Summer is almost over, and while fall is a fabulous season, if you haven’t gone on an adventure during these last few warmer months of the year, it’s time to go for it before it’s too late! Consider stepping a little outside of your comfort zone, making plans for a trip that might just change your life, or at least your passion for travel.
Go Camping in Jasper National park, Canada
You’ve probably seen lots of spectacular images from the Canadian Rockies posted on social media, and odds are, many of them were shot in Jasper National Park. Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rare out-of-this-world natural beauty, this is where you’ll find those intensely vivid blue and emerald-colored lakes, dramatic soaring mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and hot springs, along with the opportunity for a wide range of outdoor adventures like hiking, kayaking, climbing and fishing, and even some of the best stargazing on Earth. In fact 97 percent of its 4,200 square miles was officially designated light pollution-free as the world’s second largest sky preserve in 2011 by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
Late summer is an ideal time to visit Jasper, as you might even catch of glimpse of the dazzling Northern Lights.
Swim With Whale Sharks in the Yucatan
A vacation to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico in August and September means the chance to swim with the friendly whale sharks that gather here in the nutrient-rich waters, particularly around the tiny island of Isla Holbox. Located at the intersection of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, this area is home to the world’s highest concentration of whale sharks, the largest fish in the world at up to 40 feet long. Despite their massive size, they’re incredible docile, and filter-feeders, allowing visitors to safely swim among them on a guided tour. You’ll like spot other impressive marine life too, including colorful fish, manta rays, sea turtles and dolphins.
Kayak and Camp on Vancouver Island, British Columbia with Wild Heart Adventures
Wildheart Adventures offers the opportunity of a lifetime – kayaking in the waters off Vancouver Island, British Colubmbia, among the residents orcas. You’ll kayak during the day, and camp along the beach near the water at night, where they’re so close you can hear the sounds of their blows.
Hike the Pacific Crest Trail
If you’ve got months of free time, you could complete the legendary 2,650-mile-long Pacific Crest Trail which extends from Canada to Mexico, tracing a north-south route through the Cascades, Sierra Nevada and the coastal ranges of Southern California, but as that’s not really doable for most, you may want to sample it by hiking only certain parts. Oregon features some of the easiest, and most scenic stretches of all. Although it has a prominently flat topography, it doesn’t lack any mountain views. You’ll be able to gaze upon Mount Washington, the Three Sisters and Mount Hood, and even camp at Crater Lake National Park.
Go Rafting Through the Grand Canyon
Truly get away from civilization by embarking an epic rafting adventure on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, pictures and statistics just can’t do it justice. The canyon measures in at an average width of ten miles, a depth of one mile and length of 277 miles, and there are few better ways to get an in-depth look than this. It provides both excitement and remarkable tranquility that just can’t be found in everyday life. You’ll start in Lee’s Ferry, Arizona, and camp along the way. As it’s best accomplished toward the end of the April through October season, a September trip is ideal.
Mountain Biking Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park offers the chance to see azure-hued glacial lakes and rivers as well as jagged cliffs that soar high above the clouds. Nicknamed “Crown of the Continent,” this region’s incredible natural wonders may make you feel as if you’ve entered a dream world. Mountain biking, particularly on the park’s famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, is truly an unforgettable experience although you’ll need to time it right as the National Park Service doesn’t allow cyclists on the highway until after 6 p.m. While it’s not a long journey, it’s absolutely breathtaking with the road hugging the cliffs. For nearly the entire way, you’ll be above the tree line for especially magnificent views.
Watch the Northern Lights in the Wild Yukon
Canada’s Yukon Territory is ideal for a true wilderness adventure. At Blachford Lake Lodge, a half hour’s float plane ride from the town of Yellowknife,you’ll be in one of the best spots in the world for watching the northern lights, with one of the peak viewing times being mid-August to late September. Stay in the main lodge, or embark on a Canadian pioneer experience by staying in one of the log cabins which includes outdoor fire pits and wood stoves for heat. One of the best ways to take in the dazzling light show is from the hot tub – just slip into the warm water and watch the lights shimmer across the horizon.
Whale Watching in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
If whales are you’re thing, the shores along the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia are another great option. The whales start to arrive in the spring and stay until late fall, and the northern right whale is usually only seen in late summer and early fall. Join a whale watch tour and you may get so close that you’ll be able to say hello to one of the many gentle giants in the area, not only the northern rights, but humpback, finback, pilot and minke whales, along with dolphins, porpoises, bald eagles, puffins, seals and more. The 185-mile-long route winds along the oceanside cliffs, completing a loop around the northern tip of the island as it passes through the Cape Breton Highlands, immersing travelers in the still vibrant Celtic and Acadian cultures, with lots of opportunity for fabulously fresh seafood and traditional Celtic tunes.