United States of America · 18 Days · 51 Moments · June 2013

USA West Coast Ultimate Road Trip

13 July 2013

Alcatraz Buy your ticket early online! This high security prison has it's own charm and is definitely a must visit. But there are other things to discover on the islands: .) Bird watching .) Native Americans Also bring a thick jacket - it is freezing cold and windy there!

12 July 2013

Yosemite National Park This national park is a must-see -- just check if the pass is open otherwise you may choose a different road. Check out the park's website it offers a lot of activities to do. Hiking, Climbing, Biking ..... There is also a free shuttle to drive you around in Yosemite Village.

11 July 2013

SUPER Insider Shepard's Hot Springs There are actually a lot of hot springs in the area - just get a little adventures and try to find YOUR personal favourite. Most of the time you will be completely alone! One I can recommend: Drive on Benton Crossing for roughly 3 miles until you reach a small hill with a cow protection crossing on top of it. Drive down the hill slowly and take the first left (a small gravel path) - there you will find a small parking place and a walkway to the hot spring. Enjoy! :)
Driving through Death Valley Driving through the Death Valley may seem boring but it is a beautiful landscape - just make sure you have a really good air condition and lots of drinking water with you. The area has its name for a reason ;)

10 July 2013

Fremont Street Lightshow Discover the street and it's famous casinos on the way. Also point your attention to the giant screen that makes the street unique. The shows are usually at 8pm, 11pm, 12pm and 1am.
Mob Museum On of the best museums I have ever been to. Discover the story of the Mob and it's tight connection to Las Vegas! If you do it carefully it will take you more than 3h of time! But still it is very engaging done and state of the arts. Park directly at the museum (5$) and afterwards take a walk to Fremont Street.
Discover the Strip! Take your car and discover the strip. Don't expect any parking on the way so find out about it before the trip on the internet about the current situation. If you visit the MOB museum you can park there for the downtown location. Also Valet parking is often available at the different hotels (sometimes even free)

9 July 2013

Pool Day - Relaxen Enjoy a relaxing day at one of the hotel pools. There are lots of party people still around and drinks are generally cheap. After closing (6pm) go hit the casino or watch a show. This day is for relaxing.

8 July 2013

Flamingo Good Price for decent quality! TOP location on the strip - you are in the heart of the action! Check out the website for coupons or special promos - room prices differ in Vegas a LOT.
Beautiful Canyon Beautiful Dam and Canyon - take a couple of minutes to find the viewpoint and enjoy the view.
Antelope Canyon Don't buy your ticket in Page. Drive with the car to the little native station near the power plant - they "own" the canyon and they are more than happy to show it to you! Prime Time is 10:00 !! Be there early to catch the best light! There are many canyons - so if you have time also check out rattlesnake canyon!

7 July 2013

Knights Inn Motel Very nice Motel in Page - Breakfast is included and there is a good steak house just two blocks down the street in the shopping centre (there is only one ;)
Grand Canyon What should I say: breathtaking. But there is more to discover: Check out the museum (free) that tells you the history of the Canyon and the old natives tower

6 July 2013

Hill Top Motel Very good motel on the hill. Enjoy your night before travelling on. Also ask for a night discount if you arrive late.
Historic Route 66 Drive the historic part of the highway. Look out for many funny signs and paintings on the house walls.
Tanger Outlet Barstow Time to shop in the middle of the dessert. Perfect location to get a new outfit or find the dress that was a little to expensive in LA ;)

5 July 2013

Carneys - Best Hot Dog served in an old train! "Probably the best hot dog in the world" - that's what they say about the place and IMO they are true! Also when was the last time you enjoyed your meal in an old train!
Universal Studio Hollywood Ausgangspunkt für die Studio Tour, die die Gäste hinter die Kulissen des Filmstudios blicken lässt.

4 July 2013

Six Flags Magic Mountain Time for adrenaline! Take the day "off" and enjoy your visit at 6Flags MagicMountain (forget Disney Land) The RollerCoasters are awesome! Here are the best insider tips for the day: .) Buy the tickets on the internet - also parking! .) Be there early - so serioisly at least 30 min BEFORE the park opens! .) Ride the "famous" coasters right after opening (X2!) or right before closing! .) Get a "Sports Drink" Bottle for 14$ and enjoy unlimited refill! .) Don't look into the FastPass option - it is almost not worth the money (except if you only want to ride the "famous" ones, or it is weekend or holiday)

3 July 2013

Griffith Observatory - the perfect view This is THE view over LA. You can see the entire city, the hollywood sign and both is breathtaking. For the best pictures try to get there in the twilight! (not too dark) Parking may also be a problem but be patient.
Relax time at Venice Check out the canals in Venice that gave this area it's name. Also visit Venice Beach and search for the "Muscle Beach"
Walk of Fame The walk of fame is worldwide known. Go and search for your favourite star. (This could take a wile ;) On the way check out the buildings that also widely known.
In and Out Burger Park your car there to get to Hollywood Blvd. It is FREE. Also get a burger (google "hidden menu in and out burger") they are fresh and SUUUPER good!

