West Coast, Best Coast
By Jessie Greenstein
When thinking of the Wild West, the vision of high mountain peaks, barren desert land, and rodeos may come to fruition. Yet, in this vast expanse of land comes hikes, adventures, and memories to last a lifetime.
Two summers ago, I traveled on a road trip around the West Coast with a camera and journal on hand. Through this article, I hope to present my favorite adventures I discovered on the west coast for anyone to try.
Although known as a simple ski resort, Vail is so much more in the upcoming sunny months. Aerial Park lies at the top of the mountain, which includes a ropes course, an exhilarating alpine coaster, bungee jumping, and impeccable mountainside views. Top this adventure with shopping and ice cream in Vail village to provide the perfect day trip for the adrenaline-loving kid and the helicopter mom.
A 3-day rafting trip on the Colorado River will suit your needs as a camping enthusiast. Consisting of 2 nights of camping and home-cooked meals, smooth sailing paired with bumpy rapids, and calming swim spots, this trip will leave a lasting impression. Even the common glamper could enjoy this rustic environment for a new thrilling experience.
Traveling to Sedona, Arizona, one can hop on a pink jeep tour. Sure, any color jeep would make this activity fun, but the vibrant pink color makes this pursuit unique. The tour is led on dirt trails, around rocks, and on an emotional ride — make sure to have a camera handy.
To take a break from the mountains, relax on a boat in the calm blue waters of Lake Powell. Whether enjoying this serenity in the sun or tubing on the flat water, any visit will bring you peace in this beautiful setting.
Indeed this relaxation cannot persist, however. Pack up hiking gear and lace up your sneakers for a hike at Zion National Park in Utah. I took on the challenge of the rigorous 8-mile hike and saw incredible mountain peaks and greenery at the top, but there are many different trail lengths for both the avid hiker and the first-timer.
Finally, finish off your trip by enjoying what Los Angeles has to offer. Whether you want to shop on Melrose Ave, hike Runyon Canyon, explore Hollywood, or relax by the beach, you will never get bored in this city. Be sure to mark the time of sunset in your calendar and enjoy this gleaming city.
The West Coast is filled with so many different things to do. Each individual can find their niche, whether in the heat of the sun or the side of a mountain. The West Coast truly is the best.
About the Author: Jessie Greenstein is a freshman from Chappaqua, NY, in the ILR School. One of her favorite travel destinations is Singapore because of its unique architecture and cuisine.