19 Places to Seek Adventure Around the World

February 10, 2020

Travel is an adventure in and of itself that can reduce stress, open our minds, and boost happiness and creativity. When we are exposed to new places and different cultures, our perspectives broaden. Even the act of planning a trip can help you learn new things and bring you joy by giving you something to look forward to.

Our team of Inspirato travel experts have hand-selected 19 exciting destinations for you to consider exploring this year. Dotted around the globe—from urban to off the beaten path—these trending locales are sure to offer inspiration and adventure.

Latin America & The Caribbean

Abaco, Bahamas. Abaco—a Bahamian isle surrounded by crystal-clear waters—is perfect for fishing enthusiasts. Bonefishing in the shallow flats offers a challenging thrill even for experienced anglers. And for a new adventure, try spearfishing with a local guide. Abaco is a perfect launching pad for island hopping around to nearby offshore cays, including Elbow, Great Guana, Man-O-War, and Green Turtle, where you can visit curious stingrays, swim with wild pigs, or lounge on a secluded beach.

Cartagena, Colombia. This walled colonial city by the sea feels like an open-air museum—its winding cobblestone streets leading you to bougainvillea-covered plazas, monumental churches, and Old World palaces. Cartagena’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city’s main attraction, showcasing beautifully preserved colonial architecture. It’s the perfect city to explore leisurely by foot, stopping at cafés along the way for arepas and fresh fruit smoothies, or ceviche and mojitos.

19 Places to Seek Adventure Around the World Maldives

Galápagos Islands. For the intrepid, the Galápagos Islands are a can’t-miss destination. This storied archipelago, a subject of fascination since Charles Darwin’s famous expedition in the 1830s, is one of the most richly biodiverse regions in the world. Superb wildlife-viewing—from aquatic iguanas to playful penguins—is the top draw of these isolated islands off the coast of Ecuador, and some of the best diving in the world can be found off their shores.

Turks and Caicos, British West Indies. The pace of life slows way down in the Turks and Caicos Islands, hidden at the southern tip of the Bahamian Archipelago. This destination is off the radar of many travelers, making it an exclusively luxurious getaway. Home to the third-largest coral reef system, you’re sure to spot marine life—such as rays, turtles, dolphins, or even migrating humpback whales— while snorkeling or diving in the turquoise waters. Island- hop among the 40 islands and cays to find enchanting deserted beaches, traces of colonial relics, and charming seaside bars.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Named the “World’s Best City” two years in a row by Travel + Leisure, San Miguel de Allende showcases an intriguing side of Mexico many tourists have never experienced. Wander the 500-year-old city down cobblestone lanes—still traversed by the occasional burro lugging milk and firewood—past colorful stucco structures, art galleries, jazz clubs, and bistros. Try elote (grilled corn) on a shady bench in El Jardin, the city’s plaza.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands. This Caribbean gem is the largest of the British Virgin Islands and is regarded as the sailing capital of the world. Relax on Tortola’s white-sand beaches, go snorkeling at the site of the wreck of the RMS Rhone, and shop in Road Town, BVI’s capital. Plus, a quick ferry ride to neighboring Virgin Gorda offers a chance to see the famed Baths, volcanic rock outcroppings creating tranquil grottoes and tide pools.

United States

Coastal Maine. With even more miles of coastline than California—3,478, to be precise—the northernmost state in the contiguous U.S. offers loads of coastal adventures from hiking and biking to fishing and canoeing. Take in the historic lighthouses dotting the coast, and stop over in Portland, Maine’s capital, to enjoy fresh lobster—or even try catching your own. And swing by the shops of the historic Old Port District, full of nautical delights.

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado. Originally a mining town in the 1800s, Dunton Hot Springs has been described as a perfectly restored ghost town. Rustic yet luxurious, this hideaway in the San Juan Mountains is an all-inclusive retreat boasting non- sulfurous hot springs, a spa, and world-class sustainable dining. Right outside your cabin doors is a vast wilderness with opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, heli-skiing, snowshoeing, climbing, and more. It’s an authentic Wild West experience with just the right amount of decadence.

Juneau, Alaska. The small Alaskan city of Juneau has an interesting claim to fame—it’s one of only two state capitals unconnected by road to the North American mainland (the other being Honolulu, Hawaii). But its isolation is exactly what makes it so appealing. Juneau is a popular cruise ship port surrounded by the Coast Mountains. Go see Mendenhall Glacier, a 13.6-mile-long river of ice, or catch glimpses of brown bears in Tongass National Forest.

