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Adventure Travel Rebound: 9 Trip Ideas for 2021

Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers.

Adventure travel is expected to recover about three to four years before mass travel – and grow more rapidly, according to a recent report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) at the first-ever Adventure Travel Xpo,. In fact, tourism ministers and secretaries around the world have identified adventure and nature travel as leading segments in the travel industry’s restart.

Here are nine adventure travel vacation ideas for 2021. 
 
1. Ecuadorian Amazon Adventure: Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers. It features luxury accommodations, first-class meals and expert native guides. Step into the heart of the animal and bird kingdom, home to eight species of monkeys, 50 species of bats, anteaters, three-toed sloths, ocelots, and birds of more colors than you could ever imagine. https://www.sachalodge.com/

2. MTB Hut System in Southern Utah: The new Aquarius Trail Hut System offers a backcountry mountain biking experience like no other in the region. A system of five huts furnished with beds, a bathroom and a fully stocked kitchen has been strategically placed along a 190-mile route through some of Utah’s most scenic backcountry.  https://aquariustrail.com/

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com/

4. Ride the Mighty Mississippi: Join Cycle of Life Adventures on a 2,057-mile bike tour from the humble headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota’s Lake Itasca to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans. Along the way, pass Minnesota’s many lakes, the metropolises of Minneapolis, St. Louis and Memphis, the rolling farmlands of Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, and the levees of Louisiana. And while the tour is southbound, it isn’t all downhill. Take on the entire 33-day trek or any one of four shorter stages. https://cycleoflifeadventures.com/

5. City Slicker Dude Ranch Retreat: At Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, guests stay in fully stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. https://red-reflet-ranch.net/

6. Galapagos Glamping: Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is situated in the highlands of Isabela Island on the slopes of a volcano, about 20 minutes from the town of Puerto Villamil. The modern, luxurious, safari-style tent resort is in the middle of a magical forest with a spectacular view of the coast of Isabela Island, the Pacific Ocean, and other islands of the Galapagos archipelago dotting the horizon. http://www.scalesialodge.com/

7. Tiny House Basecamp: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/

8. Cycle Across the USA: Plan an epic bike tour or bikepacking trip of your own with the assistance of the Adventure Cycling Association. To help riders find their way, the organization offers maps for 50,000 miles of bike routes through the U.S. and into Canada, the Bicycle Route Navigator app and other resources. Cross the country on the TransAmerica Trail, ride the Rockies on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route or try a shorter adventure in between. https://www.adventurecycling.org/

9. Yellowstone Adventure: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity for outdoor adventures in the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of the world’s first national park. https://thewilsonhotel.com/

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6 Post Vaccination Vacations

Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences.

President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that the United States will have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults by the end of May – two months earlier than previously thought – is promising news for travelers. Precautions will still need to be taken, of course, but domestic travel is likely to be popular again this summer, highlighted by national parks, active trips and travel where physical distancing is possible. Here are six dream vacations to take this summer once you’ve gotten your shots.

1. Long-Weekend Cycling: Adventure Cycling Association is offering a new collection of long-weekend tours close metropolitan areas to make it easy to give bike travel a try. Options include taking in the crisp mountain air and stunning vistas while cycling around the stunning Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, or leaving behind the hustle and bustle of New York City to bike up the Hudson River valley and visit peaceful state parks. https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/long-weekend-tours/

2. Greater Yellowstone Adventures: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity to explore the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking at Big Sky Resort, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of Yellowstone. https://thewilsonhotel.com/

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com  

4. Channel Your Inner Cowboy: “Yellowstone,” the wildly popular cable television series starring Kevin Costner, has sparked newfound interest in luxury dude ranch vacations. Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, has experienced a surge of guests booking five-figure vacations because of their love for the series. Guests stay in fully-stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. https://red-reflet-ranch.net/

5. Idaho Hot Springs, Camping and Cycling: Escape Adventures is excited to offer a multiday cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most scenic natural hot springs. The tour includes five days of transfixing road rides – including over the highest paved road in the American Northwest – colorful mining towns, wild rivers and remote natural hot springs. https://escapeadventures.com/tour/sawtooth-mountains-idaho-road-bike-tour

6. Retreat to a Teton Tiny House: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort is Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s most innovative take on resort town lodging. The resort embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/

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Adventure Cycling Association Offers Biking Trips to the Islands

Biking the Shining Sea trail, Cape Cod © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

MISSOULA, MT- Because of limited access, biking in an island destination can be the perfect getaway. In 2021, Adventure Cycling Association is offering active tours to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket (https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/self-contained-tours/cape-cod-the-islands/), the San Juan Islands, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Of the four itineraries, only Cape Cod and the Islands still has availability. Spend a week cycling along the beautiful Atlantic Ocean shoreline, viewing seaports, glacially formed kettle ponds, and lighthouses of southeastern Massachusetts, visiting historic sites from the days of colonial America, and exploring quaint shops on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Attractions of special interest include Cape Cod National Seashore; a full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower; the preserved village of New Bedford, once the whaling capital of the world; and the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center. Every day on this tour is spent within 15 miles of the Atlantic, and each night close to a large body of freshwater or saltwater.

