We've just updated our popular America's
Best Adventures feature with 50 new trips, bringing our grand total to 100 iconic escapes (see the map, state-by-state list, and photo gallery, too). So no matter what your pleasure—hiking,
heli-skiing, surfing, climbing, biking, or paddling—we've got the perfect adventure
for you. Check in each day for a new, out-the-backdoor adventure highlighted here on our blog.
By Kate Siber; Photograph by Erin Moriarty, My Shot
For sea kayakers, the San Juan Islands combine the
best of all worlds: Only an hour ferry ride from the mainland, they’re
sheltered from ocean swells by the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver
Island, and yet, with some 170 islands and islets, they offer endless
opportunities for adventure. Though kayakers can easily put in just a
few hours of paddling, doing so for several days offer a true immersion.
a five-day custom trip with outfitter Discovery Sea Kayaks, kayakers
paddle for much of each day, encountering resident endangered orcas,
porpoises, and bald eagles. The islands, some of which are still
uninhabited, are rugged and choked with forests and invite exploration
with spectacular bluffs, sandy beaches, and tide pools teeming with sea
stars up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) across. On
clear days, views of Mount Baker and the Olympic Mountains rise toward
the east and south. On dark summer evenings, kayaks form a stream of
glowing green as they ply the bioluminescent waters. Come nightfall,
guides scout a campsite on a secluded island where paddlers trade
stories over a driftwood campfire and fall asleep to the sound of the
Need to Know: Discovery Sea Kayaks’ (www.discoveryseakayak.com) five-day trips cost $875 per person. The outfitter also offers half-day, full-day, and other multiday trips.
- Nat Geo Expeditions