For most people, vacation means relaxing at the beach with their toes buried in the sand while catching a golden tan. For the outdoor enthusiast, however, vacation means breaking away from the same old concrete paths and embarking on an exciting new adventure and exploring our world’s wealth of natural splendor. For your next vacation, forget the beach and get your kicks on in one of these ultimate destinations for outdoor enthusiasts.
#1: Oahu, Hawaii. Picture yourself starting a great day in Oahu with a run alongside the orange sunrise over Waikiki Beach. From there, you can snorkel in Hanauma Bay, surf monstrous waves in Waimea Bay, or get a view of the entire island by hiking to the top of Diamond Head Crater. While you’re there, you’ll have to try canoe paddling, Hawaii’s signature sport. Need we say more?
#2: Yellowstone National Park—Park County, Montana. Featuring a thousand miles of hiking trails for all difficulty levels, Old Faithful, more than 300 campsites, and a variety of lovely fauna and wildlife, Yellowstone is simply a bucket list destination for every outdoor enthusiast. Head up north and check out the steaming Mammoth Hot Springs or the epic 20 mile-long Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Afterward, backpack your way down to the Lower Falls of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon and feel yourself become enraptured beneath the streaming white waterfall gushing from 308 feet over your head. Don’t forget to bring your fishing rod—Yellowstone has plenty of places for angling and fly fishing as well.
Keep in mind, Yellowstone draws a lot of visitors and has a variety of wildlife, so you’ll want to stay aware of your surroundings while you explore. If you like to listen to music while you’re on the trail, a great way to stay aware of your surroundings is by using a single earbud headphone set, such as the XDU Single Earphone from Far End Gear. By channeling both sides of a stereo mix in one earbud, the XDU Single Earphone allows you to fully enjoy your favorite music or podcasts while keeping one ear open so you can stay aware of your surroundings while on the trail.
#3: Costa Rica. Costa Rica’s incredibly diverse landscape offers something for every type of outdoor adventurer, from the avid mountain biker to the expert scuba diver. From San Jose you can visit the nearby Tabacon Hot Springs, drive north to the Sarapiqui River for rafting and zip lining, and then head out to visit the epic Arenal Volcano. Costa Rica is surrounded by the crystal blue Caribbean to the east and the Pacific to the west, offering hundreds of miles of stunning white sand beaches for some first-rate R & R between adventure days.
#4: Asheville, NC. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of Appalachia is Asheville, North Carolina—an epicenter for outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re a hiker or a runner looking for some super challenging trails with breathtaking mountain views, Asheville is the place to be. The Pisgah National Forest offers over 500,000 sprawling acres of spectacular natural sights, where outdoor adventurers can bike, hike, kayak, raft, or run.
Asheville offers plenty of outdoor adventures, and with 12 amazing craft breweries, Asheville is also a world-class beer city. While you’re there, plan a romantic night and visit the Biltmore Mansion, the largest private home in the U.S. The to-do list simply never ends in Asheville.
#5: Florianopolis, Brazil. This ecological paradise off the coast of Brazil is known for its surf culture, but between the lush Atlantic Forest and the towering Serra Geral Mountains, Florianopolis has a lifetime of adventures for the outdoor enthusiast. For stunning views of the turquoise Atlantic, hike Lagoinha do Leste, a beachfront trail that winds through the steep cliffs overlooking beautiful Manteiro Beach. To top it off, Florianopolis has 42 beaches, and temperatures rarely dip below 65°F. Of course, the nightlife on the Island of Magic is second-to-none, so be sure to save some energy for dancing into the wee hours of the morning.