5 Best Unexpected Adventure Travel Ideas

By Rona Gindin

Adventure travel is such a unique experience. It beckons the curious with one-of-a-kind vacation experiences. These adventurers seek travel ideas that delight the soul, with outdoor pursuits that sometimes push the limits. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to jump out of an airplane. Open your mind to these out-of-the-ordinary travel ideas that anyone can do on your next adventure vacation with RCI — by land, by sea, even underground.

1. Trot Along The Beach On Horseback

Grand Strand Horseback Riding
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Giddyap! Mount a gentle Quarter Horses or Clydesdales (steps and staffers will make it easy) and follow a guide along the Atlantic shoreline. The two-hour excursion (a solid 90 minutes riding) will bring you along the waves breaking along the sand, with ocean views on one side — maybe dolphins playing, dunes, and homes on the other. In warm-weather months, trot instead through 127 acres of woods, canal banks, and farmland.

2. Walk In Front Of A Waterfall

Multnomah Falls
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon (30 minutes from Portland, Oregon)

A thin powerful rope of white water gushes more than 600 feet down at Multnomah Falls, a waterfall divided into two sections. Lush greenery surrounds it on both sides. Stroll five minutes from the parking lot to see the thundering site head on. Then follow a paved trail to get a close-up from Benson Bridge. You’ll feel the mist as the strong stream splashes. Want more adventure? Hike to the top. The waterfall’s faucet comes from underground springs, rain, and melted snow. A long-time legend among the local First People community credits Multnomah Falls’ creation to a dramatic story involving a chief’s daughter.

3. Sail Through A Cavern

Bonne Terre Mine Boat & Walk
Bonne Terre, Missouri (20 minutes from DeSoto, Missouri)

Men created a lead mine two centuries ago, and today the facility is a labyrinth of underground caves with a billion-gallon subterranean lake — the largest such body of water in the world. Today you can tour the caverns in a boat (you’ll walk some of it, too), seeing the wooden catwalks workers once used as well as a locomotive and ore carts stuck under the surface. If you’re scuba-certified, try a dive; the water is lit up by stadium lights.

4. Meditate In An Underground Reservoir

Buffalo Bayou Cistern
Houston, Texas

Houston’s cistern debuted in 1926 to store 15 million gallons of drinking and fire-suppression water. Today the dark, 2-acre subterranean space lined with more than 200 pillars is a tourist attraction and a great adventure travel idea. Take the kids for an hour look-see about the history and architecture. Book your spots at a Sound Healing Meditation session (ages 9+), where wind chimes and singing bowls lead the path to mindfulness. And be sure to see an art exhibit if one is on display while you’re in town.

5. Visit An Elephant Sanctuary

The Elephant Sanctuary’s Discovery Center
Hohenwald, Tennessee (90 minutes from Nashville, Tennessee)

Eleven elephants live peaceful lives within this sanctuary’s 2,700 acres — it’s their retirement home after working in circuses or being displayed at zoos. Learn about these oversized animals in the Elephant Discovery Center using interactive displays. You can compare ancient and modern humans’ size to those of elephants with the help of an outdoor mural, listen to different sounds that elephants make, and pose for photos by a life-size elephant sculpture made of recycled tires. Plus, staff members are eager to answer any and all questions. While you’re there, watch the elephants eat, roam, and play on screens via 14 live-stream cameras.

NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.

*These vacations are limited and subject to availability.

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