An adventurous spirit is a quality that comes naturally to some of us. If your idea of a perfect weekend is exploring the great outdoors and getting your heart pumping, it’s probably a safe bet to say that you’re the adventurous type.
If the city you currently reside in is lacking options for you to explore this side of yourself, there are no shortage of cities around the world which can accommodate it. “We believe you can find adventure in every city,” says Angela Stringfellow from Adventure Digest. “That being said, there are some cities which lead the pack in terms of the adventures they offer.”
So where are the best cities to move to if you’re an outdoors or adventure enthusiast? Below, we’ve handpicked 3 cities that were made for exploring.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Filled with the most breathtaking scenery – mountainous planes, lakes, volcanoes, and more – New Zealand is an adventure lover’s paradise. So when it comes to the task of finding outdoor activities in New Zealand, it’s very much a case of “you dream it, they’ve got it.” Unfortunately, this makes the task of narrowing down just one city to explore very difficult. However, if pressed, we’d have to recommend you head to Queenstown.
Located in New Zealand’s South Island, Queenstown holds the unofficial title of “Adventure Capital of the World.” If you’re wondering what exactly earned the city earn such an accolade, perhaps it’s the fact that it offers heart-pumping activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, whitewater rafting, river surfing, canyon swinging, jet boating, and off-road tours, canyoning, kayaking, rafting, and river surfing – to name a “few”!
The sheer amount of outdoor activities to choose from almost sounds unbelievable, but scout’s honor – Queenstown has it all. We forgot to mention that the city is also home to stunning hiking and mountain biking trails. Oh, and because Queenstown is located in the heart of the Southern Alps, you can also try your hand at skiing and snowboarding from June to October.
There’s a reason Boulder, Colorado was named the “happiest city in the U.S.” For starters, it’s a city you won’t ever get bored in, what with it boasting all of the features you could hope for in an adventure-filled city. To be specific, we’re talking about countless national parks, outdoor festivals, and a whole bunch of opportunities to explore the best of what mother nature has to offer. Boulder, after all, is home to Rocky Mountain National Park. If you haven’t yet visited, you can spend around three to four days familiarizing yourself with its abundance of mountains, forests and alpine tundra.
Another must-do activity to write down in your schedule is Boulder Falls, a beautiful, gushing waterfall at the end of a 100-yard hiking trail. The area has no shortage of rock walls, so you’ll be able to go rock climbing there too.
You also can’t go past, Mt. Sanitas, which has three different hiking options. Of course, we’d recommend you take the most difficult of the three – the Mt. Sanitas Loop. According to Day Hikes Near Denver, it’s a 3.1-mile loop featuring a “series of log and rock steps that will leave your quads and knees either thanking you for the workout or aching for a couple days afterward.”
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is regarded by adventurous folk as one city that deserves a firm place on any thrill-seeker’s bucket list. Unique outdoors activities to try include: abseiling off Table Mountain, kayaking at Boulder’s Beach, Horse Riding on Noordhoek Beach, going on a twilight bike tour to Cape Point, and partaking in a Canopy Tour of the World Heritage Site within the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve in the Elgin Valley. Can you believe that’s just a taste of what adventures await in Cape Town?
Given there’s so much to choose from, if you want to remove the hassle of organizing all of your outdoor trips, be sure to check out the large number of tour companies that specialize in putting together adventure itineraries.
For those wondering about going on a safari adventure while in Cape Town – you can most definitely do so. However, as Travel + Leisure points out, “the terrain near Cape Town doesn’t lend itself to game reserves, and most properties in the vicinity that claim to offer wildlife viewing within an hour or two of the city are little more than glorified zoos.” That being said, the travel resource does list some luxury safari experience options within a short drive of Cape Town for those tight on time.