The beaches in Encinitas are some of the best in California. The white sand and rocky bluffs of Moonlight Beach make it a popular destination for surfing, beach volleyball, and its low key vibe.
San Diego’s classic boardwalk beach town features two miles of oceanfront boardwalk, numerous shops, and Belmont Park: a boardwalk amusement park featuring the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster originally built in 1925. Other activities include biking, beach volleyball, boogie boarding, surfing, whale watching, sport fishing and scuba diving.
Approximately 1300 feet above sea level, Mt. Helix Park is known for its breathtaking views, hikes to the top along the Yawkey Trail, and beautiful rock formations and native landscape. The park contains an amphitheater and cross memorial at the top.
The Fremont Troll is a public sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.
“I have a soft spot for the Fremont Troll. It’s kind of a cheesy tourist thing, but it feels like old Seattle.” — Noah Gundersen
Odette recommends checking out the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney. You can learn more about science and botany while exploring beautiful gardens.
Centuries ago, ancestors of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla (pronounced Kaw-we-ah) Indians settled in the Palm Springs area and developed extensive and complex communities in Palm, Murray, Andreas, Tahquitz and Chino Canyons.Many traces of these communities exist in the canyons today, including rock art, house pits and foundations, irrigation ditches, dams, reservoirs, trails, and food processing areas.
The Twin Peaks are two prominent hills with an elevation of about 925 feet located near the geographic center of San Francisco, California. Only 928 foot Mount Davidson is higher within the city.
“From bison to hippie drum circles to windmills to coyotes, it’s a beautiful and diverse and huge city park.” – The Brothers Comatose
Recommended in the San Francisco edition of the Waterloo Sparkling Sessions, presented by Waterloo Sparkling Water
Golden Gate Park is a large urban park consisting of 1,017 acres of public grounds.
Founded in 1817, Glasgow Botanic Gardens is located in the heart of the city’s West End and contains a variety of plant collections including a large orchid collection, numerous glasshouses, most notably the magnificent Kibble Palace, and a tea room.
“Also worth visiting is the really spooky UNAM sculpture park which has this crazy amphitheater in the middle of it strewn with volcanic rocks and where you can catch an amazing view of the city.” — El Búho
“I love walking down the little cobbled streets of Coyoacán, not just in the center but also into the area which has this almost village atmosphere to it, dotted with little churches, local celebrations, and feels a long way from the hustle of Juarez or the Zona Rosa.” — El Búho
“Plaza Garibaldi, even if you are skeptical about its tourist-trap shine, is an experience worth living. Hoards of different groups, mariachi or son jarocho, stalk the square looking for customers to pay them per song upon request. You get a personal experience: a one on one concert of any Mexican classic played right in front of you by these incredible musicians. Well worth it!” — El Búho
“I go for San Ángel for its range of different little boutiques, trendy food shops, tourist wares, and a few little gems hidden around the streets. It was my go to place to take friends looking for a souvenir and also a great place to wander around.” — El Búho
“The Bosques de Chapultepec are a great place to get away from the noise and madness of the city and well worth taking in the quite incredible Museo de Antropología (the best museum in the city!)” — El Búho
Frederiksberg Gardens is the former grounds of beloved Frederik VI, King o Dembark from 1808-1839. A statue of the king can be seen upon entering the gardens. Enjoy a boat tour along the beautiful canals and pass by the Frederiksberg Palace, towering on a hill top, many lovely little bridges, and the Chinese Pavilion that was erected in 1799 as a Royal teahouse.
Formerly a private imperial garden attached to the grounds of the Forbidden City until the early 1900’s. The artificial hill Jingshan, is the highest point in Beijing, and at its peak offers breathtaking views of the Forbidden City directly north.
With a rich history spanning more than a millennia, Beihai Park was formerly an imperial garden, and today serves as a public space filled with gorgeous hills and green all around. Located to the northwest of the Forbidden City.
The Collingwood Children’s Farm is a not-for-profit, inner city farm situated on the Yarra River in the Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford, Australia. It is adjacent to, and considered part of the larger Abbotsford Convent complex.
Melbourne’s first public square which also serves as the location for the visitor center and other cultural attractions.
“I draw inspiration from the nature that surrounds Melbourne. There’s so much to be discovered. The wildlife is all unique to Australia.” — Evan Klar
Unique, non-profit center offering an organic grocery & cafe, nursery & environmental education.
Federation Square is a purpose built venue for arts, culture and public events on the edge of the CBD of Melbourne.
