Where can you go on vacation and leave the driving to others?
September 16, 2016 4:03 PM   Subscribe

I live in Tennessee and just got back from a cruise, we got ourselves to Nashville airport and was chauffeured from that point forward, shuttle to hotel, shuttle to ship, tours at our ports. It was so relaxing not having to drive and just let others do it for you. What are some vacations that would be like this besides a cruise? I just don't enjoy driving in strange places and am willing to pay for it once a year. Needs to be in USA although we did go to the Caribbean on the cruise.
posted by just asking to Travel & Transportation (30 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by clone boulevard at 4:07 PM on September 16, 2016

Response by poster: Yeah, Disney is cool. I should have mentioned I am middle aged and have no kids.
posted by just asking at 4:18 PM on September 16, 2016

New York? I'm not sure exactly what kinds of activities you like doing. But there's thousands of people in New York city waiting to drive you places.
posted by GuyZero at 4:19 PM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Would you enjoy an active tour that has biking and/or walking? My parents have enjoyed their trips through www.vbt.com. Their tours have pretty much all the logistics planned out for you.
posted by florencetnoa at 4:20 PM on September 16, 2016

Any city that has a good uber base.
posted by greta simone at 4:25 PM on September 16, 2016

Mackinac Island allows no cars at all. It's all walking or carriages. I think you really have to be into fudge, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:28 PM on September 16, 2016 [5 favorites]

New York City is the first thing that comes to mind. Probably quite a few major US cities would also fit the bill, for example Boston or Chicago.

Quite a few people arrive in New Orleans, take a taxi to the French Quarter, and don't set foot in a car again until it's time to go back to the airport. (There are also street cars and uber if you want to venture further afield than the central walkable parts of the city.) My guess is that you can do San Francisco in the same way.
posted by Sara C. at 4:31 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you enjoy hiking, then lodge to lodge hiking tours might be the thing for you. No driving required. I've done nice ones in Vermont and Minnesota. I think they're available everywhere.
posted by frumiousb at 4:45 PM on September 16, 2016

When we were in Costa Rica, our hotel arranged a driver to take us on the four hour drive to the hotel and while we were there we used taxis or walked. However, even being a passenger in Costa Rica is not exactly relaxing, although much better than driving yourself.
posted by carolr at 4:58 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've booked tours through Gate 1 Travel that were like being on a cruise. I had a tour guide who arranged everything and just told me when to be in the hotel lobby/back at the bus. They have international and domestic travel.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 5:02 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Is it the not driving that's the appealing part or the not having to make decisions? I mean, you definitely don't need (or want!) a car to go on holiday in NYC or most other major cities, but it's decidedly not like a cruise, where you've (I think) booked the day trips in advance, have limited dining options and really only so many things to chose to do with your time. It seems like you probably want some kind of resort-y destination.
posted by hoyland at 5:10 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

You can definitely hire a guide/driver for multi-day tours in the US (as elsewhere in the world). They'll drive you from site to site and get you to your (pre-arranged) lodging so you can do your thing. The wine regions in California and/or Oregon immediately come to mind, but I will guess that some of the more popular National Parks also are accessible this way.
posted by janell at 5:16 PM on September 16, 2016

Outside U.S. but close. Playa del Carmen is my favorite vacation for this. Not only is there no need for a car, but no need to be shuttled in you get there. Fifth ave is a long, long street with hundreds of little shops, restaurants, and hotels and inns. It's all closed off to traffic. After a quick flight to Cancun you jump on a 9 dollar NICE bus for 45 minutes and you are there.
The food is cheap and terrific and there is everything you could need.
It's a fun and easy vacation.
posted by ReluctantViking at 5:18 PM on September 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

I should have mentioned I am middle aged and have no kids.

As am I. Seconding Walt Disney World.
posted by kimberussell at 5:30 PM on September 16, 2016 [8 favorites]

Yeah, gotta nth the warm, all-encompassing embrace of Disney. They even drive you to and from the airport and deliver your luggage to your room/check it on the plane for you, like a cruise. Spend some extra cash to stay at a hotel with boats or monorails. Focus your trip on eating and drinking. Think of your sojourn to Animal Kingdom and Epcot (you could skip the other two) as excursions. They let you reserve basically everything in advance, and the hotel pools are boss as hell. My dream domestic vacation is basically a few days at the Boardwalk or Yacht Club hotel, with afternoons spent eating and drinking around Epcot or the nearby hotels, and maybe a nightcap at the tiki bar. But you can easily be much more active than that, without having to think particularly hard or drive/take real transit.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 6:05 PM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

I just got back from New Orleans, and while our AirBnB household of seven had two rental cars between us, we mostly used Uber. We stayed a nice distance outside the French Quarter, so we went home every night to a quiet neighborhood. One of our Uber drivers, Francine, acted like our own personal tour guide during the 12 minute drive to the French Quarter, telling us about local architecture, idioms, Katrina damage, history... It was the most informative car ride I'd ever been on, and now I know the difference between French and Spanish balconies.
posted by Ruki at 6:06 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I believe you can cruise the Mississippi on a riverboat. It's also a cruise, but quite different.

