The western part of the United States is home to some of the nation's most fascinating cities. With so much to see and do, these exciting locations should be on any traveler's bucket list.

San Francisco, California: Buzzing City by the Bay

 article about 4 Western U.S. Cities to Add to Your Must-Visit List
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The jewel of the Bay Area, San Francisco is a picturesque coastal city known for its liberal attitudes and cultural diversity. Enjoy the excitement of Fisherman's Wharf where you can board the ferry to Alcatraz Island, browse the stores at Ghirardelli Square, visit the aquarium and sunning sea lions at Pier 39, and sample some of the best seafood you'll ever taste. 

While it's a little far from the action, many visitors prefer to stay in South San Francisco to avoid the crowds. South San Francisco hotels are relatively affordable and convenient to the city's airport.

Redlands, California: Peaceful Californian City With a Small-Town Feel

Redlands is only 63 miles east of Los Angeles, but it feels a world away from California's largest metropolis. Here you'll enjoy a quieter vacation with easy access to San Bernardino National Forest's hiking trails and more than 140 acres of parklands. 

History buffs will be in their element, with A.K. Smiley Public Library, the Redlands Central Railway Company Car Barn, the Mill Creek Zanja, the Beverly Ranch, and several other sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Redlands hotels will put you close to these historic properties and to local restaurants specializing in sushi and Mexican fare.

Redmond, Washington: Bike-Friendly Tech Center

You might know Redmond as the home of Microsoft and Nintendo, but this King County city is more than a tech hub. An easy 30-minute drive from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Redmond is home to beautiful parklands and Redmond Town Center, an outdoor mall with a fascinating mix of big-name stores and mom n' pop boutiques. The visitors' center at the Microsoft campus provides an insight into the history and operation of one of the world's leading technology firms. Eating out in Redmond won't break the bank, with all-you-can-eat Indian buffets and Italian family restaurants offering affordable and delicious meals.

Redmond is also home to Washington's only velodrome and numerous cycling trails. Hire a bike from a local store or selected Redmond hotels to explore the city on two wheels.

Boise, Idaho: State Capital Delivers For Tourists

Boise is Idaho's state capital and its largest city, but unlike many metropolises, it's not a place where you're encouraged to stay indoors. Its location at the base of the Rocky Mountains lures travelers who enjoy hiking, skiing, boating, cycling, and other active pursuits. When you've worked up an appetite, try one of the gourmet restaurants downtown. The city streets can get crowded on game days, so book a Boise hotel near local sporting venues to easily cheer on the Idaho Stampede, Idaho Steelheads, or the young football heroes from Boise State University.

When exploring the West, these fascinating cities are a must. Take your time to discover the unique attractions and experiences that make each one special.