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.
Oftentimes when people talk about what inspired them to start a new business venture, they wax nostalgic about family history or speak profoundly about a life-changing event. But in the case of Savor Spokane, the founders were inspired by a completely mediocre experience. While on a city food tour in 2009, they had an OK time, but left feeling like there should have been more...something.
They mulled it over, and eventually realized what was missing: their tour hadn't been local enough. So, they began developing a framework for what they thought would be a more complete experience. They wanted local food, local guides, and an integration of relevant historical and cultural information.
Today, these are exactly the kinds of tours they organize with Savor Spokane. Though the focus is food or wine, as groups walk from destination to destination, they pick up interesting tidbits about Spokane geography, architecture, and culture. The guides say they've been able to enlighten both tourists and locals, often finding even lifelong residents admit they've learned something new, been to a restaurant they didn't realize was there, or figured out their key to the city doesn't actually open anything.
Quincy Henry has traveled to almost every state in the US, but Tacoma, Washington, still occupies the largest place in his heart. Quincy decided to start I Heart Tacoma Sidewalk Tours so that he could share his love of his native city with anybody with a thirst for knowledge.
During his walking tours, Quincy highlights the architectural, historical, and recreational marvels of what he believes to be an unfairly overlooked city. On his historical downtown tour, he highlights Tacoma's history as a booming rail town and waxes poetic on its modern-day transformation. Alternatively, the pub and grub crawl is a culinary adventure that makes stops at Tacoma's best eateries, breweries, and coffeehouses for food, fun, and more insider history than you can find on the back of a menu or the bottom of a bowl of alphabet soup.
For Seattle-based Aaron Baggenstos, "it's not just about capturing a photograph, it's about connecting with the natural world.” From his experience traveling the world and capturing internationally recognized wildlife portraits, Baggenstos understands the value of experiencing nature's wonders firsthand. His tours range from two-hour private introductions to the feathered denizens of Seattle to three-day camping trips on the snow-capped, elk-laden Olympic Peninsula. Explorers don't even need to bring their own camera, as Baggenstos is happy to send the shots he takes by email or heron. Those who do want to improve their photography will not be disappointed, as Baggenstos gives not only practical advice about camera settings and image composition but also tips on finding a good camera at a reasonable price. By acting as an explorer first and a photography instructor second, Baggenstos fosters a shared sense of awe and provides tours suited for nature and wild-life enthusiasts.
After his first time riding a Segway, 11-year-old Gregg Jantz Jr. was hooked. There weren’t Segway tours in his hometown of Edmonds, so he and his father went to the company’s headquarters in New Hampshire to learn more about the self-balancing transporters. They were excited about what they learned there, leading to the creation of Segway of Edmonds.
Today, visitors can take 90-minute tours of Puget Sound. By day, the tours take a historical angle, and educate groups about Olympic Beach and the mills that used to sit along the coast. Sunset tours create beautiful photo ops, and can be arranged to end with dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants. All tours begin with a 30-minute orientation session, and guides stop occasionally to take photos of groups and make sure no one has fused to their Segway. Visitors can also rent Segways for self-guided tours.
Established in 1999, Wheel Fun Rentals provides locals and tourists with an engaging way to sightsee while promoting a healthy lifestyle impossible to achieve while buckled to a car seat or an Acme rocket. Customers can rent a wide range of vehicles, such as a double pedal boat ($35/hour), surrey ($20/hour for a single; $30/hour for a double), cruiser bike ($10/hour), barracuda boat ($20/hour for a single, $35/hour for a double), or kayak ($20/hour). Snuggled up in the paddle- or pedal-propelled vessel of your choice, traverse the vibrant urban trails of Avenue A or Heritage Square, or skim the glittering waters of the Holladay Park and Quatat Park. Check each location's home page for full lists of activity options.