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Surprising Destinations: Outdoor Adventure in Burnet County, Texas

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).

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The gardens at the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Surprising Destinations: Outdoor Activities and History in Tulsa, Oklahoma

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.

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Surprising Destination: Things to do Outdoors in Beaumont, Texas

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.

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Surprising Destination: Explore Outdoorsy Door County, Wisconsin

If you’re like us, you read the title of this article and abruptly proclaimed, possibly out loud to an entirely vacant room, Where the heck is Door County, Wisconsin?! I get it. We didn’t know either until about two weeks ago. But that’s the whole dang point of these Surprising Destination features, isn’t it? To open your world to new, under-the-radar, totally legit destinations that nobody else is talking about but are still totally baller. So buckle up, because we’re about to introduce you to you new favorite place to lace up those boots and get hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, leaf peeping, apple sampling, lighthouse touring…we could go on, but we’ll just let you keep reading and find out for yourself what a delightfully surprising and outdoorsy destination Door County truly is.

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fall colors in door county wisconsin

3 Surprising Destinations with Great Fall Hikes

It’s fall, y’all! (FYI, we totally don’t say “y’all…) And if you’re like us, you’ve got cool-weather hikes with colorful foliage on the brain. Fortunately, across the country (yes, even in Texas–lookin’ at you, Sam Houston National Forest), you can indulge in fall hikes that are perfect for leaf peeping. We’ve rounded up 3 for you right here, right now, all of which we’ve personally experienced and know are hot spots for a cool outdoor adventure. So pack an extra layer and get going!

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Surprising Destinations: An Outdoorsy Weekend in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Wisconsin. Not gonna lie, it’s not really a state that was ever high on our list of places to visit, even growing up in the midwest. I mean, isn’t the whole state just one big block of cheese? Sure, I had passed through Wisconsin’s borders a time or two growing up, but the state as a whole never really left an impression. Until now. But that’s the thing about some destinations: they’re so nestled away you’d never even know they existed until you find yourself knocking at their door. That is Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin: a delightful little retreat just 2.5 hours away from Chicago, but just secluded enough that many city dwellers in nearby Sheboygan don’t even realize what’s sitting right on their doorstep. A surprising destination that offers a chill getaway that’s absolutely worth considering.

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Surprising Destinations: Outdoor Adventure in Hocking Hills Ohio

If you didn’t grow up in Ohio or near Ohio, you may have never heard of Hocking Hills. In fact, you may be mumbling under your breath right now, “What even is a Hocking Hills?” Allow me to enlighten you. It’s a fabulously outdoorsy destination in central-ish Ohio for those looking to get away and experience the outdoors, all within driving distance (if you live in the midwest/Great Lakes region, anyway…). But what kind of outdoor adventure in Hocking Hills Ohio can you expect? All kinds. We’ll break it down for you.

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long beach washington

Surprising Destinations: Things to Do on Long Beach Peninsula, Washington

Forget about the over-crowded and tourist-laden strip of sand in Southern California–Long Beach Peninsula, Washington is where it’s at. And it’s way more chill and natural than the famed L.A. neighborhood. We enjoyed it for the relaxed, outdoorsy, small-town vibe (think month-long writer’s retreat to finish that novel) and think you might just, too. But in case you want to do a smidge more than lounge on the beach and wait for artistic inspiration to strike, well, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favorite things to do on Long Beach Peninsula, Washington.

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