West Coast featured image

Road tripping along the West Coast had been on my mind since the day I moved to the US for work.  For me, the landscapes that automatically come to mind are the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Death Valley among others, as I have seen again and again in a bunch of movies.

Saying that I obsessively planned this trip is the understatement. It has been been a big bucket list item and I felt little bittersweet to be crossing it off the list. 12 days driving from Vegas to San Diego, visiting best national parks in the states, taking in the Highway One scenery, watching the sunset at the Chanel Island, and spending a day in Disney was truly incredible. 

As I sit on the flight back from a 12 days road trip in West Coast, I thought I’d put together a blog post on how to plan the best, dreamiest West Coast USA road trip. I wanted to do this because if I’m honest, I found planning the West Coast road trip way more consuming and time taking than any trip I’ve ever planned. 

Road trip West Coast USA

So come with me as we go on a road trip to the West Coast, USA! Certainly, I have a feeling that you’ll love it just as much as I did.

West Coast Map
West Coast Map
  • 3 state – Nevada, Arizona, California
  • 5 people
  • 9 cities – Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Merced, SFO, Ventura, LA, Long Beach, Santa Monica, San Diego 
  • 11 nights
  • 12 days
  • 2462 miles
  • ∞ (infinite) memories

and it’s gonna be legen…wait for it…dary!! 👐


Fasten your seat belt to enjoy the mesmerizing journey of  the most beautiful places in the United states.

  • Day 0: Arrival in Las Vegas
  • Day 1: Beginning of our 12-day West Coast USA Road Trip from sin city- Las Vegas
Bellagio Fountain
  • Day 2: Grand Canyon National Park, the most popular National Park in the Western USA.
Trail View Point
  • Day 3: Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend 
  • Day 4: Death Valley National Park. One of the places we like the most during our 12-day West Coast USA trip.
  • Day 5: Yosemite National Park, a must-visit place on the West Coast.
Mirror Lake in Yosemite
  • Day 6: SFO and Pacific Drive,  the nation’s most scenic drive
Golden Gate Bridge
  • Day 7: Channel Island- Santa Cruz, the most beautiful Island with clear blue water and untouched beauty all around
Scorpion Ranch
  • Day 8: Los Angeles, the center of the nation’s film and television industry
Mt Hollywood
  • Day 9: DisneyLand, fairyland where Disney characters come alive
DisneyLand Castle
  • Day 10: San Diego. The place has the most serene and calm beaches
La Jolla Beach
  • Day 11: Red Canyon and Seven Magic mountain. Return flight from VegasEnd of our 12-day Western US trip.
Red Rock Canyon Sign Board
Red Rock Canyon Sign Board

So there we have it, a little overview of our West Coast USA road trip. I hope this helps anyone planning a road trip.


Below is a breakdown of the average costs of a West Coast USA road trip.

Item  Total 
Flight from Indy to Vegas $200 per head(ph)
Car for an entire trip, starting from Vegas  $450
Insurance (Road-side+Collision) $400
Fuel for an entire trip $350
Hotel Stay for an entire trip $800
National Park Pass – America the Beautiful(Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, Red Rock Canyon, Cabrillo National Monment) $80
Parking and Tolls  $70
Food – 3 meals $300 ph
Shopping and souvenir $100 ph
DisneyLand  $149 ph
Chanel Island Ferry  $59 ph
Antelope Canyon Tour $42 ph
Total  $2000 ph


  1. BEST SEASON: The most popular seasons to travel to the West Coast of America are spring and autumn. However, we chose December as the temperatures are pleasant and ideal for hiking. Wintertime is also not touristy and you can escape the crowds. An additional advantage is that both flights and stays are a lot cheaper than in high season.
  2. CAR RENTAL: To get a better price on Rental cars, I would recommend booking well in advance.
  3. REFUELING: As the Fuel Prices are higher on the west coast. So, consider about getting your tank filled inside the cities to save dollars
  4. ACCOMMODATION: Hotels are quite expensive at some of the places. You can book on Airbnb website for better prices. Some of the places where we found better prices on Airbnb are Flagstaff, SFO and LA
  5. CLOTHING: Temperature on the west coast is quite variable and changeable. Carry enough layers for places like Antelope Canyon, Yosemite, etc. 
  6. START EARLY: As the sun set early in December and every day you must be traveling to reach your destination. So, Hit the roads as early as possible to spend a good time in the light and of course to get better pictures.
  7. FOOD: Finding the right kind of food is a challenge but there are enough good Indian restaurants on the west coast. If nothing works out, Chipotle burrito bowl is the closest to Indian flavor.
  8. NATIONAL PARK PASS: You can get America the beautiful National Pass as you are going to visit 4 to 5 national parks on this trip. This will definitely save some dollars for you.


This 12-day road trip has everything a good road trip should; ever-changing landscapes, picturesque pit stops, nightlife, culture, and an abundance of history!

Would we go back? Most definitely, next time we’d like to start up in Vancouver or Seattle. In addition, we’d also like to do a lot more from LA downwards and then fly from San Diego to Hawaii. 

I am going to write a separate post for each day we have spent on the West coast. So, stay tuned for more interesting Travel stories.

I have written a detailed post on the days we have spent on the West Coast- Las Vegas, Grand Canyon National Park, Antelope Canyon X, Horseshoe Bend, Death Valley, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco and Channel Islands National Park. Stay tuned for more interesting Travel stories.

Do you have questions or do you want to share your travel stories? Leave a comment below.

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