Tailor-made Trips to West Coast USA

School trips to the West Coast of America are simply unforgettable.  The glittering cities of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco offer diversity, glamour and iconic places to visit that cannot fail to impress.

For geographers the region offers amazing biodiversity from arid deserts, awesome canyons to waterfalls and giant sequoias.  These physical wonders provide amazing opportunities for field study while the cities, which battle drought and the threat of earthquake daily, demonstrate man’s triumph over the elements better than almost anywhere else in the world.

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Reasons to Visit

Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

Bryce Canyon National Park is named after just one of many canyons which form a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters on the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. Erosion has carved colorful Claron limestones into thousands of spires, fins, arches and mazes. Collectively called "hoodoos," these unique formations are whimsically arranged and tinted with colors too numerous and subtle to name. From late May through early September, the free Bryce Canyon Shuttle takes visitors to the park’s most popular viewpoints, trails and facilities. Using the shuttle is voluntary, but encouraged.

Zion Canyon (Utah)

Zion National Park is Utah's oldest and most visited national park receiving around three million visitors each year attracted by the immense canyons, beautifully sculptured rock formations, soaring cliffs and breathtaking landscapes. Zion canyon was formed over centuries of erosion caused by tributaries of the Virgin River which left behind the beautiful eroded canyon walls and monoliths. Originally inhabited by the Anasazi people; their abandoned cliff houses and rock art are scattered throughout the park, later by the Paiute Indians before the first Mormon settlers arrived in 1858 and gave it the name Zion Canyon.

Grand Canyon South Rim (Nevada)

A powerful and inspiring landscape, the Grand Canyon will overwhelm your senses through its immense size; 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. Although first afforded Federal protection in 1893, Grand Canyon did not achieve National Park status until 1919, three years after the creation of the National Park Service. Today Grand Canyon National Park receives close to five million visitors each year. The oldest human artifacts found are nearly 12,000 years old and date to the Paleo-Indian period. There has been continuous use and occupation of the park since that time.

Hoover Dam (Nevada)

Standing 725 feet above the Colorado River, Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon on the border between Arizona and Nevada. Beginning with a film about its construction, this tour then takes you down into the bowels of the dam through the tunnels used for its construction, admire the beautiful terrazzo floors installed in the 1930s and the massive generators. A walk along the sidewalks on top of the dam provides awe-inspiring views of the dam face, Lake Mead, the intake towers, the Colorado River, and other features around the dam site.

Nevada Test Site

You can’t get much further behind the scenes than this tour! Encompassing an area larger than the state of Rhode Island, the Nevada Test is one of the most restricted-access areas in the United States. Visitors to the site can see first-hand many relics remaining from nuclear weapons test, rocket experiments, and other energy-related programs.

Death Valley National Park (California)

Death Valley is the hottest, driest, and lowest National Park. In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Yet, each extreme has a striking contrast. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley. A programme of Park Ranger Tours exists to get the most from your visit.

Golden Gate Bridge & Park

Arguably the world's most beautiful bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco with Marin County and can be experienced from near countless angles. Drive, bike, or walk across the two-mile long suspension bridge. The 1,000-acre Golden Gate Park, larger than Central Park, is located in the western area of the city includes several great museums, a botanical garden, and an arboretum.

Muir Woods Monument (San Francisco)

The Muir Woods National Monument is home to one of the world's last remaining coastal redwood forests, this protected nature reserve allows travelers to get amongst these giant Northern California trees for an incredible experience only minutes from the city. Raised boardwalks and hikes allow you to get among these ancient trees who cool their roots in the fresh water of Redwood Creek and lift their crowns to reach the sun and fog.

Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find glacier-carved valleys, grand meadows, alpine peaks, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

Alcatraz Island

The formidable fortress in the middle of San Francisco Bay known as “The Rock” started out as a lighthouse station in 1854, but its isolated location made it an ideal spot for a penal colony. Infamous former inhabitants include Al Capone, George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly and Robert Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz. The audio cellhouse tour, narrated by former inmates and guards, offers accounts of life at the prison and escape attempts.

California Academy of Sciences

Visit this stunning architectural achievement with hundreds of unique exhibits and nearly 40,000 live animals, a great place for students to learn about species from around the world. It is the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof.

The Walt Disney Family Museum

The museum features exhibits chronicling the life and legacy of Walt Disney.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,500 stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and 3 blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood. The stars are permanent public monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry, bearing the names of actors, musicians, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups, fictional characters, and others.

Venice Beach

Known for its bohemian spirit, Venice beach and famous boardwalk is where street entertainers and vendors create an unforgettable scence.  It is home to funky shops, street entertainers, vendors and colourful murals. The lively skate park and Muscle Beach outdoor gym are the place to be seen.   A great place to get the feel of the sunshine city at it’s best.

Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Park Observatory is a facility which allows Southern Californian’s access to the cosmos! Open and free to visitors where you can look through telescopes, explore exhibits and see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.  It is also worth a visit to enjoy the spectacular views of the Los Angeles Basin, including Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and the Pacific Ocean.

Las Vegas

Soak in the atmosphere of this amazing 24/7, buzzing city which also serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

See “Behind-the-scenes” of your favorite shows and movies at the world’s busiest motion picture and television studio. Guests of the Warner Bros VIP Tour are offered a rare and intimate glimpse into real Hollywood at work. The tour takes you through back lot streets, sound stages, sets and craft shops. Walk on to the set of a hit television show, watch as Foley artists create sound effects for movies, see how sets are constructed, peruse over 10 million items in the prop department, see your favorite vehicles from film and television up close, and the list goes on.


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