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20 Ways to See a City

Our Best of the Road Rally teams were treated to every method of seeing a small town imaginable. We rounded up 20 modes of transportation they recommended to experience your destination from any number of perspectives.

  1. Hot air balloon: Gone With the Wynn’s embraced the opportunity to see Walla Walla from the vibrant “Spirit of Walla Walla” hot air balloon. “You really get a chance to see the city as if it is frozen in time yet, you still hear the birds, dogs and cars as if you are on the ground.”
  2. Motorcycle: Franklin surprised the McNavigators with a motorcycle ride along the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway when they heard Dan was a Harley fan. The pair relished in about 20 miles of the scenic, curvy roads on a beautiful day in Tennessee.
  3. ATV: The Fun Finders embarked on a whirlwind four-wheeling adventure in Webster Springs where they got stuck on rocks twice, but were promptly rescued by their tour guides. Their Rhino 660 was a tough machine though and the pair’s still laughing about it.
  4. Golf cart: Captain and Clark experienced the little-known golf cart capital of the world, Peachtree City, GA. The town is connected by 90 miles of golf cart trails and hosts a 4th of July parade comprised of only golf carts. The local high school even has a golf cart parking lot. TravelingJules and TravelingJoan also saw how fun navigating a town from a golf cart could be when they were picked up by one in Yellow Springs, OH.
  5. Speedboat: Gone With the Wynn’s couldn’t think of a better way to see Lake Havasu City and its famous London Bridge than from a speed or pontoon boat. The couple saw spectacular sunsets and even a storm rolling in with no smog or light pollution interrupting the scenes. They decided “the best views of the city and definitely from the water.”
  6. Catamaran: The McNavigators enjoyed a relaxing catamaran sail from Marco Island to Tigertail Beach where they experienced shelling. The pair scored a glimpse of dolphin and manatees along the scenic sail.
  7. Fire truck: Nacogdoches treated Gone With the Wynn’s to an exclusive ride on Bertha, the oldest fire truck in the oldest town in Texas. Similarly, TravelingJules and TravelingJoan were tickled to play in Yellow Springs’ firehouse and the Fun Finders toured Webster Springs’ fire station.
  8. Squad Car: Gone With the Wynn’s recommend Mike Cockerham’s squad car tour of Mount Airy for “a great view and history of the town.” The team saw the granite quarry, Andy Griffith’s home, and several Mayberry reproductions from the 1962 Ford Galaxy.
  9. Kayak: TravelingJules and TravelingJoan savored a peaceful kayak trip along the Waccamaw black river, “a hidden sanctuary” in busy Myrtle Beach. Likewise, the McNavigators kayaked along the Harpeth River in Franklin where JoAnne remarked, “There’s something about being in a kayak, on water, with miles of trees and greenery surrounding me that takes me to a place in awe of Mother Nature and to a quietness within.”
  10. Gondola: The McNavigators took in views of Schweitzer Mountain and Lake Pend Oreille from a relaxing gondola ride up Sandpoint’s most beautiful mountain. TravelingJules and TravelingJoan also took a gondola ride for a view of Park City from the top of the mountain.
  11. Limo: Costa Mesa greeted the Fun Finders with a surprise pair of clowns leaping out of a limousine. Both clown couples traveled to the town’s restaurants of choice in luxury and style.
  12. Paragliding: Glenwood Springs won TravelingJules and TravelingJoan over with the opportunity to sprint off the edge of a cliff. The mother-daughter duo “soared peacefully over the Colorado River” deciding everybody should try paragliding.
  13. Horseback: TravelingJules and TravelingJoan loved their horseback ride from Santa’s Stables in Santa Claus, IN. Captain and Clark even took a horse-drawn carriage through Colonial Williamsburg.
  14. Jet ski: Marco Island is famous for its jet ski tour of the 10,000 islands. The McNavigators explored these 99 miles of wilderness waterway capturing views of dolphin, native birds, manatees, fish, and the mangroves that shelter them all.
  15. Convertible: The Fun Finders talked the Dimmit SAAB dealership in Clearwater, FL into lending them a red convertible for Gulfport’s 4th of July parade. The pair rode in style and felt like celebrities as the town cheered them on.
  16. Segway: The McNavigators “felt futuristic riding computerized, motorized, personal transporters.” The team explored Pacifica’s coastline including beautiful scenery along Rockaway Beach on segways: “a fun mode of transportation.”
  17. Trolley: The McNavigators gleaned insight on Coral Gables creation and development on their trolley tour of the historic city. The trolley tour was the perfect vehicle for experiencing a feel for the community and its architecture and design. Gone With the Wynn’s also traveled throughout Lake Havasu City on their brand new trolley and TravelingJules and TravelingJoan rolled through Park City on the town’s free trolley.
  18. Train: Gone With the Wynn’s rode a miniature train in Woodward, OK while TravelingJules and TravelingJoan rode a 1952 miniature train in Vacaville, CA.
  19. Plane: The McNavigators saw Sandpoint’s three mountains, Lake Pend Oreille, and the Long Bridge from a private plane; TravelingJules and TravelingJoan toured Vacaville and Napa Valley from a Cessna 180; Captain and Clark rode a WWII Dixie Wing over Peachtree City; and Gone With the Wynn’s braved motion sickness to see Nacogdoches from above.
  20. Bike: TravelingJules and TravelingJoan took a leisurely bike ride through McPolin Farm and Swaner Nature Preserve in Park City, while the McNavigators tried a tandem bike for the first time, “an exercise in trust,” in Baker City.

See how else the teams explored the 2011 Best Small Towns in America.