If the song is true that “life is a highway,” it had better pass through each and every stop on this incredible journey. The Voyageur is our original itinerary that launched thousands of summer memories! This trip loops through the Western USA and Canada in 40 action-packed days. You’ll whitewater raft, bobsled, canoe, hike, bike, water ski or wakeboard, surf, cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, and so much more. There is nothing wrong with cramming a lifetime’s worth of adventure into one incredible summer!
This trip begins with your flight to Salt Lake City. We help you coordinate your flight to arrive within designated times so that we may greet you upon arrival. For participants from the New York area, we offer a chaperoned group flight that leaves early morning. One of your summer leaders and staff from our office will be at the airline counter to greet you, introduce you to fellow travelers, help you to check-in and the leader will be with you from check-in onward.
For your return home from Phoenix, we head to the airport for morning flights. Our leaders help you to check-in and remain in the airport until flights in designated times have departed. For those from the New York area we offer a chaperoned flight.
Welcome to the West where you’ll have an orientation before riding the evening away on one of over 45 rides at Lagoon Amusement Park including the new state of the art roller coaster, Cannibal With breathtaking Park City in the background, soar at 30 mph, down a mile of track on Utah’s only elevated alpine coaster. Lounge in the lazy river or get soaked on one of Lagoon-A-Beach’s tube, body and drop slides. Head out to dinner in SLC before an evening of bowling with your new friends.
Whitewater raft the Snake River conquering rapids named Lunch Counter, Big Kahuna, Champagne and Ropes. Snap a photo underneath the elk antler arches in the center of town before swimming or shooting some hoops at the Teton Rec Center. Gaze at the snowcapped mountains in Teton National Park.
Watch Old Faithful shoot 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of boiling water between 106′ and 185′ into the air. Discover the Fountain Paint Pots named after the reds, yellows and browns of the mud found in that area and keep your eyes peeled for bison and elk.
Visit Canada Olympic Park, sight of the 1988 Winter Olympics. Speed around 14 turns at up to 62 mph and reaching 4G forces on the Olympic bobsled track. Team up with new friends to battle through intense lighting, dense fog and loud music in an epic game of laser tag. Note – participants need to be 14 or older to bobsled.
In the heart of the Canadian Rockies, canoe across the glacial fed, emerald colored Lake Louise. Hike past Mirror Lake on your way to the famous Lake Agnes Teahouse for stunning views of the area. Take a Giant Snowmobile tour out to the Athabasca Glacier on the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park to sip glacier water and throw a snowball in July. Browse the shops in the quaint town of Banff. Cross scenic Roger’s Pass on your way to BC.
Soak up some sun for two lakeside resort days. Experience South Okanagan’s hottest summer attraction, channel tubing. Watch the sunset over Okanagan Lake.
Experience the record setting PEAK 2 PEAK gondola that connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Clip into Via Ferrata, a network of steel cables that run the length of a mountain face and cross built-in steps, handles, beams and bridges while you are surrounded by spectacular mountain views. Explore the shops in the pedestrian friendly village. Chill in your incredible condos and lounge in the condo’s whirlpool.
Check out trendy Granville Island and enjoy street performers and a marketplace lunch before we head back to the USA.
View downtown Seattle at night from the top of the Space Needle, a landmark you may recognize from Grey’s Anatomy scenes. Watch out for the fishmongers throwing fish at Pike Place, the oldest continually operating public farmers’ market in the USA. Although completely cleaned off in 2016, participate in the rebirth of the infamous tradition and stick your gum on the Market Theater gum wall. Imagine playing in a rock band in a packed stadium at the MoPOP (Museum of Popular Culture). Prepare your Whirlybug for intense competition at Whirlyball, it’s like basketball, lacrosse and bumper cars combined.
Jet over to the City by the Bay and see it all – Alcatraz, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Lombard Street, Chinatown, and take a ride on an iconic San Francisco cable car . Cheer on the Oakland A’s or San Francisco Giant’s. Traverse the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. Show off your moves at a San Fran nightclub.
*As per the National Park Service, we disclose that Alcatraz tour has a retail value of $37.25 included in the trip tuition.
Water-ski with professional instructors or go tubing or wakeboarding across beautiful Lake Tahoe. Enjoy beach time football, Frisbee, volleyball, music, BBQ and tanning in the most reliable weather Tahoe enjoys all summer. End the day sailing around the lake on a private charter. Back at the campground, shoot some hoops, play a game of tennis or go for a swim before a nightcap of s’mores.
