Top 10 Things To Do This Summer On the West Coast

Top 10 Things To Do This Summer On the West Coast
Top 10 Things To Do This Summer On the West Coast

Planning on heading west this summer? There are so many vacation spots and amazing things to do this summer on the west coast of the United States. From the snowy vistas of the rugged Alaskan coastline to the sunny splendor of Southern California, the west coast is truly an adventure landscape of a lifetime. Here is a list of some, but by no means all, of the most exciting places you could travel to on your west coast summer vacation.

1. White Pass and Yukon Route

If you’re going to make a real tour of the American west coast, you might as well start off at the top – literally! The White Pass and Yukon Route, located in historic Skagway, Alaska, is the place to see the amazing Gold Rush era railroad in all of its natural, unblemished glory. Largely unchanged since the far off days of the first wave of American emigration in 1898, the town of Skagway and its surroundings are an amazing place to kick off a true west coast vacation extravaganza. If you’ve ever wondered what the world looks like way up north, why not hop on the White Pass and Yukon Railway and take the ride?

2. Denali National Park and Preserve

Continuing on our journey through the wild and rugged Alaskan Pacific coast, we come upon the majestic Denali National Park and Preserve. If you’re a fan of all of the usual outdoor activities — hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking, and the like — you’re going to find yourself in sheer heaven. Nowhere in the lower 48 states of the Union will you find six million acres of pure, untrammeled, natural wilderness to trek through. In addition, Denali is home to Mt. McKinley, one of the premier mountain climbing destinations on the North American continent.

3. Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park, located in Port Angeles in the state of Washington, is a premier mecca for camping, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and just lazing around in the sunshine. If you’re looking for a place that has over 90,000 acres of mountain scenery, a host of wild eagles to gawk at, and some of the nation’s oldest temperate rain forests to get lost in for a while, then this is one place you can’t afford to ignore. Bring a camera and capture it all for posterity!

4. Yaquina Head Natural Area

Continuing on our southern route we come to Yaquina Head, located on the rugged Pacific coast of Oregon, home to some of the most famous natural beach scenery in the nation. But its main claim to fame is the many lighthouses that dot its coastline. For over a century, these majestic sentinels have kept sailors safe from harm. Today, they stand proudly over the rocky cliffs of Yaquina Head, providing a safe haven for many thousands of eager tourists. If you’re looking for an excellent bed and breakfast, a tour of sandy, pebble strewn beaches, and a view of historic Oregon lighthouses, Yaquina Head is a must

5. Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is home to a lake so big that they had to name the entire surrounding town after it! Crater Lake was formed millions of years ago as the result of violent volcanic activity. Looking at it now, you’d hardly guess that one of the world’s purest and most beautiful lakes had such a torrid past. Crater Lake ranks as one of the premier tourist destinations on the American west coast,and for a very good reason: The lake water is so pure and healthy that the fish practically jump out of the water to get into a fisherman’s boat!

6. Yosemite National Park

A hiker’s dream, Yosemite National Park, located in the scenic heart of Northern California, is the home of some of the world’s oldest and largest sequoia trees, as well as a slew of breathtakingly beautiful flora and fauna. Perhaps Yosemite is best known for its elderly trees, but it is also the place where you’ll find more waterfalls per square mile than anywhere else on the entire west coast. Hikers flock to the granite mountains including the 8,842 ft. Half Dome and Yosemite’s tallest peak, 13,114 ft. Mount Lyell. Yosemite National Park is a must see on your west coast

7. Golden Gate Bridge

No visit to legendary San Francisco, California, is complete without paying your respects to the Golden Gate Bridge. For nearly a century, this majestic structure has been one of the modern wonders of the world, and for good reason. The bridge made history as a marvel of science and engineering when it was first erected, and it continues to stand proudly upon the sparkling waters of the San Francisco Bay. Make sure to pay a visit to the surrounding Golden Gate Park, and take in the tranquility of the view. Perhaps a visit to nearby Alcatraz may be in order. You’re certainly not lacking for options on the Bay! And we hear you may be able to find a few good restaurants while you’re there!

8. Death Valley National Park

Further down the coast, you’ll find yourself headed into the desert. Along the way, you can hardly help missing the amazing Death Valley National Park. Some of the world’s most extreme — and extremely fascinating — desert terrain can be found here, miles below sea level, in the heart of the very aptly named Furnace Creek. If a tour of bone dry natural formations, such as the legendary parched earth salt flats, or a trek through historic old west ghost towns is on your bucket list, this is the place to fulfill your wildest fantasies. Death Valley is no place for the weak, but it’s an adventure that leaves no one

9. Hoover Dam

Located just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, the Hoover Dam crosses the mighty Colorado River, forming an impenetrable reservoir that generates electricity for nearly the entire southwestern region of the United States. Crossing over the Hoover Dam in a car, truck, or RV is one of the unquestioned rites of passage that every true western traveler needs and deserves to experience at least once in their life. The entire site is awash with historical significance, and is an excellent recreational area as

10. Valley Of Fire State Park

Valley Of Fire State Park, located in the desert state of Nevada, is one of the first and best places to explore once you’ve had your fill of the man made tourist traps in nearby Las Vegas. If you’re up for a day of camping, hiking, picnicking, or simply taking a day’s worth of keepsake photos, this is the place to be. Millions of years’ worth of genuine petrified wood, straight from the ancient peat bog swamps of years gone by, are on view, alongside petroglyphs carved in the rock by Native Americans. If the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas has left you a bit cynical, this is an excellent, convenient, and cost effective destination that will truly restore your faith in the wonders of nature.

We realize there are countless alternatives to our selections on this list. What are some of your top recommendations?