In the late 19th century, English nobility embarked on guided tours of the Swiss Alps, which is why tourists today must ski through landslides of monocles and snuff boxes. See the sights with ease with today’s Groupon: for $100, you and up to five friends (six people total) get a private three-hour tour of Jacksonville from TourTime, Inc. (a $330 value). Morning and afternoon tours are available, beginning and ending at the Chart House parking lot on Prudential Drive.
The knowledgeable guides at TourTime lead groups of curious local gapers and touring out-of-towners throughout northern Florida, offering hearty doses of entertaining facts on the region’s sights and history along the way. The private three-hour Jacksonville tour—which culminates with beer and pretzel sampling at the Anheuser-Busch brewery—begins with verbal perambulations through the history of the area’s first inhabitants, the Timuquan, and their fabled offerings of alligator-skin piñatas to French and Spanish colonizers. Cruise the River City’s downtown to eye the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars before visiting the Riverside/Avondale area and Florida’s first condos—originally known as “house larvae”—along with several historical homes, such as the Leon Cheek residence and the Marble House, made from Georgia–quarried marble and actual marbles. Along the way, tour takers are treated to tales of the Great Fire of 1901 and views of notable landmarks such as the Memorial Wall.