One thing that needs to be on everyone’s bucket list is definitely an USA West Coast road trip! There is nothing more amazing than driving around breathtaking landscapes, getting charmed by natural wonders, exploring national parks and wandering around lively cities with the sunshine on your face.
In this article, I share the ultimate 2 week USA West Coast road trip itinerary based on my own travel route. I included all the best things to do, the places I’ve stayed at, and tips to get around. This USA West Coast road trip itinerary will take you to the most incredible places like San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, and Los Angeles.
The ultimate 2 week USA West Coast road trip itinerary
START San Francisco | END Los Angeles
DURATION 14-18 days
METHOD OF TRANSPORT Rental car
BEST TIME OF YEAR March-May (Spring) & June-September (Summer)
WHEN DID I GO September
I started my USA West Coast road trip in San Francisco. Wow, what a cool city. San Francisco is a city with inspiring cultures, vibrant neighborhoods and so many fun things to do. You will not be bored for a minute!
We stayed in San Francisco for 3 nights, and I really recommend you to do the same. I loved walking around as much as possible and visited the famous Alcatraz prison. Be sure to get a ticket in advance and take one the earliest ferry as it gets super crowded.
Another fun thing to do in San Francisco was the Hop on Hop off bus. The bus takes you to all highlights in no time, so good when you want to see as much as possible in a short period of time.
Read also: 5 best things to do in San Francisco
Galleria Park, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
Yosemite National Park
My second stop during my USA West Coast road trip was Yosemite National Park. It’s one of the most-visited parks in America, and for a good reason. It made me just speechless! Yosemite National Park is place of extremes with beautiful sceneries, impressive mountains, cool waterfalls, big sequoia trees, and a paradise for hikers.
Spend at least 2 days in Yosemite and stay as close as possible or even inside the park. I stayed in The Monarch in Mariposa, which was about a 45-minute drive to the park. A good option if you are on a budget, but next time I will definitely stay inside the park as it saves so much time to explore everything.
Explore Yosemite Valley with this full-day hiking tour
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley is without a doubt the most impressive place and you can’t skip this on your USA West Coast road trip itinerary. It is one of the hottest and driest places on earth and just SO beautiful! The lowest point in North America can be even found here, about 85 meters below sea level and it’s called Badwater Basin.
A good place to stay is The Ranch at Death Valley, which has a superb location in the heart of the park, with a refreshing swimming-pool (highly needed!), a cosy restaurant, and a local shop.
The Ranch at Death Valley
Zion National Park
My next stop on my 2 week USA itinerary was Zion National Park. It’s located in the state of Utah, which means 1 hour difference compared to the states of Arizona and California. (be aware of this when you book a tour!) Zion National Park is surrounded by beautiful forest and lots of impressive mountains. It’s a place where you can do some great hiking and an amazing place for photographers.
I stayed only 1 day, which was way too short! I could only do 2 short hiking trails and I was so sad I didn’t have more time. So if you can stay longer, definitely do it here!
I stayed at Zion Mountain Ranch and loved it so much! A beautiful ranch, at the east entrance of Zion National Park with breathtaking landscape views. They also have an amazing restaurant, called Buffalo Grill which is a great place to chill out after a day of exploring. I can’t wait to visit Zion Mountain Ranch again!
Zion Mountain Ranch
Bryce Canyon National Park
One of the stops I looked forward so much was Bryce Canyon National Park. It’s such a photogenic park with its famous “hoodoos” and the place-to-be for the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets!
I stayed one night at Bryce Canyon which was definitely enough. (of course you can always stay longer if you have the time) There are several beautiful hiking trails that you can combine in one day.
The moment I walked into the park, I felt like standing in a huge amphitheater. So many beautiful rock formations and definitely one of the most beautiful parks in West Coast USA.
Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn
The fifth stop of my USA West Coast road trip was Page. I only stayed here one night, which was a bit short. There are so many highlights located in the surrounding area like Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, and Antelope Canyon. So if you have the time and want to visit everything more relaxed, I highly recommend staying at least 2 nights.
