Just because you aren't traveling doesn't mean you can't be a tourist in your own city (outside, that is...and not near other people...and with a boatload of hand sanitizer).
Here are 10 of our go-to outdoor adventures across the country.
1. Take a bike ride around New York City
With new bike paths being developed in New York City (and temperatures rising), now's the perfect time to explore the Big Apple on wheels. Head from Prospect Park to Coney Island on a leisurely, 7.5-mile ride. Or explore Governors Island at your own pace. You can bike the iconic Brooklyn Bridge to Fort Tryon Park in about an hour and a half, or venture further outside the city with a ride in the Shawangunk Mountains of the Hudson Valley or from Jones Beach to Tobay Beach.
READ MORE: 5 Bike Routes In, Around, & Outside NYC
2. Explore the "otherworldly" atmosphere of Cannon Beach in Oregon
The hallmark of Oregon's Cannon Beach is Haystack Rock. Rising 235 feet above the shoreline, this massive stone seems plucked out of a sci-fi set. Bird enthusiasts will relish the astonishing species that call the area home. You can even spot puffins during the period from early-spring to mid-summer.
3. Wander the glittering glass beach in Fort Bragg, California
Have your camera ready when you head to Fort Bragg, Northern California's glittering glass beach. Although the multicolored shards of ocean-smoothed glass look like gems, they're the result of nearby communities dumping their waste into water sites. The glass pieces are the leftovers from waste that was disposed of in these sites during the period from 1906 to 1967. It's tempting to snag a few pieces to show off on your shelf, but collecting is highly discouraged.
4. Go camping in Twelvemile Beach, Michigan
Above the rocky-strewn sands of Michigan's Twelvemile Beach you'll find a campsite and hiking trails. Setting up camp is a mere $16 per night, but with no reservations, you'll want to arrive early to snag your spot. There's also excellent fishing.
5. Immerse yourself in pirating history in Ocracoke, North Carolina
To reach Ocracoke, you'll need to hop on a ferry from mainland North Carolina to the secluded Outer Banks Island. Once you're there, you'll be enchanted by the secluded shores and easy pace of the 9.5 square mile village. Legend has it that Blackbeard the Pirate was executed off the coast in 1718, giving the Island its name as he chanted "O Crow Cock" while chasing his pursuers.
6. Take a trip to Ebey's Landing (Whidbey Island) from Seattle
Whidbey provides an island and nature day escape all in one. This rugged island with rocky coastline beaches and pastoral terrain is a short ferry ride from Seattle across Puget Sound. Pull up your jaw after the stunning trip; there are more majestic views on the way. Perched on the western shore of the island with views of the Olympic Mountains and Strait of San Juan de Fuca, Ebey’s Landing contains trails that pass high along the bluff, and offers spectacular views of wildlife, including seals and sea lions. The light at sunset and early morning makes this hike especially beautiful (though any time is really beautiful).
Protip: March-May is when the Orca whales migrate past Washington, and you might even catch whale sightings from the ferry ride, or along Ebey’s Landing, as they feed on fresh salmon.
7. Go on a bike tour of downtown Boston
Boston is a great city for biking. In Boston's North End (Little Italy), Urban Adventours, offers rentals and bike tours of the city, including fall foliage routes. Or, check out Hubway, Boston’s public bike share. Pedal through the cobblestone, tree-lined streets of Beacon Hill, as well as along the Charles Esplanade into Cambridge, and the Harvard Campus.
8. Hike Bothe State Park in Napa Valley
Bothe State Park boasts the farthest inland coast redwoods in a California state park. Being heavily wooded, it provides a welcome respite from the sun—making it the perfect activity for especially hot and sunny days in Napa. You can even reserve a fully restored historic cabin or yurt to spend the night!
9. Spend a day in Stanley Park, Vancouver
Larger than Central Park, Stanley Park is a 1,000-acre green space at the top of the downtown peninsula. A quick drive on the Stanley Park Causeway and you will arrive at the entrance to this massive green space. Entry is free, and if you drive around the park, you're sure to notice the 5.5-mile path running along the Seawall as well as the many guided tours, cyclists, and runners along taking in the views of the waterfront path.
Aside from the infamous Stanley Park Seawall, the park boasts many activities for individuals of all ages. From biking paths, beaches, and walking trails to golf courses, miniature trains, and museums, this park is one of the best spots for anyone visiting Vancouver city.
While venturing through the park, be sure to check out some of these hot spots:
- Vancouver Aquarium
- Brockton Point Totem Poles
- Stanley Park Putt Golf Course
- Lost Lagoon
- Second Beach
- Third Beach
- Stanley Park Rose Garden
Before leaving the park, head out to Prospect Point, at the northern tip of the park, where you'll have a fantastic view over Lions Gate Bridge, the North Shore Mountains, and beyond. The views of the water, the mountains, and the city from different points all over the park are outstanding.
READ MORE: Things To Do Outdoors In Vancouver, Canada
10. Wander the Venice Canals in LA
Built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney as part of his Venice of America plan, the Venice Canals are a wonderful place to stroll and people-watch on a sunny day. Lined with bridges, beautiful trees, and gorgeous houses with private docks, the canals have plenty of places for good photo ops. Parking can be challenging, unless you pay $15 to park in one of the lots. If you don’t mind walking a few blocks, park on Washington and feed the meter.