• Group kayaking, Alaska

    10 Best Places to Kayak Around the World

    Kayaking is a fantastic experience for all ages and skill sets, especially when you&#39;re in a faraway land! Imagine yourself gliding through the towering limestone islands of Halong Bay; floating under the Punt-du-Gard in France; or drifting on the crystal clear waters of Belize, teeming with wildlife underneath. Grab your paddle and brace yourself for a good time, here are the 10 best places to kayak around the world. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatiafamily/" target="_blank"><b>#10 CROATIA</b></a><br>Kayak in the uninhabited waters of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatiafamily/" target="_blank">Lokrum island</a>. This place is magical! You can explore caves and remote beaches... oh, and did we mention the water visibility is 30 feet deep! <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatiafamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group kayaking off coast of Croatia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9zG" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank"><b>#9 ALASKA</b></a><br>In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank">Thumb Cove</a> three glaciers spill right into the waters. Here, you can find yourself gliding alongside sea otters and sea lions. If you&#39;re lucky, you might even spot mountain goats or a black bear on shore! For a special treat, beach your kayaks in Emerald Green Cove for a short hike to a hidden waterfall.<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kayaking in Alaska" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fB7H" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/puget-sound-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#8 PUGET SOUND</b></a><br>Go sea kayaking, off the west coast of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/puget-sound-tours/" target="_blank">San Juan Island</a>. This is prime Orca whale territory and if you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the great mammals up close, you are in for an incredible experience.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/puget-sound-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group kayaking on calm waters" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wv" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#7 BELIZE</b></a><br>Hop into a kayak and head out into the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank">Ambergris Caye</a>, which sits adjacent to the world&#39;s second largest barrier reef. While exploring the waters you can see the incredible wildlife and reefs beneath you and even jump out of your kayak for some snorkeling in the crystal clear warm waters.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Young boy kayaking in clear waters" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wg" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank"><b>#6 AMALFI</b></a><br>Explore the cobalt blue waters and coastal architecture of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a>. From your kayak<a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank">,</a> admire the gorgeous views of the cliffside village of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank">Positano</a>.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Amalfi Kayak" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fB72" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#5 COSTA RICA</b></a><br>Slip into a kayak for a guided paddle through the lagoons and creeks of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank">Tortuguero River</a>. Along the way keep an eye out for white-faced capuchin monkeys, black river turtles, crocodiles, macaws, and the long-legged anhinga birds.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group kayaking in a forest" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wl" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provencefamily/" target="_blank">#4 PROVENCE</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provencefamily/" target="_blank">The Pont-du-Gard</a> was built over 2,000 years ago and was both a bridge and an aqueduct. Today it is one of the remaining Roman wonders of Provence. It stands over 150 feet tall, and paddling right up alongside it is one of the most incredible sites you&#39;ll ever see. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provencefamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kayakers in front of the Pont du Gard Aqueduct" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#3 NORWAY</b></a><br>Head into the Jostedalen valley, where you&#39;ll kayak and explore the glacier-fed lake – which is tinted a very vivid blue.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman kayaking near a glacier" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wW" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#2 VIETNAM</b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank">Halong Bay</a>, considered Vietnam&#39;s eighth wonder of the world, is where 3,000 limestone islands pepper the waters. Exploring the bay in a kayak is an incredible way to easily navigate between and admire the islands.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman kayaking near islands in Halong Bay" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9w2" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#1 GAL</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Á</a></b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><b>PAGOS ISLANDS</b></a><br>The Galápagos Islands are one of the best places in the world to visit for anyone who wants to see wildlife. Here you&#39;ll be able to kayak with sea lions, green sea turtles and marine iguanas while keeping your eyes sharp for blue-footed boobies in the trees along the shores or as they hover over the sea and dive for fish.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Man and Woman kayaking with seals" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wM" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Join us for one of these adventures! On a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/dates/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys </a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com" target="_blank">trip</a>, kayaking is just one of many unforgettable experiences.  

