Whether you like to take an exciting trip every other weekend, or it’s been years since your last adventure, inspiration can evade anyone. You might be sure that it’s time for a fun new trip with your best friends, but deciding what to do is a difficult task. In this article, we’re going to gather all sorts of different adventure ideas, with the perfect weekend getaway or international trip for every outdoor fan. From huge bucket-list life-changing trips abroad to simple and fun pastimes you can complete near to your hometown, here are 20 of the very best adventure ideas.
Adventures you can try anywhere
You might get bored of planning a hiking adventure or a camping trip every time you go into the backcountry. If it’s time to mix up your wilderness adventures, why not try some of these new ideas? Most of these adventure ideas can be easily accomplished almost anywhere, without having to travel too far from your hometown. You can do them with any friends, whether they’re already wilderness addicts, or need to be introduced to this wonderful world. Each of these fun activities can be enjoyed by almost anyone and is bound to spread around the adventure bug!
1. Go Snowshoeing
As the temperatures get colder and the weather gets wilder, it can become more difficult to get out for your weekly hike. Trails and entire national parks become blanketed in snow, a beautiful sight but an inconvenience if you’re trying to travel. Snowshoeing began as an essential mode of transportation for when walking through the snow gets too difficult. Now it’s a popular pastime that allows you to explore the wilderness all year round, no matter the terrain.
This popular exercise is a great way to stay in shape through the winter months, and absolutely anyone can do it! When snowshoeing, you get the added benefit of fewer other hikers on the trail, meaning popular spots which would be crowded in the summer might be completely private in the cold. You can easily rent snowshoes for a small expense, and the rest of your gear just needs to be warm and waterproof.
Snowshoes can be done as a complete beginner, but why not learn a few more advanced techniques with your friends? After practicing some hills and slopes, and some avalanche preparation, you can do a lot of exploration through beautiful white landscapes. This adventure idea is a fantastic way to take a day trip into the wilderness with your usual hiking buddies. Explore your new environment together and take in the stunning winter terrain of your local national park.
2. Take an Overnight Biking Trip to the Beach
If you live anywhere near the coast, a night on the beach under the stars is a wonderful adventure idea. Many people who spend their whole lives near the beach never think to sleep there, but waking up to the sound of crashing waves is a beautiful experience. To turn up the fun some more, ride there on your bike! Gather a few friends who are up for an overnight trip and cycle to your closest stretch of coastline. There, you can set up for a night on the sand before biking home in the morning.
We recommend cycling because you can cover a much further distance in a single day than hiking on foot. It’s a great challenge and will definitely tire you out for the night. Once you reach your destination, find a quiet and secluded spot, and enjoy some stargazing with the lack of light pollution. Check the rules of your area beforehand and maybe you can light up a campfire on the beach. Toast some s’mores, share some stories, and have a fantastic night away with your friends.
3. Make Your Own Drive-in Cinema
Did you know you can create an open-air cinema anywhere you want? This cool new idea for a night with your friends is a great opportunity to change up your usual movie nights. All you need to do is find a projector and you can make a drive-in (or hike-in) cinema. Just set up a sheet to serve as your screen and borrow some good speakers, and it’s just like being at the movie theatre. Tell all your friends, bring some popcorn and candy, and enjoy your fresh air movie screening.
4. Try Georeaching Around Your Hometown
If you’re getting bored with the area where you live, geocaching is a fantastic way to explore places you never knew were there. Many people drive hundreds of miles to visit national parks or huge attractions, but there’s probably lots to see and learn about closer by than you think. Geocaching is like a global treasure hunt, one that everyone can get involved in. There are millions of tiny capsules hidden all around the world, containing all sorts of different items. You can download a free app that will provide you with the general location of a cache, and then it’s up to you and your friends to search for it.
This fun scavenger hunt activity can take you to all sorts of new places, and it’s a great way to bond and create memories. Why not take up a challenge and see how many geocaches you can find in a single day? Some are easy to spot, but others present quite the conundrum when you think you’ve searched the entire area. There are geocaches hidden throughout cities, state parks, and everywhere in between, so you never know which ingenious hiding spot will hold your next quarry. A handheld GPS might be useful if you’re going for the most far-flung and wild treasure hunts.
