Do the classic vacations to Disney World and big cities make you and your family want to stay home instead? Not everyone wants to be surrounded by millions of other tourists only to see the same old landmarks and wander around busy museums.
If fresh air, mountain views, and remote beaches sound like the perfect family getaway for you and your clan, then keep reading. We’re going over 8 of the best wilderness adventure vacations in the world. This list contains everything from tropical beaches to frozen mountains, so there’s something for everyone!
The Patagonia region is found in both Argentina and Chile at the tip of South America. What makes Patagonia the perfect wilderness adventure is there’s an activity for everyone, no matter what you like.
Hiking mountain trails up to the summit for gorgeous landscape views? Got it.
Trips to the ocean for whale watching? Also got it.
Glaciers, beaches, sunshine, and snow, all in one place? That’s Patagonia for you.
Keep an eye on the weather for when you’re there. If you’re blessed with warmth and sun, you can consider camping outside under the wide open sky. If you go for a skiing or wintertime adventure, get ready to bundle up.
2. St. John Island
Looking for a tropical beach vacation minus the loud screaming spring breakers and crying babies? St. John Island is the least populated island in the Virgin Islands, which makes it perfect for a relaxing adventure vacation with the family.
Two-thirds of the whole island is preserved and protected by the National Parks Service. This means you’ll have ample spots for hiking, spotting natural wildlife, swimming in gorgeous waters, and looking for sea turtles.
The National Park Service also offers guided ranger tours for the whole family to get more knowledge of the history and wildlife of the island.
3. Yosemite National Park
One of the most well-known National Parks in the US, Yosemite National Park, is a perfect wilderness adventure location. You’ll see amazing mountain ranges and famous natural landmarks like Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.
You can camp in a tent under the stars, pack up the RV, or find a cabin to stay in. Like in St. John, Yosemite park rangers offer guided tours. You could go that route or go off exploring on your own on foot, mountain bikes, or even on horseback.
Fishing, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, and more are available at this awesome spot, depending on what time of year you go.
4. Galapagos Islands
Known for gorgeous wildlife and stunning beaches, the Galapagos Islands are perfect for a nature vacation. You can see animals there that you’ll never see anywhere else in the world and learn about how these animals shaped our understanding of modern science.
Not to mention the gorgeous beaches, water sports, snorkeling, and more!
5. Woodstock, Vermont
Most famous for the music festival in 1969, Woodstock remains popular for music and nature lovers alike. We recommend Woodstock for a fall or winter family vacation.
There’s not much that can compare to a New England fall with beautiful yellow, orange, and red trees everywhere you look, amazing hiking trails up the various mountains of the area, and the close access to world-famous ski resorts.
Sample famous Vermont maple syrup, tour local farms, and check out the artsy town center for a hot chocolate after a long day tearing up the slopes.
6. The Big Island, Hawaii
The Hawaiian islands all offer a number of the best nature vacations, but let’s focus on the biggest island in the chain. The Big Island is home to the active volcanoes of the region, which means you can take a unique volcano hike and/or tour in this area.
You’ll also have access to some of the best snorkeling, fishing, parasailing, hiking, and wildlife viewing in the world. You can jump from waterfalls into secluded lagoons, kayak amongst tropical fish, go shark diving, try your hand at surfing, and end the day with a traditional luau and learn all about indigenous Hawaiian culture.
Not too far from Hawaii is Shikoku, Japan. Unlike the Big Island of Hawaii, Shikoku is the smallest of all of Japan’s islands. This means it’s a great choice for those looking for family vacations rooted in nature and adventure compared to big urban cities.
Hike with your family along the Scared Temple Route. This hiking trail allows you to see some of the most sacred Buddhist temples in the world. The route was established over 1200 years ago, making it one of the oldest and most sacred Buddhist pilgrimages in the world.
You can also visit the serene Ritsurin Garden, local hot spring spas, and climb Mount Godai.
We’ve mentioned a few ski options, but if you’re a true skiing family, you have to check out Whistler, Canada. A couple of hours from Vancouver, you’ll find one of Canada’s best ski resorts here: Whistler Blackcomb.
It has a whopping 200 runs with 37 lifts, meaning you’ll never have the same run twice (unless you find your dream run!). Filled with fresh powder and natural snow, you and the family will have a blast skiing and snowboarding for hours.
Once you’ve tired yourselves out with that, you can find a number of other winter activities like snowmobiling, winter ziplining, snowshoeing, touring ice caves, wildlife spotting (look out for bald eagles!), ice climbing, and more.
Ready for a Few Adventure Vacations This Year?
Have these destinations sparked your need for travel and adventure? Pack your bags, your skis, your tent, and your backpacks and get ready for wilderness adventure vacations with the whole family!
Before you go, be sure to read this article for a few tips on how to get everyone as excited as you are for the big trip!