Soar through the Sky with a Personal Flying Lesson

By , September 10, 2014 4:11 pm

Flying an airplane or a helicopter is a dream that many of us grow up having as children. But even if your life path took you in an entirely differently direction, it’s not too late to step into the cockpit and give flying a try. At FunSherpa, we’re dedicated to hooking you up with professional and experienced flight instructors who are experts in safety and excitement.

Introduction to Flying in Chicago

Head outside the city to the nearby suburb of Wheeling to take an Introduction to Flying course with Chicago’s Executive Flight School. You won’t be sitting back and letting someone else do all the work on this ride, but rather getting into the captain’s chair and actually taking control of the aircraft! You’ll fly for an hour and a half and learn about all the different aspects of flight and flight preparation with a FAA certified flight instructor.


Photo credit: Eyton Z via Flickr

Introductory Helicopter Flights on Both Coasts

From coast to coast, it’s easy to hop into a helicopter and learn how to fly! We have an introductory helicopter package in Long Beach, California that’ll get you high in the sky for fun or working towards a new career. If you’re on the East Coast, head to Newport to take an Introductory Helicopter Flight in Rhode Island. With just a short drive from Boston, you’ll receive top-notch instruction even if you’ve never touched an aircraft before.

Learn to Fly in San Diego

One of the most beautiful places to learn to fly is in San Diego. Check out our San Diego Learn to Fly package to learn the basics of aircraft control. You’ll be flying a Varga VG-21, which is the same aircraft used for Top Dog Air Combat flights. No prior experience is necessary, and this experience will allow you to learn turns, climbs, and glides with ease.

Helicopter Flight Instruction in Seattle

Whether you’re brand new to flying or just want to brush up on your skills, we can set you up with the Pacific Northwest’s largest fleet of Robinson R-22 helicopters with Helicopter Flight Instruction in Seattle. This experience includes a half hour of flying to train you for a flying career or teach you the essentials of recreational flying that’s just for fun.

Photo credit: Geoff Collins via Flickr

Photo credit: Geoff Collins via Flickr

Test Flight in San Francisco

Circle the Golden Gate Bridge and past the TransAmerica Building as you work with a certified flight instructor to practice your flight skills. This training session will let you practice your take-off, climbs, turns, and descents in the beautiful Bay Area.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Flying Lesson

  • Ask your instructor if there are reading materials you should review before the course
  • Go into your course with an open mind and a willingness to receive detailed commands
  • Pay attention during the pre- and post-flight briefings
  • Minimize distractions to create a productive learning environment
  • Make sure your cockpit is clean, organized, and fully-functioning
  • Watch instructional videos at home to supplement your course learning
  • Discuss the logistics of additional lessons with your instructor if you’re committed to learning more!

Las Vegas Thrills without Leaving Your Hometown

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By , August 28, 2014 10:15 am

Las Vegas is known as the gambling and entertainment capital of America, and its enduring party scene has withstood generations of visitors dropping by to try their luck. The Las Vegas Strip is home to some of the largest hotel, casino, and resort properties in the world, and a majority of the world’s largest hotels by room count are lined along the Strip. When you add in casinos near the strip, downtown, and on the outskirts of town, there are nearly 100 places to feel the rush of gaming action here.

However, flights to Vegas can be a little pricey and getting a couple days off work can be a challenge. At FunSherpa, we can set you up with authentic Vegas thrills without even having to leave your hometown. So whether you’re looking to a plan a fun night in with friends or organize a major event or casino party, these are some Vegas-style activities to keep in mind.

Host a Friendly Poker Party

Although there are various types of poker, each of them involves betting and winners are determined by the ranks and combinations of their cards. When the old dining room table just won’t do, consider renting out a professional table to host a proper poker party in the location of your choice. Better yet, poker table rentals come with your own casino-trained poker dealer! Up to 10 people can play on these tables. Chips, cards, set-up, teardown, and four hours of play time are included in this Chicago poker package.

Photo credit: Viri G. via Flickr

Photo credit: Viri G. via Flickr

Organize a Blackjack Event

Because of its simple premise and mindful strategy, blackjack tables are always among the most popular places to be in Vegas. You can also rent a blackjack table to take your casino party one step further. Like the poker package, this blackjack rental comes with a professionally-trained blackjack dealer, chips, and cards. Seven people can play on these blackjack tables for four hours, but plan to book your table at least two weeks in advance of your event date.

