Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

June, 2016: As the official summer season draws near, many Americans will find themselves spending quality time outdoors. A recent online survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) found that Americans favor going for a walk/hike, going to the beach and having a picnic/barbeque over other common summer activities.

Key Findings

  • Fifty-five percent overall indicated that having a picnic/barbeque was a favorite activity.
  • 49 percent overall indicated that going for a walk/hike was a favorite.
  • 40 percent overall indicated that going to the beach was a favorite.
  • Other activities selected included exploring nature (36 percent); attending festivals (30 percent); going to the pool (28 percent); camping (20 percent); working out (16 percent); boating/water activities (16 percent); and playing sports (11 percent).

Contact Us

For more information about NRPA Park Pulse:

  • Questions about polls and methodology, contact Melissa May.
  • For media inquiries, contact Danielle Doll.

News Stories

From the deserts of Arizona to the rocky coastline of Maine, from the sandy shores of Florida to the peaks of Colorado, the United States offers a breathtaking range of natural landscapes. The new National Geographic book Great Outdoors USA: 1,000 Adventures Across All 50 States reveals how to hike, raft, climb, surf, and bike through some of the best of them. Here are 50 of its top picks, one in each state.


Maine: Hike to amazing views—with no crowds

For a coastal hike that rivals any in Acadia National Park (minus the tourist hordes), Bald Mountain Trail is a 3.4-mile, lollipop-shaped loop to the summit for 180-degree views over Penobscot Bay. On a clear day, you can see Rockport to the south, Acadia to the east, and dozens of islands.

(Visiting Maine: Here’s what the locals love.)

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Hikers can trek from hut to hut in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, through state parks such as Franconia Notch.

Photograph by John Greim, LightRocket/Getty Images

New Hampshire: Hike from hut to hut

High in the White Mountains of the Granite State, eight backcountry hostels welcome hikers with warm meals and comfy bunks. Open for more than a century, the huts spread from Franconia Notch State Park to the slopes of the Carter-Moriah Range, serving as waystations amid alpine tundra, ridge trails, and waterfalls.

Vermont: Ice-skate through a lakeside winter wonderland

Each winter, trail builders from Lake Morey Resort near the town of Fairlee, Vermont, create the Lake Morey Skate Trail, a 4.3-mile icy path that skirts the shoreline past a pine forest, where bald eagles are known to roost. Bring your own skates or rent a pair from the resort.

New Jersey: Follow birds and butterflies in Cape May

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Migrating monarch butterflies sip nectar in a field of yellow flowers in Cape May, New Jersey.

Photograph by George Grall, Nat Geo Image Collection

In September and October, the Victorian beach town of Cape May, New Jersey, sees tens of thousands of monarch butterflies wing through on their journey to Mexico for the winter. See them from the Garrett Family Preserve, also a prime spot to witness fall and spring bird migrations.

Connecticut: Ski in the birthplace of artificial snow

With 650 feet of vertical drop, Connecticut’s Mohawk Mountain Ski Area might look modest, but its eight chairlifts provide access to 26 sidewinding, plunging trails, many of which can be skied after dark thanks to night lighting. Toward the summit, several trails connect with snowshoe and cross-country ski paths that go deeper into Mohawk State Forest.

Rhode Island: Sail like an America’s Cup racer

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Boaters in Rhode Island’s Newport Harbor sail past Balboa Peninsula, golden coves, and Gilded Age mansions.

Photograph by Timothy Swope, Alamy Stock Photo

In Rhode Island, the home of the America’s Cup, visitors can earn their sea legs with chartered sails by America’s Cup Charters in Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. On a two-hour outing you can raise the sails and help navigate, or sit back as you pass sandy coves, estuaries, and mansions along the shore. The three-hour outing reenacts the world-famous sailing race with a practice session and a rip across the water toward the finish.

Massachusetts: Spend the night in a lighthouse

Book an overnight stay at the Borden Flats Lighthouse in Massachusetts’ Taunton River for a taste of lightkeeper life. The striped, sparkplug-style tower was built in 1881 to steer ships through the relatively shallow Mount Hope Bay, near the town of Fall River. Book months in advance for this self-catering apartment with terrific views.

(Stay overnight at this lighthouse—a thrilling 32 miles out to sea.)

