Celebrate 4th Of July In Las Vegas And Take A Bus Tour To The Grand Canyon

If you’re looking for something fun to do over the 4th of July holiday, then you should consider heading to Vegas to celebrate, and while there, you can take a scenic bus tour of the Grand Canyon to top off your vacation in style. There are daily tours out of Vegas that go to the West or South Rim. It’s a good idea to book your bus tour in advance because they are very popular, especially during this time of year when more people take vacations.

Touring By Bus

Bus tours last the whole day, so you’ll depart around 7am and get back to Vegas around 9pm. Because of that, it may not be a good idea to make plans for a dinner out or a show on the same day as your tour. There could even be some unforeseen circumstance that causes your bus to leave or return later than usual and that would disrupt your evening plans if you make them.

The buses go to either the West or South Rim, and the trip to the West Rim is shorter at 125 miles, while the South Rim is longer at 277 miles. Both of the bus tours use the same route out of Vegas that goes by the Hoover Dam, and the buses make a quick stop there to take photos and let you stretch your legs.

Quick Note: While you’ll get a chance to see the Hoover Dam, you won’t stay long enough to explore the area, so if you want to take a nice tour of the Dam, be sure to schedule a separate tour you can take on a different day.

If you book a tour to the West Rim, after seeing the Hoover Dam, your bus heads to the rim and the Skywalk complex. The buses that tour the South Rim keep diving into Arizona until they get to Tusayan, which is by the gates of the National Park. The bus tours are all-inclusive, which means your park entry fee and all other fees and taxes are paid for upfront in the cost of your tour.

West Rim Tours

Once you depart your bus at the West Rim, you’ll have about 2.5 hours to explore on foot. One convenient way to see the area is to book a shuttle ride that goes between Eagle and Guano Points. The shuttle ride is not included in your tour since it is an optional experience, but it is a nice way to view the area more quickly and see some scenic views.

Another thing you want to do at the West Rim is visit the Skywalk, and the tickets to it are extra, but you can buy them once you get to the Canyon. On the other hand, if you are certain you’ll want to experience the Skywalk, then you can go ahead and add the ticket upgrade to your tour package and pay for it when you buy your tour.

The Skywalk is one of the most famous attractions at the Canyon and it is a big draw with visitors to Vegas. The Skywalk is a huge bridge made of glass that juts out 70 feet past the edge of the rim so you can walk beyond the Canyon and look through the floor 4000 feet to the ground below you.

The South Rim

The tours of the South Rim allot you about 2 1/2 hours to explore also. Highlights of your South Rim tour include scenic views from Mather, Yavapai, and Yaki Points. There is also an interesting village you can visit to shop for crafts and souvenirs and enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant. Be sure to visit Hopi House while you’re there.

The tour buses are comfortable and complete with many luxuries, including on-board Wi-Fi. Your all-inclusive tour not only covers taxes and fees, it also provides you with lunch.

You can book a basic tour if you just want the sightseeing experience, or you can upgrade your tour to include other activities like taking a helicopter flight over the Canyon. No matter which rim you visit, you can put together a great tour, so there is no bad choice when it comes to seeing the Canyon. Also, if you plan to book a tour during the Fourth of July holiday period, you definitely want to buy your tickets as soon as possible, because Vegas bus tours will sell out fast, and then you’ll miss your chance to see one of America’s most beautiful natural landmarks.

Want to Tour the US for Less? Head to Chinatown

Bargain hunters don’t only go to Chinatown for knock off designer handbags, they also look there to find the best prices on bus tours of America. Travelers in east and west coast US cities have come to love the “Chinatown Bus” for their no-frills service and rock bottom prices. However, the bargains do not stop there. If you want to find the cheapest way to see the most popular tourist attractions in the US, try a Chinatown tour operator.

Just as Chinatown bus service began by catering to the recent immigrant community, for years these tour operators have targeting their tours only to the Chinese speaking community. However, more recently they have been discovered by the broader market and are increasingly popular for visitors to the US and residents alike.

Sayaka Singh who lives in New York said that any time she has family visiting from India they inevitably want to take a trip to Niagara Falls. She discovered several Chinatown tour companies online and has since sent many family members to the Falls with them. She said, “You can’t beat it, for less than a hundred dollars they get transportation in a nice motorcoach, hotel accommodations, a tour of the Falls area, and several other stops along the way. They loved it.” Several of her relatives went on to take a tour to Washington DC as well.