Add a Little Roulette to Your Night

Roulette, a pure game of chance, is an exciting and accessible addition to any casino night party. You can rent a roulette table that comes with a trained dealer and all the equipment that goes along with it. This is a high-quality, professional 32-inch roulette wheel that is perfect for bachelor and bachelorette parties and celebrations of all kinds.

Photo credit: Sean Dreilinger via Flickr

Photo credit: Sean Dreilinger via Flickr

Go All Out with an Ultimate Vegas Party

To truly embrace the Vegas lifestyle, why settle for just one of your favorite casino games? Go all out by booking an Ultimate Vegas Party with poker, blackjack, roulette, and even craps. What more could any Vegas-lover ask for? This package comes with a casino host, all equipment, and four hours of play time. The venue is totally up to you, and guests of all ages are welcome to play as long as no cash is being exchanged for winnings.

So while nothing can truly beat an all-out Vegas extravaganza, we can bring a little Vegas your way to tide you over until your next big trip or to make your event extra special. Good luck!

Soothe Damaged Nails with a Summer Spa Package

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By , August 13, 2014 4:52 pm

By this point in the summer, your tresses might be tangled, your nails frayed, and your skin a little sunburned. Whether you’ve been busy digging in the garden or building sandcastles along the store, summertime can be hard on fingers, toes, hair, and skin.

Not only can manicures and pedicures help you relax and feel better about yourself, but they can also improve the health of your nail beds and the skin all over your hands and feet. At FunSherpa, we can set you up with summer spa packages that suit every style and budget. It’s never too late to improve the health and appearance of your nails, so consider one of these tip spa picks!

Top of the Rock Manicure

Whether you need a little recuperation in Las Vegas or simply want to look your best, a manicure can do just the trick. Red Rock Spa’s Top of the Rock Manicure lasts about 50 minutes and is a pleasant jaunt from the bright lights and high energy of the Vegas strip. If you’re traveling on a tight schedule, make sure to book your manicure appointment in advance so you don’t miss out.

Photo credit: Alessandra via Flickr

Photo credit: Alessandra via Flickr

Citrus Manicure and Pedicure

Few things are as “truly Florida” than oranges and other citrus fruits. If you’re spending some time in Miami Beach, consider booking a Citrus Manicure and Pedicure, which incorporates a warm soak in fizzing botanical pollens to prepare nail beds for gentle exfoliation. Nail technicians use lemon sugar and mandarin bead polish to exfoliate the skin and a refreshing citrus mist is applied to awaken tired hands and feet. Then head back to the beach or out to dinner with Miami style!

Sea Mani-Pedi

If you can’t get enough of Oregon’s beautifully rugged coastline, book a Sea Mani-Pedi in Portland. The nail technicians here use marine-based products for all scrubs, soaks, masks, and lotions. You’ll leave the spa feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after a polish and massage.

Photo credit: Kara Newhouse via Flickr

Photo credit: Kara Newhouse via Flickr

Hand and Foot Relieving Treatment

We can set you up with a top-notch Hand and Foot Relieving Treatment at Blueberry Moon, a highly rated spa in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago known for customized treatments. If you’re hands and feet are feeling tired from all those summertime activities, this is an excellent spa pick for total exfoliation, grooming, massage, and balance.

Body, Hands, and Feet Spa Package

For head to toe pampering with all the works, Blueberry Moon also offers a Body, Hands, and Feet Spa Package that’s worth looking into. This experience includes a 60-minute massage, based on the Aveda Elemental Nature philosophy and Aveda aromas, and a relieving hand and foot treatment. Depending upon your individual needs, this spa uses a variety of massage techniques, including Swedish, deep tissue, acupressure, energy work, and foot reflexology.

Don’t wait any longer to take care of your hands and feet!

Practice Your Putt and Your Swing with a Golf Lesson!

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By , July 30, 2014 1:51 pm

All types of people play golf for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s a therapeutic way to unwind and take a little vacation from the hustle and bustle of daily life. For others, it’s a way to build character and keep a competitive spirit alive. Golf is also an accessible way for players of all skill levels and ages to get social, active, and out in nature.

Although golf costs do add up for serious players, the sport is actually more affordable than you might think. The best way for beginner golfers to get involved and try out the sport is by signing up for a lesson. Beginners will pick up the game much more quickly after a lesson or two and improve quicker after being taught the correct techniques. Individual lessons typically last between 30 minutes and an hour, and often range between $25 and $100 per session.

Photo credit: Companygolflessons via Flickr

Photo credit: Companygolflessons via Flickr

No matter which part of the country you live in, FunSherpa can set you up with some amazing golf lessons, workshops, and vacation packages. Take a look at these exciting ways to get into golf!

