If you prefer to include a significant amount of outdoor adventure in your leisure activities, there are several places in the American West that should be on your bucket list for vacation destinations. Although there are many parts of the planet that offer an abundance of natural beauty, there is something about the ambiance of the western part of the continent that makes a visit to that region a highly unique experience. Following are five places for you to consider for you next wilderness sojourn.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Most people don’t grasp how vast the Great Land is until they experience it for themselves. Even though Denali National Park receives over one million visitors per year, you’ll never feel crowded here, and wildlife is so plentiful that you are almost guaranteed to see a moose or a bear.
Although Vail is a popular destination for winter sports aficionados, a Vail summer offers many fine outdoor activities. Mountain biking, fly fishing, whitewater rafting, golfing, hiking, camping and other fresh air frolics are widely available here, and the community also hosts many festivals and shows. Vail is an excellent place to visit for those who like to combine fresh air, sunshine and outdoor exercise with world-class cuisine and entertainment.
Oregon’s Cascade Mountain Range
Oregon’s high Cascades features some of the world’s cleanest water as well as pristine alpine meadows dotted with daisies, fireweed, columbine and other wild growing flora. This is an excellent place for camping, mountain biking, boating and fishing for the world’s only landlocked salmon, the kokanee. Be sure to visit Crater Lake, which is what its name implies — a deep mountain lake created by a large meteorite that fell to Earth in prehistoric times.
The Central California Coast
Monterrey is an excellent place to relax under the sun during the summer months. The surfing is excellent, the whale-watching opportunities are abundant and hiking, mountain biking and camping are routinely enjoyed by visitors to the Central California coast. Monterrey is also richly artistic community with many opportunities for unique entertainment experiences. Many people choose to time their outdoor vacations to the area to coincide with the Monterrey Music Festival.
Washington’s San Juan Islands
There’s no place quite like the islands just north of Washington’s Emerald City. Mild temperatures and an abundance of natural precipitation means some of Earth’s most verdant vegetation. The islands are a food lovers paradise because most of the restaurants feature locally caught seafood enhanced by herbs and vegetables freshly picked from just outside the restaurant’s back door.