20 of America’s Most Adventurous and Experiential Tours for 2017


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The American outdoors just stepped up their game.


It’s been on your bucket list since childhood – see the Grand Canyon. Or, you’ve already toured the Californian coast with your family. Either way, this list of American tours gives a new spin on the old favorites. Bigger and badder than ever, experiential tours are the new in. We believe that you shouldn’t just see the sights, but experience them – in a heartracing, jaw dropping, I-need-my-camera-right-now kind of way. It’s what separates your American vacation from everyone else’s.  

So, even if you’ve visited Boston or Hawaii before, it’s worth another go — see all the classics from a new perspective, Whether it be underwater, on a speedboat, or whizzing above via zipline, you haven’t quite seen all there is to see. It’s waiting for you.


Photo Credit to Adam Whitlock from Unsplash.


The land of the free and the home of the brave.


Photo Credit to Jad Limcaco from Unsplash.



Adventure Fueled American Tours

Your next American adventure is defined by exploration and exhilaration.


1. Oahu Private Tours  |  2. DETOURS of the West | 3. Coastal Tours of San Diego

4. Boston Duck Tours  | 5. Oregon Tour Co., LLC.  |  6. E Noa Tours

7. Desert Wolf Tours  |  8. South Pacific Kayaks | 9. Sonoma Canopy Tours

10. Paddle NC | 11. Alaska Wildland Adventures  |  12. Maid of the Mist



1. Oahu Private Tours

Photo Credit to Kalen Emsley from Unsplash.

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Best Season to Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: $300

Website: www.oahuprivatetours.com


When it comes to seeing Hawaii, a private tour on the beloved island of Oahu offers a true local experience for visitors. Oahu Private Tours highlights the pinnacles of life on the island with the intimacy only a private tour can offer. It will be you, your travel crew, the food and the sights – without the hassle of a big travel group.  Almost unanimously given 5 stars on TripAdvisor, Oahu Private Tours proves that Oahu is one of Hawaii’s finest – and it’s yours for the taking.


2. DETOURS of the West

Photo Credit to Andrew Charney from Unsplash.

Location: Phoenix and Las Vegas, Arizona and Nevada

Best Season to Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: $85 to $370 for day tours, $750+ for private

Website: detoursofthewest.com


See why it’s still called the “Wild West”. DETOURS of the West provides professionally guided experiences of landmarks such as the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Antelope Canyon, and pride themselves on recreating the “awe” of American’s most famous Western landmarks. Departing from Phoenix and Las Vegas, tours can last from one day to several and can even be private.


3. Coastal Tours of San Diego 

Photo Credit to Frank McKenna from Unsplash.

Location: San Diego, California

Best Season to Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: $149

Website: coastaltoursofsandiego.com


Southern California is known for its beach culture – especially in San Diego! The Coastal Tours of San Diego is a 29 mile, seven hour tour of the 10 most breathtaking locations in San Diego, from the best surfing beach to the Boardwalk and Crystal Pier.


4. Boston Duck Tours

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Best Season to Visit: First Day of Spring until the Sunday after the U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday

Starting Prices: $39.50 for Adults, $33 for Seniors of Students, $27 for Children 3-11 & $10.50 for infants

Website: www.BostonDuckTours.com


Regarded as Boston’s Most Awarded Tour, the Duck Tours take you for a spin in a bus before lowering into the Charles River and becoming a boat! Enjoy an unobstructed view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines by water. The ConDUCKtors ensure that the tour is fun and educational as the boat takes you to Boston’s most historic landmarks.


5. Oregon Tour Co., LLC.

Location: Portland, Oregon

Best Season to Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: $125 USD per guest, per day

Website: oregontourco.com


They say the best way to see a place is on tour by someone who really knows and loves it. Run by a father and son duo with a passion for Oregon views, Oregon Tour Co. is the way to see Oregon in all its glory. The eight hour tour boasts a dynamic change in scenery – from skyscraping waterfalls to the Columbia River Gorge, the fruit Orchards of Hood River Valley, the frosted mountains and Oregon’s tallest volcano, Mount Hood. Rather than scoping these views out yourself, Oregon Tour’s father and son tour guides have been offering tours for years and detail each location with unique stories.


6. E Noa Tours

Location: Honolulu, HI

Best Season to Visit: May 15th – September 30th

Starting Prices: $110

Website: www.enoa.com


Between beach lounging and sunbathing, choose an E Noa Tour during your time in Honolulu. From touring the historic Pearl Harbor location to a firsthand look at the gorgeous beaches of the North Shore, their unique tours will give you a more in-depth look at the culture and beauty of Honolulu. Tours also include Waikiki and Haleiwa Town.


7. Desert Wolf Tours

Photo Credit to Matt Howard from Unsplash.

