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Architect-US

West Roadtrip

New York>>>San Francisco-Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-Los Angeles-San Diego>>>New York was the amazing route. It would be obviously impossible for me to explain everything about the trip but I think it is worth it to give you a broad stroke about the highlights of every place.

It’s time for summer vacations! And a great opportunity to travel around United States. Two friends of mine and myself planned months ago an ambitious route to visit some of the most outstanding venues in the West Coast (and a little bit of the interior states) during ten days.

New York>>>San Francisco-Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-Los Angeles-San Diego>>>New York was the amazing route. It would be obviously impossible for me to explain everything about the trip but I think it is worth it to give you a broad stroke about the highlights of every place:

San Francisco

Is such a picturesque city, maybe the most beautiful in the country after New York  (well, they have different natures). Riding a bike and crossing Golden Gate is definitely a great plan. You will reach Sausalito, which is a nice city full of cute houses in the mountainside facing the bay. And then coming back to SF by ferry, where you will see pretty close Alcatraz Island. Don’t forget some warm clothes. It can be chilly in summer.

Las Vegas.

We were here just one night, at Caesars Palace… and it was crazy. The city (maybe “theme park” is a better name for it) is a very interesting study case as Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steve Izenour explained in Learning from Las Vegas. My only advice is: be aware of your money, it can disappear from your pocket before you realize!

Grand Canyon

Definitely the most impressive natural landscape I’ve seen in this country so far. Grand Canyon is huge, so you have to choose what to see if you don’t  have a lot of time. In our case we just visited the South Rim, but we visited some other incredible venues relatively close like Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon or Meteor Crater.

Los Angeles

Many people say that there is nothing really interesting to see or to do in this city, but I disagree at all. LA is the second largest city in the country and I can tell you that because of the 24 hours traffic jam…not joking. Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Griffith Observatory, etc are nice and interesting spots to see. But mainly for architects, please don’t miss The Getty Center by Richard Meier. It’s a masterpiece, with a lot of reminiscence to Alhambra in Granada.

San Diego

Before you leave LA you can make a quick visit to San Bernardino, just to see where the first McDonald’s restaurant was created. After that, reaching San Diego through the freeway is a nice trip because you can see the whole Pacific Ocean to your right (actually we didn’t because it was night time, but we still believe it is nice). San Diego is a nice and calm city. Doing a walk in the coast line, going to the beach or visiting Old Town are good plans. Also going to La Jolla beach and visiting Salk Institute by Louis Kahn is a must (but we didn’t neither. We were exhausted and also running out of time).

If I can, I will definitely come back to the West Coast. There are many things I’ve missed. Also, travelling with friends can be hard sometimes and you have to choose what to do and what not to. Before doing a trip make sure your friends and you share similar interests and priorities because your friends and you can suffer vacation stress if you don’t reach agreements or do a good scheduling. Despite this, the main goal of a road trip is enjoying it, so if you keep this in mind it’s not necessary to have any problems.

Miguel de la Ossa

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