulge in expertly crafted cocktails and an upscale atmosphere that seamlessly blends sophistication with a relaxed California vibe.

Dante, New York City (Manhattan Beach, California):

A West Coast outpost of the iconic Dante in New York City, Dante West is located in the coastal city of Manhattan Beach. This stylish bar offers a beach-inspired ambiance, signature Negronis, and a lively atmosphere perfect for enjoying the Southern California night.

The Diller Room, Seattle (Washington):

Housed in a historic building in Pioneer Square, The Diller Room exudes old-world charm and modern elegance. With exposed brick walls and classic cocktails, this Seattle gem provides an ideal setting for a night of refined revelry.

The Underground, Denver (Colorado):

For a taste of Denver's thriving nightlife, head to The Underground, located beneath the historic Oxford Hotel. This subterranean bar, known for its craft cocktails and live jazz performances, channels the spirit of the Prohibition era in a sophisticated setting.

From the glittering lights of Las Vegas to the eclectic charm of Seattle and the cosmopolitan energy of Los Angeles, the Western USA offers a diverse range of drinking and nightlife experiences. Whether you prefer the glamour of a rooftop bar, the intimacy of a speakeasy, or the energy of live entertainment, these spots promise unforgettable evenings in the heart of the action.


Indulge in unparalleled comfort and style as you explore the Western USA, where a range of luxurious hotels and resorts awaits to elevate your stay.

The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park (California):

Nestled within the breathtaking landscapes of Yosemite National Park, The Ahwahnee Hotel is a historic gem. Offering timeless elegance and views of Half Dome, this AAA Four-Diamond hotel provides a serene retreat after a day of exploring the park's natural wonders.

The Venetian Resort, Las Vegas (Nevada):

In the heart of the vibrant Las Vegas Strip, The Venetian Resort stands as an epitome of luxury. Boasting spacious suites, a world-class spa, and the iconic Grand Canal Shoppes, this resort ensures a lavish and entertaining escape in the midst of the city's dazzling lights.

The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Beach (California):

Experience Mediterranean-inspired luxury at The Resort at Pelican Hill, perched along the stunning coastline of Newport Beach. With panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Tuscan-style villas, and a world-class golf course, this resort offers a tranquil coastal retreat.

The Little Nell, Aspen (Colorado):

For those seeking alpine elegance, The Little Nell in Aspen sets the standard. Located at the base of Aspen Mountain, this five-star, five-diamond hotel offers ski-in/ski-out access, gourmet dining at Element 47, and personalized service for a refined mountain getaway.

Hotel Jerome, Aspen (Colorado):

Immerse yourself in Aspen's history and luxury at Hotel Jerome, a landmark hotel since 1889. This beautifully restored establishment combines Victorian charm with modern amenities, providing a sophisticated ambiance in the heart of downtown Aspen.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay (California):

Overlooking the dramatic cliffs of the Northern California coastline, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, offers a coastal haven. Enjoy oceanfront views, world-class golf, and exquisite dining at Navio, making it an ideal retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation.

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs (Colorado):

Set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is a five-star resort renowned for its classic elegance and impeccable service. With multiple dining options, a spa, and outdoor activities, this historic resort ensures a luxurious stay.

Whether basking in the opulence of Las Vegas, enjoying coastal serenity in Newport Beach, or relishing mountain luxury in Aspen, these hotels and resorts in the Western USA promise an unforgettable blend of comfort and sophistication.

Best times to go to 

Western USA

The Western USA's diverse climates mean there's a perfect time to visit year-round. Summer (June to August) is ideal for outdoor activities and national park exploration, while winter (December to February) attracts snow sports enthusiasts to destinations like Aspen and Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in 

Western USA

The Western USA is a visual extravaganza, offering a kaleidoscope of sights that range from natural wonders to iconic landmarks and vibrant urban landscapes.

National Parks and Natural Marvels:

The region is home to some of the world's most breathtaking national parks. Marvel at the grandeur of the Grand Canyon's vast expanse, witness the otherworldly geothermal features of Yellowstone, and be captivated by the towering hoodoos in Bryce Canyon. Yosemite National Park in California, with its majestic waterfalls and towering granite cliffs, is a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Coastal Charm and Urban Icons:

The Pacific coastline adds a touch of maritime magic, with the rugged cliffs of Big Sur in California and the picturesque beaches of Oregon. Cities like San Francisco boast iconic landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island, while Seattle's Space Needle defines the city's skyline.

Desert Landscapes and Southwest Splendor:

Explore the mesmerizing desert landscapes of the Southwest, from the red rocks of Sedona to the slot canyons of Antelope Canyon. Monument Valley, straddling the Arizona-Utah border, provides an iconic backdrop of towering sandstone buttes, epitomizing the classic American West.

Mountain Majesty:

The Rocky Mountains add a majestic touch to the Western USA, offering not only stunning vistas but also outdoor adventures. Aspen's snow-covered peaks attract winter sports enthusiasts, while the alpine lakes and meadows of Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park provide a serene escape.

