The Weekend Warrior
Business travel is a grind. Sure, corporate-sponsored gourmet dinners and 5-star hotels with maid service sound nice. But the reality is usually a lot more like airport fast food and Super 8 waffle machines than caviar, champagne and staying at the Ritz. Spring marks the perfect time of year to ditch the city and get amongst some local adventure. Here are a few recommendations to get you started.
No other city in the world has more weekend warrior potential than Saint Frank. Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and Big Sur are all within striking distance. Traffic out of town on Friday’s can be a nightmare though so better to just take advantage of what’s right in front of you — namely Ocean Beach and the San Francisco Bay. Throw a thick wetsuit in your bag or rent one along with a surfboard from Aqua Surf Shop to take advantage of the powerful waves at Ocean Beach. Or hit up Sea Trek in nearby Sausalito for an adrenaline filled SUP inside the SF Bay, where tricky tidal surges and large ships will keep even the most practiced paddlers on their toes. For mellower waves and calmer waters for paddling, check out Pacifica Beach, where a sheltered cove mellows the Pacific Ocean considerably.
This one is a no brainer and its also no wonder the Mile High City is stuffed full of well-seasoned weekend warriors. Located at the foot of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Denver is surrounded by adventure opportunities in every direction, depending on what you’re into and what time of year it is. (If it’s winter, for God’s sake go skiing or snowboarding.) But this spring, consider booking an overnight whitewater raft trip down the nearby Arkansas River. Guiding operations like River Runners take care of everything so there’s no need to pack extra gear. The whitewater ranges from continuous class-III to pool drop class-IV. In other words, exciting but not terrifying. Browns Canyon is gorgeous and there’s nothing like spending a night under the stars after a week in the office.
The Windy City can be brutal in the winter. During the cold, windy, grey days it’s hard to imagine that this lakeside metropolis transforms into a thrumming beach city come summer. Late spring and early fall can also be exquisite. Regardless, if you’re lucky enough to spend a sunny weekend in Chicago do whatever it takes to get out on the water. Rent a sailboat for the weekend from Chicago Sailboat Charters and explore the city’s multiple harbors and prime sailing conditions on Lake Michigan.
Another one of those places where the time of year will impact what you can do greatly, Bean Town ain’t no slouch when it comes to weekend adventures. One of the best is kiteboarding. Head a few hours outside of Boston and you’ll reach Cape Cod, where the protected waters and consistent winds make the area ideal for kiting. Full service rental shops like New England Kite School located in Boston on Revere Beach have everything you need, including certified instructors.
Blessed with warm water and sunshine year round, there’s no shortage of weekend distractions in Miami to keep you entertained. Nightclubs galore, incredible restaurants, white sand beaches, pool parties and way more than its fair share of beautiful people. Still, the fact remains, if you’re in Miami for the weekend and want an adventure, go fishing. It doesn’t matter if you like deep-sea, big game sport fishing or near shore fly-fishing for Tarpon, outfitters and guides like Double Threat Fishing Charters can get you out on the water and setting your hook in no time. The waters surrounding Miami provide world-class fishing throughout the year depending on what you’re after. Even if the fish aren’t biting, the aquamarine water, warm breeze and gorgeous Miami skyline in the distance all make for a memorable experience.
A surprising choice, but what many people don’t know about The Big D is how good the mountain biking is. Whether it’s the 20-miles of inventively-built single track at the Big Cedar Wilderness area near Joe Pool Lake or the eight-mile, meticulously-maintained trail in Oak Cliff Nature Preserve which features numerous switchbacks, some technical sections and fun water crossings, Dallas delivers. Rent everything you need at one of Richardson Bike Mart’s three locations in the metropolitan area.
The Emerald City is an adventure mecca. With two different lakes — Lake Washington and Lake Union — within the city limits and Puget Sound, the Olympic Peninsula and Cascade Mountains a couple of hours away, there are lots of reasons to stay in Seattle a couple of extra days. Jump on one of Kenmore Air’s Float Planes to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Island’s and rent a sea kayak to explore the enchanting waters and bountiful wildlife surrounding the islands including a resident pod of orcas, sea otters and bald eagles. The good folks at San Juan Kayak Expeditions can take care of everything from hourly gear rentals to guiding multi-day trips.