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A visit to Denali National Park has the potential to be one of the most memorable adventures you will ever experience. The vast national park located in interior Alaska offers some breathtaking views, including spectacular sights like Mt. McKinley and other peaks. This expansive park also features scenic wilderness with a unique boreal and tundra landscape. 

The best part is that the national park offers something to all types of travelers and explorers. Whether you seek adventure, or prefer to relax in the wilderness, this national park provides options for both. Here’s a comprehensive list of the five best things to do in Denali National Park.

 

1. Bus Tours

The national park spreads across a whopping 7408 square miles, and bus tours are the best way to explore it all. No Denali expedition is complete without taking one of the three renowned bus tours of the National Park.

Though all three bus tours are full-day activities, they cover different distances, sights, and experiences. The Tundra Wilderness Tour takes eight hours and is the most popular among the three.

It covers wildlife, landscapes, and plants of the national park. You can expect a few restroom stops and quick breaks for stretching your legs and photographs.

2. Hiking

Denali National Park is an adventure enthusiast’s paradise. The national park offers adventurous hiking trails leading to scenic views. Whether you are looking for a day hike, customizable hikes for large groups, or multi-day hikes, you can find all these things to do in Denali.

You can take one of the many guided hiking tours offered by professionals, or choose to hike on your own. If going your own way, the maintained hiking trails at the entrance of the park and the Denali Backcountry are the two options available for you.

Any which way, hiking through the wilderness of this national park is indeed bliss. Ensure you pack the appropriate hiking gear and follow all safety precautions if you wish to hike on your own.

3. Flightseeing

Fancy a bird’s eye view of the national park and the reserve? Make a once in a lifetime memory and splurge on a flightseeing tour over Denali National Park. What better way can you take in the mighty mountain peaks than by soaring above them?

Instead of a flight, you can also go for a helicopter, some of which actually land on the glaciers. Or maybe you want to opt for Heli-hiking to combine an epic helicopter ride with an adventurous hike through the backcountry. 

Flightseeing is an ideal option for people who prefer sitting in a relaxed airplane while witnessing the wildlife and plants from a higher view. The duration and distance of the flight seeing excursions differ from company to company. So, it’s better to compare various flight seeing services and select the one matching your preference.

4. Off-roading

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, it’s time to get your feet dirty by hopping onto an ATV or a Jeep across the muddy trails of this Alaskan national park. You can either enjoy an off road adventure as a passenger or take control by hiring a vehicle for yourself.

The jeep excursions take you through the national park highways, whereas the ATV rides take you through the Denali backcountry. You can also stop your ATV wherever you want for a quick photoshoot. Regardless of the vehicle, off-roading is one of the best things to do in Denali National Park.

5. River Rafting

Part of the beauty of Denali National Park is the impressive rivers that cut through the landscape. Is there a better way to explore those majestic waters than in a raft? River rafting not just allows you to explore the rivers, but also offers a unique view of the glaciers and wildlife across river banks.

You can opt for a relaxing trip on the Nenana River or go for a more adventurous rafting trip packed with adrenaline. Here again, there is a multitude of options depending on whether you want to grab a paddle along with the professional guide or sit back and enjoy the view.

There are also options ranging from a quick two-hour rafting experience to an entire day trip that includes a picnic lunch on the beautiful riverbanks.

Final Thoughts

That sums up the list of the five best things to do in Denali National Park. Hopefully, the list inspires you to create a fantastic itinerary that matches your preferences. You can also check out the Visitor Center at the park’s entrance to get a better picture of the things you can do during your trip.

Looking for pandemic-friendly weekend road trips from NYC? While there are endless things to do in NYC, sometimes all you need is a good weekend away. Luckily, NYC enjoys an amazing location with countless East Coast getaways a close driving distance away. You don’t need to travel far to feel like you’re a world away. So during this pandemic, why not hit the road, head out of the Big Apple for one of these weekend road trips from NYC?

1.  Brandywine Valley, Delaware

2 hours from NYC

Brandywine Valley - a perfect road trip from NYC

Brandywine Valley

Just over 2 hours away from New York City lies the charming Brandywine Valley, with plenty of options to recharge your batteries. While there you should visit Longwood Gardens, Winterthur, and the Hagley Museum.

Read more about how to plan the perfect Brandywine Valley Road Trip, or the New York Times piece on how to spend 36 hours in the Brandywine Valley.

