The west coast of the United States is a must see for anyone. Only 150 plus years ago people would spend months traveling out to Oregon, California, and Washington State to settle down and start a new life. After one visit you too might want to set your roots down here too.
If you love the great outdoors. The west is the place for you. From the many National Parks, State Parks, and open lands, it would take a lifetime to see them all. Below you will find 50 beautiful locations in the western United States. Check out our full list of 200 places to see in the United States for more amazing places to visit.
The West for this lists consists of Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Hawaii. You will find small towns, National Parks, Major cities, and more below. Let us know in the comments below how many you have visited or plan to visit.
Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Fourteen large volcanic islands and 55 smaller islands make up the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Here you will find some spectacular views of the Bering Sea and coastal Alaska.
Napa Valley, California
If you are looking for some of the best wine in the country a stopover in Napa Valley is a must. This area is one of the world’s most famous wine regions.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park in Montana is a hiker’s paradise with over 700 miles of trails. Back in 2015, there were 26 named glaciers in the park today that number might be lower as the glaciers keep melting due to rising temperatures. Glacier National Park is one of the 15 places we think you should visit in 2021. We just don’t know how much longer this amazing location will be with us.
Come for the Space Needle. Stay for the Museum of Pop Culture.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
2.8 Million people visit Joshua Tree National Park each year. See why people come out to this desert location every year.
HINT: it’s for the trees.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
What do you think you will find when you visit Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado? Flat prairie lands? Of course, you will find sand dunes. Lots and lots of sand dunes.
Salt Flats, Utah
The Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah is a one-of-a-kind place. This is a great place to capture the rising or setting sun.
Several speed records have been set at the Bonneville salt flats.
Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
The Devil’s Tower stands 867 feet from base to summit. This is one of the most famous rock climbing locations in North America.
Forestiere Underground Gardens – Fresno, California
For 40 years Baldasare Forestiere built these underground gardens in Fresno. It is considered one of Fresno, California’s hidden gems and within minutes you will understand why.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Lake Tahoe is a stunning location on the board of California and Nevada. It is the largest alpine lake in North America.
Olympic National Park, Washington
Olympic National Park in the Pacific Northwest is a popular climbing spot for those who wish to get to the summit of Mt. Olympus. You don’t have to be a climber though to enjoy the beauty of this National Park in Washington State.
Death Valley National Park, California
The lowest point in North America (282 feet below sea level) can be found at Death Valley National Park. Death Valley is also known for its extremes and is North America’s hottest and driest spot.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Not only is Denali National Park home to the tallest peak in North America this place covers over 6 million acres. You won’t be disappointed if you can make it here.
If planning a visit to Yellowstone National Park you should consider staying in Livingston, Montana. You can stay in a Conestoga wagon at Chico Hot Springs or at A Stone’s Throw Bed and Breakfast. Grab a bite to eat at Mustang, which is fancier than you would think and shop and many of the unique and charming local shops.
Arches National Park, Utah
Known for its over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. Arches National Park is a must-see for anyone who loves the odd things nature can do.
Mammoth Lakes, California
Mammoth Lakes is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains and is a popular town to start your journey to the Devils Postpile National Monument (formation of basalt columns), a hike to Rainbow Falls, or skiing on Mammoth Mountain.
Known for its many wineries and Danish-style architecture.
From town, you can see the peaks of Grand Teton National Park and the massive Yellowstone National Park. Those two places make Jackson, Wyoming a place to stop and lay your head and relax. While you are relaxing visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
Known as the Garden Isle, Kauai has been the backdrop of many Hollywood Films.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
This massive (415 square miles) National Park spans the Continental Divide and is made up of epic views of the Rocky Mountains.
Is there a better way to start your Alaskan adventure than starting off in the largest city in the state?
Mount Rainier, Washington
Mount Rainier ascends 14,410 feet above sea level and is an active volcano. If you are brave enough take the 147-mile road trip around Mt. Rainier and see it from every angle.
San Francisco, California
Alcatraz Island, Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, a ride on a cable car. Some pretty amazing sites await you when you visit this Californian city.
The Mile High City offers plenty of things for anyone to do. The Denver Botanic Gardens are a popular attraction to visit. A visit to the Molly Brown House is a must for any fan of the Titanic. Those that like things a bit more on the spooky side can take a ghost tour or just take a look around the artwork at the Airport.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Check out Island in the Sky for its beautiful panoramic overlooks at this National Park in southeastern Utah. Canyonlands is known for its desert landscape that has been carved out by the Colorado River. Another place to visit while in Canyonlands National Park would have to be the Needles or the Native American rock paintings at Horseshoe Canyon.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Today Vegas is more than just gambling. Of course, you can still play a hand of Blackjack. Take a stroll down the strip or visit the neon graveyard. Don’t forget to pay a visit to old Vegas either.
