Lady Bird Lake in Austin

The greatest attraction Austin has to offer is the stretch of the Colorado River called Lady Bird Lake, where by taking just a few steps you can go from bustling, urban downtown to an alternative world that’s peaceful, beautiful, and natural. You can also find hike-and-bike trails that are some of the best urban trails in the country, plus crewing, canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle-boarding.

View of an interpretive sign at the edge of Kealakekua Bay.

Beaches in the Big Island’s Captain Cook Area

Beaches near Big Island’s Captain Cook Monument are all excellent for various water sports, including rental kayaking, and two have great amenities for a full day at the beach with a packed picnic lunch. All are fairly busy beaches, even the harder-to-reach ones, so plan ahead if you’re looking for solitude.

A woman rests on a park bench in the sand at Kailua beach.

Beaches Near Kailua, O‘ahu

The beaches near Kailua, O‘ahu each have their own big draw; one is the place to go for fun in the water, another for excellent kayaking, and still another for finding your own small stretch of sand. Whenever you seek solitude, however, be prepared to go without the convenience of park facilities and easy accessibility.