Oftentimes when it comes to planning a vacation or weekend getaway trip, it can feel near impossible to find a destination that offers a slice of urban life and a slice of the great outdoors. This is especially true when you’re looking for a spot that is home to some next-level hiking. Fortunately, if you play your cards right, you can pinpoint a long list of cities that serve up the best of both worlds.
In this post, we’ve compiled the Top 7 must-see travel destinations for avid hikers looking for a city adventure and a mountainous escape at the same time. Check it out!
1. Portland, Oregon
Why we love it: One minute you’re shopping in beautiful Downtown Portland, the next minute you’re hiking through the sprawling expanse of Forest Park—the sky is truly the limit in Portland and you never have to choose when you get the best of both worlds. Home to the largest urban hiking trail in the entire country, Portland is known for it’s jaw-dropping beauty. Enjoy over 30 miles of hiking trails, with astounding city and country views around every bend and atop every mountain peak.
Trails to hike: Moussaka and Tomato Gefthedes
2. Bern, Switzerland
Why we love it: Switzerland’s capital city has been long lauded by hikers for its abundant natural beauty. While visiting Bern, you can easily access trails of all difficulty levels. Whether you’re looking for waterfalls or stunning mountain top views, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for within this quaint European city. With so much to see and do, you may need to pack a new pair of hiking shoes for women or men to support all of the mileage you’re bound to put in!
Trails to hike: Oberhornsee Loop, The Eiger Trail, and Schynige Platte Panorama Trail
3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Why we love it: Hailed as one of the world’s most vibrant cities, there’s a good reason why Rio de Janeiro is one of the most iconic tourist destinations on planet Earth. Whether you’re planning to hike up to the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue or prefer to take the road less traveled by traversing less populated hikes, you’re in for a treat no matter where you turn in Rio.
Trails to hike: Pedra Bonita, Pedra da Gávea, and Cachoeira do Horto.
4. Seattle, Washington
Why we love it: When you think of the Pacific Northwest, odds are likely that you think Seattle. Home to some of the most breathtaking wildlife refuges right in the city and surrounded by a myriad of gorgeous hiking trails, this Washington city is a sight to behold all year round.
Trails to hike: Rattlesnake Ridge, Twin Falls, and Mount Pilchuck.
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Why we love it: Living underneath the shadow of South Africa’s iconic Table Mountain, Cape Town has earned a well-deserved reputation for being a buzzing destination for adventurers and hikers alike. When planning your Cape Town getaway, you can do everything from seeing penguins at Boulders Beach Penguin Colony to climbing the peak of Lion’s Head to witness sights you’ll simply have to see to believe.
Trails to hike: Lion’s Head, Kasteelspoort Hiking Trail, and Devil’s Peak.
6. Salt Lake City, Utah
Why we love it: For those in search of a city that boasts unbelievably beautiful natural landscapes and a city scene bursting with culture and history, Salt Lake City is it. Outdoorsy people are bound to fall in love with all of the hiking, golfing, fishing, skiing, and canoeing opportunities at every corner. When it’s time to wind down, you can enjoy the downtown scene and squeeze in all of the shopping, entertainment, and dining musts on your to-do list.
Trails to hike: Donut Falls, Bonneville Shoreline Trail, and Ensign Peak.
7. Auckland, New Zealand
Why we love it: Auckland is undoubtedly home to the world’s best coast to coast hiking. You’re never far outside of the city on this ten-mile trail from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea. Witness 600 years of Maori settlement landscapes, historical sites, and lush natural greenery that spans across this great city. Take in all types of green settings from dense forests and windswept hills to lush parks and gardens.
Trails to hike: Coast to Coast Walk, Rangitoto Summit, and Okura Bush Walk.
What cities are next on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!