Short tours that base out of great American cities

Regional tours are different from road trips in three ways. First, they claim a city as their home base and visit colleges within the region. Second, they are usually shorter with only two to three overnights. Third, we will probably not use a motor coach because we have a smaller group of students. 

Currently, we offer regional tours in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin/San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Atlanta. 

Otherwise, our regional tours are very similar to our classic road trips:

  • While we feature certain schools, you are free to visit any campus in the area.
  • At our featured colleges, we provide a comprehensive visit and collegiate experience guided by our Campus Director. 
  • You can create your itinerary from one of our program strands. 
  • Experts provide sessions from our "The College Selection Process" series.
  • We stay at highly-rated Hilton and Marriott properties.
  • With the exception of lunch and dinner, the program fee is all-inclusive from the time our tour originates.

Collegiate experiences

We provide opportunities for you to feel like a student on each campus. In addition to the traditional tour, you'll eat in dining halls and meet with our Campus Directors in student centers. Occasionally, you will have the option to attend a campus event, such as a basketball game or play. When possible, we encourage you to attend a class.

You'll stay in one highly-rated hotel -- No checking in & out


Good news! On an American College Regional Tour, you will stay in the same property for the entire trip! Since we base out of a city, you can unpack and settle into your immaculate hotel. 

Whereas Hilton properties are more common on Road Trips, most hotels for our Regional Tours are Westin or Marriott. You can usually find us at a centrally located, almost new Residence Inn or Westin. We love the larger rooms that allow you more space to settle in for three or four days. If it is not almost new, however, you will find us at the newest suite hotel convenient to our itinerary. WiFi is always complimentary.

Similar to college visits, some things cannot be decided without seeing for yourself. Our accommodation decisions are based on personal visits to each property, not just recommendations from others or online sites. We meticulously evaluate sleeping rooms and additional amenities at dozens of hotels to ensure a comfortable and convenient experience. 

When selecting hotels, we look for:

  • Exceptional properties -- Immaculate, upscale or almost new suite hotels
  • Large suite rooms (large is a relative word in some cities)
  • Queen-size beds
  • A safe, secure environment
  • Indoor pools (if possible)

Sightseeing by expert guides

To fully evaluate a college, you must also consider its greater surroundings -- the neighborhood, as well as the city where you may have an internship. We partner with local guides to provide a highlight tour of each city's major sites.

Campus Directors

Unique to American College Tours, an undergraduate student will be your personal liaison at each featured college or university. These students are carefully selected by American College Tours for their knowledge of the school and the college selection process, as well as their interpersonal and organizational skills. Each Campus Director is committed to making the most of our time on their campus, as well as answering your questions before and after our visit. The information they provide may be a significant factor in your decision-making process.

"The College Selection Process" Sessions


During your tour, we offer sessions from our signature series "The College Selection Process". The speakers range from expert counselors, former/current admission counselors, and students. Topics include an overview of the admissions process, financial aid, college essays, choosing a college, and ZeeMee! 

We recommend the eight books shown in the gallery. While some books are specific to certain students. Others are great for everyone: "Where You Go is Not Who You Will Be", "College Admissions", "College Match", "College Essay Essentials", and "Secrets of a Financial Aid Pro".  On some tours, you may even have an opportunity to meet one of the authors.

Less stress & more fun

College visits can be stressful. Traveling with other students, however, lightens the mood. Plus, all the details have been handled by us. You can focus on the campuses and have fun with friends. Many students leave on the trip without knowing another participant. Before long, however, they have many new friends! Our activities and events help facilitate friendships.

Ground transportation

Since students are placed in small traveling groups based on their itinerary, most ground transportation is by vans, mini buses, and SUVs. In some cities, subways may provide the fastest mode of transportation. Program staff accompanies students throughout their day and on all types of transportation. Professional carriers with excellent records -- company and drivers -- are selected for our private transportation needs.

Safe & secure

From the selection of transportation to accommodations, your safety is our primary concern. Our hotel will be located in a safe neighborhood with nearby medical facilities. Our drivers have a perfect records. Our charter vehicles will be new and well-maintained. Additionally, we hire our own evening security guards. Our tour directors and group leaders are certified in first-aid certification and must complete our annual health and safety protocol training.

Program fee includes everything but lunch and dinner

From the time we pick you up from the airport until you depart, our regional tours are all-inclusive with the exception of lunch and dinner. The fee includes all travel costs, accommodations, sightseeing fees, tickets to events, materials, security, and all breakfasts. You'll need money for lunch, dinner, t-shirts, other souvenirs, snacks, and optional events (announced prior to each tour). Please note travel to the origination city and dinners are not included.