WaypointsPursuing Places of Passion

America The Beautiful: 50 States, 50 Landscapes

Published on 05/08/2014

by Arya Roerig , Michael Arriola

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  • Alabama

    Home to the tail end of the Appalachian Mountain Chain you can take your fair share of adventures into the woods. Spend a day hiking through thick forests or rock climbing in places like Horse Pens 40. Want a little sun? Head down to the Gulf Coast for a dip in the sea.  

  • Alaska

    This is one place in the United States where the term “wild” still seems true. Experience the Aurora Borealis amongst snow covered mountains for a light show not seen elsewhere. Alaska is also home to Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in the United States.   

  • Arizona

    Home to the Grand Canyon you can experience this state hiking canyon trails, rafting rivers, and gazing at endless stars. Littered with mountains, parks, and towns like Sedona that will bring you back to the old west, Arizona is one state not to overlook. Make sure you check the temperature for when you want to visit, as it can get toasty.

  • Arkansas

    Spend some time in the Ozark Mountains where the Valley’s run deep and the rivers offer multiple forms of fun. Spend a day floating down Little Red River or find a tucked away steam for some fishing. Hikers have the option of jumping on a couple of longer trails such as the 168-mile Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail. 

  • California

    Where the mountains hit the sea. Wake up and catch a couple of waves off the coast and then spend your afternoon hiking amongst the giant Redwoods. California is an adventurer’s paradise with endless options for exploration from SoCal to San Francisco. 

  • Colorado

    Colorado draws people from around the country because of the States mountains. With 58 peaks reaching over 14,000 feet you can spend your lifetime checking these bad boys off the list. Most people in the state have more than one hobby thanks to the accessibility of rock climbing, hiking, kayaking and more. 

  • Connecticut

    Spend a day kayaking to the lighthouse on the Norwalk islands or hike to one of 51 rustics sites in Macedonia State Park. During the spring, when snowmelt peaks, enjoy trekking to one of Connecticut’s hidden waterfalls.    

  • Delaware

    The Delaware Coast is home to award winning beaches, such as Cape Henlopen State Park where you can even bring your car on the sand. If you are looking for a bit more adventure, zip lining through Lums Pond State Park. The coastal forests and scenic waterways will make this state easy on the eyes.  

  • Florida

    Florida and Beaches go hand in hand. Explore the Florida Keys for the best snorkeling in the lower 48. Heading inland? Many people skip over the natural cold springs Florida has to offer such as Blue Spring and Silver Spring. Perfect for a hot day these springs offer great wildlife viewing, boating, and snorkeling. 

  • Georgia

    Check off a potion of the Appalachian Trail while you’re in Georgia with a start from Andrews Cove, Jarrad Gap, or Bryon Herbert Reece. If speed is your priority take a ride down Georgia’s best Mountain Biking single track in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve. 

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  • Hawaii

    Get lost in Kaui's jagged peaks and remote beaches for a real Hawaiian experience. Spend the day surfing the best waves offered in the U.S. Take a drive up The Road to Hana where you can bathe under cooling waterfalls and swim along red sand beaches. 

  • Idaho

    Idaho’s landscape provides a variety of opportunities for an adventure vacation. The Bruneau Dunes (tallest single-structured sand dune in the U.S.) will give you a new take on “surfing”.  Rock climbers never pass up a chance to experience some of Idaho’s premiere routes at The City of Rocks. 

  • Illinois

    Driving through the Illinois plains you might not realize the adventure ahead. Beautiful hiking trails fill the state in places like the Garden of the Gods in the Shawnee National Forest. You can even head to Chicago for some outdoor fun such as exploring one of the many beaches along Lake Michigan or kayaking through the Chicago River (Yes, this is the one they die green during St. Patrick’s Day).

  • Indiana

    Indiana can surprise when it comes to a day in the great outdoors. Check out Bloomington for some caving or take a dip into the limestone quarries. Spend endless days hiking through the 200,000 acres of terrain in Hoosier National Forest. 

  • Iowa

    A state well known for its corn, which seems endless as you drive along Highway 80 through Iowa. But Iowans enjoy their outdoors as much as the next person. Join in on the annual bike ride across Iowa, Ragbrai, for a portion or the entire thing, which ends up being close to 500 miles. Or spend a hot summer day at one of Iowa’s many lakes cruising around on Jet skis or speedboats. 

