One of the first places that comes to mind when people think of van life is the USA. And for good reason! Offering some of the most stunning views and experiences on the planet, the possibility for van life adventure is virtually limitless.
So get ready for some of the world’s most spectacular National Parks and trails, as we explore our top destinations for the ultimate van life inspo: USA edition.
Yosemite National Park
Often hailed as one of the most impressive national parks across the entire US, Yosemite is a van lifer’s dream.
Yosemite National Park is located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. And as California is one of the most popular van life destinations in the world, spending time at Yosemite is likely top of many lists.
From stunning views virtually everywhere you turn to an abundance of wildlife, you can spend multiple days (or even weeks!) here without running out of places to explore.
There’s plenty of hiking trails to enjoy, as well as climbing, swimming, and multiple camping options to suit many preferences. And with many of Yosemite’s rivers and lakes being pretty big, you can even give paddleboarding a try.
Hailed for its stunning red rock mountains, Arizona’s Sedona is the ultimate hiking destination. There’s plenty of unique trails to explore and enjoy, as well as lots of biking opportunities too. And if you fancy taking a break from traditional van life, the main town of Sedona is home to a great choice of quirky cafes and restaurants.
However, if you’re looking to take a total break from civilisation and have complete ‘me time’, Sedona may not be the best spot. It often gets super busy during peak season. But if you love nothing more than meeting fellow van dwellers and sharing stories amongst breath-taking views, Sedona is the place to be!
Glacier National Park
Home to hands-down some of the most beautiful views on the planet, Glacier National Park is in a league of its own. Situated within Montana’s Rocky Mountains, you’ll find a breathtaking array of valleys and glacier-topped peaks alongside the ever-photogenic Hidden Lake.
And if you’re a fan of natural wildlife, you’re in for a treat! From grizzly bears to mountain goats, there’s plenty to see. But if you’re not a fan of the cold weather, Glacier National Park could be one to avoid during the winter months. Temperatures can get very, very cold.
But provided you don’t mind the chill and have decent heating provisions in your van, you should be good to go.
San Diego, California
Home to so many van lifers, San Diego is the ultimate city destination for nomads. You’re pretty much guaranteed to connect with likeminded people and make new friends during your time here, with plenty to see and do. So if you’re travelling solo and find yourself feeling a little intimidated when coming to a new place, San Diego will always feel welcoming and relaxed.
From surfing to kayaking to exploring inner parts of the city, San Diego’s community spirit is truly difficult to beat. And if you frequently travel with your pooch, the entire area is super dog friendly – a definite bonus!
Yellowstone National Park
Spreading across Wyoming and across areas of Idaho and Montana too, Yellowstone National Park simply can’t be missed if touring the US in your van.
You’ll find a huge expanse of stunning alpine rivers, forests, massive canyons and natural hot springs – complete with super impressive geysirs. The Grand Prismatic Spring is an absolute must-see! The third largest hot spring in the world, its huge size and stunning colours are simply breath-taking.
Able to offer multiple days of exploration and gorgeous views no matter where you look, Yellowstone is certainly worthy of its stellar reputation. And if you don’t want to pay to stay at the specified camping grounds across the park, there’s plenty of free camping spots pretty near you can use to save money.
So, if you’re planning an upcoming trip to the US as a true van lifer, you’ve now got some key destinations to add to your list.
Now all that’s left to do is get your van fully kitted out with everything you need (including a portable fridge freezer!), and you’re ready to hit the road and enjoy some of the most awe-inspiring scenery you’ll ever see.