Towering above the town of Boulder in Colorado’s Front Range, Indian Peaks Wilderness is about 90 minutes from downtown Denver. Plan a two-night backpacking trip starting from the Fourth of July trailhead or the Buchanan Pass trailhead and you’ll have access to 133 miles of trails, dozens of lakes, and six mountain passes that cross the Continental Divide. Be sure to secure a permit to camp in the backcountry before you head out.
From: Seattle, Washington
Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness is as vast as it is accessible. Less than two hours east of Seattle, the area covers 394,000 acres, with 600 miles of trails and peaks that look like the Alps. Start at the Salmon La Sac trailhead and backpack eight miles and 3,000 vertical feet of elevation gain to Tuck and Robin Lakes. Both are downright gorgeous spots to pitch your tent, and camping permits will be easier to secure than the Cascades’ popular Enchantments area.
From: Boston, Massachusetts
Long Trail, Vermont
Vermont’s 272-mile Long Trail crosses the Green Mountains from the southern end of Vermont to the Canadian border. There are more than 70 first-come, first-served backcountry campsites along the way. For the closest trailhead from Boston—about three hours by car—start at the trail’s southern terminus, near Williamstown, Massachusetts, and point it north, hiking a section of the trail that coincides with the Appalachian Trail. Your end goal could be Bennington, Vermont, 18 miles away. Prefer a point-to-point over an out-and-back? Luckily, a few local taxi services and bus lines will provide a shuttle.
From: San Francisco, California
Desolation Wilderness, which spans 63,960 acres and is filled with granite slabs and crystal-clear lakes, isn’t that hard to get to. But once you approach the south end of Lake Tahoe, 3.5 hours from San Francisco, you’ll feel a million miles away. Start at the Echo Lakes trailhead and hike in six miles along the famed Pacific Crest Trail to Lake Aloha for an overnight destination. Be sure to reserve a permit in advance.
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
High Uintas Wilderness
This 456,705-acre zone—the largest wilderness area in Utah—features 545 miles of trails and endless backpacking options. You can set out for Utah’s highest peak—13,528-foot Kings Peak—or try an out-and-back section of the Highline Trail, which runs east to west for more than 70 miles and can be accessed via the Mirror Lake Highway trailhead. Both are about a 3.5-hour drive from Salt Lake City.
From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Superior Hiking Trail
The 326-mile Superior Hiking Trail climbs along a rocky ridgeline above Lake Superior and has more than 90 backcountry campsites perfectly built for multiday outings. You can hike out and back or walk one direction and arrange for a shuttle back to your car. The closest trailhead from Minneapolis is about 2.5 hours away, near Duluth.
It’s Not Too Late to Book a Trip to See This Summer’s Total Solar Eclipse
America will soon be treated to its first total solar eclipse in decades. Here’s where to see it.
On August 21, the mainland United States will experience its first total solar eclipse since 1979. It’ll last for only about two and a half minutes, depending on where you are, and eager eclipse chasers have already booked up many of the towns whose low pollution and clear weather assure a breathtaking view. To find last-minute places to stay and watch this historic event in its totality, we made a few calls and found some spots still accepting reservations.
In the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, plans are underway at Emerson Vineyards for a weekend-long eclipse festival, with live music, outdoor movies, wine tasting, and food trucks. Day tickets are already sold out, but as of press time, there were more than a dozen RV spots left for weekend camping, starting at $250.
Mackay is a 500-person town that falls directly in the center of the moon’s shadow. In addition to a four-day lineup of live music, as well as a portable planetarium dome with ongoing star shows and food vendors on site, the private ranch hosting the festival (lovingly known as The Ranch) offers easy access to the Big Lost River, which runs through the property. Score event tickets and camping—plus “eclipse glasses” with solar filters for safe stargazing—from $80.