Check into your residence at UCLA for an incredible stay in the star capital of the world! Feel the magic at Disneyland and end the day with a spectacular fireworks display over the castle. Match handprints and footprints with your favorite celebrities cast in cement outside Mann’s Chinese Theater and search for their star along the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. Lend a hand at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Ride your favorite movies including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Transformers: The Ride 3-D and The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. In between thrills at Universal and the Wizarding World, you might catch a live shooting of EXTRA with Mario Lopez! Wander CityWalk and feast on the appetizer sampler before dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. Increase your understanding of diversity at the Museum of Tolerance. Strut your stuff along Muscle (Venice) Beach and look for celebrities along Rodeo Drive. Take in a comedy show from your reserved front row seats at the IMPROV. Indulge in an ice cream sandwich from local favorite Diddy Riese in the college town of Westwood. Delight your palate at the Original Farmers Market on Fairfax & 3rd, choose from over 100 different cuisines.Take a stroll in Downtown Santa Monica on the Third Street Promenade and enjoy live performances. Then, hop over Ocean Avenue to the Santa Monica Pier and soak up the beautiful views of the California coast from the world famous Ferris Wheel.
Sail away with ocean view cabins! Snorkel or kayak Lover’s Cove and explore the town of Avalon in Catalina Island. Bargain for sombreros and other Mexican knickknacks in Ensenada. Onboard, hang poolside and listen to Calypso music, go for a jog around the outdoor running track or take part in any of the ship’s zany activities including scavenger hunts, trivia games, dance contests and more. Enjoy the nightly shows, dance ’til the wee hours of the morning in Club 02, practice your limbo skills at the Caribbean themed deck party, sing Karaoke, cool off at the onboard waterpark and so much more!
Take surfing lessons with professional instructors. Go on a guided tour of the San Diego Zoo to see some of the over 4,000+ animals. Explore Seaport Village. Cool off at an indoor ice skating rink.
Stroll Las Vegas Boulevard and its incredible sites – an erupting volcano at the Mirage, the dancing fountains and hand blown glass sculptures at the Bellagio, the charm of Venice in the Venetian, the talking statues in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace and more. Ride the roller coaster at New York-New York.Explore M&M World and live on the edge, literally, as you choose from Big Shot, Insanity or X-Scream 1000′ up the top of the Stratosphere.
Canyon country! Be awed by sculptured canyons, soaring cliffs and dramatic landscapes against a beautiful blue sky in Zion National Park. Marvel at the orange and red hoodoos of Bryce formed from wind, water, and ice erosion. Hike the Bright Angel Trail into the Grand Canyon.
Enjoy a rugged Pink Jeep tour on the Broken Arrow Trail with the iconic backdrop of Sedona’s famous red-rock formations such as Bell Rock, Chapel Butte or the Rock of Gibraltar. See the views from Submarine Rock or Chicken Point and hold on tight as you go around Mushroom Rock and descend down the Road of No Return! Feast on brunch at the Cheesecake Factory and back at the resort workout, swim or tan before your farewell banquet that celebrates a lifetime’s worth of adventure!
Once your action packed day is over, you’re going to need a place to crash. This trip features a combination of the finest centrally located hotels and resorts, fantastic college dorms to get a taste of college life, a cruise ship, and some deluxe camping.
You will stay in the finest hotels and resorts. All of our properties are chosen based on safety and security, amenities, comfort and location to our activities. Rooms vary from doubles to triples. Triples may contain two beds and a rollaway or be a suite style with a sofa bed. Each trip member has his or her own bed.
The Silver Creek Lodge is a luxury condo property located in Canmore, in the Bow Valley of the Canadian Rockies! Spread out in the one and two-bedroom suites appointed with everything you will need for a chill home base while you explore Banff and beyond!
