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Travel to Western USA, for bigger and better

  • Western USA, United States of America
    © Francesco Ricca Iacomino
  • Western USA, United States of America
    © Sylvain Grandadam
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination United States of America

From the orange and red landscapes of Arizona and Utah to the rainbow of colours in Yellowstone National Park, and from the lush green countryside in the Cascade Range to the White Sand Desert in New Mexico, those who travel to the Western United States will be far from disappointed by the myriad of colours that awaits them. From the Canadian to the Mexican border, those visiting the American West will soon discover its grandiose nature on a trip down Route 66, whether they are passing through the Grand Canyon or zigzagging between the monoliths of Monument Valley. Indeed, these sparsely populated states very popular with tourists are home to an abundance of natural wonders. A visit to the Western United States often includes a trip to Seattle, a modern and energetic city which, with the Space Needle and Mount Rainier as its backdrop, makes for a picture postcard setting.

Western USA: the key figures

Surface area : 2676094.0 km2

Population : 33414239 inhabitants

Time difference : The states of Washington, Oregon and Nevada (Pacific Time) are 8 hours behind the UK.

The states of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico (Mountain Time) are 7 hours behind the UK.

Like in the UK, the clocks change in all of these states in the summer, with the exception of Arizona, which is therefore 8 hours behind the UK in the summer and 7 hours behind in the winter.

  • The very colourful landscapes
  • The natural wonders protected by the national parks
  • The huge size of the territory. You'll need several weeks to visit all of the main sites
  • Some of the sites are slightly spoilt by the number of tourist facilities and the crowds of tourists

Western USA: what to visit?

Arts and culture

  • Navajoland , United States of America
    Navajoland
  • Mesa Verde site , United States of America
    Mesa Verde site
  • Mesa Verde site , United States of America

Landscapes

  • Mount Rainier , United States of America
    Mount Rainier
  • Monument Valley , United States of America
    Monument Valley
  • The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument , United States of America
    The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • The White Sands National Monument , United States of America
    The White Sands National Monument
  • Arizona , Horseshoe Bend, Arizona , United States of America
    Arizona
  • Wyoming , Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming , United States of America
    Wyoming
  • Utah , Coyote Buttes North? Utah , United States of America
    Utah
  • Utah , Coyote Buttes North? Utah , United States of America

Parks and reserves

  • Yellowstone National Park , United States of America
    Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park , United States of America
    Grand Canyon National Park
  • North Cascades National Park , United States of America
    North Cascades National Park
  • Arches National Park , United States of America
    Arches National Park
  • Arches National Park , United States of America

The fauna and flora

  • The fauna , United States of America
    The fauna
  • The flora , United States of America
    The flora
  • Saguaro National Monument cactuses , Cactus in the Saguaro National Park , United States of America
    Saguaro National Monument cactuses
  • Saguaro National Monument cactuses , Cactus in the Saguaro National Park , United States of America

Activities and leisure

  • Surfing , United States of America
    Surfing
  • Hiking , United States of America
    Hiking
  • Camping , United States of America
    Camping
  • Camping , United States of America

Western USA: what to buy?

Shopaholics will love the huge malls that await them in the Western United States. In Seattle, there's the Westfield Southcenter Mall, U-Village (an outdoor shopping area) and the North Bend Outlet where there's something for everyone, from the trendiest boutiques to the chains found all over the US.

Seattle is also the home of Pike Place Market, which overlooks Elliot Bay in the historic district. Opened in 1907, it was originally a farmers' market. Today, a wide range of fresh produce and handmade local arts and crafts are sold here. In Newport, why not take a walk through the Bayfront district right on the seafront and take a look inside some of the many art galleries and souvenir shops.

Most of the major tourist sites, like the Grand Canyon for example, have their own souvenir shops in their visitor centre, where tourists can buy lots of little knick-knacks to show they visited the national monuments of the West.

Western USA: what to eat?

Those who love a tasty burger will without doubt take a liking to the little restaurants found on many street corners in the US. There's also the option of the typical American food court, a facility that brings together lots of different food vendors where everyone can choose to eat something different and still eat at the same table. Another tradition in this country is brunch, perfect for those who like to sleep in on Sundays.

What's more, visitors can enjoy many different types of seafood on the Pacific Coast. There's the fish soups served in the pleasant Bayfront district of Newport and the famous crab cakes popular in Seattle.

If you're visiting Seattle in the winter, stop for a hot drink in the first ever Starbucks café, and in the summer, try some frozen yoghurt while strolling through the city centre.

The cuisine typically served in New Mexico is particularly original. With many of the dishes containing beans and peppers, it's easy to see the influences of the nearby Hispanic cultures. One particularly delicious dish is the Caldillo, a stew made from green chilli peppers.

For something completely different, head to Wyoming to enjoy a buffalo steak alongside the locals.

Western USA: travel tips

The best season to visit the Cascade Range is in the autumn, when the forests are a yellow and orange colour and leaves carpet the ground. The summer is the best time to visit the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Arizona, Utah and Nevada are great for visiting all year round, but it's best to avoid the plateaus and the mountains if you want to escape the cold temperatures. The monsoon season in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Colorado begins in June and can last for several months. Although it doesn't rain continuously, violent storms are frequent during this period.

With regard to travel formalities, make sure that your passport is in perfect order, as the US authorities carry out extremely thorough checks. Your passport must meet a number of criteria so check the website of the Embassy of the United States in London for more information. If everything is in order, you must then fill out the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) online form before you can fly to the US.

Lastly, don't forget to pack an adaptor.

Western USA: Latest hotel reviews
  • 8.85 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Mandalay Bay Resort And Casino
    Las Vegas - United States of America
    Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    With a touch of nostalgia for days gone by, when Indochina and ...

  • 8.85 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Nobu Hotel
    Las Vegas - United States of America
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    A discreet hotel in the city of excess, difficult to imagine ...

  • 8.7 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Bellagio Resort Las Vegas
    Las Vegas - United States of America
    Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    Who hasn't heard of the Bellagio, the hotel made famous worldwide ...

  • 8.35 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Delano
    Las Vegas - United States of America
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Elegance and design come together in the same place at The Hotel. ...

  • 8.35 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    The Mirage
    Las Vegas - United States of America
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    A mirage at the heart of the Nevada dessert??? Don't worry, your ...

  • 7.8 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Flamingo Las Vegas
    Las Vegas - United States of America

    As one of the very first casino-hotels of the avenue, the Flamingo ...

  • 7.8 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    TI - Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
    Las Vegas - United States of America
    Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    It's time to cast off and set sail! Here you will enter the fantastical ...

  • 7.7 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    New York New York
    Las Vegas - United States of America

    The New York New York hotel is considered to be a 'little' hotel. ...

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