Flavors of Laguna's tasting tours meander to well-known Laguna Beach restaurants as well as eateries kept quiet by locals, with tastings of a wide variety of cuisines along the way. Though stops can vary, past trips have seen tour-goers dig spoons into Dolce Gelato's creamy handcrafted treats, sample sizzling dishes at La Sirena Grill, or cozy up to the horseshoe island bar at Lumberyard. (Wine or beer tastings are available for an extra fee.) Between bites, guides point out major sights during casual strolls around Laguna's streets, ensuring that tours, like city maps made of chocolate, are informative as well as delicious.
When Father Lasuen founded Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1775, he created the 7th of modern California's 21 missions, which were intended to serve as epicenters of Christianity and Spanish culture in the New World. The mission system fell into disarray and disrepair during the war for Mexican independence and the Mexican-American War, but San Juan Capistrano remains, standing as a relic of that era and a testament to California's historical mélange of European and Native American cultures.
The mission invites visitors to learn more about the region’s history by exploring 10 acres of preserved adobe architecture, fountains, and gardens. Audio tours give groups a unique insight into the site's stories, and rotating exhibits feature artwork as well as historical and religious artifacts from San Juan Capistrano. Hands-on activities allow guests to recreate the experience of centuries-old mission life by making adobe bricks, panning for gold, or connecting computers to dial-up modems.
Lux Travel Group's early-morning ground service chariots riders to Las Vegas in style, boasting luxurious service and perks similar to a first-class flight. Commence road trips with a champagne toast before sipping on two additional complimentary cocktails from the extensive drink menu. A continental breakfast or a lunch package consisting of a half sandwich, fresh fruit or salad, and a freshly baked cookie fuels passengers up for Olympic-level Internet surfing on the free WiFi (available on most routes, but subject to location and satellite interference from clouds and bandwidth-stealing UFOs). After reveling in the bus-centric festivities, wind down during a movie screening with a chocolate-mint-drizzled cake pop. Finally, a warm scented towel allows guests to freshen up for their triumphant arrival in Vegas.
In order to pursue his passion for flying, Anaheim Helicopters founder Mark Skinner left his home in England and began the journey to his current West Coast home. Now, in stable, modern, and air-conditioned helicopters, Mark stirs the air above Los Angeles and Orange County to provide passengers with views of rugged mountains and iconic buildings. During tours, Mark points out landmarks such as the Sunset Strip, the Capitol Records Building, and Dodger Stadium before soaring between skyscrapers, over famous homes, and in V-formation with migrating geese. In addition to piloting helicopters, Mark joins with a team of FAA–certified flight instructors to lead aviation lessons for aspiring pilots.
Rubber Duck Tours traverses both the blue and green portions of the globe to offer guests an amphibious exploration of Long Beach. With this tour, passengers will climb inside The Duck, a hydra-terra vehicle approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for dual-purpose travel. The tour route begins with an exploration of downtown Long Beach, as the tour guide shares the story of Long Beach's rags-to-boats transformation from farming community to port city. From there, The Duck hits the water to glide along the glassy surface of the harbor, with the elevated design of the boat keeping passengers dry, much to the delight of wicked witches and sightseeing housecats. The aqua-portion of the tour includes buoy's-eye views of the Queen Mary and other ships populating the harbor. The tour lasts 1.25 hours, with one-third of the tour spent on the water and two-thirds of the tour spent on land.