Planning Your Trip to the West Coast

Taking a vacation during the summer months can be a wonderful opportunity to get away from it all. It helps you to explore a new area and spend a lot more time with your loved ones. Unfortunately, taking such a lengthy trip can be daunting, expensive and frustrating, especially if you aren’t doing enough planning for smooth travel. The first step in planning out your trip to the west coast is to figure out where you’d like to go. If you’ll be spending a good majority of your time in Disney, you’ll obviously want to stay in or near the park for easy access.


Next, you’ll need to figure out if you’d like to go by plane or car. Taking a car extends the length of time it takes to get there, but it saves you a lot of money in the long run. If you choose to take a plane, you’ll be able to get great deals by booking the flight well in advance to the trip. The longer you give yourself to plan the trip, the more money you’ll be able to save. You can also look for a variety of discounts and deals specific to the flight you’ll be taking, which can save you additional money.


It’s a good idea for you to create a personal itinerary in order to understand what you’ll be seeing on what days. This allows you to see everything that the west coast has to offer without feeling like you’re running yourself ragged or feel confused as to what you need to go and see. Besides Disney, there are a ton of different things that you can do and see while you’re there. You should create a budget for yourself and your loved ones so that you do not overspend while on vacation, since it is easy to go over your specified budget without even realizing it. The more that you plan for the perfect trip, the more smoothly the vacation will be for you.


Western Sites To Visit This Independence Day

In a recent article from Architectural Digest posted on the Huffington Post, a list of the most beautiful US landmarks was compiled. Specifically, this list focused on places significant to the founding, development, and history of the country. For this reason, many of the suggested sights for a 4th of July vacation centered around New England and the mid-Atlantic, where the USA fought to become and eventually became its own country. The few suggestions for the Western part of the country, though, are arguably some of the most breath-taking places to visit in the nation.


  1. The Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, California


An icon of the amazing force that is the American entertainment industry, this sign was put up in 1923. Whether you gaze upon it from the city below or actually venture up the mountain, the Hollywood sign will strike the dreamer inside you.


  1. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, California


Also known as “The Rock”, Alcatraz was the nation’s first maximum security prison. Here you can tour the place where many of the country’s most notorious criminals served their time. Even if you don’t go for the history, the views of San Francisco from the island and the breathtaking ferry ride to the island are worth the visit.


  1. The Grand Canyon, Arizona


Want to see the place that inspired so many settlers, cowboys, and artists? Plan a trip to the Grand Canyon. Whether you want to enjoy adventurous outdoor activities like hiking and white water rafting or relax by a campfire in nature’s beauty, there is something for everyone.


  1. The Hoover Dam, Nevada


Though it was originally built as a way to provide jobs to people during the Great Depression, the Hoover Dam continues to have significance today. It is one of the most awe-inspiring man-made structures in the country and helps control flooding of the gorgeous Colorado River.


How To Take A Road Trip Through California During The Winter

When thinking about taking a tour of the American West Coast, many people like to plan for a summer excursion because of the many beachside activities to indulge in during this period. However, what do you do when the only time you can take a vacation to California is during winter?


The image of the Pacific Highway that runs parallel to the coastline evokes memories of perfect sunny beaches, classic American cars, and long golden days. If you decide to go for a winter vacation in California, then it is recommended that you visit the following places:

  1. Monterey Peninsula

The geographical positioning of Monterey will give you a magnificent coastal view, alongside a collection of diverse cultural activities. Through the 17-mile Monterey Movie Tour, you can fully explore this region and visit some well-known places such as Carmel, Pacific Grove, Cannery Row, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.


While taking a tour of Monterey, you will also get a chance to explore landmarks such as the Pebble Beach golf course and the Lone Cypress Tree.

  1. Los Angeles County

Even during the winter, the weather of Los Angeles and Santa Monica is sunny. This will allow you to experience an innovative Ferris Wheel powered using solar energy at the Pacific Park. You can also take a whale-watching cruise while you are at it.


The region is home to the Shore Hotel, one of the first hotels to receive LEED certification for its commitment towards sustainable tourism. The hotel is also strategically placed to afford you the best sunsets from the comfort of your room.

  1. San Francisco

The city is home to the world-renowned Pier 39 and its noisy sea lions. One of the best places to visit is the Fisherman’s Wharf, known for housing San Francisco’s best restaurants offering excellent seafood. Other notable locations include the Golden Gate Bridge, Fog Harbor Fish House, and Hotel Zephyr on the city’s waterfront.


