5 Awesome Outdoor Activities

Summer is the weekend of the seasons; it’s a time for fun, excitement and breathtaking fresh air adventures. Need a little inspiration? Just check out this roundup of some of the coolest outdoor activities—and some of the best places in the country to do them.

Hitting the Beach: Manhattan Beach, California If you think you recognize that pier, you probably do; it’s been featured in films such as Falling Down, Point Break and Starsky and Hutch. Whether you’re a sun tanner, a surfer, a fishing fanatic or you’d just like to go (sexy) people watching, for the quintessential California beach experience, you’ve gotta go to Manhattan (Beach).

Seeing Fireworks: West Point Fireworks Show, New York Where better to experience booming explosions, blinding flashes and absolute awe during your July 4th festivities than at a famed U.S. military academy? West Point is home to a fireworks show that rivals the best out there, with the oldest active military band belting out time-tested patriotic favorites against red, white and blue pyrotechnics. We wouldn’t blame you for shedding a tear.

Exploring a Cave: Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky If films like The Descent haven’t put you off to caves in general, the Mammoth Cave System, with its 400-plus miles of creepy caverns, is a sight to behold. Cave tours, surface hiking, horseback riding, biking and camping under the stars make for an incredible summer adventure.

Riding a Coaster: Six Flags, Valencia, California Nothing says summer quite like a kickass theme park with loads of thrilling roller coasters. And Six Flags Magic Mountain doesn’t disappoint, with the most coasters in the nation. They’ve got a whopping 18 total, including a brand new sit-down coaster called Full Throttle, opening just in time for summer.

Taking a Hike: Canyonlands National Park, near Moab, Utah The Canyonlands is an incredible testament to wilderness itself. It features skyscraper-sized buttes, flowing rivers, broad mesas and ancient canyons carved out of the earth. The park itself is so large it has its own districts with names like Needles, the Maze and Island in the Sky. For hiking, biking, backpacking, four-wheeling and more, Canyonlands National Park is well worth a visit. You know, if you’re into that kinda thing…