NEEDHAM, Mass., September 10, 2015 – TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the top 10 tours across the U.S., based on the quality and quantity of reviews and opinions from millions of TripAdvisor travelers. TripAdvisor specifically identified single-day, guided tour excursions to one or multiple points of interest that provide education and entertainment. Highlighted tours range from rides alongside wild horses and alligators, to making history come alive through visits to stunning skyscrapers and ancient cliff dwellings.
“Guided tours are an excellent way for travelers to explore destinations in more depth and create lasting memories,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “This list is a great example of the type of tours travelers can research and book on TripAdvisor, but there are thousands of other excellent tours worldwide to discover.”
10 Great U.S. Tours
1. Wild Horse Adventure Tours, Corolla, North Carolina (4,170 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Visitors to the Outer Banks can marvel at the majestic beauty of wild Spanish Mustang horses while galloping through more than 20 miles of pristine beaches during this guided Hummer excursion. During the two-hour jaunt, travelers learn about the area’s ecology, rich history and local lore. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “Not only did we see lots of horses and wildlife but the history provided of the area was incredible. Loved the Hummers and everyone could see all around.”
Pricing: Off-season tours (Sept. 6 – May 28): adults - $44, seniors - $42, kids 12 and under - $29
2. Real New York Tours, New York City, New York (4,399 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Travelers can get an authentic bite of the Big Apple on these tours where they’ll traverse the city’s neighborhoods and boroughs like real New Yorkers – via subway and by foot. From an in-depth, full day Manhattan tour, to a half day discovery of Brooklyn’s best breweries, this operator offers private and group tours that fit a variety of interests and schedules. “The 6.5 hours flew so quickly and at the end of the day I left with impressions, facts and stories that I'll never forget,” said a TripAdvisor reviewer.
Pricing: Small group tours start at $45 per person; Private tours are priced according to number of participants and start at $250
3. Platypus Wine Tours, Napa, California (4,294 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Wine novices and oenophiles alike are sure to savor the sips throughout this intimate experience. During shuttled group tours that are capped at 12 participants, guests visit four impressive wineries and are treated to a delightful picnic lunch and savory cheese platters. “The great thing about Platypus is that the drivers/hosts know the wineries that are the hidden gems and they are extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of Napa Valley and the wines,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
Pricing: Small group tours of Napa and Sonoma are $110 per person, North Sonoma/Russian River/Healdsburg tours are $99 per person; private tours are priced upon request; winery tasting fees are not included
4. Pink Jeep Tours Sedona, Sedona, Arizona (3,758 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Riding in rose-colored Wranglers, tour-takers will get a detailed view of Sedona’s red-rock landscapes during these off-roading adventures. The “Broken Arrow” tour explores popular formations including Bell Rock and Chapel Butte, while the “Ancient Rim” option surveys a 700-year-old cliff dwelling. A TripAdvisor reviewer shared that the tour, “took us to the best places and provided knowledgeable and personal information of the area, the geology, the theology, the ancient history of the indigenous peoples.”
Pricing: Small group tours start at $78 per person; bookable in advance on TripAdvisor
5. Trilogy Excursions, Lahaina, Hawaii (3,294 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Travelers can soak up the sun, surf, and a bit of history on this sailing tour of the Hawaiian isles. During the “Discover Lanai” option, travelers will swim and snorkel at Hulopo'e Marine Preserve and once onshore can tour the island’s expansive pineapple plantation. A TripAdvisor reviewer noted, “We saw beautiful fish in the waters while snorkeling, loved the history lesson from Uncle Sol, the tour by Auntie Moana, and seeing the spinner dolphins on the way back to Lahaina was one of the highlights of the day.”
Pricing: “Discover Lana’i” group tour: adults - $205, teens - $154, kids 12 and under - $105; other island tours start at $109 for adults; whale watching excursions are also available
6. Grand Adventures Tours, Las Vegas, Nevada (2,785 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Vegas visitors interested in straying from The Strip can hit the sightseeing jackpot with these Grand Canyon tours. Guides inform, entertain and point out the best photo opportunities during the daylong excursions that also include visits to the Hoover Dam and a drive along Route 66. “This tour was without a doubt the highlight of my month long trip around the world. Our guide Alfonso was fantastic, gave us plenty of interesting information about all of the sights,” said a TripAdvisor reviewer.
Pricing: Small group tours start at $155 per person
7. Savor Seattle Food Tours, Seattle, Washington (2,610 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Those visiting this seaside city can get a taste of Pacific Northwest cuisine and culture as they sample seafood, coffee and other delicious bites. Tour options include explorations of the iconic Pike Place Market, artisan chocolate tastings, and samplings of Seattle’s best craft cocktails including spun-sugar concoctions at Von's GustoBistro. A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, “Getting to have some super yummy food and drinks, hearing about the local culture and meeting new friends was priceless. Even the rain didn't bother us.”
Pricing: Small group tours starting at $48; bookable in advance on TripAdvisor
8. Electric Tour Company Segway Tours, San Francisco, California (2,377 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
In the City by the Bay, intrepid tour-goers ride on self-balancing Segway vehicles to visit San Francisco’s popular neighborhoods and attractions, including Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate Park. Even more adventurous motorists can take on the advanced hills and challenging hairpin turns of the famous Lombard Street. Before setting off, new riders are brought up to speed with a 45 minute training session. “We saw so much of the city with minimal effort going up and down the hills – definitely the best way to see the sights! Segways are so easy to ride and going on the roads felt safe,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
Pricing: Small group tours starting at $70; bookable in advance on TripAdvisor
9. Chicago's First Lady Official Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise, Chicago, Illinois (2,245 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
During this 90-minute cruise on the Chicago River, travelers can enjoy a leisurely ride aboard an open-air vessel while learning about the stunning structures that surround the shore. Docents elucidate the architecture and design behind more than 50 buildings that dot the city skyline. A TripAdvisor reviewer called the tour, “The ideal combination of going out on a relaxing, high quality river cruise to take in lovely city scenes with the most knowledgeable people to share the city’s history and culture with you!”
Pricing: Seasonal tours (April – November): $39.74 during the day, $42.58 at twilight
10. Wild Willy's Airboat Tours, Saint Cloud, Florida (2,126 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Thirty miles south of Orlando, Wild Willy offers a one-hour airboat tour of Lake Tohopekaliga. Beyond catching a glimpse of twelve-foot alligators, passengers will learn about the area and lake ecology and view an array of wildlife including waterfowl, herons and turtles. “I thought seeing the alligators and the ride would be worth the trip alone but it was an enjoyable biology lesson for all of us,” said a TripAdvisor reviewer.
Pricing: Small group tours: adults - $48, kids 3-12 $38, kids under 3 are free; private tours for up to six guests are also available for a flat rate of $250
Methodology: The TripAdvisor ranking of great U.S. tours is based on the quantity and quality of reviews on TripAdvisor, with more weight given to reviews submitted in the last year. The list highlights one tour per destination.
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