North America

The American West / Travel Story

The hills of San Francisco immediately give the impression of being a projection from an action movie with high-speed chases and howling sirens. Yet, one feels comfortable in this city on the Pacific coast of the United States, where one walks around the steep streets lined with Victorian houses, not to mention the ethnic neighbourhoods, Chinatown, Japantown or Mission.

After the must-see Golden Gate, we walk to the indoor organic market located in the old Ferry Building Marketplace before tasting the clam chowder, the local clam soup in one of the seafood restaurants of Fisherman’s Wharf.

Under the pontoons, we can see the sea lions playing with the waves and, in the distance, the island of Alcatraz seemingly enshrouded in vaporous mists.

After a few days spent visiting the museums of San Francisco, we embark on the 17 Mile Drive, a scenic drive around the peninsula, separating the bay from Monterey to the north and Carmel.

Off the shores of Monterey and its steep cliffs, we come across Bird Rock, habitat of seabirds, cormorants, seagulls or pelicans and also Seal Rock with its colonies of seals. Quick gourmet stop at the confectionery of Carmel by the Sea, a charming village with lanes that look like a background from an operetta and many art galleries, set up on a hillside.

We continue our journey to stop at Big Sur, at the Post Ranch Inn, a luxurious address whose futuristic wood, concrete and glass structures are clinging to the cliff offering a breathtaking view of the Pacific. We spend a few nights there, exploring the wild beaches and the steep landscape of the Big Sur area, as well as taking part in relaxing yoga sessions.

We continue towards the south and to Santa Barbara first, a glamorous seaside resort at the foot of the Santa Ynez Mountains with its shops, ubiquitous flowers and ancient buildings. Feeling rested, we arrive in top form in the city of the Angels, end point of the mythical Route 66. Los Angeles splashes glitter! Hollywood, the Universal Studios, where you can immerse yourself in the scenery of cult movies, the chic neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and the extravagant shopping of Rodeo Drive, fashionable districts, Downtown, Little Tokyo and Olvera Street, the Mexican district, not forgetting of course the beaches of Malibu, Venice or Santa Monica.

It takes several days to take the time to appreciate the megalopolis and then we fly away to Las Vegas in the state of Nevada, a city with impromptu buildings, set up in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

Be warned: if you love games and entertainment, this is the place! In Vegas, place full of all temptations, the hotel-casinos with the dazzling glow of flashing neon lights in the background are everywhere.

After this flash visit, we head for Utah and Amangiri, a member of the Aman luxury hotel collection. On the natural site of Canyon Point imbued with the Indian Navajo culture, the Amangiri is not only an address for incredible “design” suites, but also the starting point for tailor-made explorations to the most famous national parks which can be explored by helicopter.

Thus, the Grand Canyon listed as a World Heritage Site and its vertiginous rocks in shimmering colors, shaped by the Colorado River.

Zion National Park with its high vertical sandstone chimneys, Bryce Canyon with its pink arrows and crests holding tight against each other, like petrified legendary characters, or Monument Valley, a typical landscape of the American Wild West with its Giant mounds that emerge from the desert, where one almost expects to see John Wayne in the setting sun and the movie “The End” in the background.

Our Travel Story in the American West is a non exhaustive example. Thanks to our expertise and our partner’s expertise, we create custom-made itinerary, specific to the regions or the themes you are interested in. Do not hesitate to contact us by phone on + (33) 1 42 96 00 76 or by email at info@exclusifvoyages.com.