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Best Season to Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: $159 per tour

Website: http://www.desertwolftours.com


Here’s an adventure for the books for all you thrill seekers! Desert Wolf Tours in Scottsdale is world famous for its activities on the Sonoran Desert. Go for a drive on their military-grade Tomcar UTVs and navigate the terrain from the base of the Bradshaw Mountains. In the 110,000 square miles of terrain, relish in the opportunity to view the breathtaking mountain views and learn about plants, animals, history, and survival skills of the desert from world-class guides. Tours begin and end at the famous cowboy and biker Roadrunner Restaurant and Saloon in New River, ensuring your wild-west experience!


8. South Pacific Kayaks and Outfitters

Location: Maui, Hawaii

Best Season to Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: $74

Website: www.southpacifickayaks.com


All of Maui is gorgeous – but you want to be in the know about each unique region. South Pacific offers tours to South, West, and Northwest Maui. Their South Maui tour is the most popular – visit Makena Landing for the world’s most dynamic snorkeling experience, witnessing Hawaiian green sea turtles in Turtle Town. Or, head to West Maui – known for its remote beaches, reef life, and coral. South Pacific also offers surfing lessons. Hang ten, dude!


9. Sonoma Canopy Tours

Photo Credit to Arnaud Mesuerer on Unsplash.

Location: Occidental, California

Best Season to Visit: Open All Year – Day and Night Flight Available

Starting Prices: Prices vary with course and age – begin at $99/person

Website: www.Sonomacanopytours.com


Most know the gorgeous California redwoods from below or…well, pictures. Here’s your chance to see them from above at lightning speed. With seven lines and a highest location of 20 stories, you’ll truly be one with nature in one of the world’s most glorious forests.


10. Paddle NC

Location: Swansboro, North Carolina

Enjoy April 1st through October 30th, open by appointment year round

Prices: Starting at $55 Per person for the trip

Website: paddlenc.com


The North Carolina coast has never been seen in such depth – tour Bear Island and its neighboring saltwater marshes, where the one and only Pirate Blackbeard traveled. Experience the best paddle boarding conditions in Hammock Beach State Park.


11. Alaska Wildland Adventures

Dates: June 1 – September 5 Annually

Prices: Starting at $570 per day

Location: Seward, Alaska

Enjoy June 1 – September 5 Annually

Website: http://www.alaskawildland.com/


Imagine yourself at the two most famous spots in Alaska: Denali National Park and “Alaska’s Playground” the Kenai Peninsula. Alaska Wildland Adventures offers a number of adventures to personalize your excursion through the Alaskan wonders from kayaking, hiking, and rafting. Can’t get enough? Spend the night in one of their award winning lodges.


12. Maid of the Mist

Photo by Justin Luebke from Unsplash.

Location: Niagara Falls, NY

Dates: Schedule varies, visit website

Prices: $18.25 for adults, $10.65 for kids

Website: https://www.maidofthemist.com


It’s the Niagara Falls from the American side. Aboard a tour boat, you’ll be taken to the awe-inspiring, thunderous, majestic Maid of the Mist waterfall. Your blue poncho will shield you from the sprays of refreshing, salty water as you take in the views all around you. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience, guided by expert tours and sailors to navigate the rough waters.



Wildlife Themed American Tours

From towering mountains to the misty coasts, there is beauty to find deeper within the greater views. Observe the best of American Wildlife with a diversity from humpback whales to mountain goats.



1. Juneau Tours and Whale Watch  |  2. Big Cat Rescue

3. Alaska’s Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge   | 4. Narragansett Bay Seal Tour

5. Paddle Marco  |  6. WildNative Tours

7. Captain Jack’s Airboat Tours  |  8. Dolfun Tours



1. Juneau Tours and Whale Watch

Photo Credit to Steve Halama from Unsplash.

Location: Juneau, Alaska

Best Season To Visit: May 1- September 30

Starting Prices: $135

Website: www.juneauwhalewatch.com


A trip to Southeast Alaska guarantees a glimpse at whales aboard custom designed vessels at the Juneau Tours and Whale Watch. But the whales aren’t the only attraction that delights – the the world’s largest temperate forest, the Tongass National, adorns the majestic waterways of your boat tour.


2. Big Cat Rescue

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Location: Tampa, Florida

Best Season to Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: Day Tours offered every day but Thursdays; cost is $36 USD

Website: bigcatrescue.org


Got cat fever? Check out the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida – the sanctuary is home to exotic cats including lions, tigers, leopards, bobcats, and cougars. Big Cat Rescue is one of the largest accredited big cat sanctuaries in the world for their work in ending abuse of captive big cats. Learn more about their work and the stories of the unique cats in the sanctuary from your tour guide.