Located on San Francisco Bay, the newly renovated Embassy Suites Burlingame – Waterfront hotel features stunning bay views, Spanish-style architecture, a tropical koi pond and is set alongside a waterfront jogging trail. Accommodations are spacious with living areas and the amenities include an indoor pool and gym.Visit Website
Located just minutes from the beautiful seaside village of La Jolla, the Embassy Suites San Diego – La Jolla hotel is an all-suites hotel, with each two-room suite offering plenty space to spread out and relax. When not out playing in San Diego, take advantage of the indoor swimming pool and hot tub, or Fitness Center, fully-equipped with cardio machines and weights.Visit Website
Located on famous Las Vegas Boulevard, “The Strip”, this pyramid-shaped hotel offers a unique way to experience the over-the-top décor for which Vegas is famous! The pool deck is one of the largest in Las Vegas, with a choice of 4 pools to enjoy – the perfect place to cool off from all the excitement and bright lights of the city!Visit Website
The Coast Blackcomb Suites Whistler is an all-suite, condo-style hotel at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain. Suites include full kitchens, complimentary Wi-Fi and spacious rooms. Enjoy an outdoor pool and hot tub as well.Visit Website
Cowboy Village Resort is nestled in a beautiful forest only a few minutes from the heart of Jackson Hole, and close to the area’s National Parks. All cabins of this charming resort boast modern comforts and amenities. Resort facilities include swimming pool and fitness center.Visit Website
This hotel offers great mountain views. Enjoy your spacious room, the outdoor heated pool or the two outdoor whirlpools.Visit Website
The Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre is located on the shores of Lake Okanagan. This destination resort offers a fully equipped fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, and hot tubs.Visit Website
Embassy Suites offers newly renovated and remodeled two-room suites with an indoor heated pool and fitness center. Get set to discover popular landmarks including The Space Needle and Pike Place Market and to experience Whirlyball and rock out at the Museum of Popular Culture (MoPOP).Visit Website
The SpringHill Suites in Flagstaff is a great place to relax after an awe-inspiring day at the Grand Canyon. The hotel’s stylish suites feature modern décor. Enjoy the on-site fitness center and indoor pool!Visit Website
The Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains is a luxurious all-suite resort-style hotel. The resort features spectacular desert mountain views, spacious guest room suites, a fabulous pool and hot tub and a fitness center.Visit Website
Get a taste of the college lifestyle on world class campuses and as time permits, take advantage of incredible facilities.
The University of Calgary is conveniently located in Northwest Calgary, a short drive from the downtown core. You’ll get a taste for university life when you stay in the dorms on campus.Visit Website
The UCLA campus is so amazing that after your stay here, you might not be able to wait to send in your application. Enjoy their unmatched facilities and check out the bookstore in the Ackerman Union (the perfect place to pick up a great hoodie). You know you can wear it with pride, as UCLA was the first US College to win 100 team championships.Visit Website
Enjoy your ocean-view cabin, onboard waterpark (yes!), activities, entertainment, nightly shows and dance club. Feast on many dining options including the incredible Food Network star Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint as we sail to Catalina Island and Ensenada!
Forget anything you think about when you hear the word “camping.” There’s a reason we call it Deluxe Camping! You will stay at private campgrounds with hot showers and clean modern bathroom facilities – yes that means indoor plumbing! Don’t be surprised to find that many of the campgrounds on our Teen Tours feature pools, basketball courts and plenty of room for football, soccer and fire pits for evening bonfires and roasting s’mores.
Our experienced leaders will introduce you to the joys of camping and guide you in everything you need to know, no experience is necessary. For a comfortable night’s rest, we provide cots and insulated air mats inside the largest tents in teen travel today. Our sturdy cabin style tents (16’x10’) have windows (with screened vents) and floors. Set up is quick and simple! We generally sleep 6 trip members per tent so there is plenty of room for your stuff. Camping meals are incredible and of course there are smores too! For more information on meals while camping see the WHAT IT’S LIKE tab.
Located minutes from Lagoon Amusement Park and Lagoon-a-Beach Water Park, there is no better place to set up camp!
You couldn’t picture a more perfect and serene place. A crisp blue lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains and of course it’s almost always sunny! Tahoe is a dream camping experience. Relax and enjoy the facilities, take a dip in the swimming pool or the jacuzzi or shoot some hoops on the full court.
Camp at one of Ruby’s beautiful campsites nestled in the pines. Then head out for a day of exploring in some of Utah’s most breathtaking country including Bryce Canyon National Park. At the end of the day, you can use the pool or hot tub before settling in for a quiet, relaxing evening under the stars.
