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OUR TEAM


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OUR TEAM


With over 25 years of combined experience in the travel and tourism industry, we know what it takes to make a memorable vacation. We've worked for the best of the best in the active travel world, and love taking our refined trip planning and leading skills to our awesome itineraries, and out on the road with you!

At Explore California is a boutique tour operator that provides experiences, rather than a traditional group tour company that may provide a more contrived tour. We believe that direct connection between our customers and our team is the path to a successful and meaningful vacation. When you book a trip with us, you'll get to know us from the start: from your initial inquiry until the end of your tour, our small team of dedicated guides and travel professionals is waiting to make your trip one to remember! Read on to learn a little more about each of us.


KELLY ENGLISH

FOUNDER and GUIDE

A born-and-raised California girl, Kelly spent her early years tide-pooling in the Monterey Bay and camping in Big Sur. After many years of studying, working, and traveling abroad, Kelly eventually landed in San Francisco, a mere two hours from her hometown of Monterey. She realized that if you never leave, it's hard to appreciate where you are from. She adores showing people around the California coast, and has perfected the perfect tour from experience. A trip with Kelly is filled with anecdotes, local lore, and an in-depth knowledge of every coffee shop along the way! 

 


ADAM BALLARD

OWNER and GUIDE

An Iowa-born, West Coast convert, Adam's enthusiasm for the beauty of Northern and Central California is as contagious as his smile. He moved to San Francisco in 2003, and promptly traded in a career in academia for a life of guiding and adventure. After having had the chance to work and guide all over North, Central and South America, he realized that there was nowhere else he would rather be than back in California. As a leader for your trip with Explore California, Adam will take you to the spots that only locals know, share insightful facts about the area, and let you know where you can find all of the best bites to eat along the way.

 


MARK OLSEN

GUIDE

Mark's love for California began when he moved Santa Cruz, and started to spend his free time surfing and cycling along the coast. It is a love affair that has lasted throughout his 15-year guiding career. Mark particularly enjoys leading our coastal tour through Big Sur, where he knows how to find the hidden wonders that lie around every curve in the road. Having first discovered Big Sur with his father on a road trip they took together 20 years ago, Mark loves the chance to introduce our customers to the region, and won't hold back in sharing the best of its hidden treasures with you!