For some, the idea of spending a week lying on the beach is just not their dream holiday. There are plenty of people out there who would rather be busy exploring a new place and getting active on holiday, instead of topping up their tan. The US is home to some of the best hiking routes and ‘walking friendly’ cities in the world, so we’ve put together a list of our top picks. Just be sure to complete your ESTA registration well in advance of arranging your trip to avoid disappointment!
Salt Lake City, Utah
For a taste of the American desert and some unique walks, why not head to Salt Lake City? The city has the highest elevation in all of the US and you can find 10,000 foot peaks just a 20 minute drive away from the hustle and bustle. For this reason, Salt Lake City makes a great base for hikers and, in the winter, skiers! Big Cottonwood Canyon is one of the most popular hiking spots in the city, it passes beautiful lakes and some truly wild scenery.
San Francisco, California
It’s not likely that walking is the first thing you think of when you think of San Francisco. However, its ‘walkability’ is perhaps one of the city’s best kept secrets. As well as navigating all of the hills in the area to see local landmarks and taking an obligatory trip to the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll find some more wild scenery just a short drive from the built up district. Mount Tamalpais State Park is a great place for summer hiking, there’s over 6,300 acres of grassland to explore so make sure you bring a map.
We know we said this guide was for people who wanted to get away from the sun, sea and sand but who can resist a trip to Miami? The city is known for being great for those wanting to explore on foot and has plenty of things to do, such as shopping on Lincoln Road or a visit to the Seaquariam. If you’re an avid walker, you can even pick up a free walking tour which will take you through the heart of the city. Whether you want to see the art district or Little Havana, you’ll find a friendly walking tour to take you there.
As well as being a hub of political activity, and home to some of the best museums in the US, Washington is great for those who want to stretch their legs on holiday. If you’re interested in the politics and history of the city, take a stroll to Embassy Row where you can see most of the foreign embassies in the area. More serious walkers should make a beeline for Rock Creek Park, which is home to the famous Western Ridge Trail which takes you along dirt tracks through stunning forests.
Most travellers who end up in Portland are looking for an escape from the rush of city life. The area is famous for its outdoorsy culture, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to hikes and walks of all difficulty levels. If you’re interested in a gentle walk, the three-mile long route known as ‘Triple Falls’ is a great way to spot, you guessed it, a three-pronged waterfall. Afterwards, you can head for a well-earned pint at one of the many bars in Old Town Chinatown.