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California's State Parks and Reserves
Everybody knows about California’s impressive national parks, but the state parks and reserves are hidden gems, offering spectacular views and wildlife and often, fewer crowds. Some favorites: Point Lobos State Reserve for seals and sea lions and for surfing, try Doheny State Beach.
Explore Riviera Maya's Underground Rivers
The Riviera Maya, which stretches along Mexico’s coast for 86-miles from just south of Puerto Morelos to Punta Allen, is known for its hundreds of cenotes. However, Río Secreto, opened to the public in April 2008,is a jewel in region’s extensive system of underground rivers.
Sailing the British Virgin Islands
For a laid-back, boating getaway where you can snorkel and sun on secluded beaches, head to the British Virgin Islands. This nation of more than 60 islands, counting the small, uninhabited cays, offers hundreds of off-the-beaten-path coves within a radius of 80 nautical kilometers.
Hiking China’s Great Wall
At Mutianyu, about 56 miles north of Beijing, the Yan Mountains appear as a series of dramatic crests and the Great Wall’s ancient stones snake their way up and down the green ridge tops. The ramparts, dotted with watch towers in this section, form a path between the peaks.
How to Choose a Dude Ranch
Dude ranches have gone the way of coffee: plain ride ‘em places—the ranch equivalent of a 7-11 brew—still exist, but more and more ranches lure wannabe wranglers with experiences tailored to their specific tastes. And that’s a good thing, but it makes it hard to choose the right experience for you.
Dude Ranch Resorts in the U.S and Canada
More and more dude ranches these days go beyond just horse rides and hard mattress bunks to offer resort-like accommodations and options. The saddle-sore as well as non-riders can soak in hot tubs, play tennis, fly-fish, hike, learn yoga and even work on their inner lives with a spiritualist.
Feed baby lions in South Africa, track elephants through the Namib Desert, identify dolphins off a remote Greek island and build nests for toucans in Belize. These are just some of the adventures available on a volunteer vacation. Have fun while doing good deeds.
Caving in South Dakota
On a caving adventure discover such subterranean secrets as “curtains” of crystals and vast underground chamber and thousands of years old stalactites and stalagmites. South Dakota’s Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Park are two of the U.S.’s top caves.
Costa Rica Eco-Adventures
Ecological adventures abound in Costa Rica. Enjoy hiking rainforests where parrots screech and monkeys chatter, viewing volcanic lakes and rafting rivers edged with thick bamboo stands and wild mango trees.
Whale Watching Tadoussac and Newfoundland Canada
Watching one of the earth’s largest creatures burst from the water in front of you and plunge back into the deep is an experience you will remember forever. Two great places in Canada to go whale watching: Tadoussac, about two hours from Québec City, and also off Newfoundland to spot humpbacks.
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