The West Coast of the United States is beautiful—no one can question that. With the slowly sloping beaches where the waters are dotted by surfers on their boards and the quiet forest trails with hikers and nature lovers stopping to peer upwards at the inconceivable size of the redwoods, to the small but boisterous bars serving locally brewed craft beers, there’s a reason it is so easy to fall in love with the West Coast. Photographers will find no shortage of captivating locales along the West Coast, whether you’re ambling through California or trekking through Oregon and Washington State.

Seattle, Washington

World-class coffee, small micro-breweries crafting delicious and locally produced beers, endless musical and artistic venues and exhibitions, and a sense of community and open arms that hits you as soon as you arrive—that’s Seattle for you. The city was founded a full 75 years after US independence and has been making up for lost time ever since its renaissance in the 1960s. Seattle is a great place for portraits of people enjoying the musical and culinary scene, as well as a prime location for landscape photographers. The iconic Space Needle can be spotted from almost anywhere in the city.

Best of all, though, they make one mean cup of coffee.

Los Angeles, California

Why you’d want to take photos in L.A. is probably pretty obvious. There are celebrities running amok throughout the city, there are palm trees that line most streets, the imminently famous Hollywood sign can be seen high above the city and an energetic, never-ending hustle of the city’s inhabitants can inspire the imagination. Try taking photos of the native LA-ers, the architecture, the sunrises, the juxtaposition of city life and nature…whatever catches your eye.

San Francisco, California

In this 11-by-11km peninsula, there is more to see and do than you’d initially think. Photographers will find their eyes drawn to the ever climbing hills and valleys, the picturesque cable cars that run through the city, some of the most inventive and unusual meals and restaurants on the West Coast, and the fun and fabulous people that are lucky enough to call San Francisco home. Bring your wide-angle lens for a full panorama of the Golden Gate Bridge for those days where the fog lifts and the whole beautiful bridge is visible.

Portland, Oregon

Dynamic but mellow, Portland may be the best spot for amateur photographers armed with their Instagram accounts and countless filters just waiting to be applied. Portland is full of photo-worthy sights, from the vibrant downtown to the often unusual and wacky people that have settled here. Portland is a haven for eco-activists, cyclists, hipsters, dog-lovers, outdoor fanatics, and more, and this community unabashedly supports the countless brewpubs, knitting circles, book clubs and coffeehouses that have put down roots in Portland. Culturally diverse and photographically-friendly, Portland is a great spot for nature photographers, food photographers, and portrait photographers.

Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley is synonymous with grapes and wine production in California, and it should come as no surprise that the opportunities for taking high-quality photos of the wineries and vineyards are endless. As you wine and dine your way through the valley, you’ll have the chance to get up close and personal to the folks producing the wine, the traditional methods of cultivating the grapes and vines as well as the countryside that supports and maintains the thriving wine culture. Stick around one of the wineries for a sunset snapshot that most others wouldn’t think to get.

After you’ve taken the time to properly frame a shot and do all the hard work to come out with the best possible photos, the last thing you want to happen is have those pictures or your expensive equipment become lost or damaged. To protect your holiday, your memories and your equipment consider a travel insurance policy with adjustable excesses and levels of cover. Compare Cover-More’s plans and see which plan best meets your needs.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Bryce Edwards