What to Expect

These are definitely budget tours, but the value they deliver is truly unbeatable. Hotels are usually 2-star level but they tend to be national chains and are quite adequate. Plan on something equivalent to a Travelodge, however many times the hotel quality is higher. Hotels are commonly not situated in the downtown core of the city or right near an attraction.

In a style typical of tours throughout Asia, the tour itinerary is usually quite full. The pace of these tours is very rapid. You will see as many attractions as possible but will not stay at any one attraction for very long. This can be frustrating for people who like to linger or have time to explore. It is perfect for travelers who want to see a lot in a short period of time.

People from all over the world go on these tours and it is impossible to predict the demographic makeup of a group. However, do not expect an “all-American” crowd. You should expect multilingual tour guide and many non-English speakers on the tour. Many people cite the mix of people as their favorite aspect of the tours (“I felt like I was part of a UN delegation, it was great”. The tour guide will not give an in-depth narrated tour and will speak in both Chinese and English. The tour guide will also arrange for the group to stop for meals. This is usually simple fare such as a rest stop food court or a Chinese restaurant.

How do they do it?

$99 for a 3-day tour from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon? $85 for a 2-day tour from NYC to Washington DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia? It is hard to fathom how they can offer such low fares.

These companies run very streamlined operations and work on slim margins. The key to their model is that the tour buses are full. They tend to operate tours only to the most popular destinations (ie. Grand Canyon, San Francisco, Niagara Falls, Washington DC), and they sometimes cancel a tour if not enough people book it. Often these tour companies use charter buses and therefore do not have the expense of maintaining and operating a fleet of buses, something that may not really be their area of expertise.

Since the tour companies run tours on a regular schedule, they are able to negotiate very good room rates with hotels. Therefore they can still offer low rates even during a busy time of year. They also save money by paying their tour guides very little. Customers are expected to tip the tour guides and this really their main source of compensation.

What exactly is included?

All tours include hotel, tour guide and transportation. Most include entrance fees to any national parks when applicable. Some also include admission to attractions. Read the tour details carefully or inquire before you book if you are not sure. Optional tours can add to the cost of your tour and you should budget accordingly. Usually the tour guide will organize the optional tours for the group and you will pay the guide directly.

How do I find these tours?

Almost any city that has a sizable Asian population will most likely have a tour operator specializing in multi-day budget tours. New York, Boston, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Los Angeles have dozens of tour operators. Most likely they will not advertise in the same places that traditional tour companies do. Your best bet is to look online.

These tours are a terrific option for travelers who want to see some of America’s most beloved sights but do not have a lot of time and want a great value. For far less than you would pay if you went on your own, you can sit back and have someone else make all the arrangements for you. As an added bonus you will also get to experience a great diversity of cultures along the way.

Pay Tribute To America And Take A Grand Canyon Tour

Independence Day is one of America’s favorite holidays. So why not celebrate it by taking a Grand Canyon tour? Choices include helicopter and airplane flights, bus tours, and smooth-water rafting trips. They’re all exciting and they’re all running on their regular schedules over the July 4th holiday.

Grand Canyon tours start from two places: Tusayan, Arizona (the site of Grand Canyon National Park Airport, sometimes called “GCA”) and Las Vegas, Nevada. Folks coming from Phoenix and other places in AZ will want to take tours leaving from Tusayan. I’m expecting the National Park to be really busy over the July 4th holiday, so book your tour at least a week ahead (two would be even better).

South Rim Tours

Two versions of helicopter tours leave from GCA and do the South Rim – one gives you 30 minutes of airtime; the other bumps that up to 50 minutes. Even though the shorter version flies rim-to-rim (South to North and back), I prefer the upgraded 50-minute flight because it does that but also adds the East Rim. By the time this tour is finished you’ll see up to ¾ of the entire Park!

Airplane tours are popular here too. They follow the same route as the upgraded helicopter tour and last 50 minutes. A close runner-up in popularity is the 15-mile smooth-water rafting tour down the Colorado. It starts at Glen Canyon Dam and ends at historic Lee’s Ferry.

Vegas Tours

If you’ll be based in Sin City, you can tour the South Rim or the West. Prices tend to be a little lower than the Grand Canyon tours leaving from Tusayan.

