Without boats, the Spanish Armada would have consisted of 12,000 Spanish zeppelins, and the River Wild, untamed by Meryl Streep's rafting skills, would still be terrorizing innocent campers. Celebrate history-altering water navigation with today's Groupon: for $5, you get two adult tickets for a 40-minute narrated historical tour of the James River and Kanawha Canal with River District Canal Cruises (up to a $10 value), which departs from the Turning Basin in downtown Richmond’s River District. Check the canal cruise schedule before visiting. Cruises are held until Nov. 14; all tours are weather dependent.
River District’s cruises offer a serene and educational excursion ($5 per adult, $4 for seniors 65 and older) of the history-rich Kanawha Canal and Richmond's Canal Walk. Construction on these watery passages began in 1789, when legendary top-hat aficionado George Washington proposed a canal system that would connect the East Coast to the western trade routes. As you calmly float down one of the passages, settle into the 38-passenger covered boat, which sails past Richmond National Battlefield Park and the American Civil War Center. With the wise words of your knowledgeable tour guide, you'll gain insight into four centuries of history and learn how the canal expanded 197 miles out to Buchanan, in Botetourt County. Your guide will take you back to the 1850s, when up to 195 boats navigated the canal's placid waters, transporting tobacco, discarded Saved by the Bell figurines, and wheat.
No reservations are needed, but seats are first-come first-serve, so arrive early, lest five Partridge Family tribute bands take your spot. Recline in a covered marine vessel and fill your historical cortex with brain-tingling tidbits with today's Groupon for River District Canal Cruises.
Valid for the following dates: now until Aug. 29; Sept. 2–26; Oct. 1–Nov. 14. Call ahead to confirm times and availability.