3 Outdoors Areas to Explore on Vacation

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According to the 2017 Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report, which tracks the outdoor recreation habits of Americans, many do get outside and enjoy outdoor activities. Still, over 152 million didn’t even go outside at all that year. If you’re one of those millions who have been inside far too often, it’s time to get out there and explore. The world is filled with spectacular outdoor areas, but these places are so enticing, they’re well worth planning your next vacation around.

Redmond, Washington

If you’d instead stick closer to home, Washington State may be ideal, filled with everything from wild driftwood-strewn beaches and rainforest to roaring rivers, waterfalls, and soaring mountains. Redmond is a great place to base yourself to be in the heart of it all, within an easy day’s drive of some gorgeous outdoor areas. If your goal is to get outside more often, you will do well to consider one of the Redmond houses for sale

In the city of Redmond itself, you’ll find endless trails and parks like Marymoor, spanning 640 acres. It offers trails for walking, biking and hiking, a 45-foot climbing wall, and a 40-acre leash-free dog zone (the largest in the state) where you can take Fido to roam too. Within a half-hour’s drive, you can be at one of Washington’s most famous waterfalls, Snoqualmie, which plunges nearly 300 feet into the Snoqualmie River. It sits inside a two-acre park with trails, and there are endless other options for hiking throughout the area. Just a few of the other parks that are great for hiking nearby include Lake Sammamish and Bridle Trails state parks.

South Island, New Zealand

New Zealand is famous around the world as one of the top places for outdoor adventure. The diverse scenery can allow you to marvel at a wide range of sights from dramatic mountains and glaciers to waterfalls, beaches, rainforest, and more – all in one day. Visit Franz Josef on the South Island, and you’ll be able to hike right up to the foot of the massive glacier. On the Shotover River, experience one of the most thrilling rides there is – the Shotover Jet, which will take you at speeds of almost 60 miles per hour through narrow canyons while battling the powerful currents. 

At the top of the South Island, the Abel Tasman Coastal Track will bring you to postcard-perfect beaches, unique rock formations, and wildlife. It’s a hiker’s paradise accessed by boat, plane, or on foot. A backpacking trek may be ideal, taking three to five days to complete as you climb around headlands, through native forests, and onto several beaches.

Portland, Maine

Another great option on the U.S. east coast, Portland, Maine, is incredibly outdoorsy, with residents spending lots of time out on the water. Offshore there are hundreds of islands to explore via kayak, paddleboard, or sailboat, and there are mountains here too, popular for hiking and mountain biking. A short and scenic drive will bring you to some especially picturesque coastal towns like Camden, Rockport, and Rockland, offering endless boating and hiking opportunities as well. After a day of play, there will be plenty of mouthwatering Maine lobsters to feed your appetite too.