For some, sipping pina coladas by a pool, getting massages and enjoying long, leisurely meals is all that is required of a vacation. But for the thrill seeker, that just won’t do. If you’re someone who gets restless lying on the beach all day and would rather be surfing the waves in front of you or cliff jumping off of the mountains behind you, then you need to know about some of the great adventures that are out there for dare devils – both within the U.S. and just beyond it.
Humans are actually designed to respond favorably to controlled risk – like the kind we get on roller coasters or when we watch a scary movie. The Atlantic published an interesting piece on what happens to our brain when we experience controlled risk, explaining that we get a rush of feel-good hormones and chemicals. But even without learning about the science behind it, it’s not a stretch to understand that the rather repetitive, stationary and sheltered lives most humans live today can leave someone wanting a little more. If you want to pack as much adventure as possible into your limited vacation days, below you’ll find a list of destinations that are welcoming to Black adventurers and offer some incredible thrills.
Explore Nashville With A Black-Owned Adventure Club
Nashville, Tennessee, isn’t only about great food and live music (though there is plenty of that). When you move away from its bustling city life, it offers incredible outdoor activities like flyboarding at Percy Priest Lake or zip-lining at Nashville North. But if you are overwhelmed with the task of figuring out where to go and how to organize your adventure, there is a terrific Black-owned adventure club in the area that can set it all up for you. Abundant Life Adventure Club offers curated trips – both day trips and overnight excursions – in which they organize activities like guided hikes, kayaking, fireside meals, fishing and ropes courses throughout the many gorgeous outdoor landscapes that Nashville and the surrounding areas have to offer. Their ultimate lakeside campout takes place in the Long Hunter State park along the shores of the Percy Priest Lake and includes catered meals, outdoor education, guided activities and more. It’s like summer camp for adults. Abundant Life does offer monthly and yearly memberships but they do put on events that non-members can attend.
Go Canyoneering In Zion National Park
Hiking Enthusiast and outdoor influencer Nicole Snell (@AdventuresOfNik) recently did a collaboration around her time in Zion National Park post with @BlackGirlsTrekkin– a movement encouraging women of color to heal through nature and spend more time outdoors. If you want to join in on a @BlackGirlsTrekkin hike, you can follow their events on their website. There are also plenty of local branches of the movement, so check to see if there’s a group hiking in your area when you can’t get away. You can follow @AdventuresofNik for other great hiking spots or @BlackGirlsTrekkin to sign up for future hikes. But when it comes to Zion National Park, thrill seekers can take their journey to the next level through something called canyoneering. Canyoneering combines climbing, hiking and rappelling. There are several adventure companies in the Zion area that will take you in a jeep to get near some of the more rigorous hiking paths at which point you’ll get on foot, be prepared to rock climb through some of the more treacherous trails, and eventually rappel off the side of a cliff.
Climb A Mountain And Explore Caves In Antigua
CNBC covered the inspiring story of one Black family leaving the U.S. for Antigua, where they not only felt the safest they ever have but also live a life of luxury at a fraction of what that costs in the U.S. Antigua is a great destination that welcomes Black tourists with open arms and offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at affordable prices. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy amazing hikes and other activities. One popular hike includes a climb to the top of Mount Obama, named for our 44th president. It sits at an elevation of 1,300 feet and offers beautiful views of the coast. After your hike, drive just about a half hour inland to explore the caves of Barbuda, naturally dramatic and enchanting caves filled with unique wild life. But on your way to the caves, don’t forget to stop at Carlisle Bay Beach, a pristine white sandy beach set against a luscious green rain forest that’s a must-see for tourists.
Snorkel, Hike And Charter A Boat In The U.S. Virgin Islands
Source: fotostorm / GettyIf you like to chase warm weather year-round, it’s worth noting that “winter” in the U.S. Virgin Islands means temperatures in the low eighties and sunny skies. Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine named The U.S. Virgin Islands one of the most welcoming destinations for Black travelers and with the diverse and stunning natural landscapes, it’s the perfect place for thrill seekers, too. If you love an unforgettable hike, The Virgin Islands have no shortage of trails. You can find a list of some of the best hiking trails on the islands at AllTrails.com, many of which end in a lookout point offering 360-degree views of ocean and lush greenery. There are also numerous places to snorkel on the islands. Watermelon Bay is said to be the best for calm waters and lots of active sea life. If you want something secluded, Buck Island is a very small island a couple of miles off of north coast of St. Croix that boasts over 250 species of fish. When you’re ready to kick back and enjoy a smooth (or sometimes bumpy) ride, there are plenty of companies that will let you charter a boat off the islands for either a slow sunset cruise or a speed ride.
Go Base Jumping in Twin Falls, Idaho and Camp in a National Forest
Base jumping involves jumping off of a stationary point with a parachute to get you safely to the ground. Base jumping from a designated base jumping point is already adventurous enough. However, some thrill seekers like the brave soul in this video from @MelaninBaseCamp go off the beaten path and take their leaps from not-so-sanctioned jumpoff points. This jump occurs off the side of Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls Idaho. Cars go whizzing past you on the bridge when you get ready for your plunge. Perrine Bridge is one of the only places in the world where base jumping without a permit is allowed year-round. You won’t want to try this one without some professional guidance from a company like Tandem Base. When you’re ready to set up camp for the night, Sawtooth National Forest is just about a 15-minute drive from Twin Falls and offers dozens of camp grounds offering dynamic and unforgettable views of glaciers, a lake and of course the forest. Read reviews of the designated camping spots on The Dyrt.
Drive A Race Car Then Zipline Near Orlando, Florida
Orlando Florida is home to the rather tame Walt Disney World, sure, but it also has a rich and important Black history, as well as everything an adrenaline junky could ask for. There are several monumental destinations that have been important parts of Black history in America in Orlando, including Eatonville, one of the first self-governing all Black municipalities in the U.S., and Tinker Field where Martin Luther King gave a speech that would change history in 1964. Walking tours are available throughout these areas. The city is also booming with delicious Black-owned restaurants, all listed at Visit Orlando. Once you’re ready to unleash your wild child, there’s a lot of heart-stopping fun to be had in Orlando. If you’ve always wanted to get your car up to full speed and feel like a stunt double in a car chase scene, go to the Sunday Funday at Speed World Orlando. For $15 anyone can haul ass on the course’s ¼-mile drag strip. When you’re ready for some fresh air, make your way to Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park. In addition to enjoying the 425-foot zipline, you can also try their hanging skateboards and swing on their “Tarzan ropes.” They offer obstacle courses of different levels varying from beginner to advanced.
This Black-Owned Travel Company Specializes In Adventure
There are a lot of wonderful Black-owned travel agencies. For the purpose of adventure seekers, we’re highlighting Dipaways. Dipaways organizes private and group trips to some of the most gorgeous locations known for their outdoor offerings such as Bali, Indonesia, the Amalfi Coast in Italy and Accra in West Africa. The company aims to give an intimate and curated experience to its customers. To give an example of what you can expect, their Accra agenda involves dinner in the home of a Ghanaian family, a tour through dungeons and attending a traditional naming ceremony in a Ghanaian village. If you want to explore a new place while meeting new people with an adventurous spirit, turn to Dipaways to arrange your next trip.