Let someone else do the planning for once. After all, you’re the one who has to hike, bike, climb, and run around this new-to-you-city.
Sometimes, you just want someone else to do the work—you know, the talking, the explaining, the arranging, the planning. Especially when you’re on vacation. Fortunately, there’s no need to hunt down the best outdoor adventures this summer. From guided nature walks led by on-staff experts to miles of trails just outside a hotel’s doors (with a hiking pro in tow), these properties have you covered in the outdoor concierge department. All you have to do is take the days off.
The Weekapaug Inn; Westerly, RI
Photo: Weekapaug Inn
Ritzy Watch Hill is home to mansions galore but also a quieter little sand swept village called Weekapaug (sister property to uber-luxe Ocean House). The waterfront Weekapaug Inn also employs a full-time naturalist who hosts guided nature and bird walks (where you can learn about how a hurricane took out the original property in 1938), kayak paddles, and planet viewing sessions by night (with the use of a high-tech telescope). Surrounded by a salt pond the size of Central Park (with swans!) and the open Atlantic nearby, other water activities—boating, crabbing, fishing, and stand up paddleboarding—aren’t far away either.
The Chatham Bars Inn; Chatham, MA
Photo: Chatham Bars Inn
An ideal waterfront location in one of the Cape’s (that’s Cape Cod if you’re not a regular) most coveted towns (plus onsite tennis courts, a pool, golf, and croquet) certainly don’t hurt, but people drive all the way out to the Chatham Bars Inn, in large, for its slew of adventures by boat. Ride the hotel’s “Bar Tender”, a beach launch that’ll take you to an only-accessible-by-boat beach of the Cape Cod National Seashore (you’ll see seals along the way); sit back on a whale-watching adventure, or learn how to sail. Back onshore, the property offers tours of its nearby farm, too.
The Four Seasons Hualalai; Kailua-Kona, HI
Photo: Four Seasons Hualalai
A trip to Hawaii pretty much promises adventure but at the Four Seasons Hualalai on the Big Island, an oceanfront concierge books and hosts eagle ray and fish feedings, tours of nearby tidal pools, snorkel and scuba adventures, and whale watching trips. Some of the staff are even marine biologists, who care for the property’s alkaline pools and conduct daily beach clean-ups.
Pacific Sands Beach Resort; Tofino, BC
Photo: Pacific Sands Beach Resort
California isn’t the only place to surf. North of the border, Tofino, a tiny little Pacific Northwest surf town, has a short summer season and big breaks. At Pacific Sands, there’s an onsite surf school called Surf Sisters (run by women!) where you can rent gear then hit the waves. You’ll need a wetsuit (even in the summer) but the adrenaline rush—and fish tacos afterward—make it worth it.
The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa; Scottsdale, AZ
Photo: Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
If you’ve landed in Scottsdale, chances are, you want to hike immediately. But if you don’t know the area just picking a random trail is probably not the best idea? That’s where Westin’s hiking concierge (a take on the company’s run concierge that’s popularized guided runs throughout cities across the planet) comes in. Just about 20 minutes from the resort, sits Camelback Mountain, one of the most scenic trips in the area, as well as others (The MacDonald mountain range with its desert views or Brown’s Ranch, ideal for mountain biking and horseback riding).
Hotel Saranac; Saranac Lake, NY
Photo: Hotel Saranac
Hotel Saranac has its very own ‘explorer concierge.’ And why wouldn’t it? Nestled in the Adirondacks, it’s surrounded by nature—six peaks (ranging from 2,400 to 3,800 feet in elevation) waiting to be climbed, over 60 bodies of backcountry water (meant for canoeing), and 60 miles of bike trails beckoning cyclists. In your spare time, ask about The Wild Center, a nearby nature museum with an elevated trail system (think: the High Line in New York) throughout the forest. It’s quite the walk.
Terranea Resort; Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Photo: Terranea Resort
Just 45 minutes from LAX, Terranea is a city adventurist’s dream escape. You can kayak (and maybe see dolphins!), stand-up paddleboard, and even watch a falconry demo at the hotel. And because what’s California without the beach, the nearby trail system snakes you along the coast, ending at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. You can learn about local whale activity as well as the region’s natural history. Time your trip right and you also might be able to partake in a seaside full moon yoga class.