My adventuring co-worker drags his 10 year old son with him and his wife to “Adventure Sites” in the United States. He recently wrote up a list of activities that will “turn boys into men and girls into men”—so take that as you will, of course excusing him (as usual) for his overt sexism. He just handed me five post-its with notes about his favorite spots.
Let’s see if I can turn his jumble into eloquent prose:
Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is an ideal spot to jump-start your child’s adventuring education. With 1,200 miles of multi-level trails, thick forests, glistening waterfalls, and wide meadows, your child will experience a head-on collision with American wilderness. Families can rent cabins and spent hours and days exploring the vastness and beauty of Yosemite National Park.
Apparently there was a very stinky new species of orchid discovered at Yosemite National Park. According to msnbc, “park officials said they would not release details about where the plant was found because they were concerned visitors might love it to death.” Is that a typo? Why would people love a stinky flower?
Next on the list is Dinosaur, Colorado, particularly Dinosaur National Monument in Echo Park in the Uinta Mountains. There are dinosaur fossils abound, prehistoric rock art, whitewater rafter, and great hiking. In addition to the fossilized creatures, there is also an array of live wildlife still lurking in the canyons.
Moving right along to Padre Island (Beaches and National Seashore). Padre Island is located at the southernmost tip of Texas and is comprised of beaches, sand dunes, nearly 150,000 acres of land, turtles, pelicans, and excellent water adventures. Beginner surfers can ride the small waves at Padre Island’s Isla Blanca park, as well as try their luck at sailing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, and jetskiing. Boat tours take groups out to see dolphins and whales. And as though that’s not enough, there’s also bike riding, horseback riding, and classes in sand sculpting by sand castle-building experts! Just be wary of college kids during Spring Break who take over Coca Cola beach in South Padre Island.
Fourth on the list is Grand Canyon National Park, and under that he wrote “need I say more?” Didn’t give me much to work with here. I personally remember being too scared to ride a donkey down the canyon when I was a kid, but maybe your kids are braver…
And then there are the lucky kids (a category that my co-worker’s son falls into) who get to go to Haleakala National Park in Maui. Craters, volcanoes, natural pols, waterfalls, and rainforests fill the Haleakala landscape.
Why can’t I be a lucky kid?
So there you have it, the top ten places to bring your burgeoning adventurer, according to a travel expert and his very own burgeoning adventurer.