Antarctica & Arctic
West Coast USA brings you the most iconic and world-renowned national parks the country has to offer, coupled with big cities, beautiful coastline and spectacular beaches, with farm-to-table cuisine and an exciting legacy of beer, wine and food.
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Destinations > West Coast USA
From the old growth forest and rainforests of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Olympic National Park and the quiet reaches of Puget Sound where you can kayak in search of birds and wildlife to the imaginative craft breweries and wineries of Oregon and California, the West Coast of the USA is full of stunning scenery and coastal charm, plus quirky and cosmopolitan cities, home to world-famous landmarks and a vibrant culinary scene. California's iconic National Parks are a celebration of nature, with breathtaking waterfalls and some of the world's oldest and largest trees. The mighty Grand Canyon and the rugged desert vistas combine with the undiscovered gems of Nevada for a unique and fascinating exploration of the American West.
Crossing various time zones, there is always good weather somewhere in the United States. Summer is the most popular time to visit, but winter offers plenty for the more active looking for snow. Los Angeles weather ranges from 14-25ºC degrees year round with New York averaging from 5-30ºC degrees.
The Pacific Northwest is one of the lesser visited gems, with expansive plains, soaring mountains and a rugged coastline all waiting to be discovered. Explore the vineyards along the Columbia River and hike through stunning national parks.
The West Coast is blessed with a number of world-famous and lesser-known national parks, from Yosemite and Sequioa with their mighty drawcards to the haunting landscapes and desert blooms of Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks.
CRUISE DOWN HIGHWAY 1
Follow one of the world's most celebrated highways on a coast-hugging drive. Starting or ending in San Francisco, visit quaint villages, elegant Santa Barbara, award-winning wineries and bustling Los Angeles and stop at beautiful beaches along the way.
SAMPLE DELICIOUS WINES
California's famed wine country covers so many diverse areas, from the grand, expansive estates of the famous Napa Valley and the sun-drenched North Coast wine country to the zinfandels of the Gold Country, where vines were planted back in the Gold Rush days.
EXPLORE THE COAST & WATERWAYS
Paddle in Puget Sound and the San Juan islands and watch for birds, orca and other marine life, or take a scenic voyage along the Snake and Columbia Rivers to retrace the steps of Lewis and Clarke, or visit five viticulture areas with a specialised wine and culinary river cruise.
ICONIC LODGE ACCOMMODATION
Experience a bygone era of the Pacific Northwest with a stay at a unique ranch or lodge, nestled in the wilderness, offering breathtaking views, secluded, rustic luxury and unsurpassed natural beauty.
The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact a travel doctor.
Vaccination against Hepatitis B should be considered by frequent or long stay travellers to the United States. Dengue Fever occurs in the US, thus insect avoidance measures may be recommended depending on your itinerary.
Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. Australians travelling to the United States should ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay.
Electrical Plug type: USA
Voltage: 110-120 Volts
Modem Plug: US (same as Australia).
Country Code for the USA: +1
Visa Global Assistance: 1866 765 9644
Emergency Services: 911
Shopping hours vary widely based on management considerations and customer needs. Key variables are the size of the metropolitan area, the type of store, and the size of the store. Typical store shopping hours are Monday - Saturday 9 - 10am to 8 - 10pm and Sunday 11 - 12 noon to 5 -7pm.
Tipping is a widely practiced social custom in the United States. In restaurants, a gratuity of 15% to 20% of the amount of a customer’s check (receipt/bill) is customary when good service is provided. Tips are also generally given for services provided in golf courses, casino, hotels, food delivery, taxis, and salons.
There are numerous underground train systems in operation in major cities including San Francisco (BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit); others are being planned or built. There are also several tramway and trolleybus systems, including the much-loved antique trams found in San Francisco, although in many cities a car will be needed to get around, due to lack of public transport.
English 82%, Spanish 11%, other European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific Island 2.7%.
For the most up to date information regarding visas for Australian passport holders to the United States, visit www.dfat.gov.au/visas/
Americans are friendly and informal. People tend not to wait to be introduced and will begin to speak to strangers whether in a queue, sitting next to each other, etc. Americans can be direct and value logic and linear thinking ans speak clearly and in a straightforward manner. Greetings in the USA are casual and a handshake, smile and "hello" are all that are needed.
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