California & National Parks Explorer

14 Days, 1 Countries. Experience the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the iconic American wild west and the stunning natural scenery of five national parks
US$4,215 From US$2,640
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From US$2,640
Only 6 seats left at this price

Summary

USA bus tours don't come better than this. Taking a round trip from San Francisco, we’ll see some of the country's most beautiful scenery, visit famous attractions, trendy cities and natural wonders. We also give you lots of free time to discover cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas at your own pace.

The United States is a naturally gifted country. This Expat Explore tour introduces you to her parks, forests, and mountains. We'll drive the iconic Route 66 and take you to the magnificent Grand Canyon, Mojave Desert and Monument Valley. You’ll also visit no less than five national parks, including Yosemite, Death Valley and Arches National Park.

In addition to these natural wonders, we’ll mix it up with visits to some of America’s most vibrant cities, with two free days to rub shoulders with the rich and famous in LA, and a two night stay in the entertainment capital of the world, Vegas.

Book your American coach tour departing in 2018 with Expat Explore & get ready for a guided adventure like no other. Our USA bus tours are tailor-made for travellers who want to experience the best the United States has to offer.

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Why this Trip

  • All tour dates are guaranteed to depart.
  • No minimum numbers required.
  • All accommodation has free wifi & air-conditioning.
  • 12 month National Parks pass included.
  • Only 10% deposit or minimum $80.00 required and no booking fees.

Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here

Start in: San Francisco

San Francisco, 07:00 hrs
End in: San Francisco

San Francisco, TBC
Duration: 14 Days
Ages: 10 - 75+
Places: 1 Countries
25 Experiences

DAY 1: San Francisco, CA - Monterey Area, CA - Paso Robles, CA

Welcome to the California & National Parks Explorer tour! After meeting up in San Francisco this morning, we'll immediately set out for Moss Landing Harbor, where we'll make a quick photo stop. Moss Landing is known for its rich marine life, so if we're lucky we'll see some sea otters and dolphins from the shore. Then we're off to Monterey Fisherman's Wharf, where you'll have some free time to explore and grab some lunch at the many great restaurants. We'll then make our way along the stunning 17-Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula to Paso Robles, enjoying views of the Big Sur along the way. This quaint settlement on the banks of the famous Salinas river is all about the wineries and hot springs. We'll check in at our hotel, before heading out to enjoy a welcome dinner.

DAY 2: Paso Robles, CA - Santa Barbara, CA - Los Angeles, CA

Today we wave Paso Robles goodbye and make our way to Los Angeles. We break for free time for lunch in Santa Barbara, a beautiful city against the Ynez Mountains. Santa Barbara is also called the 'American Riviera' and known for its Spanish heritage. We then continue on our way to LA. We don't waste any time and start exploring immediately. Your tour leader will show you a few of the Hollywood hot spots even before dinner!

DAY 3: Los Angeles, CA - Free day

Today we greet the day in the City of Angels & take the full day to explore. You have a free day to do as you please. This means you can set out on your own or join in on an optional outing. You could get tickets to Disneyland or go on a day trip to Venice Beach & Santa Monica pier. Alternatively, hop over the border to Tijuana via San Diego. Movie fans could stick around in LA itself and go on a tour of the Warner Bros Hollywood Studio or Movie Stars' Homes. Feeling fancy? Dress up and join us at a medieval times dinner & show this evening. The options are endless in La La Land.

DAY 4: Los Angeles, CA - Free day

There is so much to see and do in LA that we've decided to give you another free day. This way you can tailor a Tinseltown adventure that ticks all your boxes. Just like yesterday, you have the option to follow your nose and do as you please. You also have the opportunity to go on optional excursions. You could go on the ultimate fairytale outing to Disneyland. Or you could get out of town and head over the border to Tijuana via scenic San Diego. Movie fan? Let's get you on the Warner Bros. lot so you can peak behind the scenes of famous TV-shows! Of maybe you'd like to see the current or one-time homes of famous movie stars? You could even dress up this evening and join us for a medieval-theme dinner and a jousting match. The choice is yours!

