Not many events can combine puzzles, obstacle races, and charitable giving-all while filling the downtown area with people in gorilla suits. Gorilla Challenge accomplishes all of these things in a single afternoon. With annual events held across the country, it is quickly becoming the premier event for raising fun and social responsibility. Several of the event's clues are designed to bring awareness to topics such as literacy, poverty, environmental concerns, animal welfare, and elder care. Amid these consciousness-raising events, the company's gorilla-suit-clad staffers make surprise appearances to award participants prizes and collect bribes in the form of fresh bananas or sign-language-speaking kittens.
Committing their enterprise to eco-friendly tourism, the women at SegZone Tours guide visitors through the historic streets of Annapolis, along the city waterways of Dover, and around the track at Dover International Speedway—all aboard segways. For groups or private parties, tour leaders can also focus excursions on local gardens, architecture, and wildlife in areas often unreachable by car or paraglider. They also guide themed seasonal tours, such as rides along haunted-house routes or past holiday-light displays. With an eye toward safety, staff members always provide thorough instruction on riding before tours or rentals, though they often give customers license to race or argue over whose segway would look better with flames painted on the side. When not leading guided excursions for customers or school groups, the team organizes corporate team-building events as well as indoor obstacle courses for recreation.
Since 1996, the staff at Seadog Cruises has welcomed explorers aboard sophisticated, open-air speedboats for city tours. Over the years, they’ve led more than two million sightseers through Baltimore and Chicago on cruises that elucidate city histories, paying special attention to landmarks such as Baltimore’s Naval Reserve Center and Chicago’s Tribune Tower. Their fleet of watercraft uses low-sulfur diesel and four-stroke engines that produce lower emissions than older models, allowing eco-conscious passengers to rest easy and allowing fish to finally open their windows for some fresh water.
The 90-minute narrated tour, led by expert guides who share insider info about the city and the Inner Harbor, shows off the city's prime sights. From the Annapolitan II, a luxury water van, you can spot Federal Hill, Fells Point, and the USS Constellation, and get a glimpse of Fort McHenry. While the open upper deck is ideal for making eye contact with attractions, a climate-controlled lower level, featuring a full-service bar with drinks and snacks available for purchase, provides some respite from potential awkward encounters with socially inept seabirds.
Licensed professional tour guides could tell you about the design plan of the U.S. Capitol, the specifics of the congressional resolution to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the quotes engraved on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Or, they could show you.
Excellent Tours' four experienced guides share their knowledge of the capital during three narrated tours aboard vans, mini-buses, and coach buses. Each tour includes stops at the White House, Capitol building, Lincoln Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which is where the similarities end. Tours run at three different times and visit several different additional sights, such as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the World War II Memorial. During each excursion, guides divulge facts such as how President Theodore Roosevelt gave the White House its name in 1901, and why the engineer who laid the cornerstone of the Washington Monument used the same trowel George Washington used nearly a century earlier instead of the nice one his mother bought for him.
Since 1844, Maryland Historical Society has kept residents connected to their state's heritage by publishing educational books and a quarterly magazine. These days, its museum brings that archived history to life with more than 350,000 objects, most notably the oldest-known surviving manuscript of Francis Scott Key's "The Star-Spangled Banner," which includes its original, crossed out title, "Get Ready for Baseball, America." Guests can also marvel at artifacts ranging from 900 pieces of furniture made between 1634 and 2000 to more than 2,000 paintings, including seven by Joshua Johnson, America's first professional African American portrait painter. Meanwhile, its Civil War exhibit occupies more than 5,000 square feet with 3-D video presentations. The society also sponsors extensive educational programs that enlighten young students with field trips, plus adult programs that include lectures, concerts, and symposia.