Entertainment Capitals:

Embrace the glitz and glamour of Hollywood in Los Angeles, where the iconic Hollywood Sign overlooks the city. Las Vegas, with its dazzling lights and world-renowned entertainment, stands as a testament to excess and entertainment.

Pacific Northwest's Natural Beauty:

The Pacific Northwest enchants with its lush landscapes and serene coastlines. Witness the power of Multnomah Falls in Oregon, explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Portland, and be surrounded by the greenery of Washington's Olympic National Park.

Architectural Marvels:

From the modern architecture of Seattle's Space Needle to the historic charm of San Francisco's Victorian houses, the Western USA is a testament to diverse architectural styles. The futuristic structures of Silicon Valley in California add a touch of innovation to the skyline.

In every corner of the Western USA, there's a sight to behold, each contributing to the region's rich tapestry of natural beauty, cultural landmarks, and architectural wonders. Whether seeking outdoor adventures or urban exploration, the sights of the Western USA promise an unforgettable visual journey.

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Best Ways to Get To 

Western USA

Major international airports like Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) serve as gateways to the Western USA. Well-connected domestic flights and a comprehensive highway network make reaching the region convenient for travelers.

Traveling within 

Western USA

Efficient domestic flights, well-maintained highways, and extensive public transportation in urban centers facilitate seamless travel within the Western USA. Car rentals offer flexibility for exploring national parks and remote areas, while cities like San Francisco and Seattle provide efficient public transit systems.

Money Matters in 

Western USA

In the Western USA, the United States Dollar (USD) is the official currency. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, and ATMs are readily available in urban and tourist areas. Tipping is customary in restaurants, with 15-20% of the bill considered standard.

Western USA

 Trip Ideas

Embark on captivating itineraries through the Western USA, where each route unveils a unique blend of natural wonders, cultural treasures, and urban adventures.

Coastal Splendors: San Diego to Seattle

Start your journey in San Diego, exploring the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter and relaxing on the beaches of La Jolla.

Travel up the Pacific Coast Highway, passing through Los Angeles for a taste of Hollywood glamour.

Discover the stunning coastline of Big Sur and explore the iconic landmarks of San Francisco.

Continue to the lush vineyards of Napa Valley before concluding your journey in the eclectic city of Seattle.

National Park Odyssey: Utah and Arizona

Begin in Salt Lake City, Utah, and explore the unique landscapes of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Journey through the scenic byways of southern Utah, visiting Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.

Cross into Arizona to witness the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon before heading to the artistic haven of Sedona.

Conclude your adventure in Phoenix, immersing yourself in the cultural offerings of the Sonoran Desert.

Rocky Mountain Adventure: Denver to Aspen

Start in the dynamic city of Denver, exploring its museums, parks, and vibrant neighborhoods.

Head west to Rocky Mountain National Park for outdoor activities amid stunning alpine landscapes.

Continue to Aspen for world-class skiing, upscale dining, and a taste of mountain luxury.

Explore the Maroon Bells and indulge in the cultural offerings of this picturesque Colorado mountain town.

City Lights and Desert Delights: Las Vegas to Scottsdale

Begin in the dazzling city of Las Vegas, experiencing the vibrant nightlife and iconic entertainment.

Journey through the Mojave Desert to Joshua Tree National Park, known for its unique landscapes.

Continue to Palm Springs for relaxation amid desert oasis vibes.

Conclude your itinerary in Scottsdale, Arizona, where luxury resorts and a thriving arts scene await.

Pacific Northwest Explorer: Portland to Vancouver

Start in Portland, Oregon, exploring its eclectic neighborhoods, food scene, and iconic Powell's City of Books.

Travel to Seattle for a taste of Pacific Northwest culture, including Pike Place Market and the Space Needle.

Venture into Canada, discovering the natural beauty of Vancouver, surrounded by mountains and ocean.

Explore Stanley Park, visit historic neighborhoods, and savor diverse culinary offerings in Vancouver.

Each itinerary promises a distinctive adventure, whether you're captivated by coastal panoramas, enchanted by national park wonders, drawn to mountain escapades, enticed by city lights, or charmed by the diverse landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Tailor your journey to your preferences, and let the Western USA unfold its wonders.

If you decide to go away, book your hotel, flights and activities through our trip concierge for discounts and benefits. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at many luxury hotels for the same price as the hotel’s own websites. (Book direct and you don’t get these benefits so why would you?). Our packaged vacation prices tend to be considerably cheaper than flight and hotel prices available online.

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Outdoor Adventures: Embrace the region's diverse landscapes with activities like hiking in Yosemite, skiing in Aspen, or surfing along the California coast.

Cultural Festivals: Attend cultural events like the Sundance Film Festival in Park City or music festivals such as Coachella in Southern California.

Tech Innovation: Explore the tech hubs of Silicon Valley and Seattle, witnessing cutting-edge innovation and developments in the tech industry.

Native American Heritage: Learn about the rich Native American heritage in places like Arizona's Navajo Nation and New Mexico's Pueblo villages.

Wine Country Escapes: Discover world-class wineries in Napa Valley and Oregon's Willamette Valley, indulging in wine tastings amidst picturesque vineyards.