DAY 5: Los Angeles, CA - Calico, CA - Mojave National Preserve, CA - Lake Havasu, AZ

See ya Los Angeles! Today we continue on our USA coach tour. We drive through the stunning San Bernardino National Forest and make our way to Calico. Calico is a ghost town that hails from the silver mining era. We also encounter the Mojave National Preserve. You'll get to see incredible sight like volcanic cinder cones and the famous singing sand dunes. Not to mention carpets of wildflowers and imposing Joshua tree forests.

DAY 6: Lake Havasu, AZ - Grand Canyon West, AZ - Route 66, AZ

On we go! The next leg of our USA coach tour leads us to one of America's most famous sights - the Grand Canyon. This famous Arizona landmark is truly awe-inspiring. 277 miles from one end to the other, it's more vast than you can ever imagine. We'll take our time to gaze in wonder at the rocky walls that descend to the coursing Colorado River beneath.

DAY 7: Flagstaff, AZ - Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park - Monument Valley area

Today we visit the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. This majestic area is home to the famous Painted Desert and John Ford Point. We'll show you all the must-see sights and there is plenty of time to take keepsake pictures. There's also a stop at the historic Cameron Trading Post. Feel like adding to your experience? Join a Navajo guide on an optional drive through the mythical Monument Valley rock formations.

DAY 8: Monument Valley area - Arches National Park - Canyonlands National Park - Moab, UT

Your US holiday is about to get even more epic! Today we're off to see the famous stone formations at Arches National Park. We leave the bus to see the arches up close. Then we depart for Canyonlands National Park, where we drive onto the 'Island in the Sky'. This dramatic flat-topped hill overlooks dramatic sandstone formations from 1000 feet up!

DAY 9: Moab, UT - Bryce Canyon - Zion National Park

Our holiday in the Western US gets even more exciting as we make our way towards Capitol Reef National Park. This magnificent park is known for the famous Waterpocket Fold - a 160 km-long warp in the crust of the earth. Afterwards, we're off to Bryce Canyon National Park. Here we marvel at the world's largest concentration of hoodoos. A hoodoo is a lowering limestone spire that rises from the desert floor. Next, we travel to Zion, where we learn more about the region's fauna and flora, and see the Checkerboard Mesa, an ancient sandstone formation that will take your breath away.

DAY 10: Zion National Park - Las Vegas, NV

No USA coach tour would be complete without a visit to Las Vegas! Today we make our way to this hub of glitz and glamour in the Nevada desert. More than 41 million travellers visit Vegas each year and it's easy to see why. This bustling city is home to more than half of the world's largest hotels and 150+ casinos. Not to mention all the theatres and live performance venues. When we arrive we'll take you on a driving tour of the famous Strip - a boulevard known for its many glitzy hotels and casinos.

DAY 11: Las Vegas, NV - Free day

Today you have a full day to explore Las Vegas as you please. Your Expat Explore tour leader can assist you in arranging a trip to the Hoover Dam. Or you could join us on an optional outing to an evening show. Alternatively, try your hand at some roulette or black jack! There is a lot to see and do in Las Vegas. Get in touch before your US coach tour departs if you want more info on concerts and events you can attend.

DAY 12: Las Vegas, NV - Death Valley - Mammoth Lakes, CA

Goodbye Vegas! Today our guided USA coach tour takes us back to California via Death Valley. Death Valley is a national park where some of the highest temperatures EVER have been recorded. Along the way we stop at Badwater basin to see the iconic salt flats & take photos as a viewpoint. You also have the option to enjoy a soak at the Travertine Hot Spring at an extra charge. We journey through an amazing landscape to our evening destination. Tonight we sleep on the edge of the Sierra National Forest. From here we overlook the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains.

DAY 13: Mammoth Lakes, CA - Yosemite National Park - Stockton, CA

Today is the last full day of your US holiday vacation package. If the weather plays along we will travel via the scenic Tioga Pass to the Yosemite National Park. If not, we simply take another route to this beautiful destination. Yosemite is known for its waterfalls, meadows and granite monoliths. We will also stop over at Mono Lake. This afternoon is yours to explore as you please. Chat to your Expat Explore tour leader about private guided tours and bike rental. You could also go zip-lining! Tonight we stay over in Sonora, California.