New York State: Pedal to vines in the Finger Lakes

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Grapes grow on Seneca Lake in the heart of New York State’s Finger Lakes wine country. With more than 130 wineries, it’s the largest vino-producing region on the East Coast.

Photograph by Amy Lee, Alamy Stock Photo

Formed by glaciers 10,000 years ago, New York State’s Finger Lakes are at the heart of a region known for wine and water views. Cyclists can plot their own routes amid dozens of wineries or go with a guided tour operator such as Carolina Tailwinds or Wilderness Voyageurs.

Delaware: Experience a crabby convention

Delaware Bay has the largest concentration of horseshoe crabs in the world. Each spring—in May and June—these aquatic arachnids emerge from their wintry sleep on submerged continental shelves to lay eggs around the surrounding shores of Delaware. For the best view, try Woodland Beach and Bowers Beach (both located in Kent County) when high tide, sunset, and a new or full moon all coincide.

Pennsylvania: Get a bird’s-eye view of migrating hawks

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

A red-tailed hawk flies over Pennsylvania’s Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, where birders can witness fall migrations.

Photograph by Don Menning, Alamy Stock Photo

Each fall, some 18,000 raptors pass through Pennsylvania’s Hawk Mountain area on their way south. At Hawk Mountain Sanctuary—the world’s first sanctuary for birds of prey—hiking trails connect 10 lookouts, where observer-interpreters help visitors identify different species. The rocky ledges at the North Lookout are some of the best seats, while Silhouette Trail is an ADA-accessible route to South Lookout. Windy days tend to be most productive, with birds flying from dawn to dusk.


New Mexico: Soak in the warm waters of Jemez Springs

The “Land of Enchantment” is rich in thermal waters, including the bubbling mineral-rich pools at Jemez Springs Bath House. Nearby, Spence Hot Springs offers a more rugged experience at a natural rock pool nestled in a pine forest.

Arizona: Find solitude in the desert

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

The ridge line of the Grand Wash Cliffs can be seen at twilight in Arizona’s Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, where travelers will find hiking trails and remote wilderness.

Photograph by Melissa Farlow, Nat Geo Image Collection

Spreading over 7,811 square miles in the northern part of the state, the vast Arizona Strip has few paved roads but many canyons and desert landscapes. The best way to explore much of the region is by foot, four-wheel drive, or often both, as many of the trailheads are at the end of rough roads. Veer into remote Grand Canyon–Parashant National Monument for views of the Grand Canyon from Whitmore Canyon, Kelly Point, and Twin Point overlooks.

(Hiking a desert park? Here’s how to help preserve the landscape.)

Oklahoma: Delve into a bat cave

Oklahoma’s Alabaster Caverns State Park is formed from a rare type of gypsum—the only such cave in the U.S. Guided tours take visitors into the depths, where selenite crystals twinkle like stars and a stream trickles through the length of the cave. Tours take place from April through October to protect hibernating bats. The more experienced can explore the park’s four “wild” caves (permits required), ranging in length from 550 to 1,600 feet.

Texas: Stargaze in a sprawling dark sky reserve

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Chisos Mountain is silhouetted against a starry sky in Big Bend National Park, in West Texas.

Photograph by Andrew Coleman, Nat Geo Image Collection

The Lone Star State is home to six International Dark Sky Parks, two Dark Sky Sanctuaries, and even a Dark Sky Community (Dripping Springs). For the best night views, head to Big Bend National Park, where you can take the Hot Springs Canyon Trail overlooking the Chihuahuan Desert, or the wheelchair-accessible Rio Grande Village Nature Trail. The Milky Way glimmers above during summer months, while the Perseid meteor shower streaks across the heavens mid-July to mid-August.


Montana: Mountain bike along the Continental Divide

Helena, Montana’s laid-back capital, is often overlooked. But its location, at 3,875 feet of elevation on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide, makes it a mountain biker’s dream. Seventy-five miles of trails include the Mount Helena Ridge Trail, where you’ll get views of the valley below. Bonus: You might spot wildflowers or a black bear.

California: Walk among living giants

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

A woman stands on a fallen tree, dwarfed by the massive redwoods in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in California.