“My favorite place outdoors is Kiyosumi Garden in the Kiyosumi Shirakawa neighborhood of Tokyo. The garden is idyllic and serene and for a moment, you forget that you’re in one of the most densely populated cities in the world.” – Ren Stern
This large, ancient park sits upon one of the highest points in London, offering some of the best views of the city.
The park includes Parliament Hill, Golders Hill Park (zoo and butterfly house), an open air Lido, swimming ponds, and wide expanses of grassland and ancient woodland. Pack a picnic and have a dip in one of the swimming ponds and see for yourself why Hampstead Heath has inspired countless films, books and poems from Karl Marx and The Kinks to Notting Hill.
Farm and charity organization in Lambeth with a focus on the local community, educational activities, riding lessons, animal therapy, and more. Come say hi to the animals and enjoy a peaceful escape from city life.
“The views are incredible and you can’t help but be inspired.” -Million Miles
“Stoke Newington – Excellent pubs, cafe’s and parks and populated by lots of musicians and dogs.” – Circa Waves
“London Fields – In the summer this park turns becomes ones of the busiest; full of dogs and BBQs it backs onto Broadway Market which has some of the best street food, pubs and restaurants around.” – Circa Waves
“The Parkland Walk behind Finsbury Park that goes all the way to Alexandra Palace. It’s an old disused railway line that cuts through the hustle and bustle of the city that gives you a moment of peace as well as some amazing views over the city.” – Circa Waves
“An old roman theatre that sounds perfect and is a great place to play outdoors.” — Balkan Beat Box
The High Line is a 1.45-mile long elevated park built on a former New York Central Railroad spur. It has become one of Manhattan’s most loved public parks since it was opened to the public in 2009.
“It’s a quaint space filled with birch trees, lined with beautiful, old homes.” — Jeremy & the Harlequins
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a 70,000 acres protected area designated a National Recreation Area administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service.
Eagle Rock Reservation is a 408.33-acre forest reserve and recreational park in the First Watchung Mountain of New Jersey, primarily in the communities of West Orange, Montclair, and Verona.
Trail Creek Park offers over 4 miles of mountain bike designated multi-use trails.
60-acre natural area with walking trails, a 1.2-mile mountain bike trail, and a 15-acre lake. A 100-year-old forest, home to the largest scarlet oak tree in Georgia.
A 1,018 acre Georgia state park; an ideal spot for a picnic, camping, hiking, biking and horseback riding. The park is named after the Watson Mill Bridge, the longest covered bridge in the state of Georgia.
“[It] is an urban oasis with a huge variety of ecosystems — miles of trails through the woods, rivers and creeks, a pond and even restored Piedmont prairie, and I love to spend time in the park.” – Katherine Edison
Trails through waterfall-filled valley with one of Georgia’s most popular waterfalls.
Audubon nature preserve offering 9 miles of hiking trails through 600 acres of hill country habitat.
The Dallas Arboretum is considered one of the top arboretums in the world. At 66 acres located on the shores of White Rock Lake, it features 19 gardens, seasonal festivals and events, and much more.
White Rock Lake is one of Dallas’ most beloved and frequented parks, and is one of the best places to experience natural areas and wildlife in an urban setting. It is home to 33 types of mammals including rabbits, skunks, raccoons, possums, bobcats, red foxes, and minks; reptiles, including rattlesnakes, turtles, lizards, and horned toads; amphibians; and hundreds of bird species, including swans, pelicans, loons, and many more.
Enjoy 50 acres of semi-tropical and tropical gardens, landscaped grounds, lakes, and meandering trails shaded by 200-year-old oaks and forests of camellias.
This site originally served as the Orlando Naval Training Center to service personnel known as “Blue Jackets.” In 2000, the City of Orlando designated 75 acres of this historic site as a public park.
Emma Long Metropolitan Park is a large municipal park in northwest
Austin, Texas. The park is on the shores of Lake Austin and was
originally called City Park.
Barton Springs Pool is a recreational outdoor swimming pool that is filled entirely with water from nearby natural springs. It is located on the grounds of Zilker Park.
This popular urban natural area offers opportunities for biking, hiking, swimming & rock climbing.
“Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown — You take a big tour through a 10,000 year old cave system. I’ve been coming here since I was 5 years-old and it’s always awesome!” — The Sword
Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in south Austin, Texas at the juncture of Barton Creek and the Colorado River that comprises over 350 acres of publicly owned land
Turkey Creek Trail is a 2.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near West Lake Hills, Texas that features a river and is rated as moderate.
