Planning a Southwest road trip adventure? You aren’t alone. In fact, this travel experience must be on most of the travel wish lists out there. And we completely understand, as the United States’ awesomeness only gets even more awe-inspiring in this area of the country.
We recently sent a couple of writers on a 15-day trip to check the best of California, Nevada, and Arizona. Here’s what impressed them the most.
1. San Francisco’s Urban Jewels
Photo by Boutique Traveler
With the Financial District, the Embarcadero, the Golden Gate Bridge, the hilly streets, and the hippie areas, San Francisco has no shortage of attractions. You could easily spend a few weeks or months there without ever running out of amazing things to do and see.
Our team toured the city with Boutique Traveler, a company that offers private walking tours that truly capture your experience. We loved their unique twist: the guide took a bunch of Instagram-worthy photos throughout this customized tour through the heart of San Francisco, including Chinatown, downtown, and North Beach. You can see the photos featured the Spanish version of this article.
On their second day in town, they took a two-hour ride in one of the iconic VW hippie vans belonging to San Francisco Love Tours. Some of the attractions that they loved the most include Lombard Street, Golden Gate Park, Haight-Ashbury, Dolores Park, and the Presidio.
2. The Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles
This iconic 450-mile road between San Francisco and Los Angeles is one of the most famous in America. Here, you can see uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean, vintage engineering gems like the Bixby Creek Bridge, and the nature enclave of Big Sur. You’ll also see Santa Barbara surfer beaches like Ventura and Carpenteria, Malibu, Santa Monica Pier, and many other stops in between.
3. Las Vegas’ Distinct Neighborhoods
Who knew there was so much diversity in Las Vegas? To the untrained eye, it might seem that the city revolves around The Strip day and night. Luckily, Sin City boasts some areas to keep visitors entertained beyond the roadhouses and buffets. Check out which Las Vegas neighborhood suits you best before planning a trip. There’s one for everyone!
Our team particularly enjoyed the Fremont East District. But you’ll also find an Arts District, Summerlin, and more.
4. All the Green National Parks
With Muir Woods near San Francisco, Sequoia National Park, and the always stunning Yosemite, you won’t want to miss the national parks in the Southwest. They showcase huge and ancient trees, hiking paths, and beauty and surprises every few steps. You’ll see waterfalls, lakes, and huge rocks like El Capitan and Half Dome.
5. The Unreal Landscapes of the Southwest
In the Southwest, you’ll find lush parks and those that look straight out of a science fiction movie. Joshua Tree, two hours from Los Angeles, was the first one our team explored. Then they headed to Las Vegas, crossing the Mojave Desert, before arriving in Red Rocks in the outskirts of Sin City.
The best, however, was yet to come. The Grand Canyon Tour from Las Vegas – flying on a Papillon Tours helicopter – and Death Valley, the hottest place on earth, stunned our writers like nothing else did. No one can argue that these are some of the most impressive sights on earth.
Need help planning your own Southwest road trip? Check this article.