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Which destinations have cheap tours and ground transportation once you have landed?

Which destinations have cheap tours and ground transportation once you have landed?


Old Jun 25, 18, 12:30 pm
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Which destinations have cheap tours and ground transportation once you have landed?

I usually let fare price determine our destination. Considering there are so many places to go it makes the decision easier. Last week we were eyeing a flight to Portland and was looking for things to do in the area. One thing that caught our eye was a picture of a waterfall at Silver falls state park. We decided not to go to Portland because of the expense of getting to the state park. It is 1.5 hours drive from Portland if we rented a car. Or we could ride a bus for 3 hours to Mehama and walk/hitchhike an additional 12 miles to the park. Or we could possibly Uber it for 100$+ one way from Portland. So the cheap fare wasn't enough to justify the trip.

But it got us thinking. I started to search for tours that included Silver Falls park and found one for $90. It is little pricey but the tour includes other locations. We aren't interested in the other locations and would rather spend the day at Silver Falls. How would you accomplish this without dropping 90$+ per day on transportation?

And along those lines, do you know of any destinations (preferably awesome nature areas like national parks, etc) that have public transportation options to get there? Not only do I not want to pay for a rental car, I don't want to drive one either. I'd rather be a rider and use the time to read or be engaged with my fellow travelers.
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Old Jun 25, 18, 2:31 pm
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In my role as moderator I edited the title to make it more descriptive of the post.


Interesting idea.

Rental cars can be expensive, especially if rented at the airport

You can do that in Victoria, BC.(inexpensive to get to nature, though you can also do car rental) Downtown is walkable, and you can get to the most famous attraction Butchart Gardens via public bus with an all day C$5 ticket. There are also lakes and trails, and taking the bus in BC is nothing like places like Dallas or Houston

And there are fun ways of arriving besides flying, which seems to be pretty inexpensive these days. Ferries from Vancouver, Seattle or Port Angeles as well as float planes (those aren't necessarily cheap).
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Old Jun 25, 18, 3:37 pm
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Thanks for the info and the re-write. I ran across an article that makes a few suggestions that would be great but most of them were international (Vancouver was mentioned). The domestic locations I recall are few locations on the front range of the Rockies. You can take Amtrak from Denver to Winter Park/Fraser and Glenwood Springs. Or you can take RTD public transportation to Nederland which is in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Maybe some other readers know of some more obscure options out there. Some of the best parks I have been to were very small and unheard of. I just hate have to spend hours behind the wheel to get there. I'm getting to feel like public transportation is kind of a vacation from driving.
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Old Jun 27, 18, 2:40 am
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Portland can be really, really bad about car rent costs in the summer but can be reasonable at other times. I think there are also brewery tours there if that's your thing.

Here's a pic of the falls u seek that I did in May some years ago. There's also a trail that goes under the falls.

National parks and public transportation don't tend to mix too well in the U.S. Remoteness usually comes with the package. Though in Alaska you have a good number of people getting to Denali by bus or train (though often with cruises) and then the tours inside the park are by bus.
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Old May 28, 19, 7:56 am
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RustyC, I just noticed I never thanked you for this post. Your picture has me considering making the trip this weekend....
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Old Jun 5, 19, 8:27 pm
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@EmailKid Funny you should mention Victoria, BC. As I type this reponse and read this thread, I sit in a pub in downtown Victoria drinking $6 CAD ($4.50 USD) pints of beer.

The thing about travel is that as soon as you want North American brands and comfort, you pretty much pay North American prices, regardless of where you are in the world. High end brand name hotels cost $200 to $400 per night anywhere you go. It's the lower end that varies. In Thailand, you can get by on $15 per night (well, that was back in 2001 when I last visited) but a budget hotel in Victoria will run you at least $100/night in peak tourist season.

OP, I also travel based largely on price. So many places to see in this world, why not pick them all off on your list.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 9:01 am
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DFW has very reliable and cheap train services, there is no national park in DFW area but it can take you to bunch of different lakes for water activity:

DART (Terminal A): service to Irving, Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Garland, Rowlett, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, Lewisville, Highland Village, Denton
TEXRail (Terminal B) or TRE: Fort Worth, North Richland Hills, Grapevine
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