Seattle, Washington. The largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle boasts a thriving culinary scene and ample outdoor adventures only a short drive away. Hike beautiful Mt. Rainier National Park or kayak with orcas in the nearby San Juan Islands. Music lovers will appreciate the chance to see the birthplace of grunge—be sure to visit the Museum of Pop Culture, the second floor of which is entirely devoted to Nirvana and the rise of the influential genre.

Sedona, Arizona. Sedona’s official tourism tagline is “The Most Beautiful City on Earth,” and we’re inclined to agree. With its sweeping views of grand red rock framing endless valleys of green pine, this small Arizona city is the perfect retreat for those in need of art, outdoor recreation, spas, and plentiful yoga classes. Be sure to catch a sunset in Red Rock National Park.

Stowe, Vermont. When it comes to East Coast skiing, Stowe and its mountain resort are the premier spot for incredible runs. But this charming New England town has more to offer than just powder. Located at the base of Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, this town boasts breweries, spas, and scenic trails. Bike down the Stowe Recreation Path or head to nearby Burlington for a tasty tour of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory.

Europe

Chamonix, France. Nestled at the base of Mont Blanc amid the jagged peaks of the Alps, the world-class winter sports town of Chamonix is where the French go for a taste of alpine living. The village boasts an impressive pedigree as the first-ever host of the Winter Olympics back in 1924. The spectacular scenery here begs to be explored, whether that means carving down the mountain on groomed ski runs or trekking through windswept meadows on miles of trails.

Lake Como, Italy. The glittering crown jewel in northern Italy’s Lakes District is undoubtedly Lake Como. Tucked in the shadow of the snow-dusted Italian Alps, this serene body of water is a dreamy retreat with plenty of opportunity for adventure like rock climbing, vertical sailing, and boating. Make like the locals do and find a sunny patio in one of the charming lakefront towns to sip an Aperol Spritz and watch classic, wooden Riva yachts zip across the lake.

Prague, Czech Republic. If you’re a history buff, you’ll likely fall in love with the “City of 100 Spires.” Architectural wonders, sprawling green parks, and romance abound in this well-preserved medieval city. Prague will sweep you up in Old World charm while you enjoy modern attractions such as acclaimed restaurants, art museums, and cutting-edge shops speckled amid cobblestone streets and towering church spires.

Chamonix 19 Places to Seek Adventure Around the World

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro. Like many of its eastern European neighbors, Montenegro keeps a relatively low profile. Probably not for long. Go to Sveti Stefan for its pinch-me scenery—sandy beaches that give way to the bathwater of the Adriatic Sea—and stay for the fresh seafood and rich heritage. Sveti Stefan, a 15th- century village plopped on a peninsula just off the coast, offers an enticing mix of cobbled lanes, red-tiled roofs, and open-air piazzas.

Asia & Oceania

Kauai, Hawaii. Oahu has nightlife, Maui has posh resorts, and the Big Island has national parks— but what Kauai trades in is scenery: secret beaches, jagged cliffs that plunge into the sea, cascading waterfalls, emerald valleys, and lush mountains worn down by age. Discover the rustic splendor of the so-called “Garden Isle” while whale-watching, snorkeling, hiking, or even touring by helicopter above impressive Waimea Canyon.

Laamu, Maldives. The Maldives possess a treasure-trove of underwater wonders, attracting scuba and snorkeling enthusiasts from across the globe. Made up of nearly 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean, the beaches of the Maldives can lay claim to some of the softest and whitest sand the world has to offer. Every resort in the Maldives is its own private island, and Laamu is a brilliant choice for families. Partially encircled by an atoll, or ring-shaped coral reef creating a lagoon of crystalline calm water, Laamu’s waters are ideal for children to swim and snorkel in.

Melbourne, Australia. This trend-setting Australian city has a European feel and is full of surprises. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Melbourne is its laneways—streets accessible only by foot—that each take on a bustling life of their own, hiding secret bars, coveted coffee shops, world-class eateries, and art galleries. The city’s main neighborhoods are all worthy of a visit for their individual scenes—we’re particularly fond of the quirky beach town St. Kilda, where you might get lucky enough to meet the local penguin colony on a stroll down St. Kilda Pier.