Destination Spotlight

California Dreaming!

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California Dreaming!


From its redwood forests and jagged coastline to movie sets and the sun kissed Napa Valley, California is as varied a place as the locals who call it home. With such a diverse cultural and geographic background, California will always be a popular destination for student tours. Full of vibrancy in both its educational offerings, national parks, and food, California presents an undeniable attraction for students and their teachers. When you travel with EA Tours, you’ll have the opportunity to experience all that makes this state golden! Perhaps your group would like to see the famed Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the entertainment capital of the world in Los Angles, or learn about the discovery of gold in Sacramento. Whatever the choice, you are sure to have a fantastic time and the City by the Bay is a great starting point!

With its stunning waterfront views, steep hills, and Asian influence, San Francisco is more than just a city. It’s a melting pot of cultures that make up one fantastic place to visit on a student tour. A walk around Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf allow you to have some outdoor fun. Always a bustling area, Fisherman’s Wharf is a waterfront neighborhood that is an absolute must see! Home to numerous shops, restaurants, and museums, Fisherman’s Wharf is where you’ll also find Pier 39. Providing fabulous views of the bay for you to snap a few photos, Pier 39 is where you can begin your journey to Alcatraz or the Golden Gate Bridge. Don’t forget to also pay a visit to the Aquarium of the Bay, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and the Maritime Museum while you’re there. If you start to feel a little peckish, like the seagulls flying overhead, don’t worry as there are no shortage of options.

In this area you’ll find popular offerings such as the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop and famous Boudin’s! Creator of the BEST sourdough French Bread, Boudin’s has the distinct honor of being the oldest bakery in the city. Be sure to try the chowder! And send some my way if you can… As your student tour continues, you’re sure to see the landmark of San Francisco dominating the skyline and often times barely visible through the fog, the Golden Gate Bridge. With its long expanse and easily recognizable design, the Golden Gate Bridge was constructed to make travel easier between San Francisco and Marin County. There are many excellent vantage points to take in its majesty but the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point is perhaps the best! While riding a cable car, seeing Lombard St. (the crookedest street in the world), and the many museums, no educational student tour is complete without a visit to Alcatraz.

Sitting atop a small, rocky island in the middle of the Bay, Alcatraz has quite a storied past. An excellent addition to any educational tour, students and their teachers will hear the backstory of this most famous site. Once a former federal prison, Alcatraz housed some of society’s biggest convicts. Before Al Capone inhabited the prison, it served as a military prison during the Spanish-American and Civil Wars. Over time, the prison saw its lights go out due to operating costs, but that didn’t stop the numerous and oftentimes failed escape attempts. Once you feel you have a good understanding of what makes San Francisco so special, it’s time to make your own escape and board a train down to the city of angels!

Simply put, no student tour to California is complete without a visit to La-La Land. Always a wildly popular destination, Los Angeles is home to some of the state’s most famous museums and attractions. From Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier to the fortresses of movie studios and TV lots to the arts and culture at the Getty Museum or LACMA, Los Angeles has it all! Though it may be a sprawling metropolis, Los Angles sure knows how to put on a show. With its bright lights and big city glamour, Los Angeles shows visitors a varied mix of cultures and diversity in each of its neighborhoods making it perfect for your educational student tour! At EA Tours, we always work closely with our schools to provide the itinerary of their dreams. However, knowing where to start or what to include can be a little overwhelming especially with a big city like LA. The appeal of vintage Hollywood and the silver screen are always a big draw so a visit to downtown is perfect!

There’s no other place that compares to one of Hollywood’s most famous and iconic sites than the TCL Chinese Theatre, originally called Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Straight from Hollywood’s Golden Age and opened in 1927, the TCL Chinese Theatre will leave you feeling as if you’re a movie star yourself. Afterwards, be sure to stroll the equally famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here, hundreds of movie stars have left their handprints and signatures etched into the sidewalk. From Mickey Mouse, Whoopi Goldberg, and Vin Diesel to Doris Day, Glen Close, and Kathy Bates, there are no shortage of stars. See if you can find one of your favorites! Also, while you’re in the area don’t forget to take a picture of the Hollywood Sign! After you’re done seeing a little movie history why not visit one of the many studios? From Paramount Pictures Studios to Warner Brothers, both offer fun and insightful educational tours for students. I’ve also always enjoyed visiting the excellent world-class museums that LA has to offer.

My personal favorites are the Getty Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Getty Center is an impressive museum not only architecturally but also because of the splendid collection housed within its walls. Here, students and their teachers will see Renaissance paintings, 20th century photography, Baroque sculptures, significant documents, and so much more! One could wander aimlessly and get lost in thought as you take in these priceless works of art while admiring the view of Los Angeles from atop a mountain. As your museum tour continues, I’m sure it’ll bring you to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or LACMA for short.

Situated beside the La Brea Tar Pits, LACMA is smack dab in the heart of the museum district. You may recognize it from some of your favorite movies because of the rows of lamp posts out front. Opened in 1965, LACMA has showcased some of the finest art through its diverse exhibitions and permanent installations. From Islamic artifacts to European impressionist paintings and modern art, LACMA continually strives to offer the most rewarding and enriching experiences for all visitors. While I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the many offerings California can provide for a student tour, I hope I’ve peaked your interest.

California is a state that’s as big and diverse as the attractions that call it home. With so much to see and do, one could embark on many educational student tours. Whether the big cities call or the plethora of national parks beckon you to explore their wonders, California will always leave you wanting more. I’m sure you’ll find your own reason for why this state’s golden and I hope that will be with us on an EA student tour.