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  • Earth Day

    Reflections on Earth Day

    Today marks the 50th Earth Day, a time to celebrate our amazing planet and encourage environmental protection.<br><br>Earth Day celebrations today may be more meaningful than ever, given the effects that #stayathome are having on all of us, globally and locally.<br><br>In all kinds of ways, you can explore the ecological changes Earth is experiencing. <br><br><b>Pollution has plummeted, giving the planet a breath of fresh air</b><br><a href="http://https///commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79293384" target="_blank"><img alt="Fanhe_Town_10_day_interval By Tomskyhaha" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxjh" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>Highway closures, factory shut downs and countless cancelled commutes have led to unprecedented drops in emissions.<br><br>March measurements reported pollution in Paris to be down by over 45%, LA by over 25% and Sydney nearly 30%.<br><br>Where Delhi’s Air Quality Index has been known to soar to life-threatening levels, it’s sunk to a fraction of that. Free from boat traffic, Venice’s canal has become incredibly clear. This image (credit: Tomskyhaha CC Wikicommons) is shows the change in pollution after 10 days of lockdown in Fanhe town in China.<br><br><b>We&#39;re noticing new horizons</b><br><img alt="Hollywood sign is clearer in coronavirus LA lockdown" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxkG" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>In Jalandhar in Punjab, the residents are able to see the Dhauladhar mountains once shrouded by smog. The residents of Milan are waking up to views of the Italian Alps. In Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign and Catalina Island can be seen from a far greater distance. <br><br><b>City-dwellers can hear clear birdsong </b><br><img alt="Birdsong is more audible during coronavirus" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxjS" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Stay at home means less or no commuting and so city soundscapes have changed, with measurements showing a dramatic drop in decibels. Classic Journeys guides around the world are telling us how they can suddenly hear birdsong in locations they never have previously, including Susana in Lisbon: &quot;In Portugal, we’ve seen a big change in just a few weeks. It’s like we have gone back in time to the old days when sound pollution wasn’t around and very few people walked the streets. We can hear the birds so clearly now as they sing to welcome in the spring!&quot;<br><br><b>…while whale song is filling the oceans</b><br><img alt="Whales are singing during coronavirus" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxkL" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Cruises have been cancelled and shipping traffic slashed.<br><br>Bioacoustic measurements are detecting far quieter waters, and the pollution of the oceans is lessening. Which is wonderful news for whales.<br><br>Whale song is clearer than ever with manmade noise no longer interrupting their communications.<br><br>Sightings have increased thanks to a lack of boat traffic deterring them from coastal areas. Researchers have measured a notable drop in their stress hormones. <br> <br><b>More of us are stargazing </b><br><img alt="Stargazing more popular during coronavirus" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxjX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Stadiums are not lit up. There are fewer car headlights on the highways and fewer airplane trails striping the sky.<br><br>As a result of clearer air and less light pollution, Parisians are seeing starry skies never experienced in decades. There are stunning images of the annual Lyrid meteor shower, and Britons have been watching the Starlink satellites, launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, as they cross the skies.<br> <br><b>We have a whole new appreciation for natural spaces</b><br><img alt="Love nature" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxli" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>As governments limit going outdoors, we’re appreciating the nature on our doorstep more than ever, exploring our local areas on daily walks, craving closed-down beaches and hiking trails and dreaming up a wish list of things to do and see when life returns to normal.<br> <br><b>Animals are roaming free</b><br><img alt="Kruger National Park Twitter lions napping on street" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxk1" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Humans may be staying home, but wildlife is freely exploring.<br><br>In Wales, mountain goats have been wandering the streets. In Barcelona, it’s been wild boar. Deer have been spotted grazing in London housing estates and racoons roaming Central Park. Coyotes have been seen on the Golden Gate Bridge.<br><br>South Africa’s Kruger National Park <a href="https://twitter.com/SANParksKNP" target="_blank">tweeted</a> this photo of lions, lazing on roads usually dominated by safari jeeps.<br><br>Even animals in captivity are getting a taste of freedom. Chicago’s <a href="https://twitter.com/shedd_aquarium" target="_blank">Shedd Aquarium</a> released its penguins to waddle around and meet fellow creatures.<br> <br><b>Wildflowers are blooming </b><br><img alt="Wildflowers growing as nature thrives during lockdown" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxjr" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Where councils have left grassy areas unmown, bursts of brightly-colored flowers are emerging. With so much new pollen, honeybees are having a field day.<br><br><b>Bike sales are booming </b><br><img alt="Teach your child to ride a bike" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxjm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>With limited time to enjoy the great outdoors, people are taking to two wheels.<br><br>Work-from-home parents are using their lunch breaks to teach their toddlers to cycle.<br><br>People are discovering parts of their neighborhood they never knew existed.<br><br><b>We&#39;re taking care of one another</b><br><img alt="NHS sign support healthcare workers" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxls" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>People are uniting, and the phrase ‘we’re all in this together’ is used more than ever.<br><br>Neighbors are looking out for each other, helping with shopping and dog walking.<br><br>Communities are supporting local businesses to help them stay open.<br><br>Italians have been leaning from balconies to join each other in song.<br><br>Households celebrate essential workers on the front line: flashing lights from apartments in built-up cities, putting up painted painting &#39;thank you&#39; signs on fences and windows and stepping outdoors weekly applause.

