People usually divide themselves into ‘city people’ or ‘nature people,’ but does the choice have to be so absolute? While cities like London and New York have only small pockets of nature dotted along the other concrete landscape, there are some cities that don’t live in contrast to nature; they live with it.
The next time you’re planning an overseas adventure, you won’t have to choose between exploring all of mankind’s cultural highlights or the beauty of the outdoors; you’ll be able to have both of them in the same trip.
If you’ve never been to Colorado, then know this: it’s staggeringly beautiful. You have high mountains, forests, red rock formations, and so much more. It might just be the most scenically diverse state in all of America. It’s also home to some pretty cool cities, and one of these is located right next to the crown jewel of Colorado: Rocky Mountain National Park. Boulder is a chilled, laid-back hippy town with plenty of music, festivals, activities, and more. Make it the base for your trip, and you’ll have the mountains on your doorstep.
Vancouver, British Columbia
You’re pretty lucky if you can have a world-class city and world-class natural beauty standing right next to each other, but that’s just what you get in Vancouver. Stay at the Residence Inn Vancouver Downtown, and you’ll be right in the thick of the city’s cultural landscape, with all the festivals, concerts, museums, and other highlights it offers.
But you’ll also have the mountains, beach, and forests within easy driving distance, too. Whistler, for example, might seem far away from civilization, but it’s only an easy (and very beautiful) 1.5-hour drive from downtown Vancouver. Not that you even need to go that far: there are mountains on Vancouver’s north shore, too.
Cape Town, South Africa
There’s plenty of life and action going on in Cape Town. This is the oldest European settlement in Africa, and as you can imagine, there are bags of historic sites to explore. There are also plenty of concerts, festivals, and other activities, too. But it’s the beauty that really draws people here. You have the iconic Table Mountain, the beach, and forested mountains to the north. It’s an outdoor lovers paradise, with virtually every warm outdoor recreation activity offered in some capacity.
Queenstown, New Zealand
If you want to visit the outdoor activity capital of the world, then there’s only one place for it: Queenstown in New Zealand. The whole country is pretty breathtaking, but Queenstown manages to integrate the natural beauty with a cool, laid-back city where you can hang out and enjoy the sweet life. But let’s be real: there’s a reason why people live here and visit from all over the world. There’s so much fun to be had!
If you’re determined to stay in Europe, then head to Geneva. It’s hard to imagine a city more integrated with the wonder that dominates its landscape, the magnificent Lake Geneva, which you can explore by boat or simply from afar.