USA West Coast Itinerary 2 Weeks: the Perfect 14-15 Days Road Trip
You’re planning to spend 2 weeks in the American West for your next trip?
In order to help you plan your trip, I have prepared for you a 2 weeks road trip itinerary in USA West Coast. During your trip, you will discover all the best places to visit on this part of the United States!
In this travel guide, in addition to the must-see attractions, I will also give you all my best tips as well as my list of the best accommodations depending on your budget.
So, what are the best things to do during your 14-15 day trip to USA West Coast?
- USA West Coast Itinerary 2 Weeks: the Perfect 14-15 Days Road Trip
- Renting a car for your 2 weeks road trip in the USA (West Coast)
- Day 1 and day 2 – Los Angeles
- Day 3 – Las Vegas
- Day 4 – From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon – Route 66
- Day 5 – Grand Canyon
- Day 6 – Monument Valley
- Day 7 – Antelope Canyon / Horseshoe Bend / Lake Powell
- Day 8 – Bryce Canyon
- Day 9 – Zion National Park
- Day 10 – Death Valley
- Day 11 – Mammoth Lakes
- Day 12 – Yosemite
- Day 13 – From Yosemite to San Francisco
- Day 14 – San Francisco
- Day 15 – San Francisco
- 14 or 16 days West coast itinerary
- Tips before starting your road trip on the USA West Coast
- Map of your 2 weeks itinerary in USA West Coast
- You’re traveling in the US? These articles will help you!
Renting a car for your 2 weeks road trip in the USA (West Coast)
To visit the west coast of the United States for 2 weeks, you’ll need a car. Don’t even think about doing this road trip by public transport, it’s impossible!
To rent a car, you should use Rentalcars.com website.
It’s the one I use for all my trips, as it’s super convenient: it allows you to compare all the rental companies’ rates in just one click and to book your car rental at the best price!
And if you don’t have an insurance with your credit card, you can opt for the “Full Protection Insurance”, to be fully refunded in case of accident or theft. Tested and approved! (They refunded me more than 1200€ to date!)
For this itinerary, you will need to rent a car in Los Angeles and return it in San Francisco.
If you already know your travel dates to the American West, symply click on the button below to compare prices and rent your car:
Day 1 and day 2 – Los Angeles
So, pick-up your car in Los Angeles’ airport and let’s start your 2 weeks road trip across the USA West Coast by visiting LA!
Begin your journey with the iconic Hollywood Sign.
Located atop Mount Lee, this global emblem of the entertainment industry offers an excellent photo-op, especially if you go to Lake Hollywood Park’s viewpoint.
But don’t just stop at the bottom!
There are various hiking trails leading up to the sign that offer panoramic views of the city.
You can also opt for a walk with a guide, who will help you take superb photos. Click here for information and to book!
Your next stop should be the Griffith Observatory.
Not only does it offer breathtaking views of the city and the Hollywood sign, but the observatory itself is a very interesting visit if you’re interested in everything space related.
And if you’re traveling with kids, it’s a great educational spot and the entrance is free!
Then, head down to the Walk of Fame.
Stretching for more than a mile on Hollywood Boulevard, this famed sidewalk is home to over 2,600 brass stars embedded in the sidewalks. You can spot your favorite celebrities’ stars and take a picture of them.
And you know what? You can even have your own star with your name on it! It will be a great souvenir of your 2-week USA West Coast road trip itinerary.
You need to book the “Get your own Star” activity in advance by clicking here.
During your first day in Los Angeles, you should also take a drive through Sunset Boulevard. This legendary boulevard boasts historic landmarks and is soaked in Hollywood history.
For some upscale sights, drive to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Even if high-end shopping isn’t on your agenda, the luxurious ambiance and the chance of a celebrity sighting make it worth a visit.
If celebrity spotting is high on your list, you should opt for a guide tour of celebrities homes in Beverly Hills.
Simply click on the green button below for more info and to book:
In the afternoon, make your way to Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park. The cool ocean breeze, the sunset, and the bustling activities make it the perfect spot to relax at the end of the day.
You can enjoy the rides, try local delicacies, or simply spend some time on the beach.
To conlude the first day of your USA West Coast trip itinerary, with a visit to Venice Beach. Known for its bohemian spirit, Muscle Beach, and vibrant boardwalk, it’s a lively place to people-watch.
There are also a lot of shops and restaurants.
Spend your first night in Los Angeles.
For the 2nd day of your 14, 15 or 16 days USA West Coast itinerary, you should spend the day at Universal Studios Hollywood.
This theme park is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood studios in use.
Given the popularity of Universal Studios, you really need to book your skip the line ticket in advance. This way, you can make the most of your time at the park without spending hours in queues.
You need to book your ticket by clicking on the green button below. You can choose between the “Normal” or “Express” (the best choice if you want to do as many rides as possible!) ticket upon booking.
