The word “vacation” means different things to different people. For some, it’s lounging poolside and sleeping until noon. Others, however, savor the opportunity to get outside, try some new activities and indulge in their favorite pastimes for days on end. If you’re one of the latter group, there are few better places to travel than right here in the United States.
Across the 50 states, there are countless opportunities to revel in natural beauty and explore new places, all while pursuing your favorite activities. But whether you envision yourself teeing up on a spectacular golf course or hiking through a rocky canyon, there are a few destinations among the pack that stand out as being the best.
As travel high season looms on the horizon, set your sights on these exceptional active travel destinations. All have opportunities for beginners to try their hand at a new activity, but they’ll also satisfy those who have long-established passions for their favorite pursuit.
Settled into the rolling landscape not far from Lake Michigan, The American Club resort in Kohler, Wisc., provides golfers with the vacation of their wildest dreams. The resort is home to Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run, championship golf courses that have been featured in Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Rankings, one of the most respected rankings in the sport. The Straits course at Whistling Straits leads the way, coming in No. 2 among the 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses. Both Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run feature two 18-hole courses. For golfers, the opportunity to play courses that are host to major championships like the U. S. Women’s Open, -The PGA Championship and the 2020 Ryder Cup, is an opportunity that can’t be passed by. The resort also features luxurious accommodations and amenities like spa treatments, fine dining and other seasonal activities, from horseback riding to archery.
Fly fishing: New York
Reputed to be the birthplace of American dry-fly fishing, New York’s Catskills are still prime territory for anglers who love a bit of tradition – and a lot of brook, brown and rainbow trout. Quaint and charming Roscoe, N.Y., bills itself as “Trout Town USA” and the nearby Beaverkill River and Willewemoc Creek number in the ranks of the best streams in the country.
The upper Midwest – predominantly Minnesota and Wisconsin – is famed for its canoeing opportunities, but in Minnesota’s far north, the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) is a true paddler’s paradise. With more than a million acres, 1,200 miles of canoe routes and 2,000 campsites, you can go as far as your paddle – and ambition – will take you. The fact that this is some of the most pristine wilderness in the United States is another draw for those who truly love to be immersed in the great outdoors.
White water rafting: Idaho
With raging rivers and dramatic scenery, Idaho is the place to go when you want a wild ride. The state is home to Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in the entire United States, and the best way to see it is a rafting excursion down the Snake River. You’ll go through thrilling rapids and still have enough smooth spots to get a good look at your surroundings. Idaho’s other star rafting attraction is the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, which boasts 100 frequent rapids over 100 miles.
Utah’s abundance of national parks and monuments speaks volumes about the beauty of its landscapes. The spectacular red rock formations, canyons and arches that are the calling cards of Utah’s parks draw adventurous visitors year after year. Favorites include the Narrows at Zion National Park, Devil’s Garden at Arches National Park and the Needles district within Canyonlands National Park.
Whether it’s the best round of golf you’ve ever played or the most beautiful hike you’ve ever done, a great active vacation will pay you back in memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. For more information on active travel, from golf to fishing and beyond, visit www.AmericanClub.com.