Choppers only take 45 minutes to reach the West Rim from Vegas. All helicopter tours fly over Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, but you can pick from air-only or landing flights.

My personal favorite is the exciting helicopter tour that lands on the bottom (where you’ll enjoy a champagne picnic) – especially when it’s extended to include the rafting tour down the Colorado and VIP access to the Skywalk. This is the renowned “Glass Bridge” that lets visitors walk 70 feet past the edge of the rim, with the bottom a staggering 4,000 feet below!

Bus tours to the South or West Rim are incredibly popular and affordably priced. The basic West Rim version is perfect for people with limited time or budgets, but an optional extension adds the exciting chopper flight to the bottom. South Rim bus tours can be enhanced by adding the 30-minute, rim-to-rim helicopter flight.

Plane tours from Vegas do either rim too. The choices for the West Rim are similar to the choices for helicopter tours – except for the price (airplane tours are cheaper). A terrific South Rim package flies there direct and includes a 2 ½ hour bus tour inside the National Park.

Book Now!

As I mentioned earlier, I’m expecting the July 4th holiday to be a busy time at the canyon. I urge you to book your tour as soon as you can. That way you’ll have more choices and be able to get the best prices.

Speaking of prices, book your tickets on the Web, right on the tour company’s website. Skip the big travel brokers like Expedia, Orbitz and Viator – they’ll charge you more. Just remember to complete your purchase on the tour company’s site so you qualify for the terrific online discount.

Summing Up

Grand Canyon tours leave from Tusayan and Las Vegas. They’re all exciting, memorable and fun. Helicopter, bus, rafting and airplane tours are available. Book as soon as you decide, and do it on the tour company’s website so you get the great Internet rate.

Grand Canyon Spring Break 1-Day Rafting Tours

Are you looking for an exciting place to go for Spring Break? Are you tired of going to the crowded beaches every spring? Then you should do something totally different, like go to the Grand Canyon and take a float tour. Day long floating tours along the Colorado River are available at the South Rim of the Canyon.

Arizona Tours

All tours of the South Rim take off from the airport in Tusayan, Arizona, which is near the main gates of the National Park. You can book a basic tour or upgrade to the deluxe version.

The basic tour starts out with a 2 1/2 hour bus ride to the Glen Canyon Dam. The bus takes you to the pontoon raft where you begin your float tour, but the ride on the bus isn’t wasted time since you’ll see many interesting sights along the way. The raft flows along the river for 15 miles, giving you a unique perspective of the beautiful landscape around you until you arrive at Lee’s Ferry where the floating trip ends.

The Upgraded Tours

After your river tour, you’ll get back on your air conditioned sightseeing bus and complete the land portion of your adventure. You’ll be given the chance to shop for souvenirs and crafts when your bus makes a stop at the Cameron Trading Post.

You could opt for a deluxe tour if you’d prefer a more ‘VIP’ experience at the Canyon. Instead of going to the Glen Canyon Dam by bus, the deluxe upgrade flies you there on an airplane, and in addition, you get an air tour of the South Rim and Vermilion Cliffs while you’re in the air. The flight takes around an hour, and it is a great complement to the views of the Canyon you’ll get from the ground.

You’ll also get to travel by Jeep before your floating tour begins. You’ll ride with eight other passengers for a tour that includes highlights such as the mysterious Slot Canyons and Horseshoe Bend. The deluxe tour does cost more, but it is worth it.

Touring Along The River

No matter which tour option you choose, your river tour will be the same. The river tour is an experience you don’t want to miss. Grand Canyon rafting in this portion of the river is only over smooth waters, so you don’t have to worry about rough waters, you can just relax and soak up the amazing views. There are several beautiful beach areas along the tour where your raft will make a stop so you can explore on foot or swim. These tours are ideal for seniors and families since they stay on tame waters.

However, these tours are very popular, and they fill up quickly, especially during Spring Break. So, buy your tour ahead of time, by booking it online. It’s good to get your tour bought about two weeks ahead of time, but you could also book it after you book your hotel room so you don’t forget. Buying online gives you the lowest price and you’ll have your seats reserved and waiting.

