Sports and Leisure Destinations

Getting out and stretching your legs is a great way to learn a bit more about any area you choose to spend time in during a vacation. No matter what part of the United States you’re vacationing in, there is bound to be a great hiking trail, biking trail, swimming hole or other outdoor place where you can get in a bit of fun and entertaining physical activity. Whether you choose to base your entire vacation around sports and leisure activities – or if you just want to include a few in a trip – they can be a super way to explore an area.

Every part of this massive country has exceptional outdoor activities for travelers to enjoy. Whether it’s surfing along some of the East Coast’s best surfing areas in the Outer Banks or hiking along the trails amid the breathtaking scenery of the Lake Tahoe region, there’s a huge world of options to explore. Get a little bit of inspiration and find out what various places have to offer when planning any vacation.

Best Sports and Leisure Destinations

Depending on what your activity of choice is, you may or may not need special equipment. The great thing is that you can often rent the equipment that you need in order to enjoy virtually any activity. From kayaks to bicycles, many places are more than happy to lend you what you need in order to get out there and see the sights. If you need to travel light, never fear – you can still engage in virtually anything you’d like to.

Hiking In Eagle Falls – Lake Tahoe, California

The scenic Lake Tahoe area is chock full of prime hiking opportunities. If you’d like to get a feel for what the topography is like – without committing yourself to a super long trek – then Eagle Falls is probably right for you. This two mile roundtrip hike is a great way to see why so many people have fallen in love with this part of the country through the years. At parts, it is a bit strenuous; one highlight is crossing a steel footbridge over Eagle Falls – bring your camera!

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Surfing In The Outer Banks – Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

The Outer Banks – a long string of barrier islands along the Atlantic Coast of North Carolina – offer many surprising opportunities for those who want to do a bit of surfing. Although places like California tend to get most of the glory in terms of surfing options, Cape Hatteras – which is located along the Outer Banks – is a topnotch place to enjoy this exciting sport. Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, which are also located in the Outer Banks, also offer some exceptional surfing opportunities; grab your board and get out there!

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Canoeing In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – Ontonagon River

The Upper Peninsula, or UP, of the state of Michigan is a veritable wonderland for outdoors enthusiasts. From rock climbing to hiking to biking, there are many prime options for those who want to get out there and get their adrenaline pumping in the UP. Canoeing opportunities are rampant, and one of the lesser known – but delightfully scenic – canoeing spots can be found along the UP’s sleepy Ontonagon River. While you’re not going to have to contend with any rapids or other heart-pounding obstacles, you will get to take in some of what makes the UP so loved: gorgeous scenery. This is a wonderful option for families, since it is a quiet and lazy ride.

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Bicycling The Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California

The San Francisco area is bursting at its seams with prime cycling opportunities. From riding your bike along the city’s steep streets to hitting the many nearby mountain biking trails, you have many options at your disposal in this lovely city. One of the best options, though, if you’re going to peddle around at all is signing up for a bike tour that takes you across the city’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. For a reasonable price, you can sign up with a tour company that will guide you across this amazing structure over to the charming town of Sausalito. It’s one unforgettable way to take in the sights of this famous region.

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Snorkeling In The Dry Tortugas – The Florida Keys

Not surprisingly, the ocean is a huge part of the culture in the archipelago known as the Florida Keys. In addition to boasting an eccentric and vibrant local attitude, this southernmost part of Florida is teeming with excellent snorkeling opportunities. From Marathon to Key West, you can stop and enjoy this great pastime at a number of different places. If you can only stop one place, though, make it the Dry Tortugas National Park. There, you can take in not only fish and other sea life – but a huge number of shipwrecks, too. Shallow waters make for easy diving, and this is one adventure that you won’t soon forget.

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Whitewater Rafting On The Big Pigeon River – Gatlinburg, Tennessee

The many shops, restaurants and tourist attractions of Gatlinburg tend to eat up a lot of time for those who stop in to this exciting place. However, just outside of the city limits, there are many prime whitewater rafting opportunities to enjoy. The Big Pigeon River is one of the most rewarding places to engage in this sport, since it offers gentle section and stretches with a lot of rapids as well. Whether you’re looking for heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat excitement – or just for a gentler roll down the river – the Big Pigeon is a great choice.

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Things to Consider

No matter what the topography and geography of a region may be, there is bound to be some sort of sport or outdoor activity that you can enjoy there. When planning a vacation, jot down a few of your favorite pastimes and find out whether any given location offers opportunities to engage in them. Try to come up with a list of at least three or four different activities so that you can take your pick from a larger number of options. That way, you’ll be able to visit an exciting and interesting place – and still be able to enjoy some of your favorite pastimes, creating even more wonderful memories.