  1. Yosemite National Park

Although it is a deviation from the traditional Pacific Highway tour, you will not regret the 3-hour drive from San Francisco. The park’s beautiful landscape is enhanced by the blanket of snow that covers it in winter. Staying at the Tenaya Lodge will enable you to fully explore the park’s waterfalls, mountain views such as Dewey Point, and the Ascent Spa.


Equipped with this knowledge, you can enjoy touring California in winter.


Unusual Amusement Parks in California

California has an abundance of amusement parks, and here are a few that are unique in their offerings and that may appeal to you and your family when you are traveling on the West Coast of the United States.


Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk


This is one of the few remaining oceanside parks. It has three roller coasters including the vintage Giant Dipper from 1924. Their Casino Arcade and Neptune’s Kingdom have an amazing selection of video games, pinball, pool tables, Laser Tag, video arcade and redemption games, Air Hockey, a Shooting Gallery, and more.


Their Buccaneer Bay Mini Golf is an 18-hole and two-story pirate-themed course with a black light cave. From June 16 through September 1, featured will be two FREE Friday Night Bands on the Beach at 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM.


Gilroy Gardens theme park


This is unusual because it is devoted to horticulture. Among the features are the famous “circus trees,” living trees that were magically designed. In addition there are more than 40 rides and exhibits added to their six majestic gardens that are located throughout the park. The rides are geared mostly to younger children and include a Ferris Wheel, Mushroom Swing, a railroad, and a Quicksilver Express Mine Coaster that has the theme of a local abandoned mine.


Children’s Fairyland in Oakland


This is a small lakeside park but is a treasure especially to those children who are under age eight and love the fables and rhymes of childhood. There are almost 60 storybook sets, friendly live animals, 10 acres of gardens, and child-size rides such as a train, a Ferris wheel, and a small carousel.


Castle Park in Riverside


This family entertainment center has four mini-golf courses, an arcade, games, and more. A small amusement park has rides including a Ghost Blasters interactive dark ride, a spinning roller coaster, a log flume, and a drop tower ride.


Best Haunted Houses To Visit Traveling to the West Coast of the USA

Summertime is the season for road trips, but if you’re willing to wait until late fall to take that road trip, you can spice it up with a little terror. Here are some of the best haunted houses you should visit on a road trip heading to the west coast.


Trail of Terror

Wallingford, CT


Rated 4.5/5 stars on Yelp, this haunted trail promises frights like you’ve never experienced. A winding trail with different areas makes it feel like a labyrinthian path connecting multiple worlds with special lighting, talented actors, and detailed props. Very popular, so the lines are long. Buy tickets in advance.


Darkside Haunted House

Wading River, NY


Rated 4.5/5 stars on Yelp, this haunted house is a heart attack factory as soon as you step up to the front door. Boasting a cast of dedicated actors, realistic sets, and two locations straight out of a horror film, Darkside Haunted House is not for the faint at heart!


Field of Screams

Mountville, PA


Rated 4/5 stars on Yelp, this large haunted field contains six different attractions and a thoroughfare of merchandise, food, haunted games, and music. The attractions are brought to eerie life with lit pumpkins, grotesque decorations, and professional actors. A bit pricey for VIP passes, but well worth the drive and the price!


Basement of the Dead

Aurora, IL


Rated 4/5 stars on Yelp, this haunted house has three unique experiences. Not many details are given, but you are put into different rooms with only one way to get out of each room: you must escape using puzzles, fight with laser tag, and survive the horrors. Sure to get your adrenaline pumping!


Fright Factory

Buckley, WA


Rated 4.5/5 stars on Yelp, we’ve finally arrived at the west coast and to the doorstep of hell. This haunted house is NOT suitable for children. With detailed sets and creepy actors, this is a short, but thrilling trip down into the circles of terror.


Travel Healthy In California

Health reports show that California is one of the healthiest states in the nation. Some studies show that part of that equation is how much there is to do outdoors there, and the fact that many locals really take advantage of it. There is also the difficulty of keeping your diet on track while travelling. California is known for its healthy food options. If you decide to go on a west coast trip yourself, you can be lucky enough to take advantage of this as a part of your vacation.


Often, staying active on vacation can be difficult. Hotel gyms are not always the best, while plane and car travel keep you stationary. Airplane food is not good, if existent, and the airport, though better, is not always as great as you might like.


This is why visits to the many great, healthy restaurants along the west coast should be a part of your trip. So many choices, from fantastic Pacific seafood to locally grown produce are all waiting. Many of the famous Napa wine tours have delicious and healthy food associated with them. Healthy choices are easy to find in almost every city in the state.


Perhaps the most important part of a healthy, west coast trip is the many outdoor activities. The many national and state parks available there is some of the best hiking in the world. This article on Huffington Post talks about the seven best hikes in California. That list contains some of the most beautiful and historic spots in the United States.