DAY 14: Stockton, CA - Napa Valley, CA - San Francisco, CA

This morning we head for the wine region of California, stopping off in the Napa Valley wine region. Here we will visit a winery and have some free time in the quaint town. After some free time for lunch we will head for San Francisco and cross the Oakland Bay and Golden Gate bridges on the way. Our Expat Explore US coach tour concludes here in San Francisco. We hope you had an amazing experience and made memories to last you a lifetime!


Tour Accommodation


* Please note that we do use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here

.

What's Included

  • 13 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
  • Services of your Expat tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips to ensure that you get the most from your trip. You can also book any of the optional excursions available during your tour with your tour leader – please see the 'Essential Information' tab for more details.
  • 13 breakfasts, 7 dinners
  • Local taxes and fees
  • Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
  • 25 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)
  • Free Expat Explore tour souvenir – a memorable gift of your once in a lifetime trip.
  • 12 month National Parks pass

Optional Excursions

Optional excursions are payable in cash currency to your tour leader whilst on tour.
  • Hop-on, hop-off bus tour
  • Sunset dinner cruise
  • Santa Monica Pier & Venice beach day-trip
  • Warner Bros. Hollywood Studio tour & Movie Stars' Homes tour
  • Experience Monument Valley with a Navajo guide
  • Vegas evening show
  • Hoover Dam Excursion

Return customers get 10% off!

If you have traveled with us before you qualify for a 10% rebate. To claim your rebate, simply type your previous Booking Number in the "Special Notes" box at the final Payment step of the checkout. 

Save - without compromising on quality - by booking directly with the leading tour operator

How we make awesome trips affordable

  • No intermediary: You book directly from the tour operator so you don't have to pay any travel agent.
  • As a Europe leading bus tour operator we have 11 years of experience finding the best hotels for your budget and continuously optimizing our selection based on customer feedback.
  • We book our hotels well in advance so we get early bird rates that we can pass on to you!
  • Thanks to the great number of people who travel with us each year, we can negotiate great deals that would be quite impossible for you to find on your own.

Detailed Info Pack

  • Tour start & end points
  • Pre-departure information
  • Pre-tour accommodation

For more information on, starting points & times, emergency contact details, budgeting for your tour & much more you can download our information pack here.

Helpful Pre-Trip Info

Visa

Most nationalities will require a pre-arranged visa or Electronic System for Travel Authorization's (ESTA's) for this tour. Please see our visas page for more information. It is your responsibility to contact the relevant embassy to confirm your visa requirements. Where a visa is required Expat Explore can provide support documentation upon request - please contact us for more information.

On tour costs

Please refer to the tour itinerary for full details of the activities and meals that are included in the tour cost, and those which are optional/extra. We would recommend budgeting $50-75 per day (this excludes optional excursions, see the essential tour information page for details and prices).

Room Sharing

Please note, by default all rooms are twin bed rooms.

  • Partners: When you book for more than one person, we will by default group you together in a room (unless you specifically request us not to). If you are unequal numbers (3, 5, 7 etc.) and we are unable to secure a triple room then the the remaining traveler will be roomed with another passenger of the same gender. 
  • Single Travelers: If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.
  • Triple Room requests: We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple may be a double and a single bed, or the third bed may be a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.

Free-time

In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.

Meeting Point

Your tour starts and finishes in San Francisco, California. Please have a look at our essential tour information page for detailed information.

Passport

This should be valid for at least six months after you have returned home from your trip. You should also have at least two blank pages as visas and entry/exit stamps can take up a whole page.

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Have a question?

Are children allowed on your tours?

Our tours are not suitable for children under the age of 10 years old. However, at the discretion of Expat Explore we may consider younger children on certain tours if they meet certain criteria and a request is received in writing via email for consideration. Expat Explore reserves the absolute right to accept or decline a booking at our discretion.

Are flights included?

No, you will need to make your own arrangements to get to the meeting destination for the first day of your tour. Make sure you keep departure times and possible delays in mind when booking flights. We recommend Skyscanner for comparing prices from the vast majority of airlines.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Before the tour starts, you will receive an email from us requesting your dietary requirements. There is always a vegetarian option, which is a meal without meat. We try as much as we can to offer you the traditional local cuisine.

