School is out and summer is at long last upon us. What better way to celebrate than by seeking thrills and achingly gorgeous sights outdoors? From the visceral excitement of white water rafting to relaxing train rides, 10Best readers cast their ballots for the best in scenic and adventure travel. After four weeks of voting, the results are in.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Adventure Travel Company: Wild Women Expeditions
Experience the outdoors alongside fellow women with Wild Women Expeditions — Photo courtesy of Wild Women Expeditions
Wild Women Expeditions specializes in "amazing outdoor adventures for all women." The company leads trips to more than two dozen countries around the globe, with activities such as canoeing, kayaking, cycling, hiking, surfing, sailing and yoga.
Best Boat Tour: Chicago Architecture Foundation
Even if you think you know Chicago, there's so much more to discover on our readers' favorite boat tour — Photo courtesy of Getty Images
The Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady is led by highly trained expert docents. On this 90-minute cruise, you'll hear fascinating details about Chicago, including stories about the people who designed the buildings along the Chicago River. Options include both daylight tours and evening cocktail cruises.
Best Cycling Tour: DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co.
Explore some of the world's most gorgeous cities with the expert guides at DuVine — Photo courtesy of DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co.
DuVine wants every traveler to experience the world by bike. These luxury bike tours focus heavily on food and wine, and itineraries often include family-run restaurants and boutique accommodations. You’ll find tours around the globe, including domestic options in Aspen, the Hudson Valley, Maine and Vermont, among others.
Best Helicopter Tour: Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters
The majesty of the Grand Canyon is best appreciated from high above — Photo courtesy of Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters has been flying visitors to the Grand Canyon since 1965. The fleet includes oversized windows for better views, and the company enjoys access to three exclusive landing sites on the canyon floor.
Best Hot Air Balloon Ride: Sky Riders Balloon Team
Soar over Pennsylvania with Sky Riders — Photo courtesy of Sky Riders Balloon Team
The Sky Riders Balloon Team takes passengers on hot air balloon rides over the rolling hills and forests of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Depending on the winds, it’s sometimes possible to see the Philadelphia skyline in the distance.
Best Kayaking Tour: Rising Tide Explorers in Naples, Florida
Rising Tide Explorers has been voted Best Kayaking Tour two years in a row — Photo courtesy of Rising Tide Explorers
Certified local biologists lead every tour of Naples and Marco Island with Rising Tide Explorers. Paddle through mangrove tunnels and past mudflats in search of Southwest Florida wildlife, or glide through the waters of Rookery Bay Reserve for some spectacular birdwatching.
Best Scenic Train Ride: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Colorado
See Colorado from a new perspective on Durango & Silverton — Photo courtesy of Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
The historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad once hauled silver and gold along the stretch of track laid during the late 19th century between the two towns. Today, visitors hop aboard for the 7-hour round trip journey from Durango through some of Colorado's most impressive scenery, with a chance to stop and explore the historic mining town.
Best White Water Rafting Tour: Northwest Rafting Company
Hit the rapids with Northwest Rafting Company — Photo courtesy of Northwest Rafting Company
Northwest Rafting Company specializes in rafting trips on Oregon’s Rogue River and Idaho’s Salmon River, though guests can also choose multi-day trips along the Owyhee, Illinois or Chetco rivers. Specialty itineraries add in gourmet food, yoga sessions or live bluegrass music. Trips last four to six days.
Congratulations to all these winning nominees! Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in our Readers' Choice contests.