Leave it to a DC bus company to build its service upon democratic principles: DC2NY lets its riders vote on issues such as whether or not to make rest stops or watch movies. This novel approach to customer service was developed by a senior management team with decades of experience in the hospitality industry, and it is no doubt part of the reason for a seemingly endless list of customer compliments. Riders also tend to be fans of the modern fleet of buses, which are equipped with free WiFi and bottled water, well-kept bathrooms, and electrical outlets in every other row.
Most of the roundtrip voyages take place between DC or Virginia and New York City, with convenient pickup locations at Dupont Circle and Union Station in DC, Penn Station in New York, and two Virginia-area Metro stations. Weekend trips often have express service with no additional pickups, and the summer season brings routes headed toward Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches in Delaware. For regular commuters, DC2NY offers a membership program, which grants special pricing, rewards points redeemable for tickets, and the privilege of declaring yourself mayor of your seat.
A National Historic Landmark and home to one of two homes Thomas Jefferson designed and created for his own personal use, Poplar Forest provides a unique insight into the private life of one of American history’s biggest shapers. Owners of a Scholar’s Society Family Membership card get a year’s worth of unlimited admission to the grounds for two adults and their children, a subscription to Poplar Forest’s semi-annual newsletter, a monthly e-newsletter, a Founding Fathers powdered wig, and 10% off at the museum shop. History buffs can tour the house during its ongoing meticulous restoration while learning about the building's architecture, preservation, and early 19th-century life in addition to learning about Jefferson’s vision for his gardens and farm. Forty-minute guided tours provide information about the facility's numerous exhibits—including the restoration workshop, slave quarter site, and archaeology laboratory; free-spirited visitors can wander the grounds with GPS-guided audio-visual handheld units or a sundial.
United Social Sports brings recreational athletes together to socialize and showcase their hand-eye coordination. Free agents or team-sized groups register for the organization’s casual coed leagues dedicated to traditional sports such as softball and volleyball as well as carnival games such as cornhole and skee-ball. Each league hosts 6–8 weekly matches, which culminate in a final tournament and an end-of-season party—much like youth-sports leagues, but with postgame drink specials.
Shockoe Bottom, one of Richmond’s oldest neighborhoods, is also home to some of Richmond’s scariest ghosts and classiest haunting scenes. During the Capital Creepers Eerie Nights tour, which is guided by ghastly ghouls dressed in historical duds and painted with Hollywood-quality makeup that would fool even the deadest ghost, fright fanatics will discover all the dark and gory details about the haunts of Richmond’s past, present, and future, which are much more thrilling than the commonly known tales of the still-warm ketchup on Colonel William Mayo’s 1737 city plan and the guy on the corner who screams “I’m a ghost” every 15 minutes.
Josh knew the first treasure hunt he set up was a success when he saw the happy look in his three younger brothers' eyes as they uncovered the final treasure chest. Based on Josh's clues, the younger Schwabs had just gleefully trekked across Warrenton, Virginia, and into the Shenandoah Mountains in search of their goal. But the event was more than just a fun way to spend the day: it also gave them inspiration at a time when the future felt grim, as their mother was undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Although that has since become a fond memory of a good day, it's also warmly remembered by the family as the catalyst that led Josh to establish Ravenchase Adventures, where he now sets up just such engaging hunts for the public.
Now Ravenchase is an event company that offers pre-set and custom treasure hunts and adventure races. As the company has grown, Josh's team has even set up events for a variety of well-known clients, from DreamWorks Studios to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. But regardless of who participates, he and his dedicated staff ensure each two- to three-hour adventure is filled with brainteasers, mysterious clues, and baffling ciphers. Each solved clue leads the groups across town with treasure maps. Fun prizes await at their final destination. In an effort to give back to the community, the company also set up the nonprofit Ravenchase Foundation, which supports organizations that inspire and teach tolerance for history, logic, and the arts.
Taste of Williamsburg's guides would love to spend the whole day showing you the sites of the city. But they'd rather do that while they show you where the city's best ribs are. And since you're already on that side of town, they may as well as take you across the street for a life-changing slice of cheesecake, available only during its Dessert Attack tour.
During enthusiastic walking food tours, a savvy guide shows small groups around Williamsburg's thriving dining scenes, taking them through neighborhoods from Merchants Square to New Town and helping them discovering new dining digs across the city. At each stop, chefs at an array of restaurants prepare traditional regional dishes or global cuisine—at one establishment guests may sample Virginia ham or peanuts, at the next they'll enjoy reinterpreted macaroni-and-cheese or goat-cheese pizza (which George Washington often enjoyed cold for breakfast).
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