Adventurous couples share a unique bond with one another and the world around them. They travel, explore, and discover outside of their comfort zone, yet still crave romance and sometimes a little pampering.
We value traveling experience and adventure first, then filling in with delicious food and unique places to stay. It’s the way we explore the world as an adventurous couple, and, in this article, we’ll share some of our favorite North American discoveries with you.
Why Travel as an Adventurous Couple?
An alternative name for this segment is what do adventurous couples look for when they travel? First and foremost, it’s the experiences, aka the adventure. Wikipedia defines adventure as “an exciting experience that is typically a bold, sometimes risky, undertaking.” We like this definition because it focuses on excitement and courage and de-emphasizes the risk.
The four essential parts of any adventure are:
- Finding excitement
- Leaving your comfort zone
- Avoiding your panic zone
- Staying safe
When couples adventure together, they place themselves in situations where things don’t always go as planned. This unpredictability helps significant others learn to cope with uncertainties in life together. Adventurous couples create a shared experience and bond by overcoming the obstacles together. They expand their comfort zone and learn how to avoid the panic zone through communication and teamwork. Most importantly, they never forgot how to have fun together.
Escape to Adventurous Costa Rica
The United Nations says that Northern America, the Caribbean, and Central America form the geographic continent of North America. By that definition, Costa Rica is undoubtedly part of North America, and what a beautiful part it is. This little country has both a Pacific and Caribbean coast, but our favorite sections are the mountains in the middle.
The Costa Rican highlands, especially around the town of Arenal, are the epitome of an adventurous couple’s getaway. During the day, you can order off the adventure menu from local guide agencies with activities like zip-lining, canyoneering, mountain biking, caving, and white water rafting. There are also adventures you’ll only find in Costa Rica, like hiking to the incredibly blue waterfalls of Rio Celeste. All these activities make Costa Rica vacations an ideal solution for the adventurous traveler.
Costa Rican cuisine is jokingly called a choice of beans and rice or rice and beans, but that said, it is pretty darn delicious! The food may be good, but the accommodations will rock your world. The Arenal Volcano creates abundant hot springs and corresponding resorts. Baldi Hot Springs, the area’s largest, is a mixture of waterslides, splash pools, romantic grottos, and swim-up bars, all fed by the geothermal water. If you’re looking for a more secluded couple’s experience, check out the Arenal Springs Resort and Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, which are tucked away in the jungle with pools in a natural setting.
Discover Natural Wonders on Riviera Maya Excursions
Despite being one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world, people lament the change in Costa Rica from grass huts on the beach to an eco-adventure hub. These people would hate Cancun and the Riviera Maya for being over-touristy. Between the cruise ship ports and all-inclusive beachfront resorts, they have a point. However, adventurous couples will find plenty of Riviera Maya excursions that avoid the tourist traps while discovering the natural beauty of the Yucatan.
The secret to exploring Riviera Maya’s adventures is choosing the path less traveled by avoiding bus tours, cruise ships, and picking a hotel that compliments your activities. If you want to go scuba diving at the Cancun Underwater Museum, consider staying on Isla Mujeres. If you’re going to Chichen Itza, choose at an adjoining resort, and take an after-hours tour. If you’re visiting cenotes, get a rental car and discover secret cenotes off the bus tours. Riviera Maya rewards the brave who seek out their own path.
There are several “only in Yucatan” adventures you have to work into your trip. If you’re scuba certified, you have to try shark diving in Playa Del Carmen, cenote diving in Tulum, and drift diving in Cozumel. If you only snorkel, you still have to swim with the turtles at Akumal Bay and snorkel the ancient Mayan canals of Sian Ka’an. Unique land-based adventures include caving in Rio Secreto and climbing the Coba Pyramids. Riviera Maya is an adventurist’s dream once you choose the path less traveled; it makes all the difference.
Explore the Unknown on the Baja Peninsula
Unlike Costa Rica and Riviera Maya, Baja is still considered wild and untamed. It’s a thousand miles of adventure driving from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas on a Baja California road trip, but the real magic is Baja Sur, the southern half of the peninsula. Another difference from Costa Rica is that Baja is very much a coastal adventure. The interior is beautiful with exotic desert landscapes and ancient pictographs in caves, but each coast has a distinct character and adventures that you’ll only find in Baja.
