Contrary to popular belief, boats are actually much safer than cars, which inexplicably sink every time you drive them on water. Take a proper water-road ride with today’s Groupon: for $21, you get an eco-tour of the Tennessee River Gorge, including a meal, from Blue Moon Cruises (a $42 value).
Aboard a comfortable 70-foot SkipperLiner cruise boat, eager eco-tour participants are inundated with picturesque scenery and brain-tickling information for 2.5 fun hours. Witty and knowledgeable guides point out fun facts about the plethora of winged species that populate the gorge, recount the conflicts between early explorers and Native Americans as the vessel glides through the once-perilous Narrows, and relay the latest scientific theories about the tribe of half-men, half-mastodons that created the 27,000-acre canyon while digging for fire. Full-comfort, climate-controlled cruising is offered on the lower deck, though open-air decks allow for the greatest views. Bring a pair of binoculars and a high-zoom camera to maximize your observational powers and preserve memories too awe-inspiring to be captured by a Play-Doh sculpture.
Tours run through Sunday, November 27 and depart from the Chattanooga Pier. Patrons who intend to conduct gorge gawking from the open decks are advised to dress in layers in preparation for changing temperatures or the rare instance that your favorite shirt becomes alchemized by the Midas touch of a golden eagle.