Summertime is for adventuring! Whether you’re into outdoor escapes or escapades, there’s something for everyone when the sun is out. Here are 4 of the top ideas.
1. Water Park, USA
Just around the corner from Williamsburg, Virginia lies one of the best water parks in the whole country. With 1.6 miles of slides, attractions that hold more than 2.4 million gallons of water, and wooden pegs for more than 2,600 life vests, it’s sure to entertain and delight the whole family. Plus, the location can’t be beat; it’s close to Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, an epic mini- golf course, and of course, historical Williamsburg for when you want to stop splashing around and learn something!
Things to bring: waterproof sunblock, goggles, swim shoes, and soft elastic clothes (most water parks prohibit clothing with buttons or zippers, like cutoffs).
2. Denali National Park in Alaska
For those looking for a truly epic adventure, consider going outside the continental U.S. Summer is the most accessible season in which to explore Alaska, especially since the sun only sets for a few hours each night. Denali (aka Mount McKinley) is one of the most spectacular parts of an already spectacular state. Shuttle buses, tour buses, and courtesy buses make it easy to explore the 92 miles of Denali Park Road, where the chances are high of spotting wildlife like grizzly and black bears, wolves, caribou, moose, arctic ground squirrels, red squirrels, foxes, marmots, and more.
Things to bring: clothing you can layer, including fleeces and jackets (it may be summer, but it’s still Alaska), sunglasses, insect repellant, and binoculars.
3. A dude ranch
It’s hard to ignore the magnificence of Wild West sunsets and the thrill of horseback riding. There are family-friendly dude ranches and resorts all over the west, including Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. There are no TVs on site, and the Ranch offers supervised programs for children aged 4-12, leaving adults able to participate in activities like hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, tennis, and more.
Regardless of which dude ranch you pick, be sure to participate in at least one campfire. The stars are unbelievable at night in cowboy country.
Things to bring: padded underwear (it sounds funny, but helps prevent soreness from too many hours in the saddle), gloves, s’mores fixin’s, and a cowboy hat.
4. Walla Walla, Washington
Besides being fun to say, Walla Walla has become a must-see destination in the Pacific Northwest. Striking distance from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, it’s also a winery mecca.
Particularly if you’re kid-free, consider a summer adventure in wine country, with friendly people, high-quality restaurants, and beautiful vistas everywhere you go – especially if you road trip from Portland or Seattle.
Things to bring: Fold-up wine glasses, rain gear (especially if you pair it with a trip to Seattle), and hiking boots for nearby mountain trails.
Whatever you choose when it comes to having an adventure this summer, may you make unforgettable memories.