Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Best Grand Canyon Tours For The Valentine's Day Holiday (Feb.14)

By Jacky O'Shea

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. One way to make the occasion really special is to take a tour of the Grand Canyon with your loved one. There are several types of tours that depart to the Canyon from Vegas, and you can tour by airplane, bus, or helicopter. No matter what type of tour you choose, you want to book it as soon as possible, because these tours are popular and fill up fast.

Departure Cities

You can book a tour that departs from Tusayan in Arizona and from Vegas. Flight times can vary, depending where you travel from. For example, the flight from Vegas to the South Rim will take an hour or so. The Vegas bus tours take much longer, so if you're going to tour the South Rim, you'll be in for a 5.5 hour bus ride to get to the rim and a 2.5 hour ride to get to the West Rim. If you begin a bus tour in Phoenix, the bus ride to the South Rim will be just under four hours.

West Rim Tours

A quick way to get to the Canyon is to book a helicopter tour. It only takes 30-45 minutes to fly to the West Rim from Vegas. As an added bonus, the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are on the way to the Canyon, so you'll get an aerial view of them too when you fly out of Vegas. Depending on the type of tour you book, your helicopter tour will be air-only and just fly over the Canyon, or it will be a landing tour and set down on top of the rim or on the Canyon floor. The landing tour that flies into the Canyon and lands on the floor is very popular, and it even comes with a Champagne picnic. It's a perfect tour to take on Valentine's Day.

Although airplanes can also land at the West Rim, they are not able to land on the Canyon floor. You can still get to the bottom of the Canyon by transferring to a helicopter once you arrive at the West Rim, and if you want to stay on top of the rim, you'll find plenty to do there too, such as walking on the Skywalk. The Skywalk will give you quite a thrill as well as provide you with the best view at the Canyon. If you and your sweetheart are adventurous, then walking out on the massive glass bridge will create Valentine's Day memories you'll never forget.

Helicopter Tours Of The South Rim

There are a couple of helicopter flights that tour the South Rim. The first one is a half-hour tour that goes to the North Rim, and back again. The other tour is longer, it gives you 50 minutes of flight time and goes to the North Rim as well as the eastern edge of the park. Book the longer tour if you can because it flies over about 3/4 of the entire national park, and you'll get to see a lot of interesting views.

You can also take an airplane tour of the South Rim, even if you want to depart from Vegas. You'll start with an hour flight to the South Rim and then follow that with the 50 minute air tour that follows the same path as the longer helicopter tour. The difference between the two air tours is that the airplanes have to fly higher, so the views aren't quite as good as the views from the helicopters that fly lower. One advantage of flying on an airplane is that they carry 19 people at a time. So if you're traveling with a big group and everyone wants to go on the tour together, then taking an airplane tour is the way to go.

Motor Coach Tours

If price is an important consideration, then you may prefer a bus tour since they are the most affordable. The tours last all day, so you have plenty of time to see a lot of sights. There is a basic and deluxe option, and the tours are all-inclusive including taxes and park fees. Light meals for lunch and breakfast are included as well. Bus tours to the West and South Rim come with the ability to add on adventures. Some upgrades to consider are Skywalk tickets at the West Rim or a helicopter ride to the Canyon floor, and at the South Rim, you can add on a 50-minute helicopter tour of the National Park.

Wrapping Up

All of the tours available come in basic or deluxe versions. Since you'll want your Valentine's Day experience to be special, consider upgrading to the deluxe option. The deluxe air tours even come with complimentary transportation in a limousine, which is a nice touch. Plus, the helicopters used on deluxe tours provide you with more room, a quieter ride, and enhanced viewing through massive windows, so deluxe is definitely recommended.

These tours are popular and they sell out quickly, so book yours as soon as possible. Try to get your tour two weeks in advance if you can. Buying it is easy when you book online where you'll find the lowest price, plus you'll get instant confirmation when you use your credit card. With so many options, you will find a tour that suits your budget, which will make this year's Valentine's Day extra special.

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