2 July 2013

3rd Street Promenade Santa Monica's shopping street is the best place to buy a new T-shirt or a nice dress. Prices are decent and there is a wide variety of different labels. Also there a lot of cool street artists to watch and enjoy.
Santa Monica Pier Beach Santa Monica Pier and Beach is the place to be. Enjoy a long walk down the beach also a quick jump into the water. Also there are many crazy (funny) people around at the Blvd.
Malibu Beach Malibu Beach is world known for his houses of the stars. But watch out the beach in front of those buildings is private property - so be prepared to get shouted at if you violate the law. BUT there is a loophole: Where ever the sand is wet - there is public space! So enjoy the walk ;)

1 July 2013

Sandbar - Happy Hour and Tortillias The Sandbar is the perfect place to relax after a long day of driving. Look out for the happy hour especially when you are in a group there are really cool deals there.
Santa Barbara A very nice little city on the way to LA. Enjoy State Str for the evening and relax for the night. Also if you have time check out the beach.
Hearst Castle Some consider this a must-see - others don't. So it is up to you. If you choose to visit Hearst Castle check out the pool - it is truly breathtaking. Insider Tip: Try to find out the tour schedule in advance to prevent long waiting in the boring visitor center aka shop!
Big Sur Welcome to the classic! Miles-and-miles of the "golden coast" lie ahead of you. Discover Big Sure and the waterfall and continue riding the road with it's magnificent coast line.
17 Mile Drive The 17 Mile drive is a beautiful road that goes along the sea shore and almost marks the beginning of the classic Route 1 path. Though it is quite expensive to drive the street there are many viewpoints that make it worth the money.

30 June 2013

Enjoy the day in Santa Cruz Santa Cruz has much to offer! Discover the pier or take a surfing lesson - it is up to you. There is even an amusement park directly at the beach - so check it out!
Red Wood Park Pack your hiking shoes! This is the perfect spot to take a little hike and discover those amazing trees. Most of all the park is a little "off the path" so it is almost for insiders only.

29 June 2013

Napa Valley Tavern A very cool place to eat during your day trip to Napa. The tavern seems family run. Food was delicious (Burgers) and the Wine as interesting. Expect a surprisingly different approach to wine Culture than in Europe!
Famous Bridge Spot This is a must see view spot. But also take the time to drive up the way till the end. Not many people do but it is amazing! You will see a lot of cool views there.
Drive through Golden Gate Bridge From the City it is FREE. Inside it is only available via FastTrek! (no Cash!)
Rent a car for the trip Rent a car for the remaining time. I can highly recommend Thrifty and if your travel budget allows it take the Ford Mustang Convertible! It is a FUN car and will give your trip the additional cabriolet feeling while also giving you the option to protect you from the sun (which will also be necessary in the desert). Also take the navigation upgrade. It is actually more like a smartphone (Galaxy Note 2). It even comes with FREE internet (YES unlimited and HotSpot capable up to 5 devices) AND FREE international and domestic calls (150min start and additional 50min every day) - YES! - that is an offer :D

28 June 2013

Legion of Honor Beautiful temple like buildings and beach around it. Take some time and let the scenery influence you.
Golden Gate Bridge Everybody knows this bridge, so there is nothing new to tell. It is not advisable to travel on the bridge via bike because a) it is very long and b) the way back with the ferrry takes super long due to a lot of people. So save the time! Take the car on the next day!
Discover the Park and the Bridge Beautiful Park with lots of hidden spots to discover. It takes about to 2h to get from one end to the other. For an easy day always ride East to West because this is mostly downhill ;)
Renting a bike! Good shop to rent a bike - very decent price and they offer good routes through the park (ask for the way to "prevent" the hills to golden gate bridge) You can even return the bike at fisherman's wharf!
Painted Ladies Again a "Must-See" highlight. Take to bus to easily reach the top of the park.
American Diner Breakfast Best Diner EVER! - Delicious made Pancakes in the morning is al you need to start the day in SF.

27 June 2013

Silicon Valley Even if you are not into startups and the whole IT business going to silicon valley and experience the flair of this area is something I can highly recommend. Otherwise welcome to heaven! ;)
Visit Google HQ If you like Android or are a Google Fan just go there! - a lot of places are very easy to find and are open to the public. There are also tours available.

26 June 2013

View from Telegraph Hill Best View in town. If you are lucky and the weather is good (not foggy) you can see the entire city + golden gate bridge.
Famous Lombard Street Everybody knows this famous street in SF. So check it out! The houses on both sides are beautiful - but also expect a lot of people there.
Checking out Pier 39 Discover the vivid Piers in San Francisco. Every corner holds a new surprise.
CableCar Museum FInd out all about the CableCars - Admission is Free. Very well done exibition and easy to reach via cablecar - of course ;)
Cablecar Riding Get there super early in the morning! Buy a 3 day card. Insider TIP: If there are many people standing in line consider walking 1 stop. The CableCar often leaves space for people to jump on.
Welcome to SFO Welcome to San Francisco! Taking the bart train to the city is a comfortable and cheap way! Don't take a taxi or any other service.