And, of course, there are the beach and other water options. Everyone knows of the beauty of southern California beaches, or the majesty of the rocky coasts up north, but the rivers also contain some best whitewater and rafting in the nation.


Even if some of these choices are more than you might want to take on, make sure to take time to take care of yourself during your west coast vacation.


More People Saving Money on Their Trip to the West Coast

Going on vacation is a great way to get away from the boredom of everyday life, but it can also be too costly for most families. If you’ve been trying to take a trip to the west coast, you know how expensive it can be to make flight arrangements, hotel reservations and pay for all the attractions while you’re there. Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways that will help you save a ton of money when making your next trip to the west coast.


It is important to know that the longer you give yourself to plan the trip, the more money you’ll save. This is ideal for individuals who are on strict budgets and don’t necessarily have the money to pay full price. If you try to make arrangements last minute, expect to pay full price for flights and hotels with very little monetary breaks. You can also make use of deal websites that enable you to get money off of the trip when you bundle items together. For instance, if you’re going to be bundling your flight and hotel together in one, you can save hundreds of dollars as opposed to booking both of these things separately.


You might also want to consider the benefits of renting a car when traveling to the west coast. It can be incredibly expensive to always rely on taxis and other car sharing services. If you don’t have it within your budget to hire a taxi several times a day just to get to different locations, you need to rent a car of your own. Rental cars aren’t expensive at all, and they provide you and your family the freedom that you all need to get around while you’re on vacation. Many vacation planning sites offer deals to those who bundle flights, hotels and rental cars together so that you wind up saving a ton of money long-term because of the planning you have done in advance.


Why People Plan in Advance When Traveling to the West Coast

California is the sunshine state of the U.S., and it’s where so many people travel when it comes to getting away from it all and having a worthwhile vacation. Once you make the decision to travel to the west coast, it’s important that you plan accordingly. Without making the proper arrangements, it can be difficult to know that you’re doing things correctly and will actually get to see everything that you’d like. There are many ways for you to plan out the trip, but the most important thing is to understand what you want to do while there and how much time you have to see the different attractions.


Once you know where you’ll be going, it’s vital that you plan the trip well in advance to get the best price for everything. The main issue a lot of travelers have is that it’s just too expensive to go on vacation, and this is partly due to the fact that they are booking hotels and flights last minute. If you give yourself a few weeks to a few months to plan the trip, you’ll find that it is actually cheaper for you in the long run. This makes the trip a lot easier on your budget and it doesn’t cause you to feel badly about the price that you’ll be paying. It is just as crucial to have some money for yourself while there as well, as you’ll be going to restaurants and buying goods that you can then bring home.


West Coast Travel Expected to Increase

The West Coast of the United States is often considered one of the top tourist destinations in the world. While the west coast is a popular travel destination every year, some were concerned that the area would be impacted by the variety of proposed travel bans. However, a recent study has predicted that the 2017 summer travel season could be a record breaking year for tourism and travel in the west coast (


Overall, the Southern California Automobile Club has predicted that travel in the west coast would be up more than three percent compared to prior years. There are several reasons for this. One of the top reasons for travel will be the fact that the overall economy in the United States has continued to improve. Now that the housing market and overall economy seem stable, there are more people that are looking to take trips domestically across the country.


Overall, the west coast will have a number of popular destinations for travelers. One of the top locations for travelers will be the cities of San Diego and Las Vegas, which are frequently two of the top domestic travel destinations in this part of the country. Another reason why some believe that the west coast will be busy this year is that we are now one year removed from the centennial anniversary for a number of major national and state parks. It is believed that some tourists took the year off last year to avoid some of the larger crowds.


Planning Your Trip to Disney

Disney World in California is a prime tourist destination for many travelers. It’s a great place for both kids and adults alike, as there are a plethora of activities and things to do while there. When it comes to actually traveling to the park, it’s important to plan out your trip accordingly so that it goes as smoothly as possible. The way to do this is by making arrangements months in advance to ensure that you are not only able to get a reasonable flight for a decent price, but also a hotel room where you’ll be comfortable staying.


Another important aspect to consider when traveling to the west coast is creating an itinerary that you and your family can follow. With this type of schedule, it’s easy to know which areas of the park you’re going to explore on which days. This is ideal for so many individuals who would otherwise miss sections because they do not know where to go. You can find a variety of maps and pamphlets on the park online, making it effortless on your part to figure out where you’ll be going on any given day. Once you make the trip to Disney with your loved ones and friends, you’ll realize why so many have said it’s the happiest place on earth. There are so many amazing things to check out within the park itself, making it an ideal hot spot for adults and kids who just want to have some fun away from home.