Final Thoughts

One way to ensure you have an exciting Spring Break is to head to the Grand Canyon and spend time on the Colorado River. Upgrading to the deluxe tour is recommended if you want the most comprehensive experience. However, the basic tour is fun too and you won’t miss out on a thing when it comes to the river portion of your tour. Either tour will give you an awesome view of one of America’s most loved natural landmarks. Don’t forget to buy your tour as soon as you can so you won’t lose out on the chance to have a day of fun!

Charter Bus: Arizona Tour of the Grand Canyon

Driving around the countryside and seeing the sights, especially the Grand Canyon is something that should be done and enjoyed with family and friends. Neighborhood groups can be organized so that a group of around 30 to 40 can be assembled to go on a specially organized tour. The best way to accomplish this is through a Charter Bus. Arizona can be the ideal place for a group tour.

Driving to a destination in one or three vehicles deprives the drivers of the opportunity to explore the scenery and enjoy themselves. Chartering a bus gives more time for enjoying each other’s company without worrying about the readiness to drive to the next destination. It also fosters group camaraderie as everyone going on the tour is accommodated in a single vehicle.

Motor coaches have seats for 45 to 55 people. Depending on the distance to be travelled, an additional driver will be provided by the bus company. Some motor coaches even have restrooms. Standard features are DVD/CD, LCD and Air Conditioning.

Arizona can be considered an “amusement park” in America, where all kinds of fun and adventure can be enjoyed anywhere in the state. There are Old West towns to see, railroads, lakes, dude ranches and lakes to provide a large group an unparalleled enjoyable vacation.

Discover 277 miles of unbelievable Arizona scenery through a Charter Bus. Arizona tours should include a visit to the Grand Canyon and other natural wonders which will prove to be an unforgettable adventure whatever time of the year. Arizona is also home to many parks, landmarks and monuments with breathtaking sights wherever you decide to turn.

Outdoor adventure in Arizona is endless, with its iconic desert landscapes, vibrant culture, art scene that is truly amazing and historic landmarks. The wonders of Grand Canyon is so breathtaking, it is simply indescribable. Children can have the time of their life at the Grand Canyon Junior Range program. There are also wildlife parks and zoos in Arizona as well as kid-friendly museums. Some of the museums to visit are the Pima Air and Space Museum, the Hal of Flame Fire Museum and the Arizona Science Center.

Arizona is perfect for driving tours as there are historic loops and byways with scenic spots along the way. People can go sightseeing from Route 66 to Oak Creek Canyon onwards to the Apache Trail Historic Road. An Arizona road trip can feature steep cliffs, dizzying climbs or hairpin turns. Wherever the trip takes you, there will be stunning panoramic views interspersed with sprawling nature expanses.

Driving tours are perfect for an Arizona sightseeing tour with its wide-open spaces. Many of Arizona’s highways are historic. There are 27 scenic roads the most popular of which are: the Kayenta-Monument Valley Scenic Road, the Patagonia-Sonoita Scenic Road, the Gila-Pinal Scenic Road and the Dry Creek Scenic Road. There are 3 Arizona National Scenic Byways namely: Kaibab Plateau-North Rim National Scenic Byway, Coronado Trail National Scenic Byway and the Sky Island Parkway (Catalina Highway) National Scenic Byway.

Organizing a group trip will be ideal with Charter Bus. Arizona is a huge place with scenic roads. You and your group do not have to worry with a professional driver concentrating on the trip and not there for sightseeing. You also don’t have to wait for a group in another vehicle to keep up if you are all travelling together in one coach.

Student Tour of San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay area is a treasure trove of educational experiences waiting to be explored by student groups. The West Coast is so different from the East Coast because the history of its settlement started in the 19th Century, instead of the 17th Century. The landscape and coastal regions of California are a contrast to East Coast geography. Opportunities for learning about California history include: the Gold Rush, Indian removal, urban activism, marine life in the Pacific Ocean, the transcontinental railroad and more.

I have developed a list of destinations for this tour of San Francisco Bay with commentary on the educational benefits for each place.

Alcatraz Boat Tour
Student tours will visit Alcatraz Island, the famous prison island off the shores of San Francisco. Alcatraz housed some of America’s most dangerous criminals. The National Park Service now maintains Alcatraz Island as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Alcatraz Island is only a ferry ride away from San Francisco, and includes a historical tour. Alcatraz was once a military installation, then a federal penitentiary. Nicknamed, ‘the rock,’ the National Park Service collection illustrates its vivid history, even as it relates to Native American culture. Student groups will visit and tour Alcatraz Island and the education center to gain a greater understanding of this notorious prison.

