West Coast Road Trip: Huntington Beach & Las Vegas
Seeing the morning sun peek out from behind the mountain tops after driving for 18 hours and looking over at my best friend sipping a Redbull. That’s how I remember the last day of our west coast road trip. Tired but so, so happy. It was hard to believe that just one day earlier we were in Las Vegas in the desert heat. And the day before that we had been watching the sun rise on the California coast. Life really is crazy sometimes.
In May 2019 my boyfriend, Josh, and I drove down the west coast from our hometown on Vancouver Island, Canada, to Las Vegas, Nevada and back. This is the fourth, and last blog post of the series detailing our trip. I hope it provides some practical information and some travel inspiration.
We had already enjoyed a full day at Newport back on day eight. But we loved Newport so much that we went back for some more exploring and beaching. We went on a long walk and bought souvenirs for our family, $49 US. We of course had to do a repeat of Seaside Donuts, $6 US, and lay in the sun.
We grabbed lunch at the Rockfire Grill, $45 US, in Huntington Beach with delicious food and cheap beer. We were tired out from the drinks and sun so Josh had a nap on the beach until dinner, $11 US. And of course another sunset! Huntington Beach had to be some of the most relaxing days of our trip. The town has a slow feel to it and the neighbourhood was friendly.
Started our day with Coffee at a brand new cafe called Milk n Honey, $3 US before getting gas, $35 US, and leaving for Vegas! The drive took 4 hours and we stopped at an outlet mall for Josh to do some shopping. We also stopped at the dollar store for floaty tubes, $3 US, so we wouldn’t have to rent tubes at the hotel pool. Saved us almost $50.
We checked into our magical hotel, the MGM Grand! Vegas seriously is the craziest place, it is both luxurious and fake simultaneously. The energy in Vegas was definitely not my favourite but I am a huge Ocean’s Eleven fan so getting to see the Bellagio and Ceaser’s Palace was pretty memorable.
We spent the afternoon walking along the strip doing some amazing people watching. We feasted on nachos and margaritas at Hechos restaurant in our hotel, $64 US. Cannot recommend it enough! But something I do not recommend? Buying overpriced slushy drinks from the strip. We spent $26 US and ended up in bed with stomach aches by 10:30pm.
We woke up late and headed to the pool at mid-morning. Our dollar-store tubes were a bit too small and I fell off my floaty and scraped my knee. Not my best moment! Nevertheless, the lazy river was dreamy and the sun was hot. We got hungry and split an appetizer platter for lunch from the Hard Rock Cafe, $53 US.
We walked through the surrounding hotels and then back to the pool for a little swim and nap. After dinner, $35 US, we enjoyed drinks at Centrifuge and Losers Bar. A very tasty and fun night to end our Vegas experience.
Josh left his sunglasses in our room after we checked out so we were a little late leaving the strip. We drove for 2 hours before stopping for gas, $35 US, and lunch, $24 US. We drove until 7:30pm through flat desert – not much excitement as far as views. We stopped at Chipotle, $14 US, for our last dinner and decided to drive all the way home through the night instead of taking another 2 days to get home.
Driving for 20 hours with a 2-hour power nap from 2-4:00am sure made for an adventure! Josh was a champion, he drove for 16 of the 20 hours (Gas, $109 US). We crossed the border bright and early and arrived at the Tsawassan Ferry, $92, at 8am and caught the 11am ferry home to Vancouver Island.
Our road trip down the Oregon Coast and the PCH to Las Vegas and back feels like a blur of chocolate-covered pretzels, coastline, and early morning banter. I can honestly say I would go again in a heartbeat.