  • Kansas

    Another state where there is no shortage of lakes, Kansas holds over 150 of them, making watersports a favorite here. Put the boat in and enjoy a day of wakeboarding or waterskiing. If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxing try fishing at the scenic Cedar Bluff Reservoir and State Park. 

  • Ketucky

    Would you have ever thought Kentucky was home to the world’s longest cave system? Well, explore the 4,000 passageways covered in stalagmites and stalactites. The caves are located in the 53,000-acre Mammoth Cave National Park. After that be sure to check out the Thoroughbred Center where you can watch as trainers prep horses to become winners. 

  • Louisiana

    Louisiana is home to the Bayou and what better way to explore it than kayaking through its waters. The unique vegetation and wildlife will be an experience not to forget. When on land you can get your mountain biking fix on the Lincoln Parish Park Trail which many bikers rank as one of the best trails in the country. 

  • Maine

    There is plenty of adventure to be had in Maine. Rock climbers should head to the wondrous Acadia National Park to climb the pink granite cliffs. Everyone has to try the lobster but why not go Scuba Diving and catch your own.

  • Maryland

    Maryland’s most popular attraction is the beautiful Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Here you can spend a day relaxing on the beaches or catching some surf in an ocean kayak. Deep Creek lake is a place to please everyone with great day hikes and quiet campgrounds.  

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  • Massachusetts

    Tie in a day at the beach with a bike ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Massachusetts. If your looking for that adrenaline rush raft, zip line, climb, or bike through the Deerfield River Area. 

  • Michigan

    Bring the jeep or jump in a dune buggy to explore some of the 300,000 acres of sand dunes Michigan has to offer. As the weather changes enjoy the colors of fall but make sure to bundle up for a serious winter ahead. Bring your skis and check out the Boyne Ski Resort. 

  • Minnesota

    The Boundary Waters of Minnesota (Bordering Canada) are well known for there majestic woods and lakes to canoe through, even getting a spot on National Geographic’s list of “must-see” destinations. Minnesota is also home to the Chippewa and Superior National forests which will give Mountain Bikers hundreds of miles to explore. 

  • Mississippi

    Paddle through one Mississippi’s many rivers or lakes through towering trees or hop on a bike to explore a portion of the Mississippi River Trail that runs through 10 states and is 200 years old. Camping can bring you to the Gulf Coast all the way up to the Northern rim for a wide range of scenery. 

  • Missouri

    Explore some boulders dating back to a billion years ago in Elephant Rocks State Park and cool off afterward in The Shut –ins; a unique watering hole along the Black River. Missouri is also home to one of the biggest subterranean entry rooms in the U.S. ,which is located in Marvel Cave in Branson. 

  • Montana

    Whether your skiing at Big Sky or tromping around Glacier National Park, Montana is home to some of the most spectacular outdoor activities and attracts outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. Yellowstone National Park will open your eyes with spouting geysers, natural hot springs, and roaming buffalo.  

  • Nebraska

    The State name Nebraska translates to  “flat water” and for good reason with over 450 river, lakes, and streams. Take a day on the boat for some wakeboarding or waterskiing to get a taste for Nebraska’s landscape.

  • Nevada

    Check out the thousands of rock climbing routes in Red Rock ranging from easy sport to hard trad routes. Is snow is on your mind head over to South Lake Tahoe for some skiing (and even some gambling). 

  • New Hampshire

    With 19 State Parks you will have your pick at lakeside camping or hiking a bit further into your site. Crawford State Park is highly recommended for those looking for a more wilderness feel.

  • New Jersey

    Catch some surf along the happening Jersey Shore or break your way away from the city life and experience the beautiful forests and camping New Jersey Has to offer.

  • New Mexico

    Drive across New Mexico at night and your sure to catch the brightest shooting star you have ever seen. Ever relate skiing with NM? Well Taos will open your eyes to a new world of skiing terrain!

  • New York

    New York is not just NYC. There are endless opportunities to explore the outdoors here. Head up to the Adirondacks and paddle one of the 3,000 bodies of water. This park covers 1/5 of New York Covering six million acres.