The town expects to be completely inundated for the eclipse, so the chamber is keeping an updated list of lodges and hotels that still have availability, making it a great resource if you’re planning an eclipse-hunting trip to the Tetons. The Anvil Hotel, which recently underwent a major renovation, is hosting a moon party the day of the eclipse at its prime location, a block from the town square, starting with moon flow yoga and moondust lattes. Tickets to the event are $375. Lodging at the Anvil is $1,030 per night, including two tickets to the event, with a minimum four-night stay. Rooms are still available as of press time.
Saint Joseph, Missouri
An hour from Kansas City, a massive public viewing event will take place at the local Rosecrans Memorial Airport, with astronomers on hand to explain the phenomenon and safety-filtered telescopes open for use. Nearly all the hotels in town are fully booked, but the airport is offering one- or two-day primitive camping, starting at $40, and day-pass parking for $20 on the day of the eclipse.
Cummins Falls State Park, about 80 miles east of Nashville, is a day-use park that’s home to hiking trails, swimming holes, and Tennessee’s eighth-largest waterfall. The park doesn’t normally allow overnight visitors, but on the night before the eclipse, the property will be open to primitive camping, as well as guided hikes, live music, and free eclipse glasses. Campsites are available for $50.
Greenwood, South Carolina
Greenwood’s city hall and local chamber of commerce will be handing out eclipse glasses in the town, and Mill House Pizza will be baking moon pies throughout the weekend. Watch the eclipse from Lake Greenwood State Park or beside a pond in the town’s Ninety Six National Historic Site, a Revolutionary War site. A few local hotels still have rooms available—try the Hampton Inn Greenwood.
6 Great East Coast Beaches
Craving sun and sand on the Atlantic? These beach towns offer that and more.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
This state park, on a barrier island off the southern coast of Georgia, is a great place to spot sea turtles, read a book in a hammock, and ride 20 miles of bike paths. For an ideal day, head to Driftwood Beach, on the island’s north shore, which is covered with massive hunks of driftwood and mangled preserved trees. Score a wooded campsite at the Jekyll Island Campground, where you can walk to the beach from your tent.
Southampton, New York
Cooper’s Beach, on the east end of Long Island, is only about 500 feet long, but it makes up for its small size with perfect white-sand solitude. You’ll have to pay $40 to park (free if you show up on bike), but it’s the only public beach in Southampton, a town filled with multimillion-dollar summer homes. Grab picnic supplies from the Village Gourmet Cheese Shoppe, and stay at A Butler’s Manor (from $340), a five-room inn with two-course breakfasts.
Cape Charles Beach
Cape Charles, Virginia
Cape Charles is the kind of place where old-timey locals sit in rocking chairs in front of the hardware store and toddlers wade in the shallow waters of Chesapeake Bay. Go for a kayak tour that ends at a winery, and don’t miss the live music and clam chowder at Shanty Seafood. Stay at Hotel Cape Charles (from $165) for outdoor showers, cruiser bikes for rent, and sunset views from your loft.
Reid State Park Beach
You don’t often find golden sandy beaches in Maine, except at places like Reid State Park. At this state-owned beach, located on Georgetown, an island accessed via bridge from the town of Bath, you’ll find grassy dunes, buried sand dollars, cold-water surfing, and views of the lighthouses on Seguin Island. After the beach, grab a lobster roll at the end of the road at Five Islands Lobster Co., and spend the night at Gray Havens Inn (from $150), a 13-room bed and breakfast with ocean views.
Folly Beach County Park
Folly Beach, South Carolina
You can surf, kayak, and paddleboard at Folly Beach, a quaint beach town ten miles from Charleston, set between the Atlantic Ocean and Folly River. When conditions are good, you can surf waist-high waves at the Washout. Ocean Surf Shop has everything you need, including reliable surf reports. Afterward, fill up on mahi tacos at Chico Feo, and pitch a tent at the 643-acre James Island County Park, or get an oceanfront room at Tides Folly Beach Hotel (from $255), just steps from the pier.
