Skip to content
Adventure Tips

Adventure Enthusiasts' 7 Best Cities for Outdoor Activities in the US

Adventure Enthusiasts' 7 Best Cities for Outdoor Activities in the US

Welcome to our guide to the best US cities for outdoor activities! If you're looking for nature cities or outdoor adventures, you'll find plenty of inspiration in our suggestions below. We've handpicked 7 cities across the United States that offer a diverse range of outdoor recreation opportunities, from scenic hiking trails to adrenaline-pumping water sports. From exploring nature in US cities to planning a weekend getaway, these cities are sure to impress. So, pack your sleeping bag, lace up your boots, and let's hit the trail!

Key Takeaways:

Pacific Northwest Clean, Green Outdoor Adventures

Exploring the Great Outdoors in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington, is one of America's best cities for hiking. The lush surrounding mountains and Pacific coast line offer a wide range of outdoor activities, making it a perfect destination for adventure seekers.

One of the most popular things to do in Seattle is hiking in the stunning Mount Rainier National Park. The snow-capped peak towering above the surrounding forests is a breathtaking sight to behold. The park has more than 260 miles of trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging hikes, giving visitors plenty of options to choose from.

If you're looking for something more challenging, a trip to Olympic National Park should be on your list. Located just a few hours from Seattle, it's a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. The park features a diverse range of terrain, including glacier-capped mountains, temperate rainforests, and stunning beaches.

For water sports enthusiasts, kayaking and paddleboarding are popular activities in Seattle. You can paddle along the beautiful coastline, taking in breathtaking views of the city and the Olympic Mountains.

If you're a fan of cycling, the Burke-Gilman Trail is a must-visit destination. This 27-mile trail runs through the city, offering stunning views of Lake Washington and Lake Union. Along the way, you'll also find several parks where you can take a break and enjoy a picnic.

Seattle is a city that truly has it all when it comes to outdoor activities. From hiking and kayaking to cycling and paddleboarding, there's something for everyone here.

Seattle, Washington, is one of the top cities for outdoor activities, and it's easy to see why. With its stunning national parks, beautiful coastline, and top-notch cycling trails, it's a dream destination for adventure seekers. If you're planning on exploring nature in US cities and love the great outdoors, make sure to add Seattle to your list of must-visit cities.

Embracing Nature in Portland, Oregon

When it comes to outdoor recreation, Portland, Oregon is a nature lover's paradise. With its stunning natural beauty, this city offers endless opportunities for visitors to explore and immerse themselves in the great outdoors.

One of the top activities in Portland is hiking, and Forest Park is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 80 miles of trails, visitors can choose from a variety of options, ranging from easy strolls to challenging hikes. The park is also home to an array of wildlife, including deer, squirrels, and a variety of bird species.




Columbia River Gorge

Rock Climbing

Smith Rock State Park


Willamette River

Another popular activity in Portland is biking. Visitors can explore the scenic Columbia River Gorge and take in stunning views of waterfalls and mountain peaks. For those seeking a more adventurous biking experience, mountain biking at Sandy Ridge Trail System is a must-do.

Rock climbing enthusiasts will love Smith Rock State Park, which is often called the birthplace of American sport climbing. With over 1,800 climbing routes, this destination attracts climbers from around the world.

Water activities are also popular in Portland, with kayaking on the Willamette River being a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The river offers a unique perspective of the city, and paddlers can enjoy views of downtown Portland and the surrounding natural beauty.

Overall, Portland, Oregon is a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to embrace nature and explore the great outdoors. With its diverse range of activities and stunning natural landscapes, this city will not disappoint.

Sunny Activities in the American West

Unleashing the Adventurer in Denver, Colorado

If you're a thrill-seeker looking for your next outdoor adventure, look no further than Denver, Colorado. With its stunning natural surroundings, this city is a hub for adrenaline-pumping activities all year round.

During the winter months, skiers and snowboarders flock to the world-renowned slopes of the Rocky Mountains. From the challenging terrain at Winter Park Resort to the family-friendly runs at Loveland Ski Area, there's something for everyone. And if you prefer to stay on flat ground, try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in nearby state parks.