Guided Tour of San Francisco
This bus tour will include a local guide narrating the history of San Francisco. Groups will visit sites such as Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Fort Mason, Nob Hill and more on this historic tour of San Francisco. Students and chaperones are given a general overview of the City of San Francisco and its rich and diverse history.

Ghiradelli Square
This contemporary shopping and dining destination offers one of the most scenic views of the San Francisco Bay and plenty for student groups to do. Once the flagship factory and headquarters of the Ghiradelli Chocolate empire, today this area of San Francisco is a national historic site that was revived in the 1960s by the Roth family. Some of the buildings which were saved and renovated include: The Chocolate Building, Mustard Building, Cocoa Building, Apartment Building, Power Plant and the Clock Tower.

Monterey Aquarium
A short bus ride from San Francisco is Monterey Bay. This scenic and famous stretch of rocky coastline is a stunning example of the natural beauty California has to offer. The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers student groups a deeper look at aquatic life found in the waters of the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay. The Open Sea Exhibit is now open again to visitors after a short period of renovation. Students can see Green Sea Turtles, Hammerhead Sharks and other species native to the California coastal waters. Sea otters are plentiful in this climate and captivate students with their adorable faces and interesting personalities. Groups should plan to spend time in the Aviary, where they can see birds that either use the California coast as a flyway, or make their homes there year round.

Big Sur
Big Sur State Park is a rich a varied forest (with Redwood Trees) that leads to rocky cliffs overlooking a wild Pacific Ocean. In 1884 John Pfeiffer homesteaded a piece of the Big Sur River canyon then later donated it to the state in the 1930s. Just off Route 1, Big Sur offers breathtaking views of the rough California coast. Student groups can see the 50-foot waterfall that drops into the Pacific Ocean. If there is time, tour groups can take short hikes on 1800 acres of ridges and uplands. Majestic Redwood trees thrive in areas of the Big Sur forest. In addition, a 1,680 acre underwater reserve allows for exploration of marine life by snorkeling or diving. The park offers Junior Ranger Programs and Nature Walks for school groups.

Great America Theme Park
To add some entertainment to the mix, a trip to California’s Great America Theme Park in Santa Clara, California is sure to please students. Students can take thrill rides, such as Invertigo, Vortex, or Flight Deck to get their adrenaline pumping. Loggers Run, Rip Roaring Rapids and White Water Falls are also popular with student groups. The Great America Theme Park also provides special concerts and themed events. Trip leaders can secure specific days with enough advance notice.

This tour of the San Francisco Bay area in California encourages students to explore the great outdoors, urban life and marine life of the Pacific Ocean and Bay. For some students, this may be their only visit to the West Coast. They will have a chance to see Redwood trees, and visit San Francisco, one of the largest port cities in the United States, while they explore a history of settlement that helped define this country’s vastness and ability to expand.

Hit the Road! Taking a Grand Canyon Coach Tour From Las Vegas

The Grand Canyon is America’s most-famous National Park. Located in Northern Arizona, it’s a massive piece of wilderness that encompasses more than 1 million acres. The West Rim and the South Rim are your primary destinations, and a coach from Las Vegas can comfortably reach both.

Tour rates vary depending on you budget and how many people are in your group. There are a variety of buses too, and they range from luxury coaches to mini-vans, each of which come with a number of amenities such as DVD players, personalized A/C units, on-board restrooms, pull-down window shades and lounge-style seats. All trips come with a guide.

Most packages include free shuttle service to all hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. This is especially handy considering how busy Vegas traffic can be. It also takes the stress out of arranging transportation from your resort-hotel, which is extremely helpful if you’re unfamiliar with the city.

There are many activities to do at both rims. At the West Rim, you can experience the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which is a bridge made of glass that lets you walk 70 feet over the edge. There are also several great viewing points, including Eagle Point and Guano Point. Grand Canyon West is also the only place where you can ride a helicopter to the bottom!

The South Rim’s claim to fame is natural beauty. Chances are that photos you’ve seen of the National Park were taken at this rim. Things to do include visiting Mather Point, Yaki Point, Yavapai Point and Grand Canyon Village. Trails to consider are the Rim Trail and Bright Angel Trail. Bus travelers will not be able to take mule rides – these trips need to be booked in advance and are usually sold out.

