The Best Adventure Vacations in the US

Spring is just around the corner, signifying it’s finally time to start planning your next adventure vacation to one of North America’s best outdoor playgrounds. It’s not easy to find the best adventure vacations in the US, mainly because there are thousands of possibilities! In an effort to help our guests stay fit and healthy this year, Elite Destination Homes has compiled five unique adventure-based destinations located throughout this diverse country, ranging from Hawaii’s Kohala Coast to New York City’s Central Park.

best adventure vacations in the usNantahala Lake in the Smoky Mountains

Deep in the heart of North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains is a breathtaking, secluded lake surrounded by lush forestry. Nantahala Lake rests in the tranquil, picturesque Nantahala National Forest, home to countless whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, and hiking adventures. Forge Lake Lodge, one of the premier luxury cabins in NC, overlooks Nantahala Lake, far away from cell service, noisy traffic, and signs of civilization. Not only is Forge Lake Lodge a genuinely gorgeous lakefront home, but it’s steps from exceptional bass fishing, serene kayaking excursions, and secluded hiking trails.

best adventure vacations in the usHawaii’s Kohala Coast

The island of Hawaii, known to most as “Big Island,” is arguably the most diverse isle in the world. Big Island is home to active volcanoes, lush rainforests, deserts, heavenly beaches, and Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world (measuring from the sea floor to the highest peak). If you’re searching for a taste of adventure combined with peace and serenity, Hawaii’s Kohala Coast is the ideal destination! Spend your days hiking through the Pololu and Waipio valleys, home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls and ocean overlooks in the world. You’ll also want to spend several hours swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and sipping cocktails at Kauna’oa Bay or Kua Bay. After each day in tropical paradise, retreat to the Ali’i Villa, one of the most luxurious homes in Hawaii. Finish your memorable day on Big Island with grilled mahi-mahi, sunset yoga, and hot tub cocktails at Ali’i Villa.

Zion National Park / Bryce National Park

It’s common knowledge that Grand Canyon State Park is one of the world’s wonders, yet approximately 215 miles northwest of the Grand Canyon you’ll discover one of our favorite adventure vacations in the US: Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Zion National Park is a hiking enthusiast’s dreamland with breathtaking canyon overlooks, challenging gorge hikes, and hidden caves, fusing into a genuinely awe-inspiring experience. Bryce Canyon, meanwhile, is known for its towering, picturesque spires (called “hoodoos”). Your well-deserved Zion National Park vacation should include a stay at nearby Bryce Canyon Estate, a luxurious, hand-crafted mountain-top lodge. This immaculate home features a ten-person hot tub, a valley-view outdoor terrace, and ample space for horse boarding.

best adventure vacations in the usHistoric Taos, New Mexico

Sitting high above the historic creative arts community of Taos, New Mexico, rests the Adobe Zen House, a 4,600 square foot adobe-style sanctuary. The Zen House, as its name suggests, is perfect for those hoping to relax, unwind, and unplug. Enjoy an in-home massage, practice yoga in the atrium complete with a 400 square foot skylight, and relax in the outdoor hot tub under the stars. The Zen House, one of the most popular vacation rentals in Taos, is a short drive from historic Taos Pueblo, expansive Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, and gorgeous Williams Lake. Read more about the Adobe Zen House here.

best adventure vacations in the usNew York City’s Central Park

The heart of Manhattan may not come to mind when thinking about the best adventure vacations in the US, but Central Park is the perfect place to explore, workout, and relax during your lavish stay in New York City. Ask our knowledgeable concierge upon arrival about Central Park’s best yoga instructors, Zumba classes, and health-conscious restaurants. Jog around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, make a pit stop at Central Park Zoo, and snap photos of the park’s best natural attractions. One Central Park, located at Columbus Circle on the southwest corner of the park, is also a short stroll from the Broadway Theatre District, endless five-star dining, and some of North America’s trendiest shops. Very few Central Park rentals are within walking distance of Broadway! Please visit us online, or give us a call at 1-651-389-3843, to learn more about the five best adventure vacations in the US.

Experience New York’s Leading Destination Home

 Destination Homes, Elite rentals, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Family Friendly Vacation Homes New York City is a vibrant and welcoming destination to visit year-round. You’ll want to spend warmer days traversing the greenery of Central Park, venturing to the cutting-edge lower east side to see what’s new or strolling to a relaxing bistro in the upper west side. On cooler days you might think about revamping your wardrobe at the Shops at Columbus Circle, enjoying a Broadway show or pampering yourself at a spa.  There is truly everything here in NY to do when you vacation at Central Park Place. Elite Destination Homes is here to make your vacation to the Big Apple worth every penny.