2. Hudson Valley, New York

2 hours from NYC

If you’ve lived in NYC long enough, chances are you’ve visited the Hudson Valley for a cozy weekend away. With orchards, vineyards, charming towns, and a plethora of lodging options ranging from upscale spas to glamping tents, it feels a world away from the hustle of the big city. If you haven’t been yet, add it to your list ASAP.

3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2 hours from NYC

It’s easy to forget that another large metropolitan area is just a stone’s throw away from NYC. If you’re hankering for a change of scene, Philadelphia is a convenient distance away to take a city break.

Early American history is front and center in Philadelphia, and you will enjoy a laid-back vibe during your weekend trip. If it’s your first time here and you want to check out the typical sightseeing locations, get a Philly sightseeing pass which includes entrance fees for 35 attractions throughout the city.

4. Mystic, Connecticut

2.5 hours from NYC

If you’re looking to escape the heat and humidity of a New York City summer, head down the coast to the seaside town of Mystic, Connecticut. You can either hop in your car or take a train for an easy connection between Manhattan and downtown Mystic.

For where to stay, what to eat, and what to do, check out this guide to a Weekend in Mystic. written by a fellow New Yorker.

5. Baltimore, Maryland

3 hours from NYC

Also known as Charm City, Baltimore Maryland is the perfect foodie destination with its rooftop bars, restaurants, and tons of food markets. If you’re looking to sample all the Baltimore specialties in one location, head to the R. House Food Hall, a massive space with different cuisines.

Naturally, seafood and the famous Maryland Blue Crabs are prominently featured. You can either take this short road trip from NYC or take a convenient bus from New York to Baltimore so that you can really kick back and enjoy the trip.

6. Saratoga Springs, New York

3 hours from NYC

Saratoga Springs isn’t far from the city, but there is a multitude of pit stops from NYC to Saratogo Springs to turn this into one of the best weekend road trips from NYC. Once you arrive in Saratoga Springs, be sure to check out the landmarks centered around the famous naturally carbonated springs.

7. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

3 hours from NYC

The Lancaster area is deep in the heart of Amish country for those who want to see a complete contrast to the hustle of NYC. The Mennonite Information Center can help organize a tour to a few local farms, or you can visit some of the Amish-run shops like Riehl Quilts or the Countryside Road Stand where you can browse a variety of goods like quilts, baked goods, and crafts.

8. Newport, Rhode Island

3 hours from NYC

The Breakers Mansion in Newport Rhode Island

The Breakers Mansion in Newport Rhode Island

Thanks to the developments of the early American railroad tycoons, Newport has some of the most stunning residential architecture on the East Coast. Be sure to drive by the famous Newport Mansions and do the Cliff Walk for stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean. To get an introduction to the main sights related to the Gilded Age you can take a Trolley Tour with optional entry into Breakers, the most ornate mansion in Newport.

9. The Berkshires, Massachusetts

3 hours from NYC

The Berkshires Mountain range north of NYC is a charming area that feels a world away. The town of Stockbridge is a popular hub with its Norman Rockwell museum and cute shops in town.

10. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

3.5 hours from NYC

With all the museums and historically significant locations, you can easily spend a whole weekend near Gettysburg. To get the most out of visiting the historic battlegrounds, you can do a private tour, a group carriage tour with a licensed battlefield guide, or a self-guided driving tour to explore the wider region. Once you’ve paid your respects to the Civil War soldiers who are still buried here, there is still lots more to discover in this stunning area of Pennsylvania.

11. Lake George, New York

3.5 hours from NYC

Nestled within the Adirondacks is Lake George, a location that deserves an entire weekend all to itself. This area is bursting with New England charm, in fact, Georgia O’Keefe created many of her famous paintings in the area around Lake George.

Whether you want to lounge lakeside, explore hiking trails with epic viewpoints, or spend the weekend window shopping, Lake George is the perfect getaway from NYC.

12. Ithaca, New York

3.5 hours from NYC

If you haven’t been to Ithaca yet, just go! There are amazing hiking trails in the area with gorgeous views and beautiful stone gorges with cascading waterfalls.

13. Boston, Massachusetts

3.5 hours from NYC

For city lovers who just want a change of scene, Boston is one of the best weekend road trips from NYC. It’s a very walkable city, with charming neighborhoods like the North End and Beacon Hill with their Victorian brownstone homes.

