6 Eco-Friendly Tours for Your Next Purposeful Adventure

Intrepid_Tours_Lousiana
Image: courtesy of Intrepid Tours

Intrepid Travel, an eco-conscious tour operator, is on a mission and to create a positive impact on people and the planet through their ethically-planned trips. Recently, the company launched a brand-new set of tours, in Southeast America, centered around celebrating West and Central African cultural heritage. In addition, Intrepid Travel is committed to setting new sustainability, diversity and inclusion standards in 2022 across the travel industry, so impact-minded explorers can actually put their vacation dollars toward doing some good. 

For over thirty years, Intrepid has practiced “responsible travel” that focuses on wildlife and environmental conservation, disability support, preservation of indigenous and minority cultural traditions, as well as skills training and education. Their services include organizing itineraries, destinations, adventures, and navigating communication between the travelers and the natives of the locale they are visiting. As a B Corp-certified company,  the company states, “When you hit the road with us, you leave lighter [carbon] footprints, invest your travel dollars in local communities, and show respect and curiosity for different cultures and traditions…you meet along the way.”

Their new initiative is the launch of eight new U.S multi-state travel experiences created to amplify and celebrate Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) perspectives and cultures, with activities ranging from cooking classes to musical journeys. The program was created in collaboration with several BIPOC organizations and representatives, such as the National Blacks in Travel & Tourism Collaborative and representatives from the Crow Nation and Lakota tribes, to ensure the communities are represented with integrity.

Ready for your next purposeful adventure? Keep reading for a breakdown of each tour.

Explore Gullah Geechee Corridor

Charleston, South Carolina to Savannah, Georgia

Image: courtesy of Explore Charleston Visitor Center, Ms. Anita Prather

This six-day tour from Charleston to Savannah explores the culture, history, and impact of the Gullah Geechee people, descendants of enslaved West and Central African people, who are known for protecting, preserving, and passing on their culture and heritage. Travelers will learn about Charleston’s Black heritage, tour the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church (an important figure in the Civil Rights Movement), take part in a sweetgrass weaving workshop, witness a soul-stirring performance in Beaufort where music and dance are used to share the experience of enslaved Africans brought to South Carolina, share a seafood boil with the locals, and join in a Sunday worship service at one of Savannah’s Black churches. This is one of the most impactful, faith-driven, and culturally significant itineraries Intrepid has introduced as part of its new U.S. tour collection.

Learn to Cook Cajun and Creole Food 

Tennessee Music Trail to New Orleans, Louisiana

Image: courtesy of Deelightful Roux School of Cooking

Travelers will get a hands-on cooking lesson in Cajun and Creole cuisine at Delightful Roux School of Cooking, the only Black woman-owned cooking school in New Orleans. Visitors will learn from rising star Chef Dwynesha Lavigne, a New Orleans native and award-winning baker who helps to produce a weekly food segment on a local television station and hosts a monthly baking demonstration at the world-renowned Southern Food and Beverage Museum. 

Enjoy a Native American River-to-Table Lunch 

Portland, Oregon to San Francisco, California

Image: courtesy of David Hanson

Travelers will head to Warm Springs, Oregon for a Native American river-to-table experience provided by a former tribe anthropologist and the founder of Salmon King Fisheries. This incredible fresh meal acknowledges salmon’s vital role in the history of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, when these fish were sold to, and traded with, neighboring tribes, settlers, and explorers. Visitors will share a delicious salmon picnic lunch that celebrates this ancient tradition. 

Dive Into New Orleans’ Jazz Scene

Nashville, Tennessee to New Orleans, Louisiana

Image: courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Jazz is not just a part of the New Orleans’ history…it’s alive and kicking today. On arrival, join a local expert for a deep dive into the New Orleans’ music scene, hitting up local haunts and hotspots. Start from the popular French Quarter, explore the thriving Marigny neighbourhood and visit the famous Frenchman Street, where you’ll find the largest concentration of live music venues in the city. Your local guide will show you some of their favourite venues, with time to grab a beer along the way. Finish the tour at a nighttime art market, where you’ll have the chance to admire handmade sculptures and local photography. The evening is yours to further explore this fascinating city, grab a bite to eat and of course listen to more live music.

Tour Charleston, South Carolina 

Atlanta, Georgia to New Orleans, Louisiana

Image: courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Intrepid travelers will join local professor and author Damon Fordham for a special “Lost Stories of Black Charleston” walking tour. At a variety of sites around Charleston, Professor Fordham artfully shares stories based on historical documents, oral histories, and his own perspective as a Black Charlestonian. 

Learn About Oglala Lakota People

Rapid City, South Dakota to Custer State Park, South Dakota

Image: courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Travelers will spend a full day with an expert Lakota guide to visit Pine Ridge Town in South Dakota and tour the Heritage Center, which was one of the first cultural centers and museums located on an Indian reservation. It empowers Lakota artists to preserve their artistic heritage, improve their economic situation and share their traditional arts and crafts with the world. Visitors will enjoy lunch at a Lakota-owned restaurant that specializes in traditional foods and stop by Wounded Knee, a memorial site where a battle with American soldiers killed hundreds of Lakota people in the late 1800s.

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