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    California and parks: self-drive itinerary

    Who I am
    Aina Prat Blasi
    @ainapratblasi
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    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    If you dream of California, you cannot miss this post, with many useful tips on the unmissable stops for a road trip.

    Have you ever dreamed of fly over the Atlantic Ocean and the entire United States to visit the west coast: the mythical California, and then head to the spectacular parks of Utah, Nevada and Arizona? I really think so!



    The West Coast: From the ocean to the desert

    This is a unique trip to do at least once in a lifetime, an unrepeatable emotion especially if experienced "on the road".

    Driving around freely you can enjoy the countless breathtaking views that change several times in a day, and you can meet and discover the people who live in the most remote villages with their habits and their rhythms.


    You can experience the thrill of an adventure without any danger - if you know how!


    I propose you a proven itinerary for a trip you will remember for a lifetime!

    The itinerary is designed to be carried out during the summer, does not present particular difficulties and touches very well-equipped tourist locations, even the most remote ones.

    Departure from San Francisco

    You have to dedicate at least two days to this city, preferably three. The most European of the west coast cities, you will love the Pier 39 on a sunny day and its crab soup contained in a succulent bowl of bread as much as the Golden Gate Bridge shrouded in fog!

    Yosemite National Park (pronounced iosémiti, please!)

    Inevitable the passage in the Yosemite Valley with as many stops as you have time to do to admire waterfalls and landscapes that recall our Alps ...

    But in the US everything is big, and this park is huge! Don't miss the sight of El Capitan at sunset. I recommend at least 1 night in the Valley or, alternatively, in El Portal. If you can, stop overnight on the Tioga Road: this part of the park overlooking the Death Valley is wilder and certainly no less beautiful.

    Death Valley

    Leaving Bishop before dawn you can reach the Death Valley very early. Fascinating in its naked simplicity, but complicated to visit due to the heat. Plan well with plenty of water and cover your head.


    Las Vegas

    A night in Vegas is a must. You will be amazed by the light and color show.

    Bryce Canyon

    From the Nevada desert to the pinnacles of this geologically unique park. Red colors with a thousand shades and many stopping points for unforgettable views. Before arriving you will cross it Zion National Park and Dixie Forest. I recommend sleeping at least one night.


    Capitol Reef National Park, Dead Horse Point

    Along the way to Moab you will have time to visit this park which is never crowded. The stop at Dead Horse Point before sunset is a must: a view to take your breath away! I recommend sleeping only one night in Moab.

    Arches and Canyonlands

    Two parks in the heart of Utah to explore. I recommend taking an excursion along the marked trails: you can admire unique views and breathe the warm air of the red desert.


    monument Valley

    The mythical silhouette of the Monument has welcomed travelers for millennia: it is impossible not to get excited especially if you let yourself be accompanied by an Indian guide in the most authentic exploration of the valley. The top: sleep one night in the hotel at the entrance to the park to see the sunrise.

    Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon

    This touch of blue in the middle of the desert appears unexpectedly. I recommend a night in Page and then visit Antelope Canyon and rest for an afternoon. The tour is quite demanding, sometimes you have to catch your breath!

    Grand Canyon

    It needs no introduction. Unique when viewed from the helicopter and experienced in its most authentic part: the river. I recommend a day of rafting on the Colorado. Unforgettable. At least one night, preferably two or three nights, in the Grand Canyon Village.


    San Diego

    Ocean Direction. Possible an intermediate night in Laughlin or Joshua Tree. It is impossible to stay less than two nights in San Diego. Three is much more comfortable. Do not miss the Sea Word and a walk in the Gaslamp in the evening, to discover the trendiest clubs.

    Los Angeles

    Three nights to explore it are just enough: one day is for Universal Studios, and another day to discover its coastal locations, from Santa Monica to Malibu.

    From Los Angeles we take the plane back home.

    The dream is over, but I guarantee that every time you look at the photographs of this trip your heart will fill with joy.

    At least that's the way it is for me.

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