The trio of seasoned tour guides understands that being a guide is more than just being able to carry a microphone and CDL driver’s license with style. Being a guide is a great responsibility; it means safeguarding history and passing its great secrets and wisdoms on to others. Whether visiting DC’s iconic structures and memorials in the daylight or evening, they passionately share the stories of the individuals, ideals, and food-based dares that shaped the United States into what it is today. Fueled by the realization that planning a trip to the nation’s capital may be a once in a lifetime experience for some people, they put extra effort into ensuring that experience is as memorable as possible, leading all of their tours in a luxurious 2012 Mercedes bus.
Calleva at National Harbor organizes adventures that traverse land, water, and air, each designed to inspire the intrepid with the bounties of nature. A terra-based encounter, the guided bike ride over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Mount Vernon Trail combines the thrill of physical activity with the wonder of american bald eagle and bald presidential monument sightings. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on weekends, pedal pumpers are treated to panoramic views of the Potomac River. If the allure of the deep overcomes grounded wanderings, embark on a watery outing in a solo kayak, canoe, or tandem kayak, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. After a mind-stretching lesson on paddling and water safety, boat brethren can drift through the National Harbor in their floating vessels and explore the shores of the District and Alexandria, stopping occasionally to feed breadcrumbs to migrating politicians.
An FAA-approved private flight charter service, Mid Atlantic Charters employs a team of pilots who ferry passengers from Washington D.C. to the airfields that dot the landscape of the Chesapeake Bay, New England, and the Outer Banks. Aboard a turbo-charged Piper Seneca II, the pilots also fly passengers on narrated sightseeing tours over famous sites such as the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Kent Island, the Bay Bridge, and Mount Vernon.
In 2001, husband-and-wife team Todd and Anne realized two of their biggest dreams: they started a family and opened The Bike Lane. Throughout the store, bikes by Trek, Electra, Felt, Mirraco, and Surly lean on their kickstands alongside accessories such as water bottles, bells, or high-heeled spokes for date night. Certified staffers leap down from their stationary penny-farthings to perfectly match riders with new bikes through fit services that are free with purchase of a triathlon/TT, road, or mountain bike. In the repair shop, mechanics with 40 years of combined experience service bikes, overhauling brakes, installing parts, or custom-fitting wheels. To stay connected with its network of riders, The Bike Lane organizes educational safety events, advocates for bicycle-friendly communities, and sponsors more than 50 cycling events per year.
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.