Best of USA Bucket List: West Coast 

Every time I think of the West Coast of America I can’t help but hear The Beachboys playing in my head. Definitely the more fairytale side of the states with Hollywood, Vegas and San Franisco.. I will have a somewhat different experience compared to the East Coast. This leg of my trip will more than likely involve some Pretty Woman moments when I’m on Rodeo Drive, living it up on the Vegas strip and ticking off a major bucket list goal by taking a tour around Alcatraz – heaven!!! It’s also not as structured attraction wise compared to the East Coast cities, there’s a lot more freedom to explore the beautiful nature locations. On this part of the trip we’ll mainly be hiking, taking dips in the crystal waters of the Colorado River and exploring the Grand Canyon by helicopter.

LA/Santa Monica:

(Image courtesy of Bucket List Publications)

Touching down in the City of Angels, I’ll be heading to my accommodation in Santa Monica. I’ve only ever dreamt of visiting this picturesque place let alone staying in it!!! The pier is definitely going to be heavily featured across my Instagram, it’s photography heaven! I’ve already discussed my plans for L.A. (Julia Roberts style!) so I’ll just potter around the place and check out various hot spots before setting off to my next location.

Lake Havasu:

(Image courtesy of Google)

From here we head out of California’s glamourous city and directly to Lake Havasu. The outdoor adventures will take me to the beautiful boulders and famous Joshua Trees. One thing that I’m really looking forward to is spending some time watching the desert wildlife – I can’t wait to capture some of the incredible animals that call this place home. As I’ve previously mentioned I will be exploring the Colorado River and some much needed cooling off dips will surely make it a trip to remember. I’ll feel like I’m in a Western movie – such a surreal experience!

Grand Canyon:

(Image courtesy of Maverick Airlines)

There’s not much to do here expect take a seat and appreciate the mind blowing views! Growing up my daddy always (and still does) watched Western films so this special spot will be a nostalgic one for me. We’ll be enjoying some therapeutic hikes throughout the world’s greatest and most spectacular gorge along with a pizza dinner date (how random!) along the edge of the canyon just in time for sunset. With a drop of 1,000m I’ll not be getting too close to the rim though. One of the benefits of visiting here is without a doubt exploring this wonder by taking an adventurous helicopter ride around the canyon.. What fear of heights?!

Las Vegas:

After leaving the Grand Canyon we’ll travel along the infamous Route 66 and head towards Vegas. Here is where we’ll spend most of our time on the strip, dabbling in the occasional pool party and of course drinking an insane amount of cocktails. I think I’ll be hoping for what everyone who visits the city does.. a recreation of The Hangover (minus marrying a stripper) There’s not much to say when it comes to this vibrant city apart from the fact that there’s not much to plan as the city will guide me.. hopefully in the right direction.

Sierra Nevadas:

This is known as one of America’s “extreme” locations and of course I’m going to be camping here. From sand dunes and desert, to badlands, towering peaks, and a basin that actually registers below sea level, I can’t wait to experience this unforgettable stop. Hottest. Driest. Lowest – the boarder of California and Nevada is going to be beyond rewarding. Judging from photographs I’ve been looking at online, it reminds me of the film, Dante’s Peak. Lets just hope there is no disastrous volcanoes around!

Yosemite NP:

(Image courtesy of John Harrison Photography)

Believe it or not I’m such a sucker for majestic waterfalls, lakes and mountain surroundings. I love nothing more than the fresh outdoors (it reminds me so much of my beloved, Kerry) so a breathtaking hike around this historic park will be one for the bucket list. From what I’ve heard we might also be joined by some black bears, deers or even coyotes! As long as there are no snakes I’ll be all good to go .

San Francisco:

The final stop of my trip and possibly the best. I’ve always dreamt of going to this incredible place since I was little. From early on I developed a mild fascination with Alcatraz, all thanks to Clint Eastwood. I’ve already booked my place on the tour and I’m thrilled to get a look around the most iconic prison on earth. The fact that infamous gangsters such as Al Capone and Alvin Karpis has called this place home absolutely blows my mind. Along with Alcatraz I’m excited to set sail around San Francisco Bay just in time for yet another glorious sunset. It will be somewhat of a significant boat trip and probably emotional as it’s the most perfect way to end my American adventures. Finally to finish everything off I will be taking a little walk up the Golden Gate Bridge. The 360° views are sure to be breathtaking ones for the photography lovers!

So this leg of my trip isn’t as specific with tourist attractions, more of a ‘go with the flow’ vibe but regardless I’m ecstatic to complete it. If any of you have any tips or recommendations, please feel free to get in touch.


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