Inside the park, you’ll find a combination of thrilling rides, shows, and real working movie studios.
Some must-visit attractions include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, and the Studio Tour that offers a behind-the-scenes look at famous movie sets. And let’s not forget the all-new open world: Super Nintendo World!
This is really a must-visit during your west coast road trip, but if you’re not a fan of theme parks, you can also continue your visit to the city.
For more information about Los Angeles, you should read my detailed article: The best things to do in LA.
Spend another night in Los Angeles.
Where to stay in Los Angeles
As you probably know, hotels are quite expensive in Los Angeles, and the hotels offering the best value for money are fully booked very quickly.
To get the best rate, you should really book your accommodation in L.A as soon as you have your travel dates!
Here is my selection of the best hotels to stay in Los Angeles:
- HI Los Angeles – Santa Monica Hostel: Located 200 meters from Santa Monica beach. Dormitory beds from €50. Strong points: cleanliness, location next to the ocean. The perfect hostel if you’re looking for a cheap accommodation in Los Angeles.
- El Royale Hotel – Near Universal Studios Hollywood: Located close to Universal Studios, comfortable and spacious double room from €190, breakfast included. Strong points: friendly staff, free parking, comfortable beds.
- Park Plaza Lodge: Located close to LACMA and Farmers market. Modern and comfortable double room from €190. Benefits: swimming pool, parking, convenient location for sightseeing.
- citizenM Los Angeles Downtown: Located in Downtown Los Angeles, 400 metres from City Hall. Brightly decorated contemporary double room with large window overlooking the city, from €260, breakfast €19. Strong points: design, friendly staff, panoramic view of LA.
- Loews Hollywood Hotel: Located next to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Beautiful double rooms, some with views of the Hollywood sign, from €255, breakfast €33. Strong points: heated swimming pool, geographical location, direct access to the shopping centre with lots of restaurants and a casino. My favorite hotel in LA for its excellent value for money!
- Pendry West Hollywood: This 5-star hotel on Sunset Boulevard offers sublime, elegantly decorated rooms with large picture windows. From €620 per night, breakfast €56. Strong points: the rooftop pool, the view over Los Angeles, the design of the hotel.
- Shutters On The Beach: Magnificent 5-star hotel located directly on Santa Monica beach. Rooms with balcony and some with ocean views from €880, breakfast €46. Strong points: the view, the good restaurant, the style of the hotel, the swimming pool, the attentive staff. This is my recommendation for a luxury stay in Los Angeles!
Day 3 – Las Vegas
Next stop on your 2-week USA West Coast trip itinerary is Las Vegas, nestled in the heart of the Nevada desert.
It takes just over 4 hours to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
I will give a typical itinerary for one day in Las Vegas, but don’t worry if you can’t do everything on day 3, you will have a bit more time to visit the city on the next morning.
Let’s start with a quick visit to the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign. Snap a picture here; it’s a rite of passage for any Las Vegas visitor and a fitting start to your day in Sin City.
Then, get your adrenaline pumping next at New York – New York with the Big Apple Roller coaster. The twists, turns, and loops, combined with the fantastic views of the Vegas Strip, make this a must-do activity for thrill-seekers.
Your next stop should be the MGM Grand. Known for its casino and top-notch restaurants, you can easily spend a few hours exploring this huge iconic hotel.
A little bit further, don’t miss the Bellagio Hotel and its world-renowned fountain show. This water performance, set to light and music, is a visual treat and a hallmark of Las Vegas luxury.
Continue your journey down the strip to the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. While it’s only half the size of the real thing, the views from the top are spectacular, offering a panoramic view over the bustling strip below.
It’s now time to go to the grand Caesars Palace. With high-end shops, top-tier entertainment, and bustling casinos, it encapsulates the essence of Las Vegas luxury.
Even if you’re not staying here, it’s worth walking through to admire its grand interior!
For an adrenaline rush, you can also try the Fly Linq Zipline Las Vegas (book it here!).
Next, head to the Venetian, which features many architectural details directly inspired by the Italian city of Venice. You’ll even find canals and gondolas!
To end you day in style, you can head to Downtown Las Vegas and the Freemont Street Experience. This five-block entertainment district offers free nightly shows and live concerts, encapsulating the spirit of old-school Vegas.
Spend the night in Las Vegas in one of the hotels I selected for you.
For more details on the places you shouldn’t miss in Las Vegas, you should read my dedicated article here: The 30 best things to do in Las Vegas.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
There are a lot of hotels in Las Vegas, and choosing the best for your stay can be a bit complicated.
In order to help you out, I have selected for you the best hotels in Las Vegas depending on your budget.
As always, to get the best prices, you should book your hotel as early as possible*!
*And a little clarification: in Las Vegas prices can explode for weekends or if there is a special event during a the day of the week. For example, you can have a night at Caesars Palace for €140 and the next day it will be €1,600.