Also, the city has one of the best ratios of Craft Breweries on the East Coast. Even if you’ve visited Boston before, there are plenty of hidden gems for a perfect weekend trip.

14. Delaware Beaches

3.5 hours from NYC

Take a weekend to explore the beach communities in Delaware. The most popular beaches are Rehoboth and Bethany. Rehoboth is more developed, with a beach boardwalk full of hotels, eateries, and shops, and Bethany is on the more quiet side if you’re looking to feel more off the beaten path. 

15. Washington DC

4 hours from NYC

People come from far and wide to visit Washington DC and at just 4 hours away, it’s one of the best weekend road trips from NYC! Plus, you can take a direct Megabus from Central Station right to Union Station in DC. Even if you’ve been to DC before, you can explore some off the beaten path suggestions and get the most out of your trip to the US Capitol.

16. Adirondacks, New York

4.5 hours from NYC

The famous Adirondacks Mountain range in upstate New York is just beautiful. The best time to visit the Adirondacks is sometime in the late spring or early summer when you can enjoy the great outdoors and get the most out of your trip.

17. Lake Champlain, New York/Vermont

4.5 hours from NYC

The largest lake in New York State, you can spend a weekend exploring different stops along the shores, or stay in one of the many guesthouses that overlook the lake. While you’re in the area, be sure to swing by Fort Ticonderoga, an 18th-century star fort built by the French.

18. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

4.5 hours from NYC

Take a road trip from NYC and enjoy sunset on Cape Cod Bay

Sunset on Cape Cod Bay

The classic East Coast summer destination draws people year after year because of its unique beauty. Postcard-perfect views of sand dunes meeting the rocky shore make Cape Cod worth a visit at least once if you’re living in New York. Enjoy the beach and spend your weekend eating the freshest seafood around.

19. Vermont’s Route 7

4.5 hours from NYC

Vermont’s Route 7 is a mini version of a Great American Road Trip.  Along the way, you’ll pass by several covered bridges near Pittsford. This article from Huffington Post describes a perfect weekend road trip itinerary from NYC to Vermont.

20. Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

4.5 hours from NYC

Harper's Ferry at Dawn

Harper’s Ferry at Dawn

With Harper’s Ferry as a home base, you can spend a weekend exploring West Virginia, a complete contrast to New York City. Harper’s Ferry is located where the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers meet at the intersection of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. The nearby Blue Ridge Mountains are full of walking trails where you just might encounter long-haul hikers taking on the famous Appalachian Trail.

21. Finger Lakes, New York

5 hours from NYC

The Finger Lakes is one of the classic weekend road trips for NYC dwellers, but with so much to discover, you can keep coming back again and again. Highlights in the region are the many wineries and slot canyons like Watkins Glen. Or maybe try going off the beaten path and exploring the Corning Museum of Glass.

22. Shenandoah Valley, West Virginia

5.5 hours from NYC

With countless things to do, the Shenandoah Valley makes one of the best weekend road trips from NYC. Visit Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia Caves, and plenty of awesome wineries in the region.

23. Burlington, Vermont

5.5 hours from NYC

Head to Burlington, Vermont during summer and you may not want to leave. The whole city feels like a giant block party, where everyone knows each other and you’re always greeted with a smile.

Live music, outdoor dining, and charming shopping streets make Burlington the perfect place to spend a long weekend away from NYC. There is also a thriving Craft Beer to discover, which is a great way to spend an afternoon.

24. Montreal, Canada

6 hours from NYC

Montreal, Canada is just a 6 hour road trip from NYC

Montreal, Canada

For a completely different cultural experience, head to Montreal in the french-speaking Canadian province of Quebec. You will feel a world away as you stroll through the cobblestone parts of the old city, take in the soaring European-style cathedral and interact with its proud French-speaking residents. Nightlife in Montreal is world-famous, and the citywide Jazz Festival during the summer draws people from far and wide.

25. Buffalo, New York

6.5 hours from NYC

Buffalo, New York is having a moment. They have some beautiful architecture, and they’ve got a new park along the Erie Canal where you can take in the views of the skyline and harbor. Everyone is well aware of the city’s namesake chicken wings, but the Buffalo food scene has so much more to offer.

