You could spend months traveling to all of the amazing places located in the Western region of the U.S. Spanning from Colorado to Hawaii, these states are rich with epic adventures of all kinds, from national parks and famous landmarks to theme parks, mountains, beaches, and more. With so much to do, see, and explore, the best part about this region is that there’s sure to be something for everyone, no matter what type of traveler you are.
If you’re looking for a few must-visit destinations in the West, add these attractions to the top of your bucket list.
Western Midas locations
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Make the trip before the trip to Midas and get $20 off a full-synthetic oil change. Request your appointment at Midas.com.
Golden Gate Bridge, California
Though you can see the Golden Gate Bridge from a distance while touring the streets of San Francisco, there’s nothing quite like getting up close and personal with this historic landmark. Its larger-than-life steel towers and cables and iconic rust-colored exterior attracts nearly 10 million visitors every year.
Learn about the bridge’s history, architectural design, and more at the welcome center before walking, biking, or driving across the more than 1-mile-long masterpiece. There are also plenty of hiking trails nearby at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, or you can opt for a day exploring the cute, bayside town of Sausalito, California, just north of the bridge.
Yosemite National Park, California
While summer months attract large crowds to this national park, Yosemite is a year-round attraction with awe-inspiring scenery you have to see to believe. Known for incredible waterfall displays like Bridalveil Falls and popular rock formations like Half Dome and El Capitan, this park is a dream come true for hikers and climbers looking for bucket-list-worthy adventures.
Within its nearly 1,200 square miles of wilderness, you’ll also find meadows, towering sequoias, glacier-carved valleys, and more. After a single visit, you’ll understand why Yosemite is one of the most-visited parks in the U.S.—and you’ll be ready to plan your next encounter with this enchanting natural attraction.
You don’t have to be a kid to embrace the magic of Disneyland. This Southern California staple is actually Walt Disney’s first theme park, and although much has changed since its doors opened in 1955, Disney’s beloved cartoon characters and themed lands within the park are still focal points of the adventure.
You’ll likely want more than a day to explore the many attractions found at Disneyland, including the Avengers Headquarters, meet and greets with Anna and Elsa, a look inside the Millennium Falcon, and the Guardians of the Galaxy experience, just to name a few of the more than 130 attractions and entertainment options available.
Zion National Park, Utah
There’s a reason why Zion is one of the most popular national parks in the U.S., year after year. With its towering cliffs, incredible hikes, winding roadways, and spectacular views in every direction you look, this Utah park is more than worthy of bucket-list status. You can hike, bike, drive, or climb your way to some of the park’s most epic attractions. like the famed Narrows trail, Angels Landing, Walter’s Wiggles switchback trail, Zion Canyon, and more. Some hikes are weather-dependent and require permits, so be sure to plan accordingly and well in advance when visiting this treasured park.
After a long day of exploring, there are plenty of places to eat, shop, and stay in the nearby town of Springdale, Utah, or you can break away from the crowds in Orderville, Utah, outside of Zion’s east entrance.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
A trip to Colorado really isn’t complete without a stop at Rocky Mountain National Park. Boasting more than 350 miles of hiking trails, multiple campgrounds, scenic roadways, and unrivaled mountain views—including some of the tallest peaks in the U.S.—the park puts you in the heart of Colorado’s vast wilderness and its many ecosystems.
While hiking is the most popular activity at Rocky Mountain, its two scenic drives, Old Fall River Road and Trail Ridge Road, make it possible to admire the park’s sweeping views without lacing up your hiking boots. Whether you’re passing through for a quick stop or you’re looking for a multi-day adventure, this park is a must when traveling out West.
Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming
Founded in 1872 as the first national park in the U.S., Yellowstone set the bar high for the other parks to come. Spanning 2.2 million acres, the park encompasses a plethora of ecosystems, roaming wildlife, geothermal basins, and majestic geologic features. While you’ll likely want to visit main attractions like Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, and the Grand Prismatic Spring, the entire park is filled with things to see and do. You could spend weeks at Yellowstone and still not experience everything it has to offer.
Weather can cause park and road closures, so be sure to check online before your visit. When visiting, you’ll also be near other popular destinations like Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Located in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, teetering the U.S.-Canada border, Glacier National Park is revered by many as one of the best parks in the country. Featuring melting glacial formations, rugged mountains, pristine rivers and lakes, and an abundance of wild landscapes, it’s obvious why Glacier is known as the “Crown of the Continent.”
Visitors will find more than 200 waterfalls, 700 miles of hiking trails, and more than 700 lakes—most of which were carved by glaciers from the Ice Age. You’ll also encounter plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities, as the park is home to deer, grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, lynx, and mountain goats, to name a few. No matter how long you stay in Glacier, a drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road is a must, as it will wind you through the park’s mountains, offering unrivaled scenic views.