There are those who love to travel and those who love adventure. Travelers are simply content with seeing the sights. They might take a lot of road trips and their stops involve walking around, sightseeing, snapping pictures, and shopping for local treasures.
Adventurers, on the other hand, know how to really live in the moment. They also take road trips, sightsee, and snap pictures, but they’re not afraid to try new things, and they want to be active and hands-on as they go. It’s more than just an adrenaline rush. It’s a need to be part of something bigger and more exciting, and for them, traveling is a means to an end.
You can find adventure all over the world, so this short list won’t even scratch the surface. However, it will get you thinking about the places you want to visit and the things you’ve always wanted to do. Use these five destinations as the start of your adventure bucket list.
- The Hawaiian Islands
Hawaii is a collection of small islands in the Pacific Ocean that are simply brimming with adventurous opportunities. While you could lounge on the beach and watch hulu dancers if you wanted, you’ll also have countless opportunities to get your hands dirty while you explore and experience all the best parts of the island. Here are a few things you can do:
- Hike Into a Crater: Get up early and hike to the top of Haleakala Volcano. You can watch the sunrise and say that you’ve been inside a volcanic crater.
- Learn to Surf: Hawaii boasts some of the best surfing waves in the world. There’s no better place to learn to surf than Hawaii. Once you know how, you can surf Hawaii for the rest of your vacation.
- Snorkel with Manta Rays: The largest stingrays in the world, manta rays, are incredible. You can swim with them off the coast of Kona Coast. The mantas go there to feed all year round, so you’re sure to see them as you snorkel.
- ZipLine Over Kualoa Private Reserve: The green trees of Oahu’s eastern shore are best enjoyed from above as you zip line overhead. You can also walk across two suspension bridges or hike three separate trails.
- Kayak to Private Beaches: One of the best things about Hawaii is the many private beaches all over the islands. Many are only accessible by watercraft, however, so grab a Kayak and explore.
- The Deep South
Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana make up the largest portion of the region of the United States known as the Deep South. This area probably features the most vibrant culture of anywhere in the nation.
There are a lot of things to experience in this area, and the best way to see it all is on a road trip. Start in Tennessee where you can drive through Memphis and Nashville. These cities are legendary for their role in bringing about American music. You can visit the home of Elvis, catch an interactive show at the Grand Ole Opry, and make your own recording in a studio.
Next, drive through the Carolinas, stopping at Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, and the Outer Banks. You should also go hiking in Pisgah National Forest and Clingmans Dome.
Snake back around to drive through Georgia. Don’t worry about stopping in Atlanta, as you’ll want to explore Henry County, Georgia, where the real adventure awaits. You can hike through Yule Forest and Panola Mountain State Park, drive the Atlantic Motor Speedway, and watch old airplanes take off.
Alabama is home to a variety of gorgeous outdoor adventuring, like Little River Canyon National Preserve, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Sipsey WIlderness, Oak Mountain State Park, and Cahaba River.
Mississippi comes next with Tanglefoot Trail, Petrified Forest, Sky Lake, and Tishomingo State Park. Louisiana will end your trip with a visit to Mardis Gras, one of the most adventurous times of year in the entire Deep South region.
- The Great Lakes of Michigan
Michigan is a very unique state in the Midwest, as three of its four sides are surrounded by water. It touches four of the five great lakes, including Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie. The lakes surround the state, giving it a unique peninsula shape and making it one of the best freshwater destinations in the United States.
There are things to do in Michigan all year round, but if you’re into adventure, you can experience the best parts of the lake state in the fall and summer. At this point, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for boating, swimming, windsurfing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and so much more.
For a memorable adventure, try to explore all four lakes in one go. Start in Detroit where you can visit both Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Hit up a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Novi, MI and buy a car so that you can drive to the other two lakes in style.
As you cross through the state to reach Lake Michigan in your new ultra-powerful, luxury Mercedes, visit Lansing, MI, the state’s capital. There are hands-on museums, gorgeous botanical gardens, Lake Lansing, walking trails, and river activities that you can enjoy while you’re there.
Keep driving, and you’ll reach Huron-Manistee National Forests, perfect for hiking, camping, biking, and other outdoor activities. From there, you can access Lake Michigan.
The easiest way to reach Lake Superior is to either drive across a northern bridge or to boat across Lake Michigan and rent a car to drive across the northern arm of Michigan. This region is home to Hiawatha National Forest, which is a must-stop for all adventurers.
- Colorado’s Rocky Mountains
Colorado is an incredible state. Although it’s recently gained a lot of national attention because the Colorado marijuana growing laws are significantly more relaxed than other states, there’s a lot more to it than that. People love to visit Colorado because of the Rocky Mountains.
The Rocky Mountains are the longest mountain range in North America, spanning most of the western half of the U.S., but there’s a dense collection of mountains in Colorado that are worth visiting. You can see and experience the gorgeous mountains anywhere in the state. Some of the top adventuring destinations include:
- Aspen: A luxury destination famous for its ski resorts. During the summer, there’s excellent hiking and wildlife sightings.
- Rocky Mountain National Park: This destination loaded with hiking trails, wildlife, river rafting, and other outdoor opportunities is great to visit all year long. For amazing colors, go during the fall.
- Mesa Verde National Park: If you like rock climbing and cliff rappelling, this is your ideal destination. Check out Petroglyph Point Trail for breathtaking views and excellent hiking.
- Machu Picchu
One of the wonders of the world, Machu Picchu should be on the bucket list for every adventurer. It’s an ancient Incan citadel that was constructed in the Andes Mountains in Peru.
Historians believe it was built in the 15th century but was later abandoned. Now, it draws millions of visitors to check out the sophisticated walls and huge blocks that have been cut and crafted into an enormous city structure.
Getting there is no picnic, however. You can only drive to a certain point, as the terrain of the mountain is too complex to build a road. The hiking isn’t extremely difficult, so your adventurous self won’t have a problem traversing the mountain side to reach the site.
It’s recommended that you book a tour, as there’s safety in numbers. Additionally, you’ll learn a lot more about the incredible ancient city with an expert guide at the head.
If you’ll be planning a vacation anytime soon, consider these travel hotspots and destination tips to have an incredible experience and a memorable trip.