Take weather into consideration. Yes, the West Rim climate is much like Las Vegas’, except hotter. During the summer months, temperatures easily break 100 degrees. Knowing this, I highly recommend you bring a hat, sunglasses, sun block, a lightweight long-sleeved shirt and water. Winter months are cold, but what you really have to pay attention to is the wind.

The South Rim sits at an elevation of 6,000 feet, which translates into comfortable summers and cold, crisp winters. Pack the same things you would for the West Rim, but be even more prepared for winter when snow and ice are often present (I strongly recommend getting a pair of YakTrax. These are slip-on “cleats” that give you extra stability). Day time summer temperatures are ideal and often hover in the mid 80’s.

Even though the drive is long (2.5 hours to the West Rim and 5.5 hours to the South Rim), it’s captivating. The route to the canyon from Vegas is the same for both rims. As such, you’ll see Lake Mead (the view as you enter the basin from Boulder City is fantastic!) before heading south and seeing iconic Hoover Dam. West Rim travelers will turn off the main highway at Dolan Springs and cross through a Joshua Tree forest. South Rim passengers continue on through Arizona (parallel to Route 66) and into the Kaibab Plateau before entering the actual National Park.

Grand Canyon coach tours have a lot to offer any tourist who is interested in seeing such a vast array of beautiful vistas, animal life and bodies of water. Go ahead and indulge yourself in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’ll be an event you’ll remember forever.

Travel by Beer – A Northeast Beer Tour

“Beer is the mother of us all.”

The first decision when traveling by beer is simple. If you’re serious, you want to spend more time sampling beer than traveling. Unless you have unlimited time and money you should focus on a single beer-friendly area for your jaunt. A good place to start is Pennsylvania, home of America’s oldest brewery, Yeungling. You can narrow that down to the exceedingly beer-friendly and Constitutionally-historical Philadelphia area. You can bet that when they planned the Declaration of Independence, it was over a few tankards of fine ale. By historical evidence, the American Revolution started in pubs. If you enjoy freedom, you owe it to beer.

This area also has cheap cab fares in comparison to many major Northeastern cities, and let’s face it; if you plan to sample more than a few brews at every stop, it’s best not to drive in a strange city. They also have excellent local buses, if you take the time to get schedules, a map, and figure things out ahead of time. (Rule number one – don’t try to figure out a strange bus system after you’ve had a few.) There is also good Greyhound bus service to the many small towns that host some of the best microbreweries. Time between destinations is very short, and you can nap on the bus. However, if you can hold your beer and prefer to drive, Dollar Rent-a-Car of Pennsylvania is your best bet. Save on car rental and you can buy more fine beers to take home.

If you have time, at the end of your tour, I would suggest a side-trip by bus to Pottsville, PA, home of Yeungling, the grandfather of all American breweries. Tours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. It’s easy to find. Everyone in Pottsville knows where it is.

The next big decision is – sampling or pub-crawl? You really won’t have time for both, so let’s discuss sampling. Most great breweries started as microbreweries and there are plenty in the Philadelphia area – so I would suggest a microbrewery tour. You get to sample many fine home brews, at a fair price, and there is usually good food. Pennsylvania has some really beer-friendly food, such as potato pancakes and smoked kielbasa.

Here’s a good microbrewery to start with, with high marks from beer connoisseurs: The Victory Brewing Company, 420 Acorn Lane, Downington, PA. Good food, lots of taps, a high-speed growler-filler, and 24 varieties of home-brew. Also, great burgers.

Grand Canyon Tours – Best Winter Season Helicopter Tours

A Grand Canyon helicopter tour is a unique and exciting way to celebrate winter season. You would be amazed at how striking the Canyon is in winter with fresh snow adding to its mysterious beauty. The South Rim has a higher elevation than the West Rim, so you should tour the South Rim if you want to see the Canyon blanketed in snow.

Touring The South Rim

The South Rim is often called the “real” Canyon, and it sits just to the west of Flagstaff in Arizona. That makes the South Rim an easy trip if you’re staying in Sedona, Flagstaff, Phoenix, or Scottsdale. The South Rim is also a popular destination for Vegas travelers, but if you’re staying in Vegas, you’ll need to take a plane or bus to Arizona to begin your tour. Going by airplane is best since the flight takes about an hour and if you go by bus, you’re looking at a 5 1/2 hour ride each way.

