The Pacific Coast really is something else, and I can see why Americans are very proud of this awesome part of the country. With so many national parks, you’re bound to bump into a squirrel or bear somewhere along the way and the cities, oh man the cities! San Francisco, Portland, Seattle – they are some of the coolest and hippest cities around and we absolutely love them! Here are some of our unexpected wonders of the Pacific Coast of America.
Taft Point, Yosemite National Park
On this walk, the only vocabulary you will need is ‘wow’, ‘amazing’, and ‘oh my god’. Arriving in Yosemite National Park, you expect to be amazed at the incredible scenery as you walk through the valley, but I never expected to have my legs turn to jelly and to be completely awe-struck. Walking through dense forest with the occasional snowy patch, all of a sudden you come across an open area with incredible vistas of Yosemite Valley and El Capitan – you’ve made it to Taft Point. There are no barriers here and the fear you might go plummeting to your death is never far away, but boy are the views some of the best I have ever seen. To top it all off, we saw a bear on our way back to the van – amazing!
Elephant Seal Beach, Big Sur
Any stop you make on the Big Sur will not disappoint and Elephant Seal Beach is definitely up there with places worth stopping at. Before you get to the lookout point, your senses are bombarded with pretty weird smells and noises. Once you get to the beach, there is no sand to see but instead a beach full of Elephant Seals waiting for their fur to molt. There are some very dedicated volunteers on hand to tell you everything you could possibly want or need to know about Elephant Seals. You will be really surprised at how much these ladies know – they really do love their seals!
Treasure Island, San Francisco
There is no greater feeling than realising you have just made it to San Francisco, one of the best cities in the world. From Treasure Island, you have amazing views (fog permitting) of the city skyline, both the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. A man-made island in San Francisco Bay, this is a great place to start your journey across the bridge and into the city.
Ten Falls Canyon Trail, Oregon Coast
You definitely will be chasing waterfalls (sorry TLC) on the Ten Falls Canyon Trail. One of the less strenuous trails in Silver Falls State Park, you will have the chance to walk behind waterfalls and experience the full force of the water, which is rather refreshing on a hot sunny day.
Voodoo Doughnut, Portland
With names like Triple Chocolate Penetration, Memphis Mafia, and Orangutan doughnut, you will find it hard to choose just one, so why not treat yourself to a couple! If you’re feeling daring, try the Tex-Ass Challenge doughbut, the equivalent of 6 normal doughnuts, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
Deer Lake, Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is stunning and one of the most beautiful national parks in the Northwest. You can easily spend you day chilling at the natural hot springs or choose to go on one of the many walks. Although the hot springs were rather tempting, a walk to Deer Lake was calling and boy did it deliver! Snow-capped hills and a partially frozen lake, I’d take that any day.
Pike Market Place, Seattle
This place is a bustling array of sights, sounds, and smells and should be your first port of call when arriving in Seattle. Walk around the market and watch the world famous fishmongers throwing fish to each other – just make sure you don’t stand in the way, I’m pretty sure a fish to the face isn’t too pleasant! Every couple of metres, you will encounter a different street performer, from your regular buskers to magicians, you could spend all day there just wandering around.
Smith Tower, Seattle
Everyone will probably tell you that you have to pay a visit to the top of the Seattle Space Needle, which is fantastic, but what is more fantastic is getting a view of the city from above with the Space Needle in it! Smith Tower offers beautiful views of the harbour and the city, and was once the tallest building on the West Coast so you could say it’s the grandfather of skyscrapers in western America. We really loved the ride up to the top in the original elevator along with an elevator operator – although I’m pretty sure he wasn’t the original!
Thanks to our friend Lindsey from TrekAmerica for sharing this post of Pacific Coast amazingness! If you want to experience all that the west coast has to offer for yourself, then their Pacific Coast trip is definitely a must to really see the highlights of this awesome part of the world.