My most favorite things to do in Page was visiting Horseshoe Bend during sunset, walking through one of the most photographed slot canyons in USA “Antelope Canyon” and having a drink ‘Big John’s Texas BBQ’! Its an old gas station that has been converted into a restaurant and wher they play live music to give you the ultimate country feeling. So American!
Quality Inn at Lake Powel
Next stop was Monument Valley, which was an 2-hour drive from Page. I looked forward seeing this iconic USA landscape so much and it exceeded all my expectations! Monument Valley has such a beautiful desert landscape with large red stone formations, and it is by far one of the most magical places on earth.
I booked an organized tour to drive around Monument Valley and loved learning more about the history and culture of the Navajo people. You can also easily drive around Monument Valley yourself if you like to which cost $20 per vehicle. No matter how many times you visit this place, it feels like you’re on Wild West film set. I loved it!
Tip: if you book an organized tour like we did, keep the 1-hour time difference in mind as it’s located on the Arizona/Utah border.
Kayenta Monument Valley Inn
Grand Canyon National Park
After Monument Valley, I went to Grand Canyon National Park which is one of the most famous and most visited places on the USA West Coast. Over million years, the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park has cut the canyon into two parts, namely the North Rim and the South Rim.
I visited the South Rim which is more developed and has different hotels, restaurants and a visitor center. If it’s your first time visiting Grand Canyon National Park, I recommend you to visit the South Rim too.
Leave your car at one of the parking areas close to the visitor center and jump into one of the free shuttle buses that drives you to the many viewpoints of the South Rim. You don’t need a ticket to enter the bus and they drive around from 4am until 9 pm, depending on the month.
If you like to hike , there are different hiking trails to choose from, but in our opinion the viewpoints are enough to witness the true beauty of this national park.
My favorite viewpoints on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon were Hopi Point, Yavapai Point & Mather Point. Especially at sunset. This is when the Grand Canyon really comes to life. In just a few minutes, the Canyon can change from orange to pink to purple and it’s just breathtaking! Bring a rug, a bottle of wine, some snacks and set your tripod to shoot some photos… just unforgettable!
Tip: if you want to see the North Rim too, I highly recommend to book an helicopter tour. I booked a sunrise helicopter flight over the North Rim and it was such an amazing experience! The company I booked with was Papillon Grand Helicopters and definitely worth the money.
Red Feather Lodge
There are plenty of reasons to visit Las Vegas. It’s a bustling city in the middle of the desert with a vibrant atmosphere, amazing restaurants, nightclubs, beautiful hotels and fun things to do. Most people visit Las Vegas for the world-famous casinos, to have a good party, do some shopping or even to get married in the Little White Chapel.
I stayed 2 nights in Las Vegas and really took the time to relax at the pool after days of exploring all the national parks. I enjoyed strolling along The Las Vegas Strip with its colourful neon billboards and went to the Bellagio fountain show in the evening. The Venetian Hotel is also a great place to stroll around and have dinner in of the Italian restaurants.
From Las Vegas to Los Angeles, I stopped at Palm Springs which is the ideal stop during every USA West Coast road trip. This insta-worthy town is located in the middle of the desert, and the place where many celebrities are owning a property.
Palm Springs has more than 360 days of sunshine per year, has lots of greats restaurants and lovely open-air vintage markets. I bet you’ll love it too! I stayed at the beautiful The Saguaro Hotel and oh my, such a wonderful place with all pretty colours and palm trees.
Wanna do something active in Palm Springs? Consider going to Joshua Tree National Park or take the Aerial Tramway to the top of Mount San Jacinto!
The last stop of my 2 week USA West Coast road trip was Los Angeles. I stayed in a cute boutique hotel at Venice Beach, which is a lovely area to stay at.
Count at least 3 days to see Los Angeles as there are so many things to do. From theme parks like Universal Studios or Disney World to the famous Santa Monica Pier where you’ll find the sign of the end of Route 66, and all the celebrity houses in Beverly Hills. Los Angeles is the perfect place to end your road trip though the USA West Coast.
Rent a bike or some roller skates and go from the Venice Beach Boardwalk to Santa Monica Pier. Such a beautiful path to ride on!
Boutique 444 Venice Beach
Plan your 2 weeks West Coast USA itinerary with these travel resources
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