Tourist Attractions in the West Region Of The US

person taking a photo of a waterfall during a clear day

The Western United States is a landscape of contrasts and surprises. As you plan your adventure, you might be asking “What are the must-see tourist attractions in the west region of the US?” Yosemite National Park, the Las Vegas Strip (Nevada), and the Oregon Coast are a few top options.

Variety. This is one thing you won’t be disappointed about when you tour the West. Here, the natural world and cultural landmarks coexist, offering you a rich array of experiences.

This article highlights the top tourist attractions in the west region, providing essential information to plan your perfect trip. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • How to get there: Detailed directions and transportation options for each attraction.
  • Costs: Approximate costs for admission, activities, and transportation to help you budget your adventure.
  • Recommended activities: Tips on the best things to see and do at each site, ensuring you don’t miss any hidden gems.
  • Hours & best times to visit: Opening hours, seasonal variations, and recommendations on the ideal times to visit for the best experience.
picturesque landscape of mountains and a body of water

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a natural wonder known for its giant waterfalls, ancient sequoia trees, and impressive granite cliffs. It’s a site for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

Established in 1890, Yosemite’s history is as rich as its landscapes, with ties to the conservation efforts of John Muir and the birthplace of the national park idea.

Location & How to Get There

Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite is accessible from several major cities.

  • From San Francisco, it’s about a 4-hour drive via CA-120 or CA-140.
  • From Los Angeles, expect a 6-hour journey on the CA-99 N and CA-41 N.

The nearest airport is Fresno Yosemite International, about a 2-hour drive to the park.


The entrance fee for a vehicle is $35, valid for 7 days. If you’re on foot or bike, it’s $20 per person. Annual passes are available for $70.

Parking is widely available, and there are shuttle buses in the park. Some activities, like camping or backcountry hiking, require additional permits.


Yosemite offers a range of activities such as:

  • Hiking: Choose from hundreds of miles of trails, ranging from easy strolls through meadows to challenging climbs with stunning views.
  • Rock climbing: It has iconic challenges like El Capitan and Half Dome.
  • Waterfall viewing: Witness the power and beauty of Yosemite Falls, North America’s tallest waterfall.
  • Wildlife viewing: Keep an eye out for deer, bears, marmots, and a variety of birds as you explore the park.
  • Photography: Capture the stunning landscapes, towering waterfalls, and abundant wildlife with your camera.
  • Stargazing: The clear night skies offer incredible views of the stars and constellations.
  • Rafting & floating: During warmer months, enjoy a relaxing float down the Merced River or try whitewater rafting for an adrenaline rush.

Hours of Operation

Yosemite is open year-round, 24 hours a day, but some areas are seasonal.

The Tioga and Glacier Point Roads are typically closed from November through May due to snow.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit depends on your interests.

  • Spring (April to June) is perfect for waterfalls at their peak.
  • Summer (July to September) offers the warmest weather, ideal for hiking and camping.
  • For fewer crowds and beautiful autumn colors, visit in October or November. Winter transforms the park into a snowy wonderland, ideal for snowshoeing and skiing.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park captivates visitors with its immense scale and colorful landscape. Carved over millions of years by the Colorado River, the canyon shows nature’s power and time.

It was designated a national park in 1919 and is among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The park is a geological wonder and a place of cultural significance, holding sacred value for many Native American tribes.

Location & How to Get There

The Grand Canyon is in Northern Arizona. The South Rim, open all year, is about a 3.5-hour drive from Phoenix or Las Vegas.

The North Rim, open seasonally, is more remote but offers a quieter experience.

Public transportation options include bus services from major cities and the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, Arizona.


Entrance fees are valid for seven days and include:

  • $35 per vehicle
  • $30 per motorcycle
  • $20 per person for those entering by foot, bicycle, or park shuttle

Parking is available at various lots around the park.

Note: Special tours, like helicopter or river tours, have separate fees. Check with the park for such fees.