26. Erie, Pennsylvania

6.5 hours from NYC

Especially during the summer, Lake Erie is one of the best weekend road trips from NYC. There are miles of beaches near the Presque Isle State Park, plus wineries, microbreweries, and museums. There is a great Americana vibe with live music happening almost every day of the week over summer.

27. Niagara Falls

6.5 hours from NYC

This stunning bucket-list location is perfect for a weekend getaway from NYC. If you’re making the long trip, it’s worth visiting both the American and Canadian sides of the falls. The Canadian side boasts the best panoramic views of the enormous falls, while the American side allows you to get up close and personal with the falls.

While there, you should of course take the famous Maid of the Mist boat ride that gets you up close and personal with the falls. For something different, we would recommend splurging on a scenic helicopter flight, one of the most exhilarating ways to see the falls.

28. Virginia Beach, Virginia

6.5 hours from NYC

Best for a 3-day weekend, Virginia Beach has long been a favorite getaway for the city-dwellers along the East Coast because of its stunning beaches and casual atmosphere. Virginia Beach can get crazy during official 3-days holiday weekends, so to beat the crowds, just take a Friday off and head down. There are plenty of unique things to do in Virginia Beach, like biking the boardwalk or taking a sunset Craft Beer Cruise.

29. Coastal Maine

7 hours from NYC

The coast of Maine is one of the best weekend road trips from NYC.  Condé Nast Traveler has a great itinerary for 4 days along the Maine Coast. You will love the rugged New England feel.

30. Quebec City, Canada

8.5 hours from NYC

If you have a long weekend, drive up to the French-speaking capital of Canada to Quebec City. In just 8 hours you’ll be transported to a completely different aesthetic, with timbered houses, French-inspired food, and the French language all around you.

Visit Quebec City, Canada as a road trip from NYC

Quebec City, Canada

Are you currently dreaming of your next travel escapade? With talks of the travel industry starting up again in June, it’s finally time to start planning your next adventure. From June onwards can be expensive, so your best bet for an affordable adventure is to travel in September. 

The great thing about September is that plenty of countries are still getting a lot of sun with the added benefit of fewer tourists. If you are stuck for destination inspiration, take a look at our guide on where to travel in September, whether you’re into skiing or sunbathing. 

Aruba

Aruba is a great place to visit in September

Aruba is one of the best and most beautiful places to visit if you’re looking for a mixture of relaxation and adventure. Especially in September when temperatures are just right for exploring and lounging.

This Southern Caribbean island is known for its stunning white-sand beaches and natural wonders, favoured by archaeology enthusiasts and snorkelers alike. If you want to explore historical sites by day and let loose at night, then Aruba’s capital Oranjestad is a good place to stay. 

However, if you prefer a more low-key vacation, you should consider visiting Andicuri Beach, which offers the perfect off-the-track tropical location. 

Canada

A complete contrast to Aruba is the equally stunning Canada, where you won’t catch the best tan, but you will definitely find some sights to remember – maybe even a bear or two. In fact, September is the ideal time to visit, as this is the peak month for salmon, forcing bears out of hibernation. You can even stay at a bear-watching lodge in British Columbia, where you can spot the local inhabitants from the safety of cosy accommodation. 

Visit Canada in September for prime grizzly-watching season

During September, you can enjoy the landscape transition from green to golden in the Rockies, which will make your hiking trip extra special. You can also explore additional trails and lakes without the worry of excessive rainfall or even snow, making your journey safer and warmer. 

Italy

If you live in the UK and wondering where to travel in September without the hassle of a long flight, why not consider Italy, which typically takes less than three hours? You also don’t need a visa to travel to Italy for more than 90 days if you’re a UK citizen, so you can explore plenty of locations within this time. 

September weather is also perfect in Italy, especially if visiting places like Rome, which can be overbearing in the peak of summer with scorching temperatures and large crowds. This will make your sightseeing experience much more enjoyable. If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, explore our top pics for the best hidden gems in Italy.

San Gimignano - one of Italy’s hidden gems

There are also plenty of September harvest festivals where you can enjoy plenty of great food and wine, of course. Venice also hosts the Regata Storica on the first Sunday in September, a boat racing festival that should definitely be on your bucket list.


