Outdoor Adventures

Destinations: Grand Canyon National Park, San Francisco, Maui, Branson, Seattle

Activities: Bird Watching, Boating, Camping, Canoeing, Cycling, Deep-sea Fishing, Disc Golf, Dog Sledding, Fishing, Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing, Golf, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Hot Air Ballooning, Ice Skating, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Parks and Playgrounds, Rafting, Rock Climbing, Safaris, Scuba Diving, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Surfing, Swimming, Tennis, Whale Watching

All the wild critters of the forests and deserts need wilderness areas to survive, but many travelers contend that people do, too. Getting out of the city or suburbs to take in empty spaces, open skies, clear rivers and craggy mountain peaks can be a rejuvenating way to escape stress and enjoy something greater than our hectic day-to-day lives.

But sometimes hiking, camping, rock climbing or rafting in the great outdoors is simply fun. Nothing is so thrilling as finally reaching the summit of a difficult climb, surviving a wet and bumpy ride through a patch of whitewater, or seeing wildlife at home in the great outdoors.

The American West offers some of the best opportunities for outdoor adventures in the world, like in U.S. National Parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite. Stretched across the country, national parks include the Everglades and Grand Teton National Park. Those who want to travel further afield can explore New Zealand, Argentina or Switzerland, search out wildlife in the leafy green jungles of Ecuador or Brazil or climb to the top of a volcano in Costa Rica.

Articles About Outdoor Adventures

Whitewater Thrills: Family-Style River Rafting

Family bonding and adventurous recreation come together on whitewater.

Plan the Perfect Alaskan Vacation

Alaska’s wilderness is one of the final frontiers for travelers seeking adventure, unparalleled natural beauty or just a chance to get away from it all.

Alaska’s Denali National Park

The highest mountain peak in North America, abundant wildlife and family-friendly activities make this an essential stop on your Alaska itinerary.

Wilderness Lodges of Alaska

From rustic cabins to luxury, all-inclusive accommodations, find the best place to stay on your Alaskan family vacation.

5 Free Anaheim Attractions

When you’ve exhausted Disneyland, check out these Anaheim gems that’ll educate and entertain your family on the cheap.

Big Skies and Silly Birds Abound in Argentina’s Península Valdés

What do whales, penguins and seals do if they’re not in the zoo or aquarium? They go to Península Valdés.

Iguazú: The Largest Falls You've Never Heard Of

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see on any trip to Argentina, including for families with young children.

Outdoor Adventures in Austin

The Texas capital is teeming with city and nearby state parks, with plenty of trails and rivers to please hikers, bikers, kayakers and swimmers alike.

Jungle Lodges Along Belize’s Maya Trail

Experience rural Belize and explore ancient Mayan ruins when you stay at these top jungle lodges.

Belize’s Maya Trail

Explore Mayan civilization on your Belize vacation with tours to ancient ruins like Caracol, Lamanai and Altun Ha.

Best Beaches on the Big Island

Navigate your way through great beaches on Hawaii’s Big Island for quality sand, snorkeling, swimming, scuba and surfing.

The Big Deal About the Big Island

From volcanoes to underwater wonders, coffee to ranches, beach resorts to hula dancing, Hawaii has packed a whole lot into one island.

Family Fun on the Big Island

Choose from a wealth of outdoor family activities on Hawaii’s Big Island, from hiking to horseback riding to helicopter rides.

Livin’ La Vida Lava

Hawaii’s Big Island offers cool hikes through molten caves.

Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Observatories

Reach for the stars, planets and supernovas at the Big Island’s world-renowned astronomy center.

Pedal-Powered Vacations

On a biking vacation, the journey really is the destination. Here are tips for planning the best getaways on two wheels.

Learning to Sail in the British Virgin Islands

Get in on one of the top activities in the BVI—sailing. Learn the ins and outs of chartering a boat, take sailing classes and you’re on your way!

Into the Abyss: Deep Diving in the Caymans

Slip on your flippers, adjust your oxygen tank and head to the Cayman Islands for some of the best deep-water diving in the world.

Dude Ranches: Not Just For Dudes

Colorado ranches offer a nice change of pace for families of city slickers and cowpokes alike.

