Top 10 Healthy and Active Vacations to Take!


Whether you are currently planning a vacation for this summer or considering one later on, incorporating activity is important to staying on track and a fun way to explore new territory. A great new way to travel with the family is to plan an adventurous vacation centered around a fit activity- active vacations are the best! Among this list are our top 10 activities on vacation, you are sure to find an activity you enjoy – one that will enhance your vacation and your fitness!

*Calorie estimates are based on one hour of activity for a 150-lb. person.

Scuba Diving/Snorkeling



476 calories scuba diving, 340 calories snorkeling. Discover what’s at the bottom of the ocean while increasing your maximal oxygen intake. Hawaii, Australia, Belize and Mexico are popular options, but Florida Keys and the Barrier Islands in North Carolina are also two local spots worth seeing.





204 calories. Between using your core for balance and paddling along the ocean, surfing provides a great upper and lower body workout while releasing endorphins. Hit the waves in Pipeline, Oahu or Honolua Bay in Hawaii, or check out Surfrider Beach in Malibu, California. To read more about the health benefits of surfing, read our article here.


Hiking and Backpacking



477 calories. Not only does backpacking provide an amazing view, but connects you to nature and the great outdoors. Your legs will feel the burn, but these trails are worth it! Visit the Pacific Coast Trail, Appalachians, Yosemite, or The Grand Canyon if you haven’t already been.


Rock Climbing



750 calories ascending a rock and 545 calories rappelling. Climbing incorporates every muscle in your body, while offering a challenge that will test your mental capacity as you scale cliffs. Kentucky boasts some of the nation’s best caves, which also leads to enormous climbing opportunity. Visit Red River Gorge to experience the climb yourself.





102 calories. From pitching a tent to gathering wood, the calories add up! Earn your s’mores by adding in a hike around the campsite or a few outdoor family games. Whether you want to go big at a national park such as Olympic in Washington, Acadia in Main, or sick to a local forest, the outdoors offer a connection to nature and endless possibility.


City Biking



545 calories at a moderate pace. There is no better way to get a tour of the city than a bike ride, we even wrote an article about why you should take a bike tour instead of a bus tour! This is an activity for the whole family that will burn calories and save you money. Pedal faster to gain more of a cardio workout. Rent bikes in NYC’s Central Park or ride through some of the most bike-friendly cities such as Minneapolis, Portland, and Boulder.


Mountain Biking



580 calories. Increase the calorie burn and the view with mountain biking! Exhilarating and challenging, biking through mountains will work more than just your cardiovascular endurance as your legs work to pedal you up the cliffs. Head to the northwest for Mckenzie River Trail in Oregon, Moab in Utah or Crested Butte in Colorado.


Yoga Retreat



170 calories for one hour of Hatha. Proven to improve balance, flexibility, strength, and mindfulness, yoga is one of the best injury-preventative forms of exercise. Rejuvenate yourself by escaping on a retreat and getting in touch with yourself. While California and New York feature several yoga retreats, the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts hosts year-round workshops amongst a tranquil atmosphere in the Berkshire Mountains.


Deep Sea Fishing



250-400 calories. Who knew fishing could burn so many calories! Going deep sea is a strenuous and strengthening exercise, especially when reeling in fish. While you can find a spot to fish at nearly any part of the coast, The Southern California Bight, Cape Hatteras off the coast of North Carolina, and Puget Sound in Washington are a few popular destinations to catch fish in the deep sea.


Winter Sports



Skiing/snowboarding/cross country skiing/ice skating – whether downhill or cross country skiing, the average person burns anywhere from 350 to 950 calories per hour! Snowboarding: 428 calories. Ice skating: 500 calories. Not only do these sports strengthen muscles, but they are some of the top sports to build endurance and expose you to the fresh winter air. Park City Utah, Squaw Valley California, and Vail Colorado boast some of the best slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Skate at Rockefeller, Sun Valley Idaho or your nation’s capital at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink in DC.


If you can’t do a full active vacation, here are some activities to incorporate into a weekend getaway or your own at-home version:

  • Jogging along the beach – 600-700 cal, 6mph. (30% more calories in the sand than on the road!)
  • Golfing – 307 cal
  • Beach volleyball – 571 cal
  • Hiking – 409 cal
  • Water skiing – 409 cal
  • Horseback riding – 285 cal
  • Ziplining – 300 cal
  • White water rafting – 300 cal
  • Kayaking – 341 cal
  • Swimming – 409 cal, leisurely; 477 cal, freestyle











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