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You’ve chosen your travel destination, but may be wondering what to do when you arrive. I’ve got you covered with these travel activities for any destination!
Planning a trip is so much fun! But sometimes planning what travel activities to do once you arrive at your destination can be tricky.
This list of travel activities is based on years of travel experience and what we have enjoyed doing while on vacation or visiting new places. The best part? You are sure to find something to try from this list of travel activities that you can do on your next trip.
These are all tried and true travel activities that have provided countless memories and hours of fun!
This post is all about travel activities.
Travel Activities For Any Destination
Find Out What the Area is Known For & Do It/See It
Chances are you chose a travel destination based on something you want to do or see in that area. Maybe it’s a trip to an amusement park, a beach vacation, wine country or a historical town. Or maybe you’re visiting friends or family and looking for activities to do while you are there.
Doing a little research on your destination can provide a wide range of possible travel activities to do. While in Marin County, we explored Point Reyes National Seashore. This incredibly beautiful coastal area is only a couple hours away from my home, yet I’d never been there.
Most locales have something that makes them unique or attracts visitors to the area. After all, you’re there, right? Go beyond the obvious and see more than just the main attraction highlights.
Travel Activities: Get Outside
Walking tours offer insight into what a city is most famous for, as well as hidden gems you likely wouldn’t discover on your own. You can often find walking tour groups, or put together your own self-guided tour using apps like GPSmycity, Shaka Guide or GyPSy Guide.
I have walked around every city I have visited over the years. The atmosphere of being on the street is very different than watching out a car window. Plus, it’s an opportunity to talk with locals and other travelers. It’s also a great way to find out what else there is to see or do where you are that isn’t necessarily advertised anywhere else.
Go for a Hike
Getting off the beaten path offers a wide array of adventures you wouldn’t otherwise experience. From critters, to fauna, to lakes and waterfalls, there is so much to see! Being outside and part of nature is amazing for the soul as well.
What’s even better, is that hiking is basically a free and family friendly activity. Many trails are pet friendly as well, so if your furry bff is along for the ride, he can participate with you!
Camp, Snowshoe, Kayak
Camping is a travel activity in itself. It can be your home base while you head out and about and explore the area. Ride your bikes throughout Tahoe, float down the river in rented tubes, find ranger shows and activities, fish, hike, sit around the campfire…. the possibilities are endless!
Another great outdoor travel activity is to get out on the water. We bring kayaks to the lakes, but if you don’t have your own, many towns by lakes have rental shops where you can do daily rentals of kayaks, SUPs, etc. Or better yet, rent a party boat!
If it’s wintertime, consider skiing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sledding or ice skating. Our local state park has snowshoe rentals and offers a warming hut with hot chocolate for after your adventure. Even warmer locations can have seasonal ice skating rinks, or ice skate on a canal in Europe!
Many cities and towns all throughout the world offer bicycle rentals. This is a great way to get around and see more of a destination than you can on foot. If the local culture is bike friendly, like many European towns, join in and pedal away! Worth noting, know the etiquette of biking wherever you are.
Some communities may be golf cart friendly, like Isla Mujeres. We had a fabulous time touring the island by golf cart and were able to go everywhere we wanted. This is a great way to keep your group together as well.
Horse back riding adventures are offered all around the globe. If this is something that is not part of your regular life, then it’s certainly worth looking into for some great memories. Whether it’s a fun trot in the local pasture or a half day trip somewhere, horse back riding is an excellent travel activity.
Travel Activities: Explore the Local Area
Boat Tour or Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour
A lot can be seen and learned from a canal tour or a boat ride down a river. These activities are offered everywhere and provide a unique perspective of your travel destination you may otherwise not see or experience. From a voadeira in the Amazon to a Rhine River cruise in Germany, you are sure to find something to suit your needs.
Hop on/hop off bus tours are another to see what you want to in a big city and skip what doesn’t necessarily interest you. These types of tours are especially ideal when walking around a large city isn’t doable for you or your travel party.
It is also worth noting that these types of tours can be very educational. You will likely learn more about what you’re seeing than trying to find the information on your own or through a guide book.
Take a Scenic Drive
Taking a scenic drive is one of my favorite travel activities! There is so much beauty in nature, and it’s a peaceful and relaxing way to soak up the environment around you. Find back roads and explore. See what makes the location so special to those who choose to live there or visit.
A train ride is also a nice way to see what you cannot from the road. Although shorter distance scenic train rides are not as common in the United States as they are in other countries, if you can find one, you should consider adding it to your list of travel activities.
Getting off the paved road is one of my family’s favorite things to do. If you have a capable truck or SUV, go off-roading and see the beautiful surroundings you wouldn’t otherwise get to from a main road. The views from mountain tops and ridges are stunning!
Another option is to rent a UTV (utility terrain vehicle), such as a Polaris RZR or Ranger side by side, or ATVs, like quads or dirt bikes, for the group. Many foothill or mountain destinations offer rentals of these vehicles, and some places even have guided tours.
Almost every town and city has a museum of some sort highlighting the local history. From giants like the Louvre to small town logging museums, you are sure to find interesting artifacts, art, preserved goods and more from eras past.
Even if you are not an avid fan of fine art or classic masterpieces, museums are still worth your time. They hold treasures to culture and history, and tell stories of the times and experiences of others that shaped the city, region, country or world.
If you are traveling with kids, see what type of children’s museums are in your area. My kids loved going to these, and they are interesting for adults as well. Plus, it’s a great way to engage your kids and get some of their energy out.
Don’t overlook outdoor areas that are preserved, like old western towns or nature conservations. Though not technically museums, these are family friendly travel activities for all ages. When I was young, we would always take our visiting Dutch relatives (cousins to grandparents) to Columbia, Ca, a “living gold rush town”. It’s a travel activity everyone will love!
Travel Activities: Eat the Local Cuisine
Taking a food tour of your destination can be a wonderful way to experience what the local culture is all about. In most countries, food varies by region or state, and is reflective of the area’s history and agriculture. In an area known for its fresh seafood? Try it! Eat bbq in the south, pannekoeken in the Netherlands, pickled herring in Sweden, authentic tacos in Mexico… you get the idea.
Eating at truly local places that serve up local cuisine will provide you with the best of what the area offers. Often these places use incredibly fresh ingredients from their surroundings that are full of authentic flavors.
Travel Activities: Shop
This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those of us who love to peruse specialty stores or buy something to remember your trip with, this is a travel activity worth considering. Plus, it’s a great way to support local businesses. My daughter and I have many lovely memories of looking through shops together and the conversions that result from it.
It’s not always easy to think of something to do when in a new, unfamiliar area. Hopefully these travel activities can add value and memories to your next travel destination!
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