Please note that prices “start from”, they can vary greatly (and I’ve got nothing to do with that 😅).
In any case, I can always help you find a hotel within your budget if you ask me in the comments.
Here is my selection of the best hotels to stay at on the Strip:
- Excalibur: With its castle-themed structure, it’s a hit among families and offers affordable rates starting at 70€ per night. Strong points: comfortable beds, size of rooms, price. An excellent choice for cheap accommodation on the Las Vegas Strip!
- Luxor: Have you ever dreamt of sleeping in a pyramid? Well, in Las Vegas you can! Double room from €80. Strong points: helpful staff, big bedroom, connected to Excalibur and Mandalay hotels.
- Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino: This famous 5-star hotel on the Strip offers rooms from €140. Strong points: its architecture, beautiful pools, nice and clean rooms.
- Treasure Island Hotel & Casino: Double room from 170€. Plus points: spacious room, fridge in the room, great location on the strip, self check-in so you don’t have to wait, self parking.
- Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino: Hotel located opposite the Eiffel Tower. Double room from 225€. Strong points: good restaurants, room and hotel decor, very comfortable.
- Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World: Double room from 290€. Strong points: room and facilities are new, great pool area, super comfy bed, super clean. This is my recommendation for a top-of-the-range stay in Las Vegas!
- Bellagio: I can’t forget to mention the Bellagio in my selection of the most beautiful hotels in Las Vegas! The hotel offers sumptuous rooms from €480. Strong points: very luxurious, perfect location for exploring the Strip, fountain view. This is my recommendation for a deluxe stay in Las Vegas!
Here is my selection of the best hotels to stay in Downtown Las Vegas / Fremont Street:
- The D Las Vegas: Double room from 75€. Strong points: the price, friendly staff, clean, free parking.
- Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino: Nice and clean double room from 85€. Strong points: pool terrace, comfortable bed, great location, big room.
- Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino Las Vegas: Double room from 110€. Strong points: free parking, huge room.
- Circa Resort & Casino – Adults only: Double room from 180€. Strong points: rooftop bar, swimming pool area, new and modern.
Day 4 – From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon – Route 66
On Day 4 of your 2-week USA West Coast itinerary, let’s go for a scenic drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
But first, if there were attractions in Las Vegas you didn’t manage to squeeze into Day 3, now is your chance. Whether it’s another round at the casinos or more shopping, take the morning to enjoy Vegas a bit more.
By midday, get ready for the road ahead. It will take you about 4.5 hour to drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
Here are the iconic places you shouldn’t miss along the way:
1. Hoover Dam: Just about 40 minutes from Las Vegas, this engineering marvel stands tall on the Colorado River. It’s worth making a quick stop to snap a few pictures!
2. Historic Route 66: During your 2 weeks road trip on the west coast, take the opporunity to drive a stretch of the iconic Route 66. This historic highway, also known as the Main Street of America, offers a slice of classic America with its vintage shops, old-school diners, and picturesque landscapes.
3. Seligman: This picturesque town on Route 66 is a throwback to simpler times. With its charming retro vibe, diners, and vintage cars, it’s a delightful place for a short break.
As you approach the Grand Canyon, you can see vast desert vistas, red rock formations, and eventually, the first glimpses of the Grand Canyon’s majestic rim.
On arrival, check into your accommodation, rest a bit, and prepare for a full day of exploration tomorrow.
The Grand Canyon’s vastness and beauty deserve an entire day of your USA West Coast 2-week itinerary.
Where to stay around the Grand Canyon
You have 3 different options for sleeping near the Grand Canyon:
- Grand Canyon Village, right on the edge of the Canyon
- The town of Tusayan, 15 minutes from the Grand Canyon
- The town of Williams, an hour from the Grand Canyon
At the Grand Canyon Village, you could sleep at:
- Yavapai Lodge: Double room from €265. Strong points: free parking, the setting, close to the shops.
- Maswick Lodge: Double room from 320€. Strong points: free parking, very big bedroom, close to the best sites and shuttles.
Here is my selection of the best hotels in Tusayan:
- Squire Resort at the Grand Canyon, BW Signature Collection: Double room from 250€. Strong points: indoor and outdoor swimming pool, arcade, friendly staff, perfect location.
- Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel: Double room from 260€. Strong points: free parking, very clean, swimming pool, proximity to the Grand Canyon.
- The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon: Double room from 290€. Strong points: the friendliness of the staff, the decoration of the hotel, very comfortable, the peace and quiet.
- Holiday Inn Express Grand Canyon, an IHG Hotel: Double room from 300€. Strong points: indoor swimming pool, close to restaurants, clean, spacious.
Here is my selection of the best hotels in Williams:
- Travelodge by Wyndham Williams Grand Canyon: Double room from 80€, breakfast included. Strong points: friendly staff, free parking, close to shops, fridge and coffee maker in room.
