Best US Vacation Destinations for Outdoor Enthusiasts

While many people think of vacations as the perfect time to kick back and relax on a lounge chair with a drink in hand, others find that the best way for them to relax is to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether it be fishing, swimming, hiking, biking, skiing or hunting, these individuals get the biggest thrill from breathing in the crisp air of nature, working up a decent sweat and delighting in beautiful natural scenery. Thankfully, the United States has something to offer every one of these individuals, from snowcapped mountain peaks to warm, sandy beaches. 

Myrtle Beach

A fun family getaway on the shores of North Carolina, Myrtle Beach offers all the enjoyment of a beach adventure with swimming, fishing off Springmaid Pier and more without the crazy crowds. Water sports are a must with the very active going jet skiing and kayaking and those looking for more relaxation taking a cruise or going on a dolphin watching tour. 

The Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Nestled in the cool mountains, this park offers a supreme array of nature watching and hiking in the midst of some of the most beautiful glens and wildflowers around. Those who love to climb can head to the observation tower at Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park.

The Colorado Rockies

There are hundreds of places to head in the Colorado Rockies, but some of the best are the mountain towns known for their amazing skiing opportunities, including Aspen, Beaver Creek and Breckenridge. While those who love winter sports can go skiing, snowboarding, sledding, skating and more at a variety of mountain resorts, those who are looking for a summer vacation can head to these same spots for biking, hiking and horseback riding.

Bar Harbor

Located next to the ocean in the far northeastern US, Bar Harbor, Maine, is known for gorgeous views of the Atlantic and delicious lobster dinners. With many marinas, it the perfect spot for cruising, yachting, whale watching and fishing. Bar Harbor is also close to Acadia National Park, famed for its nature walks and bird watching.


A great place for families, Branson, Missouri offers all sorts of clean entertainment, from rides and parks to shows on the stage. Branson is also a great place to enjoy the beauty of the Ozarks as well as lakeside beaches, fishing, golfing and hiking. Wildlife lovers will enjoy the nearby Dogwood Canyon Nature Park with Segway and Jeep tours of beautiful waterfalls and native animals, such as elk and bison.

Booking a vacation in any one of these five spots can be difficult, especially for those who need to coordinate airplane flights, transportation at the location, hotels, dining options and sightseeing and other outdoor activities. This is where a vacation planning site, such as Outdoor-Traveler destinations, can help. These sites list great all-inclusive resorts in many of these and other locales and help point travelers in the right direction to find exciting adventures. From the East Coast to the West Coast and from the Upper Midwest to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, the United States has enough beautiful spots to help quench any outdoor enthusiast’s need for adventure.