In this seaport town an hour from Boston, you can romp around in tide pools, climb boulders, and swim in calm, clear water. At low tide, you can walk on a sandbar a half-mile into Ipswich Bay. When in Gloucester, wait in line for brunch at Sugar Magnolia’s, dig into a lobster at a cove-side picnic table at the Lobster Pool in nearby Rockport, and spend the night in a nautical-themed room at the Beauport Hotel (from $279).
Eight of Our Favorite U.S. Swimming Holes
Who needs swimming pools?
When summer temps spike, you need a place to cool off. You might as well make that place a scenic hideaway in a tumbling river away from the crowds. Whether you jump off a cliff or just dip your toes in, here are eight swimming holes around the United States worth dunking into.
A small waterfall on Ball Mountain Brook ends at an enormous, clear swimming hole called Pikes Falls, in the small town of Jamaica, Vermont. Located about ten minutes from Stratton Mountain ski area, you’ll find ten-foot-long natural water slides, rocks to jump off, and plenty of stone to sunbathe on afterward.
Nevada City, California
The South Fork of the Yuba is one of California’s wildest and most striking rivers. Emerald Pools, a gorgeous section of the river with massive swimmable bowls, can be tough to find—you’ll follow an easy-to-lose trail and scramble over granite boulders tucked off Highway 20 between Truckee and Nevada City—but the scenery alone is worth the journey. Cliff jumping is popular here, but also dangerous.
You’ll hike into a sandstone canyon and past ancient petroglyphs to reach the emerald-green bowls of Mill Creek, which flows from the La Sal Mountains. Walk five minutes from your car and take a dip in the cold water, or hike in a little farther to find deep bowls below cascading waterfalls.
You can find this sunken emerald pool ten miles outside of Aspen, where Colorado’s Roaring Fork River tumbles down Independence Pass. Known as a cliff jumper’s paradise, the Punchbowl features 20-plus-foot leaps into the chilly water.
Bartlett, New Hampshire
Outside North Conway, in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, a meandering stream called Lucy Brook flows down the face of Big Attitash Mountain. Near the bottom, it pours over large granite boulders into a swimming area about half a mile from the trailhead. Dogs are allowed at Diana’s Baths, and there’s a $3 parking fee.
On the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge, about 20 minutes from Chattanooga, you’ll find a collection of pools that locals call Blue Hole. Hike along the mellow trail that follows the creek and stop for a dip in whatever pool calls to you. And keep your eyes open for rope swings.
Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs is an Austin institution that feels more like a massive, everyone-you-know-is-here pond than a hard-to-reach backwoods swimming hole. The three-acre, man-made, spring-fed pool within Austin’s Zilker Park attracts sunbathers and swimmers year-round. It costs $3 to get in if you’re a local, or $8 if you’re from out of town. Admission is free from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Middle Brook, Missouri
About two hours from St. Louis, the East Fork of the Black River gets pinched between big granite rocks, creating natural slides, small rapids, and great gaping pools that are a short walk to reach. If you want a longer hike, there are 45 miles of hiking trails within the surrounding state park.
California’s Greatest Beaches
There’s so much more than sunbathing at these eight spots
You could lay down a towel and read a book almost anywhere in California. But if you feel like getting a little more active—surfing, trail running, mussel harvesting—we’ve picked eight beaches that are worth pulling over for, listed from north to south.
Patrick’s Point State Park
Patrick’s Point isn’t a warm, sunny, white-sand beach. Twenty-five miles north of Eureka, this 640-acre state park tends to be cold and breezy, but it has dramatic ocean views, beachside camping, and hiking among the redwoods of Humboldt County. Plus, when you visit during the regulated season, this zone is prime for abalone diving. If you’re lucky, you’ll even find mussels right on the beach.
Black Point Beach
Black Point Beach is a long, cliff-backed beach off Highway 1 south of Sea Ranch. The waves are often big enough to do some modest surfing, or you can access an eight-mile coastal trail along the cliffs. Book a safari tent at Terra Glamping (from $250), a new luxury camp-hotel on a rocky cliff with views of the Pacific, and you’ll have easy access to the beach a couple miles down the road.