- Ramada by Wyndham Williams/Grand Canyon Area: Double room from 100€. Strong points: indoor swimming pool, clean.
- Comfort Inn near Grand Canyon: Double room from 130€, breakfast included. Strong points: indoor swimming pool, comfort of beds, size of rooms, good breakfast. This is my favorite hotel for its excellent value for money!
- Quality Inn Near Grand Canyon: Double room from 135€, breakfast included. Strong points: spacious, clean and comfortable room.
- La Quinta by Wyndham Williams-Grand Canyon Area: Double room from 175€, breakfast included. Strong points: new, modern hotel, lovely pool, free parking.
Day 5 – Grand Canyon
For the 5th day of your west coast road trip in 2 weeks, you will have the chance to see the Grand Canyon, one of the most famous landscape in the world, carved over millions of years by the Colorado River.
On this day, you’ll explore South Rim, the most accessible and popular part of the Grand Canyon where you’ll find numerous viewpoints, each offering a different perspective of the canyon.
Here’s a quick list of the best activity to do:
- Take the shuttle which runs alongside Hermit Road and stop at the different viewpoints: Mather Point / Trail View Overlook / Powell Point / Hopi Point / Mohave Point / Pima Point.
- Desert View Drive: A scenic route with various viewpoints, including Grandview Point and the Desert View Watchtower, offering panoramic views of the canyon and the Colorado River. You will need to take your car for this road as there is no shuttle service.
- Bright Angel Trail: For those looking to hike, this is one of the most popular trails, leading you down into the heart of the canyon. But this is a very difficult hike with a steep gradient, which has to be descended and then climbed! As the signs along the trail say “Down is optional / Up is mandatory”. Allow between 9 and 12 hours for the hike.
- Yavapai Point and Museum: Offers one of the best panoramic views of the canyon’s depth and breadth.
- Go on an guided Hummer tour at sunset and stop at the best viewpoints. Book it here!
As the sun begins to set, take a moment to sit by the canyon’s edge, soak in its beauty, and bring back a few beautiful pictures home!
And of course, if you want to take in the most splendid views, there’s one activity you absolutely must do: a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon!
From the sky, the Grand Canyon is particularly impressive. It will for sure remain one of the best memories of your 2 week trip to the American West!
You need to book your helicopter flight by clicking on the button below:
If there is no more availability, you can also book with this other company (click here!), it’s exactly the same thing.
Spend another night near the Grand Canyon.
Day 6 – Monument Valley
Moving forward in your 2 weeks in USA West Coast itinerary, Day 6 takes you to an iconic landscape that’s been the backdrop for countless movies and commercials: Monument Valley.
From Grand Canyon Village to Monument Valley Welcome center, it takes about 3 hours by car.
Located on the Arizona-Utah border, Monument Valley is famous for its red mesas and vast sandstone buttes, some reaching heights of more than 300m.
As Monument Valley is on Navajo Nation Land, the entrance isn’t included with the “America the Beautiful Pass”. It costs around 20$ per vehicle.
You have 2 options to cover the 27-kilometer Monument Valley Scenic drive, which takes you around some of the most famous landmarks:
1) Make the journey in your own vehicle but the road can be a bit rough and bumpy, so a SUV or 4×4 is recommended, especially if it has rained in the days preceding your visit. You will also have to purchase a permit at the Visitor Center.
2) Taking a guided tour, one of the best ways to explore Monument Valley and clearly the easiest solution!
Navajo guides offer unique insights into the history, legends, and the significance of the formations you see around. And they’ll be able to take you to places that are only accessible with them.
The tour I recommend takes in all the iconic sites of Monument Valley: West and East Mitten, 3 Sisters, John Ford Point, Moccasin Arch, Big Hogan, Sun’s Eye, North Window and Sleeping Dragon.
You will also visit the Navajo Tribal Park where you can learn more about the Navajo way of life and their deep connection to the land. You can also enjoy a traditional music show.
You need to book this guided tour in advance by clicking here:
This excursion is also available in the late afternoon to enjoy the sunset. You need to book it here!
Spend the night around Monument Valley. Tomorrow, on Day 7 of your 2-week west coast USA road trip, you will have many more of beautiful places to discover.
Where to stay in Monument Valley
- Wetherill Inn: Located in the city of Kayenta. Double room from 140€. Strong points: clean, spacious bedroom, good breakfast.
- Goulding’s Lodge: Located in Monument Valley. Double room from 190€. Strong points: the view over Monument Valley, comfortable room, good restaurant, location.
- Hampton Inn Kayenta Monument Valley: Located in Kayenta. Double room from 230€, breakfast included. Strong points: swimming pool, typical Navajo cuisine, excellent breakfast, peace and quiet.