So, where will your next adventure be? Snorkelling in crystal blue waters, hiking in the Rockies, or enjoying Roman ruins? If you still haven’t decided where to travel in September, why not look at our country guides for backpackers

 

Ontario can be a great place to travel. However, there are certain hidden gems in Ontario that you might not have been aware of until now. Sure, you might already be familiar with the capital city, Ottawa, but did you know that there are places there that go undiscovered? In this article, we’re writing about the 9 unexplored places in Ontario that you might not have heard of, and you might want to book a trip to for your next vacation getaway!

 

1. Hamilton Waterfalls, One Of Many Hidden Gems In Ontario

Albion Falls in Hamilton, Ontario

Albion Falls in Hamilton, Ontario

Also known as the “Waterfall Capital of the World,” Hamilton is home to almost 100 waterfalls. Whether you choose to hike through it or take a car, the possibilities are endless when exploring the picturesque waterfalls. Don’t forget to bring your camera to have photo ops from every angle possible in one of the most unexplored places in Ontario!

2. Library Of Parliament, a Hidden Gem in Ottawa

Library of Parliament in Ottawa - A Hidden Gem in Ontario

The Parliament Library in Ottawa (on the Parliament Hill, to be exact) is both a massive archive and an architectural marvel. Built in 1876, this library (which is home to information and research for the Parliament of Canada) will transport you through time as you take in its historic architecture, from the carvings to the towering shelves. This stunning library is another hidden gem in Ontario.

3. Flowerpot Island

Flowerpot Island, A surprising Hidden Gem in Ontario

Flowerpot Island is only 4 hours from Toronto when you travel by car. Just off the coast of Tobermory, you’ll be able to get there once you board a boat. Then, you’ll start seeing great things — including rock formations that are structured like flower pots. It’s still a relatively unexplored place in Ontario, with opportunities to hike the many trails in the area and enjoy the azure waters along the shores.

4. Inglis Falls

Inglis Falls, Ontario

Love waterfalls? Ever imagined getting that great photo op of a magnificent waterfall? Then check out Inglis Falls, one of the big unexplored places in Ontario! 18 meters high, these falls were formed by Sydenham River, which meets the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. And, sitting in the middle of a forest, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a movie set in an exotic amazon!

5. Bruce Peninsula

Bruce Peninsula Park is a hidden gem in Ontario

Ontario may not have the ocean, but it does have rivers, lakes, and bays for you to take a swim in. One of the huge hidden gems in Ontario, the Bruce Peninsula National Park sits on the edge of Georgian Bay, and is well-known to locals for its crystal blue waters and ancient trees, along with its incredible grotto perfect for swimming near, it’s still one of the best unexplored places in Ontario.

6. Sleeping Giant

Just out on the Sibley Peninsula, you’ll come across the Sleeping Giant – a natural formation that towers over Ontario. When looked at from above, the formation resembles a large person asleep, and covered in trees. “Hikers who hike on this “giant” will be gifted with staggering views and treated to a wonderful hiking experience. Hiking here is really one of the best unique things to do in Ontario” says Jannie Lindgren, a lifestyle blogger at Revieweal and UK Services Reviews.

7. Absolute World Towers

The Unique Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Ontario

Mississauga has two towers that make most skylines think twice before exploring it. Just among the low-lying grey landscape are twirling towers – the Absolute World Towers. Among the 5 largest towers in the world, these can twist 209 degrees from the bottom to the top, making the individual dizzy just by looking at them. One of the more frightening unique things to do in Ontario, if you’re brave enough – or at least, adventurous enough – then go for it!

8. Georgian Bay

Something out of a romantic movie and one of the hidden gems in Ontario, the Georgian Bay is one of the best places where writers can find plenty of inspiration. With picturesque sunsets, as well as an overall view of the bay itself, this place is ideal for those who love to bike through trails, those taking cruises, and for casual tourists looking to simply sit by the lake. The possibilities are endless when it comes to finding unexplored places in Ontario around Georgian Bay!

9. Bonnechere Caves

Finally, enter Eganville, one of the unexplored places in Ontario, and you’ll see the Bonnechere Caves. Encased in limestone, these caves are a local-favorite during the summer. During a tour through the caves, you’ll learn about their geology and history.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! 9 places that will surely knock your socks off the next time you plan on going to Ontario. Instead of the usual tourist traps, try one or more of these special hidden gems in Ontario, and you’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing all along.