A Chocolate Adventure in Costa Rica

Learn how ancient Aztecs and Mayans invented chocolate from raw cacao beans on this chocolate adventure tour in a Costa Rican rainforest.

Costa Rica Surf Trip in Playa Guiones

Amigo, catch some totally tubular waves in one of Costa Rica’s top surfing destinations, Playa Guiones.

Costa Rica’s Tortuguero Is Turtle Heaven

Tortuguero, on the Atlantic side of Costa Rica, provides a wealth of opportunities to see a variety of sea turtles and other jungle life.

The Lowdown on Family Fun in Mile-High Denver

Check out these museums, The Queen City of the plains has plenty to offers great day adventures for both indoor and outdoor enthusiasts.

Irish Greens: Dublin’s Outdoor Attractions

Dublin helps Ireland earn its nickname the Emerald Island with plenty of parks, gardens and golf greens to satisfy most outdoor enthusiasts.

Eco Vacation Trend: Farm Stay Vacations

Farm stays are a growing trend: feed chickens, milk cows and get back to the quiet life on your next family vacation.

How Green Are You?

There is more to eco-travel than visiting a pristine location. Here’s a guide to make the going greener.

Affordable Lake Tahoe: Truckee Vacation Rentals

Truckee is a short distance away from Lake Tahoe, for affordable vacation rentals and outdoor activities.

Sweet Hike Alabama

A great family hike is never more than 20 minutes away in Birmingham, Alabama.

Beyond Batman: Bat Caves and Other Batty Destinations

View the nocturnal food flights of these furry squeakers as they swarm from caves and bridges around the world.

Animal Encounters on Cape Cod

Learn where to spot whales, birds and other wildlife during your Cape Cod vacation in autumn.

Carless Vacations: Four Places to Leave the Wheels Behind

Travel without a car and reduce your carbon footprint by walking, bicycling, kayaking or taking a train on your next vacation.

Be Prepared Before Hitting the Trail

Prepare for your family hiking or caving adventure with these expert tips on safety and gear essentials.

Dad’s Day Deals

From NASCAR racing to golf getaways and one extravagant Scotland adventure, check out these Father’s Day travel specials.

Wilderness Outfitters Help Families Bond

With a little help from your friends—aka, professional outdoor guides—your family can have a safe and hassle-free vacation.

Dad’s Day Travel Deals for 2009

Show Dad how cool he is by sending him on an outdoor adventure or a guys’ golfing getaway with his buddies.

Geocaching: Global Treasure Hunting

Think your GPS can only get you through traffic? A blossoming sport uses the high-tech tools to find treasure and teach kids about the world.

On the Volcano’s Edge

Looking for an adventure-packed guy getaway escape? Check out these six active volcano locales for a hot time with molten lava.

Outdoor Family Adventures on Mackinac Island

Head to Mackinac Island for famous fudge, historic forts and the great outdoors.

7 New England Family Road Trips

Take a family vacation road trip to these New England destinations that are kid-friendly and affordable.

Mother and Daughter Sailing Lessons

Jibe, tack and turn hard a-starboard on an unforgettable sailing vacation in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

Destinations of Champions

Bobsled, luge, skate and ski at these North American sites that formerly hosted the Summer or Winter Olympic Games.

Safe Extreme Adventures for Families

Try these wild, but safe, activities to satisfy the adrenaline junkies in your family.

Westchester County Fall Foliage and Harvest Festivals

Take a fall foliage driving tour, then see the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at harvest festivals in Westchester County.

Grand Day Hikes in the Grand Canyon

Read our expert’s tips on the best trails for day hikes in the Grand Canyon.

Best Grand Canyon Lodging and Camping

From tents to luxury accommodations on the Canyon Rim, you’ll find plenty of Grand Canyon hotel options to suite your overnight needs.

Grand Canyon, From Rim to Rim

Read our tips for taking in the best vistas and historic sites of this national treasure, one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

Grand Tours of the Grand Canyon

Whether you have 30 minutes for a helicopter ride or two weeks for a rafting trip, there’s a canyon tour bound to suit you.

Ireland Hiking Adventure: 10 Days From Dublin to Dingle

Hike the Emerald Isle with experienced tour guides who lead you on a scenic journey through the Irish countryside.