Day 7 – Antelope Canyon / Horseshoe Bend / Lake Powell
On Day 7 of your 2-week road trip in the USA, your itinerary takes you from the iconic mesas of Monument Valley to the twisted corridors of Antelope Canyon, and finally, to the tranquil waters of Lake Powell.
Start your day by heading towards Antelope Canyon, 1.5 hours by car from the town of Kayenta.
This slot canyon, shaped by erosion, is a photographer’s paradise. The way sunlight filters down the narrow, wave-like walls of the canyon creates a surreal environment.
There are two parts to Antelope Canyon: Upper and Lower. Both sections offer unique perspectives, so choose according to your interest (If you ask me, I would recommend the Upper Canyon!)
No matter which you choose, Guided tours are mandatory, and you need to book in advance by clicking on the green buttons below.
- The Upper Canyon is more accessible and famous for its splendid shades of orange and red:
- The Lower Canyon is deeper and narrower:
After the mesmerizing experience at Antelope Canyon, head over to the famous Horseshoe Bend, only 15 minutes by car from Antelope.
A short hike from the parking lot will bring you to this must-see site during your 2-week stay in the American West. The spectacle of the Colorado River winding around this massive rock formation is breathtaking.
After taking as many photos as you like, your next stop is Lake Powell.
This man-made reservoir offers a stark contrast to the desert landscapes you’ve been traversing. Here, the Colorado River has carved out canyons that are now submerged, creating the perfect place for water-based activities.
You can choose to relax on its shores or or set off on a boat or kayak tour. Tours often cover the main attractions like Rainbow Bridge, one of the world’s largest natural bridges.
To end the day in style, admire the sunset over Lake Powell, and get back to your hotel for a good night’s sleep, as there is a lot more to explore on the next day of your USA West Coast trip itinerary in 2 weeks.
Where to stay around Lake Powell
All the hotels I’ve selected are in the town of Page, close to Lake Powell:
- Rodeway Inn at Lake Powell: Double room from 100€, breakfast included. Strong points: spacious room, clean, comfortable bedding. The perfect choice if you’re on a budget.
- Baymont by Wyndham Page Lake Powell: Double room from 100€, breakfast included. Strong points: free parking, good breakfast, swimming pool and jacuzzi.
- Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Page Lake Powell: Double room from 140€, breakfast included. Strong points: nice outdoor area with the swimming pool and jacuzzi, bedroom with sitting area and kitchenette, close to bars and restaurants.
- Best Western View of Lake Powell Hotel: Double room from 160€, breakfast included. Strong points: superb views from the terrace, ideal location, comfortable and spacious room.
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Page, AZ: Double room from 170€, breakfast included. Strong points: friendly staff, modern rooms, swimming pool, jacuzzi, gym. It’s the best option for a more high end stay!
Day 8 – Bryce Canyon
Today, you will discover the unique landscapes of Bryce Canyon.
Bryce Canyon is a 2h40-minute drive from Lake Powell.
Bryce is renowned for its unique geology. It’s not a canyon in the traditional sense, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters. Here you can discover hundreds of fairy chimneys, known as “Hoodos”.
To get to the best viewpoints of the park, you should take the 29 kilometers scenic drive. The most famous viewpoints along the way Fairyland Point, Sunrise Point, Inspiration Point, Bryce Point Sunset Point, Natural Bridge and Agua Canyon.
They all offer unique perspectives of Bryce’s canyon impressive landscapes!
And if you are up for a hike, you should opt for the Navajo Loop Trail and Queen’s Garden Trail combination (around 2h30 total), in my opinion the best option. It will take you right into the heart of the main amphitheater.
And if you’re looking for a more extensive hike, the Peek-A-Boo Loop (3h30) offers a close encounter with the park’s main attractions.
Where to stay in Bryce Canyon
All the hotels are located in Bryce Canyon City, just before the entrance to the national park.
- Bryce Canyon Pines: Double room from 160€. Strong points: clean, good restaurant, swimming pool.
- Bryce View Lodge Part of the Ruby’s Inn Resort: Double room from 185€, breakfast included. Strong points: big parking, quiet, indoor swimming pool.
- Best Western PLUS Ruby’s Inn: Double room from 200€, breakfast included. Strong points: good breakfast and restaurant, big indoor swimming pool, spacious and comfortable bedroom.
- Best Western PLUS Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel: Double room from 300€, breakfast included. Strong points: pleasant staff, heated swimming pool, free parking. The best choice for a more upscale stay!
Day 9 – Zion National Park
On Day 9, head to one of the most iconic national parks in the US., Zion National Park, 1h45 drive from Bryce Canyon.
Zion National Park, a part of the Greater Zion area, is renowned for its massive sandstone cliffs, narrow canyons, and a range of unique biodiversity.
To get a deeper understanding of the park’s geology and history, you should visit the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and the Zion Human History Museum.
