Looking for a truly off the charts vacation? Tired of the same old beach excursion? Bored with cruises? It might be time to ask where you can experience an incredible vacation or unearth some hidden gems?

GetYourGuide, a booking platform for travel activities, unveiled the GetYourGuide Awards, an exclusive designation that celebrates excellence in tours and activities. The inaugural 2018 class of winning experiences was selected by a team of GetYourGuide judges using a proprietary analysis of several happiness metrics. Key factors included the number and quality of ratings, bookings volume and quality of reviews’ content (analyzed through natural language processing).

The North America winners showcase excellence in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean across seven product categories. The results reveal several interesting trends: most notably, that the experiences that resonated most positively with GetYourGuide customers tend to be immersive, unusual and unforgettable—such as the Underground Portland tour that incorporates a flashlight-led subterranean walk through history or the Playa del Carmen Dune Buggy Tour that also includes a swim and snorkel in a crystal-clear sinkhole.

Small-group experiences that allow travelers to get up-close and intimate with natural wonders also scored high—for example, touring Antelope Canyon with a certified Navajo tribal guide or taking in the splendor of Niagara Falls via a seven-passenger helicopter. Travelers also love getting a new perspective on a popular place, as with the two New York City winners: an architect-led cruise that surveys the skyline from a 1920s’s-style yacht and a superhero-themed tour that reveals secrets of both the comic-book and film industries.

Six of the 30 North America winners are in Louisiana, further illustrating travelers’ desire for immersive experiences outside the expected (and, often, overcrowded) destinations.

“GetYourGuide was founded on the principle of connecting travelers with incredible experiences around the world—and often, the best travel experiences are the ones you least expect,”  explained GetYourGuide CEO Johannes Reck. “We created these awards with that original principle in mind as a way to celebrate some of our hidden gems that got customers talking and created happy memories. The awards are also a way to showcase some of our fastest-growing categories, like culinary experiences.”

The global GetYourGuide Awards for incredible experiences were also announced  and included gems such as a visit (including snowmobile ride) at Santa’s Village and reindeer farm in Finland; a family-friendly quest to uncover Barcelona’s hidden dragons aided by a map, compass and riddles; and an insider’s fish-market tour and sushi workshop in Tokyo.
GetYourGuide Awards for incredible experiences: North America Winners

Incredible Active & Adventure Experiences: This category is for incredible experiences that give travelers a new, thrilling perspective

  • Playa del Carmen 3 Hour Dune Buggy Tour and Cenote Swim (link)
  • Swamp Tours South of New Orleans by Airboat (link)
  • From Miami: Florida Everglades Small Group Airboat Tour (link)
  • Ontario: 1 Hour Jet-Boat Tour from Niagara Falls (link)
  • Vancouver Delights: 7 Hour City Tour (link)

Incredible Walking Tour Experiences: Favorite ways to see the world on two feet, including must-see and off-the-beaten-path sights

  • New Orleans: 2 Hour Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery Stroll (link)
  • Los Angeles: Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park 2 Hour Hiking Tour (link)
  • Underground Portland 2 Hour Walking Tour (link)

Incredible Family-Friendly Experiences: These experiences have something for everyone, regardless of age

  • Dominican Republic: Flintstones Buggy, Cave and Adventure in Bavaro (link)
  • Superheroes of New York: 2 Hour Guided Tour (link)

Incredible New Experiences: Winners joined GetYourGuide within the last year and have became instant favorites

  • New Orleans: High-Speed Small Group Airboat Ride (link)
  • New Orleans Swamp Tour by Tour Boat (link)
  • Seaplane Flight + Alcatraz Cruise & Tour Combo (link)
  • Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Tour From Las Vegas (link)
  • From Ontario: Niagara Falls 12 Minute Helicopter Flight (link)
  • Jasper National Park: Evening Wildlife Watching Tour (link)

Incredible Classic Experiences: Incredible experiences that have been on GetYourGuide.com for years—with good reason

  • Hawaii: Diamond Head Crater Adventure Hike (link)
  • Cancun: Xel-Há Park All-Inclusive 1 Day Pass (link)
  • Around Manhattan: Official NYC Architecture Cruise (link)Quebec City & Montmorency Falls Full-Day Tour (link)
  • Old Town Trolley Tour of Washington DC & Arlington Cemetery (link)
  • Mexico: Teotihuacan Pyramids & Guadalupe Shrine Full-Day Tour (link)
  • New Orleans: 2 Hour Haunted Walking Tour (link)
  • Canada: 2.5 Hour Jasper Park Easy Rafting Trip (link)
  • Houston: City Tour & NASA Space Center Visit with Admission (link)
  • Vancouver & Capilano Suspension Bridge Half-Day Sightseeing (link)

Incredible Culinary Experiences: Food and drink tours: one of GetYourGuide’s fastest-growing categories

  • New Orleans Jazz Cruise Aboard the Steamboat Natchez (link)
  • Savannah: 3 Hour First Squares Food Tour (link)

Incredible Eco-Friendly Experiences: Ethical experiences that help travelers make a positive impact on a destination

  • Whale Watching Cruise from Boston (link)
  • Maui: Haleakala National Park Sunrise Tour (link)