Visit These Tourist Destinations in the West

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    Top Tourist Destinations in the Western U.S.

    Golden Gate Bridge
    ••• Itsara / Pixabay

    From celebrity-filled Los Angeles and neon-lit Las Vegas to the abundant natural wonders of the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and many other states and national parks, the western United States has something for every type of traveler. But it is a huge area and not one that can be easily toured in a few days, weeks, or even years.

    The West is comprised of the Mountain States, including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; and Pacific states, including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. The land mass west of the Mississippi River covers more than double the land to the east of the Mississippi. In fact, Alaska itself measures one-fifth the size of the continental United States. Adrenaline lovers can get their kicks by heading to the Rockies to hit the famed slopes, while the traveler looking for the perfect spot to relax can go to sunny California for wine tasting in Sonoma

    In this "Best of the West" round-up, I've linked to...MORE some of About's most popular articles on visiting California, Hawaii, Las Vegas, the Southwest, and the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about what to see and do in these areas so you can begin planning your trip to the West today.

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  • 02 of 06


    California surfers
    ••• Corey Jenkin / Getty Images

    A mere mention of the phrase "West Coast" conjures up thoughts of California. From Los Angeles to San Francisco and all the spaces in between, the laid-back style of the Golden State makes it appealing to a wide range of travelers. 

    Families looking for the ultimate kid-friendly destination can head straight to Disneyland, while couples needing a quiet weekend away can cruise up scenic Highway One towards the quieter beaches around Carmel and Monterey.  

    More Resources for California Cities and Attractions:


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  • 03 of 06


    Kuhio Beach Park
    ••• Duke Kahanamoku statue in front of Kuhio Beach Park. Monica & Michael Sweet / Getty Images

    The islands of Hawaii are as far west as you can go and still vacation in the United States. Beautiful beaches, bubbling volcanoes, and the unique Hawaiian culture lure millions of travelers to the eight islands of the Aloha State year after year.

    With 80-degree average temperatures throughout the year, Hawaii is always a tropical paradise. To avoid the summer resort crowds, go during December or January. Most flights arrive at the Honolulu Airport (HNL), so plan to stay and experience Hawaii’s main metropolis or hop on a connection from there to another island. Check out these resources to help plan your trip:


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  • 04 of 06

    Las Vegas

    Las Vegas strip
    ••• The “strip” is home to Las Vegas’s best casinos, shopping, nightlife and hotels. ngd3 / Pixabay

    People go to Las Vegas to get lucky. From the buzz of the casinos to the glitz of the hotels and the shows, Las Vegas provides ample opportunities to press your luck with money, love, or getting into a blockbuster show, thereby making it a sure shot with tons of risk-taking travelers. If the excitement of the city gets to be too much, the spectacular canyons of Red Rock are just 30 minutes away from the city’s main strip and perfect for a day trip. Use these resources when planning a visit to this desert oasis:

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  • 05 of 06

    The Southwest

    Monument Valley
    ••• Monument Valley, AZ. @nielsfahrenkrogphoto / Twenty20

    Incredible landscapes, Native American cultures, and some of the best U.S. National Parks, including the Grand Canyon, can be found in the Southwest. Bustling cities—such as Santa Fe, New Mexico and Austin, Texas—brimming with art and fine dining is just a few of the many options available to travelers when visiting the Southwest.

    More travel Ideas for the Southwest:

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  • 06 of 06

    The Pacific Northwest

    Mount Rainier Seattle
    ••• Danita Delimont / Getty Images

    The Pacific Northwest is where the majesty of nature and technological innovation intersect. Cool cities like Seattle and Portland fuel the economic engine of this region, while spots like Mount Rainier and Mount Hood provide for natural recreation and inspiration. Foodies will also be happy with the region’s emerging culinary scene and should be sure to make a stop in Portland for some of Oregon’s best. For the die-hard wino, Washington wine country is quickly becoming a wine hot spot.

    We've also included Alaska in this round-up.

    Here is some inspiration for planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest: