Honeymoon Ideas - West Coast USA Road trip
In this uncertain time of lock down and holidays and events being cancelled or postponed left right and centre, I wanted to do a travel post of something to look forward to once all of this is over and we are allowed to travel again!
I love to travel and have been privileged to have travelled to some of the most amazing places and destinations that would make amazing Honeymoon locations to celebrate being newlyweds! I'm going to be doing a series of travel posts of some of my favourite destinations across the globe that I highly recommend you visit! Todays post - West coast of USA Roadtrip!
My family have always loved taking roadtrips so we have taken many across USA and Canada as it is so easy to go to place to place and in some cases stay living out of a suitcase while to travel to a different location every day! However one of my favourite places to take a roadtrip is the West Coast of USA. There are so many beautiful destinations as well as some of the most famous. There are many ways to experience this area and in this post I'm going to list all the destinations we have visited and then give you an idea of the best route to take! Enjoy :)
No roadtrip to the west coast is complete without a visit to Vegas. Love it or hate it, it is definitely worth a visit. Of course there is the famous Strip lined with hotels, casinos, bars,clubs and restaurants but there are also must see's just off the main strip!
When choosing a place to stay in Vegas I would always recommend staying on the strip. There are so many to choose from but if you can pick a central location even better. My favourites to stay at on the strip are Mandalay Bay, The Mirage and Palazzo. I have never stayed at the Bellagio but its beautiful inside and is the perfect location on the Strip and you if you can get a view of the fountains from your room even better!! The beauty of Vegas is that you can go in and out of all the hotels and just be nosy and in my case see where I want to stay next time!
The Vegas strip also has amazing shopping! From top designer names to the Fashion Show Mall which is a great shopping location for all the typical American Mall shops I always pop in there for some good shopping. Pretty much every hotel has its own parade of shops and restaurants so definitely worth popping in. Vegas also has some of the best restaurants and full of celebrity chefs hotspots that are certainly worth a visit. There is everyone from Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck to places seen on Man vs Food!
No trip to Vegas is complete without seeing a show! In the past I have seen Britney Spears, Legends Tribute Show and the Donny and Marie show - there is a wide variety and always someone amazing on especially at Ceasers Palace where it is usually Elton John, Celine Dion or Shania Twain - all of which I have never had a chance to see....yet!
After spending a couple of days on the main strip make sure you head over to Freemont Street and see the Old Vegas strip. its great early evening as there is lots of entertainment and if you are brave enough take the zip line that goes along the famous LED roof - I have done it and its fab! But also very nerve wracking!!!
When you leave Vegas to head to your next destination make sure you stop off at the Grand Canyon - its a breath taking sight and it definitely not something to be missed! Its crazy to see it in real life and realise just how big it is!!
L.A is the home of the rich and famous and there are so many places to visit inside of one city!
Hollywood is a highlight of LA and it is certainly worth visiting to take a walk down the walk of fame looking at the stars and stopping off to have a look at the Chinese Theatre with all the famous hand/foot prints in the concrete. If you have time its also worth taking a stars tour for a number of reasons - they show you around the roads of Hollywood where the stars live, point out famous houses and locations as well as in some cases taking you to see the Hollywood Sign. I would do some research on the best tours to go on and go for it. Its a great way to learn a little more about the stars and the area and you never know you may run into someone! We saw Madonna coming out of her house when we did one!
After you've visited Hollywood head over to Beverly Hills and take a trip down Rodeo Drive - the picturesque shopping street you always see on TV and in films! If you can afford it go shopping too! The Beverly Hills and West Hollywood area has lots of great bars and restaurants and is a great place to do some people watching!
For the film buffs head over to Universal Studios for a day and not only enjoy the rides and entertainment but make sure you go on the Backlot tour to see some of the famous films sets such as Desperate Housewives, The Grinch, War of the Worlds, Jaws and Back to the Future. Its a great day out! Also dont forget Disneyland!
LA also has lots to offer outside of the main city- head out to Santa Monica and Malibu for some gorgeous beach views. Also head up to the Griffith Observatory to do some amazing stargazing! LA also is home of the food trucks and you are bound to find some amazing eats in this area!
I didn't know much about Utah before I visited but it become one of my favourite places after we did a mini road trip across the state a couple of years ago. Its full of natural beauty and lots of little hidden gems!
My must sees in Utah are Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and Monument valley. These places are all stunning and very picturesque.
Zion is a stunning natural park that you can park up and walk for hours we stopped off at a local grocery store and brought snacks for a picnic it was just perfect. There are many trails starting at gentle strolls around the visitor centre and cafe to mountain climbs! I highly recommend Zion for a relaxing chilled out stop on your roadtrip. Bruce Canyon is another beautiful location, a lot smaller than the Grand Canyon but is still as beautiful and worth a picture and a hike around! Monument valley is the kind of place you picture when you think of a US roadtrip, the bright red/orange rock, the skyscraper sized rock towers and the arches, its a beauty. Its on the edge of the Arizona border but if you are heading that way make sure to stop by!
We stopped off at Moab when travelling through Utah, its a great little city full of great bars and restaurants and its a great places to use as a home base when visiting the national parks. Its a 4 hour drive from Salt Lake City but whats a road trip without the odd long drive!
Another great few places to visit in Utah are Sundance and Salt Lake City - these two I unfortunately haven't visited but I have heard amazing things and I would love to go one day so are worth checking out if it would work with your itinerary.
San Diego is another lovely city with lots of hidden gems - and one I could see myself living in.
Some of my favourite places to visit in San Diego are La Jolla, San Diego Zoo, Coronado and the Old Town San Diego. The old town is a quaint little part of San Diego and it takes you back to the roots of what San Diego was. There's loads of fun food and drink to try that would have been available back in the the days of old San Diego as well as some great little shops selling unique items.
The Zoo is probably one of the most famous in the world and is host to hundreds of thousands of animals from all over the world. A particular highlight from my visit was the flamingos, if you have time the zoo is a great thing to visit.
La Jolla is known for being the Jewel of the West Coast and one of the nicest places to live in San Diego. It has the best coastline of California and offers luxury shopping and best rated eateries. Some of the best things to do in La Jolla include going to the La Jolla cove to watch the sea lions, take a stroll along the historic coastal walk or visiting Torrey Pines State National Reserve. La Jolla is popular with shoppers and honeymooners and also outdoor adventurers as there are the opportunities to kayak, scuba dive and there are great bicycle routes.
Coronado is a beautiful resort city on the peninsula of San Diego Bay. I only discovered Coronado on my last visit to San Diego and I fell in love! Coronado is known for its beaches and they are gorgeous! So clean and inviting! There are 5 main beaches to visit and lots of walking trails that let you get a proper look at the city. The houses are gorgeous and the shopping is great, it reminded me of a typical American town you would see on TV where everyone knows everyone and enjoys life to the fullest! I would recommend staying at the Hotel del Coronado which has that Hampton's feel and is right on the beach! There is one main bridge that connects Coronado to San Diego and that alone is worth the visit.
One of my favourite US cities! There is so much on offer in San Francisco and every time I visit i find something else I love about it! Even thought the hills are a pain to climb up and down there is always something good at the end waiting for you.
Of course one of the main reasons to visit San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Prison and Fishermans Wharf. These are my top 3 attractions along with Pier 39 which a tourist hotspot but hosts some great shops and restaurants and you can see the famous Pier 39 sea lions! Who you will hear and smell before you see them!
The best way to see San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge is to get on a hop on hop off bus tour these are great and can show you all the sights so you can pick where you want to go back to. You can also jump off and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge which is a great thing to go to get a a good view of the city. I would also recommend getting off the bus at Sausalito which is the town just the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge,its so picturesque and full of quaint shops and restaurants and its just such a lovely little town I wanted to stay longer! I found this gem on my last visit to San Fran and will now always make sure I stop here in the future.
I weirdly like prison tours and have visited many on my travels but Alcatraz is a great stop for anyone to see. You can only get there by boat and this short ride allows to get a great view of the city of San Francisco and realise just how big those hills are! When you arrive on Alcatraz Island you are able to walk around the island to the top where you enter the Prison and get a guided audio tour which takes you around a certain route and you get to learn all about the history and the stories of the prison. I really recommend visiting as it is a very unique place.
Fishermans wharf is the waterfront shopping and restaurant area and is full of life at all times of the day. If you visit here you must have a bowl of the famous Clam Chowder or Chilli in a bread bowl! An Instagram must! and while we are talking about food be sure to head to a Ghirardelli Chocolate shop - you wont regret it! Also try and jump on a tram to Union Square and visit Macy's and take a shopping break.
Now you dont have to take this route but incorporating all of the places I have mentioned above then this would be the best route. However this mapped route misses some of the California coast so feel free to amend and play around with this as much as you would want! I would suggest 10-14 days for this roadtrip.
Hope you've enjoyed this post and its given you some inspiration for your honeymoon roadtrip!
All photos are my own