Can you provide a triple room?

We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple room may consist of a double bed and a single bed, or a double bed and a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.

Can you send me a quote?

The price shown on the website for your departure date on the day you book is the price you will pay. If you would like to make a group booking for 10 or more people please contact us.

Do I need a visa?

Please see our visas page and the pre-departure planning section for more information.

Do I need to change money before the tour?

Please make sure you bring with you for the start of the tour the local currency(ies) you will need for at least the first three days, as there may not be an opportunity to change currency at the very beginning of the tour. You should budget for any optional excursions you wish to do in this period (see 'Optional Excursions' tab above) and non-included meals. We don’t recommend carrying large amounts of cash with you on tour; you are better off withdrawing enough cash to last you for the next 5-7 days, rather than carrying enough cash to last you for the entirety of the tour. Please refer to your pre-departure information for more information on the currencies you will require for your particular itinerary.

Do you have on-tour luggage storage facilities?

No, we do not have these facilities. For security reasons you will be required to keep your belongings with you at all times. Please bear this in mind when you are deciding what to bring.

How can I get the documents I need to apply for my visa?

Expat Explore can provide travellers requiring visas with visa support documents on a request basis. Please note that you are required to pay for your tour in full in order to receive the documents. This is an embassy/consulate requirement by law. Once you have received confirmation that your booking has been paid in full, you can request your visa support documents by emailing info@expatexplore.com - please allow up to 10 working days to receive these documents.

How do I book/pay?

You can book online through our website or call our customer service team to make a booking over the phone. You must pay a deposit of 10% or 50 GBP (whichever is greater) via our online payment platform to secure your place. You can pay the remaining amount up to 35 days before departure, with a debit/credit card or with a bank transfer.

How many other people will be on the tour?

It depends on how many other people book! There could be up to 51 other passengers, so you will have the opportunity to make lots of friends!

How much luggage can I bring?

Due to weight and space limitations, you are allowed to bring one main piece of luggage weighing no more than 20kg, and one small soft bag for hand luggage. On all tours, you will have to carry your own luggage (e.g. into hotels and up to your room if hotels don’t have elevators). Please bear this in mind when you are deciding what to pack.

Is my deposit refundable?

Your deposit payment secures your place(s) on the tour and the price you pay. Your deposit paid at the time of booking is non-refundable. Our full Terms and Conditions can be viewed online.

Is travel insurance compulsory?

Yes, and you are responsible for arranging your own insurance. Passengers and their personal property travel with Expat Explore solely at their own risk. Please refer to our travel Terms & Conditions for more specific information. For a relatively small price, travel insurance provides you with the peace of mind so that you can enjoy your tour without any worries. To receive a quote from one of our preferred travel insurance partners, please click here

What about room sharing & single supplements?

If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.

What is included in the tour price

The tour price includes accommodation for the duration of the tour; transport by private coach; breakfasts, lunches and dinners as per your itinerary and guided walking tours and excursions as per your itinerary. On top of this, you will have your Expat Explore tour leader to assist you along the way with great tips and handy advice! Please refer to the ‘Included’ section of the itinerary where a full breakdown is given.

What is the average age of your groups?

We have a very wide range of ages on our tours, and do not restrict our passengers to certain age groups or limits. A positive attitude and an open mind are more important than a number!

What level of fitness do I need to participate in these tours?

All travellers are required to carry their own bags, get on and off the coach and use public transport. Our city walking tours can last up to 3 hours and certain places involve walking up and down lots of steps. We want you to enjoy your tour, so read through the itinerary thoroughly and make your own conclusions as to whether you feel that you are fit and healthy enough.

What time does each day start on tour?

Generally, we like to make an early start, so that you can spend more time at each destination. On your free days, you can have a lie in if you wish!

Where does my tour depart from?

Please see the 'Tour Start & End Points' tab at the beginning of the Help Section for more information on the start and end points, and meeting times.

Who will be my tour leader?

Will I get confirmation of my payment?

As soon as your payment has been processed by our accounts team, we will send you a confirmation email. Please note this may take up to 5 working days, depending on your method of payment.
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