Soar like a bird … on a wire, that is, at Trapeze School New York. (Photo: Alamy)
Whether your summer to-do list includes excitement of the heart-racing variety or you prefer sticking with adventures of a gentler nature, there’s serious satisfaction ahead. With an understanding that one person’s adventure may be another’s “Are you kidding me? I’m not doing that!” here are 10 of the world’s best adventure outings. Choose one that fits your desired level of pulse pounding — or if you dare, go even bigger.
10. Step Out in Acadia National Park, Maine
Take a break from eating Maine lobster — don’t worry, there’s plenty more out there — to step out into Acadia National Park. With trails that rate from “very easy” to “strenuous,” there’s an adventure for people of all abilities. One of the best bits about hiking Acadia: A single outing can take you deep into the woods and out along the waterfront where the blast of a foghorn will pull your gaze out to the sea and back in time.
9. Fly High at Trapeze School New York; New York City
Take a leap, quite literally, over Manhattan with a beginner lesson at Trapeze School New York. Within just a few hours, you’ll swing high from a bar, wondering why you ever gave up that run-away-with-the-circus idea. Feeling strong? There’s a good chance you’ll get to try your first midair flip. Worry not; you’ll be schooled by master trapeze artists who will have your back — as will the net when, finally, you let go and fall back to Earth.
8. Climb an Active Volcano at Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador
You’ll bump along the road into the park in your guide’s 4×4 for quite some time before arriving at the base of the volcano — this trip isn’t for anybody with a sensitive keister. The park has a stunning, raw look about it. Wild horses may keep you company along the way. Then, step out and start climbing the volcano’s slope, which tops out at 19,347 feet. Up, up, up you go. Casual hikers — like, ok, you — should not attempt to go all the way to the top. That requires skills and equipment. Leave that task to the experienced mountains climbers. Watch for the vibrant purplish-blue chochos flowers, hearty little buggers that do well in dry soil and inhospitable weather. (Do bring layers. Cotopaxi gets cold.) No need to worry about lava here. The volcano spat out a bunch of steam in 2015, the last time it came to life, but that’s about as far as things went.
7. Forage for Your Supper with Puck’s Plenty; Stratford, Ontario, Canada
Step into the woods around Stratford, Ontario, with first-rate forager Peter Blush, who runs the Puck’s Plenty tours. (Yes, named for Shakespeare’s character.) Blush will teach you and your friends how to find new and made-that-day wild delights to cook up. The season of events — usually one per month — might start with a day dedicated to wild leeks before moving on to early summer fiddleheads or, later, many a mushroom. Each outing finishes off with a meal made from your finds — and other marvels from local purveyors.
6. Get your Stoke on Ziplining the North Shore; Keana Farms, Oahu, Hawaii
Get a new view of the North Shore — and a lush working farm (oh, papayas!) — with a zippy trip down CLIMB Works Oahu zip line. With eight zip lines running side by side, you can whoop it up with friends and family the whole way down. The three-hour tour includes an ATV ride to the ridgetop, rappels and several zipline sections ranging from 500 to 2,400 feet. Off you go!
5. Antique for 690 miles on the World’s Longest Yard Sale; from Alabama to Michigan
Eat your protein because this is shopping as a stamina sport. Starting in Gadsden, Alabama, and stretching up to Addison, Michigan, the sale features everything from tables in front of people’s houses to some of the best antique shops in the Southeast. The World’s Longest Yard Sale, also known as the 127 Corridor Sale for the highway the sale clings to most of the way, there’s more than a bit of something for everyone. (And several things that might leave you wondering who in the world would want that?) Haggle, haggle, haggle. These goods are not always priced to move, at first. But with some good sportsmanship and a willingness to walk away, you’ll get what you’re after. Or find something a 100 miles later.
4. Speed Away at Dream Racing, Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Las Vegas, Nevada
Lamborghini. Ferrari. Porsche. Aston Martin! The names roll through your mind. You hope one day you’ll drive them. Make it one day soon. Sign on to slip into your dream ride and run laps around the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It’s a sure bet that your heart will be pumping, and yeah, you’ll skip out on handing your bucks to card dealers at the tables in order to sign up for five more laps in your Lamborghini Gallardo. Or maybe the Ferrari 458? Ah, try them both.
3. Team Up with a Hawk at Ireland’s School of Falconry; Cong, County Mayo, Ireland
You’ll soar far while standing still when you have a hawk on your hand. Becoming a master falconer may be a long way off, but your first experience of slipping on the falconer’s glove and welcoming a Harris hawk as your charge will be far more than most of your friends will ever do. At the School of Falconry you’ll learn the basics — and start dreaming of your own life in falconry — as you wander the woodlands with your new teammate.
2. Roll Through Paris at Night with the Pari-Roller Association; Paris
You’ll never look at nightlife in Paris the same way after seeing the sights via rollerblade in the company of (up to) a few thousand rollerbladers. This weekly Friday night outing with the Pari-Roller Association runs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. and is best for those who can rollerblade without toppling over every few feet. After all, it’s not like Paris shuts down to let the crowd roll through.
1. Start your Kiteboarding Obsession with Kite the Bay, San Francisco, CA
The learning curve is steep, but with an expert kiteboarder showing you the ropes, it’ll be swift, too. The beginner lesson with Kite the Bay starts with students flying their kites from the comfort of the company boat, which launches from Clipper Cove just off Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. Once you get that down? Into the water you go. A few trips more and you’ll be kiteboarding in the company of the Golden Gate Bridge.