After a long, long winter, it's finally time to get outside and start enjoying the beautiful weather. The best kind of vacation is the kind that's fun and keeps you fit. Skip the decadent meals and boozy drinks that usually send you home with an extra ten pounds and instead have fun on one of these adventure vacations.
Kayak with the Orcas off the San Juan Islands
Whale watches are fun, but can you imagine seeing these beautiful orcas up close and personal? You can do it in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. If you know what you're doing, head out yourself and see these amazing creatures. But even a beginner will do just fine with one of the many kayak tour guides in the area. Besides the orcas, you'll have a chance to see sea lions, seals, porpoises, otters and other wildlife. Be sure to book between May and October for your best shot at seeing a whale.
Hood River, the Windsurfing Capital of the World
There may be a fewer contenders for the title "Windsurfing capital of the world" (hello, Maui), but Hood River in Oregon is definitely worth a visit. The high walls of Columbia Gorge mean that there are consistently high winds blowing all the time. You could windsurf here year-round, but summer is definitely the most popular (and warmest) time to do it. For beginners, there are tons of local lessons and a chance to learn in a sheltered lagoon first. For experts, there are plenty of tournaments and events to participate in. And while you're there, don't miss exploring Mount Hood, the rain forests, waterfalls and multi-day hiking trails in the area.
Climbing in the Red River Gorge
The Red River Gorge is a canyon system in central Kentucky. There are more than 100 natural sandstone arches in the Red River Gorge Geological Area. The multitude of sandstone and cliff-lines have helped this area become one of the world's top rock climbing destinations. Although there are many different climbs that are located within the Daniel Boone National Forest, there are a few that are located on private land. Be sure to do your research beforehand so you know what is accepted where. The Red has become known for its intense bolted lines, but there are climbs for people of all experience levels.
This biking trail in California is for advanced riders only, so beware. The ascent won't be easy, as you'll be climbing about 3200 feet that involve some very technical riding. Remember, there's no shame in getting off and walking, and most riders will have to at one point or another. But once you've started the descent you'll realize why this trail is such a favorite. Beautiful single track riding with gorgeous views will keep you exhilarated. You can get make some serious speed here, so be careful! It's a ride you'll never forget.