The Grand Canyon offers a variety of activities for all interests and fitness levels:

  • Hiking: Choose from easy rim trails with panoramic views or challenging hikes that take you deep into the canyon.
  • River rafting: Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on the Colorado River, journeying through the heart of the canyon.
  • Scenic drives: Explore the canyon’s rim by car, stopping at various viewpoints to admire the vast landscape.
  • Helicopter tours: Get a bird’s-eye view of the canyon’s grandeur and scale from a helicopter tour.
  • Mule rides: For a unique adventure, take a guided mule ride along the canyon’s trails.
  • Ranger programs: Learn about the canyon’s geology, history, and wildlife from park rangers.

Hours of Operation

The South Rim is open 24 hours a day, year-round.

The North Rim is generally open from mid-May to mid-October.

Note: Specific visitor centers and facilities have varying hours, especially seasonally.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit depends on what you want from your trip. The South Rim is most popular and busiest from late spring to early fall. Summer offers warm weather but can be crowded. Spring and fall provide cooler temperatures and fewer visitors.

The North Rim is cooler during summer and less crowded, but it’s closed in winter. For river rafting, late spring and summer are the best times.

aerial view of a city full of lights

Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

The Las Vegas Strip, a stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard, is known for its concentration of resort hotels and casinos. This destination, evolving since the 1940s, reflects the city’s vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene.

The dazzling lights and array of entertainment options draw visitors from all over the globe.

Location & How to Get There

The Strip runs through the heart of Las Vegas. Easily accessible by car, it’s about a 15-minute drive from McCarran International Airport.

Public transportation options include buses, the Las Vegas Monorail, and various taxis and ride-shares such as Uber and Lyft.


The cost of your Las Vegas trip will vary depending on your choices and the time of year you visit.

  • Accommodations: Hotel rates can change significantly depending on events and seasons. You can find everything from budget-friendly options to luxurious resorts.
  • Shows: Ticket prices range from affordable to high-end, depending on the performance and seating.
  • Dining: There are dining options for every budget, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants.
  • Parking: Some hotels offer free parking, while others charge hourly or daily rates. Be sure to factor in parking costs when planning your trip.


The Strip’s activities include:

  • Casinos for all levels
  • Shows that range from world-renowned concerts to unique performances like Cirque du Soleil
  • Dining encompasses everything from street food to celebrity chef restaurants
  • Shopping options include high-end boutiques and souvenir shops

Hours of Operation

The Las Vegas Strip is essentially a 24/7 operation. Casinos and most restaurants are open around the clock.

Showtimes and shopping hours vary, so it’s best to check schedules in advance.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Strip depends on your preferences. For example, visiting mid-week generally means fewer crowds and better hotel rates.

In terms of weather, spring and fall offer more moderate temperatures. Summer is hot but popular for pool parties and nightlife.

Winter can be cooler but less crowded, except during New Year’s Eve and major conventions.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872, holds the title of the world’s first national park.

It’s famous for its geothermal features, including the iconic Old Faithful geyser, and an abundance of wildlife.

The park’s vast landscapes range from deep canyons and lush forests to sprawling meadows and mountain ranges.

Location & How to Get There

Yellowstone spreads across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

The most common access points are through the towns of:

  • Jackson and Cody in Wyoming
  • West Yellowstone in Montana.

Major airports nearby include Bozeman, Montana, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. These also have driving routes offering scenic views into the park.


The entrance fee for a private vehicle is $35, valid for 7 days, and covers both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

Individual entry by foot or bike is $20.

Camping fees vary by site, and advanced reservations are often required.

Note: Some guided tours and special activities may have additional costs.


Yellowstone offers a wide range of activities for nature enthusiasts of all ages and abilities:

  • Witness geothermal wonders like Old Faithful and colorful hot springs
  • Observe wildlife including bison, elk, bears, wolves, and many other animals in their natural habitat
  • Hike scenic trails and enjoy unique views of waterfalls, canyons, and forests
  • Take a scenic drive on the park’s roads and enjoy stunning views at every turn
  • Explore the park’s rich history through its preserved buildings and interpretive exhibits
  • Go boating or fishing on Yellowstone Lake

Hours of Operation

Yellowstone is open year-round, but many roads and facilities close during the winter months due to heavy snowfall.

