When it comes to travelling, most people think that have to choose between the outdoors and the city. But is this always the case? We don’t think so. Indeed, there are some cities that seem to straddle the line between natural beauty and culture vulture fun just fine. From Vancouver to Queenstown, these cities are able to delight visitors with the magic of the outdoors and all the cosmopolitan touches of modern life. Take a read of our seven favourites below.
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How many cities can you swim in the morning, ski in the afternoon, and then check out a world-class show in the evening? Not many, but you can in Vancouver. OK, you’re unlikely to want to swim and then ski (how cold would that water be?), but you get the idea. Vancouver has mountains on its north shore and then more as you head up into Whistler. The downtown area resembles New York, too, so this is definitely a big city with a lot going on.
When people head to Colorado, they tend to stop by Denver, but a better choice might be Boulder. This city is full of young people and old hippies, but what’s more is that it’s located within an easy driving distance of Rocky Mountain National Park. This area is, of course, one of the most beautiful in America, and there’ll be no shortage of hiking trails and other sights of interest to explore while you’re there. And then there’s all the surrounding beauty too, such as that found in Utah. All in all, this is the perfect road trip destination!
Queenstown, New Zealand
A city that’s equal parts nature and city-life, Queenstown is an ideal option for people who love the outdoors but who also know that they’ll want something lively happening in the evening. Book a stay at Absoloot Value Backpackers, and you’ll be able to do any number of outdoor activities during the day, and then, in the evening, go bar-hopping in the lively downtown area. In short, this city has most of what people look for in a trip: excitement, relaxation, stunning views, and things to do.
Norway might not be the cheapest city you’ll ever visit, but it’s guaranteed that you won’t be disappointed by it. There’s nature everywhere in Bergen, and there are more beautiful views than you can shake a stick at. You won’t have to go very far from the city centre to find a place to hike or have a scenic lunch, or whatever you like to do in the outdoors. And actually, what’s somewhat surprising is that Bergen has so much to do in the night. It’s a big music place, with a lot of jazz to be found at bars across the city, and some delicious food, too (though be prepared to pay top dollar).
When people think of Barcelona, they usually think of tapas and sunshine, and maybe some scenes from Vicky Cristina Barcelona. What may have passed those who haven’t yet visited is that it’s awesome for nature lovers, too. For starters, you’ve got miles of coastline – not just in the city itself, but in the surrounding towns. And pretty much surrounding the city are mountains – and just beyond them are national parks, more coastlines, and so on. As such, it’s a city that ensures you’ll never run out of things to do if you’re someone who loves spending time in the outdoors.
Anchorage might not have as much culture as the other cities listed here, but it’s certainly got its fair share of nature. It’s worth visiting just for the sublime views from downtown. And wait until you get up close…
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is an amazing place. It somehow integrates city life with the dramatic landscape; beautiful stuff. While there, the main draw will be Table Mountain, one of the most iconic views in the world, but there are also things like Cape Point Nature Reserve, the beaches of Clifton, and many nature reserves, too.
So there you have it. Next time it comes to selecting a trip away, don’t rack your brain trying to think of the type of trip that’s right for you; choose one of the cities above, and enjoy the best of all worlds. Indeed, once you’ve seen that you can kind of have it all on your travels, you’re unlucky to go back to picking any other type of trip again!
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