Summer is around the corner. Which means it’s time to shake off hibernation and get outdoors to explore a new area through a little adventure. Here’s a guide to the best outdoor adventures in each of our destinations in Florida, New York, and Maine.
Florida East Coast & Keys
Key West is the perfect destination to cram all of your water adventures into one bell-to-bell day. Fury Water Adventures “Ultimate Adventure” combines a catamaran trip seven miles out to a reef for snorkeling, followed by equal doses of jet-skiing, parasailing, and sea kayaking that will leave you pleasantly spent and salt encrusted.
Where to Stay Sunset Key Cottages
Barefoot waterskiing might sound too extreme, but Walkin on Water ski school will teach you how to naturally progress to standing sans skis or board, regardless of prior on-water experience. Owner and National Barefoot Waterskiing Champion Mike Frankenbush focuses on getting you in the proper stance to minimize arch ache and maximize photo ops.
First, there was sea kayaking; then stand-up paddling became the watersport du jour. Perhaps surfskiing is next. For those looking to take their paddling to the next level, a surfski is like a longer, narrower, lighter-weight sit-on-top sea kayak with foot-pedal-controlled rudder for cutting through surf and flat water at greater speeds. Jupiter Outdoor Center offers individual coaching, as well as rentals, of the 17-foot boards for exploring in and around the Jupiter Inlet.
Where to Stay Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa
Florida Gulf Coast
If you hitched a motorcycle and sidecar to a hang-glider, you have the equivalent of sky surfing. Here above the kaleidoscopic colors and islands of the Gulf of Mexico, it means you become a part of that painting.
When you’ve got this many holes to play within such a small radius, the adventure comes in cramming an epic golf weekend with as many holes as you can muster. Get the most bang for your birdie buck by hitting two of the biggest: 45 holes over two courses at The Resort at Longboat Key Club and 54 holes over three courses at The Meadows Country Club, within a 10-mile drive of each other.
Treasure Island is often reserved for lazy beach days, but part of an adventure is bragging rights, and saying you walked an entire island in an hour is right up there. A series of connecting paved boardwalks takes you by shops and restaurants and along the beach with largely unobstructed views of the water the whole way. Take the newly revamped mile-long Treasure Island Beach Trail with turtle-friendly LED lights for walking at night.
Where to Stay Treasure Island Beach Resort
For budding nature photographers, there’s perhaps no better spot to train your lens than the crawling swamps of the Everglades. These Everglades photo tours give you three hours of up-close-and-personal flora and fauna encounters, accessed via pole boats that won’t disturb the natives when you’re quietly moving from location to location.
Where to Stay Edgewater Beach Hotel
Sea kayaking out to the Porcupine Islands is a two-for-one adventure: Not only do you get to explore the waters off Acadia National Park, but you also stretch your legs on this uninhabited necklace of islands in Frenchman Bay. A three-hour tour with Aquaterra Adventures takes you on the scenic route with harbor seal, bald eagle, and guillemot sightings on the way to the cobblestone beaches and sheer ledges.
There are plenty of ways to relax and unwind at Samoset Resort (zero-entry pool, anyone?), but the Ultimate Backyard offers not-your-average-resort activities without ever having to leave the property, like a nine-hole disc golf course, pickleball, shuffleboard, badminton, croquet, and horseshoes.
Where to Stay Samoset Resort
New York Adirondacks
The six-mile hike up Black Mountain may be strenuous, but the rewards are plentiful: views of the entire northern portion of Lake George, access to one of the few remaining fire towers in the Adirondacks, and crystal-clear waters of Lapland Pond for cooling off.
Where to Stay The Sagamore Resort
With six million acres ripe for exploring, Adirondack Park can best be viewed vertically. Even the easiest rock climb, like McKenzie Pond in Ray Brook, can still get your heart racing when traversing the slabs, roofs, and highballs of massive granite boulders.
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge