5 Experience-Rich and Responsible Trips Across North America
From a Navajo-guided tour of Monument Valley to a Cajun and Creole cooking lesson, Intrepid Travel’s new offerings help you get to know local culture and support independent businesses for rewarding journeys that make a difference.
Sometimes, the most transformative experiences aren’t much further than your own backyard. And Intrepid Travel, a B Corp-certified tour operator, has just given us new reasons to look closer with more than 50 exhilarating itineraries kicking off in North America this month. The most robust offering on the continent since the company was founded over 30 years ago, this new lineup includes 39 tours in the United States, covering 29 different states along with Washington D.C, and 13 in Canada.
“We created these itineraries to showcase the U.S. through a more authentic and diverse lens,” says Matt Berna, Managing Director of North America. “While they will offer travelers the chance to see the country’s most iconic sites and cities, they also celebrate the lesser-known places, communities, and highlights that make up the rich fabric of America…the small towns and varying perspectives that allow travelers to understand what America is—not just at its surface, but rather at its core.”
This isn’t only great news for travelers. Driven by its mission to create positive change through the joy of travel, Intrepid Travel launched its own dedicated American operations hub in 2021 and built more impactful relationships with its suppliers in the U.S., enabling the company to increase its support and connection with local businesses and suppliers, including more of those with owners who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC).
Eight new experiences aim to amplify and celebrate inclusive BIPOC perspectives, including a new tour, Charleston to Savannah: Exploring Gullah Geechee Culture, a six-day adventure that explores the culture, history, and impact of the Gullah Geechee people, descendants of enslaved West and Central Africans. Whether you’re taking part in a soul-stirring performance in Beaufort, where music and dance are used to share the story of enslaved Africans brought to South Carolina, or joining the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs for a river-to-table salmon picnic lunch on your way from Portland to San Francisco, each trip provides opportunities to forge meaningful connections between travelers and the people who make this diverse country so rich in culture.
“Intrepid believes that with great travel comes great responsibility,” says Berna. “We truly want to be the best travel company not just in the world, but for the world. Our responsible travel policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel.
Here are five trips that will give you a deeper appreciation—and understanding—of the U.S.
From rock to soul, follow the sound of classic American music
On the six-day Tennessee Music Trail to New Orleans tour, take a deep dive into the South’s storied music and culture scene as you jump from Nashville to Memphis to New Orleans. Meet with a professional sound engineer for your own recording session at Nashville’s famed Studio B, where stars like Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, and Roy Orbison have all laid tracks. Hang with the locals at traditional blues clubs on Beale Street, which hosted some of the first Black-owned businesses in the South. Get a hands-on cooking lesson in Cajun and Creole cuisine and find out how to create one of the Big Easy’s most beloved dishes, a crawfish boil. And learn about the Whitney Plantation on a tour led by the Black-owned 2nd Line Tours.
Journey to the heart of South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana
Dramatic vistas, ample wildlife, and fascinating regional history define Intrepid Travel’s six-day South Dakota to Yellowstone Parks Explorer itinerary. Enjoy some of the country’s most scenic hikes along the lesser-traveled areas in the backcountry of Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore’s Presidential Trail, and Yellowstone National Park. Be sure to have your camera ready to capture bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of buffalo roaming free. In Sheridan, take a pause from nature’s wonders to join a Crow Nation Guide for a three-hour tour of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, which provides an Apsaalooke perspective on the conflict, and learn how Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors defeated the U.S. Army.
Discover the spirit of the Wild West
Uncover the magnificent deserts, canyons, lakes, and valleys of the West’s most inspiring wide-open spaces on Intrepid Travel’s Western USA National Parks Loop itinerary. After meeting in Las Vegas for this five-day journey, you’ll make your way across Utah and Arizona, taking in epic landscapes of awe-inspiring sites like Zion National Park’s steep red cliffs, Bryce Canyon National Park’s famed hoodoos, and the legendary Grand Canyon. Later, join a Navajo guide for a tour of Monument Valley’s towering sandstone buttes. You’ll have the chance to learn more about their rich culture and history in the area before sitting down to a home-cooked, family-style Navajo lunch.
Explore Maine’s breathtaking coastline
From vibrant cities to quaint seaside towns and sprawling, rugged beaches, this six-day Coastal Maine tour led by a local will take you to a New England clambake, offshore in search of puffins, seals, sharks, and whales in Boothbay, to the charming city of Portland, and more. A highlight of the trip is Acadia National Park, home to Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the country’s East Coast. There you’ll feel the ocean’s waves crashing against the rocky shores at Thunder Hole, admire the turquoise waters of Sand Beach, a peaceful inlet nestled between granite mountains, and stroll Jordan Pond, formed by the Wisconsin Ice Sheet during the last glacial period.
Get active in Alaska’s great outdoors
Enjoy a carbon-neutral experience when you go on a six-day Alaska Hike, Bike & Kayak trip through the state’s most iconic parks and natural landmarks like Denali National Park & Preserve and Kenai Fjords National Park. Ride along the paved Tony Knowles Coastal Trail as it hugs the shore of Cook Inlet from downtown Anchorage through coastal marshes and over forested hills, enjoying views of Mount Susitna along the way. Go sea kayaking on Resurrection Bay’s calm waters as you keep an eye out for sea otters, seals, bald eagles, and leaping salmon. Hike to Exit Glacier and listen closely for the ambient crackling sound of the dense, blue ice. And like all Intrepid Travel trips, knowing you minimized your footprint helps make these incredible moments even more rewarding.