Hipmunk Hotels: Exploring the Outdoors Along the West Coast from Bellingham to Chula Vista

The sunny West Coast of America with ocean, lakes and rugged mountains, is the perfect region to explore West Coast USA with some outdoor adventures. Avoid the usual tourist spots and take a detour to some of the less popular cities.

Explore West Coast USA Outdoors

Bellingham, Washington

Bellingham lies right near the top of Washington state close to the Canadian border. Vancouver in Canada is only an hour drive. The region offers an abundance of outdoor activities, with Mount Baker nearby, hiking trails, Alaska Ferry, and sailing or kayaking on the Salish Sea and surrounding lakes. A must-do in Bellingham are it’s two famous scenic drives, Chuckanut Drive and Mount Baker Highway. Bellingham offers a broad range of accommodation from budget hotels, luxury hotels and RV and camping sites. Anderson Creek Lodge is perfect for those seeking a secluded lodge cabin hideaway.

Explore West Coast USA: Chuckanut Drive Bellingham West Coast
Chuckanut Drive, Bellingham. Image via Flickr by Alan Turkus / CC BY 2.0.

Renton, Washington

Eleven miles from downtown Seattle you’ll find the city of Renton sitting along the shores of Lake Washington.You can choose to stay in Renton, Seattle or Bellevue. Renton offers beautiful views of the lake, Mount Rainier, the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges. The Cedar River runs through the downtown area offering hiking trails and river tubing. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park offers picnic spots, playground equipment, water walk, fishing pier, and summer swimming area.

Explore West Coast USA: Welcome to Renton Washington West Coast
Welcome to Renton: Image via Wikimedia by Westernyankee / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fairfield, California

Located between San Francisco and Sacramento, making Fairfield an ideal point to explore all three cities. Staying in Fairfield is a good kid-friendly holiday option, with theme parks, go-karts, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and the Jelly Belly Candy Company which offers tours of its factory. For the adults, Fairfield has a thriving wine community in the Solano County. Stay in Fairfield near the peaceful wine region or in nearby Napa Valley. Make sure you squeeze in a visit to Rush Ranch, a grassland and estuary where you can see blacksmith demonstrations, learn about Native American tools and decorations, and take a guided walk along the tidal marsh and grassland.

Explore West Coast USA: Napa Valley California West Coast
Napa Valley Vineyards in Fall: Image via Flickr by James Daisa / CC BY-SA 2.0

Burbank, California

Burbank is only 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles; and home to numerous media and entertainment companies like Warner Bros, The Walt Disney Company, and ABC Studios; many of whom offer studio tours. There are plenty of hotels in Burbank near popular studios, like The Tangerine which is within walking distance of Warner Bros. Don’t forget that this is sunny southern California; so take advantage of Burbank’s outdoor activities like horseback riding, bicycling, or catch a summer concert at the Starlight Bowl amphitheatre.

Explore West Coast USA: Burbank California West Coast
Warner Bros Studio Tour. Image via My Daily Burbank

Chula Vista, California

Right at the bottom of California near the Mexican border is the city of Chula Vista. The name means “beautiful view” and lives up to it with miles of coast, mountains, canyons, trails, and lakes. There’s Seaworld Aquatica for a fun family outing, Otay Ranch Town Center (an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment center), and Sleep Train Amphitheater (San Diego’s premier outdoor music venue). There’s no shortage of hotels to suit every budget, and if you’re planning on visiting Tijuana hotels like the Palomar Inn is just 6 miles from the border.

Explore West Coast USA: Chula Vista California West Coast, Mount San Miguel
Flying over Mount San Miguel, Chula Vista. Image via Flickr by Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0

About Deevra Norling

Website: http://deevranorling.com

With a love for exploring new places and trying new foods, Deevra finds the world a fascinating place. She is South African by birth but prefers to see herself as a citizen of the world. Deevra is a freelance writer who has contributed to Career Addict and Huffington Post and currently writes for Hipmunk. For more on her writing services email her at [email protected], or connect on Twitter @DeevraNorling.

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