The Golden State boasts 840 miles of stunning coastline, nine must-visit national parks, and 480-plus cities, all waiting to be explored. It’s this limitless potential for adventure that makes California the ultimate road trip destination. But sometimes, you want to sit back, relax, and let someone else do the driving. That’s where bus tours come in. Buses are an easy option for family trips, multi-generational travel, and solo journeys alike. With innovative tours cropping up across the state, the options are endless for an eight-wheeled excursion. Here are a few fresh ideas.
Tour like a rockstar
Hit the road aboard a tricked-out coach with Roadies, a new travel company offering bespoke bus packages. Grab 10 of your favorite wanderlusters, ask Roadies to help plan your California trip, then explore on board the same model that Katy Perry and Paul McCartney use on tour. Roadies can take you anywhere, but their signature itinerary is a week-long adventure from San Diego to Las Vegas, hitting up Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Joshua Tree en route.
Go budget-conscious cool
Bus travel is a great way to see the state without breaking the bank. Green Tortoise Adventure Travel’s fleet work as living rooms by day and bunks by night. Their coaches fit 36 passengers to comfortably sleep on board, allowing passengers to book travel and accommodations in one go. The company’s seven-day Coastal Crawler goes from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back for just $319; or try the three-day Yosemite Adventure for $279. Looking for an easy way to get from point-to-point? Book with the hip Euro-favorite FlixBus, which recently launched in the United States. The company’s overnight service takes you from L.A. to Palm Springs for as little as $4.99.
Splurge on a luxury trip
What started as a high-end safari operator in Africa remains one of the best adventure travel outfitters (as named by Travel + Leisure) to this day. Abercrombie & Kent delivers a luxury experience from start to finish. Try the five-day Taste of Wine Country trip to see Sonoma, Point Reyes, and Napa Valley, including overnights at the prestigious Meadowood Napa Valley, a tour of an “elite oyster farm,” and private tastings with winemakers.
Book a single-day adventure
Dip your toe into bus travel with one of the many single-day trips available across the state. In San Francisco, you can hitch a ride on the Love Tour (a hippy VW, complete with groovy guide) for a two-hour tour. Head north to get up close to California’s gentle giants with the magical Redwood Sightseeing Tours, departing from Crescent City. In Santa Barbara, classic Trolley Tours lets you jump on and off all day for easy access to the American Riviera. Try the local sauce without getting behind the wheel by booking the Chauffeured San Diego Distillery Tour or hopping aboard the Sip Shuttle in Lodi or Platypus Wine Tours in Napa Valley.