There’s something about the warm West Coast weather that makes me want to get in the car and find the nearest body of water and go sailing! No matter where you’re from, the West Coast is a unique and classic vacation – whether you’re a local looking to get away or visiting for the first time. Not only will you see breathtaking sites, but hidden gems and natural beauty will surprise you along the way. Here are five super-cool places that are a must-visit:
San Francisco, California
The Golden Gate Bridge, China Town, and Pier 39 are all synonymous with the most fun city in California. San Francisco is a city where you can eat some of the world’s best seafood, taste chocolate, and take in breathtaking waterfront attractions! San Francisco piers run along the northeastern edge of the city and are jam-packed with fun for the entire family. One of my favorite things to do in the city is to ride the historic cable car while enjoying the vibrancy of the city along the way!
Located in the rugged central coast of California, Monterey is the most charming city I’ve been to along the Pacific Ocean. The quaint town resembles a town I’d visit in France. Beautiful flowers can be found everywhere, with fish markets adorning the streets! Explore a 17-mile stretch of stunning beaches and coastal terrain, including memorable views from hiking trails, the Camel by the sea, Pebble Beach Golf links, and Monterey Bay; all of which are worth exploring. You’ll also find plenty of boutique hotels, fun shops, and delicious restaurants that line Cannery Row, Monterey’s hub of tourism and shopping activities.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Not only is it a food mecca and home to more breweries than the Czech Republic and Scotland combined, but the incredible stops along Oregon’s coast also provide views of some of the most incredible, sweeping ocean views in the world, including cascading mountains and stunning rock-lined beaches. Cannon Beach is a beach town that you can’t afford to miss because this is where you get to see a massive sea stack of haystack rock! The gorgeous Crescent Beach seriously pictures worthy and sits snug between two headlands in Oregon’s Ecola State Park.
There’s a whole lot to do in this riverfront town, especially for an adventurer who loves movies. This is where movies like The Goonies, Free Willy, The Ring II, and Kindergarten Cop were shot. You can also explore the Oregon Film Museum or the Heritage Museum, climb the iconic Astoria Column, visit the Peter Iredale Shipwreck, watch ships as they pass under Astoria-Megler Bridge, or enjoy a spa day the Cannery Pier Hotel.
Astoria, Oregon is one place that delivers both a maritime experience and a journey back to the past.
Pro Tip: Make sure you visit a brewpub called the Buoy Beer Co., which has a glass bottom where you can enjoy a cold drink while watching sea lion’s underneath. The kids will love it! The food is pretty fantastic too!
Photo Credit: Trip Advisor
Olympic National Park, Washington
There are many reasons to visit the 5th most visited park in Washington. In addition to being home to glacier-capped mountains, rain forests, and beaches, all within the park boundaries, at 1,442 square miles in size, Olympic National Park has over 600 miles of trails, the Hoh Rain Forest home to black bears, eagles, waterfalls including salmon-stocked rivers awaiting your inquisitive spirit of exploration.
So, get packing because these places should be at the top of your summer travel list!