The Top 10 Tours in the US
No matter how well you know a city, there's always something new to learn. Tours dig deeper, using the knowledge of local experts to teach you fascinating new tidbits and explain lesser-known stories about famous landmarks. We unearthed the best tours we could find across the country, ranging from creole food tours in Louisiana to espionage history tours in DC.
New Orleans Creole Crawl | New Orleans, LA
Explore the historic French Quarter in search of creole specialties including po-boy sandwiches, seafood gumbo, and sugar-dusted beignets.
- Best time to go: early evening as the street musicians are tuning up
- Unforgettable experience: learning to navigate Central Grocery like a local
Wild Food and Ecology Tour | New York, NY
An off-the-menu adventure encourages tour-goers to pick their own flavorful fare from parks and public places in New York. Edible finds include safe-to-eat mushrooms and sassafras.
- Best time to go: mid-morning before visitors flood the park
- Unforgettable experience: that first bite of a fresh blueberry not from a grocery store
Southwest Michigan Winery Tour | Departs from Chicago, IL
This excursion follows the Lake Michigan shoreline, stopping at four local wineries including Lemon Creek Winery and Founders Wine Cellar. Tour-goers sample up to 20 vintages at each.
- Best time to go: midday to make the most of the lunch menu (you’re going to need a little solid sustenace)
- Unforgettable experience: getting a discount on a new-found favorite bottle
Niagara Fun Wine Tour | Niagara Falls, ON
Starting from Niagara, tours stop at popular wineries including Small Talk Winery and Diamond Estates. Wine and chocolate are a natural pairing, so the tour includes dessert at a functioning chocolate factory.
- Best time to go: after lunch to make sure you have a full stomach
- Unforgettable experience: the final stop at the Chocolate F/X chocolate factory
Glacier and Wildlife Tour | Anchorage, AK
Unforgettable excursions include a boat cruise to the face of the Portage Glacier, a jaunt through an active mine, and a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to get up-close and personal with belugas and eagles.
- Best time to go: June for dry weather and long daylight hours
- Unforgettable experience: coming face-to-face with a bear
Grand Canyon Tour | Sedona, AZ
- Best time to go: around sunset to see the rock layers illuminated in a golden light
- Unforgettable experience: standing at the lip of the Grand Canyon
The Freedom Trail: The Path to Independence | Boston, MA
Costume-clad guides lead walking tours along Boston’s red-bricked paths. They’ll point out monumental landmarks in revolutionary history, including Boston Common and the Old South Meeting House.
- Best time to go: early on weekdays for a more intimate outing
- Unforgettable experience: learning the true stories behind the legends of Paul Revere and Samuel Adams
Spies and Scandals Walking Tour | Washington, DC
An American history professor leads groups around the National Museum of American History and the National Mall, regaling them with tales about international intrigue, communist plots, and double agents.
- Best time to go: weekdays to spot current politicians walking in DC
- Unforgettable experience: stepping in the footsteps of Alger Hiss and Vitaly Yurchenko
Witch City Walking Tour | Salem, MA
While tour-goers walk along cobblestone streets under the glow of lantern light, certified historians tell the true and creepy tales of witchcraft hysteria in the 17th century.
- Best time to go: at night, so the frights are heightened
- Unforgettable experience: meeting real practicing witches in Salem
Cemetery Walking Tour | New Orleans, LA
Wander through St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to hear spooky stories and see more than 100,000 above-ground gravesites, including the grave of voodoo queen Marie Laveau.
- Best time to go: as early as possible so the cemetery will be eerily empty
- Unforgettable experience: getting startled in the ornate passageways between tombs
Stephanie McDaniel is a political theorist-turned-novelist from South Carolina. On the rare occasion she’s not writing, she spends her time folk dancing, singing, and adding sea salt to Lake Michigan.