Thirty miles north of San Francisco, the turnoff from Highway 1 to Bolinas is intentionally unmarked. Though the village is famous for not wanting to be found, the beach is strikingly beautiful, rugged, and open to the public. Newbie surfer? Rent a longboard and a wetsuit at the 2 Mile Surf Shop or check out the stellar trail running at Mount Tamalpais State Park(just head straight for the Bootjack Trail). Afterward, grab fish tacos at the Siren Canteen in the base of a lifeguard tower on nearby Stinson Beach.
Pescadero State Beach
Before you hit the sand, drive into the little town of Pescadero, south of Half Moon Bay, and pick up a loaf of superlative artichoke garlic bread fresh from the oven at Norm’s Market. Then drive to Pescadero State Beach, a sandy, mile-long shore where waves crash into rocky coves, sea lions lounge on bluffs, and the sunset is worth sticking around for.
Sand Dollar Beach
The $10 day-use fee tends to keep road-tripping crowds away from Sand Dollar Beach, as does the short, steep trail you’ll hike to access it. This spot south of Big Sur is great for hardy, cold-water surfing, but it’s also perfect for a picnic. Stock up on supplies at the Big Sur Bakery, and enjoy a slice of the rocky Big Sur coastline to yourself. At low tide, you can go for a decently long walk on the beach.
You can pitch a tent or rent one of seven county-owned cabins just steps from the sand at Jalama, a remote, dog-friendly beach an hour north of Santa Barbara. You’ll reach the water after 14 miles along a twisty road. Once you get there, the on-site Jalama Store has basic grocery supplies and a good burger.
San Onofre State Beach
San Onofre State Beach covers a vast stretch of sand near an active Marine Corps base. There’s good surfing at Old Man’s, a mellow longboard break with a welcoming vibe that’s less intimidating than nearby Trestles. A camping zone is down the beach, accessed via a separate entrance. After a sunrise surf session, hit up La Tiendita for a massive breakfast burrito.
Swami’s Beach, famous for its surf break, is also a good spot for a beach run—you can link together a few miles in either direction. A meditation center is nearby, and Swami’s Café has great coffee and açai bowls.
Seven of North America’s Best Hot Springs
From full-fledged resorts to rustic, remote pools, these spots are worth tracking down
I’ve gone on many a wayward search for the perfect hot spring. Some can be tough to find, but after driving down unmarked, barely passable roads for miles, I almost always discover what I came for: a natural hot tub, surrounded by river rocks, without a soul in sight. Here’s a cheat sheet to seven hot springs that won’t disappoint.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Midwinter, you’ll need four-wheel drive to reach Strawberry Park Hot Springs, outside Steamboat Springs. The access road is more manageable in the summer and local shuttles, are available year-round if you don’t have a suitable rig. Come after a day of mountain biking, hiking, or skiing in Steamboat, and soak in a picturesque collection of 104-degree mineral baths. You can pitch a tent on the property or rent a cabin, train caboose, or covered wagon to sleep in.
Wild Willy’s Hot Springs
Mammoth Lakes, California
The eastern side of the Sierra Nevada is packed with places to soak, though some are trickier to locate than others. Just south of the town of Mammoth Lakes, off Benton Crossing Road (look for the green church), you’ll find a vast, intricate maze of pools, a perfect end to a day spent rock climbing or tagging 13,000-foot summits. Wild Willy’s is one of the easier ones to find. It’s not a resort—just a free-for-all set of creek-fed pools, ranging from about 95 to 105 degrees, with striking views of the Sierra range.
Ainsworth Hot Springs
Kaslo, British Columbia
Once used by local First Nations tribes for healing and religious ceremonies, Ainsworth Hot Springs is a prime destination after a day heli-skiing, hiking, or windsurfing in the Kootenays. Visitors can swim through an extra-hot cave or lounge in a warm mineral-water swimming pool, with views of Kootenay Lake and the surrounding peaks. The on-site hotel was renovated in 2012, and guests get free access to the springs.
