Choose Your Own Adventure: 7 Ways to See 7 Destinations
Whether by foot, train or Segway, different cities call for different modes of transportation. Pick your favorite way to tour a town and then find out which city does it best.
By foot: Boston. The city’s compact size and giant dose of American history make it a first-rate city for tourists who like to stroll. It’s so jam-packed with sights that you could walk from a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, through the lush Boston Commons, past the Faneuil Hall marketplace and into the North End for authentic Italian food in just over an hour. For a more structured walk, follow the famed Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile path that guides tourists past historic sights like Paul Revere’s House and Bunker Hill.
By bike: Boulder. Two-wheel travelers will feel at home with this mountain town’s 300 miles of bikeways and 300 days of sunshine per year. Rent a mountain bike or, for more casual rides, grab some wheels from one of the bike-share stations in town (there are close to 30). Popular routes include rides through downtown on the Boulder Creek Path or a climb through the mountains on the strenuous Walker Ranch Loop.
By car: Florida Keys. Take a spin from Key Largo to Key West on Highway 1, which rises above large stretches of water as it hops from island to island. Nicknamed The Overseas Highway, this 113-mile roadway divides the two major bodies of water it crosses -- you’ll see the Gulf on one side and the Atlantic on the other. Stop at designated spots along the way for world-class diving and snorkeling, or just keep driving and gaze out at the bright teal waters.
By train: West Coast. The Coast Starlight chugs down the West Coast from Seattle to Los Angeles, offering show-stopping mountain and ocean views along the way. The whole stretch takes about 35 hours (sleeper and dining cars are available), but most travelers opt for shorter legs of the journey with stops in Portland, San Francisco or Santa Barbara. Be sure to peer out the windows in Southern California -- the train is close enough to the coast to spot surfers catching a wave.
By river boat: New Orleans. Channel your inner Tom Sawyer by floating down the Mississippi on a steamboat. One of the most iconic options is the American Queen, said to be the largest on the river with six decks. Hop on for its Mardi Gras tour, a 9-day journey that starts and ends in New Orleans. Guests can tap their toes to Jazz music and break out the beads as they set sail for ports like the Oak Alley plantation and Baton Rouge.
By raft: Maui. Far from the quiet Mississippi, these Hawaii rafting excursions are filled with sea caves, towering cliffs and ocean wildlife. Sign up with a tour company and hit the watermid-December to mid-April, when you’ll likely spot humpback whales in the middle of their winter migration. Even if the waters aren’t prime for whale-spotting, the raft can still offer you close encounters with sea turtles and tropical fish, along with shipwrecks and hidden coves.
By Segway: San Francisco. Give your legs a break, and zip through the City by the Bay via Segaway. The two-wheel vehicles cover more sights in less time than walking, while offering a nice motorized boost on the steep San Francisco hills. The Electric Tour Company offers several Segway options, including tours along the waterfront, up Russian Hill’s “crooked” street and through Golden Gate Park.