National Geographic has compiled just such a list. But this one is quite extensive, offering 39 different places in the U.S. to make a quick getaway, but still enjoy a surprisingly great outdoor adventure too.
Now, lest you think this is one of those quick and dirty lists that is vague in its description of the place, each of the locations is given a solid introduction and shares inside tips from an expert on that particular place. You'll learn where to hike, bike, climb, ski, and paddle, as well as where to eat, drink, and stay too. You'll also learn about the favorite spots for the locals as well, most of which aren't well known to visitors. All in all, the individual posts for each destination are filled with useful info to help you to decide just where you want to go, and what to do when you get there.
So what are some of the places that earn a nod? The list begins with Salida, Colorado, expands to Hood River Oregon and Lake Placid, New York, before spreading out across the U.S. to other places like Ely, Minnesota and Whitefish, Montana. Of course, the list is populated with plenty of destinations you've heard of, but it is also long enough to slip in some new ones that you probably haven't encountered before too. And whether you like to play in the snow, desert, mountains, or on the water, you'll find something here to draw you in.
As 2016 grinds to an end, and the holidays draw ever nearer, most of us probably don't have a lot of free weekends at the moment. But, 2017 is just around the corner and after the New Year comes and goes, I'm sure we'll all be looking for an escape. Check out the full list here and start planning.