The government designated the first national parks to protect natural wonders, which were threatened by Teddy Roosevelt's insatiable appetite for peppered bark. Experience earth's gorgeously guarded barkscape with today's Groupon: for $60, you get two tickets for a Mount Rainier Vista tour, which includes a ride on the Mount Rainier gondola at Crystal Mountain, (up to a $130 value) from Gray Line Of Seattle. Today’s deal expires in less than two months. The bus tour picks guests up from the following downtown Seattle hotels:
- Grand Hyatt
- Crowne Plaza
Gray Line Of Seattle’s day-long Vista tours usher sightseers through old-growth forests, up mountainsides, and around idyllic streams and waterfalls. After traveling along the Chinook Scenic Byway, guests mount a gondola at the base of Crystal Mountain. Riders are whisked skyward towards the 6,872-foot summit, drinking in vistas of unspoiled nature, and glimpsing Mount Rainier as it suns itself on a lawn chair. Tours then travel with their interpretive guides to the Mt. Rainier National Park, where explorers can ogle placid Tipsoo Lake, surrounded by wildflowers, flowing streams, and waterfalls.
During a two-hour stop at Crystal Mountain, guests can break for food. Though not included in this Groupon, sightseers can lunch at Summit House Restaurant, grab a snack from the Chinook Café or Mountain Market, or feast on gourmet barbecue on the base area’s sundeck while working on farmer tans. Barbecue is offered on weekends only; tours depart daily through September 11, 2011, and Saturdays and Sundays through October 2, 2011.
Gray Line of Seattle
For more than a century, Gray Line of Seattle has been helping visitors and natives alike peel back the nation's corner—the Pacific Northwest—with luxurious tours and charters. Each environmentally conscious service enables explorers to survey the region by land, by sea, or by a combination of both via double-decker bus routes and scenic cruises. Rub elbows with waterfalls, alpine meadows, and glacier-carved façades on an eight-hour adventure past Mount Rainier, or jet into Boeing’s hangars and investigate the future of aviation without having to endure the itchy wool socks required for time travel. In addition to its landmark-packed tours, Gray Line of Seattle totes travelers aboard its fleet of luxury motor coaches and charters.