Photograph by MacDuff Everton, Nat Geo Image Collection

See seven percent of all the old-growth redwoods left in the world at California’s Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, the northernmost of the four parks that make up the UNESCO-recognized Redwood National and State Parks. Some of the world’s tallest trees flank the Smith River as it flows through the heart of the park. Among great hikes in this area is the Boy Scout Tree Trail (2.8 miles one way to Fern Falls). Adventurous souls can drive the unpaved Howland Hill Road, an old stagecoach route, to the National Tribute Grove.

Washington: Go tide pooling

At the Evergreen State’s Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary and Salt Creek Recreation Area near Port Angeles, tide pool life runs the gamut from gold and orange sea stars to purple and red urchins, green anemones, and cobalt-colored mussels. With 92 campsites, Salt Creek’s seaside campground gives tide poolers ample access to the watery nooks and crannies.

(These U.S. beach towns are even better in the fall.)

Alaska: Camp on a glacier

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier, on the northern side of the Chugach Range, is open to campers, ice climbers, and other adventurers.

Photograph by James Balog, Nat Geo Image Collection

Matanuska Glacier, the largest U.S. glacier accessible (mostly) by car, offers the rare opportunity to camp on the Alaskan ice overnight. After reaching the site via helicopter, adventurers check into Alpenglow Luxury Camping’s comfortable, safari-style tents. An overnight stay includes meals prepped by the camp staff, guided hikes across the glacier surface, and the option to go ice climbing or rappel into a deep glacial crevasse.

Wyoming: Climb a frozen waterfall

With the largest concentration of frozen cascades in the country, the South Fork of Wyoming’s Shoshone River is an ice climbing mecca. Schools in and around the town of Cody, such as Wyoming Mountain Guides, teach the nuts and bolts. Experienced climbers can explore icy routes from the short and sweet Stringer in the Legg Creek area to the moderate Smooth Emerald Milkshake in Deer Creek.

Oregon: Explore a ghost forest on the Tillamook coast

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Composed of petrified 2,000-year-old Sitka spruces, the Neskowin Ghost Forest lurks in the shallows of Oregon’s Tillamook Coast.

Photograph by Koji Hirano, Getty Images

In the 1990s, a series of powerful winter storms unearthed hundreds of petrified tree stubs across Oregon’s Tillamook Coast. These remnants of a 2,000-year-old Sitka spruce forest now form fog-shrouded Neskowin Ghost Forest, whose headstone-size stumps are encrusted with barnacles, sea stars, and sea anemones. At low tide, you can circumvent or scramble up Proposal Rock, one of the most accessible sea stacks along the coast.

Nevada: Camp amid geological marvels

In eastern Nevada, the carved bentonite clay spires found in the 1,600-acre Cathedral Gorge State Park were formed by erosion tens of millions of years ago. It’s an inspiring place to hike, explore slot canyons, and pitch a tent at one of 22 campsites. Watch for birds of prey (hawks, ravens) or, come nightfall, foxes and kangaroo rats.

Colorado: Soak in the hot springs

The Centennial State has nearly a hundred developed and undeveloped hot springs. Their heated natural mineral water is said to boost blood circulation, relieve pain, treat skin irritations, and reduce stress. For the ultimate wellness road trip, embark on the 720-mile Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop from Denver to Pagosa Springs to Steamboat Springs, which highlights 17 thermal destinations, including Glenwood Hot Springs Resort with its 405-foot-long main soaking pool.

(Check out these 10 places to embrace the wild without pitching a tent..)

Hawaii: Glimpse the cosmos

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

On the island of Hawaii, travelers can reach the summit of Mauna Kea by four-wheel drive or via a six-mile hike.

Photograph by Carsten Peter, Nat Geo Image Collection

The crest of Hawaii’s highest peak (13,803 feet) offers a heavenly place to see billions of stars sparkle after dark on the Big Island. Visitors can reach the summit of Mauna Kea via their own four-wheel drive vehicle, by joining a guided tour, or hiking a steep six-mile trail from the Visitor Information Station. The station also hosts nightly stargazing programs organized by the adjacent Onizuka Center for International Astronomy.

(How can tourists help Maui recover? Here’s what locals say.)

Utah: Sandboard down pink-hued dunes

At Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in southern Utah, sandboarders glide down desert hills that vary in hue from pink, orange, and ocher, the grainy remains of a sandstone formation the Navajo considered sacred. The visitors center rents boards and sleds or you can buy your own from Slip Face Sandboards in Provo.