After that you can take the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
It’s the best way to discover some of the most picturesque landscapes in the park. While private vehicles have limited access during peak seasons, the park shuttle service operates frequently.
In Zion, you will also find trails for every skill level:
- The Narrows, one of the park’s most renowned hikes, takes you through the narrowest sections of Zion Canyon.
- For adrenalin-seekers, Angel’s Landing offers incomparable views. But beware if you are afraid of heights: this hike is very difficult, especially in the final section where the path is barely a metre wide and bordered by a 300 metre drop…
The park also offers several great activities (click on the orange links fore more info and to book):
With Zion’s imposing cliffs behind you, you’d have experienced some of the best that a west coast road trip in 2 weeks can offer.
Where to stay in Zion National Park
All the hotels are located in Springdale, the best place to stay close the entrance to the national park.
- Zion Park Motel: Double room from 130€. Strong points: free parking, heated swimming pool, fridge and microwave in the room, shuttle bus to the park stops right outside.
- La Quinta by Wyndham at Zion Park/Springdale: Double room from 190€,breakfast included. Strong points: nice area with swimming pool, clean and spacious room, view over the mountain
- Holiday Inn Express Springdale – Zion National Park Area, an IHG Hotel: Double room from 270€. Strong points: hearty breakfast, nice swimming pool with view, great welcome. It’s my favorite hotel for its excellent value for money in the area.
- Best Western Plus Zion Canyon Inn & Suites: Double room from 350€. Strong points: well-maintained, clean and well-tended complex, top-notch breakfast, beautiful swimming pool.
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park: Double room from 400€, breakfast included. Strong points: magnificent hotel decorated with great taste, beautiful room and large bathroom, magnificent setting, excellent breakfast. It’s the best choice for a luxury stay near Zion National park!
Day 10 – Death Valley
Your 2 weeks USA West Coast road trip itinerary will now take you to the Death Valley, no less than 5 hours from Zion by car.
Death Valley is known as the hottest and driest national park in the U.S.
Contrary to its ominous name, Death Valley bursts with life and beauty, and is renowned for its remarkable geological features.
First, drop by Furnace Creek Visitor Center to get essential information, and watch a short film about the park to learn more about its geology and history.
Then, to see the main attractions, you have to take the Badwater Road (Highway 178):
1. Badwater Basin: Starting off, you should head to the lowest point in North America, sitting at 86m below sea level. The salt flats here are a surreal sight, especially during sunrise or sunset when they shimmer in the golden hue.
2. Dante’s View: For a panoramic view of the valley. On a clear day, you can even see the highest point of the U.S. (except in Alaska), Mount Whitney.
3. Devil’s Golf Course: An expansive salt pan dotted with jagged spires, this terrain is so rough that it’s humorously said, “only the devil could play golf here.”
4. Artist’s Palette: A kaleidoscope of colors on the Black Mountains, this area showcases mineral deposits causing a blend of blues, purples, and greens, resembling an artist’s color palette.
5. Zabriskie Point: This viewpoint is famous for its eroded landscape. It’s also the perfect place to watch sunrise or sunset.
In the North of Death Valley, you can also go to Ubehebe Crater. Resulting from a volcanic explosion, this massive crater is another testament to the geological diversity of the valley.
Where to stay around Death Valley
- El Portal Motel: Located in Beatty. Double room from 90€. Strong points: free parking, outdoor swimming pool, clean.
- The Ranch At Death Valley: Located in Furnace Creek. Double room from 150€. Strong points: comfortable, nice swimming pool and outdoor area, ideal location.
- The Inn at Death Valley: Located in Death Valley. Double room from 320€. Strong points: the garden, the setting, the pool, provision of buggies to get around. For sure the best hotel in the area!
Day 11 – Mammoth Lakes
From the arid landscapes of Death Valley, you will now go to the green mountainous region of Mammoth Lakes, about 4 hour drive away.
Known for its ski slopes, mountain biking trails, and lakes, Mammoth Lakes is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, no matter the season!
If you’re visiting during winter, the slopes of Mammoth Mountain await you. In summer, you can take the gondola to the summit for panoramic views or go mountain biking.
At the Hot Creek Geological Site, you can see the boiling water bubbles up from the creek bed, a stark contrast to the snowy peaks in the backdrop during winter.
You should also pass by the Devils Postpile National Monument to witness the unique basalt rock formations. Don’t miss the Rainbow Falls waterfall, a short hike away.
Mammoth Lakes is a also hiker’s paradise with many trails. For the full list, you should head to the official website.
Where to stay in Mammoth Lakes
- Alpenhof Lodge: Double room from 145€. Strong points: close to the lakes and the town centre, quiet, very comfortable. If you’re on a budget, this hotel is the best choice!
- Cinnamon Bear Inn: Double room from 170€, breakfast included. Strong points: very warm welcome, good breakfast.
