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The American West has long been an enticing destination for adventurers of all kinds. The region brims with hot spots ripe for exploration, so finding a quality experience is easy—the tough part is narrowing the list down. If your travels take you out West, take the time to explore these destinations:
Crater Lake National Park
Image via Flickr by Odalaigh
Many of the most enticing destinations in the American West are attractive for their sheer scope—the region’s landmarks, like its legends, are larger than life, such that they simply must be experienced in person. Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park is no different. The lake itself, a 2,148-foot deep body of water set in a caldera, or collapsed volcano, is among the country’s most beautiful natural sites. Besides its enormous size, the lake is famous for its deep blue hue and clarity, both of which are also best seen first-hand.
The Grand Canyon
Image via Flickr by isaac.borrego
Another landmark that’s noteworthy for its colossal size also happens to be perhaps the most famous natural landmark in America. Arizona’s Grand Canyon is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and is a popular centerpiece of many Southwestern vacations, for good reason. Photographs alone cannot convey the grandeur of its rocky depths, whose existence represents millions, if not billions, of years of geological history.
Canyonlands National Park
Image via Flickr by ethanbeute
The Grand Canyon may be the Colorado River’s crowning achievement, but the waterway’s beautiful handiwork can be experienced further north, as well. In particular, consider a trip to Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. The sprawling park encompasses a variety of unique landmarks and regions, including the Island in the Sky, the Needles, and the Maze. Furthermore, for the seasoned desert traveler eager to see as many sights as possible, the famous Bryce Canyon is just a four-hour drive away.
Yosemite and Sequoia
Image via Flickr by Lo Scorpione
One needn’t necessarily crisscross the country to experience a variety of natural wonders. Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, two of America’s most prized parcels of wilderness, are within easy reach of one another near California’s Gold Coast. The former is among the country’s most famous parks, and boasts sparkling waterfalls, rugged gorges, verdant meadows, and more within its 1,200-square-mile expanse. Sequoia, meanwhile, is best known for (and named after) its enormous redwood trees, which are by far the largest in the world.
The Western Cities: From Las Vegas to Seattle
Image via Flickr by Salim Virji
The American West is famous for its legendary wilderness, but city slickers can enjoy many rich experiences in the region’s urban offerings, as well. The West’s big cities are colorful, unique, and packed full of prime sight-seeing opportunities, from Las Vegas’ bright lights and casino strip, to San Francisco’s beautiful coast and Golden Gate Bridge, to Seattle’s thriving culture and Space Needle. Any one of these cities would make a great vacation spot by itself; better yet, with the help of a Hertz car rental, one can embark on a good old-fashioned American road trip from city to city.
With the holidays coming up, now is the perfect time to chart your own sightseeing expedition across the American West. Take the time to visit one or more of these destinations, and embark on an unforgettable Western adventure!
Randy is a freelance writer based out of Brooklyn, New York. He spends most of his time trying to stay ahead of news world with interesting and informative articles, all the while entertaining the world at night with his music and art.