I often find that if you’re not from Texas, you don’t realize what spectacular outdoor recreation options there are all over the state. From mountains and backpacking trails in the south and west (looking at you Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks) to kayak trails near the coast (Hi, Beaumont) to rolling hills and meandering lakes in Hill Country. But even I wasn’t aware of all of the options for outdoor adventure in Burnet County, just north of my home in Austin! Have I piqued your interest? Well, lace up your boots, mount your bike rack on the back of your car, and load up the kayaks, ’cause it’s about to get wild! Read (and watch) to get the scoop (spoilers: there’s a ski lift on the list…yup…in Texas).
Backpacking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park offers a unique wilderness experience in the desert peaks of West Texas. You should go. Here’s how and what to expect.
We’ve long been enamored with the idea of Death Valley National Park in California. I mean, we’re pretty into the dark and macabre, so how could we not want to visit a place with landmarks named things like Badwater, Devil’s Golf Course, and Funeral Peak?! But rest assured, even if those places inspire more reticence than excitement, Death Valley National Park is still absolutely worth a visit. So here’s some info to get you started.
Many people who happen to be familiar with the Lake Placid region in New York think of it as a delightful summer destination (I mean, the lake says it all, am I right?). But those in the know know that it’s just as magical in the winter and provides a whole different experience. And it’s a rad experience. We recently spent some time playing in the snow in the area, so here’s our recommendations for all manner of Lake Placid winter activities so you can enjoy the fourth season.
Houston is a big place. With lots of traffic. And very little parking. It can feel overwhelming. But that’s because it’s got a lot going on in the culture and food departments, not to mention history and business. So it’s definitely worth a visit. The only way to experience the city in our humble opinion? Bike Houston. E-bike Houston, to be precise. So you can go farther faster. That’s why we mounted a pair of electric steeds with Houstonian, cyclist, and micro mobility expert Doogie Roux: so we could zip around the city and feel the breeze in our hair and the sun on our faces, all while not having to worry about parallel parking. Here’s where we went, what we saw, ate, and experienced as we explored Houston by E-bike so you can replicate it on your own ride.
We’re not gonna lie. When Tulsa, Oklahoma was suggested to us as a rad, up-and-coming new destination, we thought someone was yanking our chain. I mean, Oklahoma? Really? But as it turns out, Tulsa’s got a lot going on, from cool places to play outside to good food to history. So don’t snub Tulsa for what you think it is; go explore and find out what the city’s really all about. Here’s our list of outdoor activities and historical attractions in Tulsa.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, split between Tennesee and North Carolina, is the country’s most visited national park. Like, by a lot. A lot, a lot. This park, which is free to visit, btw, saw over 12 million visitors last year. Twelve! Million! The next most-visited park only saw a little over three! So yeah, it’s safe to say that the Smokies are overrun with tourists and visitors, especially if you’re on the south side of the park around the Blue Ridge Parkway. Fortunately, there’s a trick to avoiding the massive amounts of people (and traffic) rambling through the area: head to the quiet side of the Smokies, the northern edge where there are still picturesque hiking trails and adventures galore, just a lot fewer people. Wanna know what things to do on the peaceful side of the Smokies? Here’s what we recommend.
Heading to Acadia National Park for the first time? Not sure where to start or what to expect? We feel you. We were wondering many of the same things not long ago. But since we were road tripping around the northeast, we figured we owed it to ourselves to visit the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast.” So we did! And here’s what we learned.
Not gonna lie, a little over a year ago when my dad said, “I really wanna go backpacking in Isle Royale National Park next summer; wanna come?” I was 100% not sure where the heck Isle Royale even was. So after a quick map search (it’s an island in Lake Superior) and a brief discussion of whether it’s pronounced roy-al as in Royale with cheese or roil as in the royal family (park rangers use the latter pronunciation), followed by a hearty bout of laughter brought on by my parents thinking I plan more than a month in advance…Isle Royal National Park was suddenly very much on my radar.
Beaumont, Texas isn’t on most people’s radar. Most Texans aren’t even aware of all the outdoorsy goodness this city in Southeast Texas has to offer. But allow us to remedy that! Because besides being the largest city between Houston and New Orleans, there’s plenty to entice outdoor enthusiasts to make Beaumont more than a pit stop on their way to someplace else (Big Thicket National Preserve, for starters). So grab your day pack and a dry bag or two and get moving! Because there are plenty of things to do outdoors in Beaumont.