Ready to discover the top West Coast Destinations? We’ve rounded up the places you won’t want to miss with the help of China UnionPay.
When it comes to cool culture, it’s hard to beat sunny San Diego. Not only does the Pacific Coast city boast one of the world’s best outdoor zoos, it’s also home to beloved Balboa Park, where visitors can relax or get their culture fix. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in some Cali Baja cuisine, and then kick back by a bonfire and stargaze on one of the stunning beaches.
Whether you want to catch a wave at laid-back Redondo Beach, follow in the footsteps of silver-screen legends at the Walk of Fame, or just snap a selfie in front of the Hollywood sign, Los Angeles promises the perfect West Coast escape for any road-tripper. Don’t miss the chance to window shop on famous Rodeo Drive; then take an evening stroll through one of the country’s most thrilling Chinatowns.
OK, Vegas isn’t technically on the coast, but it’s a breezy and fun 4-hour drive from Los Angeles, so it’s definitely worth adding to any City of Angels itinerary. The Strip is a glammed-up stretch of luxury shops, high-roller’s rooms, and futuristic mega-casinos and hotels, but head to Fremont Street to get a taste of the old Vegas, where shrimp cocktails are the order of the day, bars still have sawdust on the floor, and your entire future can change with the roll of the dice.
One of the great wonders of the world for the Beat generation, Big Sur has entranced everyone from Jack Kerouac to Henry Miller and Hunter S. Thompson. Take one look at this gem of Monterey County and it’s easy to see why – Big Sur’s ragged beauty, redwood forests and mystical vibes grip the imagination and won’t let go. The trip up State Route 1 to Big Sur has become an attraction in its own right, with Condé Nast Traveler naming the route one of the 10 most famous streets in the world.
It seems like everyone should take a trip through wine country at some point, as California’s Napa Valley not only offers the chance to sample some exquisite Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, it provides a sun-swept backdrop of verdant countryside and picturesque vineyards – the perfect balm for the soul. Just remember what Paul Giamatti says on his wine-hopping trip through the Valley in Sideways, “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving.”
Redwood National Park
If you want to go BIG on your road trip, then point the car towards Redwood National Park in California. Not only can you wander below the tallest trees on earth, you’ll find a moveable feast of epic prairies, wild rivers, and rugged coast. Pack a rugged pair of boots to explore the backcountry trails, and bring your 4-legged pal along for some company.
A drive along the Oregon Coast will take visitors on one of the wildest, most beautiful stretches of highway in America. Oregon’s Cannon Beach offers the perfect pit stop, with an artsy downtown, a rugged beach, and charming oceanfront lodging. You’ll want to bring the camera to get a snapshot of iconic Haystack Rock, which can be reached by foot at low tide, then head for a hike through the lush rainforest of Ecola State Park.
One of the hippest cities in America, Portland is its own little world. Come for the coffee and craft beer; then stay for the buskers, historic districts, and one-of-a-kind shops. Despite the influx of tech money, Portland still has a small-town, friendly feel, with snug homes and street-food joints sitting within a stone’s throw of expansive parks. You can even explore a dormant volcano with a climb up Mount Tabor.
The Emerald City is more than grunge and Pike’s Place. Visitors to Seattle will discover a city with lush scenery and epic mountain views. Don’t forget to explore the micro-businesses that are popping up in Fremont, Ballard, and Capitol Hill or Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Pike Street. In Seattle, you’ll be able to find whatever you’re looking for, whether it be biking around Lake Washington or chilling out in Discovery Park.
Olympic National Park
To really get away from it all, head to Olympic National Park in Washington. The park offers a range of adventures for outdoors enthusiasts, including hiking through rainforest, climbing glacier-capped peaks, and fishing for wild salmon and trout. Best of all, the park covers nearly a million acres, making it the perfect spot for visitors looking for a big adventure.
You can learn about where you can discover with China UnionPay here.