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  • Grand Canyon

    Pro-tips to avoid national park crowds

    The ‘new normal’ is gradually emerging, but with many hotels and National Parks reopening just in time for last weekend’s Memorial Day holiday, daunting reports have been flooding in, complete with photos of jam-packed parking lots, hours-long lines and crowded trails. <br><br>As the phrase ‘far from madding crowds’ rings more true than ever, travellers from coast to coast are wondering will worries of overcrowding and social distancing mean not being able to enjoy some of the most spectacular places on earth? Will travel bucket lists have to wait? <br><br>With apologies to Thomas Hardy, informed travellers have found a way to visit the same spectacular places as the crowds, but stay far from them. <br><br>To find out how, we asked experts whose jobs are to know the most popular places better than anyone how to avoid the crowds when everyone starts to travel again. <br><br>Follow these pro tips to enjoy crowd-free travel as we go into the double whammy of reopening and summer season. <br><img alt="USA Grand Canyon Tour Crowded Overlook" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi44" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>The good news is, absolutely not! <br><br>We asked local guides and hoteliers to share expert advice on how to avoid the crowds when everyone starts to travel again. <br><br>Follow these pro-tips to enjoy crowd-free travel as we go into the double whammy of reopening and summer season. <br><br><b>Stay central </b><br>Eliminate the crawling daily commute to your destination and instead, wake up exactly where you want to be. Whether that means in the National Park wilderness or in the center of a historic downtown, you’ll be staying among the sights and sounds you came for and get to experience them unflooded by day visitors, from dramatic dawns to silent starry nights. <br><img alt="US National Park Luxury Hotel Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3G" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Kris from Bryce Canyon Lodge says, “Staying within Bryce Canyon National Park means no lining up at the entrance station or circling around the parking lot until you catch a free space. While everyone else is having to deal with that, you’re already here. Breakfast among the scenery or set out for a sunrise walk. At night, you’ll see constellations that hotels in city locations couldn’t even dream of.”<br><br><b>Go against the grain</b><br>Just because the majority of visitors explore somewhere a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s always the best way. <br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/tag/alaska/" target="_blank"><img alt="USA Alaska Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3p" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>“This is the least crowded state in America, but if I took you to one of Alaska’s harbors on a cruise docking day, you wouldn’t believe me for a second.” Eric S., our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">Kenai Peninsula Trip</a> leader tells us “that’s because the majority of visitors come here by cruise ship and those visitors go to the same sights that a day on land allows, before returning back to their cabins. So, I would say, think outside the box (or outside the boat!). We have some incredible hotels in locations that let you venture deeper into Alaska’s diverse and immense landscape (when you see them, you will agree with me that a cruise ship can’t compete!). Rather than run by a crew from who-knows-where, these lodgings are run by locals who often have generations of stories to share and will give you insight into what living year-round in Alaska really looks like. Don’t forget, they also have the inside scoop on where to find the freshest crab legs and the most delicious cup of smoked salmon chowder!”<br><br><b>Pick a private tour </b><br>Private tours allow for personal space, and let you explore at your own pace. <br><img alt="USA Napa Valley Sonoma County Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3L" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> “Signing up for a public tour of a historic landmark is better than not taking a tour at all” admits Linda, who leads our Charleston &amp; Savanah tour “but if you want an unhurried experience without having to contend with hordes of other visitors, my advice is to travel with a tour operator that offers private tours just for your small group. In Charleston, Drayton Hall is my favorite. I always choose a timing that fits well within the day’s schedule, and you can ask as many questions as you like.” <br><br>Christopher, who mans the front office at Vintage House Hotel agrees, “<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/napa/" target="_blank">Napa</a> has so many ways to experience wine, but a private wine tasting is by far the most intimate experience. There are no distractions. You can tailor it around what you like—a walk through the vineyard, a long lunch, you could even do a local cheese tasting and pairing. The best part is, with smaller groups that usually means more wine!”<br><br><b>Have a local take the lead </b><br>Save the strains of self-guiding and avoid tours that import in trip leaders. <br><img alt="USA Hawaii Big Island Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3Q" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Kathleen, who owns the Volcano Retreat, has learned the best way of exploring: “We moved here from San Francisco in 1991 and have taken all kinds of tours since then. No-one knows <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hawaii-big-island" target="_blank">Hawaii&#39;s Big Island </a>like the back of their hand like the islanders born and raised here—the days and times to avoid, the trails less trodden, the best back-up plan for trail closures. While everyone else is following the same itinerary Google search results first throw up, with a local you can venture deeper and differently. They’ll know the exact times when places are most spectacular and least crowded. And they’ll have awesome stories to share along the way. And you’re supporting our local economy, for which I thank you!”