With the current state of travel, many travelers are skipping cities and seeking outdoor adventures for their next vacations.
Not only are outdoor destinations safer to travel during the current pandemic, they help us sigh in relief after being cooped up for many months. The outdoors is great for the mind, body, and soul, and fitness-geared travelers kill two birds with one stone on an outdoor adventure: they get in an incredible workout.
With the rise of health and wellness in the travel landscape, fitness challenges and activities in outdoor places are ubiquitous. From Hawaii to California, many destinations harbor unforgettable landscapes that help enhance the workout experience by providing the perfect setting—and plenty of social distancing.
If you’re a total fitness freak like us, you’ll appreciate some destinations more than others.
We rounded up the five best outdoor adventures that offer exciting activities rooted in place—where you can work up a sweat, practice social distancing, and have an incredible vacation at the same time.
5 best outdoor adventures for fitness freaks
- Hiking in Big Island, Hawaii
Who doesn’t want to work on their beach bod while climbing a volcano?
Among Big Island, Hawaii’s gorgeous beaches, sprawling coast and lush rain forests, several volcanoes make the island utterly unique and perfect for hiking within picture-perfect landscape—while discovering Hawaii’s rich culture, to boot.
The island is chockfull of sublime trailheads, all of which are free to roam and suitable for both beginners and expert hikers alike. Head to the Puna District on the eastern coast to watch waves crash against lava cliffs, experience Hawail Volcanoes National Park for black-rock terrain and exciting lava tubes or master Maua Loa in the High Country for the summit of Mauna Kea.
Even short hikes like Papakolea Beach (one of the world’s only green-sand beach) and Kiholo Bay for tide pools are well worth the adventure. Naturally, the best relief after a long hike is immersing in the island’s temperature-perfect tropical sea.
Stay at Four Seasons Hualalai, one of the most luxurious resorts with a gorgeous beach and man-made lagoon. It’s the only five-star resort with an outdoor spa oasis (with separate lap pool).
2. Cycling in Park City, Utah
It wasn’t until 1963 when Park City, a former mining town in Utah, became a bunny-slope hot spot for the wealthy—but the 2002 Winter Olympics put the destination on everyone’s radar as one of the world’s best skiing destinations.
While December to April is busy, summer has become equally popular for Park City’s avid mountain biking community, and the number of travelers who love a good bike trail keeps rising.
Park City is designated International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Gold Level Ride Center status (the first in the world), and more than 400 miles of breathtaking single tracks extend within the beautiful mountains.
There are trails for all levels (from parents with children to speed freaks) with long and fast descents, exhilarating climbs and technical sections for advanced cyclists but all mountain biking enthusiasts share the same, stunning scenery through towering trees and sprawling fields in unfurled nature. This makes it one of the best outdoor adventures in the country.
Stay at Montage Deer Valley, a rustic, family-friendly resort deep in the valley. It’s on the price-y end, but you’ll find the lowest rates right now through the current climate.
3. Stand-up Paddleboarding in the Caribbean
Taking over the world as one of the most user-friendly water activities, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has become one of the hottest recreations on the water, especially in the Caribbean.
Because paddle boarders maintain an upright stance on a long board while using a paddle to propel themselves through the water, it’s a great exercise for the arms, abs and overall balance.
There’s no better place than the Caribbean to set out on a board thanks to calm, shallow waters and pristine island views, not to mention the wealth of marine life (like manta rays and sea turtles) that accompany you as you peacefully drift.
The turquoise sea in Turks & Caicos (which is marine protected) is a haven for paddleboarders, especially since motorized water sports are not allowed. St. Barthes is also a terrific spot, where famous faces (from Pippa Middleton to Kendall Jenner) have paddleboarded in the soft Caribbean breeze.
4. Rock climbing in Colorado
With the immensity of the Rocky Mountains—100 ranges and thousands of regions—Colorado is supreme when it comes to priceless mountain views, towering peaks and breathtaking rock formations.
The mountain range has become iconic in the world for its natural glory, and it takes rock climbing to world-class heights across the state. The motherlode of climbers head to Colorado Springs, close to Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs, where Garden of the Gods is perfect for beginners and advanced climbers alike.
Even Aspen offers terrific granite crags and impressive views for travelers who like to get on all vertical fours. For those who want a unique, heart-pumping challenge, Ouray Ice Park is perfect for ice climbing over the winter, making it one of the best outdoor adventures for snow lovers.
5. Surfing in San Diego
Surf’s up in San Diego!
The sunny, Southern California city is home to some of the best swells on the west coast (and warmer waters down south) with more than 100 spots to ride waves. In fact, surfing in the San Diego area is such a pastime, almost everyone and their dogs (yes, there is surfing for dogs!) participates.
While locals may be territorial with some of the best surf spots like Trestles and Oceanside, beginner surfers can head to Del Mar, one of the most reliable spots with sandy bottom beach breaks. Some of the longest breaks are at Blacks Beach, one of the most popular places to hang ten, and La Jolla Shores is a safe and gentle spot to learn surfing (many surf schools operate here).
Stay at Pendry San Diego, the newest boutique hotel right in the center of the action.
To plan your first outdoor adventure, read our starter kit on how to plan the best outdoor adventure trip!
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