There are plenty of so-called “classic” vacations destinations that people immediately think of when they start planning their travels. Unfortunately, most of these are actually pretty… well, boring. For many, a vacation is a time of idleness, inactivity and even a break from any healthy lifestyle habits you may have developed. But you aren’t like most people. You’re more Gnarly than that.
Followers of the Gnarly way look for adventure in their travels and want to experience new, exciting things. To inspire you, here are 10 destinations that are truly Gnarly (listed in no particular order).
- The Wave of Coyote Buttes, Utah – On the tamer side of Gnarly, there’s the incredible petrified sand formation known as The Wave. After following a moderately difficult hiking trail near the Utah/Arizona border you arrive at this multicolored chute naturally cut through a sandstone mountain. Many hikers even report spotting fossilized dino tracks in the sand. Although The Wave is a fairly out-of-the-way destination and still pretty obscure, it is gaining some popularity.
- Sandboarding – Snowboarding is a pretty Gnarly activity, to be sure. But it has one glaring flaw: the snow. Snow means cold. If you hate the cold – or just don’t want to have to wait for perfect snow – you might try snowboarding’s desert cousin: sandboarding. Although it hasn’t enjoyed the same popularity as snowboarding, sandboarding is a pretty ancient activity and can be done just about anywhere there are significant dunes. Of course, there are parks scattered around the world as well.
- Zorbing – While we’re on the subject of throwing yourself downhill while strapped to various contraptions, you might be intrigued by the Zorb. Originally created in New Zealand in the 1990s, Zorbs are enormous inflatable balls that you enter to roll through large, downhill courses. There are several types of Zorb, whether you want to go solo or with partners. You also have the option of being harnessed or not. Different courses offer different experiences but some will allow you to reach speeds of up to 30mph in that giant, bouncy hamster-ball.
- Stunt Vacations – Ever wanted to be a stuntman? Of course you have! At the very least, you’ve wondered how they do some of this stuff in movies. Admit it. Through a number of different companies, you can live the experience for several days and perform a number of stunts in a safe, controlled environment. Typical activities include target practice with military-style weapons, choreographed fight scenes, stunt driving lessons, and – of course – jumping away from explosions.
- Arctic Treks – Several companies offer various itineraries, generally out of Greenland, that will guide you through the arctic wilderness to see the incredibly scenery, unique wildlife (including polar bears) and amazing indigenous people. Transportation is usually done via dogsled and lodgings generally include traditional igloos.
- Hang gliding in Brazil – Hang gliding itself, wherever you are is pretty Gnarly. But Brazil – particularly Rio De Janeiro – is a famously beautiful and exciting destination. So, why not combine the two? Famous sights like Sugarloaf Mountain and the massive Christ the Redeemer statue will only like better while your soaring above them.
- Skydive Victoria Falls – Continuing the theme of combining amazing locations with otherwise perfectly Gnarly activities, we have skydiving at Victoria Falls. On its own, Victoria Falls in Zambia is one of the most famous destinations in the world. So why not see it from a plane? Better yet, why not see it while jumping out of a plane?
- Shark Cage Diving – People are often fascinated by things that are absolutely terrifying. And few things are quite as fear-inspiring as the Great White shark. Various companies around the world offer the incredible opportunity to dive – in a cage – with these incredible animals. Depending on the company you go through, you may be able to find all-inclusive packages that offer you several hours in the water with the sharks spaced out over a few days.
- Antarctic Expeditions – The arctic isn’t enough for you? How about heading south – as far south as possible – to the antarctic. A few companies offer packages that will take you to the oft-forgotten 7th continent and allow you to see the unique scenery and wildlife while participating in a number of activities, including cross-country skiing, paddleboarding and kayaking.
- Race Supercars – There are several places around the world that allow you to drive race cars on a real track. And this is, of course, awesome. But why not step it up and trade those cars in for exotic supercars? Step into an Audi, Bentley, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini or Mercedes-Benz and break 200mph on a Formula One inspired track through any number of companies. Of course, this is supervised by a professional driver.