This level 1 tour is suitable for all riders and is a great choice for anyone looking to learn the basics of self-contained touring, or for an experienced bicycle traveler looking for a week of relaxed cycling. The riding is relaxed, services are plentiful, and the campgrounds are outstanding. (Sept 11-18, 2021 8 days, $1349, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/self-contained-tours/cape-cod-the-islands/)

The other tours have waiting lists:

Puerto Rico, Inn to Inn: The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is characterized by a mist-shrouded interior mountain range, long stretches of sand beaches, and numerous forest reserves, including El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System. The route we’ll follow focuses on coastal towns and the regions encircling the central highlands with side excursions to interior sites and small neighboring islands. This tropical adventure begins and ends in San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico, founded in 1521 by the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Travel back 500 years to Spanish colonial times by strolling down cobblestone streets, admiring ancient architecture and visiting museums, fortresses, and churches. The tour circumnavigates the island on a 339-mile journey visiting beaches, snorkeling, enjoying local cuisine, and appreciating the beauty of this tropical paradise. (Dec 5-16, 12 days, $3599, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/inn-to-inn-tours/puerto-rico-inn-to-inn/)

Washington’s San Juan Islands, Inn to Inn: This weeklong inn-to-inn tour weaves along the glorious northwestern coastline of Washington’s Puget Sound and through its famous San Juan Islands, offering an irresistible combination of manageable daily mileages and world-class scenery. The tour spends days leisurely pedaling the waterfront, spinning inland through fertile farmlands and scenic villages full of interesting shops and top-notch seafood restaurants. On several days, cycling is broken up by ferry rides, with a chance to spot orca whales, seals, and bald eagles.  (Level 3, 8 days, Sept 4-11, $2699, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/inn-to-inn-tours/wa-san-juan-islands-inn-to-inn/

Hawaii-3 Island Inn to Inn features Maui, Molokai, and Lanai, three of Hawaii’s most beautiful islands. On Maui, ride along stunning coastal roads and make an epic climb from sea level to the top of the Haleakala volcano at 10,000 feet — one of the world’s longest paved climbs! A small plane takes cyclists and bikes on the short 15-minute flight to Molokai for three days of cycling on quiet roads with views of gorgeous valleys and the world’s tallest sea cliffs. A ferry takes the group out on the ocean, past migrating humpback whales to Lanai for a day of exploration by bike or shuttle van, or with snorkel and fins, before returning to Maui. The inn-to-inn format means restaurant meals, overnight accommodations at hotels and inns and riding lightly loaded bikes while experiencing a tropical paradise. (Level 4, 11 days, $4,999, Dec 3-13, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/inn-to-inn-tours/hawaii-3-island-inn-to-inn/)

Adventure Cycling Association, with 52,000 members and 50,000 miles of mapped routes, has great articles on trip planning at its site (www.adventurecycling.org, 800-755-2453).

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6 Fall Vacations to Escape the Crowds

Take a fall foliage road trip by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business offering fully stocked Mercedes-Benz Sprinter overland adventure vehicles from Winnebago with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, a free annual pass to national parks and 24-hour roadside assistance.

Crisp cool air, colorful foliage, and fewer travelers clogging up the highways makes fall the perfect time to take a vacation. Whether you are driving an RV across the country, exploring a national park, playing cowboy at a dude ranch, or leaf peeping by bicycle, we have rounded up six of the best autumn vacations for every type of traveler.

  1. Fall Under the Big Sky: Fall in Big Sky, Montana, brings golden aspen and cottonwood trees, fly fishing for feisty trout and bugling elk. Hike a local trail, wade a world-class river or go on a wildlife safari in nearby Yellowstone National Park, then enjoy the hospitality and comfort of suite accommodations at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky’s Town Center. https://thewilsonhotel.com/
  2. Leaf Peeping by Bike: Take a two-wheeled tour beneath canopies of gold, orange and red leaves in the Green Mountains with Adventure Cycling Association. Plan your own trip on the Green Mountains Loop, riding from Burlington, Vermont, into New Hampshire and along the Connecticut River, then back across to New York and the shores of Lake Champlain. An organized tour is also available in 2021. https://www.adventurecycling.org/
  3. RV Fall Foliage Road Trip: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business offering fully stocked Mercedes-Benz Sprinter overland adventure vehicles from Winnebago with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, a free annual pass to national parks and 24-hour roadside assistance. https://www.blacksford.com/
  4. Glamp Near a National Park: Just minutes from Jackson Hole, Fireside Resort offers 25 pint-sized, luxuriously outfitted tiny house rental units designed by Wheelhaus. The resort is located a stone’s throw from Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole ski slopes. It is a great place to post up for a fall getaway. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com
  5. Play Cowboy at a Dude Ranch: Red Reflet Ranch is a 28,000-acre luxury resort and working ranch on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, just three hours from Yellowstone National Park. Guests stay in private chalets and enjoy family-friendly activities like horseback riding, ATVing, ziplining, swimming, hiking, fishing, shooting and feasting on farm-to-table cuisine. http://redrefletranch.com/
  6. National Park Bicycle Tour:  Escape Adventures has been leading cycling vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world since 1992. From road cyclists and mountain bikers to electric bikers, Escape Adventures offers an array of bicycle tours in iconic destinations like Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park, the Oregon Coast, and the Grand Canyon. https://escapeadventures.com

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