Florida: Become a shrimper for a day

Savor the taste of wild-caught shrimp in Florida’s Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island—the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. Local guides, such as Amelia River Cruises, offer interactive ecotours on the backwaters and tidal creeks of Tiger Basin, west of the island. You’ll learn how to deploy and retrieve a shrimp net as well as to identify the day’s catch, which are displayed in an onboard aquarium before being released back into the ocean.

North Carolina: Make waves along the Outer Banks

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

With some of the largest waves on the U.S. East Coast, the Outer Banks of North Carolina draw surfers from around the world.

Photograph by Chris Bickford, Nat Geo Image Collection

The Outer Banks, a chain of islands off the coast of mainland North Carolina, provide more than a hundred miles of shoreline. Its waves are ideal for body and board surfing—try the latter at the Outer Banks Surf School. Or rent a kayak via an outfitter in Nag’s Head or Beaufort.

West Virginia: Hike part of a coast-to-coast trail

In West Virginia, hikers tackle four major sections of the 6,800-mile American Discovery Trail that travel through an Appalachian valley, up mountains, and past sites steeped in the Civil War. The final section takes trekkers through the tunnels and bridges of the North Bend Rail Trail before terminating at the Ohio border.

Kentucky: Find the end of a “moonbow”

In southeastern Kentucky, visitors can photograph the rare “moonbow” at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. During a full moon on a cloudless night, moonlight hits the mist at the base of the gushing waterfall. That refraction creates a lunar rainbow. Faint and barely visible to the naked eye, the moonlit rainbow will show up in your pictures if photographed using a slow shutter speed. Moonbows are especially pronounced in winter months when the sky gets dark earlier.

Louisiana: Paddle through an otherworldly swamp

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Houseboats are one of the best bases from which to explore the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana.

Photograph by Kris Davidson, Nat Geo Image Collection

Larger than the Florida Everglades, the Atchafalaya Basin stretches over 1.2 million acres in southern Louisiana. The best way to experience its dreamlike cypress forests and swamp-dwelling wildlife (gators, bald eagles) is by kayak, whether you can DIY from Bayou Benoit or take a guided glide with McGee’s Swamp Tours.

Alabama: See a dazzling light show

Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974, Dismals Canyon, in northern Alabama, is one of a few places where “dismalites,” carnivorous centimeter-long glowworms, thrive in impressive numbers, thanks to the unique micro-ecosystem of the area. Against the canyon walls at night, these tiny larvae glow like stars against a pitch-black sky. Although many visitors only see Dismal Canyon’s lush grottos while strolling its 1.5-mile hiking trail, guided night tours occur every Saturday. Reservations, which can only be made in person or over the phone, are taken on the Sunday before the following weekend.

South Carolina: Cycle a Gullah history trail

One of the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina, Daufuskie Island remains mostly untouched by modern development. Hop on a bike and roll along Rob Kennedy Trail to 20 historic landmarks related to Indigenous residents and Gullah-Geechee inhabitants—descendants of enslaved people who have lived on the island for centuries. Look for doors and window shutters painted “haint blue” to keep evil spirits at bay.

Virginia: Hike to a jaw-dropping natural bridge

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Probably formed by the collapse of a cave roof, Natural Bridge is a spectacular, 215-foot-tall stone arch in Virginia.

Photograph by Zrf Photo, Getty Images

Backdropped by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Natural Bridge is a 215-foot-tall national historic landmark estimated to be 500 million years old. It was surveyed by a young George Washington, whose initials, etched circa 1750, can still be seen beneath the arch. Now a state park, the area encompasses seven miles of hiking trails in the Shenandoah Valley. The 2-mile out-and-back, ADA-accessible Cedar Creek Trail runs beneath the arch and passes Monacan Village, which recreates Indigenous life in the late 17th century. Beyond lies Lace Falls, a lovely 30-foot cascade.

Georgia: Dip into a dramatic gorge

Georgia’s Tallulah Gorge State Park centers around a dramatic thousand-foot-tall gorge formed by the Tallulah River. Explore via hiking trails with stellar vantage points or by launching a kayak or paddleboard into the water. If you’re an experienced climber, snag one of just one hundred free daily permits to trek to the gorge floor with its up-close views of Bridal Veil Falls and a chance to slip down the aptly named Sliding Rock for a refreshing dip.

