Before you know it, you’ll be 30. This birthday is just another day, but it often symbolizes a time to settle down and put down roots. You’ll likely land in a long-term career and maybe start a family. Once all this happens, it doesn’t mean that you can’t continue traveling, but it does get a lot harder.As you come closer to this milestone, use your independence to enjoy a few more adventures. Here are a few places you might enjoy.
- Explore Michigan
When you think of adventure trips, Michigan probably isn’t the first state that comes to mind. However, as you get to know it better, you’ll realize it’s the perfect adventure destination. Michigan’s shores meet four of the five great lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie. This means you’ll have expansive opportunities for water recreation and scenic views.
These lake areas also boast luxurious hotel accommodations, so you can relax in style after a long day of recreation. If you’re in Port Huron, you’ll want to experience City Flats Hotel, an LEED certified hotel with incredible views of the city and lake. These modern accommodations feature cork flooring, bamboo linens, an iPod docking station in each room, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Once you’ve had your fill of the lake scene, head down to Michigan’s capital, Lansing. This city is a hub of innovation, history, and modern convenience. You have to check out the Impression 5 Science Center and the Michigan State Capitol. There are also gorgeous trails that run along rivers and lakes to fulfill your outdoor interests. As you explore Lansing, MI, try to take it all in!
Detroit is another fun place to visit during your Michigan road trip. It’s home to the first automobile manufacturer, and you can tour museums and enjoy history and innovation in the making. You might even get a glimpse of testing grounds for the world’s first self-driving cars.
- Deep South Road Trip
There’s no better way to celebrate your youth than experiencing the Deep South culture – you can still eat as much as you want at this point in your life, after all! And you’ll discover tons of things to do as you drive through Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and neighboring areas.
As you drive, you’ll no doubt hit major hot spots like Memphis and Atlanta, but if you want to see real southern culture, don’t forget to stop at a few hidden gems along the way. For example, you’ll want to visit Dothan, AL. This small city has a smattering of events and plenty of culture that you won’t want to miss.
If outdoor recreation and small town charm is more your cup of tea, you must explore Henry County, Georgia. This collection of small, historic towns is loaded with beautiful scenery, hikes, and historic places.
For example, Locust Grove is home to 158 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Stockbridge is the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Sr. and the location of his very first sermon. Hampton, another small town in Henry County, is the home of the busiest enroute air traffic control facility, the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center.
As you drive through these hidden gems of the Deep South, soak in the culture and eat plenty of homestyle cooking. This road trip will be one you’ll tell your children about someday.
- Hawaii Vacation
Hawaii is the dream vacation of many beach-hungry travelers. These small islands are nestled in the Pacific ocean, offering some of the best surfing known to man. If you don’t know how to surf, get surf lessons in Waikiki, as this area offers some of the best surfing and instruction in the islands.
According to Lonely Planet editor Alex Howard, Kauai is another great place to visit, particularly after you’ve mastered your surf lessons in Waikiki. You can surf the beaches, climb dramatic cliffs, and take photos with the dramatic backdrop.
Kayaking is another highly recommended sport in the area. “Regularly hailed as one of the best kayaking trips in the world,” he says, “this route takes paddlers past the iconic, fluted coast of Kauai, best known for its cameos in films like Jurassic Park and King Kong.”
As you explore the islands, you can also hike to the lip of a volcano, relax in a hammock on the beach, attend a nightly traditional luau, and enjoy other outdoor recreation and relaxation.
- Utah National Parks
Utah is a goldmine of national parks, although many people overlook its red rock beauty. In the northern part of the state, you have the Great Salt Lake, which is a rare lake formation filled with salt from the surrounding salt flats. There are also the Wasatch Mountains, which create a beautiful backdrop and offer plenty of outdoor recreation.
The real beauty is found in the southern part of the state with Zion National Park and Arches National Park. These parks feature incredible sandstone formations, including The Narrows. This is a must–explore, as it takes you through a narrow tunnel of hanging gardens and towering cliffs. The hiking here is sublime.
- Pacific Coast Highway Drive
This route spans the entirety of the Pacific coast of the United States, even going into Canada, if you want to go that far. The best parts are arguably seen along California’s Highway 1. The road is primarily constructed on cliffs at the edge of the ocean. You’ll see crashing waves, incredible coastlines, and beautiful natural colors. You might even spot a whale or a few dolphins if you’re traveling during the right time of year.
You might also check out the Avenue of the Giants, which is a forest of towering redwood trees in the northern part of California. This takes you off of the coastal highway, but most find it’s worth the detour.
- Yellowstone National Park Outdoor Recreation
The beauty of Yellowstone National Park is unparalleled. It covers three states with the majority of the acreage found in Wyoming. This park is home to wildlife, including wolves, deer, elk, bison, moose, and bears.
It’s most known for its breathtaking natural geothermal features and formations. It sits on a massive caldera (volcano), which creates pockets of heat that generate hot springs, geysers, and sulfuric acid. You’ll enjoy the beautiful colors of Mammoth Hot Springs and Yellowstone Canyon as you hike, camp, or drive through the 2 million acres of park.
- Alaska Wildlife
If you’re in the market for some incredible wildlife sightings, there’s no better place to visit than Alaska, preferably during the summer. You’re guaranteed to see deer, moose, elk, and bison. If you’re lucky and know where to go, you could spot a Grizzly.
“Every summer grizzly bears descend on a river in Alaska’s Katmai National Park to feed on spawning salmon,” Howard says. “The bears wait in the shallow rapids to snatch them out of the water – and sometimes pluck them from the air as the fish jump over the 6-foot falls. The only way in or out of Katmai is via footplane, giving this remote adventure a typical Alaska flair.”
Of course, you’ll need to keep an appropriate distance and take a guided tour to see these bears. Educate yourself on keeping your distance from wildlife for their safety and yours.