- Empeiria High Sierra Hotel: Double room from 190€. Strong points: modern, pleasant, very clean, laundry and swimming pool.
- Juniper Springs Resort: Flat for up to 6 people from €250. Strong points: real kitchen well equipped for cooking, spacious, friendly staff, barbecue.
- The Village Lodge: Studios and flats from 260€. Strong points: facilities, swimming pool, Netflix, size of accommodation, terrace with views, free parking. Perfect for a luxury stay!
Day 12 – Yosemite
Let’s continue your 2-week itinerary on the West Coast and explore one of the most iconic national parks in the U.S.: Yosemite!
From Mammoth Lakes, it will take you around 2h30 to get there.
The Yosemite National Park is famous for its granite cliffs, breathtaking waterfalls, and ancient sequoias.
If it’s open (usually during the warmer months), you will drive the Tioga Pass, a scenic route which offers some of the most splendid views in the entire park. Don’t forget to stop at Olmsted Point for a unique view of Half Dome and the surrounding peaks.
And if you’re up for a bit of hiking, you should opt for one of the many trails starting from Tuolumne Meadows.
If you don’t want to go hiking, continue along the road to the the heart of the park in Yosemite Valley and go to the iconic viewpoint of Tunnel View.
Here, you can marvel at landmarks like El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and Half Dome.
For a panoramic view of the entire Yosemite Valley, you should head to Glacier Point. This overlook offers clear views of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Yosemite’s high country.
If you’re up for a walk, I would suggest you to do the Valley Loop Trail. It offers up-close views of some of the valley’s most famous sights.
Where to stay in the Yosemite
- Yosemite View Lodge: Double room from 300€. Strong points: nice view, quiet, 4 pools, room with kitchenette.
Day 13 – From Yosemite to San Francisco
Today, you will head to the final leg of your road trip: the iconic city of San Francisco.
But before immersing yourself in the city vibes, there are a couple of scenic spots you can enjoy along the way!
1) Muir Woods National Monument
Renowned for its towering old-growth redwood trees, the park offers a peaceful escape. The shaded trails are perfect for a hike in the woods.
You can find information about entrance fees and parking reservations (which are required) on the official website.
2) Sausalito: this picturesque waterfront town offers a Mediterranean-like ambiance.
Stroll around its boutique shops, enjoy a coffee by the harbor, or try the delicious fresh seafood.
3) Golden Gate Bridge
The grand finale of the day is the crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge, the iconic red suspension bridge, during the late afternoon.
But before that, you should stop at Vista Point and Battery Spencer viewpoint to take a photo of the Golden Gate!
Spend the night in San Francisco.
Where to stay in San Francisco
There are a lot of hotels in San Francisco, and choosing the best for your stay can be a bit complicated.
In order to help you out, I have selected for you the best hotels in San Francisco, depending on your budget.
As always, to get the best prices, you should book your hotel as early as possible!
- HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel: Youth hostel located in Union Square. Beds in dormitories from €50. Strong points: location, warm welcome, friendly atmosphere. An excellent choice for cheap accomodation in San Francisco!
- Grant Hotel: Located 5 minutes’ walk from Union Square. Rooms are decorated in a slightly old-fashioned style but are spacious and clean from €105 per night. Strong points: location, free coffee and biscuits, friendly staff.
- Greenwich Inn: Located between Presidio Park and Fisherman’s Wharf. Double room from €150 per night. Strong points: free parking, warm welcome, spacious room, plenty of restaurants in the area.
- Handlery Union Square Hotel: Located in Union Square. Very spacious and comfortable double room with large windows from €210. Strong points: outdoor swimming pool, perfect for visiting San Francisco, comfortable beds.
- Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf: Located in Fisherman’s wharf. Modern, comfortable double room from €270, breakfast included. Strong points: outdoor swimming pool, location, good breakfast, very helpful staff.
- Hotel Nikko San Francisco: Located in Union Square, this 5-star hotel offers tastefully decorated rooms from €500. Strong points: indoor pool, spa, attentive staff, design, valet parking.
Day 14 – San Francisco
On the 14th day of your 2-week road trip in the USA, you’re going to visit San Francisco.
Here is the itinerary you should follow to see the major highlights of the city.
You should start your day at the Presidio, to enjoy the beautiful viewpoints over the Golden Gate Bridge. The best ones are Fort Point, Golden Gate Overlook, and Crissy Field.
Optionally, if you’re a fan of Disney animated, you can visit the Walt Disney Family Museum (tickets here!) located nearby. Dive into the magical world of Disney and understand the genius behind it all.
Next, make a quick stop at the Palace of Fine Arts. This neo-classical monument is surrounded by a small lake and offers a perfect backdrop for photos.
Of course, while in San Francisco, you should go see the Alcatraz island!