  • North Carolina

    The South. Crush the humidity with a trip to the Outer Banks and choose your adventure. Spend a day on the Dunes learning to fly Hang Gliders or kayak the sound at night and watch as the florescent krill illuminate around you. 

  • North Dakota

    Ice fishing and hunting are the bread and butter of the North Dakota outdoor landscape but they only scratch the surface of what this state has to offer. Go on an off-road ATV excursion, mountain bike a section of the 96-mile Maah Daah Hey Trail, hit famous national and state park trails on horseback or hike in for an overnight camping trip. 

  • Ohio

    The rugged hills, steep inclines and fabulous trees that make up the state's park system are the perfect backdrop for mountain bike enthusiasts looking to explore the shores of Lake Erie. After a tough ride, relax by exploring the states burgeoning wine country.

  • Oklahoma

    A rare combination of outdoor activities make Oklahoma a unique adventure destination. Hunt for wild hogs, go parasailing or scuba diving in northeast Oklahoma's lakes or feel the adrenaline rush of a wakeboarding park where you navigate jump ramps while being towed by cables instead of boats in central Oklahoma.

  • Oregon

    Opportunities for having your breath taken away abound in Oregon. Climb Mount Hood and see the peak's stunning visage reflected as a shadow in a pink morning sky as you look toward the coast. Or try carving through the powder at Mount Bachelor Ski Resort, one of the largest ski areas in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Pennsylvania

    Nestled between the huge industrial cities of Pennsylvania are some of the most beautiful wilderness areas of the east. Catch largemouth bass, rainbow trout and walleye in the lakes and rivers of the Poconos Mountains.

  • Rhode Island

    Featuring the best in seaside attractions like sailing and jet skiing, the smallest state in the nation proudly lays claim to the old-fashioned New England clambake. A beachside tradition featuring lobsters and clams steamed to perfection right on the shore, often over a raging beach fire. 

  • South Carolina

    From "the most beautiful mountain lake in the nation" to the white sand beaches and islands of the coast, South Carolina offers a bit of something for everyone. Alligator swamp tours can be had the same day as whitewater rafting and sleeping under the starts in this coastal paradise.

  • South Dakota

    Hike and climb in the Black Hills or get beautiful views of the night sky in the prairies of the Badlands. 

  • Tennessee

    You have to love Chattanooga. Known as a premier outdoor destination, this small town has access to some of the nation’s top venues for rock climbing, road and mountain biking, hiking and white-water rafting with all the charm of the mid-south.

  • Texas

    Everything is indeed bigger in Texas. At least when it comes to adventure.Catch a few rays in South Padre Island National Seashore for some of the most remote beaches on the Gulf. Or live out your cowboy dreams with an old fashioned rodeo.

  • Utah

    Utah is a paradise for the outdoor enthusiast. Crush insane powder at any one of the state’s pristine resorts in the winter or hike through impossibly tight slot canyons during the summer. The mountain biking mecca of Moab could fuel just about anyone’s need for dirt while the Mighty 5 National Parks allow for endless exploring.

  • Vermont

    Burton Snowboards is located in Burlington, VT, for good reason. Ride the slopes of the Green Mountains in the winter and take hundreds of hiking or riding trails in the summer.

  • Virginia

    Virginia may be for lovers but its wilderness and water areas are for pure adrenaline junkies. Ride whitewater on the James River or deep-sea fish off the Chesapeake Bay.

  • Washington

    The Pacific Northwest is an outdoorsman’s favorite destination for a million reasons. The two major ranges, the Cascade Range and the Olympic Mountains, both offer opportunities for hardcore climbing or mountain biking as well as peaceful hikes through a stand of old-growth forest. 

  • West Virginia

    West Virginia is called “wild and wonderful” for a reason. Take a hike on 375 miles of historic rail or scenic trails. Experienced rock climbers can test their skills at the famed New River Gorge, the area around towering Seneca Rocks.

  • Wisconsin

    Kayak the chilly Lake Superior waters around the Apostle Islands, take in the natural wonders of Wisconsin Dells or camp around one of thousands of lakes in the north woods.

  • Wyoming

    The Wyoming landscape ranges from the High Plains to the west to the Eastern Rocky Mountains in the east. Hike and climb in rugged and beautiful backcountry of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks or hit the slopes around laidback Jackson Hole.

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