6 Everything-But-the-Plane Trips
Leave the hassles of air travel behind on these all-American vacations.
1. Road Trip: Music, Mountains, and Monuments Westbound
G Adventures’ 8-day itinerary covers notable American cities—New York, D.C., Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans—and scenic roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway. You’ll ride in a private van with a small group averaging about 10 people (typically 20- and 30-somethings). The trip includes entrance fees to all National Parks and National Monuments with hiking and walking excursions, plus orientation tours in D.C. and New York, and a visit to Arlington Cemetery. From $110/day per person, gadventures.com.
2. Bike: Vermont Champlain Valley & Islands
VBT Bicycling & Walking Vacations emphasizes environmental and social responsibility, encouraging bikers to tread lightly and respect local cultures. On this tour, you’ll pass through the Champlain Islands, Burlington, Shelburne, and Fort Ticonderoga. You’ll have a picnic lunch by the lake and the opportunity to kayak. Five nights accommodations at historic inns and use of a custom VBT bicycle and helmet are also included. From $258/day per person, vbt.com.
3. Cruise: 5-Day Pacific Coastal Cruise from L.A. to Vancouver
Both the Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Pearl sail this itinerary.
Traveling up the coast, you’ll stop in San Francisco on the way to Vancouver; other stops may include Victoria, British Columbia or Astoria, Oregon. Onboard, there’s plenty to enjoy, including a climbing wall, tennis, bowling, comedy shows, an art gallery, multiple pools, and a kids’ club. From $63/day per person, ncl.com.
4. Train: Canyon Discovery Plus 3-Night Trip
Take the evening train journey from Williams, AZ, north to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim abroad the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel, whose vintage stainless-steel cars will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time. During the 65-mile journey, look out for elk, mountain lions, pronghorn, and bald eagles. Kids will love the cowboys and outlaws shows prior to boarding in the morning; a second show takes place on the way back. Two nights at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and a night at the Maswik Lodge are included. From $122/nigh per person, thetrain.com.
5. RV: GoRving Resource
The trip-planning website GoRving.com will help you find out where you can rent an RV and locate campgrounds and offers advice about which RV is right for you. Renting an RV is a great way to visit a bunch of destinations with your whole family and customize your own itinerary—you could let each person on your trip pick a spot they want to visit to help create your route.
6. Kayak: 3-Day Cumberland Island, GA, Adventure
Savannah’s largest paddle sports retailer offers rentals, lessons, guided excursions, and overnight camping trips. On this 3-day trip, you get to explore Cumberland Island, GA (known for pristine beaches and wildlife) and paddle to Christmas Creek island for hiking. All boats, gear, and meals are provided. From $126/day per person, savannahcanoeandkayak.com.
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