You’ll find outdoor adventure, arts and culture, epic views, Michelin-approved restaurants, and more.

Yellowstone's Madison River
Montana's Yellowstone Country. Photo by Ken Takata.

Every year the Sunset Travel Awards honor the best in travel in the West. This year we had over 600 entries across all categories (a record number!). These areas are the 2023 winners of the Where to Go: Best Destinations category. Check out the complete list of winners here. For our definitive directory to travel in the West, click here.

Best Destinations

Montana’s Yellowstone Country

Montana's Yellowstone Country Madison River

Ken Takata

There’s perhaps no region more emblematic of the West than Montana’s Yellowstone Country. And its majesty spans far beyond the national park, with nine blue-ribbon trout streams, rodeos, ski areas, and endless opportunities to recreate under the big sky.

Willamette Valley

Willamette Valley Brickhouse Vineyards

Carly Diaz

Located less than a two-hour drive from Portland, this hub for regenerative travel in the Pacific Northwest is one of the country’s premiere wine regions, but also has ample opportunities for hiking, biking, dining, and recreating along the mind-bogglingly beautiful Oregon coast.

Santa Fe County

Santa Fe County Dale Ball Hiking Trail

Santa Fe County

The quintessential high-desert New Mexico destination manages to encompass a world-class opera, ski resorts and spas, art and culture, and nature and history. And it continues to evolve with immersive experiences like Meow Wolf and the new Sky Railway offering themed train rides.

San Francisco Peninsula

SEPT - Harley Goats.jpg

Courtesy of The San Francisco Peninsula

Just south of the city, the peninsula offers everything you need for an idyllic weekend getaway, with the striking coastal towns of Half Moon Bay and Pacifica, picturesque beaches, sustainable farms, and the legendary surf spot Mavericks.

The Santa Ynez Valley

Santa Ynez Valley

Craft & Cluster/Visit the Santa Ynez Valley

The not-so-secret getaway for in-the- know Californians is home to dozens of incredible wineries, hotels for every budget and aesthetic (from mod motel to Danish modern to luxe resort), Michelin-approved restaurants, and six charming towns that epitomize Central Coast country-chic charm.