Family Fun in Sandpoint

Find the best attractions and places to take the kids when visiting this quaint Idaho mountain town.

Sandpoint, Idaho: Treasure of the West

Read why this gorgeous mountain destination with an acclaimed arts community is considered one of the best small towns in the west.

Bobsledding in Jamaica

Inspired by the national Olympic team, Jamaica now offers a cool run through the hot Jamaican jungle at Mystic Mountain.

La Jolla: The Jewel by the Sea

Sophistication, culture and a beautiful coastline make this a favorite Southern California vacation destination.

Back to Nature at Torrey Pines Reserve

Read about the best hiking trails for checking out rare pines, colorful sandstone cliffs and native vegetation at this state park overlooking the Pacific.

Lake Tahoe’s Alternative Adventure Rush

From dog-sledding to kite-boarding to the new Heavenly Flyer, there are adrenaline rush experiences in Tahoe to sate any adventure lover.

End-of-Season Tahoe Discounts

Save money on your Lake Tahoe family vacation with these tips on special deals and discounts.

Cabo: Beyond the Beach

From pirate ship sailings to glass blowing to volunteer opportunities, there are plenty of off-beach family activities for Cabo vacationers.

Los Cabos Adventure Activities

Cabo activity options—from whale watching and deep sea fishing, to horseback riding and desert treks and more—are sure to fit any family itinerary.

Luxury Camping at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

This luxury retreat offers bejeweled-wall tents, silk bedding, a seaside spa and guided activities. Roughing it has never been so glamorous.

Maui Sunrise at Haleakala Volcano

Witness an otherworldly sunrise atop Haleakala volcano, where you’ll see orange-red craters and purple valleys—but remember to bring your jacket.

The Road to Heavenly Hana

Leave your worries behind and take the slow road on Maui’s Hana Highway.

Melbourne: Arts and Culture Capital

Australia’s second-largest city boasts arts festivals, eclectic ethnic cuisine, exotic wildlife and easy, walkable streets to explore it all.

Movable Feast for Wilderness Lovers

Known as the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park’s scenery rivals the European Alps for beauty and variety.

10 National Park Treasures

Read our picks for five essential national parks to see before you die, and five worthy ones that are under-the-radar.

Zion National Park Centennial

Southern Utah’s bedazzling red-rock park offers countless hiking trails and special events this year to mark Zion’s centennial.

Hawaiian History for the Kids

Learn about Hawaii and explore Oahu’s natural wonders on these affordable kid-friendly excursions.

Cobá: Into the Mayan Jungle

Outdoor enthusiasts love the Mayan city of Cobá—so do tropical birds, monkeys and alligators.

Copán: Easy Indiana Jones Adventure

Family-friendly exploration is easy and affordable in Copán, Honduras, from gazing at Mayan ruins to getting up close with tropical birds.

Guilin: China’s Fantasy Land

With its lakeside parks, karst limestone mountains and caves, this area of China takes on a fairy-tale air.

Unwind, Vehicle Free in Matheran, India

Fresh air abounds at this historic mountain village near Mumbai where all mechanized transport is banned.

Peru’s Magical Manu

Travel from cloud forest to rain forest in the Manu Biosphere Reserve to view the highest concentration of bird species in the world.

Treetop Dreams: 10 Places to Sleep Among the Trees

Sleep in one of these tree house accommodations—from rustic thatched huts to luxurious tree mansions—to reconnect with your childhood, and nature.

On the Edge of a Via Ferrata

Traverse precipitous cliffs and waterfalls on these mountain climbs and treks popular in the Swiss Alps and Dolomites of Italy.

Sleeping Under the Stars

Use this camping guide to help plan your outdoor adventure whether you’re a first-time or seasoned camper.

See the World From a Kayak

Go where no other boats can. Plan your kayaking vacation with our expert tips on how to choose the right type of trip and find recommended tours.

Palm Springs: Fun in the Desert Sun

Check out these top Palm Springs attractions in this wonderfully warm destination, from golf to architecture to Hollywood history.

Eco-friendly Bocas del Toro

Explore the natural and scientific attractions of this laid-back Panamanian archipelago oasis.