Ten Thousand Waves
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Located in the hills above Santa Fe, Ten Thousand Waves is less hot spring and more high-end Japanese-style spa. Alongside your shiatsu massage or Japanese facial, you can soak in private or communal tubs, modeled after Japan’s onsens, and recharge in a cold plunge or sauna. Come after a hike or mountain-bike ride on the extensive trail network near the Santa Fe Ski Basin, or book a Zen room to make a weekend out of it.
Hot Springs Cove
Tofino, British Columbia
You’ll need to charter a boat or seaplane to reach Hot Springs Cove, located about 27 miles north of Tofino, but it’s worth the effort. After a morning surfing Tofino’s Long Beach, book a boat with Bobby Kimoto Charters and the staff might even pick up a load of shrimp for you on the way back. Once you’re there, walk along a cedar boardwalk through an old-growth forest until you reach the salt- and fresh-water pools nestled between rocks and cascading waterfalls.
Sierra Hot Springs
Sierra Hot Springs is a no-frills resort that offers things like yoga retreats and new-moon drum circles. You can skip all that and come just for the indoor and outdoor thermal pools, plus cold plunges and saunas. Camp or stay in a bunk or room in the main lodge, or better yet, day-trip after skiing or climbing in Tahoe—an hour south—or from the mountain-bike mecca of Downieville, an hour west.
Chena Hot Springs
Located 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, at the end of a desolate road, Chena Hot Springs’ geothermal pools have attracted visitors for years. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the northern lights while you’re there. Stay on-site in the Moose Lodge, where electricity and heat are powered by geothermal energy, and you can request an Aurora wake-up call should the Aurora Borealis makes an appearance in the middle of the night. Depending on the season, there’s hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and dog mushing on site.
Tiny Houses You Can Rent for the Night
Maybe you don’t want to live in a 200-square-foot house full-time, but you wouldn’t mind vacationing in one
If you believe less is more, it’s easy to see the appeal of the tiny-house movement: You’ll spend less money living in a tiny house, use less energy, and spend less time inside. But if you’re not ready to downsize your entire life into 200 square feet, you can rent a tiny house for the weekend, thanks to a growing number of tiny-house hotels popping up around the country.
New York and Boston
Getaway offers spots in more than a dozen tiny homes scattered in secret wooded locations, each within a couple hours of Boston and New York City. You won’t get a Wi-Fi password, but you will get a lockbox for your phone so you can entirely disconnect. These clean, wooden microhomes, first unveiled in 2015 by students at Harvard Graduate School of Design, range from 160 to 200 square feet and sleep two to four people. When you book your stay, you’ll get an email letting you know the exact location of the cabin before your trip. (From $99.)
At WeeCasa, you’ll sleep near the shores of the St. Vrain River, a short drive to Rocky Mountain National Park, in a home smaller than 250 square feet. These 22 little cabins are outfitted with queen beds, kitchenettes, French press coffee makers, and tiny bathrooms. Visit in the spring or summer, and you can sync your trip with the Planet Bluegrass festival series. The resort also offers weekly and monthly rates, or you can score a pad just for the night. (From $139.)
Snake River Sporting Club
Want a little more space? Wyoming’s Snake River Sporting Club now has four newly constructed 400-square-foot tiny homes on its property. The cabins have one bedroom, a kitchen, a small living area, and a deck that overlooks Wolf Mountain and the Snake River Canyon. Club amenities like fly-fishing outings, a climbing wall, kayaking, and more are included in your stay. (From $525.)
Austin’s Original Tiny Home Hotel
Austin’s Original Tiny Home Hotel is a gathering of sleek tiny homes in an RV park in the outskirts of Austin. The homes are modern and nice—upgraded (but, yes, miniature) kitchens, lofted beds, and plenty of outdoor seating if it’s too cozy inside. The largest home, at 268 square feet, sleeps four. (From $129.)
