A summer vacation doesn’t have to bring your race training or weight loss plan to a screeching halt. Pick a spot with breathtaking views and schedule plenty of activity, like hiking, cycling, or even tackling a daunting fitness feat. Need some ideas? Try these nine domestic destinations.
1. Hike the Cascades Mount Rainier National Park, WA
This high-mountain playground has a trail to match every hiker’s ability. If you’re up for an easy walk along lakes and through wildflower-filled meadows, check out the 3.8-mile Lodge and Beaver Lake Trail, a 3 out of 10 in terms of difficulty. Seasoned ground stompers will enjoy the more challenging Naches Peak Loop. It’s 4.1 miles long, a 5 out of 10 in terms of difficulty, and offers stellar views of Mount Rainier. Visit nps.gov/mora for more info.
2. Do Yoga at Wanderlust Bondville, VT, June 21 to 24, 2012; Copper, CO, July 5 to 8; North Lake Tahoe, CA, July 26 to 29
If long lines, park rangers, and kitschy souvenirs aren’t your cup of tea, check out Wanderlust, a four-day festival full of yoga workouts and live music. Spend your days participating in a lineup of classes taught by top instructors, then rock out to performers like Ziggy Marley and Ani Difranco each night. Day passes start at $99, while 4-day all-access tickets are $475.
3. Take a Running Tour Multiple cities in the US
Sightseeing on foot? Boring. Pick up the pace by signing up for a City Running Tours group run in one of 10 US cities, from Austin to New York to Seattle. Hit up the National Mall in DC, explore Grant Park in Chicago, climb the art museum stairs that Rocky made famous in Philadelphia, and more. Group runs range from $25 to $40.
4.Bike Through Wine Country Northern California
It must be fate: The region that produces some of the best wine grapes is also one of the world’s premier cycling destinations. Trek Travel’s California Wine Country Tour is an obvious choice for cycling enthusiasts, but amateurs with a taste for adventure (and full-bodied pinot) won’t be left in the dust. Each day’s itinerary boasts turn-by-turn directions for short, basic, and long rides that lead guests through the twisting trails of wine country.
5.Pump Iron at Muscle Beach Venice, CA
If you dream of getting ripped alongside bodybuilding legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger, the closest you may get is Muscle Beach. This iconic open-air weight pen is packed with a mix of free weight and plate-loaded machines offering lifters a chance to work on their tans while building their biceps. Even if you’re a little less than jacked, the muscle mecca is a popular spot for average-Joe tourists who want to bench-press a piece of history. Cost is $10 per day.
6.Train for a Triathlon Scottsdale, AZ
The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa offers a triple-threat of a vacation for triathletes looking to beef up their swimming, running, and cycling skills. During this three-day fitness adventure, aspiring athletes train with Sanctuary’s team of experts—including Olympic gold-medal swimmer Misty Hyman—and focus on a different aspect of triathlon each day. Mornings begin with a power breakfast, and days end with a spa treatment.
7.Rock Climb and Raft Jackson Hole, WY
For the aspiring thrill-seeker—or thrill-seeking family—who wants a taste of mountain adventure, Jackson Hole offers opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, rafting, and rock climbing all within steps of each other. Jackson Hole Resort Lodging is a great place to start planning your Grand Teton National Park getaway. Three-day packages start at $209 per person based on two adults and two children 12 or under.
8.Tackle the Toughest Race of Your Life Leadville, CO
If you have zero desire to relax on vacation, sign up for any part of the Leadville Race Series. Colorado's Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race is known the world over thanks to Lance Armstrong who crossed the line first in 2009. But that event is child's play compared to its fleet-footed cousin, the Leadville Trail 100 Run, a 100-mile race at an elevation of more than 10,000 feet.
9.Run the Maui Marathon Maui, HI; September 16, 2012
Can’t find the motivation to train for your next marathon? Sign up for a run through paradise. With more than 17 of its 26.2 miles skirting the Pacific Ocean, the point-to-point Maui Marathon course takes runners past ocean views, towering cliffs, extinct volcano crater rims, and roadside hula dancers. 26.2 not for you? Run the half-marathon or 5-K instead.
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