5. Build a Treehouse
Sometimes for adventure, you need to look no further than your own backyard. If you or any of your friends have a large enough tree on their property, building your own treehouse is a fun and challenging group project. You might be able to complete it in a single weekend, or it could take a whole year to complete, but no matter your age, building a treehouse is a lot of fun. Once it’s finished, throw a party or spend the night there together to commemorate your fantastic achievement.
6. Try Canoe Camping
If you’ve never tried canoeing, you’re missing out on a lot of water-borne adventures. Hiring canoes is usually easy and inexpensive, and finding a nearby river to journey down is very straightforward too. Pack up all your camping gear onto a couple of canoes and set off paddling down the river with your mates. You can wild camp in any spot you like, or make your way to a riverside campground to settle for the night.
Instead of hiking through the wilderness from one spot to the next, take a multi-day camping trip down your local river. You don’t need to worry about heavy backpacks because you can load up the watercraft. There’s nothing more idyllic than gently drifting or paddling through the wilderness, and as soon as you see a scenic spot on the riverbank, you can pull in and set up for the night. Destinations like the Florida Keys are perfect for a spot of canoe camping.
7. Do a Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts aren’t just for children! You can turn a regular weekend camping trip into an exciting competition by including your friends in a challenging hunt for various things. There are many different types of scavenger hunts, you’ll probably remember finding specific natural objects such as pine cones when you were a kid. As an adult, you could have more fun with a photographic scavenger hunt. Instead of finding specific items, you undertake a list of challenges involving taking a photo with specific features or locations. Split your friends up into teams to see who will emerge as champion!
8. Take a Roadtrip Through a National Park
Road trips are a guaranteed fun adventure, whether they’re meticulously planned out or completely spontaneous. Road tripping can be done to any destination, a nearby town you’ve never visited is always a good idea. However, to get even more wild and adventurous, why not head to your closest national park. If you live in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a perfect choice. This park is a road more than 400 miles long winding through the mind-blowing scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This destination, or one similar, is the perfect place to go with a few of your closest friends piled into the car.
You can pack your gear for a spot of car camping, or take it one step further and try kitting out your own stealth camper! You can see so much of this country on four wheels, so make some lifelong memories on a road trip with your friends. Go and see America’s most famous sites, or travel somewhere completely off the beaten path for a true wilderness adventure. There’s a reason road trips are a staple of US culture; they’re one of the best and most easily accessible adventures you can have.
9. Explore the Coast via Paddleboarding
If you live nearby to any sort of coastline, you have to give paddleboarding a try. This relaxed version of surfing is a fantastic way to see the coast and discover hidden spots you otherwise would never know about. Most people think paddleboarding looks quite difficult, but it’s actually really easy and a whole lot of fun. Paddleboards are very well balanced and sturdy, so you can feel completely stable standing atop the waves.
Bring along a packed lunch and set off with your friends to explore. You can sit, kneel, or stand on your board as you paddle through the water. Find a deserted cove or hidden spot to enjoy your meal, before traveling back to the dock before it gets dark. Watching the sunset from a paddleboard is a highly enjoyable experience, but be careful you don’t get caught out in the dark and the cold.
10. Try out Rock Climbing
If you don’t have any mountains or large rock formations nearby, just contact your local climbing gym to try your skills on an indoor wall. As well as being tons of fun, climbing is an excellent full-body exercise and a great way to mix up your weekly routine. Perhaps you can connect to your local mountaineering club, who will be able to tell you and your friends about all the best spots nearby. They can also tell you about important safety notes and give advice about equipment, making it easy for you to try out this adventure sport.
11. Take a Night Hike
Hikers who’ve been exploring the trails all their lives may never have been on a night hike. Walking outdoors doesn’t have to be limited to daylight hours, because hiking in the nighttime is a whole different kind of experience. If you take along a UV light, you’ll be able to find all sorts of creepy crawlies which usually hide during the day. Spiders, scorpions, and more become much more active at night, and make for a very interesting hiking experience.
