My name is Holly and I recently finished the West Coast Adventure with the Coyote Trip. America is a country which has captivated my curiosity and interest for a long time, which led me to want to explore it during my gap year. There is such a difference in landscape and culture between each state and I really wanted to see as much as I possibly could but had worried about being able to see everything with the large distances between cities.
I felt the best way to do this was a tour so I was looking for something that would transport me around and pack in as much as possible as America has so many different things to offer in each city/state. The Coyote Trip appealed to me first of all because it explores three states instead of just one and has a fun, diverse itinerary so I decided to try out the two week tour of the West Coast. Here’s my Coyote Trip Review to give you an insight into this trip!
The Coyote Trip visits many different landmarks and cities but mine and the groups’ favourites, surprised us a bit too.
Santa Cruz – This one surprised us all as I hadn’t heard much about Santa Cruz prior nor knew anything to do there – an example of how I would have missed out if I hadn’t done the tour. This stop was a chance to relax after previous busy days as we took walks along the beachside, played mini golf and explored the local shops and restaurants which are dotted around the town.
Grand Canyon – This is a must see and would have been very hard for me to visit otherwise, being a student without a car. The tour arranges a shuttle to the National park, then gives you guidance on where to hike and what to do and let’s you explore the place for yourself. Then regroup for a bourbon tasting at sunset.
LA volleyball + free day – The activities for LA were unexpected but I found some of the most fun. There’s volleyball in the morning on Santa Monica beach which everyone thoroughly enjoyed, followed by roller skating. Then off to the walk of fame and the bustling street of sunset Boulevard. The next day was a free day which allowed for us to explore any parts of LA which we wanted to individually (of which I had a large list so this was very helpful ).
Bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge- San Francisco – this was one of the overall highlights for me as it’s a way to fully immerse yourself and experience one of the most famous landmarks. The ride ends in South Sausalito opposite San Francisco and you take the ferry back, giving you a view of the city, the bay and Alcatraz. This is followed by free time to visit pier 39 then an Irish coffee tasting as the group reconvenes. The Alcatraz visit is the next day, showing the history of Incarceration in America and the Native American protest.
HI Los Angeles 5/5 – This hostel in Santa Monica has a great location 5 minutes walk from the beach and a nice atmosphere. The bathrooms and rooms are extremely clean and the kitchen is huge if you are planning to cook.
HI San Francisco 3.5/5 – A good location and character with a lovely common room and kitchen. The rooms and toilets are nice but slightly cramped.
Santa Cruz Hostel 5/5 – This hostel has very friendly staff and is really pretty and homely. The rooms are in their own little house and the toilets are really nice. Good kitchen for cooking too.
The itinerary packs in as much as possible and is really successful at showing you the authentic parts of the cities as well as popular tourist sites.
A lot of this is thanks to their tour guide who is a local of California herself and traveled to these places already with awesome knowledge of the sites, restaurants and character. Although they could have chosen a guide from their base in England as there is no language barrier in America, having a Californian made a huge difference as she has a much greater understanding of the small cultural differences and giving underground recommendations.
This itinerary is quite demanding in the way that there are fairly early starts and lots to do in the day and I found myself quite tired, but you are always free to take breaks or go back to the hostel. There are quite active activities like hiking, walking and bike riding which may be harder for some people but enables you to really experience everything!
This tour travels in groups of 8 to 18 people so this develops a little community for you to share experiences with especially if you are travelling alone. The tour guides are super welcoming and so friendly. Fancy trying the tours for yourself then check out the options here!