What adventures are you planning for next year? If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve put together a selection of the best destinations for active vacations in 2020. Part of a growing trend, travelers want to stay physically fit while they are on vacation. As a result, they’re skipping the treadmill in favor of shorter getaways based around one or two specific activities.
Active vacations aren’t as high-intensity as adventure travel, but you’ll do more than lounge on the beach. We do several of these trips a year and they usually include theme parks or Las Vegas. We’re more than happy with just a few nights away with lots of walking!
When we go on trips where we’re moving our bodies, we’ve found it helps with travel anxiety. There are a lot of studies and research indicating that being physically active helps to manage symptoms related to anxiety and depression, so that’s a real perk. As parents to six kids, we understand the value of chilling on vacation. At the same time, we also like to keep our bodies feeling strong. If you feel the same way, here are some active vacation destinations to check out for 2020.
2020’s Best & Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle
If you’re going to plan an active vacation (or relocation!), you’ve got to know which cities will meet your expectations. WalletHub has released the report, 2020’s Best & Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle, and it’s definitely informative.
In their search for the best cities for finding that balance between a healthy diet with physical activity, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest U.S. cities across 38 key metrics. They looked at everything from the city’s bike score to the average cost of monthly gym fees and more. Here’s what they found:
Best Cities for an Active Lifestyle
- Honolulu, HI
- Chicago, IL
- San Francisco, CA
- San Diego, CA
- New York, NY
- Portland, OR
- Seattle, WA
- Minneapolis, MN
- Denver, CO
- Washington, D.C.
Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle
- North Las Vegas, NV
- Hialeah, FL
- Bakersfield, CA
- Arlington, TX
- Laredo, TX
- Irving, TX
- San Bernadino, CA
- Garland, TX
- Wichita, KS
- Stockton, CA
Best vs. Worst
- New York has the most sporting-goods stores (per square root of population), 0.446161, which is 13 times more than in North Las Vegas, Nevada, the city with the fewest at 0.034279.
- Gilbert, Arizona, has the most public golf courses (per square root of population), 0.078271, which is 39.9 times more than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.001963.
- Lincoln, Nebraska, has the most fitness trainers and aerobics instructors per 100,000 residents, 232, which is 12.9 times more than in Corpus Christi, Texas, the city with the fewest at 18.
- New York has the most playgrounds (per square root of population), 0.630077, which is 19.2 times more than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the fewest at 0.032732.
To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit WalletHub.
Destinations for Active Vacations in 2020
Need some inspiration? We’ll keep updating this list as we think of more options. In the meantime, here are five great destinations for active vacations in 2020.
The Godfrey Hotel Boston (Boston, MA)
You can’t go wrong in a city known for the world’s most prestigious running event. If you’ve ever dreamed of running the Boston Marathon, you might want to check in to The Godfrey Hotel Boston. The property offers Running Mate Guided Tours, which are a FREE and wonderful way to get out and see the sites.
It’s New England, so you’ll have to keep your eyes on the weather. The guided tours are available to individuals and small groups on weekdays at 6:30am. You’ll get a unique perspective of the historic city on foot and then can use the hotel’s complimentary rental bikes to return and get a closer look at the landmarks later!
Enchantment Resort (Sedona, AZ)
As a guest at the Enchantment Resort, you can take a group or private ride through beautiful Sedona, Arizona. Under the guidance of local experts, you’ll navigate the city’s extensive trail system, taking a holistic approach to riding with pauses to learn more about the Canyon’s rich history.
Related: What I Learned When I Climbed a Mountain
Step off the bike and join Vortex Hikes, another unique experience offered by Enchantment Resort, for an adventure through the famous Cathedral Rock Vortex Hike. This natural energy center in Sedona is also the perfect place to meditate and reconnect with nature.
The Cove, Eleuthera (Eleuthera Island, Bahamas)
Been dreaming of the Caribbean? Maybe you should book a stay at The Cove, Eleuthera in the Bahamas. The resort offers personalizable full or half-day private boat charters on their 26’ twin engine Hydrasport. You’ll be conveniently picked up and dropped off on the resort’s private North Cove beach.
Follow the Cove’s captain and first mate — both Eleuthera natives — on a tour tailored to your own preferences. Options include snorkeling, diving, and fishing expeditions. Get up close and personal with some of the region’s most popular spots as you enjoy refreshments and a customized picnic basket.
Queen Kapiolani Hotel (Waikiki Beach, HI)
So many people have Hawaii on their bucket list, but few ever get there. Is this going to be your year? The Queen Kapiolani Hotel on Waikiki Beach is one of the best destinations for active vacations in 2020. The property offers guided running tours around the beautiful property with instructors from Hawaii Running Project.
Sandy beaches, gorgeous sunrises, and fresh air await as you make your way through some of the best running routes around Waikiki, Diamond Head, local parks, or along the stunning coast. Not in your finest form? No problem! All ages and activity levels are welcome in the QK Run Club!
Rawnsley Park Eco Villas (South Australia)
Would you be up for a journey down under? Guests of the Rawnsley Park Eco Villas in Flinders Ranges, South Australia, might want to check out the property’s impressive mountain biking experience. You’ll make your way through the expansive landscape of the Australian outback, where you’ll encounter this beautiful country’s diverse wildlife.
The terrain can be rugged, but it’s culturally rich and filled with opportunities to see kangaroos, emus, wedge-tailed eagles, wallabies, and various reptiles in their natural habitats. You’ll have a truly unforgettable time at the Rawnsley Park Eco Villas!
Radisson Blu Mall of America (Bloomington, MN)
For something a little closer to home, head to Bloomington, Minnesota where you’ll find the Radisson Blu Mall of America. Inside the property, guests can take advantage of more traditional ways of staying fit such as a spacious gym and indoor saline pool, complete with a saltwater system.
Change it up by taking the mapped #BluRoutes, with distances ranging from two to eleven miles, for walking or running between the hotel and the world-famous Mall of America. When the weather gets too cool, cross the skyway that connects the Radisson to the mall and then take advantage of Marty’s Mile (named after the hotel’s mascot, Marty the Moose), a walking route that takes guests to the best shops and attractions – sometimes with special offers.
Active Vacations in 2020
There’s something for everyone on this list of fun destinations for active vacations in 2020. As we find more, we’ll update this post. Vacations used to be considered a chance to do as little as possible. For many people, that’s still the case. More and more travelers, however, are embracing this interesting trend and seeking out the ability to explore and discover something outside their familiar surroundings.
Some of our best trips have been exhausting, fast-paced adventures. We really enjoy sampling local food and pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones. Nowadays, we spend so much of our lives sitting at desks. It’s not surprising, therefore, that experiences like these are gaining in popularity. To all of you planning an active vacation in 2020: Happy travels!