When exploring a new country, you can always take the traditional approach of bouncing from town to town, schlepping your stuff from hotel to hotel in the process. Or, if you're in India, you can simply take your hotel with you. The Maharajas' Express is a luxurious train that offers five different itineraries — ranging in length from three to seven nights — as well as 43 guest rooms that go from cabins all the way up to a Presidential Suite. In addition to the luxury accommodations, you'll also find two restaurants, a bar and lounge, and a high-end boutique on board, leaving you little reason to get off the train at all.
Winter Olympics got you in a sporting mood? Here's your chance to earn your own gold (participation) medal. The Bobsleigh Ride Experience at the Whistler Sliding Centre gives you and a few friends/strangers the opportunity to rocket down the former Olympic track. The day begins with an orientation, helment fitting, etiquette discussion — no inappropriate touching inside the sled — and safety walkthrough. You'll then meet the track crew and be secured into the professionally-piloted sled for a run down the ice at speeds approaching 80mph. All of which sounds like way more fun than another night of Ice Dancing.
The Middle East might not be the first place you think of when it comes to board sports, but the combination of winds and plenty of coastline makes it a pretty ideal spot. Kiteboarding Oman takes advantage of the conditions to teach people about kiteboarding. The first VDWS-certified school in the region, they operate kite camps on Sawadi Beach and Masirah Island, and are able to have you up, fully licensed, and ready to board pretty much anywhere on your own in just 3-5 days. [Scouted by Eric]
If you could build a playground for you and your buddies, what would you include? A bunch of construction equipment to screw around with? Go-Karts? How about an ATV obstacle course? Well, Männerspielplatz Erlebnis Park offers all of that and more. Located on a former factory site not far from other guy-friendly attractions like the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums, this "Playground Adventure Park" lets you and your friends spend all day doing manly stuff like shooting bow and arrows, digging with excavators, driving Jeeps or Unimogs off-road, and even moving stuff using cranes. To cap off your day of testosterone, book a night at the nearby auto-themed V8 Hotel.
Most people prefer skiing or snowboarding when it comes to winter sports, but tubing and sledding still hold a special place in our snow day, big hill Midwestern hearts. Gorgoza Park lets you recapture this feeling no matter the season. Located just off I-80, this tubing-focused park offers seven lighted tubing lanes, including one for smaller tubers, three for beginners, and four advanced lanes. In addition, the park features a mini-snowmobiling track for kids, a dedicated kids area, and a cafe. And best of all, the park features lifts to the top of the hill — so you get all the nostalgia of tubing without the drudgery of dragging your tube back up.
As the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower has provided fantastic views of Toronto, Lake Ontario, and beyond since its opening. But never like this. The CN Tower EdgeWalk lets those brave/crazy enough to try it walk around outside on the roof of the tower's restaurant — over 1,150 feet in the air. The entire experience lasts around an hour and a half with 20-30 minutes devoted to the walk itself, and months afterwards devoted to bragging about your accomplishment.
Anyone can stride up to the local Chevy dealership and take a spin in a Corvette, but if you really want to appreciate the care that goes into building this American motoring icon, you need to take the Corvette Assembly Plant Tour. Held at the same plant that's been building the sportscar since 1981, this unique one-mile walking tour lets you see the chassis and body come together, the engine and working bits being installed, the finishing touches applied, and the cars driving off the end of the assembly line. It only costs $7, but don't expect to be taking your own photos, or even real-time tweeting your experience — you're expected to leave cameras, phones, and tablets in the car.
Most people take a cruise that sails by our 49th state and claim they've "seen Alaska". But then you're not most people. This Revelation Mountains Backpacking Trip lets you see this Northern wilderness the way it really is — untouched and untamed. Scheduled for 10 days, this 50+ mile trip begins in Anchorage, where you board a bush plane to Lake Clark National Park. From this base, you'll explore the mountain range by plane and hiking, traversing over 50 miles, sleeping underneath the stars, and, if you're lucky, seeing some of the wildlife that call this remote land home, including bears, sheep, wolves, caribou, and moose.
It's one thing to plan an island vacation that involves lounging by the pool, drinking, eating, and shopping. It's quite another to plan on being active every day. If the latter is more your taste, chances are you'll like the Gran Canaria Bike Tour from KE Adventure. This eight-day excursion sees you spending six days exploring the island on two wheels. Up and down mountains and across over 230 miles of road, you'll get to enjoy fantastic coastal scenery, plenty of hairpin turns, and small villages. All your hotels are included, as are most breakfasts and lunches, so there's little you need to do other than show up and ride.
Island hopping is, by itself, a pretty amazing vacation idea. But going from caye to caye using nothing but a kayak? Even better. This Lodge-to-Lodge Sea Kayak Trip lets you do exactly that. On this guided trip, you'll explore Southwater Caye Marine Park using high-end sea kayaks, hopping aboard Stand Up Paddleboards to traverse calmer waters, and exploring the underwater with snorkels and/or scuba gear. At the end of each day's journey, your guides and hosts will cook up dinner as you settle into your seaside room, cold beverage in hand. Best of all? There's no experience needed, so whether you're a salty dog or a land-lubber, all you have to do is show up and go.
For most people, simply visiting an active volcano would be thrilling enough. But if you're not one of those people, perhaps Volcano Boarding will do. In this extreme sport — created by the proprietors of Bigfoot Hostel — you'll be flying down the slopes of 2,388-foot Cerro Negro on nothing but a sit-down wooden-style toboggan made from metal and Formica-reinforced plywood. And when we say flying, we really mean it — speeds reach up to 55 mph, or way faster than you should ever be going on something that requires you to sit on the ground. The experience includes transportation, safety equipment, a jumpsuit and goggles, speed clocking, and a celebration of your bravery once you return to Bigfoot. Whether you decide to stay there or not is totally up to you.
It's not exactly a quick trip, but we guarantee this South Pole 20K Ski Expedition is far more rewarding than simply hopping off a plane and declaring "I'm here". Offered by the experienced guides at Polar Expeditions, this nine-day journey sees you boarding a plane in Punta Arenas, Chile for a flight to the bottom of the world — or at least close to it, as you'll be skiing the last 20 km, and sleeping in a tent (with a very warm sleeping bag). When you consider that a full trek there takes nearly two months there and back, it's like getting all the excitement (and bragging rights) with none of the hassle.