7 of the best adventure destinations in the United States

With its varied landscapes, long and mighty rivers, magnificent peaks and exceptional stretches of coastline, the United States offers endless opportunities for adventure.

Green forest with mountains in the background in Colorado

But it’s not just about intense activities and roughness. It is rather about daring to leave your comfort zone to discover exotic places and live new experiences. At the end of a busy day, unwind with an unbridled sunset and rest in luxurious accommodations at 7 of America’s top adventure destinations.

A man skydiving in Colorado

Kayaking with alligators

You may think, why would I even? But imagine the unique experience of being up close with some of America’s famous reptilians. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has been described as one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia”. It is home to threatened and endangered species, such as red cockade woodpeckers, wood storks and eastern indigo snakes. Not to mention the 600 plant species listed on the territory.

An alligator hiding in the water at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

It is a wild and swampy sanctuary, with ancient cypress forests and around 15,000 American alligators. This is one of those adventures where you should join an expert-led kayaking tour. You’ll be driven through the swamp to see alligators, turtles, salamanders and more in safety.

Climb snow-capped peaks

Ouray has aptly been called both the “Leisure Capital of Colorado” and “The Switzerland of America.” Nestled in the San Juan Mountains at an elevation of 2,378 meters and surrounded by creeks, valleys and alpine canyons. It is the ideal destination for canyoning, climbing and canoeing.

A man climbing an icy mountain in Ouray

In the summer, mountain bikers and hikers pass beautiful wildflowers and waterfalls through winding trails to the peaks. Winter brings with it a different landscape. Intrepid climbers flock to Ouray Ice Park, which offers more than 200 climbs just a 10-minute walk from Main Street. After a day of exploring, you can soak your tired muscles in the hot springs of Ouray.

Venture underground

Deep beneath the forests and prairies of Kentucky, a maze of tunnels and caverns form the longest known cave system on earth. A World Heritage Site set among hills and rivers, Mammoth Cave National Park has over 644 kilometers of explored passageways. It offers a range of cave tours, nature trails and canoeing along the Green River.

Entrance to the Mammoth Cave

Humans have watched the night sky for centuries and are both puzzled and amazed by the wonders of the universe. People have used stars and globes to navigate, keep track of time, and connect with other societies. Whatever you think, Mammoth Cave National Park is a great place for stargazing. After a day of hiking, kayaking and exploring, let your mind relax as you gaze at the stars.

Explore under the waves

Scuba divers will find plenty of adventures beneath the waves on the east or west coast – hunting a giant Pacific octopus off Whidbey Island, Washington; swim with manta rays in Big Island, Hawaii; and explore sunken shipwrecks off the Florida Keys. Whidbey Island sits north of Puget Sound and south of the San Juan Islands and boasts some of Washington State’s best dive sites. Unlock some of the most colorful and exciting dives in the Pacific Northwest.

A scuba diver in Florida

There are three great places to snorkel or dive with manta ray wells on the Big Island: Manta Point, Manta Heaven, and Manta Village (Keauhou). These spots are so lucky to see manta ray pits because they constantly show up to feed night after night.

There is a trail of significant shipwrecks in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary which are scattered along the coral reefs and buried in the sandy shallows. The nine ships along the Shipwreck Trail each have a story to tell and carry with them the history of those who have gone before us.

Conditions at the Shipwreck Trail spots vary from easy dives in shallow water to deeper dives where fast currents can be encountered. An underwater guide is available for each site on the Shipwreck Trail, providing wreck and mooring buoy positions, site history and a site map.


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If you’ve been ziplining and feel like you’ve done it all and seen it all, think again. There is no end to thrilling zipline combos in the USA. Why not try a combo zip and sip at a Santa Margarita, California winery? Considered the gateway to the northern parts of Slo Cal, this small town is a hidden gem for those looking for the finer things in life.

Lush vegetation in Hawaii

Unpretentious in nature, there are plenty of adventures to pursue here, from ziplining over lush vineyards to boating or kayaking on the lake, to farm-to-table dining, beer craftsmanship and of course, world-class wine tasting. If you’re looking for more thrills, soar over the waterfalls of the Garden Isle of Kauai in Hawaii or soar over the vast canyons of Ocala in Florida.

Mountain bike

Mountain bikers will find miles of easy-to-ride trails in every state, from Idaho to Park City, Utah. An excellent mountain biking destination offers a variety of routes for all experience levels, stunning scenery, good weather, exciting restaurants and bars, and luxury accommodation nearby. Arguably the five best places to mountain bike in the United States are Moab, Utah; Sedona, Ariz.; Bentonville, Arkansas; Big Valley, Colorado; and Crested Butte, Colorado.

Put on the hiking boots

When it comes to adventure destinations, Asheville, NC is a serious gem yet to be fully discovered. The hiking in Asheville is one of the best the United States has to offer. When it comes to the great outdoors, Asheville can’t be beat. One of the best trails is the Black Balsam Knob. The walk is difficult due to the distance and incline, but the sensational views of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains are worth it.

Meadow with flowers and mountains in Asheville

From the rugged mountains of Colorado to the roaring waterfalls of Yosemite National Park, the United States offers adventure vacation destinations for all adventure enthusiasts. The canyons, steaming hot springs, snowy slopes and lush forests in between provide endless fun.

Whether it’s a trip to the mountains, a bike ride along winding rivers, or a climbing trek to majestic peaks, an active adventure can free the soul and uplift your condition. physical, inner and emotional.

There’s a reason you smile after returning from an active adventure – because you’re happier about it! All the stresses of life will surely melt away when you explore these spectacular adventure destinations in the United States.

USA adventure travel

Andrew Morten is the founder of Little America. Little America creates bespoke, tailored trips to the United States and Canada.

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