Best summer road trips to the west coast

Where do you want to travel this summer? The West coast offers a bit of everything. It offers you a historic remembrance of the Wild west where outlaws and tough cowboys once called home. National and state parks are spread from Washington to Arizona and New Mexico, not to mention wineries and tours that you can’t see anywhere else. But wherever you go should be as unique as your family. All of these places have a great deal of attractions, no matter the interest of any family member.

Let’s start up north and work our way down. Seattle, Washington is probably most well-known for the Space Needle. It’s quite similar to Willis Tower in Chicago. You ride an elevator to the top and there’s an observation deck where you can take pictures. Seattle, too, has the Museum of Flight and the Museum of pop cultures. There are several parks to sit and relax after a busy day of sight seeing. Or, arrange to take the 3-hour Seattle tour around the city. You’ll explore Seattle’s neighborhoods and see where the Seattle Mariners (a Major League Team) play baseball.

Portland, Oregon is another place to visit. Portland has many attractions centric to those who love the arts or gardening. There is the International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden, for instance, each of which offer unique plants and flowers relevant to their garden theme. In addition, there is the Portland Classical Chinese Garden. Take a stroll through the Portland Art Museum or the Pittock Mansion. Don’t also forget to check out the outdoors. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area offers waterfalls and hiking trails for those seeking adventure. Another fantastic perk about Portland: any shopping that you do will be tax free. This is a huge benefit if you hit any shopping malls.

Moving down the coast, San Francisco is a fantastic place to visit. Here you will see the Golden Gate Bridge, which may be the location’s most famous landmark. It’s also home to the infamous Alcatraz Island. Once a prison, it’s since been made into a museum and attracts millions of visitors each year. Also, don’t forget to check out Lombard Street. It’s known to be the crookedest street in the world due to its zig-zag formation. You’re going nowhere fast on this road; just follow the cars in front of you and take in the scenery. Chances are that you’re never going to be on a street quite like this again! Likewise, don’t forget to check out San Francisco Zoo. It’s home to over a thousand endangered species and nearly 100 acres of gardens.

The American Wild west may only live in history books, but this summer take your kids to get a glimpse of what life was like in the 1880s. Tombstone, Arizona takes you back to the day of gambling halls and saloons. While it may have the appearance of a ghost town, there are museums of the courthouse and the gunfighter hall of fame. Visit the Boothill Graveyard where the real outlaws and cowboys lie. There is a lot to keep you busy here. Try to only stay the afternoon and leave before the sun sets, however; it is the dessert and it does get chilly.

Finally, visit Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you want a cultural vacation, this is the place to visit. Make sure to check out the Sandia Peak Tramway, which runs over 10,000 feet above sea level. It runs to the top of Sandia Peak and has its own observation deck. You’re able to see the city of Albuquerque below you, which is a stunning view. Another spot to hit is old town Albuquerque. This is a tribute to Spanish and Native American culture, both of which are prominent within the area.

Traveling out west can be really fun. Add these cities to your road trip destinations and you’re sure to have a great time. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

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