West Coast Road trip: California, Nevada, Arizona

When planning a road trip along the west coast of the US, the first question that always arises is: “Which route should I take?”

@crispict drove around the west coast this summer and reveals his route, tips, and highlights!

The perfect route – tested by @crispict

Los Angeles – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon – Death Valley – Lake Tahoe – San Francisco – Los Angeles

3 states, 3000 miles, 33 hours in the car

Roadtrip USA Westküste - Route

Map from openrouteservice.org

Tips for the Road

  • During the road trip, you’ll spend a lot of time in the car. Therefore, you should think twice about which rental car you want to book. A convertible is, of course, a lot of fun in the cities and on the coast, but you can’t take too much luggage with you. For the national parks, an SUV is usually better suited. In any case, pay attention to comfort!
  • A perfect panoramic viewpoint for Downtown LA and the Hollywood Sign is the Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills. If you just want to enjoy the view and don’t plan on visiting the planetarium, you should visit this spot on a Monday. The planetarium is closed on Mondays, which saves you $ 4 parking per hour.
  • If you want to travel to the city of sin, Las Vegas, you should definitely budget 1-2 days for the Grand Canyon. Although it is a relatively long distance (about 4.5 hours on the way there and about 6 hours back to Barstow through the Mojave Desert), the view in the canyon compensates for everything. The top spot on the bucket list: A sundowner at Mohave Point in Grand Canyon Village.


View from Mohave Point in the Grand Canyon (Photo from @crispict)

  • A true dining experience is Erick Schat’s Bakery in Bishop, East California. Only fresh bread and biscuits are offered. Do not miss the Turkey BLT Sandwich! Slices of warm, grilled turkey with bacon, salad, and gravy are placed between two slices of bread. Together with great coffee, this was probably the best breakfast on the whole trip.
  • Even if every road trip is an individual journey, you cannot avoid the typical tourist attractions. A tour that really pays off: the cruise to the prison island of Alcatraz in San Francisco. The audio tour through the cell house in 11 different languages makes you feel like you’ve actually been there. It is very authentic with background sounds and real stories of the guards and inmates from that time. You should be careful when booking the tickets because there is only one official provider: “Alcatraz Cruises”.
  • On the route between San Francisco and Los Angeles, you should take Highway 1 along the Pacific coast. Passing past steep cliffs and rocks, it meanders along the picturesque coastal strip Big Sur. The best way to enjoy the fresh sea breeze around your nose in a chic convertible. But beware: Currently, there are still some road sections blocked because of a landslide. These will be gradually released – so be sure to research beforehand.


Coastal road on the Pacific Coast Highway (Photo from @crispict)

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2 Responses

  1. DJ München says:

    I really would like to go there!

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