I'm also pretty sure you can still find bus tours in various places.
posted by SemiSalt at 6:07 PM on September 16, 2016

Another "no cars" place just ocurred to me...My wife and I spent our 25th anniversary in the little village of Yelapa. It's sw of Puerto Vallarta, on the southern edge of the bay. There are no roads to the village. Once you fly to PV, you are taxied to a small beach, where you pile yourselves into an open skiff and enjoy an open-water cruise to the village. That's how the place we stayed handled our arrival. I can't imagine any of the other places do it much differently. It's relaxing, quiet and beautiful.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:17 PM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

You could take Amtrak cross-country.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:54 PM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

What kind of vacation do you want to go on? I just went to a Jamaican resort booked through Cheap Caribbean with airport transfers. I landed in Jamaica, got a shuttle to the resort and then stayed there and didn't move from my beach lounger for three days and then shuttled back to the airport.

They had a bunch of other excursions you could book as well if you did want to leave the resort, all with transport included.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:02 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Definitely Mackinac. Rent bikes and pedal yourselves around on the smallest U.S. highway (7 miles!) Take a carriage tour (seriously, the carriage tour is amazing). Visit the Fort. Go on the ghost tour at the Fort. Eat good food. Fudge optional. Mackinac is amazing.

We did Labor Day on Tybee Island in Georgia, and while there were lots of cars on the island, depending on where you stay, you don't need a car. The whole island is three miles end to end and a few blocks wide, you can take Uber from the airport to the island (though beware that during busy times, you may be waiting), there's golf cart taxis that will happily take you everywhere, there's good food and you can walk around with drinks as long as they're in plastic, the ocean is beautiful, and it was a really amazing time.
posted by joycehealy at 7:19 PM on September 16, 2016

I also came in to see Walt Disney World. Also middle-aged with no kids. There's so much to do there for adults that their early marketing materials didn't even feature kids that much. And all the on property transportation options are a real attraction.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:45 PM on September 16, 2016

Not a specific place, but you could go on a tour. Look into some of the major tour companies like Trafalgar, Globus, G Adventures to check out their itineraries in the US. Does require a willingness to be on a bus with strangers!
posted by wsquared at 8:36 PM on September 16, 2016

Most of the Mexican all-inclusives. Most of the time your package can include a shuttle from the airport to the resort. Then you never have to leave the resort again if you don't want to, or you can buy all-inclusive tours at the resort that will include transportation, etc.

On preview: oops, missed the US requirement. I'll leave this here anyway. All-inclusives are great non-stress vacations, but they really don't exist in the US as they do in Mexico.
posted by cgg at 8:46 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

There's always the Las Vegas strip. If you want to see the lovely surrounding areas such as Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of Fire, you can join a tour.

You can go to a medium-level resort hotel someplace like Maui and they will arrange transportation to things like bike rides and snorkel sails.
posted by BibiRose at 8:54 PM on September 16, 2016

Ugh, I'm not sure why I said, "someplace like Maui." In fact Maui probably has a lot more of this stuff than the other Hawaiian islands.
posted by BibiRose at 8:58 PM on September 16, 2016

Small group travel? Plenty of providers at various price points
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:04 AM on September 17, 2016

You can do a Great Lakes cruise.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:35 AM on September 18, 2016

Amtrak offers rail tour packages to various parts of the US and Canada. I haven't tried any of their packages, though I'm hoping to, but the usual disclaimers undoubtedly apply: poor ol' Amtrak has the lowest priority on most of the rails it uses, so it's pretty much always late. But as long as you're not in a hurry, it's a fun way to travel. The trains are pretty comfortable and quite clean, and you can hang out in the lounge/observation car and maybe strike up a conversation with some of the characters who travel on Amtrak.
posted by Quietgal at 10:43 AM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

How about public transport? Portland and San Francisco both have pretty good public transportation in my opinion, and any place you can't get to, there is always Uber. You can also visit Alcatraz via ferry from Fisherman's Wharf when in San Francisco. If you don't mind going to Canada, Vancouver, B.C. is super walkable and also has pretty good public transportation. I was there 2 days, 3 nights and only took taxis on arrival and departure.

Also, I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but any city with a significant number of tourists usually has some version of a double-decker tourbus/shuttle where you hop on and off at various touristy spots in the city. I took one on a family vacation to NYC as a kid. I've also seen them in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and I think Washington D.C. (but some version of this can be found in pretty much any often-visited city). I googled "double decker tour bus" just now, as I was curious as to what the results would show, and it seems they are truly quite ubiquitous.
posted by sevenofspades at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

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