Beginners Golf Workshop – Washington, DC

Whether you’re a true beginner or have played a couple courses over the years, you can learn proper technique and lower your golf score at our DC Beginners Golf Workshop. This six-hour workshop will give you the basics of golf etiquette, terminology, and golf swings. You can take the workshop anytime between March and November, and this also makes a great gift for a friend or family member who’s been wanting to get into the game.

Private Golf Lessons – Oaks, Pennsylvania

For personalized one-on-one instruction, consider signing up for a private golf lesson near Philadelphia. Located in nearby Oaks, Pennsylvania, these 30-minute lessons will help you get the most out of your clubs and take your game to the next level. Quantum Core Swing Method uses professional video equipment, including four cameras and an EDH Flight scope launch, to track your ball and break down your swing.

Photo credit: Theresa Murray via Flickr

Photo credit: Theresa Murray via Flickr

Golf Swing Checkup – Chicago, Illinois

Even if you’ve been golfing for many years, everyone’s swing technique could use a little checkup from time to time. Scott Szybowicz, a PGA professional in Chicago, offers his expertise through 30-minute golf swing checkups in Lincoln Park. Take your pick between locations in the Diversey Driving Range, the Deerfield Golf Club and Learning Center, and the White Pines Golf Dome. Thanks to personalized pointers and computerized swing analysis, you’ll have a better idea how to improve your game after just one session.

Bandon Dunes Golf Package – Bandon, Oregon

Experience the pure luxury of a golf-centric vacation by picking up a Bandon Dunes Golf Package with overnight guest accommodations. Located outside Portland in Bandon, Oregon, this area has spacious cottages and single rooms with views of the golf course, the ocean, sand dunes, and woodlands. After your game, kick back and relax at the restaurant, lounge, bar, and fitness center located onsite.

Take to the Open Sea on a Sailing Adventure!

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By , July 16, 2014 11:58 am

Have you ever sat along the beach, stared out at the majestic sailboats in the water, and wondered, “Hey, could I do that?”

Sailing courses are more accessible than you might expect, and there are lots of beginner lessons to help you learn the basics. Throughout the course of human history, sailing has helped develop civilizations, improve global mobility, and facilitate trade and fishing operations. Modern sailing is often a recreational pursuit, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less regulated or technical.

Photo credit: Lee Cannon via Flickr

Photo credit: Lee Cannon via Flickr

If you’re interested in learning what sailing is all about but not ready to commit a lot of time and money to it just yet, consider taking one of our sailing lessons in your area. These sailing adventure courses are a great way to safely learn about sailing while enjoying a beautiful day on the water.

Sailing Lessons in Portland

We can set you up with a sailing lesson with the All Portland Sailing Center to learn basic maneuvering, sail handling, boat management, terminology, and Columbia River-specific skills. Hop on board a 22-to-26-foot ballasted keelboat to learn from a Coast Guard-licensed Master. There are generally four students per lesson, and classes meet six times so you’ll get to experience a variety of wind conditions.

Sailing Classes near D.C.

Learn to sail on the Chesapeake Bay with the Sailing Academy, which is the closest sailing school to the Washington, D.C. Beltway. Located in Tracy’s Landing, Maryland, these classes are designed with the true beginner in mind. Don’t worry if you’ve never stepped onto a sailboat before, because these instructors want to give you a taste of sailing before you sign up for a full course. Sailing trips operate year-around and generally last 2.5 hours.

Keelboat Sailing in Philadelphia

To learn the fundamentals of boat handling and sailing, our Philadelphia sailing class covers points of sail, reading the wind, safety, heavy weather sailing, tacking, jibing, person overboard, and federal requirements. Most of this two-day class is taught on the water to give you the most experience for your time.

Photo credit: Charlie Day via Flickr

Photo credit: Charlie Day via Flickr

Sailing 101 in Chicago

Just because Chicago isn’t on the coast doesn’t mean that sailing isn’t a popular pastime here too! Basic Sailing 101 is a comprehensive and challenging course that is held on the water to get you experienced and confident after just a few sessions. These classes take place daily between April and September and consist of four separate 4-hour sessions.

Learn to Sail in Boston

Soak in the natural beauty of the Boston Harbor during a 2-hour sailing course designed for beginners. This course is designed for novice sailors who aren’t yet sure if they’re ready for a bigger commitment. Therefore, the cost of this class can be fully applied towards a full sailing course. Intro classes take place between April and October.

