Aspirational adventures are all the rage. Climbing high peaks. Multi-week canoe trips. Adrenaline-pumping mountain bike descents.
But what about relaxing, active getaways perfect for families, couples and those who like to enjoy nature at a relaxed pace?
Well, we got you covered here.
Wander the Whale Trail in Massachusetts
If you crave incredible wildlife sightings as well as rich history and hands-on exploration, hop in your car and hit the road along Massachusetts’ Whale Trail. A soft but engaging adventure, this route leads to several whale-watching operators, where you can hit the high seas and spot impressive marine mammals, as well as nature excursions to study the regional ecology and historical landmarks and museums to connect the dots and illustrate the past, present and future of whales in this area. Snap a selfie at the Moby Dick in New Bedford to cap off this cetacean-themed multi-day journey.
Learn More: massvacation.com/whale-trail/
Ride the B&B Bike Trail in Connecticut
Bicycle touring is the best way to explore a region. Rather than simply blasting by, shielded by glass and steel, you smell the air; feel the temperature changes, sweat up the hills and coast freely back down. Plus, you can eat whatever you want because you’re burning calories all day long. Connecticut’s B&B Bike Trail typifies this experience. Featuring eight routes, you can set out along serene country roads and paths, enjoying the picturesque towns and natural environments while ending every day in a welcoming B&B. Refresh, then start out again the following morning. An absolute idyllic way to immerse in Connecticut’s charms.
Learn More: ctbandbs.com/about
Explore Cannon Beach in Oregon
Difficulty: Beginner & Up
The Oregon Coast is one of the world’s most beautiful destinations—and Cannon Beach, at the north end, typifies this West Coast wonder. It’s an area of expansive sands, reliable waves and wonderous rock formations, like the famed Haystack Rock. With a full-service tourism town set right against the water, boards and lessons are easy to find. You can camp near the water or book roofed accommodation right on it. Local surf shops will get beginners on the shore break out front, or tour advanced riders to regional waves that range from moderate to insane (particularly in winter).
Learn More: cannonbeachsurf.com
Sink into Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico (Pictured)
Step into an otherworldly environment where sulfuric acid has dissolved through limestone to create a fascinating collection of 119 caverns. This is Carlsbad Caverns—where desert flora grows above a network of caves dubbed “the Grand Canyon with a roof over it.” Explore the Big Room at your own pace, it takes about 90 minutes, then join a guided tour with a park ranger. For a thrill, visit from May to October to see the twilight sky fill with a flock of bats.
Learn More: nps.gov/cave/index.htm