Soak in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains
Do you want a little adventure in your vacation? Are you hoping to hike, camp, zip-line, and kayak through rapids—all in the same trip? You can do this all surrounded by the lush forests, cascading waterfalls, rushing rivers, and historic Civil War sights of the Great Smoky Mountains if you sign on to REI’s Great Smoky Mountains Adventure. It’s a four-day guided camping trip that includes lots of thrills, near-endless outdoor beauty, delicious meals around a campfire, and highly experienced guides to lead you through every step of the adventure. Suitable for adults and teens in good physical condition. Rates start at $1,649 per person.
Tour Nashville and discover its music scene
If you can’t get enough of that country sound, you’ll love the two-hour Live Nashville! walking tour from Really Entertaining Tours. You’ll learn about the rollicking history of Nashville, with a focus on its rich tradition of music. The tour covers many points of interest, including Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Printers Alley, Ryman Auditorium, and the Downtown Presbyterian Church. Your guide will also fill you in on the gamblers, honky-tonk musicians, civil rights heroes, and other historic figures who made the city what it is today. Suitable for all ages. Cost is $25 per person.
Experience the awe-inspiring wonders of Zion National Park
Zion National Park in Utah captures the splendor and wonder of the Southwest. On the three-day guided Zion Hiking Weekend from REI, you’ll traverse the gorgeous and colorful canyons, rock formations, and outlooks of one of the most iconic national parks in the country. The hikes are of moderate difficulty, and the knowledgeable guides will keep things comfortable for both novices and experienced hikers. At the end of each day, you’ll enjoy relaxing with your fellow trekkers around a delicious dinner cooked over a roaring campfire before you retire to your comfortable tent and camp bed. Suitable for adults and teens in good physical condition. Rates start at $1,449 per person.
Learn about the architecture of Chicago from above and below
Inside Chicago specializes in walking tours that show off the city’s striking architecture. On the Look Up, Look Down tour, you’ll experience Chicago from way up high in some of the city's tallest buildings and way down low along the streets and riverfront. You’ll learn about the history of Chicago and its best-known buildings as well as many lesser-known but noteworthy spots. This two-hour walking tour is a great way to experience the city without getting stuck in the usual tourist traps. Cost is $30 per person for ages 11 and up, and $25 per person for kids ages 6 to 10 and seniors 65 and older.
Hike, sip wine, and discover all that California’s Wine Country has to offer
Picture leisurely hikes through beautiful countryside and towering redwoods. Imagine sipping glasses of fine wine right at the very vineyards where the grapes were grown. Now add luxury hotels, art galleries, Spanish missions and other historic sites, and picnic baskets full of gourmet goodies. Toss in detailed maps and guidance from local representatives, and you have Country Walkers' six-day California: The Wine Country self-guided walking tour. This luxury-level walking tour is sure to thrill not just wine lovers, but anyone who savors time spent in nature. Suitable for adults in reasonably good condition. Rates start at $2,248 per person.
Hike up to the famous Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles
There’s a lot to do in the City of Angels—you could spend weeks and still not see everything. But on the 2.5 hour Hollywood Sign Hike from Bikes and Hikes LA, you’ll not only get in some exercise, you’ll also learn a bit of the city’s history while covering approximately four miles of mostly easy terrain. Stops include the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory, and the Greek Theater. Along the way, you'll enjoy great views of the city and the notable landmarks spread out below. Suitable for all ages. Cost is $48 per person.
Discover the largest temperate rainforest on the planet
While the word “rainforest” might bring to mind warm, tropical locations in South America or Asia, awash in colorful birds and bright flowers, right here in the Pacific Northwest we have the world's largest temperate rainforest—a region that has lots of rain and cool temperatures, and heavy growth largely composed of conifers and ferns. With Country Walkers’ Washington: Olympic Peninsula six-day guided tour, you’ll learn to appreciate all of the beauty and wonder of this old-growth forest.
The journey takes you along the coast, through meadows, beside riverbanks, and underneath the canopy of towering redwoods. You’ll marvel at the abundant wildlife of the area, including elk, otters, eagles, and seals. And you’ll enjoy luxury accommodations, delicious meals, fine wine, and expert guidance every step of the way during this trip of a lifetime. Suitable for adults in reasonably good condition. Rates start at $3,898 per person.
There’s more to Las Vegas than the Strip
Las Vegas may be known for glitz and glamour, but that’s not all there is to this desert oasis. Learn about the history of Vegas as you travel from Union Station, where it all began, down Fremont Street. Las Vegas Walking Tours offers a two-hour stroll that hits on interesting sights that you might not otherwise encounter, such as the downtown container park, historic wedding chapels, and the areas around the Neon Museum and the Mob Museum. You'll also get the inside scoop on the current revitalization of downtown Vegas. The tour is suitable for all ages. Cost is $35 per person, $15 for children ages 4 to 10.
Experience the ultimate adventure in Alaska’s Denali National Park
You’ll feel like you’ve entered another world, and in fact, you will have. On the Denali National Park Walking & Hiking Tour from Backroads, you’ll start your six-day adventure by soaring in a helicopter over the Chugach backcountry before beginning your hike over glaciers, across tundra, along mountains, next to lakes, and through meadows. On the way, you’ll marvel at the pristine scenery, the many varieties of wildlife, and the historic remnants of Alaska’s gold rush. You'll spend your nights in a comfortable lodge, but it’s the days you’ll treasure as you make memories that will last a lifetime. While you’ll do plenty of hiking, you’ll also spend some time touring the wonders of Denali National Park by van, but don’t worry: The scenery is every bit as beautiful from your window as it is on foot. Suitable for teens and adults in reasonably good condition. Rates start at $4,299 per person.
Sneak a peek beneath the streets of Seattle
Sure, there’s a lot to see above ground in this beautiful Pacific Northwest city, but for a truly unforgettable visit, spend an hour delving below the city on the Beneath the Streets tour. Knowledgeable guides will teach you about the history of the city from its Native American past to its founding in the mid-1800s to the bustling metropolis it is today. You’ll start out in Pioneer Square and then venture below the streets to wander dark passageways and discover how the city grew. While the tour is suited to all age groups, be aware that you’ll need to be fit enough to walk up and down approximately six flights of stairs. Cost is $20 per person.
Experience the magic of New Orleans
New Orleans has a long history with the occult, including voodoo, ghosts, and magic. So, while you’ll certainly want to visit the city's many jazz clubs and Cajun eateries, also make time to explore its more macabre offerings. One way to commune with the dark side is to join the two-hour New Orleans Ghost, Voodoo, and Vampire Tour offered by Witches Brew Tours. As your guide leads you through the dark streets of the French Quarter, you’ll thrill to the many stories of hauntings, voodoo, and the black arts offered up by your guide. And of course, you’ll learn a little about the history and architecture of the area as well. Suitable for adults and teens. Cost is $16.50 per person.
Related: America’s 50 Favorite Streets
Take in the charm of the coastal South
On the five-day Charleston & Savannah Walking Tour from Classic Journeys, you’ll not only travel along picturesque harbors, through mossy pathways, and along the rocky coast, you’ll also enjoy private tours of historic homes, learn about the Gullah culture in the Old South, wander through the beautiful gardens of Middleton Place, visit Fort Pulaski and learn about the Civil War battle fought there, check out museums in the area, and get in some shopping. On every step of your vacation, you'll enjoy fine meals, luxury accommodations, and expert guidance. This is truly a trip to remember. Suitable for adults in reasonably good condition. Rates start at $3,995 per person.
Walk and learn in the picturesque Vermont countryside
When you take the six-day Wildlife, Walking & Hiking in the Green Mountain State tour of Vermont with Road Scholar, you won’t just walk through lovely countryside, admire beautiful scenery, and sleep in quaint bed-and-breakfast accommodations—although you will indeed do all those things. You’ll also go on expert-led walks and hikes, and learn about the history, flora, and fauna of the state while visiting beaver ponds, enjoying a live animal presentation, and hunting for evidence of moose activity. In the evenings, you'll enjoy musical entertainment, relish delicious meals, and revel in the cozy conviviality of the inn. Suitable for adults in reasonably good condition. Rates start at $829 per person.
Hike the craggy coastline of Acadia National Park in Maine
The rocky coastline of Maine has a rugged beauty that’s hard to beat, as you'll discover on The Wayfarers six-day Maine Coast Acadia National Park and Mount Desert walking tour. On this luxury tour, you’ll traverse miles of coastline, hike trails and carriage paths, enjoy mountain views and forest scenery, walk the coastline and along lakesides and ponds, and marvel at the abundant wildlife of the area. But it’s not all outdoor adventure: You’ll spend time in both Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor, do some shopping, visit beautiful gardens, take a boat tour, and learn about Acadia's history. At night, you’ll rest in a top-notch country inn and feast on delicious meals. Suitable for adults and teens in good condition. Rates start at $3,695 per person.
Take a bite of the Big Apple
To say there’s a lot to see and do in New York City is an understatement. If you are a first-time visitor to the city that never sleeps, one of the best ways to take it in is with a guided tour that hits all the hot spots. And when that tour is the six-hour One Day New York City Tour from NewYorkTour1, you’ll see many of the city’s most famous sights, including Times Square, Grand Central, the New York Public Library, the Chrysler Building, Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty, and much more. While most of the tour is on foot, you’ll also travel by subway and ferry. Suitable for adults, teens, and older children in reasonably good condition. Cost is $74 per person, $64 for kids ages 4 to 12, and free for children under 4.
All aspects of life look different in 2020—and that includes Black Friday shopping. Major retailers are already offering seasonal deals and promotions in their online stores, so you can stock up on gifts for friends, family, and maybe even yourself.