<br><br>Peter, New Mexico’s <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico/" target="_blank">Santa Fe to Taos Trip</a> leader: “When you visit the high desert of New Mexico, where Native American tribes have left such well-preserved art, architecture and cuisine, being shown around by someone whose family line dates back centuries is incredible. Who better to show you around historic Taos Pueblo than a local member of the tribe, who happens to be a good friend of mine?”<br><br><b>Go beyond the 10-minute trails <br><img alt="USA Vermont Fall Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3z" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br>Don’t stop at the nearest, shortest trail. They don’t know what they’re missing.<br><br>“Venture further,” advises Bruce, our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/vermont/" target="_blank">Vermont Stowe to Middlebury Trip</a> leader, “ask any guide or ranger, I am sure that they will agree. I’d say 90% of visitors literally park their cars, take a 10-minute walk, snap some photos for Instagram and then leave. Often, they spend longer trying to find a parking space than they do exploring! It’s a shame. But it’s good for those of us who know better! And you don’t even have to be a super fit backpacker with the stamina for a 5-hour hike up a Vermont mountainside. I can think of so many stunning walks that virtually no one takes that are easy going, rarely crowded and show you our famous fall landscape like you’ve never seen before.”<br><br><b>Look for limits </b><br>Don’t be deterred by group restrictions, actively seek them.<br><img alt="USA Zion National Park Narrows Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3V" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Marcia Burns, who leads our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce, Grand Canyon and Zion trip</a> tells us more. “The Bureau of Land Management enforces group size limits to certain areas of wilderness. For example, here in Zion, the Narrows upstream of Orderville Canyon allows no more than 12 people and you need a permit to access. I feel like the words ‘restriction’, ‘limit’ and ‘enforcement’ put people off, but now more than ever, they are a good thing! You get to experience the most stunning parts of a National Park in their true wilderness form. It doesn’t feel like Disneyland!”<br><br><b>Picnic instead of cafeteria </b><br>Don’t lose time in the lunch line. Make the dining as good as the destination. No rush. No reservation needed. <br><img alt="US National Park Culinary Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3a" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img> <br>“Exhilarating walks and sights sure work up an appetite.” Eric K, who leads our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce, Grand Canyon &amp; Zion</a> trio tells us, “but bear in mind that will also be the case for every single other person visiting. Come lunchtime, people pour into the one or two nearest cafeterias here. Precious time that could be spent exploring is lost as you line up for a free table and wait for your food. My way around this lets you enjoy good food, at your leisure, while enjoying the destination at the same time. And it’s simple: a picnic! You’ll have views restauranteurs can only dream of. I know amazing spots where you can lunch with no one else as far as the eye can see. And I know incredible local restaurants and delis that will pack you a lunch of hand-crafted specialties, so you can skip that mass cafeteria food.”<br><br><b>Get a driver</b><br>Don’t drive and definitely skip the shuttle. Instead, let a local take the wheel, while you sit back and soak up the scenery.<br><img alt="US National Park Private Car Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3f" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>The expert recommendation from Janice, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/glaciernationalpark/" target="_blank">Montana’s Glacier National Park Trip</a> leader, is to “make sure you book a trip with a private driver. Driving on your own only takes you as far as the parking lot, which can be a nightmare to navigate. Then you have to choose between the packed-out trails leading from the parking lot, or a free shuttle, with its long wait lines and what makes me think of herded-cattle once everyone is piled on. In Montana, don’t settle for an over-a-stranger’s-shoulder glimpse of our legendary Going To The Sun Road. Doesn’t it sound nicer to sit back with a driver who knows exactly how you like the air conditioning?!”<br><br><b>Swap sunset for sunrise </b><br>Everyone loves a sunset, but the silent spectacle of sunrise is worth an early wake up call.<br><img alt="US National Park Sunrise Luxury Tour Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pq2Y&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001xi3k" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>As Head Chef at Friday Harbor House, Jason’s work hours make him a seasoned sunrise-seer, “If you ask me, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/sanjuans/" target="_blank">San Juan </a>sunrises are by far the best. To escape the crowds, my favorite time of day is dawn. I have to get up early for my job and am so thankful I do. What a way to start each day and usually I am the only person up to enjoy it. When our guests ask for a recommendation, sunrise is always my suggestion and I promise them a mouth-watering breakfast to follow!”<br><br>Jamie, who’s a baker at the Grand Canyon Lodge, is also an early-riser, “It’s no secret how stunning the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a> is at sundown. But, for that reason, you will find a steady stream of cars as sundown approaches, with packs of people taking photos from the best-known overlooks. Skip the evening crowds and rise early to watch the colors of the rising sun dance on the canyon walls. Rather than hearing cars and tourists, listen to the surrounding silence that almost seems to echo. Everyone else who comes here completely misses it. Beyond being uncrowded, often there is not another soul in sight. So, even if you are not a morning person, set an alarm and you won’t regret it.”

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