Road trips are about freedom and adventure, and it’s with that spirit that we’ve mapped out the Great American Bus Tour. Cars have their limitations; you can’t ride with big groups and you’re stuck doing all the driving. With a tour bus rental, a driver can take you and your friends on a cross-country journey that would make Jack Kerouac proud.
This country is so full of history, kitsch, and quirks that itinerary planning can seem daunting. Here are a few of our must-sees to get you started. We begin our Great American Bus Tour in Portland because it’s beautiful this time of year, but your trip could start anywhere. We’ve designed this tour to be a loop, and we partner with charter bus rental companies across North America to make trips like these possible no matter where you begin.
Hot tip: hire more than one driver. Drivers can only be behind the wheel for a certain amount of time. Maximize your time on the road with a co-pilot.
Start your tour in Portland
Portland, Oregon is a great place to board that tour bus rental for the first time. The natural and human-made attractions will affirm your decision to take on this American adventure. First stop: Astoria, a classic maritime small town with a beautiful harbour. Head forty minutes south to Cannon Beach to check out the Haystack Rock and your last glimpse of the Pacific Ocean before driving out west. Should you choose to cross the Columbia River, be sure to take the Bridge of Gods, a monument to American ingenuity built in the ‘20s over the river’s notorious rapids.
Bus Tour of the Midwest’s Parks
The Midwest gets a bad rap for being big and boring, but it’s no such thing. These States offer some of the very best examples of America’s awe-inspiring natural landscapes. Take Idaho’s Craters of the Moon National Monument, for example. With five caves to explore and a rocky terrain not unlike the Moon’s, it’s an exciting draw for the hikers in your group. Of course, you’ll need to stop at Yellowstone National Park, one of the USA’s most famous attractions, spanning three states—Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Don’t leave the Midwest without parking your charter bus at Badlands National Park in South Dakota.
Hot tip: Use the extra luggage space on a coach bus to pack camping gear.
Charter a tour bus to explore Illinois
After taking in the wide open Midwest, enjoy some city time in Chicago. Plan a bus tour of the Windy City’s downtown architecture, stopping to view the Sky Deck at Willis Tower and Rookery Light Court. Once you’ve had your fill of skyscrapers and lively streets, get back on the road and take a tour of the lakes and rivers in the Chicago area. We recommend visiting the sandy beach at Indiana Dunes State Park and checking out the waterfalls of Starved Rock.
New York and Boston by Tour Bus
Take in New York, Boston, and all the historic towns in between to complete your visit of the American Northeast. You could spend weeks in this area, but we have a few highlights to help you plan your itinerary. Of course, you’ll want to tour Salem, Massachusetts, but take the time to explore some of New England’s picturesque coastal towns like Newburyport and Montauk. Finally, don’t head south without a night in Manhattan. Just make sure you pay attention to the city’s parking laws.
Begin the Southern Tour in Atlanta
Start the southern leg of your trip in Atlanta, a.k.a the Gate City of the South. Known for its vibrant hip hop scene, this southern metropolis is the perfect introduction to the American South’s rich musical history. Take in a concert, see the sights, but definitely don’t leave before visiting Martin Luther King Jr.’s home, a national historic site.
Make the most of your tour bus rental in Austin
Texas is all about country music and BBQ! Use Austin as a homebase at the center of a tour of Texas’s history and lively music scene. Start your tour at the Gruene Hall in Gruene where BB King, Chubby Checker, and Emmylou Harris have all played. We also recommend visiting the hippie hub of Luckenbach, the arts community in Round Top, and the Spoetzel Brewery in Shiner. Oh! And definitely don’t leave the Austin area without taste-testing the world-famous BBQ joints.
Must-Sees in the Southwest
You’re going to have to get through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, so charter a coach bus to stay cool and comfortable on your way through the Southwest. But just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you need to stay cooped up. This stretch of desert is rich with Americana. On your way out of Texas, stop at the Cadillac Ranch, a line of ten Cadillacs graffitied and buried nose-down in the dirt. Next, take a hike through El Morro National Monument where the remains of Puebloan villages have enchanted visitors for generations. As you ride into Arizona, be sure to visit the Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, where a meteor made an impressive impact 50 000 years ago.
Refresh the Group in LA
After driving through the desert, it’s time to enjoy the ocean. You’ve earned it. First stop: Surfrider Beach in Malibu, where many of the surfer films of the ‘60s and ‘70s were filmed. Next, enjoy games, rides, and a view of the Pacific from Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. Finally, what would a trip to LA be without a view of the Hollywood sign?
Take your Tour Bus to San Francisco
You can’t leave California without going to San Francisco. What would the Great American Road Trip be without a view of the Golden Gate Bridge or a stroll along the piers? A destination for food and wine lovers, the Bay area is the perfect place to treat yourself. Take advantage of having a coach bus rental and private driver to explore wine country. Napa and Sonoma are close to San Francisco, making a bus tour of the area’s vineyards a luxurious end to your trip.
You’ve done it! You chartered a coach bus from the Pacific to the Atlantic and back again. Enjoy the last leg of your journey with a few beach pit stops. We recommend Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Center. A group tour of America is a long, exciting, weird, and wonderful adventure. There’s so much to see, and when you charter a coach bus you take your itinerary into your own hands. Use our sightseeing suggestions or discover your own. When you’re ready, we can help you calculate your bus rental price with our online booking tool.