Sailing is a lifelong hobby that takes a certain amount of commitment, dedication, and practice. Why not take an intro class to see if it’s for you?

Where to Find the Top 4th of July Celebrations in America

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By , July 3, 2014 12:17 pm

The 4th of July is always an exciting time in America, with plenty of parades, barbecues, and fireworks displays to celebrate summer in style. Perhaps you’re partying in your hometown this year or traveling to a new city to see how Independence Day is celebrated somewhere else. At FunSherpa, we can set you up with lots of exciting summer activities to check out before and after your holiday celebrations. It’s a three-day weekend after all, so why not take full advantage of a little time off of work and school?

Photo credit: Steve Wall via Flickr

Photo credit: Steve Wall via Flickr

These are some of the best places to celebrate the 4th of July in America:

Washington DC’s National Mall

There’s just something truly special about spending Independence Day in our nation’s capital. Head to the National Mall on the 4th for a massive fireworks display. The sky lights up at about 9:10 pm and stays that way for about 20 minutes. It’ll be insanely crowded, so get there early to get a good seat. For a different view, you can watch the fireworks from the Capitol building, the National Cathedral, and further out in the West and East Potomac Parks.

Boston Pops Firework Spectacular

Boston’s annual fireworks celebration draws around 800,000 people each year. This year, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will be streamed live on the event website and CBS Boston. To avoid some of the crowd congestion, you can head to the Cambridge side of the river to watch the display or take a boat or canoe ride along the Charles River.

New York’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

Not surprisingly, one of the best 4th of July celebrations in the country takes place in New York City. The fireworks display takes place over the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge. There are no admission fees to attend the event, but locals tend to arrive several hours early for the 9 pm fireworks show.

Philadelphia’s  Wawa Welcome America Fourth of July Jam Concert

Philadelphia’s 4th of July celebration is one of the largest in the nation. Although the fireworks display only lasts about 15 minutes, the festival that takes place all day makes it worth the trip. The huge outdoor concert is always a popular way for music-lovers to celebrate the holiday and relax in good company.

Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park

Centennial Olympic Park is the place to be for a great concert and fireworks show in Atlanta. This year, Taylor Hicks is headlining the music show. If you don’t feel like fighting the crowds, you can also see displays at Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead or check out the Decatur 4th Celebration.

Houston’s Freedom over Texas

Country music fans will want to spend the 4th in Houston because Jennifer Nettles, Chip Esten, and Clare Bowen will be performing. Tickets to the event cost $8, and the concert is followed by a Texas-size fireworks display.

Chicago’s Navy Pier Independence Day

You can get a great view of Chicago’s fireworks anywhere along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, but most of the action takes place at Navy Pier. One of the most elegant ways to see the display is by hopping on board a cruise or chartered boat around the lake during the display. You can also find lots of rooftop parties in the area to keep the party going.

Pasadena’s Americafest at the Rose Bowl

Although many of the largest 4th of July celebrations take place on the east coast, the west coast knows how to throw a party too! If you’re planning to be in California over the holiday, head to Pasadena for a fun all-day festival with music, family events, and even a motorcycle stunt show. There is an admission fee to attend the event, and the fireworks finale kicks off about 9 pm.

Photo credit: Nathan Rupert via Flickr

Photo credit: Nathan Rupert via Flickr

And there’s still plenty of time for fun and exploration after the last firework has fizzled out. If you’re looking for exciting ways to spend the rest of your 4th of July weekend, check out some of the great summertime adventures that we can hook you up with!

Get a New Perspective on Your City with a Helicopter Tour!

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By , June 19, 2014 12:23 pm

It’s easy to get bored with your hometown after you’ve been there long enough. But sometimes all we need is a little change of perspective to help you remember why you settled there in the first place. At FunSherpa, we can set you up with a helicopter ride and tour in your city or in a new place that you want to explore for the first time. These are a few of the exciting helicopter rides that offer stunning views and lots of photo opportunities.

See the Chicago Skyline Above the Skyscrapers

Rise high above the skyscrapers to see amazing views of Chicago’s architecture from a helicopter. You’ll be guided by Chicago’s premier air tour company and see top sights like the John Hancock Building, Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and the Chicago River. You’ll also get a unique perspective on the city’s diverse neighborhoods as you venture out from downtown.

