While some people prefer to relax and take it easy while vacationing, others use their time off to embark on exciting adventures that take their breath away. There's no shortage of thrill-seeking activities in the US, and you can find some inspiration online. Depending on where you live, you may not even have to travel too far to get there!
Best Adventure Trips in the U.S.
Hold onto your hat! TravelAgeWest lists nine of their top U.S. adventure vacations, including spots in Alaska. As for Alaska, you can take a cruise, but the thrilling excursions are the most exciting parts. They recommend UnCruise Adventures and Windstar Cruises because they focus on kayaking, wildlife viewing, hiking, and helicopter excursions that bring travelers closer to nature. They also like Arizona's northern mountains and canyons! They specifically mention the Arizona Snowbowl resort near Flagstaff, which is poised at an 11,500-feet-high elevation: there's great skiing in this area.
On the opposite side of the country is Maine's Adventure Coast, which offers 2,000 offshore islands and 3,500 miles of craggy, winding coastline. You can explore the region on a Maine Windjammer Cruise, charter your own boat or rent a kayak. There's excellent hiking and biking here, too, at places like the Bold Coast Trail, Acadia National Park, and Camden Hills State Park; you can go skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing in the winter.
Best Adventures Trips for Thrill-Seekers
If you want to push the adventure envelope, ecophiles suggest heading to the Grand Canyon for white water rafting excursions on the Colorado River. You'll experience spectacular rock formations, hidden nooks and waterfalls. There are tour operators who can drive you down, guide you through and fly you out in a helicopter: check out this Whitewater Rush with Heli Tour. Another of the thrill-seeking activities in the US that'll raise your heart rate is canyoneering; this combines water activities with climbing into canyons, and one of the best places for this is Moab, Utah.
Utah also has one of the most challenging bike trails in the country: the Grand Staircase Escalante. This single-track road has steep climbs and hills and is suitable for hardcore bicyclists. The scenery is worth it, and the green mountains and red rock vistas are spectacular.
Another idea is to visit Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado for cliff camping. Kent Mountain Adventure Center offers this, and it's not for the faint of heart. You needn't be an experienced climber to enjoy it, though! Elite climbers serve as guides, and they offer options for all ages. Families can go and enjoy lunch or dinner without having to camp outside overnight on a cliff!
More Exciting Adventures
Heading back to the east coast, US News Travel describes New York State's Adirondack mountains. The High Peaks region is breathtaking to behold, and some hikers and climbers challenge themselves to conquer all 46 of the tall mountains here, including Mt. Marcy (5,344 feet) and Algonquin (5,144 feet). There are also challenging mountain biking trails, kayaking, other water sports, and cold weather sports; Lake Placid was home to the Winter Olympics twice, in 1932 and 1980.
Hawaii is also known for having some of the best adventure trips for thrill-seekers. One of the most unusual and exciting is the Kilauea Iki Trail on the Big Island of Hawaii. The four-mile loop goes to a rainforest, where you'll see wildlife and stunning plants. It then leads into a solid lava rock trail with steam coming out of its cracks. You'll also want to visit Maui; there's plenty of hiking, snorkeling, and ziplining, plus the Haleakala downhill bike ride that drops more than 6,500 feet down. This challenging ride requires bicyclists to navigate hair back switchback turns.
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