At Westcoast Connection nothing else comes first. From our extensive trip planning department through our management team and our leaders, it is our single biggest priority! Safety procedures, equipment – we’ve got it covered. All Trip Leaders and Directors are certified in First Aid and CPR. We are extremely proud of our safety record and welcome all questions you may have in this area. Please see more under Safety First.
Once you are on your trip, you will have sensitive leaders that are caring, approachable and always there for you. Your Trip Director and Trip Leaders are people with incredible backgrounds including teachers, guitar players, IRONMAN triathletes, SCUBA divers, volunteers, and so much more.
Every staff member takes part in and must complete our extensive training weekends that review our philosophy and procedures to provide a well-supervised and fun-filled program.
Our Trip Directors, the individuals responsible for overseeing each itinerary, take on the roles of teachers, coaches, camp counselors, mentors, concierges and hosts. They’ve been trained to provide individual attention and create an all-inclusive family atmosphere (our EACH & EVERY philosophy). There’s a definite art to building dynamic groups, and we’ve worked hard to master it! We want you smiling on day one right through to a teary goodbye at your farewell banquet.
Our leaders are non-smokers. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Summer Leaders section.
We can’t say it too many times, this is a really incredible group experience. A great dynamic starts with our secrets for group bonding. Our bag of tricks goes way beyond traditional ice breakers. Imagine people hunts, Rock, Paper, Scissors championships, Ninja tournaments, flash mobs and so much more. We work hard to get everyone moving beyond first impressions and creating an atmosphere of total acceptance. Our staff hiring and training emphasizes social safety and establishing an inclusive culture. Many of our travelers come as individuals and we have a geographically diverse enrollment with students joining us from across the USA, Canada and internationally. This mix helps eliminate cliques at the outset and establish an open environment that benefits you. We take great care in assembling groups to create an unforgettable social experience.
Your summer of a lifetime starts with us carefully crafting the perfect program. Our team is dedicated year round to creating exciting, meaningful experiences! You have a detailed itinerary, but not one that is so rigid that you lose chances for spontaneity! Our Trip Planning Department pays painstaking attention to detail, sweating the small stuff so that your summer experience is stress free. Our trips are designed with a very logical flow: action, adventure and excitement balanced with structured downtime and relaxation. There is a reason our itineraries are known to be “Perfectly Planned. Perfectly Paced.” Our year-round team has over 420 summers combined working with teenagers and we understand what you’re looking for. We describe our trips in as much detail as these web pages allow, but to truly appreciate the flow of a particular program, please speak with us to review the trip of your choice.
Get ready because your summer is not going to be spent staring out of a window! For starters, our Active Teen Tours are very different from tours your parents may have gone on. We are always on the lookout for the newest and coolest activities including playing whirlyball in Seattle, climbing the Via Ferrata at Whistler, bobsledding in Calgary, riding thrill rides hundreds of feet over the Vegas strip, snorkeling the Port of Catalina, whitewater rafting in Jackson, and surfing in San Diego. It’s much more exciting than summer camp. Depending on the specific itinerary, add in nights out at comedy clubs, baseball games, nightclubs and amusement parks and you know you’re in for a treat.
But “active” also means you get to play a big part in how the summer turns out. We want you engaged and are interested in what you have to say. You have a role in this trip and how it gets molded.
There is so much more to a teen travel experience than just traveling. Summer after summer we love nothing more than the many calls and notes from parents sharing with us how they can’t believe how much their son or daughter has matured, helps out more at home, is more outgoing and confident, is more poised, more responsible and more worldly having had not just the summer of a lifetime, but a life changing experience as well. It’s amazing how much growth can occur when you are having fun, feeling socially safe, branching out into new friendships, and being yourself.
Our experience lends itself to trying new things and stepping just outside of one’s comfort zone. With a taste of age-appropriate independence and a well-deserved break from overly scheduled lives during the school year, teens can enjoy a very healthy reprieve from the usual pressures associated with home and school. We want you to be empowered and will provide opportunity to grow as a leader and further develop your self-confidence!
Living, experiencing, working and learning together, our trip members are afforded the chance to interact with other teens who share both similar and different backgrounds and interests. Everybody grows in their social acceptance of others.
By the end of the program we hope to have lit a spark – to travel, to learn, to meet new people, to try new things and to explore. With new friendships, new memories and new life skills on which to build, our teen travel experiences are truly unforgettable.