Photo credit: mrwilleeumm via Flickr

Photo credit: Neo_II via Flickr

Marvel at the New York City Lights from the Night Sky

There truly is no city skyline like the New York City skyline. Experience its glory from high in the air and after the sun has set. This tour will give you amazing aerial views of the Manhattan skyscrapers, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Yankee Stadium, and much more. Tours depart from Westchester County Airport and last about 30 minutes.

View the Mansions and Coastline of Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island has an incredible coastline and you can see it all from the air in a helicopter ride. On this tour that flies over Ocean Drive, you’ll also see fabulous mansion retreats belonging to the rich and famous. The tour lasts about 20 minutes and includes picture-perfect views of island lighthouses and the majestic Castle Hill.

Photo credit: mrwilleeumm via Flickr

Photo credit: mrwilleeumm via Flickr

Explore the Grand Canyon from a Helicopter

When it comes to helicopter rides, there really are few more scenic rides in the world than the Grand Canyon. Our Grand Canyon All American Helicopter Tour leaves from Las Vegas and flies 45 minutes each way to reach the canyon. The helicopter will fly over the gorgeous West Rim, passing over Lake Mead, Lake Las Vegas, and the Hoover Dam. You can listen to a recorded commentary about what you’re seeing and enjoy a delicious champagne picnic when you land deep inside the Grand Canyon.

Stop for Lunch in Sausalito from a Helicopter

Relax from the comfort of an unforgettable helicopter tour as you see the scenic landscape of the beautiful Sausalito region in Northern California. This is an excellent day tour trip from San Francisco because it includes lunch in Sausalito and a ferry ride back to San Francisco at the end of the trip. The helicopter ride each way is about 20 minutes, and you’re welcome to explore Sausalito’s boutique shops and art galleries after lunch.

Check Out the Hollywood Strip from Above

Nearly everyone who visits Los Angeles has seen the famous Hollywood sign, but few have seen it up close and from the air. Take a 20-minute Hollywood helicopter tour and you’ll be traveling in style, with a stocked minibar and plenty of snacks. On this tour, you’ll get a new perspective of the Los Angeles skyscrapers, the Hollywood Strip, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame, and all the new developments around the city. So pick your feet up off the ground and get your head in the clouds!

Sip, Learn, and Explore on a Summer Wine Tasting or Tour

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By , June 4, 2014 4:47 pm

Whether you’re a wine aficionado or can barely tell the difference between red and white, a wine tasting or tour has a little something for everyone. At FunSherpa, we can set you up with Wine 101 classes to get to know the basics before you visit wineries in your area.

With so many successful local wineries popping up around the country, you no longer have to travel to Napa Valley to experience delicious wines.These are a few ways that you can boost your wine knowledge and explore local vineyards this summer.

Photo credit:  LexnGer via Flickr

Photo credit: LexnGer via Flickr

Wine 101

If you’re utterly clueless about wine, why not start off with the basics? Wine 101 classes teach you how to properly taste wine and how to describe what you like. Our Wine 101 classes take place in a variety of cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, and Arlington.

Wine Tastings

Wine tastings come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges, but they’re also great excuses to brush up your wine education. You’ll walk away feeling more confident about wines to pick out on a menu and purchase for your home.

Food and Wine Pairings

Wine and food go hand in hand, so after you’ve mastered the basics, consider taking a food and wine pairings course to refine your skills. In these courses, renowned chefs will prepare menu items to pair with the evening’s wine selection and discuss why these foods pair well. You’ll learn about which foods go best with specific characteristics of wines and how taste is influenced by the wine’s region.

Wine Tasting Tours

What better way to explore a new area than by sampling local wines along the way? Our Oregon Wine Tasting Tour, for example, takes you through some of the state’s most beautiful hillside vineyards in the Willamette Valley, which are best known for delicious Pinot Noirs. This particular tour runs on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Also in the Portland area, wine tasting tours of the Columbia River Gorge typically feature three select wineries and operate daily by advance reservation. If you’re on the East Coast, join us for a Wine Tasting and Walking Tour of Boston’s historic neighborhoods to sip wine and sample food at award-winning restaurants.

Photo credit: Context Travel via Flickr

Photo credit: Context Travel via Flickr

Quick Tips for Visiting Wineries

  • Hire a guide company or designate a driver to be safe
  • Plan to visit wineries early in the day, before they get too crowded
  • Take a tour of some vineyards to learn more about the wine-making process
  • Try unfamiliar wines and regional specialties with an open mind
  • Ask the staff questions about where the grapes are grown and what foods pair well with wines you enjoy
  • Ask wineries about shipping bottles to you so your purchases don’t get ruined in the hot car

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