THE WEST Welcome to the Western United States where the weather is warm and wonderful!
San Francisco • Geography • San Francisco occupies the tip of a peninsula halfway up the coast of northern California, surrounded on three sides by bodies of water: the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate strait, and the San Francisco Bay. The city is laid out in a grid over some 40 hills, reaching heights of nearly 1,000 feet; this sometimes causes wide variations in temperature and sky conditions in different areas of town. The Pacific air keeps the temperatures generally moderate, rarely ranging above 75 degrees or below 45 degrees, leading San Francisco to be called "the air-conditioned city." The climate is very similar to coastal areas on the Mediterranean. • Area: 47 square miles (2000)Elevation: 155 feet above sea level • Avg. Temperatures: January, 52.3° F; August, 62.4° F; annual average, 58.6° F • Avg. Annual Precipitation: 22.1 inches • Fun things to do • Alcatraz is Surrounded by icy water and treacherous currents, Alcatraz was an ideal site for a high-security prison, and unsurprisingly, nearly all of those who tried to escape were caught, shot, or drowned. • Cable Car Rides. San Francisco designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964, cable cars are crowded but worth riding at least once for the gorgeous views. • Chinatown is a prime tourist destination, but it's also a bustling residential neighborhood, where dim sum scents the air and grocery stores sell chicken feet.. • Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square, covering about half a dozen blocks along the waterfront, constitute much of the stereotypical San Francisco image and together are perhaps the most popular things to do in San Francisco. Street performers entertain and souvenir shops and restaurants tempt spending. These places are popular and many people feel they haven't visited San Francisco unless they've seen them, but keep in mind that this tourist haven bears little resemblance to the rest of the City of San Francisco.
Denver • Geography Denver is situated in the high plains at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, which protect the city from severe winter weather. These mountains, reaching higher than 14,000 feet, are the dominant feature of the area. The South Platte River bisects the city, and many creeks, small lakes, and reservoirs grace the metropolitan area. Denver's climate is semiarid and relatively mild, with more sunny days than either Miami, Florida or San Diego, California. Although visitors must make some adjustment to the high altitude, they find that the area's low humidity makes even the highest and lowest temperatures seem less extreme. Area: 153 square miles Elevation: 5,332 feet above sea level Avg. Temperatures: January, 30.1° F; August 72.0° F; annual average, 50.0° F Avg. Annual Precipitation: 15.81 inches • Fun things to do • Denver Zoo • Red Rocks Park. The 868-acre Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, nestled in the Rocky Mountain Foothills just 15 miles outside of Denver near Morrison, was once listed among the Seven Wonders of the World—and with good reason. • U.S. Mint. Originally opened in the mid-1800s to change gold and silver found by miners and prospectors in the surrounding hills into coins and ingots, the Denver facility was bought by the US Treasury in 1863 and transformed into a US Mint. However, it wasn't until 1906 that the Denver facility began actually minting coins after being an Assay Office for the interim years. Today, free twenty-minute tours at the Denver based US Mint show visitors how blank ore become treasury coins. • Skiing and Winter sports • Hiking and rock climbing
Seattle • Geography • Seattle is situated on a series of hills in a lowland area on Puget Sound's eastern shore between the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east. Westerly air currents from the ocean and the shielding effects of the Cascade range produce a mild and moderately moist climate, with warm winters and cool summers. While Seattle is known for its rainy season and frequent cloudy weather, the average annual rainfall is actually less than that of many other cities in the United States, including New York and Atlanta. • Area: 83.9 square miles • Elevation: Sea level to 450 feet above sea level • Avg. Temperatures: January, 40.8° F; August, 66.1° F; annual average, 52.4° F • Avg. Annual Precipitation: 36.6 inches • Fun things to do • Pacific Science Center If you have kids & even if you're a single, couple or group, there are lots of things to do in Seattle at this Seattle attraction. You have 6-acres of hands-on fun! You and your kids will be amazed with the live butterflies, dinosaurs, live science shows, weather station, computer learning skills, the science of roller coasters and much, much, more. You can easily spend an entire day in the Science Center, a lot of things to do in Seattle at the Center. • Space needle • Washington You cannot come to Seattle without visiting this Seattle attraction, the Space Needle. Hopefully your visit will occur on one of those spectacular days we have in the Northwest. If the skies are clear you'll have a magnificent 360° view. Bring your camera and start shooting. This is great for the entire family. Your kids will love the elevator ride as it zooms 520 feet above Seattle. If you’d like to grab something to eat, enjoy the revolving restaurant. You can eat and watch the breathtaking views change as the restaurant revolves around. You never get tired of seeing the same thing, the views are constantly changing. state ferries • The museum of You cannot come to Seattle without visiting this Seattle attraction, the Space Needle. Hopefully your visit will occur on one of those spectacular days we have in the Northwest. If the skies are clear you'll have a magnificent 360° view. Bring your camera and start shooting. This is great for the entire family. Your kids will love the elevator ride as it zooms 520 feet above Seattle. If you’d like to grab something to eat, enjoy the revolving restaurant. You can eat and watch the breathtaking views change as the restaurant revolves around. You never get tired of seeing the same thing, the views are constantly changing. • The Museum Of Flight…Seattle's history was built around aircraft and the Museum of Flight does a fabulous job of telling the story. You’ll get a glimpse into Seattle past with a visit to the Boeing Building, the one that put Boeing on the map. And you'll experience the vast array of aircraft, from military and commercial to the experimental. The kids, and adults will enjoy visiting the replica control tower.