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The 10 Coolest Guided Tours on Groupon

BY: Sean O'Toole | Apr 27, 2018

By land, by air, by sea, by BYOB musical comedy bus—there are countless ways to see the local sights. But while all guided tours will teach you about your surroundings, only the best ones will leave you with lifelong memories. Below you'll find just such experiences, whether you're into Alaska glacier tours, Sonoma wine tastings, or whale-watching off the coast of Gloucester.

1. Helicopter Flight with Glacier Landing from Anchorage Helicopter Tours

Palmer, AK | Get tickets starting at $199

Rating: 5 stars with 111 ratings

Why it's cool: Soaring above the 26-mile-long Knik glacier is breathtaking enough, but the real kicker of this helicopter tour is the part that happens outside the helicopter. Partway through the tour, you'll land atop 1,000-foot-thick ice, strap on nonslip overboots, and stroll the scene for up to 30 minutes. You can't do that on a cruise ship.

2. Swamp Boat Tour from Cajun Pride Tours

La Place, LA | Get tickets starting at $19.50

Rating: 5 stars with 4,045 ratings

Why it's cool: Cajun Pride's tour boats are the only vessels allowed in the protected Manchac Swamp, so its swamp tours are a familiar sight to the animals residing there. That means gators aren't shy about swimming up to the boats to say hello, especially when they hear the captain's call. If you need another endorsement, the tour was a big hit with some celebrity Groupon users in 2017.

3. Circle Island Snorkeling Tour from Hawaii Turtle Tours

Honolulu, HI | Get tickets starting at $55

Rating: 4.5 stars with 71 ratings

Why it's cool: Snorkeling with turtles on Oahu's North Shore is billed as the main attraction, but the journey there is just as memorable. On the ride from Honolulu, you'll stop at lookouts, secret beaches, and even a macadamia nut farm for snacks and coffee. Factor in the well-reviewed guides and this tour is the most comprehensive way to get to know Oahu in a single day.

4. Winery Bus Tour from North Bay Winery Tours

Rohnert Park, CA | Get tickets starting at $113

Rating: 4.9 stars with 97 ratings

Why it's cool: There are tons of winery tours in Sonoma County, so it's the little things that make the difference. North Bay's buses stand out for one special feature: they have beer on tap, which means it's easy to cleanse your palate after each tasting and ensures there's never a dull moment during the 5-hour tour. And because of the buses' modest size, they tend to visit more off-the-beaten-path spots that larger vehicles can't access.

5. Everglades Airboat Tour from Coopertown Airboats

Miami, FL | Get tickets starting at $17

Rating: 4.7 stars with 8,043 ratings

Why it's cool: Coopertown, FL, has a population of eight. Coopertown Airboats has a fleet of seven. What we're saying is, there's really only one reason to visit this tiny, unincorporated town on the edge of the Everglades: to take this popular airboat tour, which has operated since 1945. After taking in the wildlife on the 9-mile trip, you can order up some of Coopertown Restaurant's famous frog legs, which the tour company was originally founded to produce.

6. Whale-Watching Tour from Cape Ann Whale Watch

Gloucester, MA | Get tickets starting at $29

Rating: 5 stars with 7,093 ratings

Why it's cool: According to the World Wildlife Fund, Gloucester is one of the top five whale-watching destinations in the world. So between Cape Ann Whale Watch's prime location, its speedy 115-foot ship, and the accumulated knowledge of 40 years in operation, there's not much risk you'll miss out on sighting humpbacks, blue whales, and other members of the order Cetacea. Users rave about the crew too.

7. Chinatown Food Tour from Sidewalk Food Tours of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA | Get tickets starting at $51

Rating: 5 stars with 124 ratings

Why it's cool: It turns out the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese community outside Asia is a pretty good place to get some Chinese food. The three-hour tour includes five tastings, from barbecue pork buns to Peking duck to desserts, plus there's plenty of info about the neighborhood's history and culture from guides who earned high praise from users.

8. Carriage Tour from Carolina Polo and Carriage Company

Charleston, SC | Get tickets starting at $20

Rating: 4.5 stars with 426 ratings

Why it's cool: If there's a city you want to explore by carriage, it has to be Charleston. The antiquated transportation is a perfect fit for the city's Downtown Historic District, which is full of stately 18th and 19th Century mansions, historic churches, and gardens. City regulations mean your tour zone is randomly determined by bingo ball, so the exact route is always a surprise.

9. The Music City Rollin' Jamboree

Nashville, TN | Get tickets starting at $39

Rating: 5 stars with 304 ratings

Why it's cool: This BYOB bus trip is as much a variety show on wheels as it is a city tour. For 90 minutes, a trio of comedians and musicians tell rollicking stories tinged with adults-only humor and lead rambunctious sing-alongs. Of course, you still see sights like Music Row, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and famous honky tonks, but that's practically just a bonus.

10. Specialty Tours from Weird Chicago Tours

Chicago, IL | Get tickets starting at $45

Rating: 4.5 stars with 352 ratings

Why it's cool: You never know what theme Weird Chicago Tours is going to cook up next. Tours might explore the city's most infamous Prohibition speakeasies, most notorious gangster hangouts, or grisliest crime scenes. But most novel may be the "Devil & the White City" tour, which covers sites related to both the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and the infamous "murder castle" killer H.H. Holmes operated during the event.

 

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