As the world is slowly but surely opening up after the worst of the pandemic has passed, everyone is itching to travel and start living life again.
Planning a trip on your own can be an exhausting, confusing experience. You have to rely on either your own knowledge or the reviews of other travelers to come up with an itinerary that is fun, seamless and satisfying. There’s always the possibility of something going wrong or parts of the itinerary not providing the experience you hoped for.
I have experienced all of the pain and stress of planning my own trips or leaving the quality of my trip in the hands of so-called professionals who planned a lackluster experience that left me unsatisfied.
If you’re ready to travel adventure and want a truly unique, stress-free experience, I have collected for you 10 best destinations where there are signature tours, which you can start this summer. They are streamlined and sure to provide the perfect level of fun and excitement that you deserve from your first post-pandemic vacations.
Alaska has a reputation for being cold, harsh and barren, but it’s actually a breathtaking study in the unspoiled beauty of nature.
If you want to get away and experience the thrill of getting up close and personal with the gorgeous wilds of Alaska, this is the perfect tour. During the summer, the daytime temperatures range from a comfortable 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit (15-25 degrees Celsius), and the nights dip into slightly cooler temperatures.
You’ll get to experience walking along glaciers, seeing fur seals and whales in the Kenai Fjords, kayaking on a mountain lake, dog sledding and getting a bird’s eye view of Mount Denali. By the end of this tour, you will have memories that will last a lifetime.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Joshua Tree is a famous park that is a popular tourist destination year-round. This tour is packed with the stunning beauty of the Mojave Desert. Regardless of your fitness level, you can enjoy this trek into one of the United States’ most famous national parks.
During this weekend trip, you’ll be able to experience short, scenic hikes, visit an abandoned gold mine and admire the rugged beauty of the park from observation decks. You will also be treated to a barbecue picnic meal, a fantastic view of the desert night sky and a cozy campfire jam session.
Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, California
California is a vast and diverse place. There are so many beautiful places to visit that you could spend weeks just making your way from one site to the next.
Other than Joshua Tree, California is also home to the famous Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. If you’re more interested in becoming immersed in a beautiful, ancient forest and seeing gorgeous waterfalls, this is the perfect tour for you.
On this four-day trip, you’ll get to experience the awe-inspiring mountains, giant trees and majestic waterfalls that can only be found in Yosemite and Sequoia. You’ll get to see the iconic Tunnel View vista and the granite cliffs of the famous Half Dome and El Capitan mountains. Of course, you’ll also get to visit the General Sherman sequoia tree as well.
Utah and Arizona
In this week-long tour, you’ll get to experience a number of places that are sacred to the local Native American tribes as well as other hidden gems.
One of the key features is the trip to see the iconic Grand Canyon. In addition to this national landmark, you’ll also get to visit Bryce Canyon, Buckskin Gulch and Zion Canyon. Those who are interested in the history and culture of Native American tribes will be excited to see the ruins of ancient Native American civilizations in Wupatki and Mesa Verde Park.
There will also be plenty of opportunities to experience the most beautiful, photogenic locations and learn all about the rich history of the region!
If you want to be wholly swept away by the wild beauty of fall foliage, this tour of Colorado is exactly what your soul needs. Colorado is renowned for its beauty throughout every season, but it’s especially stunning in the autumn months when the aspen trees begin to change colors. Fiery reds, burnished golds, vibrant yellows and warm oranges appear at every turn to create an otherworldly landscape that no photographs can adequately capture.
On this five-day excursion, you’ll get to hike in the Rocky Mountains, bathe in natural hot springs and take a gondola ride on the Colorado River, all set against the enchanting backdrop of the Colorado fall foliage. You will also have the opportunity to visit Denver, Aspen and several beautiful lakes.
Best of Washington State
This is a nine-day adventure that will showcase the best sights and experiences that Washington has to offer. Not only will you get to explore Mount Rainier National Park, but you’ll also have the chance to take an unforgettable cruise around the San Juan islands to drink in the scenery and catch glimpses of the killer whales that call those waters home.
The trip includes visits to rainforests, beaches and hot springs. You’ll get to see North Cascades National Park as well as Olympic National Park. There will be scenic drives, exciting hikes and a visit to Seattle to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of this iconic American city.
Wild West Off-roading
If your post-pandemic life needs more thrills, this Wild West tour might be the perfect way to start traveling again. This is a 14-day excursion that takes you through the winding and rugged desert roads of the territory that was known as the Wild West just 150 years ago.
The tour is family-friendly and will allow you to see the Rocky Mountains and the barren desert landscapes of Utah. You’ll see Yellowstone National Park’s famous geysers, the breathtaking beauty of the Colorado River canyons and the unique rock formations of Arizona. The tour passes through Las Vegas, Death Valley, Sequoia Park and several abandoned mining towns that are rich with history.
You will also get to experience sights like Lake Powell, Arches Park and Monument Valley. Overall, this is an unforgettable experience that’s sure to check a few items off your bucket list.
Coast to Coast
Get the best of both worlds with this tour. The 14-day experience gives you a week on the East Coast and a week on the West Coast. By the end of it, you might be able to understand the age-old East Coast versus West Coast battle that Americans have good-naturedly maintained for decades!
You’ll spend the first week on the East Coast visiting iconic places like New York City, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Cape Cod. Once you’ve gotten a taste of the culture and sights from the East Coast, you’ll fly to Las Vegas to kick off your week on the West Coast.
On the West Coast, you’ll experience the beauty of the Grand Canyon, the thrill of Las Vegas and the excitement of Los Angeles. Along the way, you will also get the thrill of traveling the famous Route 66. Which is best, East or West? You decide!
Like California, Florida is an enormous place full of just about every type of adventure you can imagine. This tour focuses on all that South Florida has to offer. This is a five-day trip that takes you across Miami’s Overseas Highway and through a number of must-see places. You can experience Key West, explore places like the Everglades and Dry Tortugas, jump into the colorful Miami nightlife or sit back and enjoy some time on the beach.
There will also be opportunities to snorkel through the coral reefs, scuba dive in some of the most famous spots, take a sunset dinner cruise or just relax and take in the beautiful, laid-back way of life that the area is known for. Don’t forget to take a selfie at the Southernmost Point Buoy.
If you need action and adventure, this trip will definitely call to you. This biking tour will take you through South Dakota’s Black Hills and Great Plains in a gorgeous, adventure-filled trip that follows the original route of the 1890s railroads.
You will experience the Lakota Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, Mount Rushmore and the adorable “begging burros” of Custer National Park. You’ll hike the sacred Bear Butte, taste local cuisine and learn all about the natural and cultural history of the region from knowledgeable experts.
While this tour may not be for the faint of heart, it is a thrilling and unforgettable experience that is unlike anything you have ever seen or done before.