While you may be eager to enjoy the culture, food, and nightlife in a new destination, often the best part of a town is what's on the outside. Luckily, there are plenty of towns in that feature unrivaled scenery and adventure. Whether you want to hike mountain trails, kayak across bays, or ski down glistening slopes, here are nine towns that will make you not want to go indoors.
Boulder has always been a hot-spot for runners, cyclists, and hikers. The town prides itself on its long-standing reputation as an outdoor oasis committed to conservation. Boulder Creek runs right through the town. offering plenty of opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and river rafting. In the Winter, you can even try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Boulder also offers some of the best rock and ice climbing in the country. Boulder features plenty of outdoor challenges for all!
Franconia, New Hampshire
One of this towns biggest attractions is Flume Gorge where visitors explore amazing waterfalls, covered bridges, and scenic pools in a natural chasm. There is also no shortage of hiking trails! One of the best trails here has to be the loop over Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Lafayette. The Franconia Ridge Traverse offers one of the most breathtaking views of the White Mountains you will ever find.
Though it is technically classified as a city, Juneau still maintains a small-town vibe and gorgeous natural splendor is only steps away. View glaciers from every angle - gaze down on them from a helicopter tour, kayak up close, or trek right on the ice itself. Don't forget the touring mountains! Hop on a trail or the Goldbelt Mount Roberts tram and you are guaranteed unrivaled views. Throw in mountain biking, ziplining, and kayaking and you've got the makings of an action-packed adventure. For a more relaxed outdoor experience, try your hand at salmon fishing or enjoy seal watching. You might even be lucky enough to spot an orca in the bay!
Hilo is right in the middle of the best of Hawaii's natural landscapes. Bordered by turquoise ocean on one side and tropical rainforest on the other, the small town has plenty of adventure to offer. Hike to Rainbow Falls or explore the bubbling lava rock pools, Boiling Pots. Just south, visitors can trek through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, marveling at Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes. Surfing is always an option, as is simply soaking up the scenery of Hilo's beaches.
In recent years, Bend has skyrocketed in popularity due to its incredible outdoor offerings. The horizon is broken by snow-capped mountains, which provide plenty of opportunities for hiking in Summer and skiiing in Winter. Enjoy plenty of outdoor activities including whitewater rafting, downhill biking, and rock climbing!
Popular fly-fishing spots at Pyramid Lake and the Truckee River are only minutes from downtown. Those looking for more action-packed adventure can find it in the heart of the city. Reno is home to the world's tallest climbing wall at the Whitney Peak Hotel as well as a half-mile long downtown whitewater-kayaking park. The "biggest little city in the world" is also about 1 hour away from Lake Tahoe, where hiking, snowshoeing, paddle boarding, and more are open to all.
Mammoth Lakes, California
Just a few hours from bustling San Francisco and squeezed between Yosemite National Park and Sierra National Forest, Mammoth Lakes, California enjoys some of the state's most jaw-dropping scenery. The mountain town is set between Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain, and encompasses a smattering of sparkling lakes. Here you can ski in the winter, hike in the summer, fish, kayak and bike to your heart's content.
Snuggled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range, Leavenworth is a perfect base for outdoor adventurers. The town itself is reminiscent of Europe's Alps, with a Bavarian theme that dominates downtown. But step outside town and you'll discover a truly spectacular world. Hold on tight and brave intense whitewater rides on Wenatchee River. If you like to travel on skis, the local skill hill, nearby resorts and backwoods cross-country routes offer plenty of opportunities to get around. The area is also perfect for rock climbing, mountain biking and more gentle water adventures in the summer months. Once you're done, wash your adventures down with a beer or two at one of the local breweries.