The park’s website provides up-to-date information on road and facility openings.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit Yellowstone depends on your interests.

  • Summer (June to August) is the busiest season, offering the most accessible trails and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • Spring (April to May) and fall (September to October) see fewer visitors and are great for wildlife spotting, though some facilities may be closed.
  • Winter provides a unique, serene experience of the park blanketed in snow, perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, but accessibility is limited.

The Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast, with its rugged cliffs, scenic vistas, and quaint coastal towns, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical charm.

This stretch of coastline is a must-visit for those who appreciate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest thanks to its:

  • Maritime history, marked by historic lighthouses and tales of shipwrecks
  • Unspoiled beaches
  • Diverse wildlife
  • Accessible natural areas

Location & How to Get There

The Oregon Coast runs along the Pacific Ocean from the California border to the Columbia River.

Highway 101 is the main route, winding along the coast and providing access to numerous beaches, state parks, and coastal towns.

Scenic byways and viewpoints define this route, making the drive an integral part of the coastal experience.


Many parts of the Oregon Coast are freely accessible, but state park fees apply at certain locations, generally around $5 for day use.

Parking varies, with many public access points offering free parking, though popular spots may charge a fee.


The Oregon Coast offers a variety of activities for all interests:

  • Beachcombing: Explore miles of sandy beaches, collect seashells, and enjoy the fresh ocean air.
  • Hiking: Choose from easy walks along the beach to more challenging hikes along coastal trails with breathtaking views.
  • Lighthouse tours: Learn the history of the coast’s iconic lighthouses and learn about their importance to maritime navigation.
  • Whale watching: Spot seasonal majestic gray whales as they migrate along the coast.
  • Tidepooling: Try tide pools at low tide to discover interesting sea creatures.
  • Surfing: Catch some waves at popular surfing spots along the coast.
  • Explore coastal towns: Visit towns like Cannon Beach, Astoria, and Newport, each with its unique character and attractions.
  • Enjoy fresh seafood: Indulge in delicious seafood at local restaurants and fish markets.
  • Relax and unwind: Take in the stunning scenery, listen to the crashing waves, and simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the coast.

Hours of Operation

The Oregon Coast is accessible year-round. However, visiting hours for specific attractions like lighthouses and state parks may vary.

Tides play a significant role in coastal activities, so it’s advisable to check tide tables for beachcombing and tidepooling.

Best Time to Visit

Summer (June to September) offers the warmest weather and is the most popular time to visit.

However, the coast’s beauty is also evident in the quieter, misty months of fall and spring.

Winter brings dramatic storm-watching opportunities, though visitors should be prepared for wetter and cooler conditions.

picturesque view of the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, famed for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, steep streets, and vibrant cultural scene, is a city steeped in history and diversity.

From its Gold Rush origins to its role in the tech industry, San Francisco has long been a center of ideas and innovation.

Visitors are drawn to its:

  • Unique neighborhoods
  • Historic landmarks
  • The scenic beauty of the San Francisco Bay

Location & How to Get There

Located on a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, the city is well-connected by various transportation options.

San Francisco International Airport serves as a major gateway, with efficient public transport links to downtown.

The city’s compact size makes it ideal for exploring by foot or by using its famous cable cars, buses, and the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system.


Attraction fees in San Francisco vary. For instance, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge is free, though parking in nearby areas has a fee.

Alcatraz Island tours require tickets that often sell out in advance and cost around $40.

Parking in the city can be expensive and scarce, so public transport or rideshare services are recommended.


San Francisco is a city that has something for everyone, with activities ranging from exploring historical landmarks to indulging in diverse culinary experiences:

  • Explore iconic landmarks: Visit Alcatraz Island, walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, and ride the historic cable cars.
  • Discover vibrant neighborhoods: Immerse yourself in the unique cultures of Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Mission District.
  • Savor a culinary adventure: Indulge in the city’s diverse food scene, from gourmet restaurants to delicious food trucks.
  • Visit world-class museums: Explore the de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Asian Art Museum.
  • Experience the arts and culture: Attend a performance at the San Francisco Opera or Ballet, or catch a show at one of the many theaters and music venues.