Mount Hood Tiny House Village
You’ll have a view of Mount Hood from the porch of your tiny house at this collection of five charmingly decorated cabins outside Portland. Ranging from 175 to 260 square feet, the homes come with stocked kitchens and feature cedar-plank siding, and they can somehow sleep five people and a dog. If you’re on the East Coast, a new sister resort, Tuxbury Tiny House Village, is opening with five tiny houses this August in South Hampton, New Hampshire. (From $129.)
Kanaio Beach, Maui
The Hoapili Trail starts at a parking area at La Perouse Bay in south Maui and traverses through a barren, lava-strewn landscape for about 2.5 miles to this desolate black-and-white-sand beach. The trail is also known as the King’s Highway because it was once a walking path reserved for royalty. You’ll find remains from an old fishing village along the way.
Kauapea Beach, Kauai
You’ll walk 15 minutes down a steep path before arriving at this flawless strip of gold sand on the north shore of Kauai, bordered by steep cliffs. It isn’t that hard to get to, but Kauapea is often called Secret Beach and is secluded enough that folks occasionally sunbathe naked without anyone noticing. The trailhead isn’t marked, so ask around for directions. You’ll find it near the town of Kilauea, off a dirt path accessed from Kalihiwai Road.
Kapukahehu Beach, Molokai
Also known as Dixie Maru Beach, after a Japanese ship that wrecked near here in the 1920s, this half-moon-shaped favorite sits in a tiny cove on Molokai’s isolated western shore. It’s a well-protected beach flanked by a reef, making it an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling. You can drive here via a roughly paved road that looks a little like someone’s driveway, accessed from the endpoint of Pohakuloa Road.
Pololu Valley Beach, Hawaii
Drive to the very end of the Kohala Coast’s Highway 270, and then hike the short but steep Awini Trail down a couple of dirt switchbacks to this striking black-sand beach surrounded by sharp lava. The trail to the beach is less than a mile, but if you want more of a trek, the path continues onward to the Honokane Nui Valley Lookout. Water currents are strong here, so it’s best to avoid swimming, and camping isn’t allowed, but you can linger on the beach as long as you’d like.
Halepalaoa Beach, Lanai
The only way to reach Lanai’s Halepalaoa Beach is with an off-road vehicle on a rugged dirt road. (If you’re staying at the Four Seasons Lanai, you can rent a 4×4 Jeep from the adventure center and staff will direct you to the beach.) Located on the eastern side of this sleepy island, this glittering sand beach is named after the whales that once washed ashore here. Once you get there, you’ll likely have the place to yourself.
Alan Davis Beach, Oahu
To get to Alan Davis Beach, you’ll park at the lot for the Makapu’u Lighthouse and walk the mellow Kaiwi Shoreline Trail for about 15 minutes to reach this secluded spot. You’ll spend your day swimming in a protected cove, cliff jumping, and exploring the towering rock formation above the bluff called Pele’s Chair.
8 Camps and Cabins Where You Can Feel Like a Kid Again
Why should grade schoolers have all the fun? Here are eight summer camp–inspired lodges where adults are welcome.
Canoeing, lakeside cabins, starry nights, campfires. Summer camp was always a good time, and it doesn’t have to be a thing of the past. These eight lodges and camps around the United States offer a more grown-up version of the summer-camp life, complete with bunk-bed cabins and group suppers.
Taylor River Lodge
Crested Butte, Colorado
Set on the banks of its namesake river, the new Taylor River Lodge, which opens in June, has six stand-alone cabins and two single-family homes (from $1,720 per cabin). Picture archery, ax throwing, a climbing wall, bikes for borrow on site, a casting pond, and a private concierge to orchestrate your stay. Fly-fishing for trout on local rivers and mountain biking nearby Crested Butte’s legendary singletrack are both on tap. Cabins come with steam showers, minibars stocked with fresh food, and an in-house chef who cooks you three meals a day.
Grünberg Haus Inn and Cabins
Grünberg Haus is what summer camp would look like if it took place in the Austrian Alps. The 11-room European-inspired chalet and neighboring cabins (from $110) are located in Waterbury, with the Green Mountains for hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and ice cream eating. Your stay includes a gourmet breakfast spread and an on-site tool shed for storing and tuning your bike. As a bonus, the Ben and Jerry’s factory is right out your door.
