Must-Visit States in the Western U.S. for Every Type of Traveler

There’s a reason the Western U.S. is so highly traveled. From stunning nature scenes along the Pacific to picturesque hiking routes and, of course, entertainment galore in Vegas, there is truly something for everyone. After all, the U.S. is arguably the most diverse country in the world, comprising a variety of different cultures, landmarks, and things to do inside its massive territory.

In this article we take a look at four specific Western locations that both tourists and even local Americans must visit at least once. No matter your travel preferences, these states are sure to check all the boxes.

Arizona – National Parks  

A landlocked state wedged between New Mexico and California, Arizona is a haven of outdoor beauty and, most especially, national parks with a grand total of 22 in all. There are also an additional 35 state parks and natural areas located within its borders. There’s no doubt that the most celebrated one of all is the Grand Canyon, a vast and awe-inspiring natural rock formation along the Colorado River. Each year, nearly 6 million visitors travel to Arizona to see this one-of-a-kind natural landscape. Former president Theodore Roosevelt described it as a place “every American must see once.” Aside from enjoying the parks, the state’s capital of Phoenix is one of the sunniest U.S. cities year-round that should not be overlooked.

The Grand Canyon was added to the prestigious “Wonders of the World” list back in 2006 and is the only one to be located in the U.S.

Nevada – Entertainment

There are countless reasons to visit Nevada, but unquestionably the greatest of them all is Las Vegas. The state is the proud home of the Entertainment Capital of the World, where a host of glamorous casinos and resorts line the city streets, shining their bright lights onto the sightseers below. Guests on the Strip will have access to a variety of famous gaming destinations like the huge MGM Grand, The Wynn, The Venetian and more. Although many of these world-renowned Vegas facilities also have online counterparts, the U.S.’s recent passage of gaming legislation in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania has made it possible for casino games to exist virtually in the Eastern part of the country as well. As more technological innovations are discovered, this could quite possibly be the future of casino gaming. Regardless, visiting the historic and modern Vegas casinos in-person is an experience everyone should have on their bucket list.

California – Coast

Big Sur, pictured here, boasts miles of rugged coastline with bright blue waters.

After you’ve finished snapping national park photos and exploring the neon lights of Vegas, head further West to the Golden State. Aside from being one of the most visited U.S. states, California is known for being the home of the Hollywood industry, the Golden Gate bridge and the Napa Valley wine region. However, the long expanse of rugged coastline that stretches for 900 miles all the way into Mexico has to be its shining gem. Major beach towns include Malibu, Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, San Diego, and Venice Beach just to name a few. Not to mention Big Sur, a picturesque mountains-meets-beach landscape located along the Pacific Ocean. One of the most underdeveloped stretches of continuous coastline in the U.S., trekking in Big Sur is sure to be an unforgettable travel experience.


Montana – Hiking

Hike in Glacier National Park, Montana

Many people do not know that the word ‘Montana’ actually derives from the Spanish word that means ‘mountainous,’ so it isn’t difficult to imagine what visitors will encounter when they visit The Treasure State. Known for its huge mountain variety and abundance of hiking trails, Montana’s most popular sites include Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, where a section of the preserved wilderness area is accessible from Montana. Glacier boasts over 700 miles of pathways for trekkers seeking an incredible backpacking experience. In the colder months of the year, the park even offers ski trails in certain areas for those that want to glide through a stunning winter wonderland.