Though I don’t like to take group tour of longer duration where I will have to follow a fixed plan set by organizer, small group tours are always fun. They are good chance to meet new people specially when you are traveling solo. Even if you don’t connect with other group members, you always have a guide to talk. I traveled solo for couple of days in my recent visit to USA and took three group tours where each one of which lasted for 2-3 hours but made my day. I would highly recommend them to enrich your experience in the respective cities. They were full of fun and information and thus converted my experience from ‘just-see-the-place’ to ‘know-the-place’.
- Hop On Hop Off in Washington DC : It’s one of the most popular way to see the Washington DC. You can get the information about these from your hotel or the tourist center. Since monuments in DC are separated apart, the tour is a good way to see all places of interests along with information provided by guide during the commute. The guide is none other than the driver of the bus who while driving along the circuit, will provide interesting information about the places on the way. At the beginning of the tour you will be provided with a map which explains the path the bus will take. You can get down at a place that interests you along the way e.g. American History Museum and then join back another bus from same company to continue the journey. The buses run throughout the day so you can see a lot of places in a day using these tours.
- Architecture Boat Tour in Chicago: I never knew some one can make me take interest in architecture of buildings. But the guide on this tour presented information in such an interesting way that I put aside my camera and was just patiently listening what he said. Chicago is a city of skyscrapers and lot of them around Michigan river. The tour is carried out on a boat where you are served with tea/coffee and cookies. The boat then takes you through the river and the guide will tell about history of each building on the banks. The narration is so interesting that you will soon start looking out for patterns in buildings. He also tells about history of Chicago and covers incidents like the deadliest fire accident or how the direction of river was changed with human efforts. Absolutely recommended on visit to Chicago.
- Free Walking Tour in NYC: I have already spoken about free walking tours in Europe but they are not yet popular in other parts of world. The tour works on tips instead of fixed charge. You don’t need to pay anything beforehand and after the tour you can tip the guide based on quality of tour and your budget. Sandeman is very popular walking tour company in Europe and I had taken their tour in Prague so I decided to check out its availability in USA. I found one available in NYC and I decided to go with it.The tour in NYC is not as good as in Europe but still a very good way to see the downtown and is worth it. The guide will walk you through the famous places like wall street but also take you through unknown food streets 🙂 and tell the history of New York. He also gives some useful tips for exploring the city making the tour more worthwhile.
If you are in any of these cities any day, make sure to try out these tours. They are worth every penny. Do you have any group tour story to share ?