The West Coast: What They're Known For and Why You Should See It

By: Bethaney Wallace

California, Oregon and Washington State – they’re all about the beautiful sights and the good times. Landscapes that are like nowhere else, and range tremendously, from the very southern portion of the U.S. border, to the very northern tip where we meet with Canada. Each of which is absolutely worth seeing. Landscapes don’t gain reputation without merit, and the West Coast is no different. From beaches, to foggy coves, to buildings that are worth a sight all on their own (even though they’re man’s addition, not all natural), they’re all worth a visit throughout one’s lifetime. Here are some of the most beautiful sights along the West Coast:


5. SoCal (AKA Southern California)

When you hear about this Western state, it’s often the go-to thought. California = southern California for so many tourists. Where the beaches are plentiful, sunshine is on the regular, and it almost never rains. In fact, when it does, it’s something to be talked about – locals are ill-prepared and out of their element. A fact that is more than enticing to any visitors. It’s not just the weather bringing in visitors, it’s the sights. Water is blue and green – clear and in places, quite calm. While waves help bring in surfers and wake boarders alike. (And if you’re not into these sports, they’re certainly worth watching.) Other SoCal sights include topography, like steep hills and trees, tropical plants, and simply walking along the beach. Here visitors can see for miles on end in multiple directions, like the beach, the ocean, and other happy folks who are excited to see the beautiful outdoors. (For anyone who loves people watching.) And of course, there are plenty of man made items worth seeing as well, including some world-famous landmarks.

Southern California

4. The Redwood Forest

You haven’t seen big trees until you’ve visited these incredible trees. Huge in both width and height, they’re breathtakingly large. In fact, travelers come from hours, if not days, away in order to see this famous forest. Those who enjoy hiking can make their way through the hills and see what all the landscape can provide its visitors (that is, if you can take your eyes away from up), while others can view these trees from afar. Known for their age and beauty alike, it’s a trip that’s definitely worth taking. Oh, and don’t forget to get a “inside the tree” photo – they might be overdone, but they’re just that impressive. You won’t want to miss out on the experience, after all.

The Redwood Forest

3. The Rivers Up North

There’s still a coast up on the Northern end of the West Coast, but it comes with entirely different views. Ones that are every bit as beachy, but far less stereotypical all at the same time. Which is to say there’s still sand and waves, but the temperatures are cooler and more moisture is present. What’s also available, however, is some far different views that take place inland – not just on the coast. There are incredible rivers and waterfalls that can be found all throughout Oregon and Washington (check a site to find the best ones). What makes them worth seeing isn’t just that they’re rivers, but the rocks that are underneath them. Following steep hills and hard surfaces, these rivers host large bridges, power electrical plants, and simply sit in post card-worthy fashion. Restaurants are built with falls in the background, and cities plan walking and driving tours around each watery being. Oh and did we mention these are massive rivers? Combined with its speed from the gravity behind it, and you won’t soon forget these Western rivers.


2. Mount St. Helens

Not technically on the coast, Mount St. Helens is just a short drive away from the ocean. It’s one of the largest mountains (or volcanoes) in the United States, and still a very present danger, should she ever decide to erupt. The volcano is considered active, and has become one of the most beautiful, yet feared landmarks in the entire country. The last eruption took place in 1980 and is considered the largest, most deadly volcano event in the history of the entire country. Smoke was still spewing from its vent as late as two years after the fact – a scary event that allowed for some beautiful photos. Mount St. Helens is also part of an entire slew of volcanoes, known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. (Johnny Cash, anyone?) Anyone in the area should take advantage of this beautiful sight – whether up close, or admired from miles away.

Mount St. Helens


1. The Coffee

This might be less than a sigh to see, but for anyone who does love coffee, they’ll likely beg to differ. After all, Seattle is known as the king to all coffee cities, with roasteries, shops, home-grounds, specialty blends, and more – all for miles around. Even the occasional coffee drinker is bound to be impressed with these massive bean-based offerings. Take an entire trip based on flavors of coffee and what they have to offer, or simply take in the Seattle sights (while sipping a fresh cup of Joe, of course), in order to get the overall experience.