Are you tired of the typical summer vacation at the beach? Do you and your family crave something a little different for a change? People who crave adventure often think outside the box and end up having the time of their lives. It's your turn to try something a bit out of your wheelhouse. Is your biggest apprehension lack of imagination? Here are some great ideas.
Explore The Great Outdoors
Consider that Nature itself encompasses the Great Outdoors. Of course the beach is outdoors, but how about combining the thought of swimming with fresh water instead of salt water in the form of a classic cabin in the woods. Choices are endless if you start with one thing that is most important. Let's say in this case it's swimming. Yes, you could rent a cabin with a community pool, or it could be on a beach. But if we are truly thinking outside the box here, let's say we rent a beautiful log cabin and to go swimming, we could spend the day hiking to a waterfall above a beautiful pristine lake. You could take a picnic lunch in your outdoor backpack and totally enjoy a natural setting of beauty while you cool off in fresh water with a beautiful scenic backdrop.
Are You Drawn To The Mountains?
Anyone can see the Grand Canyon from an airplane or helicopter tour. What if you actually explored its grandeur not just by passing over it, but by camping IN it? Mather Campground on the South rim (open year round) and the North Rim Campground (open May 15-Oct 31) are great places you can drive to within the Grand Canyon National Park. Become a huge part of nature and enjoy breathtaking scenery right outside your tent. Some campgrounds have full hookups for RV's. Google searches can help you find the best resources. Chances are you will want to explore, which is easy to do with a daypack backpack. You could even go on a guided tour if you are new to hiking.
How About Exploring Arizona On Horseback?
Just east of Tucson Arizona, at the base of the Rincon Mountains near Saguaro National Park sits a 60,000-acre ranch stocked with 180 horses called the Tanque Verde Ranch. It is also deemed the Best Dude Ranch in Arizona. Both basic horseback riding for beginners and advanced riders can take a lesson and then trot or gallop off into the sunset for a private meadow picnic.
For the non-horseback riders, 600 acres of single track mountain biking trails snake through the property, daily guided hikes cover miles of hiking trails, and there's a 1.5-acre lake stocked with bluegill and large-mouth bass.
Who Knew There Was Fun In The Desert?
Typically people think of desert as vast emptiness, with no scenery or excitement. That is just not so. Visit Joshua Tree National Park in California where two deserts meet, the Mojave and the Colorado. You can experience nature in a rock-climbing experience where you can even attend a rock-climbing school. Camping at Indian Creek or Black Rock campgrounds would give you a great nature fix with a chance to observe its signature Joshua trees and geologic wonders. Observe large herds of bighorn sheep and black-tailed jack rabbits. Guides are available for any aspect of the entire park which is larger than Rhode Island. You could easily fill up a week climbing every rock and hiking every trail.
Explore Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
How does a Spa Oasis sound to you? Ojo Caliente's sulfur-free, geothermal mineral waters flow from a subterranean volcanic aquifer that can heat up to 109 degrees. This area about halfway between Taos and Santa Fe has been a spa oasis ever since the ancestors of today's Native American Tewa tribes built pueblos surrounding the hot springs in the 15th century. Public pools; Lithia, Iron, Soda, and Arsenic, can now be enjoyed for soaking. They've been upgraded with a new ozone and UV light filtration system to keep them clean and chlorine-free. Why not explore the 12 miles of mesa-top hiking and mountain biking trails, a wine bar and three private soaking pools with outdoor fireplaces. Hikers can relax afterwards with four spacious new massage therapy rooms after a long excursion on the trail.
These are just a few examples of tempting things to do on a nature loving vacation. We would love to hear from you if you have visited any of these places, or other places where you felt totally connected to the Great Outdoors for some zen time. Whatever choice you make, make it memorable.