Glass Beach – Fort Bragg, California
This state park in CA has an abundant amount of sea glass that has been created from years and years of people dumping garbage in an area north of the State Park. It is beautiful to see but also very sad.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone holds the honor of being the first national park in the United States. This park is huge. It spans nearly 3,500 square miles and is home to alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs, canyons, and geysers.
Yellowstone National Park is home to the most famous geyser in the world, Old Faithful. Usually, every 90 minutes Old Faithful will erupt.
Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho
This weird landscape with its spectacular lava field gives you a vision as if you were on the moon.
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
When a volcano collapsed the lake was formed. Many years later it is now a National Park for us all to enjoy.
Area 51, Nevada
There is nothing out here……..
Pacific Coast Highway- California
One of the most scenic drives you can take in the world will take you ten hours to complete when you take your time and enjoy the sites around you. Check out these other great road trip ideas. The Pacific Coast Highway might just be the most scenic one but the other road trips on that list have their own unique twist too.
San Juan Islands, Washington
If you are looking for one of the best locations in the lower 48 to whale watch you will want to visit San Juan Islands in Washington State. Sailing, Hiking, and kayaking are also popular here.
Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
If you ever dreamed of seeing an active volcano. A visit to Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii is a must for you. Two volcanoes are active plus you can visit the Jaggar Museum and learn more about volcanology.
Is this the best place to ski? We don’t know but many people from around the world will tell you it’s the top spot in the US.
Yosemite National Park, California
If you are a photographer you will want to visit Yosemite National Park. The famous photographer Ansel Adams took many renowned landscapes of the area.
Even if you are not a photographer you will still be in awe of the landscapes this National Park offers. With its ancient sequoia trees and granite cliffs.
The town was named after and founded by Colonel William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody. A re-created frontier town is nearby with 1800s cabins and saloon. Cody, Wyoming is also the only place that still holds nightly rodeos.
Red Rock Canyon, Nevada
In the Mojave Desert lies Red Rock Canyon, known for its red sandstone peaks.
Salt Lake City, Utah
You can’t visit Salt Lake City without seeing the Mormon Temple which is the most iconic landmark in the city. The Natural History Museum of Utah and a visit to the State Capitol should also be on your list of places to see.
Disneyland and California Adventure- Anaheim, California
The theme park that started it all.
Columbia River Gorge – Hood River, Oregon
A wonderful scenic area in the Pacific Northwest.
Shoshone Falls – Twin Falls, Idaho
At 212 feet high it is taller than Niagara Falls in New York but Shoshone Falls is sometimes called the “Niagara of the West.”
Zion National Park, Utah
This National Park in southwest Utah offers a great scenic drive through the Zion Canyon. The views will leave you wanting more. Zion National park is only a 2 and a half hour drive from Vegas. Skip the tables one day and see one of the most spectacular National Parks in the US.
Redwoods State Park, California
Home to the tallest trees on Earth. I bet you will be in awe by the shear size. Trust us we are not joking about this.
Mount St. Helens, Washington
On May 18th, 1980 Mount St. Helens erupted becoming the deadliest volcanic event in US history. Today the area is preserved but you can climb to the summit and it is a popular climbing destination for beginners.
Hoover Dam, Nevada
Just a dam in the middle of the desert but it is still a sight to see.
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
The place where America was brought into World War II when we were attacked by surprise by the Japanese.
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Would you want to live on the side of a cliff? Well someone did.
Big Sur, California
When traveling along the pacific coast you will need someone to get out and stretch your legs. Big Sur is the perfect location for that.
Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
One of the most famous beaches in the world is Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. From the vibrant blue waters to the high rise hotels. Beauty can be seen all around you.
As you can see the western United States is packed full of amazing places to visit. Each one can be on your bucket list since they are just that beautiful. Every time I travel out west I find another amazing place that I didn’t know about. How many of these places did you know about?
Are you planning a trip to the west in 2021? Let us know in the comments below. While the major cities are full of people, most of the west has plenty of wide-open spaces making it easy to maintain 6 feet from others. In some places, there might be miles between your family and the next.
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