7 Great Escapes
Blast through abandoned mineshafts on an ATV. Rip some shark lips on a fly rod. You want a cure for the average vacation? We’ve got it.
1) JUMP AND RAFT
● Experience two insane, adrenaline-fueled adventures in a single day. Jump ’n Raft Maine combines the high-altitude thrill of skydiving with the rush of whitewater rafting down Class 5 rapids. First, you jump from 11,000 feet, free-falling over the scenic northern New England landscape. Then you hit the water for 13 miles of paddling along the Penobscot River, home to some of the East Coast’s best rapids. Tour operators will provide you with all the gear and instruction you need. Just show up and sack up. Afterward, kick back and enjoy the party with a full-service restaurant, live music, a hot tub, and a huge, nightly bonfire.
Packages start at $289. jumpandraft.com
2) ATV MINE TOUR
● Riding ATVs and dirt bikes is a great way to get a physical ass-kicking outdoors, so why not go somewhere for a totally unique gas-powered adventure? Mines and Meadows, just about an hour from Pittsburgh, has more than 50 miles of killer off-road track through the woods, plus access to an abandoned limestone mine from the 1800s with an underground labyrinth of trails for you to explore.
Tours are $5 per vehicle. minesandmeadows.com
3) STAND-UP PADDLING
● Stand-up paddling is not only one of the best ways to get on the water for exploration and thrills, it’s also a rigorous full-body workout. At Windsurf Miami, you’ll learn in a day, and you’ll progress quickly from cruising on flat water to riding waves to shore. Afterward, try windsurfing or kiteboarding, or check out the Miami Beach nightlife for an entirely different form of adventure.
Lessons are $30/hour. windsurfingmiami.com
4) ROCKY MOUNTAIN BACKPACKING
Rocky Mountains, CO
● REI Adventures offers some of the best preplanned adventure travel in the world. On this trip, you start out in Denver for a four-day excursion through Colorado’s rugged, seldom explored Rocky Mountain wilderness. Plan on camping, climbing, and hiking seven to eight miles a day through rugged mountain terrain, taking in the legendary Continental Divide Trail along with many of the remote alpine lakes and peaks in the area—all at an elevation of more than 12,000 feet.
$695 per person. rei.com/adventures
5) HIKE HANA WATERFALLS
● Maui has surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, even horseback riding—but by far, the standout experience is hiking the Hana rain forest. Hike Maui offers visitors the chance to explore waterfalls that are up to 400 feet high, and they can travel along streams and pools tucked into the dense forests of trees and bamboo. You’ll hike 4 ½ miles through Maui’s national park, Haleakala, with guides who are walking encyclopedias of knowledge about the life and culture of Hawaii. Try a bit of everything while visiting the islands, but no matter what else you experience, if you take this hike, we guarantee it will be the best day of your trip.
$160 + tax per person. hikemaui.com
6) MAKO SHARK FLY-FISHING
San Diego, CA
● This isn’t your grandpa’s fly-fishing trip—unless, of course, Gramps is the type to wrestle 200-pound sharks. You’ll go deep into the Pacific to hunt for mako sharks during peak breeding season. Fortunately, that’s exactly when the hard-fighting, high-flying fish are out in abundance and ready to chow. Lure them in with chum, then hook ’em with a fly rod using handtied flies. Captain Dave Trimble has been running shark fly-fishing trips in the area for nearly 10 years and boasts a 90% catch rate. Once you get yours, be prepared for a fight—it’s your muscle against the fish.
Trips start at $700 for one to three anglers. ontheflyfishingcharter.com
7) SAN JUAN ISLAND SEA KAYAKING
Friday Harbor, WA
● For nearly 25 years, Outdoor Odysseys has been guiding trips through the San Juan Islands, touring the orca–inhabited waters of the northern Pacific. This year, owner Clark Casebolt is introducing the Brews ’n Boats tour, a specially designed trip for beer enthusiasts. After paddling 12 miles around the scenic San Juan Islands, you’ll set up camp and enjoy some local microbrews paired with gourmet meals such as wild Alaskan salmon with apple and blueberry crisp for dessert, and goat cheese–mushroom frittatas for breakfast.
Three-day trips start at $560. outdoorodysseys.com