As the snow melts, Denver's outdoor adventure opportunities only increase. Hiking and mountain biking are popular activities, with nearby trails like the Mount Falcon Park offering scenic views of the surrounding mountains. For a more unique experience, try ziplining through the trees or rock climbing in nearby Clear Creek Canyon.

And for those seeking a true rush of adrenaline, Denver is the perfect base for whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. Whether you're a first-timer or an experienced rafter, the rapids offer an unforgettable experience.

So pack your bags, grab your gear, and get ready for an unforgettable outdoor adventure in Denver, Colorado.

Soaking in the Sun in San Diego, California

San Diego is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike, known for its beautiful sandy beaches, perfect weather, and diverse outdoor recreational activities. With over 70 miles of coastline, San Diego offers a variety of water activities, such as surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding - making it on of our most fun cities to visit. The year-round perfect weather also makes the city a great place to camp under the stars, no tents needed

One of San Diego's first-stop outdoor places is the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, where visitors can explore the diverse ecosystems, take scenic hikes, and enjoy the spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. For those who love biking, the city offers many bike-friendly paths and trails, such as the Mission Bay Bike Path and the Silver Strand Bikeway.

Another highlight of San Diego is the Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre urban cultural park, which offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages. With 17 museums, gardens, theaters, and the famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park has something for everyone.

"Whether you want to explore the diverse ecosystems at Torrey Pines, ride the waves at the beach, or enjoy the cultural offerings at Balboa Park, San Diego is a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts."

Thriving in Adventure in Moab, Utah

When it comes to heart-pumping activities, Moab, Utah is a top outdoor adventure vacations destination. Located in the heart of the American Southwest, Moab is surrounded by stunning red rock landscapes that offer a playground for adventure enthusiasts.

One of the most popular outdoor activities in Moab is mountain biking, with the city being recognized as one of the best mountain biking destinations in the world. The Slickrock Bike Trail is the most famous trail in Moab, offering a challenging ride that will take you over steep slickrock and tricky descents. The Porcupine Rim Trail is another must-ride, offering breathtaking views of Castle Valley and the La Sal Mountains.



Mountain Biking

Slickrock Bike Trail, Porcupine Rim Trail

Rock Climbing

Fisher Towers, Castleton Tower

White Water Rafting

Colorado River

If you're looking for a different kind of thrill, rock climbing in Moab is an experience you won't forget. Fisher Towers and Castleton Tower are two popular climbing areas in Moab that offer routes for all skill levels. With breathtaking views and challenging climbs, rock climbing in Moab is an adventure you don't want to miss.

For those seeking an adventure on the water, white water rafting on the Colorado River is an exhilarating experience. The river winds through stunning canyons and offers rapids ranging from class I to V, making it a perfect activity for both beginners and experienced rafters.

No matter what kind of adventure you're seeking, Moab has something for everyone. From mountain biking to rock climbing to white water rafting, this city is the perfect destination for those seeking an adrenaline rush.

Exploring the Wild West in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

As we continue our journey hiking and camping in us cities, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to highlight the rugged beauty of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, this city is one of the best trips for outdoor lovers - a veritable playground for adventure seekers.

During winter, visitors can hit the slopes at the world-renowned Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which boasts over 2,500 acres of skiable terrain and a vertical drop of over 4,000 feet. But the fun doesn't stop when the snow melts. Summer offers ample opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and fishing in the nearby Grand Teton National Park.

No matter what time of year you visit, the natural beauty of Jackson Hole will take your breath away. The jagged peaks of the Teton Range provide a stunning backdrop for hot air balloon rides, while the Snake River offers the perfect setting for a leisurely float trip or adrenaline-fueled whitewater rafting excursion.

For those seeking a more leisurely outdoor experience, the National Museum of Wildlife Art provides a fascinating look at the diverse wildlife that calls the region home. Plus, be sure to check out the historic town square in downtown Jackson, which features unique shops, local cuisine, and plenty of Western charm.

