California & National Parks Explorer
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.
Photos of the Tour
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
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!
- 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 ExcursionsOptional 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
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).
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.
In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.
Your tour starts and finishes in San Francisco, California. Please have a look at our essential tour information page for detailed information.
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.