(Atlanta isn’t all that Georgia has to offer. Here are 7 other worthy trips.)

Maryland: Look for fossils beside the Chesapeake

Between 10 and 20 million years ago, a warm, shallow sea covered southern Maryland. It was inhabited by prehistoric creatures including crocodiles, mastodons, and megalodon sharks. Budding archaeologists can hunt for their fossils about an hour’s drive south of Washington, D.C., at Calvert Cliffs State Park, where hundred-foot cliffs facing the Chesapeake Bay hold prehistoric oyster shells, mollusks, and shark teeth.

Tennessee: Paddle in the birthplace of free-style kayaking

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Rafters ride the rapids on the Ocoee River in Tennessee.

Photograph by Chuck Kennedy, MCT/Tribune News Service/Getty Images)

The Ocoee River is one of the most popular white-water rivers in the world, creating deep gorges through Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. Free-style kayakers have been paddling here since 1978 and the first Olympic white-water event on a natural river was hosted here in 1996. Beginners and experienced rafters alike can tackle rapids like Grumpy’s, Table Saw, and Godzilla with outfitters such as Ocoee Rafting.

Arkansas: Birdwatch in a watery wonderland

In southwest Arkansas, the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge is a watery, 76,000-acre system of rivers, swamps, lakes, and creeks along the Mississippi Flyway, a migratory bird route stretching from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Felsenthal holds the world’s largest green tree reservoir, which floods each fall and winter, becoming an ideal habitat for white ibis, great egrets, anhingas, and endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers. The best way to explore Felsenthal is via three short, self-guided paddling trails.

Mississippi: Hike a miniature Grand Canyon

It requires some effort to find Red Bluff, a red-orange rocky landscape near the town of Foxworth in central Mississippi. Explore via a challenging but short hike into the ravine, where you’ll find lookout points over the Pearl River.


South Dakota: Bike the rugged Black Hills

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

A herd of American bison graze in Wind Cave National Park, one of many stops along South Dakota’s Centennial Trail.

Photograph by Richard T. Nowitz/Getty Images

Revered by mountain bikers, South Dakota’s 111-mile Centennial Trail follows the heart of the Black Hills from Sturgis to Wind Cave National Park. The combo of rugged climbs, tight switchbacks, and stream crossings isn’t always easy to map, so bring a GPS. You can ride on your own wheels or rent them from outfitters like Two Wheeler Dealer in Spearfish.

Ohio: Go where the buffalo roam near the city

Just a short drive from Columbus, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park’s 7,000 acres preserve an array of natural and restored Ohio habitats, including a tallgrass prairie where American bison have lived since 2011. Today, the original six-member herd has grown to a dozen roaming near the 5.1 mile Darby Creek Greenway Trail and near the , where you might spy them from an observation deck.

Idaho: Discover the best place to stargaze in the U.S.

Central Idaho is home to the clearest night skies in North America, which is why the area was named the first Dark Sky Reserve in the U.S. in 2017. Ideal times to visit include during new moons, when the skies are dark and the stars are bright, or in summer for the annual Perseid meteor showers. But the Milky Way—which an estimated third of the world cannot view due to light pollution—can be seen almost any clear night.

(Dark sky tourism is on the rise across the U.S.)

Illinois: Paddle amid the cypress trees

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Massive cypress trees and wetlands fill Cache River State Park in Illinois.

Photograph by Ed Reschke, Getty Images

Visitors can explore Illinois’ Cache River State Park, a natural glacial-carved floodplain, by hiking or paddling around the wetland’s massive cypress trees—some more than a thousand years old. Plan your trip when waterfowl and shorebird are migrating to see why the region was designated as a wetland of international importance.

Wisconsin: Cross-country ski by candlelight

In winter, Black River State Forest in Wisconsin’s Jackson County is aglow with candles lighting 24 miles of trails. Most are groomed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, as well as traditional skating and skiing. On a calm, quiet winter evening, look for transplanted elk, released from Kentucky in 2015 and 2016 after a 125-year absence. Pigeon Creek Campground offers year-round sites; first-come, first-served from November to April.