The Pacific Coast is home to a unique phenomenon that adventurous couples HAVE to experience, whale watching in grey whale birthing lagoons. Of the three sites, San Ignacio Bay is the most remote and most rewarding. By day, you’ll enter the bay on small boats where the friendly whales surface all around you close enough to pet or kiss. By night, you’ll be staying in a remote eco-camp, eating freshly caught seafood under a blanket of stars.
The Sea of Cortez side features aqua blue bays and remote islands. Island hopping adventures here include encounters with vast schools of Mobula rays that jump in unison and make the ocean appear to boil and the occasional blue or humpback whale sightings. You’ll also find schools of whale sharks that seasonally migrate up and down the coast. All of these couple’s adventures can come from multi-day eco-tour by kayak or day tours that return to your charming seaside resort.
Savour the Old World Charm of Quebec
For North America north of America, adventurous couples should consider getaways to Quebec, both the city and the province. Quebec City has always been known as a European vacation without the plane ride. In these times, that’s more important than ever. You can enjoy fine French food and romantic strolls on cobblestone streets without ever setting foot in an airport. Ask yourself, wouldn’t you prefer arriving in Quebec via the classic Vermont 100 road trip or stopping by Niagara Falls instead of hopping on an airplane?
Sure, Quebec is a romantic city, but what about adventure? The province features thousands of miles of outstanding cycling along the Route Verde, and Via Ferrata routes through the limestone hills. Mount Caubvick in Quebec is the highest point in Canada east of the Rockies. Winter visitors will discover dog sledding, northern lights, winter sports, and the world-famous Winter Carnival.
Wander Wild and Welcoming Western Montana
Speaking of four-season high country fun for adventurous couples, Western Montana checks onto our guide for great getaways. Montana is more than Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, but they are a great place to start. Between the animals and geysers of Yellowstone and the mountains and glaciers of Glacier, you’ll be hiking, biking, camping, rafting, and exploring nature to your heart’s content.
Montana’s National Parks are epic in every sense of the word, but charming mountain towns like Whitefish call to adventurous couples everywhere. After a day in the wilderness, you can return to a cozy room and delightful dinner along the walkable streets of Whitefish. If it’s raining or you are looking for a down day, you’ll find day spas, and towny escapes to pamper your body and revive your spirit.
Soak in Sunny Southern California
Adventurous couples have flocked to Southern California for longer than their mommas and poppas were California dreaming. Close your eyes and imagine Southern California. You’ll see sandy beaches, palm trees, and some kicking surf outside of an opulent beach resort. You’d be right, but there are many kinds of romantic Southern California Getaways.
The interior valleys feature wineries, biking, and ballooning. A little farther out, you reach the expansive desserts with hiking, hot springs, and artsy escapes. You can even find rustic mountain cabins with snow skiing. Between biking in San Diego, diving on Catalina Island, and rafting the Kern River – America’s steepest commercially run river, adventurous couples will love Southern California.
Cruise Mysterious Northern California
While So-Cal is known for big surf, Nor-Cal is famous for big cities, the Big Sur, and even bigger trees. The breaks at Mavericks might even make a run for the biggest waves too. It is no wonder adventurous couples love coming to Northern California.
Most trips to Northern California begin or end with San Francisco. Not only is it a beautiful city, but it’s also filled with stealthy activities for adventurous couples. ‘The City by the Bay’ offers active pursuits to complement an urban adventure from epic walking tours to biking the bay and watching the sunset from the breakers.
Of course, as Nor-Cal naturalist John Muir says – ‘The mountains are calling, and I must go.’ The tallest trees in the world are in the coastal groves of redwoods, like Big Basin Park, while the largest trees by volume are the Sequoias sheltered on the slopes of the Sierras. Nothing prepares you for your first time entering Yosemite Valley or climbing the chained ascent of Half Dome. There are even little towns, like Santa Cruz, where you can find beaches, breakers, and redwoods packed together in one romantic destination.
Plunge Into Sexy South Florida
South Florida is about as far away from Northern California as you can get, both literally and figuratively. The bright sun and warm waters of the Caribbean bring a year-round festive atmosphere where the party never ends. While there’s nothing wrong with a little South Beach debauchery, even if it isn’t always the active outdoor fun adventurous couples are searching for. However, there’s enough fun and romance in the South Florida sun for everyone.
The Florida Keys are the gold standard for outdoor fun in South Florida. Between romantic getaways, watersports, snorkeling, and biking, it’s easy to see why. However, there’s so much more for adventurous couples to do in the American tropics. Did you know that 1.5-million-acre Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America, and the only place in the world alligators and crocodiles live side by side? You can choose your adventures from easy airboat tours to overnight camping trips kayaking between the camping platforms.
