Next in my Best and Worst Holidays Series I have the pleasure of welcoming Anu from Anuuk Aromatic Skincare blog. She is sharing with us her best holiday to date, a USA road trip. You know how much I love road trips!
Best and Worst Holiday ft Anuuk Aromatic Skincare
I had a always dreamed about a road trip in USA. Originally, I was thinking the legendary Route 66, but you would have to invest quite a lot of time and money for a trip like that. So, when my friend suggested we take a look at the West Coast area and hire a car I simply couldn’t say no. It sounded amazing and I love the fact that when you are driving you can stop whenever you wish and take a closer look at the scenery.
We decided to fly to Las Vegas as we both had always wanted to visit. I’ve always been fascinated about the history of the city and really wanted to stay at the Flamingo Hotel which was built and owned by Bugsy Siegel, one of the original mob bosses. The plan was put together and off we went. It really ended up being one the best holidays I’ve ever had.
First leg – Las Vegas to Death Valley
We started our trip from Las Vegas. It really is a city which you have to take as a lighthearted fantasy land. Everything is man-made and a little bit strange. All hotels have themes and gambling is everywhere. I have to say that Las Vegas has some of the best shopping, so if that is something you enjoy, it’s a place for you. After a few days in Las Vegas, shopping and lazing we rented a car and left the dream city behind. Three, four days in a place like that is more than enough, but it was a great experience. Our final destination was San Francisco, but there was so much to see along the way. The road trip really was the best part of the holiday. I absolutely loved it and still often think about it.
Our first stop was Death Valley. What an amazing, beautiful place it is. Dry, burning heat and large open areas with sand and salt as far as eye can see. Death Valley is the largest national park in North America (outside Alaska) and includes Badwater Basin, which is the lowest elevation below seawater in USA. Absolutely magical, but super-hot so make sure you bring water and take your time to admire the landscape. It really is one of a kind. The drive took us the whole day and we made it out just in time before the dark. There are no lights in the park and it gets completely pitch black and cold overnight, so make sure you give yourself enough time. We spent the night outside the park in a small B&B and continued our journey the following day.
Second leg – Death Valley to Yosemite
Another breathtaking place! Yosemite Park is a complete contrast to the dry desert with its lush greenery and huge trees. The mountains are so beautiful and the forests fresh and thick. There are bears around, but unfortunately, we did not see any! We took some time to drive around the park as there is always something more beautiful around each corner. The park is huge, and we didn’t have the opportunity to spend long enough to see it, but you can camp out or rent a lodge if you wish to spend the night. We drove out of the park and spend the night again in one of the small B&Bs along the way.
Third leg – Yosemite to Monterey
Our next destination was to drive to the coast and stay in Monterey. We arrived late afternoon and got another room from one of the hotels. After a stroll in the town and dinner we headed off to sleep as we wanted to drive around the coastline the next day. There are many sea side little towns along the coast and it really is well worth to visit them. We visited Big Sur, Pebble Beach and Carmel which were all gorgeous places before heading off to our final stop in San Francisco.
Fourth leg – Monterey to San Francisco
After our little tour around the coast we drove up to San Francisco where we spent a few nights before flying back home to London. San Francisco is one of the top tourist destinations in USA west coast for a good reason. The city is full of things to see and do. We did the mandatory Alcatraz trip which was great and spent a lot of time just walking around the city, eating and chatting. There are many hotels and private B&Bs to choose from, but I would recommend staying fairly close to the center. Travelling at night time can be somewhat risky as there are crime, homelessness and theft like in all larger cities. It’s always more dangerous when you don’t know the place so safer to stay central. There are many cafes, little bars and clubs to explore and it really is a city where you don’t need a car. Visit Fisherman’s Warm for seafood and seal sightings, Chinatown for snacks and Alcatraz for stories. You can see much of the city by walking or taking the tram or bus.
If you are looking for ideas for a road trip I can highly recommend our little drive. The scenery along the way was varied and gorgeous, the roads safe and the accommodation easy to find. There are little restaurants and bars for food and little shops and drive throughs for quick snacks. I really like the fact that you don’t need to book hotels in advance. You can just drive as you feel is the best pace for you and stop when you feel like it. This is also a great option for first time experience.
Thanks to Anu for sharing her USA road trip, which was her best holiday to date. As you know we did a 2-week USA road trip last year and we’re itching to do some of the same trip Anu did.
Anu is a Finnish born, London based beauty and lifestyle blogger who loves to travel. When she’s in London you can find her in her Marylebone beauty -and massage clinic treating busy Londoners. You can find her on her blog Anuuk Aromatic Skincare, or on Twitter and Instagram.
And if you would like to feature in my Best and Worst Holidays series on the blog, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.