Walking on the beach, strolling through art galleries, careening a tank through an obstacle course… Wait. What!? You heard right. Driving a tank — we’re talking a military-grade vehicle here — is fast becoming a popular travel activity, attracting all kinds of travelers. It doesn’t take any special skill to drive a tank, and it provides the adrenaline rush you’d expect from extreme sports but without the scary heights and physical challenge. Plus, you get to smash, crash, and bash. Who doesn’t like the chance to blow off a bit of steam?
While many tank driving companies are based in the United States, few have American-made tanks among their recreational arsenal. The Department of Defense’s policy requires old combat vehicles to be destroyed. As such, the majority of companies offer experience with foreign equipment.
It’s also worth noting that not all “tanks” are actually tanks. For instance, they may be armored personnel carriers — which certainly act like tanks in the eyes of most civilians but might not make the cut with military veterans looking to relive their service experience. Thankfully, all tank driving companies are eager to share the history of their vehicles so you’ll know exactly what you’re going to get.
It’s worth noting that tank driving experiences universally involve mud and the supremely awkward exercise of trying to climb in and out of a tank. In other words, wear sturdy shoes and old clothing that allows you to move with ease! And bring your wallet. Experiences usually start at a few hundred dollars and can easily go up to a few thousand. Other than that, you’re ready to hop aboard!
1. Ox Hunting Ranch, Uvalde, Texas
Ox Ranch’s claim to fame is that they’re the only place in the world where you can drive and shoot real tanks (most retired tanks have had their cannons altered so they don’t fire), along with the chance to shoot artillery and machine guns. Visitors can also engage in trophy hunting, yoga, stargazing, hiking, bass fishing, skeet shooting, and more.
2. Drive A Tank, Kasota, Minnesota
One of the original players in the recreational tank driving industry Drive A Tank offers an exhaustive list of packages and options, ranging from short drives to epic home demolition packages. Yep, you can drive a tank through a house or use it to crush a car (or several!) Adventures here include an opportunity to drive a rare Sherman 8 (just like Brad Pitt in Fury!).
3. Battlefield Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
This well-known purveyor of Las Vegas’s ultimate shooting range (think machine guns and grenade launchers) also offers a tank experience. This being Vegas, lush forests are in short supply, so instead of woodland rides, you drive your tank on a course that includes obstacles like other vehicles and dealing with pits and mounds. Participants are picked up and dropped off from their hotels in a military Humvee. Sadly, there’s no tank-based wedding service offered – a lost opportunity if you ask me.
4. Tank Town USA, Morganton, Georgia
If you’re mildly curious about driving a tank, Tank Town USA might be the best place to try it out for the first time. Tank Town’s packages start with 10-minute experiences, which probably goes much faster than you expect but it’s an easy, affordable way to try things out. You can also bring along two additional passengers at no cost, which is especially nice for families and couples.
5. Russia EGuide (Outside Moscow)
You didn’t think it was just American companies that offered tank driving experiences, did you? This Russian tour organizer offers a six-hour package that includes a visit to military grounds, a ride in a tank over a trench, an obstacle course, an off-road route, and even a Russian military-style lunch.
6. The Irish Military War Museum, Starinagh, Ireland
Every tank driving company offers its own vibe, from gung-ho testosterone-heavy mayhem to adrenaline-fueled group adventures. The Irish Military War Museum will appeal to both history buffs and families. In addition to having one of the most hands-on military museums in the world, they offer both tank driving experience and tank riding ones as well. The latter, which can accommodate up to 10 people for roughly $87, is a bargain.
7. Armourgeddon, Bosworth, England
All the tank driving experiences at Armourgeddon take place on a WWII-era bombing range and includes free entry to the company’s large onsite museum, making this the ideal experience for military history fanatics. They’re also the only company in the world that offers a hybrid tank driving paintball battle.
Bonus! Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum, Oshawa, Canada
There’s no tank driving at the RCAC Museum, but you can enjoy a ride in a military battle tank or military vehicle with museum staff in the driver’s seat. It’s the only place in Canada to offer this experience. Costs start at about $50, making this one of the most affordable tank experiences in the world.
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