Like an escalator coated in peanut butter, your routine can easily bog you down in the quotidian. Get up, go to work, see people, go home, build dog agility course, and repeat. Experience the world you largely ignore with today’s Groupon: $25 gets you a three-hour bus tour of Seattle’s most popular sights from Tours Northwest, a $49 value. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
The Bavarian Ice Festival blends winter activities, snow sculptures, and holiday lights into two days of revelry amid Leavenworth's ivory snowflakes. Busses operated by Alki Tours depart at 8 a.m. and deliver Saturday visitors to downtown Leavenworth, where the annual Smooshing contest finds teams of four atop 8-foot wooden planks as they glide merrily down Front Street and safely away from escaped dinosaurs. Guests can relax under warm blankets and sip hot chocolate or coffee during a 40-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride. First day visitors also take in the artwork of an ice-sculpting contest, a slippery footed tug-of-war, and an ice cube scramble or frisbee sweep for the kids.
As the founder of Seattle Food Tours, Michael Rogers couldn't have started a more perfect business for himself: as a former chef and frequent traveler, he appreciates the feeling of discovering new places. He's surrounded himself with a team of similarly knowledgeable tour guides, including a professional baker, a wine tasting expert, and an international tour guide.
Given the group's impressive backgrounds, it's not surprising that they operate top-notch excursions. They lead the curious through Pike Place Market, and even though it's one of the most visited culinary destinations in the country, their trip grants access to five spots not featured on any other market tour. A progressive dinner through Belltown Restaurants welcomes groups to sample libations from a nationally renowned cocktail bar, and taste the creations of a sushi chef who is a two-time James Beard nominee. Each outing can be amended for vegetarians or those with fork allergies, or reserved for private groups.
Savor Seattle's founder, Angela Shen, heads a knowledgeable staff of devout gourmands, who pilot culinary walking excursions that have earned abundant accolades from the likes of Bon Appetit, USA Today, and Sunset magazine. The guides brandish Savor Seattle's signature pink umbrella during the informative tours, which grant anywhere from 12 to 16 pedestrians access to tastings of fresh, seasonal, and organic fare at up to nine local eateries. Neighborhood outings allow tour-goers to sample the flavors of favorite spots, such as Capitol Hill and Pike Place Market, without the hassle of going door-to-door asking for samples of homeowners' dinners. Themed jaunts spotlight specific culinary heavy hitters, such as gourmet restaurants and chocolatiers. At every pit stop, chefs and restaurateurs divulge behind-the-scenes stories and recipes, and can modify samples to fit dietary restrictions.
Seattle Scenic Flights' skilled pilots offer you a chance to see the city in a brand-new way: from the clouds. On flights ranging in duration from 30 minutes to 60 minutes, you'll get a bird's-eye view of landmarks such as Lake Washington, Safeco Field, Qwest Field, and Fisherman's Terminal. Enjoy aerial freedom like a sparrow on parole as you soar above the Space Needle, downtown Bellevue, and the University of Washington.
Seattle Scenic Flights can also set up aspiring pilots on an introductory flight lesson to the San Juan Islands. You and a friend will commandeer a Cessna Skyhawk with an FAA Certified Flight Instructor for a flight to the islands, where you'll then deplane for two hours to shop for souvenirs, savor the local fare, or snap pictures before heading back toward the mainland. Your flight counts 100% towards the FAA requirements for pilot training and will be documented in an official pilot logbook.