Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends


When you’re vacationing in a city, you want to blend in as much as possible. That means no fanny packs, no unfolding a giant map and no gawking at super tall buildings. That also means avoiding touristy tours. You know the ones. The kind that make you feel like you have a tourist bullseye on your back. But guess what? Not all tours are created equal. We found a handful of popular options that not only avoid those dreaded tourist trap feelings, but also provide cool ways to check out different cities. Next time you’re planning a city adventure, consider these totally non-cheesy tours.

RELATED: The one super touristy thing you absolutely must do in 13 US cities

boston duck tour.jpg
Flickr CC: Edgar

Boston: Duck Tours
When you’re in Boston, history lessons are inevitable. Every corner of the city practically marks a spot where something significant in American history happened. And if you’re going to learn about the glory days of the Revolutionary War, you might has well have some laughs at the same time. Enter this Duck Tour, where you board an amphibious World War II vehicle and a tour guide takes you through the city and eventually onto the Charles River. The guides here are also comedians, which has the potential to induce groans instead of laughs, but trust us: These guys are hilarious and really know the city.

 chicago archie tour.jpg
Flickr CC: Amie Fedora 

Chicago: Architectural Boat Tour
The Windy City has one of the most enviable skylines in the world, and the best way to learn about it is via a boat that winds through the Chicago River. Informative tour guides (who usually double as architecture buffs) share the city’s colorful history as you get up close and personal with some of Chicago’s famous skyscrapers. If you never considered architecture to be a particularly interesting subject, this Architecture Tour will definitely change your mind.

 nyc circle line.jpg
Flickr CC: Loozrboy

New York City: Full Island Sightseeing Cruise
Even though Manhattan isn’t that big of an island (it’s just a little over 13 miles long), the city provides a lot of ground to cover. And it’s practically impossible to see the major parts of the city by foot. That’s why it’s a smart idea to hop on a boat. This full island sightseeing cruise circles around all of Manhattan, which means in just under three hours, you’ll see parts of downtown, the Bronx, go under all the major bridges, and even get some glimpses of the Statue of Liberty. Bonus: There’s an onboard bar for drinks and snacks, too.

ALSO: Join Orbitz Rewards and see the world like you’ve never seen it before!

LA Tour.jpg

Los Angeles: Best of the City Tour
Yes, traffic in LA can be a pain. But it’s not so bad when you’re cruising through town in a comfy open-air bus with an informative guide who can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the City of Angels. This Best of the City Tour gets rave reviews because it covers a lot of ground: You’ll get to see all the hot spots in Santa Monica, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Plus, you’ll get to stop along the Hollywood Walk of Fame for a couple of photo ops before the tour wraps up at The Grove for some shopping and dining. In Los Angeles, they call this “getting the star treatment.”

DC at night.jpg

Washington DC: Moonlight trolley tour of National Monuments
Sure, the monuments in our nation’s capital look amazing during the day, but the best time to view them is at night. This moonlight trolley tour of the national monuments waits until sunset, so you can explore the awe-inspiring structures in their dramatically spotlighted glory. The way the grand buildings of the Capitol and White House are lit up at night will give you patriotic feelings—and if you snap a few pics, lots of likes on your Instagram feed.

 Miami Helicopter Tour.jpg

Miami: Helicopter tour
It’s time to channel the exuberance of your inner Tony Montana, because you’re about to hop around the city in a helicopter. If you want to see everything Miami has to offer, the best way to do it is from up above. And this helicopter tour takes you over the city’s famous football stadiums, glistening beaches, and the chain of islands leading to Key West. You’ve never seen Miami Beach quite like this, and if you want to feel like a baller on your vacay, a helicopter is definitely the way to go.

FFF - blog banner -600px.jpg



Tagged: Feature, Top 10 Lists

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.