3. Alaska’s Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge 

Photo Credit to Matthew Sleeper from Unsplash.

Location: The Lodge is located in Kachemak Bay State Park, 10 boat miles from the town of Homer, Alaska. The Lodge is remote and is on one of the few parcels of privately owned land within the State Park.

Best Season To Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: $550 per person per night all inclusive of meals, sea kayaks and other outdoor equipment, log cabin sauna and plunge pool, private cabins, delicious meals of fresh, wild-caught salmon, halibut, king crab, mussels, clams, shrimp, oysters, scallops, and other meals to suit special diets or desires for food other than seafood.  

Website: www.sadiecove.com


Ever wanted to live in Alaska, up close and personal with some of the rarest species in the world? Keith and Randi Iverson’s Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge boasts these opportunities and more: stay with up to 7 of your favorite travel friends in their remote, beachfront lodge. Its unique locations allows your observation of the sea life of Sadie Cove, including sea lions, seals, humpbacks, orcas, sea otters, river otters, and many varieties of sea ducks. Nestled in front of a forest, the lodge grants the unique opportunity to see other wildlife in your own backyard, such as bald eagles, moose, mountain goats, ermine, porcupine, black bear, and marmots.

Keith and Randi’s heritage on the Alaskan soil provide rich stories of their own adventures, and their hospitality has earned their lodge accolades such as being rated one of the top luxury resorts in Alaska.


4. Narragansett Bay Seal Tour

Photo Credit to Etienne Pauthenet from Unsplash.

Location: Newport, Rhode Island

Best Season To Visit: October through April

Starting Prices: $22 for non-members and $17 for Save The Bay Members

Website: savebay.org/seals


The seals of Narragansett Bay attract animal lovers far and wide. Enjoy the bay aboard a cruise with your own set of binoculars to view and photograph the famously adorable Rhode Island seals. Quick Tip: Their two hour tours include a bonus visit to the Rose Island lighthouse!



5. Paddle Marco

Location: Marco Island, Florida

Best Season To Visit:  January through April

Starting Prices: $65 per person

Website: http://www.paddlemarco.com


The twisty mangrove tunnels and mud flats of Marco Island, Florida are best explored via kayak! This adventure will expose you to Florida’s finest wildlife: crabs, starfish, large conch shells, osprey, heron, dolphins…and sometime manatees! Your next holiday card could be of you and your family with your new wildlife friends, as the guide is a professional photographer and takes FREE HD photos of you and your family during the tour.


6. WildNative Tours

Location: Gulf Shores, Alabama

Best Season To Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: $65 per tour

Website: www.WildNativeTours.com


Believe it or not, the Gulf Shores of Alabama are home to friendly dolphins. The WildNative Tours take you on a kayaking tour to encounter these dolphins and learn all the Dolphin Know-How from their life history to their feeding behaviors. Your view from the kayak offers a unique vantage point, which makes dolphins more comfortable in showing off for your group!


7. Captain Jack’s Airboat Tours

Location: Everglades City, Florida

Best Season To Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: $39.99 per adult tour

Website: http://www.captainjacksairboattours.com


Let’s pick up the pace – a airboat tour through Everglades City, Florida, is an exciting way to see the mangrove tunnels on the speedy route! Captain Jack is sure to entertain with folklore and fun facts, and a visit to their Animal Sanctuary allows you to see alligators, crocodiles, snakes, panthers, lions, and tigers – oh my!


8. Dolfun Tours

Photo Credit to Damian Patkowski from Unsplash.


Location: Orlando, Indian Harbor Beach Florida

Best Season To Visit: Year Round

Starting Prices: $27.99

Website: DolfunTours.com


Did you know that the Indian River Lagoon is home to 700-900 dolphins and ⅓ of the nation’s manatee population? DolFun Tours guarantees a dolphin sighting aboard their 35’ luxury tour boat with Captain Bob. Cruise the lagoon for 90 minutes, or reserve a private tour – just you and the dolphins!



Jump To Any Tour By Clicking Here:

1. Oahu Private Tours  |  2. DETOURS of the West

3. Coastal Tours of San Diego | 4. Boston Duck Tours

5. Oregon Tour Co., LLC.  |  6. E Noa Tours | 7. Desert Wolf Tours

8. South Pacific Kayaks  | 9. Sonoma Canopy Tours | 10. Paddle NC

11. Alaska Wildland Adventures  |  12. Maid of the Mist

13. Juneau Tours and Whale Watch  |  14. Big Cat Rescue

15. Alaska’s Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge   | 16. Narragansett Bay Seal Tour

17. Paddle Marco  |  18. WildNative Tours

19. Captain Jack’s Airboat Tours  |  20. Dolfun Tours



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About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C, Mexico and around the world. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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