I spent a lot of time in the Southwest; Las Vegas, Phoenix, Lake Tahoe, but there are so many little towns near these big cities that are filled with adventure. And, if you know me, you know I love new adventures. Whether in the mountains, lakes, or rivers, these cities offer the best of outdoor activity all year long.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Everyone in Santa Fe, New Mexico hikes; or at least is seems like it. One look at the scenery, you’ll see why. The red dirt mountains and valleys behind the blue sky make for an incredible backdrop. Near every hotel, you’ll find trails for hikers of all skill levels. And, if you dare, you can try rock climbing at Camel Rock. I’m not that adventurous, but the rock formations are something to behold.
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Located in the northern part of Arizona, on the Colorado Plateau, sits Flagstaff, Arizona. This laid back town in the forest is far from lazy. In fact, the city has an extreme adventure streak, where people come from all around to push their limits. In the mountain and forest landscape, they have zip lining and rope courses. I can spend the day swinging from tree to tree like Tarzan.
For my water adventure, a stop at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada is next on the list. The area has some amazing resort hotels, as it was a planned community deep in the desert. The artificial lake offers fantastic scenery and the water is beautiful. You can take a boat trip to check out the houses of the famous residents like Celine Dion, Chris Tucker, and Natalie Gulbis (she’s a golfer). The lake offers all sorts of water sports such as paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and skiing. Just outside of Henderson is the Hoover Dam.
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Ninety miles south of Las Vegas is Laughlin, Nevada. It sits on the Colorado River where you can partake in more water activities, but I want to check out Laughlin’s nine casinos. Where the Las Vegas casinos are, in two words, enormous and crowded, the casinos in Laughlin remind me how the casinos used to be in the heyday of Vegas. For my adventure, I want to rent an ATV and take a tour of the Black Hills or watch a reenactment of the Old West in nearby Oatman, Arizona.
Boise, Idaho is known as the City of Trees, which probably means a lot of people outside enjoying them. For a small town, you might not think of action and adventure, but you’d be wrong. The city has great outdoor activities such as hiking and biking, and the weather is great in the spring and summer. One of the most popular locations for hiking is Camel’s Back Park. The park has trails that wind through the small hills and offer a spectacular view of the capital city below.
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