Kansas: Kitesurf on Cheney Lake

Located in Kansas’ Cheney State Park about 25 miles from Wichita, Cheney Lake is an ideal spot for novice kitesurfers and windsurfers. Thanks to several areas with knee- to waist-deep water, the lake is easier for newbies to maneuver while learning the ropes. M&M Point is a recommended launch point, with a nearby cove that’s well situated to “catch” kiters who may get blown downwind. Keep in mind that you’ll need a wet suit except during the warm summer months.

North Dakota: Look for bison and birds in the badlands

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Wild horses are just some of the badlands wildlife to be spotted in North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Photograph by Michael Melford, Nat Geo Image Collection

More than 70,000 acres of Theodore Roosevelt National Park preserve North Dakota’s scenic badlands. Amid painted canyons and rock formations, travelers might spot elk, prairie dogs, or a few of the park’s 700 American bison. Many of the park’s trails are short nature strolls, including the easy Wind Canyon Trail, with views of the Little Missouri River and terrific sunset vistas.

Indiana: Kayak on an underground river

First discovered in the 19th century, Indiana’s Bluespring Caverns houses Myst’ry River, the longest known navigable underground river in the U.S. A hundred feet below the ground, the leisurely two-mile roundtrip paddle winds through dripstone passageways, allowing kayakers to take in the dramatic formations and spot albino salamanders and crayfish, translucent white because of the humidity and lack of light.

Michigan: Snowshoe to Tahquamenon Falls

These amber-colored falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are breathtaking all year round, but winter reveals a different beauty. Strap on snowshoes, then follow lantern-lit paths to see natural ice sculptures edging the roaring Upper Falls, one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi, and the five lovely cascades of the Lower Falls four miles downstream.

Nebraska: Get a crane’s-eye view

Top 10 most favourite outdoor activity in us năm 2024

Each spring, thousands of sandhill cranes roost on the Platte River in Nebraska before migrating north.

Photograph by Joel Sartore, Nat Geo Image Collection

East of Nebraska’s Platte River State Park, 80 percent of the world’s sandhill crane population (close to one million birds) gathers from late February till early April to fatten up and rest before migrating onward to their Arctic and subarctic nesting grounds. See the birds at the Iain Nicholson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary, where viewing stations are perched above the river.

Minnesota: Houseboat in Voyageurs National Park

With four massive lakes, plus 26 smaller lakes, Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park is a watery wonderland ideal for exploring via houseboat. Rent one from Minnesota Houseboat Rentals, Rainy Lake Houseboats, or Voyagaire Lodge & Houseboats. Be sure to choose a craft with plenty of outdoor sleeping space—Voyageurs was recently designated an International Dark Sky Park, meaning there’s a good chance for stargazing from the water.

(Here’s the best place to see northern lights in the U.S.)

Iowa: Join the world’s oldest cycling tour

Every July, thousands of cyclists roll into the Hawkeye State to join the RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa). Lasting eight days and covering more than 450 miles, it’s the oldest, largest, and longest recreational bicycle tour in the world. The route changes every year, but the race always begins along Iowa’s western border and ends along the eastern border on the Mississippi River. Cities along the route host—and feed—riders at private homes and campsites.

Missouri: Spelunk into a literary legend

The caverns of the Mark Twain Cave inspired some of the spookiest scenes in Missouri-born writer Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. One-hour guided tours take in rock formations as well as historic graffiti such as Twain’s signature. It’s located on the outskirts of Hannibal, the author’s hometown.

Q: What are some of the most popular outdoor activities?.










1 Listening to music85%.

2 Watching movies83%.

3 Spending time with family82%.

4 Watching TV80%.

5 Walking79%.

6 Spending time with friends79%.

7 Going to the park79%.

8 Eating out at restaurants78%.

1 Listening to music97%85% · 2 Watching movies97%83% · 3 Spending time with family96%82% · 4 Watching TV99%80% · 5 Walking96%79% · 6 Spending time with friends98%79%.. Find this and more survey data on most popular hobbies & activities in the U.S. in our Consumer Insights tool.nullWhat is the most popular activity in the world - › Kiosknull

How many people do outdoor activities in the US?

The outdoor recreation participant base grew 2.3 percent in 2022 to a record 168.1 million participants or 55 percent of the U.S. population ages six and older.null2023 Outdoor Participation Trends › resource › 2023-outdoor-participation-trends-reportnull