Pack Up + Go only sends travelers to urban destinations, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on outdoor fun.
Cities might not be the first thing that usually comes to mind, but we wanted to showcase the greatest outdoor activities in or close to big cities all over the country!
Here are some of our recommendations, featuring amazing outdoor features + attractions.
Let’s start off with a biggie here: Denver, CO. The Mile High City nestled in northern Colorado may be one of the greatest places to visit to get your city + nature kicks at the same time.
Known for its iconic amphitheater, producing concerts and shows most evenings, during the day Red Rocks is a beautiful park to hike or bike! Just about a half hour outside of the city, you can be surrounded by gorgeous geological structures and at night, if there are no events, it is a great place to stargaze too.
Located at 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO 80465
With an easy and accessible paved, two-mile loop trail, Clear Creek is the perfect spot near Denver for a little fresh air. If you’re feeling more adventurous, rent a tube and set out on the water!
Located at 1470 10th Street, Golden, CO 80401 (Visitor’s Center)
Located a relatively short drive away (compared to most distances between National Parks and major cities), this park has about 415 square miles of mountain wilderness to explore. Take Trail Ridge Road to get a long and wonderful look at the vastness of the rocky mountains or stroll around Sprague Lake, witnessing the picturesque scenery and fresh air up close and personal.
Visit their website for full directions, no matter where you’re coming in from https://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm
Park City + Salt Lake City, UT
Utah is full of nature and fun. These two cities, located only 40 minutes from each other, have a few unique spots that you must visit.
Originally built to host the 2002 Winter Olympics, this sports facility is now open to the public for neat activities and events. Play where Olympians once did and feel your adrenaline skyrocket with activities like extreme tubing, extreme zip-lining + scenic chair lifts, and that’s just the outside! Go inside and experience the fastest ice on Earth, with the most records held right on their very ice skating rink.
Located at 3419 Olympic Pkwy, Park City, UT 84098
Open Daily: 9AM-6PM
What better way to experience the Utahan outdoors than ripping through the wilderness on an ATV! Rentals can be made at Peak Adventures for two-seater or four-seater side by sides. Head out on the Bountiful Peak trail, or take the it wherever your heart desires to customize your trip and memories! (just so long as the trails and area are side by side legal)
Located at 847 Northpointe Cir, North Salt Lake, UT 84054
Hours: Mon-Fri: 8AM-4PM
Sat + Sun: 8AM-10AM
Connecting Park City to Brighton, the Guardsman Pass Scenic Byway offers stunning scenery in every direction, especially at the top, 9700 feet above sea level. You can take your family car but beware, there are some spots with gravel, washboards and it is very steep. Don’t travel it during a storm, just to air on the side of caution!
Located at 1845 E Cedar Trails Way, Park City, UT
New Orleans, LA
Teeming with swamp land and beautiful trees, New Orleans is a great city to escape city life.
Filled with wildlife, both scary and serene, plus gorgeous views, the swamps are an ecological oasis. Take a kayak tour to be right out on the water or an air boat tour to zip through the land, either way, it will be an experience to remember.
City Park in New Orleans is a place of magic. Towering and whimsical trees riddle the park where you can walk right under the canopy of the oldest grove of mature live oaks on the planet. The photos taken here will be sure to make it to a frame in your home. Explore 1,300 acres that include a botanic garden, art museum, amusement park, sculpture garden, and much more!
Located at 1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124
Walk the boardwalk through the swamp and wetlands of the Barataria Preserve, located just about a half hour south of New Orleans. The preserve is made up of 23,000 acres of bayous, marshes, swamps and forests. You don’t want to miss this!
Located at 6588 Barataria Blvd, Marrero, LA 70072
Saratoga Springs, NY + The Hudson Valley
Comprised of beautiful greenery and historic places and architecture, this area of New York is a beautiful site, both urbanely and naturally.
Located in New Windsor, NY, the vast open field is full of huge, abstract sculptures. It is perhaps the largest collection of outdoor sculptures in the country.
Located at 1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY 12553
With the rolling waters of New York, a unique way to see the outdoors is by a lazy river tubing excursion! Rental information is available online along with other excursions too!
Located at 877 Lake Avenue, Lake Luzerne, NY, 12846
6000 acres of nature sprawling across New York State is what makes up the Hudson Highlands. Hike the Bull Hill Koop trail to see some impressive views.
Located at 3260 NY-9D, Cold Spring, NY 10516
A beautiful beach city along California’s rocky coast, Monterey has quite the selection of outdoor recreation.
An iconic attraction in Monterey, this historic fish market is a popular place to take a step back in time and enjoy the pristine California water.
Located at #1 Old, Fishermans Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940
Go horseback riding or walk part of the 8.5 miles of trails at Jacks Peak. Lookout on Monterey from one of the vistas and look for fossils from the Miocene epoch along the way!
Located at 25020 Jacks Peak Park Rd, Monterey, CA 93940
Whether you’re with a lover or not, this park is worth the visit! Sunbathe by the bay while you watch the sunlight dance off the blue water or play a game of volleyball at the on-site courts.
Located at 631 Ocean View Blvd, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Austin is filled with quirky features and its outdoor recreation is nothing short of the rest!
On hot summer days, Barton Springs is the perfect place to cool off after being in the concrete jungle. The recreational pool is fed with natural spring water, making it the perfect crossover of urban amenity and natural occurrence. The pool stays between 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. Check their website’s schedule before heading here, as there are scheduled cleaning often to make sure the pool is kept up to standards for humans and wildlife alike.
Located at 2131 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746
A pretty little place of falls and rocks, this state park is right in the city limits of Austin. Come here to get away from the hustle + bustle of the city life without barely leaving the city.
Located at 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, Austin, TX 78744
This place is straight out of a movie. Cascading water pours over dome-shaped rocks, pooling at the bottom with trees and woods surrounding the grotto to create its own little Texan-oasis. A 40-minute drive outside of the city and you’ll be immersed in this natural wonderland.
Located at 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd, Dripping Springs, TX 78620