California College Tour

A week spent exploring California's top universities with NSHSS!

In June of 2023, thirty two NSHSS members visited ten of the West Coast's most sought after universities on our six-day all-inclusive California College Tour. We visited:

  • University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • University of Southern California (USC)
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • University of California, Santa Barbra (UCSB) 
  • University of California, Irvine (UCI)
  • University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) 
  • California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo (SLO)
June 25-30, 2023

The results are in

We asked our attendees what their favorite day of the tour was:

Day four (USC, UCLA, and Santa Monica Pier) was the winner with 80% of respondents stating it was their favorite!

We asked what their top choice of school was after touring all ten:

University of Southern California was the winner with University of California, Berkeley coming in close second.

Lastly, we asked them what their favorite meal was:

The majority of attendees said Urban Plates was their favorite place to grab a bite to eat on this tour!

Tour Itinerary


Met NSHSS and EU Tours Staff at San Diego International Airport

Hotel check-in in San Diego

Dinner & Sight Seeing in San Diego
We enjoyed dinner at La Jolla Cove Pizza, site seeing in Old Town San Diego, and the La Jolla coast.


Breakfast at hotel
We enjoyed breakfast before venturing out to see Orange County and sunny San Diego.

Morning Tour: University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

We started our morning at San Diego's top public university at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

We got a quick a lunch at UC Irvine's Dining Hall before we started our tour.

Afternoon Tour: University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine)

We spent the afternoon exploring UC Irvine

Dinner & Hotel Check-in
We enjoyed dinner and evening fun at Downtown Disney!


Breakfast at hotel
We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel before heading out for a day of SoCal College Touring.

Morning Tour: Cal Poly Pomona

In the morning, we took a tour of one of the top public universities in the west, Cal Poly Pomona

We enjoyed lunch at the Caltech Dining Hall before heading out for our afternoon tour.

Afternoon Tour: Cal Tech

We hopped back on the bus and headed out to visit the world-renowned science and engineering institute Caltech

Dinner & Hotel Check-in
We took advantage of the dinning in Old Town Pasadena and enjoyed some evening site seeing before heading back to the hotel for a good night's rest.


Breakfast at hotel
We had a quick breakfast before heading out to visit USC and UCLA

Morning Tour: University of Southern California (USC)

In the morning, we took a group tour of a top private university, University of Southern California (USC)

We enjoyed lunch before heading to iconic Westwood.

Afternoon Tour: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

We spent the afternoon on the beautiful campuses of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Dinner & Hotel Check-in
We had so much fun getting dinner at the Santa Monica Cash Float Dinner and shopping on 3rd street promenade and Santa Monica Pier before driving up the coast towards Santa Barbara!


Breakfast at hotel
We enjoyed a hearty breakfast as we prepared to visit the following stunning seaside campuses.

Morning Tour: University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

We began our day with a tour of University of California, Santa Barbara located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

We enjoyed a beautiful seaside lunch before heading up the coast.

Afternoon Tour: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO)

We took an afternoon tour of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO).

Dinner & Hotel Check-in
We took in the beautiful seascape before heading to the heart of Silicon Valley for dinner and a good night's rest.


Breakfast at hotel
We had breakfast before venturing out to see California’s iconic Bay Area and two of the nation's top universities.

Morning Tour: University of California, Berkeley (CAL)

We began our day with a tour of one of the nation’s top Universities, UC Berkeley, aka Cal

We had an afternoon walk before getting lunch in Downtown Berkeley 

Afternoon Tour: Stanford University

In the afternoon, we had our final tour of the prestigious Stanford University

Depart for home from San Francisco International Airport

We said farewell to our new friends and headed home after an exciting and fun filled trip.

Testimonials from 2023 tour attendees

Tima C.
2023 Tour Attendee

Throughly enjoyed the NSHSS California College Tour due to the excellent tour leaders who were each very personable, the attention to detail regarding all aspects of the tour, and the pristine professionalism of the entire experience!

Sophia P.
2023 Tour Attendee

The NSHSS California tour was AMAZING and I learned so much about what I liked and disliked about many colleges!

Michelle S.
2023 Tour Attendee

We very much enjoyed the CA College Tour. The accommodations were lovely, the food was really good and the tour guides/support staff were phenomenal. We made friends and felt it was a safe, welcoming group of amazing people. It was a great selection of schools which helped my daughter narrow down her top choices. Thank you!

Merrick W.
2023 Tour Attendee

I had a great time in California. I met so many new people and got to really enjoy myself. I also got educated on some of the schools that were at the top of my list.

Tracey P.
2023 Tour Attendee

The California College Tour was an amazing experience! The tour sponsors were professional and personable. Their attention to detail and organizational skills were top-notch. The students were safe at all times. Although each day was busy, the opportunity to see all these campuses was a once in a lifetime experience. My daughter gained so much knowledge from each college tour and this allowed her to narrow her college choices. I highly recommend this to other parents, looking to help their student be prepared to make the best decision for their future.

Tori S.
2023 Tour Attendee

For us, this was the most economical way to visit these schools. If we had done it on our own, we would never have made the arrangements that this tour provided. Choosing the right college is hard, especially sigh unseen, so this tour helped us at least see the initial school landscape and speak with students who had attended the university.