Location, Location, Location

You hear it all the time, location is everything in New York, and when you stay at One Central Park, you will have the finest.  Located in the Trump International Hotel on the corner of Central Park Place and Columbus Circle you’ll find your New York vacation home base.  Here in the heart of Manhattan – the most densely populated of NYC’s five boroughs – and adjacent to Central Park, this magnificent structure provides every comfort and convenience. It’s truly an unbeatable location for a vacation getaway in New York. You’ll discover your home away from home, on floor five out of 56 levels, and as a guest, you also have access to all of the hotel amenities.

 Destination Homes, Elite rentals, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Family Friendly Vacation HomesOne Central Park Place

Space in the Big Apple can be limited, yet this naturally-illuminated and well-designed executive suite of 700 square feet offers everything you need.  One king bedroom, one bathroom, a spacious living area, as well as a beautiful kitchen will make you feel at home when you stay with us in NYC. Whether you decide to dine in style at the Jean-Georges restaurant, eat out at one of the myriad eateries, or opt to stay in for a chef cooked meal, you won’t be disappointed. Feast over elegant china plates and drink from beautiful crystal glassware, where laughter, love, and great conversation meet at the dinner table.

The master bedroom will greet you with a cozy and comfy king sized bed. Once you head hits the fluffy pillows, you’ll be able to relax after a day of touring the city’s finest venues and attractions. There is an additional sleeping area on the queen size pull out sofa nestled within the living room. You’ll also love stepping into the marble-tiled master bathroom where the jacuzzi tub will help you unwind after a long day. Uncork a bottle of wine and savor this magical retreat.

 Destination Homes, Elite rentals, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Family Friendly Vacation HomesGet More out of NYC

Looking to get more out of your experience to New York? No problem! Trump International Hotel offers an attentive concierge service. You’ll be able to have a meet and greet right at the Hotel with a home familiarization of services and amenities as well as placing cleaning requests. You can change your requests throughout your stay, along with the coordination of in-house chef and spa services. As a five star hotel, Trump Hotel amenities include room service, taxi service for your day’s events, dining reservations in the on-site restaurant, theater tickets to local shows, signature turndown service at nighttime, personal attaché service, and babysitting services are available if needed. Plus, the concierge is on-call to help you with any whim, so we’re sure your stay will be a memorable one!


Yoga On the Road: Barcelona, Paris & NYC

By Bill Bisanz | Paris, New York

On a recent trip to three of my all-time favorite places I practiced yoga…everywhere. Normally my trips, whether for work or pleasure (this was both), are a departure from my normal routine. For sure travel is meant to be a break from the ordinary but why miss out on the extraordinary parts of the ordinary just because we’re on the road.

With this in mind I set out to maintain some of the same practices that help me feel happy and balanced when I’m at home in St. Paul, e.g., yoga, exercise, meditation and food. Yoga was the easiest of these to integrate into the jam-packed days of big-city travel and exploration. Waking up at 6 or 7 and going to bed at mid-night or later and in between meandering around these magnificent urban cathedrals, yoga is a great way to stay balanced while integrating so many new experiences.

In Barcelona, I practiced yoga in two studios – Yoga Studio Barcelona ( and Happy Yoga ( both located adjacent to the Placa Universitat about a five minute walk from Placa Catalunya. I would very much recommend both of these studios. For those of you who like vegetarian food, there is a simple but quite good vegan place called Veggie Garden at 3 Calle Dels Angels, very near both of these studios (try the great smoothies).

In Paris, Elite’s apartments are on the left bank in the St. Germain neighborhood so that is where I tend to spend most of my time. Oddly there seem to be more yoga studios in Barcelona than in Paris and there are more studios on the right bank in Paris, than near our homes on the left. Fortunately, I was introduced to a studio on the left bank Rasa Yoga (, where we enjoyed a couple of different class types. By far my favorite was the Ashtanga class with Malena, a sexy Argentinian who glided as easily between English, Spanish, French and Sanskrit as she did across the floor of the yoga studio.

New York is home to my favorite yoga teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra; true spiritual teacher and gentle man. ( Dharma has been teaching yoga for over 40 years and I find this community to be welcoming warm and inspirational. Can’t say enough about what an amazing experience it is to visit and practice with this group of yogis!

Besides the yoga we enjoyed a rocking good time with our friends in Paris at the timeless Chez Castel, a private club so exclusive it doesn’t even have a website, facebook page or sign at the door. We also crashed the Paris marathon on Sunday morning for a few miles as well as David Lynch’s new club, Silencio. So the trip wasn’t all yoga, meditation and veggies!

Returning from my recent trip to Barcelona, Paris and New York City, I’m again struck by the unique opportunity to be inspired that travel offers us. Exposure to new ideas, people, perspectives, experiences are the reasons that those of us who love to take our journeys on the road just cant stop travelling.