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Road tripping this spring? Here are 188 destinations to choose from

April 06, 2011|By Jason La | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
  • Spectacular granite formations, plus unique desert plants, make Joshua Tree National Park a rock star. Climbers from around the world scramble across its boulder fields and ascend its spires and pillars.
Spectacular granite formations, plus unique desert plants, make Joshua… (Christopher Reynolds /…)

Days are warming up and wildflowers are in bloom. Sure, you could wait for summer's balmy weather, but you run the risk of higher gas prices. Now's the time to go. One question lingers. Where do I go? We're here to help.

The Travel Section's road trip guide offers up to 188 destinations in the West, ranging from Lava Beds National Monument in Northern California to Valley of Fire State Park, about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. It includes a handy tool for estimating how much you'll spend on gas.

If you're a nature lover, head over to Joshua Tree National Park near Palm Springs, where wildflowers are in bloom. You can expect to see parish's golden poppies, desert trumpets and blazing stars. Consult the park's wildflower guide for a complete list. For a guided tour, join one of the park's ranger-led wildflower walks. The next walk is Friday. Meet at the Cottonwood Visitor Center at 11 a.m. More desert destinations »

For culture, head to the Bay Area. The 2011 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival runs Saturday and Sunday and again on April 16-17 in San Francisco's Japantown near Post and Buchanan streets. While you're in the Bay Area, check out Tomales Bay, about 40 miles away, where you can shuck your own oysters fresh from the sea. More Bay area destinations »

If you're over 21, relax in California Wine Country. Enjoy classic wine country in Napa Valley, about 400 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Sip Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Grigio closer to home in Paso Robles, about 200 miles away.  More wine country destinations »

If none of these spots makes you want to get up and go, you're in luck. We've got more than 180 other places to choose from:

188 road trips in the West

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