Most adventurous places in the world
Lake Louise, Banff, Canada
Surrounded by six glaciers, this icy blue lake in Banff National Park beckons ice-skaters in winter, paddlers in summer, and visitors year-round who stand on the pine-lined shore mesmerized by the Canadian Rockies’ backdrop. See it all from 6,850 feet (2,088 m) by riding the Lake Louise Gondola (May–September).
Biking slick rock brings great bragging rights among mountain bikers, while marathon runners take in the alpine mountains in the distance and the earthy tones of canyons along the Colorado River. The Old West is alive and well here, as cowboys still work the land and Native American influence is abundant.
Watersports, Southern West Virginia
Autumn colors swirl past in a roar when white-water rafting near Fayetteville on the Upper Gauley or New River in September and October. By contrast, just down the road a piece, on Summersville Lake, silence is broken only by the sound of an oar dipping into the placid water.
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
With neon pink, yellow, and blue fish, green turtles, and dozens of species of coral, Grand Cayman offers up a constantly changing aquatic feast. The sandbar known as Stingray City is one of the world’s few places to get intimate with stingrays in their natural habitat.
Rain Forest, Costa Rica
Every turn in the road, every crest of a hill, every sunrise over a crocodile-infested river yields a new sight. Whether zip-lining high in the canopy and seeing toucans or the flamboyant scarlet macaw, or taking an aerial tram within inches of rare orchids and bromeliads, there isn’t an inch from the Caribbean Sea on Costa Rica’s east coast to the Pacific Ocean on the west coast that isn’t a natural wonder.