Pismo Beach, CA | Atlantic Beach, NC | Cordova, AK
Jacksonville, FL | Kahului, HI | Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Median Home Price: $175,900
Average July Water Temperature: 83°F (28°C)
The Scene: Jacksonville contains all the action (and employment) of a big city, veined by the natural habitat of the St. Johns River estuaries. At Jacksonville the river's freshwater meets the Atlantic, making for perfect marsh paddling and ocean strolling along 20 miles (32 kilometers) of white-sand beach.
OPTIONS: With the largest city park system in the country all that's missing is mountains. Still, the dunes of Atlantic Beach make for challenging mountain biking, and along the Baldwin Trailhead, a former rail corridor, ride through some of the city's most pristine forests. Birder's heaven lies in the marshes of Timucuan Preserve, ospreys, bald eagles, herons, and the endangered wood stork.
OUTFITTERS: Kayak the shoreline and see sting rays flip-flopping four feet over your boat to evade feeding dolphins with Nautical Escapes (www.nauticalescapes.com).
GOOD EATS: The coconut shrimp is divine at the Thai Room (+1 904 249 8444).
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Adventure's September 2006 issue features 31 amazing adventure towns; chaos at the top of Mount Everest; an inside look at surfing California's Lost Coast; 11 fall weekend getaways near you; the best high-tech footwear, world class adventure travel; hiking the Alps, and more!