This place started as a Prohibition-era brothel and speakeasy, then became a Catholic church camp in the 1960s. In 2004, a husband-and-wife duo bought it and set about turning it into a hip summer-camp-style escape. You can now rent vintage lakefront bunkhouses and cabins (from $550) at Camp Wandawega—they’re not fancy, but you’ll have access to the ground’s canoes, treehouses, and campfire pits.
Zion National Park, Utah
A new luxury tent camp is opening on the outskirts of Zion National Park this August. Called Under Canvas Zion, this village of luxury tents (from $189), set against the backdrop of Zion’s redrock desert, will be open for lodging from August through November. Sign up for activities—rock climbing, canyoneering, mountain biking, horseback riding—and skilled guides will show you the way. Plus, breakfasts and dinners are cooked for you under the open sky.
You can rent a one-bedroom cabin or a retro-chic A-frame (from $250) 12 miles from the south entrance of Yosemite at Far Meadow, located on 20 acres of private land near a high-alpine lake. Rock climbing, lake swimming, and Yosemite hiking are all in your backyard. No mess hall or color wars, but you’ll have a kitchen to yourself and can organize your own yard games.
Dripping Springs, Texas
There’s no roughing it at Camp Lucy, located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, where you’ll stay in plush cottages (from $269) with stone bathtubs and wake to homemade waffles and freshly brewed coffee. But it does feel a little like camp: you’ll have access to gear for fishing, biking, and birding, plus an evening supper club and outdoor fire pits with s’mores supplies.
Sleeping Lady Resort
You can sleep up to eight people in the Rookery, an upscale stand-alone cabin (from $740 for eight guests) with queen and twin bunk beds (plus bathrobes for walking to the sauna) at the Sleeping Lady Resort, outside the funky Bavarian town of Leavenworth. (If bunks aren’t your thing, you can choose a more standard hotel room.) Some packages offer activities like fly-fishing and whitewater rafting, or you can explore the Cascades on your own. No matter which package you choose, there’s yoga on the premises, and breakfast and dinners are included.
White Pine Camp
Paul Smiths, New York
What was once the summer house of President Calvin Coolidge is now White Pine Camp, a historic Adirondack compound with 13 cottages (from $165) on the shores of Osgood Pond. Relax in the iconic Japanese teahouse that’s accessible by a wooden bridge to a small island, go hiking or biking into the northern Adirondacks, or grab a canoe to paddle into the nearby St. Regis Canoe Area.
Five Can’t-Miss Outdoor Music Festivals
Our favorite bands are turning up in the darndest places
Nothing screams summer quite like hanging out in a huge field, lounging in a camp chair, and listening to your favorite musicians rock out. Whether it’s tucked into the woods of Michigan or on a beach in Rhode Island, the summer months hold a thousand ways to blend love of the outdoors and good tunes.
Mountain Jam: Hunter, New York
Perched on a hillside of Hunter Mountain in the Northern Catskills, Mountain Jam (June 16–18) offers rides on one of the country’s highest and longest ziplines. If you’re looking for a mellower way to experience things from above, there are lift rides available to the top of the mountain. The festival also offers vendor exhibits of local nonprofits and environmental groups.
Electric Forest: Rothbury Michigan
At EDM-centric Electric Forest (June 22–25 and June 29–July 2), expect to be totally immersed in a carefully curated selection of music, art, and panel discussions in the forests outside Rothbury, Michigan. There are numerous volunteer opportunities, if you want to expand your festival experience beyond entertainment. Or just kick your feet up for a while in one of the dedicated hammock zones.
Newport Folk Festival: Newport, Rhode Island
Held in Fort Adams State Park at the mouth of Newport Harbor, the Newport Folk Festival (July 28–30) offers awe-inspiring views of the water—and an incredible lineup. The festival has two beer gardens and four stages of music, and is easy to access by bike, bus, or even boat.