The Florida Keys lay claim to the only living coral barrier reef in America, but the Florida Reef Tract extends upwards to West Palm Beach. The Blue Heron Bridge in West Palm has the most biodiversity of any shore diving in the world, and there are hundreds of commercially dove shipwrecks up and down the coast to Miami. Plus, this area is home to the largest turtle population in the world (competing with Oman) that you can experience above and below the water.
Spring Into Surprising Central Florida
Central Florida is home to some of the best theme parks in the world. Still, there is so much more for adventurous couples to experience in the shadow of the mouse, starting with the hundreds of freshwater springs that boil up from the aquifer creating a unique environment to explore and discover.
The springs in Crystal River are the only place in the world you can swim with manatees in crystal clear water. Just down the road, you’ll find Silver Springs, which is the only place in the world you can kayak with manatees and wild monkeys, simultaneously. There’s also Rainbow River, where a mile and a half of spring heads create unique opportunity to drift dive in a crystal clear river. Notice a trend here?
Besides the springs, Central Florida is home to two coasts. The east coast has some wave action and the unique Indian River Lagoon, home to bioluminescent paddling. The west coast is home to beautiful sandy beaches. Some, like St Pete and Clearwater, offers the fully catered beach experience from seaside service to sunset cruises. Others, like Cayo Costa and Siesta Key, offer a more relaxing, low-key environment.
With all these outdoor activities, more adventurous couples should consider romantic getaways to Orlando and beyond.
How to Plan a Great Getaway for Adventurous Couples
We hope we inspired you with some great destinations in North America for adventurous couples. There are many more out there, like Alaska, Maine, Colorado, Utah, and Washington State, for sure come to the top of our minds, but this list is a start. These are the places we have visited lately, and have some stellar content linked in to help you discover the details that will make your trip extraordinary.
Here are a few travel tips and ideas we have learned from our travels together as a couple that we want to pass on to you:
- Take time to do the research. The work you put in on the front end will pay rewards back when you take that dream trip.
- Set your budget ahead of time. This way, you don’t have to worry about it on the trip. I would even go so far as to have a backup trip ’emergency fund’ to handle unexpected expenses and occasional splurges.
- Know your comfort level. If you like five-star, travel five-star when booking accommodations or tours. If you like five-star but can’t afford it, consider cutting corners in other areas such as eating happy-hour instead of dinner or not drinking alcohol out. These adjustments will help you to afford at least a couple of nights in luxury.
- A good guide can make all the difference. A good local guide can convey the flavor of a destination, and it’s story in a way that really adds depth to your adventure.
- Just like type-2 fun, there’s also type-2 romance. It isn’t romantic at the moment, but it gets better and better in your memories.
- Travel like you live. If you love outdoor adventures on the weekend, don’t be suckered into sidewalk cafes and museums for your holidays.
- Accept the strengths and weaknesses of each partner and divide the tasks accordingly.
- Take turns choosing activities. One of the best ways to keep both halves of a couple happy is by taking turns rather than always picking something in the middle. Picking something in the middle means neither of you are getting to do what they want.
- On that note, don’t be afraid to take some alone time. If your partner wants to go jet skiing and you don’t, do your own thing. Allowing for time apart to recharge will make the time together that much better.
- Understand that high adventure isn’t always conducive to sex. Sometimes, at the end of an intense day, you just want to crash. That’s ok. Be sure to schedule in some down days so you can relax, enjoy each other’s company, and let nature take its course.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Mapping out life beyond your comfort zone requires communication with your partner. Sometimes, simply vocalizing your thoughts moves them from scary unknowns to a rational option.
- Remember, things aren’t always going to go right. Focus on solutions and teamwork and avoid blame. (which is a great lesson to bring home with you).
- Adventuring together is a tremendous test of lifetime compatibility. Pay attention to the red flags that might come up to suggest you’d be better friends than partners.
With that, we hope you have enjoyed our North American edition of the adventurous couple’s guide to great getaways. If you get a chance to try some of these trips or ideas, hit us up in the comments to let know what you think. We love hearing from you all.
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Hi! We are Jenn and Ed Coleman aka Coleman Concierge. In a nutshell, we are a Huntsville-based Gen X couple sharing our stories of amazing adventures through activity-driven transformational and experiential travel.