12. Go Skydiving
Skydiving is an activity almost everyone has heard of, but far fewer people ever summon up the courage to complete it. There are skydiving centers all over the United States, so if you and a few friends fancy yourselves true daredevils, you can have an experience to remember. The average price of a skydive is around $250, making it one of the more expensive adventure ideas on our list. However, it’s doubtless worth it and not something you’re likely to ever forget.
13. White Water Rafting on the Rapids
Watersports can be an exhaustive but exhilarating way to spend the day. Waterskiing and wakeboarding are a lot of fun, but by far the biggest adventure is white water rafting. There’s nothing quite like being strapped to a piece of wood with an instructor and a few friends and being launched down some rapids. It’s a fantastic bonding experience and a sure-fire way to get your adrenaline pumping.
14. Zipline Through the Sky
Like skydiving and white water rafting, zip-lining is something every adrenaline junkie has to try at least once in their lifetime. Smaller lines can be found at adventure parks all around, but travel to a mountain range to experience huge ziplines over cavernous ravines!
The best adventures around the world
If you’re looking for the adventure of a lifetime rather than a fun activity for the weekend, these 6 holiday destinations could be an option for you. They require a considerably larger budget than the 14-weekend ideas we’ve previously listed, but they’re guaranteed to hold unbound adventure for you and your friends.
15. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is known as the Roof of Africa. It’s the highest peak on the continent at 5895 meters above sea level. This dormant volcano located in Tanzania is the perfect challenge for any avid hiker, as the route is accessible for most people with a good fitness level. If you and your friends want to experience true adventure and challenge yourselves to the highest level, climbing one of the world’s tallest peaks will definitely do it.
16. See the Northern Lights in Iceland or Scandanavia
To see the Northern Lights in person is something on many people’s bucket lists. This phenomenon, also called the Aurora Borealis, is created by particles of gas colliding in the sky. They cause bright colors and patterns to appear throughout the night sky, a spectacle of stunning natural beauty. One of the best places to witness this life-changing event is in Iceland or Scandanavia, where the light show can be observed from late August until mid-April.
17. Bungee Jump from Victoria Falls Bridge in Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls is one of the world’s largest waterfalls, measuring more than 1700 meters wide and 100 meters tall. This stunning natural feature is an adventure to even see, but for the true adrenaline junkies, there’s only one way to experience this wonder. You can bungee jump off the bridge which connects Zambia and Zimbabwe, right next to this crashing waterfall.
18. Kayak Milford Sound in New Zealand
Milford Sound is a fiord which is considered one of the top tourist attractions in New Zealand. This incredible area is characterized by clear blue water, surrounded by some of New Zealand’s highest cliffs and towering peaks, alongside lush rainforest. You can hike or simply visit this area, but the best way to experience what was called the 8th wonder of the world is by kayaking directly through. To see this stunning view from the water is an incredibly privileged experience, as your view from the kayak will stick with you for life.
19. Scuba Dive or Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
There’s a reason the Great Barrier Reef is famous all around the world. Visible from space, this section of Australia’s coast is home to a plethora of aquatic life which can be experienced directly in the water. Scuba dive or snorkel amongst the fish and corals for one of the most exciting adventures on Earth. Whether you’re an experienced scuba diver or a first-time snorkeler, the Great Barrier Reef is a sight you must see in your lifetime.
20. Hike the Inca Trail in South America
The Inca Trail is probably the most famous hiking trail in the world, so it’s a common feature on the bucket list of outdoor adventurers. This 4-5 day trek terminates in the ancient city of Machu Picchu, traversing through alpine landscapes, forests, and more mind-blowing terrain. Numbers on the trail are strictly limited to prevent erosion, making the experience of walking it even more special. If you and your hiking buddies want to see the most famous site in Peru, book your place on the Inca Trail now.
Adventure is everywhere, whether you travel far from home or go no further than your backyard. Furthermore, the friends you travel with make up the most important part of the experience. We’ve now told you about 20 different ways that you can rediscover your own spirit of adventure, regardless of budget or location. With so many fun ideas to have a fantastic time with your friends, there’s no excuse not to get out there and start exploring the natural world.
Bonus tip: Check out this video to see some fantastic footage of the ancient city of Machu Picchu!