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23 Must-Visit American Cities for Outdoor Adventure Travel

January 15, 2017

23 Must-Visit American Cities for Outdoor Adventure Travel

If you love adventure travel, Rootsrated has combined the efforts of travel experts to provide a large list of adventure experiences you don't want to miss.  Adventure over 'things' is a better way of life so we hope you get out there and explore.

by RootsRated on rootsrated.com

So much to do, so little time. From the rolling mountains of the Southeast, to the jagged peaks of the West, to the river canyons, waterfalls, and old-growth forests of the Pacific Coast, the Continental United States is home to a lifetime's worth of places to visit and things to do.

RootsRated works with outdoor and adventure travel experts across the United States, and to produce this piece, we've polled our network to showcase their suggestions for the best adventure travel experiences in their towns and cities.

So, without further ado, here's our breakdown of 23 American cities that you should visit at least once in your lifetime. Some are small; some are huge; some are obvious choices, others are towns you've possibly never heard of. All are incredible for the modern day adventure traveler.

Editor's note: Every image within this post links to a more in-depth, insider's guide about the best places to go outdoors within that city. 

1. Asheville | North Carolina

Backpacking along the Art Loeb Trail
Backpacking along the Art Loeb Trail Jeff Bartlett

If there’s one mountain town in the Southeast that needs very little introduction, it’s Asheville, NC. Well-known for being a creative hub for art and music, a craft-beer mecca, and a gateway to endless Appalachian adventure, Asheville is a place that’s practically overflowing with all the right ingredients for a world-class outdoor town. Thousands of trail miles crisscross the surrounding mountains, and a vast network of waterways run through and around the town, making Asheville a dream destination for any outdoor enthusiast.


2. Portland | Oregon

Trail running high above the Columbia River Gorge
Trail running high above the Columbia River Gorge Jake Wheeler

Situated in the Willamette River Valley, at the base of towering volcanic mountains and sprawling evergreen forests, Portland is a Pacific Northwest city that's well-known for being an adventure paradise. Within city limits, the most impressive natural area to visit is Forest Park —home to 5,000 acres of green space filled with classic moss-covered Oregon forest. Just outside of Portland, the 11,250-foot Mount Hood is an accessible peak for aspiring mountaineers, with endless amounts of trails and world-class ski areas. And closer to the city, the Columbia River Gorge has a seemingly endless amount of hiking and biking trails, plus some of the most gorgeous waterfalls in the country .

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