Bus tours of Los Angeles range from hop-on hop-off double-decker bus tours with recorded narration, to guided small-group mini-van tours and everything in between. Many of the bus tours allow time for walking around at various stops. Usually the time off the bus is un-guided. Many of these companies also offer packages from Los Angeles to Las Vegas or San Diego. They are listed in no particular order.
Starline Tours dominate the LA guided bus tour market. They have a huge variety of tours from which to choose. The quality of Starline tours is variable depending on the guide. Some are outstanding; others are mediocre. Considering that they are the biggest tour company in town, they have a reputation for being somewhat unorganized, and not terribly service oriented. Most tours depart from Hollywood, but there are also some departing from Santa Monica. Tours with hotel pick up and drop off can be several hours longer than advertised.
LA City Tours has the usual passel of city, Hollywood, star homes, shopping and beach tours with the added bonus of being able to schedule tours that will drop you at LAX for your departure flight or at the Hollywood Greyhound Bus Station, or schedule a tour between your flight and cruise including pick up and drop off. They also offer hotel and multi-tour combo packages.
Los Angeles Shuttle Tours has the distinction of being the only small-bus generalist tour company that provides a guide separate from the driver, who gets out of the van with you to actually guide you through the ground stops. They also have more stops for you to explore.
Guideline Tours offers the full array of grand city tours and movie stars homes tours, a night tour, a west side beaches tour and tours to all the area theme parks. They depart from most Downtown
, Hollywood or Universal City hotel.
LA Tours offer the same array of tours as most other tour bus companies including, city, beaches, movie stars' homes, shopping and theme park transportation. They start their Grand tours in Downtown LA
instead of Hollywood. They also offer private limousine tours.
VIP Tours offers an extensive array of tours very similar to the offerings of all the other tour companies, with offices in LA and Anaheim
Los Angeles Sightseeing Tours and Charters offer all the standard city and movie stars' homes tours in small-group mini-buses. They have bilingual tour guides and can provide foreign language tours by special arrangement. "Bilingual guides" usually means that English is the second language, which can be a challenge for visitors who have a hard time understanding accents.
The Beverly Hills Trolley Tour is a 40 minute tour of Beverly Hills in an open-air trolley. Sights include the elegant shops of Rodeo Drive, stately neighborhoods, celebrity homes and famous and historic landmarks.
Amazing LA Tours is a Santa Monica-based company offering Los Angeles bus, air and theme park tours as well as tours that include a TV show taping of The Price is Right
or Clippers basketball game. Tours depart from Santa Monica
and Marina del Rey hotels. All tours are guided, not prerecorded.
Sunseeker Tours' Hollywood Tour actually covers everything from the Ports of LA and Long Beach to Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and of course, Hollywood. They have full-day and half-day tours in 9-14 passenger mini-buses departing from Long Beach hotels, the cruise ship terminal or LAX area. Passengers have time to get out and explore at Venice Beach, the Sunset Strip
, Hollywood Blvd
and the Hollywood Sign