If you want to make 2015 a year of adventure and new travel destinations, it’s time to plan a trip along the West Coast of the United States. It’s often been said that the West Coast is the “best coast” and “West is best” and what better way to confirm this declaration than by planning an exciting road trip in your handicap accessible van? Starting up north and making your way down the coast, some of the best cities in the West offer accessible options.
Top 5 Wheelchair-Friendly Cities: West Coast
Seattle, Washington is the perfect destination to start off your excursion. Head to the beloved (and very tall) iconic Space Needle for amazing sights. The towering building offers wheelchair accessible elevators and lifts, allowing those with restricted mobility to visit the observation deck to experience a bird’s eye view of the city and surrounding mountains. If you’re looking for a fun time and happen to have a soft spot for fantasy and science fiction, the Science Fiction Museum is another great stop to add to your itinerary. The attraction was designed in conjunction with the disabled community, so seeing Star Wars and Fantasy Hall of Fame exhibits will be a breeze. With so much to offer, you won’t want to miss experiencing the exciting city of Seattle.
Wake up and smell the roses. Portland, Oregon, also known as “The City of Roses,” is another wonderful destination on your West Coast drive. There are plenty of accessible attractions that can provide you with breathtaking experiences, like Multnomah Falls, a wheelchair accessible waterfall viewing site. A beautiful, accessible trail leads you to spectacular scenery, while handicapped restrooms and parking are available throughout the site. Because of its popularity, you’ll want to be sure to arrive on the early side to ensure a parking spot. The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is another very wheelchair-friendly attraction. They even created a lift on one of the more popular attractions, “Spruce Goose,” to create the same experience for those with limited mobility.
Drive into Reno, Nevada for some truly unforgettable adventures. For those 21 and over, Reno offers endless opportunities for excitement, including taking your chances at the tables and slots. Who know? Your pockets might even be a bit heavier by the time you move on to the next city. Getting around the city is also easily accessible, with bus transit systems offering discounted prices for those who need mobility assistance. Reno also boasts many accessible shows, restaurants and parks across the city, sure to make for an exhilarating getaway.
San Diego, CA
Get ready to talk about the weather. It’s always sunny and 75°F in this beautiful, Southern California city. Your first stop is none other than the world famous San Diego Zoo. The zoo offers special parking, access to shows, and exhibit entrances for guests with disabilities. The zoo also gives caretakers of disabled persons free admission, so everyone in your party can get up close with magnificent and exotic animals. And what’s a trip to Southern California without a visit to the beach? The gorgeous Mission Beach along the Pacific Ocean has wheelchair-accessible parking, restrooms and picnic tables. Manual and motorized beach wheelchairs are also available for rent to spend a leisurely day along the California coast.
What better way to conclude your West Coast journey than in the scenic state of Arizona? The weather and scenery in Tucson is enough to get anyone to visit. With all the accessibility options, it is a fitting end destination for your travels. If you want to experience the great outdoors, then look to the Sonora Desert Valley. There are almost a thousand miles of paved paths perfect for wheelchair access. The completely accessible Arizona-Sonora Museum is another must-see with its hummingbird aviary and impressive Warden Aquarium.
Whether you visit one or all of these destinations, let us know about your accessible adventures during your travel. Or if you know a great accessible location to visit, share it with us on our Facebook page. If you are looking for a wheelchair accessible vehicle, new, used or a rental, NMEDA dealers can help.
National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.