Hours of Operation

The hours of operation vary by attraction. Popular sites like museums and Alcatraz have specific opening and closing times.

Outdoor landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge are accessible at all hours.

Best Time to Visit

The best months to visit San Francisco are September to November when the weather is warmer and the tourist crowds have diminished.

Spring, from March to May, is also a great time, with mild weather and fewer visitors.

Summer in San Francisco can be surprisingly cool and foggy, especially in June and July. So it is not an ideal time to visit.

brown rocky mountains with clouds and blue skies

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, set amidst striking red rock formations, is loved for its natural beauty and spiritual allure.

With a history that spans back to Native American tribes and early settlers, Sedona has long been a place of charm and wonder.

Today, it’s celebrated not only for its stunning landscapes but also for its:

  • Vibrant arts community
  • Wellness retreats
  • Unique energy from vortex sites scattered throughout the area

Location & How to Get There

Sedona is situated in Northern Arizona, about a two-hour drive from Phoenix.

The nearest major airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, with options for car rentals and shuttle services to Sedona.

For those driving, scenic State Route 89A winds through Oak Creek Canyon, offering breathtaking views en route to the town.


Many of Sedona’s hiking trails and viewpoints are free to access.

However, some areas require a Red Rock Pass, which costs:

  • $5 for a daily pass
  • $15 for a weekly pass
  • $20 for an annual pass

Parking in popular areas can be limited and may have a fee, particularly in designated parking lots near major trailheads.


Sedona’s activities cater to nature enthusiasts and spiritual seekers alike. Examples of activities include:

  • Hiking: Explore the stunning red rock landscapes on a variety of trails, from easy strolls to challenging hikes.
  • Photography: Capture the dramatic scenery, vibrant sunsets, and unique rock formations.
  • Spiritual & wellness retreats: Participate in yoga, meditation, and energy healing practices to connect with your inner self and the natural world.
  • Vortex tours: Learn about the energy centers known as vortexes, said to offer healing and spiritual renewal.
  • Jeep tours: Embark on a thrilling off-road adventure through the red rocks.
  • Art galleries & shops: Browse unique art galleries and shops featuring Native American crafts and local artwork.
  • Scenic drives: Take a scenic drive in your car or rented RV along Red Rock Scenic Byway or Oak Creek Canyon for breathtaking views.

Hours of Operation

The parks and trails around Sedona are generally open year-round, from sunrise to sunset.

Specific hours can vary based on the trail and season, so it’s recommended to check current conditions and times before heading out.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Sedona is from March to May when the temperatures are mild, and the desert flowers are in bloom.

Fall, from September to November, is also ideal with comfortable weather and fewer crowds.

Summers can be hot, making early morning or late afternoon the best times for hiking. Winters are mild, though higher elevation trails may have snow.

Tour the Western US With an RV

As you consider the journey to these top destinations in the Western US, remember to tailor your trip to your interests and the seasons.

Renting an RV from NW Adventure Rentals is an excellent choice for those looking to immerse themselves in the diverse landscapes of the West. Here are just a few reasons to consider RV travel:

  • Wake up to stunning views: Start your day with the sunrise over the Grand Canyon or a peaceful breakfast on the Oregon Coast.
  • Experience the freedom of the open road: Set your own pace and create your own itinerary.
  • Stay close to nature: Camp in national parks, forests, and other scenic spots.
  • Enjoy the comforts of home: Cook your meals, sleep in your own bed, and have all your belongings with you.
  • Be flexible: Change your plans on the fly, chase good weather, or stay longer in a place you love.
  • Save money on accommodation and dining: RV travel can be a more affordable option than traditional hotels and restaurants.

We have rented twice. Both great experiences. If you are in need of extra bedrooms for visitors or in need of a place to stay during construction having a trailer delivered was a great option. These are much nicer than the hotel and a better price.”—Katy Gosser, Verified Client

So, pack your bags, set your sights on the horizon, and get ready to experience the unforgettable beauty and diversity of the Western United States.