In summer 2022 we mapped out our own roadtrip route for West-USA and we were very satisfied. We had plenty of time to see everything, or well, almost everything we wanted. Some days we could be found in popular cities to go sightseeing, but other days we could be found in beautiful nature. In the West-USA, you can discover a lot of National Parks. We have chosen a few of them since it is a 17-day roadtrip. See and read more about this route below.
A. Los Angeles (Beginning) -> B. Death Valley National Park -> C. Las Vegas -> D. Grand Canyon National Park ->
E. Joshua Tree National Park -> F. Palm Springs -> G. Anaheim -> H. Los Angeles (End)
What to discover during this trip?
#A Los Angeles
The journey begins in Los Angeles. Los Angeles (LA) is a very popular and busy city. Hollywood is a very well-known borough of Los Angeles and is known for its movie stars and other celebrities. In Hollywood you visit the Walk of Fame and the Hollywood sign. The Walk of Fame is a street full of large colorful tiles with celebrity names from film/television, radio, music or theater. Furthermore, you can spot the Hollywood sign on top of the hill. These well-known letters can be seen from various places, such as the viewpoint from the Griffith Observatory.
In an upcoming blog you can read more about tips for spotting the Hollywood sign from other viewpoints or close up by when making a hike to the Hollywood sign!
Not to mention, Los Angeles is also known for the Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica Pier has an interesting structure and contains the Pacific Park amusement park with major tourist attractions, such as a Ferris wheel and even a roller coaster! This Pier is also the end of Route 66, which begins in Chicago and ends in Los Angeles. Last but not least, we would like to mention The Dodgers! Going to a baseball game is actually one of the things you can’t skip when road tripping in America. It’s a quintessentially American sport. Attending a baseball game is a great experience, because of the atmosphere, the game itself and the Dodgers Stadium. We definitely recommend going there!
There’s so much more to discover, visit, do and see in Los Angeles. We will tell you all about it in another blog where we will post our Top 15 things to do in or around Los Angeles.
#B Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is your next stop. It is an unusual transition from driving in a busy city to driving on one long road through the desert where you won’t see any other cars for hours. During summer, this desert is one of the hottest places on Earth. In Death Valley you will be able to visit Badwater Basin. This is an area full of salt flats located 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level, which makes it the lowest point of North America.
In this National Park, you can go to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, which are very impressive to see during sunrise and sunset. Furthermore, you will be able to visit the Artist Drive, known for its colorful volcanic and sedimentary hills. These different colors, varying from yellow and green to pink, were created by a volcanic explosion.
This is by no means all you can see in Death Valley. We’ll tell you in another blog about all the highlights in Death valley National Park, including the somewhat lesser-known places.
#C Las Vegas
“What Happens In Vegas, Stays in Vegas”. Las Vegas is a popular city located in the Mojave desert. It is strange to suddenly see a big city like Las Vegas in the middle of the desert. Everything in this city is exotic, for example, all special hotels being a sight. There are a lot of different hotels which you can visit and every hotel has something special. For example, the Flamingo hotel has real flamingos, the Paris hotel has an Eiffel Tower, and the New York New York hotel has not only recreated the Statue of Liberty, but also a giant roller coaster that starts inside the hotel and continues outside. Another HIGHlight (haha funny word joke) is the Stratosphere Tower. It offers breathtaking views since it is 350 meters high. What can’t be missed when in Vegas, is the large number of casinos. Almost every hotel has a casino that you will pass through before you will get to the lobby of the hotel. For a funny experience, put in some dollars and see if you can win some back, but be careful not to get hooked! Our advice: consider in advance how much you want to spend.
When wanting to escape this busy city, we definitely recommend going to the beautiful Valley of Fire State Park!
#D Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the oldest National Parks in the United States, located in the state of Arizona. The Grand Canyon is the most spectacular canyon in the world with a depth of about 1,500 meters. This canyon was created by the erosion process of the Colorado River. The different horizontal layers reflect a history of two billion years. The canyon including the Colorado River leads to multiple breathtaking views which you can enjoy at various viewpoints. It is possible to visit the West Grand Canyon when you are driving from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National park. There is a skywalk, a glass bridge over the Grand Canyon, (exciting!). You can also visit the South side of the Grand Canyon during this route. Here are some beautiful hikes, both short and long, but you can also take the bus to enjoy the different viewpoints.
#E Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is famous for its Joshua Trees. This park is close to Palm Springs, an amazing town in the desert. You can hike trails, drive through it by car and take some awesome pictures of this park in the middle of the desert. From October through May, it is the busiest season in Joshua Tree National Park, because of the great conditions to walk some fantastic hiking trails. In the middle of the summer, it is recommended to drive through the park by car and only hike some shorter trails, since it is too hot to hike long trails.
#F Palm Springs
As mentioned before, Palm Springs is a town close to Joshua Tree National Park. It is one of the nine cities located in the Coachella Valley. Be warned before going there; the heat record of this city is 123 degrees Fahrenheit (51 degrees Celsius). Palm Springs has a nice center, with a lot of local gift shops. When visiting in the summer, we would highly recommend staying in a resort with a swimming pool, because of the heat. It is an amazing opportunity to take some rest during your road trip through West-USA.
Located just a few miles outside the center of Palm Springs, there is a huge windmill park with more than 4000 windmills. It is fun to drive by those thousands of windmills and take some pictures, but don’t expect too much of it! At the end of the day, they are just windmills standing in the desert.
After you have taken some time to relax at Palm Springs, it is time to go to Anaheim. This city is famous because of the Disneyland Park. On your way to Anaheim, you can make a stop at Newport Beach. In this port city, you are able to go on a whale-watching cruise. During this cruise, you will probably see some dolphins, and if you are very lucky you will see a whale! This unforgettable experience will take 2 hours of your day.
At the end of the day you will arrive at your hotel in Anaheim and you can have one last sleep before you will visit the magical world of Disneyland Anaheim. This amazing theme park is fun for old and young. You can meet Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and all the other Disney-figures. Also, there is a wide range of fantastic attractions. You can spend your entire day at this park, and if you want to see everything of it; it is possible to stay multiple days.
Note: this route includes 1 day in Disney. If you decide to stay multiple days, the road trip lasts longer than 17 days.
Want to know more about how to enjoy most of the attractions in one day and how to find your favorite characters in the park to make a memorable picture together? We’ll give you all tips on which attractions are best to start with, we’ll provide information on fast passes and the Genie+ card! More on that, later in another blog.
#H Los Angeles
After a long day in Disneyland, you will drive back to the city where it all began; Los Angeles. If you didn’t have enough time to visit all the highlights of Los Angeles, you can still do it on these last two days. If you have seen enough of this beautiful city, you can decide to relax on Venice Beach or rent an e-step or bike at Santa Monica Pier.
Your road trip through the westside of the USA has ended, what an adventure it was.
Want to get more tips about where to eat, where to stay or tips to save yourself some entry-money? Read our other posts about west-USA.