Forecastle Music Festival: Louisville, Kentucky
Forecastle (July 14–16) started out as a humble neighborhood gathering and has grown into a staple of the southeast’s music scene, drawing thousands of fans to Louisville’s waterfront park each year. The organizers’ dedication to the environment is more than just a tagline on the website: for every ticket sold, $1 goes to the Forecastle Foundation, which works to protect ecologically diverse areas by partnering with such nonprofits as the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, the Nature Conservancy, and the Guayaki Foundation.
Pickathon Music Festival: Happy Valley, Oregon
Too much sun in front of the main stage? Pendarvis Farm, home to the Portland, Oregon, Pickathon Music Festival (August 3–6), has plenty of shade available in the adjacent forest. Unlike most festival campsites, which are usually packed together in a field without any privacy, Pickathon’s are cool and comfortable, and the pristine environment is complimented by a dedication to sustainability, including a ban on single-use plastic since 2010. (Festival attendees are given a plate and a cup to use over the entire weekend.) And with all the local food trucks and microbrews available, your plate and cup will never be empty.
6 Kid-Friendly River Trips
Everyone in the family can get a piece of the action on these summer floats
Floating downstream allows you to experience gorgeous canyons and remote wilderness you can’t see any other way. But the real beauty of river trips? With a raft to haul your stuff, you can bring heavy coolers full of food, lawn chairs, massive tents, and, yes, your kids. No iPads allowed. Here are six great overnight and multiday river trips suitable for the whole family.
Green River, Utah
Families and laid-back rafters will enjoy the scenic views and leisurely pace of this storied western waterway that tumbles through Dinosaur National Monument before eventually meeting up with the Colorado River. You’ll take post-paddling hikes through redrock slot canyons and hunt for prehistoric fossils. You can do it yourself—Canyon Voyages in Moaboffers raft rentals and shuttles—or take a guided, full-service trip with O.A.R.S. From $765.
Rogue River, Oregon
Kids will love the natural water slides and eddies full of salmon and steelhead in the Rogue River canyon. Best of all, the Class II rapids are exciting enough to keep everyone entertained yet mellow enough to keep you from clutching the raft for dear life. Score a permit and rent a raft to charter your own trip, or let professionals lead the way: Rogue Rafting Company offers guided trips for travelers ages six and up. From $950.
Salmon River, Idaho
Idaho’s Salmon River is a classic, bucket-list kind of river trip. So why not do it with your kids? The main Salmon, dubbed the River of No Return, is friendlier for younger kids ages six and up, while the middle fork has rowdier rapids better suited for an older crowd. You’ll wind through the picturesque Frank Church Wilderness and spend your days paddling, trout fishing, and dipping in hot springs. Rocky Mountain River Tours hosts weeks designated for kids and teens. From $1,995.
Chattooga River, Georgia
Older kids (ages eight and up) will enjoy the thrill of Class II and III rapids on the Chattooga River, a stunning, free-flowing river that was designated Wild and Scenic in 1974. If you’re traveling with younger kids, aim for Section III—still rugged but tamer than the lower section, and the hardest rapids can easily be walked around. Wildwater leads one-day and multiday trips, which include a steak dinner at camp. From $329.
Carson River, California
The east fork of the Carson River is the perfect family float, recommended for kids ages five and up. Start near South Lake Tahoe and be treated to two or three days of easy Class II rapids over a 28-mile stretch of river—plus geothermal hot springs and vast desert landscapes. Tahoe Whitewater Tours offers full-service, guided multiday trips. From $260.
San Juan River, Utah
Located near the Four Corners, the San Juan River’s rolling Class II waves are mellow enough for kids to pilot their own paddleboards or inflatable boats. They’ll be delighted by the sand dunes and petroglyphs, and you’ll be happy to watch the action from your perch on the oar rig. It’s a relatively easy river to run yourself, but you’ll need a permit. Wild River Expeditions rents rafts and offers guided trips on the San Juan for everything from a half-day sampler to a ten-day epic. From $89.