The Best City Destinations For Outdoor Adventures


You don’t have to choose between a city break and an outdoorsy adventure. There are some destinations that could allow you to experience the best of both worlds – climb mountains and go diving in the day, and dine at restaurants and take in the city sights at night. Below are 10 of the best examples.

Colorado Springs, US

Colorado Springs is located on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains. On top of sporting historic buildings, museums and some great restaurants, Colorado Springs also has plenty of outdoor adventures on its doorstep. You can hike around the impressive rock formations of The Garden of The Gods, zipline over the magnificent Broadmoor Seven Falls or take a downhill bike tour of world-famous hill climb Pikes Peak. There are lots of free things to do in Colorado Springs making it a great US city break for those on a tight budget. Stay in a hotel in the city center or rent a chalet with mountain views. 

Cape Town, South Africa

One of South Africa’s three capital cities, Cape Town offers a great mix of cultural and natural attractions. Beyond the restaurants, museums and shops, there are plenty of outdoor attractions such as Boulder’s Beach (where you can see penguins!) and Lion’s Head where you can take in breathtaking views. However, perhaps the most popular outdoor attraction is Table Mountain – a huge flat-topped mountain overlooking the city that you can climb either by hiking or taking a cable car. It’s worth noting that scuba diving (including shark cage diving) is also an option in Cape Town.

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is a buzzing city overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It’s surrounded by vast mountains and lush forests. One popular attraction is Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – a 140 meter long suspension bridge through the forest (you’ll need a head for heights!). You can also hike up Grouse Mountain in summer where there are views stretching into America, or you can ski here in the winter. Meanwhile, in the evening, you can enjoy the city’s many restaurants and bars. Choose from a range of accommodation options while staying here from hotels to rented accommodation. 

Cusco, Peru

Cusco is a historic city located 3,400 meters above sea level. It’s a great place to try Peruvian food and explore South American history. There are also a lot of outdoor adventures to be had locally including the famous Inca Trail – a 3 to 4 day hike that takes you past ancient Incan ruins. Rainbow Mountain and The Sacred Valley are also popular outdoor attractions. You should be wary that Cusco’s high altitude can be tough for some people – there are hotel rooms that are oxygen-enhanced that tourists may find easier to cope with. 

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is often touted as ‘the adventure capital of the world’ and it’s hard to deny this. The mixture of mountains, rivers and lakes around it provide every possible outdoor activity you could think of including skiing, hiking, cycling, kayaking, white water rafting, fishing, bungee jumping and canyon swinging. There are more leisurely ways to explore these natural sights too, including cruises of Lake Wakatipu and bus tours into the mountains. On top of this, there are also the city’s many wineries and shops to explore. 

Cairns, Australia

Cairns has all kinds of outdoor adventures on its doorstep. From here, you can take snorkel and diving tours to the Great Barrier Reef. You can also take tours through Daintree Rainforest where you can try to spot a cassowary or a crocodile. If you don’t fancy doing anything too physically exertive, there are always options such as the scenic railway and skyrail. The city of Cairns meanwhile has a buzzing nightlife and lots of opportunities for shopping and dining. There are plenty of hotels here with pools and beach access. 

Interlaken, Switzerland

There are many cities in Switzerland that are surrounded by natural wonders, but Interlaken arguably has the best access when it comes to scenic attractions. There are stunning mountains, waterfalls and lakes all around it, and there are so many different ways to explore them from paragliding to kayaking. Harder-Kulm is a viewpoint that you definitely want to climb up to – there are forest trails that you can take to reach this viewpoint in which you can spot marmots and ibexes along the way. Interlaken also has many historic attractions around it including old castles and churches and an old steam railway train.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The walled mediaeval city of Dubrovnik looks like something out of a fairy tale. On top of being rich with history however, this city is also great for outdoor enthusiasts. You can take snorkelling tours around the bay, hike around the waterfalls of Mostar and Kravice, go on quadbike safari tours or zipline across the city. Lokrum Island and Mount Srd are two of the biggest natural attractions. Check out a great guide to Dubrovnik here

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland’s capital can make a great base when it comes to exploring the country’s many natural attractions. While it’s an expensive city, there are many affordable hostels here. It’s worth hiring a car here so that you can go and explore some of the sights around the country including mountains, volcanoes, geysers, waterfalls, glaciers and natural hot springs. You can also go on whale watching tours where you may see one of the many species of whales that lives in Iceland’s waters. Visit between September and March for a chance to see The Northern Lights. 

Fuji, Japan

Fuji’s biggest natural attraction is Mount Fuji, which you can hike up in summer via various trails. It’s also famous for its five lakes where you can enjoy activities such as fishing and camping. The Narusawa ice cave is also not far away and is a must for those that love caves. While in Fuji, it’s worth also exploring the tea plantations, as well as soaking up some of the history (including the various shrines and pagodas). There is a great range of accommodation to choose from.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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1 year ago

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