There really is a difference in how different summer programs operate! Motivated teens going away with qualified leaders is a given. But what sets us apart is the depth of our qualified personnel that allow us to perform with the greatest consistency at the highest level.
Your Trip Director and Trips Leaders are with you throughout your program. They have daily contact with one of our two 24-hour Communication Centers and are in regular contact with our Company Directors. Our Company Directors are the most seasoned veterans who each oversee specific programs providing support to trip staff and to assist with any situations that may arise. Our Company Directors alternate between traveling to visit programs and being reached in the office.
Program visits enable us to provide ongoing support and development to our Trip Directors, allows trip staff to have a sounding board for their own progress in reaching trip goals, helps us to identify any challenging areas for improvement while it still has relevance to your summer rather than as a mention on your end-of-summer survey, and helps us to identify the future Directors from the current crop of all-star summer staff. These visits are by Company Directors along with our Regional Supervisors, who are former Trip Directors with further experience out in the field. Collectively our planning, supervisory and management team is an incredible resource with over 420 summers of combined teen travel experience. This way, we can lend a hand wherever and whenever a little extra effort is called for. Last year, we had 205 scheduled supervisory trip visits to make sure all was running well, provide ongoing support to our staff in the field and have fun! This investment in depth of personnel is unrivaled in teen travel and is a critical element to achieving consistent, excellent program quality and surpassing client expectations!
Included in the trip tuition are all activities and entertainment described, breakfast and dinner daily, lunches as indicated on your specific program, gratuities, taxes, land transportation, accommodations, and fanatical customer service from our full-time team and summer Communication Centers. This can add up to tremendous value!
A big part of a summer’s success depends on how well you eat. We are proud of the fact that year after year we are complimented for our quality, quantity and choice of food. Our North American Active Teen Tour programs visit great restaurants. Depending on the specific itinerary, you may order off the menu at the Cheesecake Factory, Romano’s Macaroni Grill or Hard Rock Cafe. Still hungry? Here are more of the places you may enjoy… Jack Astor’s, Boudin Bakery and some really great local favorites like a Boulder institution featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, anaphylactic food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive personal experience in this area. Please speak with us to review your needs.
Our experienced leaders will introduce you to the joys of camping and guide you in everything you need to know – no prior experience is needed. Our professional campsite managers are an additional staff member at each camping location. They manage the equipment and oversee purchasing fresh produce and meals prepared as a team with your assistance on a rotating basis. Menus include omelets, fresh pancakes, French toast, BBQ chicken or steak, grilled salmon, stir fry, and of course s’mores and banana boats. There is a reason we call it Deluxe Camping as you are truly not roughing it! For more information on Deluxe camping, see the WHERE WE STAY tab.
On our North American Active Teen Tours, you’ll ride in a chartered deluxe, air conditioned motor coach with a professional driver. Buses have entertainment systems for music and movies. Coaches are outfitted with seatbelts.
You will only need to bring one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in our packing list as we visit local laundromats weekly. We will supply the detergent and dryer sheets. Don’t worry if you’ve never done laundry before, most of our travelers have not either! We’ll walk you through the Westcoast Connection laundry lesson, and in no time at all you’ll have the hang of it. Parents, we know the thought of your children doing laundry is making you smile!
We believe in promoting responsibility and community, and have a long history of helping charitable organizations. We volunteer each summer at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on our trips that visit LA, along with other worthwhile agencies on our trips that do not include Los Angeles. (Groups that are exclusively completing 7th and 8th grade are too young for the LAFB and other activities are planned.) Students on our programs have helped dozens of organizations serving thousands in need ranging from building homes from scratch with Habitat for Humanity to running day camps for the Boys & Girls Clubs. Last summer we completed 22,917 hours of service (that’s equivalent to 2.6 years!) in just 8 weeks.
While you’re out having the summer of your life, your parents should feel like they are in on the action as well. We post updates to our blog and Facebook page and e-mail photos approximately once a week so those at home can be in on the fun. Parents also have access to our dedicated office Trip Monitors 24/7 for any questions and/or concerns. We’re as in touch as any trip operator could possibly be via smartphones with e-mail and text. The goal is uncompromising safety and peace of mind, day after day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Participants may bring their personal cell phones.
In last summer’s surveys, 98% of responding teens and parents said they would recommend us to others. We must be doing something right!