Take the ferry, explore the infamous prison island and learn more about its captivating history.
To visit Alcatraz, you need to book your ticket in advance by clicking on the green button below:
If you’re not interested in visiting Alcatraz, you can for example opt for a San Francisco Bay Cruise instead. Experience the bay, the islands, and of course, the breathtaking views of the Golden Gate from the sea.
You need to book your boat trip by clicking here:
Around lunch time, you can go to the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.
Try the fresh seafood or the famous clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (a San Francisco classic), watch the sea lions, and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Then, stroll up and down the famous winding Lombard Street, dubbed as the crookedest street in the world.
Next, you can go to the top of Coit Tower. The panoramic view of the city from up there is really beautiful.
In the late afternoon, you should immerse yourself in the culture of Chinatown. Dive into its alleyways, shops, and eateries.
For dinner, you can eat there or go the Ferry Building Marketplace: It’s the ideal place if you want to sample a whole host of delicacies.
Spend another night in San Francisco.
You can find more details about visiting San Francisco in my other article: The 27 best things to do in San Francisco.
Day 15 – San Francisco
This is the final day of your west coast America road trip in 2 weeks itinerary, and you will have some time to discover a bit more of San Francisco.
Begin with Golden Gate Park, a vast urban oasis. Wander its paths, gardens, and landmarks.
Take a nostalgic journey through the Haight-Ashbury district, the birthplace of America’s counterculture. The colorful streets and vintage stores evoke memories of the 1960s hippie movement.
No visit is complete without seeing the iconic Painted Ladies near Alamo Square. These Victorian houses are the most famous in the city!
You can then head to the vibrant Mission District. Admire its murals, and perhaps, grab a burrito, as you will find great Mexican food in the neighborhood.
Next, explore the historic Castro District, the epicenter of the LGBTQ+ community. Its colorful streets, historic theaters, and lively ambiance are not to be missed.
And if you like Modern art, you can visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
To end your trip in style, why not go for a bit of shopping and dining at Union Square, the city’s maincommercial hub.
That’s it, you now know how to plan your 2 weeks road trip across the west coast!
14 or 16 days West coast itinerary
If you have only 14 days to visit the West coast, you should remove a day in San Francisco or Los Angeles.
On the contrary, if you’ve got 16 days for your West coast road trip, you have 2 options:
- If you enjoy hiking, add a day in one of the National parks
- You can also add 1 day in Los Angeles, to have the time to explore Malibu or Newport Beach.
Tips before starting your road trip on the USA West Coast
Here are some tips to consider before embarking on a road trip in the USA.
Get your ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)
If you’re not living in the USA, it’s mandatory. You can’t enter the United States without it.
- What is it? It’s an online application system introduced by the U.S. government to pre-screen travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries.
- Before You Apply: Ensure your country is a member of the VWP.
- Duration: It’s typically valid for 2 years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first.
Apply for your ESTA at least 72 hours before your trip.
Of course, use only the official website to avoid scams.
- Why is it Important? Medical care in the U.S. is extremely expensive. Having insurance is the only way to avoid unexpected medical bills and other travel-related mishaps.
- Coverage: The basic insurances cover medical emergencies, and more expensive ones also cover trip cancellations and lost luggage.
On my side, I always opt for ACS: it’s a great deal and they are very reliable. You can check their price and purchase your travel insurance by clicking here.
Driving in the US
I already talked about that at the beginning at this article but here is a quick reminder. To drive in the US, here are the important things to know:
- International Driving Permit (IDP): If your driver’s license is not in English, or if you’re planning to rent a car, it’s a good idea to get an IDP from your home country.
- American cars are usually automatic. If you’re not used to it, learn the basic functions and controls before hitting the road.
- Stay Updated: Download navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze for real-time traffic updates.
Map of your 2 weeks itinerary in USA West Coast
To help you visualize your itinerary a bit better, I’ve created a map of all the best places to visit during your 2 weeks in the USA.
You can display the map legend by clicking the button with a small arrow located in the top left corner.
And if you need any help to plan your 2-week road trip on the West coast, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below!
🚗 Rent a car
🗽 Book entrance tickets and guided visits
🏄 Book your sports activities
🚤 Book your rental boat
🌍 Take a travel insurance
🙎 Book a tour
🚅 Book your train tickets
✈️ Book your flight
You’re traveling in the US? These articles will help you!
Discover all my articles about USA: All my articles to help you plan your trip to USA are listed there.
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- Los Angeles: The 45 best places to visit
- New York: The 57 best things to do
- San Francisco: The 27 best things to do and must-see attractions
- 2 Days in New York – The best itinerary to visit the Big Apple in 48h
- 3 Days in New York – All the best places to visit + Detailed itinerary
- 4 Days in New York – The perfect itinerary for your visit
- One Week in New York – The perfect 7-day itinerary