If you’d like to take advantage of all that summertime offers by enjoying an adventurous escape, now is the time to start planning. There’s are few things worse than daydreaming about that ideal summer trip for months, only to realize in May that the best options are already sold out, and you’ve missed out on any special deals. Get started by planning one of these incredibly awesome summer adventures now.
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Whitewater Rafting the Tuolumne River, California (Nearby Hotels)
If you’re a thrill seeker who has always wanted to ride the rapids, O.A.R.S., is an adventure travel company that offers some of the best rafting trips around. It was established nearly a half-century ago and is often named the “Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure. While there are many destinations to choose from, the Tuolumne River near Yosemite National Park is one of the best, attracting whitewater rafters from across the globe. The river is at its peak typically from late May through mid-June, with the 18-mile stretch jam-packed with Class IV-V rapid, so you’ll need to book soon if you hope to join one of the one-, two- or three-day rafting trips that include camping, hiking, exploring creeks and waterfalls, swimming and more.
Backpack the Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota (Nearby Hotels)
The Superior Hiking Trail spans the western shoreline of Lake Superior in Minnesota and offers one of the most scenic backing trips in the country. While you could just hike a portion of it, if you hope to complete the entire 260 miles the traditional trail includes, it’s time to get planning now, as you’ll need a few weeks to accomplish it, and some decent training under your belt. Still, it’s worth the reward to enjoy trekking with some jaw-dropping lake and river views as well as stunning cliffs and rock outcroppings. Along the way, you can stay at one of the more than dozen huts available to rent via the 10th Mountain Division, though they need to be booked well in advance so now is as good a time as any to avoid disappointment.
Summer Dog Sledding in Iceland (Nearby Hotels)
While dog sledding isn’t usually something you’d equate with the summer, in Iceland, this popular adventure can be enjoyed year-round, thanks to its always snow-covered glaciers. You’ll be guided by a musher, who drives the dog sled team over one of the largest glaciers in Iceland. The pack is fun to get to know too – you’ll enjoy close encounters with the friendly, energetic and hard-working dogs, as well learn about dog sledding from the musher, all while taking in breathtaking mountain, glacier and lava field views. Summertime means enjoying the mind-blowing experience of gliding over the surreal landscape under the midnight sun, when the sky turns red, but never gets totally dark.
Climb to the Summit of Mount Rainier (Nearby Hotels)
Mount Rainier is the most iconic peak in Washington State, and the highest glaciated peak in the Lower 48, providing the ideal setting to practice those snow and ice mountaineering skills. The mountain looms over the entire Puget Sound area and attracts countless climbers from across the globe to accept the challenge of reaching its summit. You’ll need some training as the highest trailhead requires one to gain 9,000 feet of elevation. Around 10,000 people attempt it every year in order to enjoy the incredible reward that includes that jaw-dropping 360 view of Washington and beyond. If you’re experienced in mountaineering, route navigation, weather planning, etc., you can head out on your own with the proper permit, but there are multiple outfitters with expert guides willing to lead everyone from beginners to climbing athletes.
Halibut and Salmon Fishing in Ketchikan, Alaska (Nearby Hotels)
Ketchikan is one of the top spots in the entire country for sports fishing, and joining an excursion with Alaska Strike Zone Sportfishing may be the ideal way to experience it. One of the biggest and longest-running charter companies in the area, it’s been in business for nearly two decades and operates from the Knudson Cove Marina. This prime location is one of the premier halibut and salmon fishing destinations in Alaska, and offers some of the best coastal ocean fishing on the planet. Four out of five species of Pacific salmon are targeted, along with bottom fishing for halibut and a number of species of rockfish. Both half-day and full-day trips are offered. You’ll also be able to enjoy everything else that Ketchikan offers, like hiking to the top of Deer Mountain, flying over the Misty Fjords in a floatplane, along with an award-winning arts scene, live music and theater, a host of shops, fabulous eateries and more.
Whale Watching in Newfoundland (Nearby Hotels)
The waters that surround Newfoundland are home to many whale species during the summer months, including fin, humpback, sperm, minke, and pilot whales, and, the occasional killer whale too. Sightings are at their peak in July and August, when countless humpbacks arrive to dine on capelin, and you’re likely to see other wildlife too, including dolphins and porpoises, bald eagles and sea birds like puffins. While there are many great spots around the province to spot them, St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula is truly one of the best. If you’re here in early summer, you’ll be able to see lots of icebergs too. Northland Discovery Tours offers this experience of a lifetime, which includes a live interpretive program on the marine wildlife and culture.
Cruise Through the Arctic Ocean, Hammerfest, Norway (Nearby Hotels)
Hammerfest is known for being the “northernmost town in the world,” and while there are villages farther north, none are home to more than 2,000 residents. Summer is the best time to visit, and to enjoy embarking on a Midnight Sun Cruise, where you can check out the coastal features of the land while cruising through the Arctic Ocean. If you can go around the summer solstice, June 21st, you’ll get to take in the best of the Midnight Sun phenomenon, when everywhere north of the Arctic Circle experiences the sun merely rotating around the sky.
On land, golf enthusiasts can look forward to playing six holes 24 hours a day from June through August, on the world’s northernmost golf course in nearby Rapparfjord. Hiking can be enjoy day or night on the coastal and mountain trails, and wildlife lovers can marvel at the large herd of as many as 3,000 reindeer that come to feast on the grass and plants here every summer.