February is the time of year when most people are relaxing, recovering from the holidays and getting back into the swing of their daily routine. But if you can’t wait to get back out there, February is the perfect month for a unique adventure. From hiking in far-off New Zealand to cycling in Cuba to enjoying a winter wonderland closer to home, adventurous travelers can find something to satisfy their wanderlust, even in the off-season.
The sights and sounds of waterfalls have always captivated me. Whether it's due to the security my brain feels near a clean freshwater source or the aesthetic beauty of the surrounding ecosystem, I just feel so invigorated. I've chased waterfalls from Western Canada to South America to Asia and have marveled at them all. But there's a place, right in the heart of the Western United States, that might be the best kept secret of all the cascading sheets of water. It's called "Waterfall Alley" and it's nestled in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge.
Northern Italy's Dolomite Mountains are one of Europe's great alpine playgrounds. When we were lucky enough to have world-travelers Roamaroo join us on our Dolomites Multi-Adventure Tour, we challenged them to create a video that captures the excitement, beauty, luxury and adventure of this amazing corner of the Alps.
Hawaii is a foodie's paradise. There's no other way to say it. You'll find roadside fruit stands boasting smoothies, popsicles, and baked goods filled with local tropical fruits like strawberry, mango and pineapple. Local organic farms host a variety of tours where you can sample luscious sugarcane treats with a fresh squeeze of lime, prepare your own fresh coconut milk and indulge in a myriad of local chocolate delicacies. Fine dining establishments in Hawaii bestow modern twists of island favorites like macadamia nut-encrusted Mahi Mahi and salads decorated with edible flowers straight from the chef's garden. Food trucks dole out fresh fish tacos while locals crack open young coconuts from the back of their trucks to satisfy thirsty beachgoers.
Here are our top picks for some of the best family adventures this summer!
The view from a mountaintop is always worth it and it always inspires us. But the strange thing is, the view from the top always seems to obscure the actual, physical toil it took to get there. Inevitably, we find ourselves lacing up our hiking boots again or putting our cycling shoes back on to climb yet another peak, seemingly oblivious to the incredible challenges ahead. Of course, climb a mountain – including the world’s most iconic ranges – with Backroads and the joy multiplies: logistics, gear, route-planning, lunch stops and guides will all be taken care of so that you can focus simply on finding your stride or cadence and achieving your best day, whatever that means for you.
The high desert is one of those places always worth visiting, particularly in the spring. Seemingly barren at first glance, it's the small springtime pops of paintbrush red, prickly pear pink, penstemon magenta and cliffrose white that draw our attention. These blossoms help us understand that the desert is not just a giant sandbox, but rather a colorful landscape teeming with life.
Martin surprised me with a six-day cycling trip to Hawaii's Big Island for my 60th birthday. What a great way to start a new decade - riding a bicycle in paradise!
If you tuned in a few weeks ago, you saw my post about the impacts that Hurricane Irma had on the Florida Keys in September of 2017. I’m back to tell you about the recovery. I got the fantastic opportunity to show these beautiful islands to some Backroads Trip Leaders over three days. We biked 165 miles from Miami to Key West, showing solidarity for our Keys friends as we road on bikes from All Keys Cycles.
The Florida Keys are a string of coral islands that stretch southwest from the end of the state. They were historically oriented toward the Caribbean, and a center for boat trade and commerce. Key West was the largest town in Florida and the richest per capita in the US. In the early 1900's, Henry Flagler connected them to the rest of Florida by railroad. Today, 42 bridges connect the archipelago, and many of Flagler's original bridges have been designated as part of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail for biking, fishing and walking. The Seven Mile Bridge, south of Marathon, was an engineering marvel and the longest in the world when built.