1. COLORADO RIVER, AZ
String quartet in the grand canyon It may appear incongruent at first ― a cellist carting her instrument up slick rock, a grand master violinist keeping time with his sandaled foot ― but once the musicians plunge into Beethoven or Bach, you'll know the grandest of concert halls. Along this 225-mile journey down the Colorado, the string quartet plays 10 full-length concerts in naturally carved amphitheaters, often mingling strings with the rhythm of waterfalls. A true trip of a lifetime; spaces fill early, so call now for June 2009. 15 days; $3,370 (2007 price); class III-V rapids; Canyon Explorations; 800/654-0723. -Laura Stavoe
2. SNAKE RIVER, OR & ID
Photography workshops Whitewater washing over a boulder, a black-eyed Susan backed by weathered wood, an osprey soaring over the deepest gorge in North America ... Professional photographers Marissa Lopez and Larry Jones work with digital and film photographers of all skill levels. They'll show you a hundred ways of looking at a river, with a teaching style that's as fluid as the Snake. 4 days (Aug 14-17); $1,195; class III-IV rapids; Hughes River Expeditions; 800/262-1882. -L.S.