Geography School Trips & Tours to West Coast USA
A school trip to West Coast USA offers unparalleled opportunities for pupils of all ages. Rich in biodiversity, the spectacular waterfalls and giant sequoias of Yosemite contrast dramatically with the harsh, arid environment of Death Valley. Meanwhile, West Coast cities (including LA, Las Vegas and San Francisco) offer countless opportunities to study key human geography themes.
This region provides school groups with an unforgettable geography tour experience, with geography field trips that combine the awesome beauty of deserts, canyons and national parks with glittering, exciting cities. The contrast between the geography visits which showcase the physical splendour of nature versus the cultural and architectural achievements of man could hardly be more evident anywhere else in the world. All this, and Hollywood too!
Our sample itinerary provides you with an idea of the visits you can cover during your trip. We can tailor-make an itinerary to support your specific learning outcomes.
|1||Daytime flight & transfer to accommodation||Overnight: San Francisco|
|2||Full day San Francisco city tour followed by a visit to Alcatraz||Explore Pier 39 & Fisherman's Wharf. Overnight: San Francisco|
|3||Visit to Muir Woods||Continue to Bakersfield||Overnight: Bakersfield|
|4||Death Valley National Park||Overnight: Las Vegas|
|5||Explore Las Vegas||Overnight: Tusayan|
|6||Grand Canyon||Transfer to airport||Overnight flight to Ireland|
|Morning||Daytime flight & transfer to accommodation|
|Afternoon||Overnight: San Francisco|
|Morning||Full day San Francisco city tour followed by a visit to Alcatraz|
|Afternoon||Explore Pier 39 & Fisherman's Wharf. Overnight: San Francisco|
|Morning||Visit to Muir Woods|
|Afternoon||Continue to Bakersfield|
|Morning||Death Valley National Park|
|Afternoon||Overnight: Las Vegas|
|Morning||Explore Las Vegas|
|Afternoon||Transfer to airport|
|Evening||Overnight flight to Ireland|
On-tour support includes...
- Services of a See Off Representative at your departure airport
Top visits for geography trips in West Coast USA
San Francisco Tour
The city lies on the world-renowned San Andreas Fault, and is well documented for its approaches to hazard management. Admire the amazing view of the city from Twin peaks, opt for a San Francisco Bay cruise under Golden Gate Bridge, visit Alcatraz, or head down to the famous Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. We highly recommend a visit to the new California Academy of Sciences for all groups. The Academy recently opened a new 400,000 square foot facility which houses an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a four-storey rainforest all under one roof.
An opportunity to observe a truly remarkable ecosystem, only 30 minutes from San Francisco! On your morning coach excursion, students will observe the diversity of flora and fauna. Giant Redwood Sequoia trees will provide an excellent opportunity to enhance understanding of ecosystems.
Death Valley National Park
Students can experience first-hand Death Valley’s harsh, arid environment, dramatic scenery and landscapes. Your group will cross over the 5,000ft Towne Pass before taking a closer look at the desert. One of the hottest places on earth, this region is contrasted by the dramatic backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
This vast chasm is arguably one of the most spectacular geographical sites in the world. Opt to take one of several set walks to explore this awe-inspiring canyon. A once in a lifetime opportunity!
Pier 39 & Fishermans Wharf
Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf is a shopping centre and popular tourist attraction built on a pier in San Francisco. At Pier 39 there are shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performers, an interpretive centre for the marine mammal centre, the aquarium of the bay, virtual 3D rides and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39’s marina.
This visit takes students beyond the classroom to brings education to life. Take learning to a new level with Universal Studies - the hands on, inside out, real life, beyond the imagination educational programme available at Universal Studios, that will will excite and inspire your group.
Hoover Dam Tours
For groups staying for two nights in Vegas, a visit to the famous Hoover Dam is a must. You can take a 30 minute tour of the Hoover Dam power plant and take a look around the visitors centre. Alternatively, opt for the hour long guided tour, which includes the 30 minute option plus a tour of the passageways of the dam itself.
Yosemite National Park
A wilderness park renowned for the mountain and valley scenery, waterfalls, grand meadows and forests containing the groves of giant sequoias. (May to October only due to seasonal weather)
This glitzy city, built in the middle of the desert, is a testimony to man’s ability to overcome the challenge of the physical environment. Its main street and focal point is the Strip, just over 4 miles long. This boulevard is home to themed hotels with elaborate displays such as fountains synchronized to music as well as replicas of an Egyptian pyramid, the Venetian Grand Canal, and the Eiffel Tower.
- A quiz or disco at your hotel (most hotels can provide a room for groups to use in the evenings)
- Water supply/conflict
- World cities
- Hazard management
- Urban issues
- Cultural diversity
- Pollution & health
- Arid environments
- Extreme weather
- Fluvial systems
FREE Educational Resource Pack
We understand that you want a study visit that delivers the curriculum. To help you achieve this, our free West Coast USA Educational Resource Pack - developed by experienced geography teachers - contains a wealth of highly relevant information for you to use before, during and after your tour.
You’ll be able to use its contents as a pre-visit planning aid, print off full-colour pupil activity sheets for your group to use at each site whilst away, or even refer to its contents post-visit to assist with case study completion.
We offer flights from a variety of departure airports and we’ll work with you to plan your route at the best value possible.
Giving you full support throughout
Before your tour
- Your own dedicated NST contact
- Bespoke tour itineraries
- Unrivalled local knowledge & expertise
- Curriculum linked visit programmes
- Great value for money - no hidden costs
- Free group leader inspection visits
- Risk assessment guidance
- Safety assured, transport, accommodation and visits
Whilst you're away
- Free educational resources
- Group-friendly accommodation
- Exceptional standards of coaching
- On-tour support from our reps on the ground
- Support & assistance from our specialists guides throughout your tour
- 24/7 support just a call away
- Extensive group travel insurance
On your return
- Priority rebooking services
- Rewarding your loyalty with our reward scheme
- You say, we listen - we're committed to continuously improving our tours
- School travel company of choice since 1996
Refer a friend
Refer a friend to NST and receive €250/£250. Find out more.
Multi tour bonus
Receive a bonus for your school of €500/£500. Click here for more information.
Visit before you go
Enjoy a two night complimentary B&B stay for two people in your group’s chosen accommodation before your trip. This offer does not include flights. Find out more.