From kiteboarding in Malibu to hiking the Zion Narrows, you really can’t go wrong as long as you’re enjoying the outdoors. Some venues may be more suitable or more beautiful than others, but there’s opportunity for adventure in all corners of the country (and around the world). Check out our recommendations for summer adventure.
When it comes to unique water sports, it’s hard to beat the young sport of kiteboarding. Similar to wakeboarding if you were to replace the boat with a kite, it might take some time to learn, but the unique thrill is well worth it. For some of the best lessons and water, head to either Malibu or San Francisco to try kiteboarding yourself.
May is National Bike Month and there’s no better way to celebrate than by bike commuting this summer. Trading in your car (or public bus) for a bike will help you fit in some exercise, save you money and it will make you happier. Start small (one to three days a week) and consider mapping out and testing your route to work on the weekend to be sure you have enough time.
It’s tough to beat the simplicity and closeness to nature that hiking affords. All you really need to get going is a quality pair of boots and some water, but an incredible trail definitely helps. Take on the infamous Zion Narrows, take in extraordinary natural beauty on the Tahoe Rim Trail or consult our list of 20 epic American day hikes.
Get your waders on, grab your rod and reel and enjoy the summer sun on the water. Fly fishing offers anglers both serenity and thrill all in one great activity. Don’t know where to start? Be sure to buy or rent these essentials and then head to a river or lake teeming with fish—these national parks offer some incredible spots.
Maybe you’ve taken on a local 5k, maybe you’re a seasoned marathoner, but if you haven’t tried an adventure race you’re missing out. From mud and barbed wire to colored powder and zombies, adventure races have become huge and there are options for everyone. Regardless of your fitness level, there’s an adventure race for you and you’ve got to try it to understand the hype.
Get out on the water and experience the benefits of kayaking this summer. This great workout puts you right in the middle of nature and allows you to see the world from a new perspective. From Maine to Alaska the U.S. offers kayakers plenty of spots to see it all. Check out Acadia National Park’s shoreline, the Chugach National Forest in Alaska or the coast of La Jolla, Calif. for some great paddling.
For some runners, pounding the pavement is an ideal run, while other runners aren’t satisfied with a few laps around the block—find out which runner you are by checking out a trail. Incredible views pair with rolling hills on trails around the country, when you’re looking for a place to start check out top picks of expert trail runners.
See a whole other world through diving goggles this summer, no SCUBA certification needed. Snorkeling is a great way to explore the ocean and enjoy the summer sun. Though this underwater activity is usually associated with far off international destinations, there are plenty of great spots close to home. The remote Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida offers well preserved coral, small fish and Christmas tree worms, while the Hawaiian island of Maui offers top tier snorkeling as well.
There’s something truly magical about traversing natural landscapes and seeing the world from atop a horse, like our ancestors did. On horseback you can get farther, see more and ride through otherwise inaccessible terrain, which means an incredible experience wherever you ride. When looking for some of the top spots, the Finger Lakes Region of New York affords riders a look at beautiful vistas along with rugged terrain and Garden of Gods Park in Colorado gives visitors a real taste of the Wild West.
Whether you head to Yellowstone, Cuyahoga, Acadia or any of the other amazing national parks, you should make it a point to visit in the peak period of summer. Sure, there will be a few extra people, but if you can manage to go during the week or if you visit one of the least crowded parks, you can enjoy the sunshine, ice-free trails and breathtaking scenery without massive crowds.