Feel like traveling to a city, but don’t want to get caught up just in the urban lifestyle of restaurants and museums? Fortunately there are metropolises in the world that have a little bit more adventure to offer than rush hour traffic. Here are six places where you can play outdoors by day, before wining and dining by night:
Just one look at Cape Town from above, and it’s clear why this is one of the most spectacular cities in the world. Flanked by Table Mountain, Cape Town is a quite cosmopolitan place with a growing independent film scene, fancy restaurants, and music venues. But there’s also hiking and rappelling off of Table Mountain, world-class surfing at nearby beaches, and just a few hours drive away, the center of shark cage dive tourism.
Sophisticated, yet laid back Vancouverites are quite proud of the fact that they are conveniently located between mountains and the surf; it’s been said that you can ski in the morning and go to the beach in the evening. World-renowned Whistler may be a few hours north of the city, but there are smaller, formidable ski resorts closer to the city center. And when the weather is warmer, there’s good hiking to be found in and around the city, from Vancouver Island to the surrounding provincial parks.
Vegas isn’t all about slot machines, poker tables, bachelor/bachelorette clubs and all-you-can-eat buffets. Many outdoor enthusiasts see Sin City as being perfectly located to many outdoorsy sites in the scenic and geologically dramatic southwest, like Zion and Bryce Canyon. In fact, closer to the strip just on the outskirts of the city is Red Rock Canyon, providing for easy day trips to go hiking, or even rock climbing in the desert — all outdoorsy activities you can do before hitting the craps tables later.
Obviously you can spend a night at the opera in Sydney’s most iconic architectural structure, or pull an all-nighter dancing in clubs and bars, but by day, there’s surfing to be had at nearby beaches like Manly and famous Bondi Beach. And let’s not ignore the fact that there are people — yes, those are people — that strap in and ascend Sydney’s Harbour Bridge for the thrill of it.
Most visitors to the Big Apple only know New York for what they’ve seen in film or television: Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, 30 Rockerfeller Plaza, Central Park, and all those bars and bakeries from Sex and the City. But NYC can also be a playground for outdoorsy people; great hiking trails are accessible via train, only about an hour north of the city, plus less than an hour east is Long Beach, with a surf scene formidable enough to attract Quicksilver’s World Tour of surfing. A day trip with a car can introduce you to the Shawangunk mountain range 90 minutes away, known in the rock climbing community as “the Gunks,” for many challenging crags. And if you can find the right people, you can also kayak your way through the waterways of the five boroughs, from the East River to the Hudson.
Red Bull-endorsed athlete Spiro Razis proves in this video that in and around Santiago, Chile, you can snowboard, skate, and surf in a single day, and still have time for nighttime cervezas.