You can book a long or short helicopter tour of the South Rim, and if you choose the longer one, you get 50 minutes of air time as opposed to 30 minutes on the shorter tour. The longer tour is worth it because you get to fly over the North Rim, South Rim, and eastern edge of the National Park. The shorter tour is very scenic too and you get to see both the North and South Rims. Both tours give you an amazing view of the vast Park lands.

There’s also another tour you should consider. It’s a sunset tour that combines the 30 minute helicopter flight with a 4×4 ground tour. On this tour, you’ll ride to the Hopi Point around dusk. There are so many sights to take in on this tour including seeing one of the hidden elevated fire towers.

Helicopter Tours From Vegas

If you want to take a helicopter tour of the West Rim instead, you’ll need to depart from Vegas. Vegas helicopters go to the West Rim because it is much closer to Vegas, and the South Rim is too far for the choppers to make the flight. There aren’t any connecting flights between the West and South Rims.
The Vegas tours can be air only, or they can be landing tours. Both types of tours fly over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam on the way to the Canyon.

Landing tours are a lot of fun, and you should think about booking one of those if you can. You’ll get to experience the Canyon from the air and from the ground that way. There are many fun activities waiting at the Canyon, such as descending to the Canyon floor and enjoying a champagne picnic, riding a float along the smooth waters of the Colorado River, and walking on the transparent Skywalk viewing platform. However, the air-only tours are amazing too since they give you a unique perspective of one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in America.

Tours Are Popular

These helicopter tours sell out fast because they are very popular, so if you want guaranteed seats, book your tour in advance. It’s best to get your tour locked in at least four days or more in advance so a tour will be available on the day and time you want to fly.

Don’t forget to dress for the cold winter weather too. At the South Rim, you’ll face cold temperatures and maybe even snow, so wear a warm jacket and pants along with gloves, a hat, and sturdy shoes. The West Rim is warmer, but since it may still be chilly, dressing in layers you can shed or add is a good idea. You’ll also want to wear sun protection, sunglasses, and lip balm at both rims, and bring along water too.

Seeing America From the Windows of a Chartered Bus

Americans have had a long and colorful history with the wide open road. The romance of an aimless drive to a distant unknown destination has helped fuel a $540 billion dollar automotive industry in America today. But road travel by private car is not the only way that Americans have taken to exploring the almost 170,000 interconnected miles of the National Highway System (plus an additional 2.6 million miles of paved urban streets).

Traveling by bus across America’s highways has long been an affordable and readily accessible way to traverse the length and breadth of this country. While the bus industry has had its ups and downs through the years, it has continued to ferry millions of commuters across America’s small towns, large cities and rural areas. It remains a viable and enjoyable way to travel even in this day of planes, trains and automobiles.

Chartered Bus Service as Part of Survival Measures

In the 1960s, the bus companies started offering specialized travel for leisure to a broader base of customers. With the option of chartering a private bus for special trips that did not follow a regular route, bus companies were able to expand their market considerably. This was an important step in reviving the bus industry. With the onset of faster and more convenient modes of transportation, buses lagged significantly in the competition for traveler and commuter dollars. But with chartered bus trips, they slowly captured the imagination of the American public once again.

By late 2000, charter bus service revenues were up to one billion dollars and charter service accounted for almost 47 percent of all bus miles in America. The contribution of charter bus service, including tour bus operation, to the revitalization of the bus industry could indeed be considered quite significant. This is true not only in light of the significant fiscal revenues generated, but also in the way the perception of bus travel has been changed in the minds of the general traveling population.

More Buses Now Going Green

With more bus companies, including those offering charter services, looking for greener and more economical alternatives to fossil fuel consumption, the industry is gearing itself to be America’s most convenient and earth-friendly way to travel. Modern energy solutions such as using ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD), taking advantage of technology that cuts emissions up to 90 percent, or even just using efficient high-energy bulbs all contribute to a safer, more comfortable ride, as well as a greener one.

Traveling is a great way to broaden one’s horizons and deepen one’s connection with other people. When seeing America from a chartered bus, it is also a great way to help conserve the country’s resources while enjoying its many sights and sounds.