A curtain of water spills over into a calm stream in a thickly wooded area.

Oregon’s Top Five Hikes

Oregon’s diverse, dramatic landscape lends itself wonderfully to a good hike. Narrowing down the plentiful and varied options to Oregon’s top five hikes isn’t an easy task. Here are our picks.

The view from La Garnacha's mirador. Photo © Elizabeth Perkins.

The Best of Nicaragua in Two Weeks

Nicaragua has a popular, carved-out tourist route based on its principal, most developed attractions. The beaten path is made up of the Granada-Ometepe-San Juan del Sur circuit, which can be done in about a week. Save another week for volcano-boarding near León, wildlife-viewing in Estelí, and relaxing on remote Big Corn Island. Wherever you head, Granada is a good place to ease into things, with colorful surroundings, wonderful cuisine, and a central location.

Climbers prepare to scale Acadia's granite cliffs. Photo © Hilary and Tom Nangle.

Activities in Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is one of those parks that has something for everyone, from active outdoor adventurers to history buffs with a penchant for finding that perfect slice of solitude. Here’s the best of everything Acadia has to offer.

Volcán Telica. Photo © lanabyko/123rf.

Hiking Nicaragua’s Maribio Volcanoes

Each volcano along the Maribio chain is unique and offers a different sort of adventure from the quintessential cone-shaped volcano, Momotombo, to the most frequently active volcano in the chain, Cerro Negro. Start early for each of these and bring a minimum of three liters of water per person. None of these hikes should be attempted without a guide, but luckily you won’t have any trouble finding a local one. Community tourism projects are growing at the base of many of these volcanoes.

View from the Nounou Trail. Photo © Christopher Thomas, licensed CC-BY 2.0.

Hiking Nounou Mountain, Kaua‘i’s Sleeping Giant

The Nounou Mountain Trails comprise three trails. They are all inland in the mountains above Wailua and zigzag over Nounou Ridge, the Sleeping Giant. Many feel the nearly four-mile round-trip Nounou Mountain East Trail is the prettiest of the three, while the Kuamo‘o-Nounou Trail is about two miles one way and is tough, but suitable for a fit family. Lastly, the Nounou Mountain West Trail is 1.5 miles and one hour each way, and a little shorter and less steep than the east-side trail.

Craggy rocks rise up along a smooth sandy beach as waves wash up on shore.

The Best California Beaches

From wide, golden beaches with abundant sunshine to boardwalks crowded with kids, cotton candy, and roller coasters, California has any kind of beach you could possibly want. Author Stuart Thornton shares a helpful overview of some of the state’s best options for sun, sand, and surf.

Red dirt with clustered grasses in the foreground while a flat-topped arch spans across the landscape in the background.

The Variety and Splendor of Arches National Park

A concentration of rock arches of marvelous variety has formed within the maze of sandstone fins at Arches National Park, one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Bill McRae and Judy Jewell offer advice on how to plan your time and where to go to experience the best Arches has to offer.