Vacation. The word itself conjures images of places far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Personally, I’m always torn as to where and how to spend my downtime. Should I indulge in a luxurious retreat that’s relaxing and restoring? Or energize my body with an escape that’s full of excitement and adventure?
If you’re anything like me, adventure always seems to trump luxury. But that’s OK; rejuvenation is a good thing to feel after a getaway. That said, what follows is a list of our top choices for adrenaline-fueled vacation destinations across America. These places have it all—from top-notch mountain biking trails, to ample lodging and dining options that will suit the whole family.
Don’t choose between luxury and adventure. Mountain biking and massages are plentiful when you make Arizona's Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain your base camp. Nestled in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains, high in the Sonoran Desert, this piece of paradise boasts a 17,000-square foot spa and wellness center and on-site mountain biking trails. You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.
Vacationers can spend an entire day at the largest bike park in northern California without riding the same trail twice. Boasting more than 100 miles of mountain biking trails, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort is a downhill destination that’s been growing in popularity over the past few years. Don a full face helmet and some body armor and check it out for yourself.
Bring the family! The area offers an abundance of trails—from rolling carriage roads to challenging New England singletrack. It’s easy for all types of mountain bikers to find something to ride here. Don’t forget your camera—you’ll be surrounded by national forest and the Northern Presidential Mountains, which offer stunning views. Go in the fall to see a rainbow of colors from the changing leaves.
This place will take your breath away—literally. At 8,000 feet above sea level, the 20-or-so mile trail offers riders breathtaking views of Park City, Utah. Just give yourself plenty of time to acclimate to the altitude before laying down the hammer. Climbing, descending and ridge-top riding earned the trail an “Epics®” label from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)—and should earn a spot on your vacation destination short list.