[10 April 2014 Last updated at 11:50]

Vacation Spots in the Western US

best beaches in southern California
Are you planning a trip to the West Coast but not sure where to go? See below our list of vacation spots in the Western US:

Tacoma Washington

Tacoma Washington is a great destination if you’re looking for a city-type vacation with plenty of recreational opportunities.

For instance, Tacoma Washington is known for urban parks such as Point Defiance Park and Wapato Park where you can enjoy beach activities, water activities and cycling trails.


Point Defiance Park is actually home to a zoo and an aquarium so if you’re traveling with kids, they’ll sure love these attractions. (See. top 10 things to do in Washington State)

St. George Utah

The city is famed by the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site where you can see amazing dinosaur prints; it’s also a great vacation spot for families and individuals looking for opportunities in the Great Outdoors. St. George Utah is also home to a water park and a wildlife center where you can enjoy safaris African-style.

Hillsboro Oregon

Out of all these five places, Hillsboro Oregon is one of the best family-orientated vacation spots in western US. The city is home to many kids’ playgrounds and wildlife spotting opportunities at the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve where kids and adults alike can learn more about the flora and fauna of the area.

Santa Rosa California

Perhaps not as popular as Los Angeles or San Diego, Santa Rosa California is truly a heaven of a place if you're looking for an inexpensive and fun getaway.

Beaches, wineries and state parks, you can have a blast in Santa Rosa without having to worry about large crowds or expensive hotel accommodation.

Denver Colorado

If you love brews, Denver Colorado happens to be the microbrewery capital for wine and beer enthusiasts alike.

Summer is one of the best times to visit as the city boasts many outdoor summer concerts, while May and June months are great for enjoying outdoor pursuits such as hiking and camping at the nearby Rocky Mountains National Park.

Vacation Spots in the Western US: Overview

If you’re wondering what to expect from the western US and what “the West” has to offer in terms of attractions and things to do, let me first give some interesting facts about the western US that you may helpful in choosing your next vacation spot:

- The western region is the largest region in the United States and includes thirteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

- The western region geographical landscape ranges from mountain ranges (Rocky Mountains), large plains (The Great Plains), grass prairies and desert areas.

- Pacific States include: Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington State

- Mountain States include: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming

- The term Pacific Northwest normally refers to the states of Oregon and Washington State

- Los Angeles in California is the largest city in the western region

- The western region has the largest number of minorities in the United States

- The dry and desert areas of western US include: Nevada and Utah.

- The mountainous areas of the western region stretches from Alaska to central Mexico

- The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is located in Great Falls Montana

Hints and Tips


If you are looking for a vacation spot in the western US where you can enjoy plenty of fun family outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, climbing, canoeing, tasting tours and camping, choose either Oregon or Washington State.

For instance, the Olympic National Park is one of the top natural attractions in Washington State is a great place for camping and hiking, while the Oregon Coast is popular for its beach opportunities and winery tours.

The state of Utah combines different type of landscapes ranging from forests and deserts to canyons ideal for off-road pursuits such as mountain biking, climbing and sand dune bugging.

Most of Nevada in the other hand is within the Great Basin and more than half of the state has a desert landscape with mild desert temperatures, as well as beautiful mountain range scenery.

If you are a true outdoor enthusiast and are looking for challenging terrain and off-the-beaten-path trails, Boulder City Nevada and Colorado are the best vacation spots in the western US for you.

Nevada is also popular for being home to the city of Las Vegas, and it is a great destination for golf vacations. The state boasts hundreds of golf courses to suit all budgets.

Colorado is home to the popular Lory State Park and Cache Poudre River near Fort Collins Colorado where you can enjoy exciting rafting trips.

If you are planning a family vacation in the western US, some of the most popular family vacation spots in western US are located in California, home San Diego SeaWorld, and the Funderland amusement park located in Sacramento California.

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