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

What to expect and how to plan for the journey of a lifetime in Peru.

Pedal Power: Biking Portland

Cycle your way through one of America’s top bike-friendly cities.

Portland, Oregon: Pints, Pedals and Parks

The City of Roses has something for everyone: microbreweries, biking trails, and plenty of green spaces and places.

Portland’s Great Outdoors

One reason to love this Pacific Northwest destination is the multitude of nearby outdoor adventure activities easily accessible on a Portland day trip.

Off Track Adventures in the Riviera Maya

Alltournative’s tours are geared for the entire family. Our writer’s day-long adventure with her son featured kayaking, swimming in cenotes, a traditional Mayan meal and four-wheel fun.

Treasures of Tulum

After visiting this Mayan site rich in history, check out the nearby theme park Xel-Há.

San Francisco Outdoor Adventures: Hike, Bike and Kayak

Looking to get in an active workout while on your urban endeavor vacation to the Bay Area? You’ve found the right place.

Seattle’s Great Outdoors

Dig for clams, rent a sailboat or hit the hiking trails in the hills for some memorable outdoor adventures on your next Seattle family vacation.

Seattle Getaway: Washington State National Parks

From lush rain forests to staggering mountain peaks, experience the rugged beauty of the this state’s three national parks, each an easy day-trip from Seattle.

Girlfriend Getaway: Women’s Ski Camps

Hone your skills on the slopes, bond with fellow females and learn lifetime lessons at a women-only weekend ski workshop.

Access Nature at U.S. National Parks

Explore the great outdoors with your special needs child at several accessible national parks.

Island Adventures in St. Lucia

A patchwork of colonial history, this Eastern Caribbean island offers a variety of activities, attractions and cuisines stemming from French, British and African influence.

Rafting in Steamboat When the Snow Melts

Melted snow turns to whitewater fun for the whole family on Northern Colorado rivers.

Steamboat Springs: Ski Town U.S.A.

Linked to its western traditions, Steamboat Springs mixes champagne powder with cowboy style to create a Rocky Mountain high everyone can enjoy.

5 Cool Kids Activities in Sydney

From climbing Harbour Bridge to riding the waves at Bondi Beach, don’t miss these top family attractions if exploring Sydney with kids.

Tampa Bay Tours: Canoes, Cats and Crabs

Explore Tampa on a nature tour, including crabbing on the bay, canoeing near alligators and visiting the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary.

Teen Travels on Alaska’s Peterson Lake Trail

Tag along for this teen’s perspective on her hiking adventure along the scenic and slippery slopes of this beautiful northern trail.

Teen Take on Bird Watching in Costa Rica

Our young writer shares his excitement and avian finds while bird watching on a family vacation to Costa Rica.

Hiking Along the Great Wall of China

One teen hikes the Great Wall on her family vacation and takes a memorable zip-line flight off its edge.

The Unforgettable Hike to Volcán Arenal

A teen adventurer hikes through the Costa Rican rainforest to check out a lava-spurting volcano.

Deals in and Near U.S. National Parks

From last minute summer escapes to upcoming winter specials, there are plenty of discounts and packages to help you explore the great outdoors.

Hotel Discounts, Free Kids Camp, Columbus Day Music Festival

This week’s deals are for a Branson hotel, free Florida kids camp and golf, a music festival in Aruba, and family retreat discounts for Utah or South Africa.

Hotel Packages in San Francisco, Greece, New York and Asheville

This week’s discounts are at San Francisco hotels, a free night’s stay in Santorini, a museum package in New York and passes to North Carolina attractions.

Cabo for Couples, Free Night in Hawaii, London Charity

This week’s discounts are for Los Cabos and Honolulu hotels, an Innsbruck ski season package and a way to contribute during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Children of the Corn

Wind your way through elaborate cornfield mazes across the United States and even the world for an exciting, and often corny, outdoor adventure.

Head for the Slopes: 2008-2009 Opening Days

Start to plan your 2008-2009 ski trips. Here are the season’s opening dates for premier ski resorts in the United States and Canada.

Fall Means Whale Shark Season in Mexico

Baja California’s warm waters attract the gentle giant fish and adventurous tourists, who are willing to swim with them.

