At first it was the gold rush that brought people from across the world to the Western USA. Today, the wealth lies in the amazing natural and manmade attractions that can be found. Where you decide to go depends on the type of holiday you’re after. For vibrant cities look no further than Seattle, San Francisco and Las Vegas. For glorious wilderness scenery, spend time in Yellowstone National Park, the Rockies or the spectacular Grand Canyon.
When to go
Western USA covers such a variety of landscapes, and climate conditions are varied. In California around Los Angeles and San Diego, you can expect a pleasant year-round climate with long, hot summers, whilst in the northern states around San Francisco and Seattle, you can expect a temperate climate with regular rainfall and frequent coastal mists and fog. Las Vegas and Arizona have a dry, desert climate meaning very hot summers but cool, even chilly evenings in the winter.
Quick Travel Facts
TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT -8 hours Western Coast Cities and -7 hours Denver.
FLIGHT INFORMATION: Direct flights are available to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas and Seattle and include British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines and American Airlines.
FLYING TIME FROM UK: Approx 11 hours to Los Angeles, San Francisco. Approx 10 hours to Seattle, Denver and Las Vegas.
10 Must Do in Western USA
It has to be flying over the Grand Canyon. Staring down into this ancient abyss that’s carved into the Arizona desert is truly remarkable.
Western USA has some spectacular road trips. To really live the American dream, drive all or part of Route 66 from Chicago to LA.
3WHERE TO GO FOR ADVENTURE
The USA’s oldest National Park – Yellowstone National Park – is a wonderland of mountains, plains, geothermal activity and incredible wildlife.
When it comes to posing, it’s all about Venice Beach in Los Angeles. A meeting place for the bold and beautiful, it gives a fascinating insight into the LA lifestyle.
Crater Lake National Park in Washington state is named after the stunning lake that fills the cone of an extinct volcano – don’t forget your camera.
DATES FOR THE DIARY
For something completely different, head to San Francisco for Pride and see the streets filled with colour and character.
BEST FOR KIDS
The West’s answer to Orlando – Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort will be loved by all.
Yosemite National Park has an abundance of wildlife – keep your eyes peeled for bears and coyotes.
Vegas has some of the grandest, most extravagant hotels on Earth. Try the stylish Bellagio or the all-suite eco-friendly Vdara Hotel.
LIVE LIKE A LOCAL
Take an audio tour of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. As you walk into the cells of this infamous prison you can hear the stories of its most notorious prisoners. It’s eerie, but enthralling.