Whether you're drawn to the adventure and thrill of the Wild West or simply seeking a peaceful escape in nature, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is truly a bucket-list destination for any outdoor enthusiast.

An East Coast Forested Mountain Destination

Backpacking along the Art Loeb Trail Jeff Bartlett

Discovering Natural Wonders in Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina is a nature lover's paradise, offering a wide variety of outdoor activities amidst its stunning landscape. From hiking to waterfalls to exploring the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville has something to offer for every kind of adventurer.

One of the highlights of Asheville is the picturesque Pisgah National Forest, which spans over 500,000 acres and is home to hundreds of waterfalls and miles of good places to hike. Here, you can embark on the challenging yet rewarding hike to the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. Along the way, you'll be treated to breathtaking views and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

If you're looking for something less challenging, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must-see destination. This 469-mile scenic road stretches from Virginia to North Carolina, with Asheville being one of its most popular stops. Take a leisurely drive and soak in the stunning views of the mountains, or stop at one of the many overlooks and hiking trails to explore the natural beauty up close.

Asheville is also home to the Biltmore Estate, a magnificent 8,000-acre property with a stunning mansion, lush gardens, and miles of hiking and biking trails. You can take a guided tour of the estate and learn about its rich history, or explore the gardens and trails at your own pace.

In conclusion, Asheville, North Carolina arguable one of the USA's most outdoorsy cities and is a gem for those who love the outdoors and want to immerse themselves in nature. With its beautiful waterfalls, scenic roads, and stunning landmarks, it offers a perfect escape for those looking to connect with nature and explore the great outdoors.

Time to Visit the Best Cities for Outdoor Activities

As outdoor enthusiasts, we have explored the top cities for outdoor activities in America and found that each city offers its unique charm and attractions. From the stunning landscapes of Seattle and Portland to the adventurous opportunities in Denver and Moab, there is no shortage of outdoor activities across the country.

If you're someone who enjoys soaking in the sun, San Diego is the place to be, with its beautiful beaches and diverse ecosystems. For those seeking a taste of the Wild West, the rugged beauty of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is unparalleled.

Asheville, North Carolina, offers a serene escape for those seeking to connect with nature, while the proximity of Seattle and Portland to national parks like Mount Rainier and Olympic make them a haven for hikers and nature lovers.

Whether you're an avid adventurer or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, the best outdoor destinations in the US have something for everyone. So pack your dry bags, grab your lightweight tent, and get ready to explore the great outdoors in these spectacular destinations.


Q: What are the best US cities for outdoor activities?

A: The top US cities for outdoor activities include Seattle, Portland, Denver, San Diego, Moab, Asheville, and Jackson Hole, among others.

Q: What outdoor activities can I do in Seattle, Washington?

A: In Seattle, you can enjoy hiking in Mount Rainier National Park, exploring Olympic National Park, and many other outdoor activities.

Q: What outdoor recreation opportunities are available in Portland, Oregon?

A: Portland offers biking along the Columbia River Gorge, hiking in Forest Park, and various other activities for nature lovers.

Q: What adventure options can I find in Denver, Colorado?

A: Denver offers skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor adventures near the Rocky Mountains.

Q: What outdoor recreational opportunities are there in San Diego, California?

A: San Diego offers surfing, paddleboarding, exploring Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, and various other outdoor activities along its stunning coastline.

Q: What adventure-driven activities can I find in Moab, Utah?

A: In Moab, you can enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, river rafting, and other adventure sports amidst its breathtaking red rock landscapes.

Q: What natural wonders can I discover in Asheville, North Carolina?

A: Asheville offers hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway, exploring waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest, and other opportunities to connect with nature.

Q: What outdoor opportunities are there in Jackson Hole, Wyoming?

A: Jackson Hole offers skiing in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort during winter, hiking, and wildlife spotting in Grand Teton National Park during summer, and more.

Ask us anything

Our customer care team is here for you

Contact Us
Top Picks
Big River Dry Bag
5 liter || Big River Dry Bag
Big River Dry Bag
award winner