Baby Boomer Travelers: 50 and Fearless

Elder travelers are no longer strangers to the adventure market. In fact, they’re one of its key drivers.

Traverse City: A Great Outdoor Getaway

Get outdoors with a trip to Traverse City, for beachcombing, scuba diving, kayaking and more.

Tucson Caving: An Underground Education

Wet and dry caves in southern Arizona provide a cool way (literally) to learn about the region’s history and geology.

Tucson: Southwest Vacation Haven

This southern Arizona city blends rustic, Wild West charm with modern-day sophistication.

Best U.S. Virgin Islands Dive Sites

You don’t have to dive deep to explore a vibrant undersea world in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Check out our dive expert’s top spots.

Scuba Diving Programs for Kids

A St. Croix dive shop offers scuba programs especially geared toward kids to help them learn about the wonders of the deep blue Caribbean Sea.

Set Sail in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Grab your sailing gear and head out on a boating adventure in the waters around St. John and St. Thomas.

Escape to the U.S. Virgin Islands

Chill on gorgeous beaches, ply Caribbean waters, tour historic attractions and shop duty-free on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John—while leaving your passport at home.

Hot New Vail Resorts

With several new properties and many existing property updates, get the latest in Vail accommodations.

Sweet Summer in the Vail Valley

Our expert offers her inside tips for a few of the myriad outdoor adventures available to sportsmen and women of all ages during a Vail summer vacation.

Whistler: Nature Lover’s Paradise

Whistler is known for its skiing, but it’s also a nature lover’s paradise in spring, summer and fall, making it a resort for all seasons.

Family Fun in Whistler

Whistler ski resort in British Columbia, Canada—ranked number one in North America and the site of the 2010 Olympics—offers an incredible assortment of thrilling winter activities for the family.

Camp Among the Bears in Yellowstone

How do you get up close and personal with all that Yellowstone has to offer? Camp!

Classroom Yellowstone

Venture into the wild with the help of expert naturalist guides.

Yellowstone Park: Comfort in the Wild

A family vacation stay in Yellowstone National Park means adding your own chapter to the history book.

Yellowstone National Park: A Natural Wonder

Geysers and buffalo and bears! Arrive early and stay late to see the natural world at its best.

Catching Sight of Yellowstone’s Wolves

Make the most of your wolf-watching adventures in Yellowstone National Park with our tour and viewing tips information. The experience may just help you discover your inner wildness.

Lodging and Dining in and Around Yosemite

From camping to luxury hotels, family-friendly cafeterias to fine dining, Yosemite offers something for every taste and budget.

5 Top Yosemite Family Hikes, by Age Group

Yosemite National Park offers several wilderness trails that are ideal for families traveling with children. Our expert reveals her insider tips.

Somewhere Over the Moonbow

Yosemite National Park is one of the few places on the planet where you can see a moonbow.

Yosemite National Park: Merced River Rafting

Paddle amid spectacular scenery in Yosemite Valley on an inflatable raft.

Yosemite National Park’s Civilized Wilderness

Enjoy nature at its finest along with cultural amenities you might not expect in a national park.

Camping With Kids 101

Introduce your children to the great outdoors with expert advice on how to make sure your first camping trip goes smoothly.

Aloha, Mahalo and Everything in Between

Explore the Big Island and Maui with two guidebooks that highlight outdoor adventure in the Hawaiian Islands.

Ski Resort Guide Reviews for America and Europe

Top skiers uncover the best winter resorts in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Inside Yosemite: Treks, Tracks and Scat

Two comprehensive and educational guidebooks cover everything from Yosemite hikes to helping kids identify animal tracks and droppings.

The Inspiration of Yosemite

Our Yosemite issue marks the official launch of the TravelMuse Beta site and introduces the Inspiration Finder—an industry first—and the TravelMuse Planner.

Bears, Bison and Beauty

Yellowstone was the first designated national park in the United States and remains one of the most popular.

Into the Wild … in Comfort

Camping gear for those who like their creature comforts on the go.

Safe Bug Sprays For Camping Adventures

These non-toxic, DEET-free insect repellents are good for you skin, and the environment too.