The Treaty Oak is a southern oak tree in Austin, Texas, and the last surviving member of the Council Oaks, a grove of 14 trees that served as a sacred meeting place for Comanche and Tonkawa tribes prior to European settlement of the area.
“It’s the first place I think of going on my days off; Stone pathways separating multiple lily ponds, and peacocks EVERYWHERE. It’s so peaceful, and there are trails you can wander through surrounding the property. There is a secret waterfront spot I love to go to.” — Shy Beast
Swimming hole near Austin, Texas.
Swimming hole near Austin, Texas.
“Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve is my go-to hike. Beautiful hill country views, lots of variation, free.” — Curtis Roush
Dramatic 425-ft. pink granite monolith & wilderness area offering hiking, climbing, camping & more.
“Pitch a tent at Pedernales State Park. Make sure you look up at the night sky! You’ve never seen starscapes quite like the Hill Country kind.” — Israel Nash
The Colorado Trail is a long-distance trail running for 486 miles from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango, CO.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is known for its towering sand dunes, seasonal beaches, and various hiking trails.
Garden of the Gods is a public park and designated National Natural Landmark, recognized for the unique rock formations that dot its landscape.
Washington Park is home to winding cycling paths, various sports facilities, and an elegant boathouse overlooking Smith Lake, and is conveniently located near the bustling Old South Gaylor Street shopping district.
The Indian Peaks Wilderness is a protected wilderness area close to the Denver Metropolitan area, and its picturesque trails and views are popular among hikers, mountaineers, and cross-country skiers alike.
The Poudre Canyon is a narrow verdant canyon, approximately 40 mi (64 km) long, on the upper Cache la Poudre River in Larimer County, Colorado.
Copper Mountain is a mountain and ski resort located in Summit County, Colorado, about 75 miles west of Denver on Interstate 70.
Confluence Park is an urban park encompassing the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River in Denver’s Lower Downtown, a bustling district of 19th-century brick warehouses and storefronts that has been redeveloped since the late 1980s.
Hanging Lake, located in Glenwood Canyon, about 7 miles east of Glenwood Springs. Its cascading waterfalls and natural pools have made Hanging Lake one of the most popular hiking destinations in the state.
Rainbow Lakes Trail is a 2.6 mile out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels.
Eldorado Canyon State Park, located in Boulder County, offers a number of scenic hiking trails and park activities.
Guanella Pass is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado, USA.
This scenic hiking trail begins at Seven Falls and ends at the original location of the famed author Helen Hunt’s grave site.
Beautiful wilderness park in Rifle, CO, perfect for camping, fishing, and rock climbing.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a Colorado State Park located in Gilpin and Jefferson counties northwest of Golden, Colorado. The 11,998-acre Front Range park established in 1960 has 36 miles of hiking trails.
Charleston’s most exciting shopping and dining district is King Street, the most unique Main Street in the world. Now on the Second Sunday of each month from 1:00 to 5:00 PM, King Street will be closed to vehicle traffic to celebrate Southern Sunday afternoons by welcoming everyone to stroll, shop, dine and enjoy Charleston at its finest.
3,363 acre Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area is a state preserve on Edisto Island, adjacent to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the largest remaining relatively undeveloped marine and estuarine wetland ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast. The area is used for nesting by endangered loggerhead sea turtles.
Bull Island, also known as “Bulls Island”, is a breathtaking estuary housing loggerhead sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, 293 bird species including bald eagles, Alligator Alley and Boneyard Beach – a forest stranded in the surf. The result of surf that is steadily moving sand away from this end of the island, there’s hundreds of oaks, cedars and pines that are left behind that, weathered by the salt and sun, create a skeletonized forest in the sand.
Capers Island is a state-owned barrier island on the Atlantic Ocean in Charleston County, South Carolina about 15 miles north of the city of Charleston.
Edisto Island is one of South Carolina’s Sea Islands, the larger part of which lies in Charleston County, with its southern tip in Colleton County.
Rich in Native American history, Edisto Beach is one of four oceanfront state parks in South Carolina and features trails for hiking and biking and an environmental education center with exhibits that highlight the natural history of Edisto Island and the surrounding ACE Basin.
Referred to by locals as the “Edge of America,” Folly Beach offers beautiful sunrises and sunsets, a rich history, good food and expansive beaches.
Hampton Park is one of Charleston’s largest parks and is known for its extensive floral displays including an old rose collection and seasonal displays.
This barrier island is a little oasis. From wooded uplands to the beaches, animals thrive in the rich natural environment of Kiawah Island. Deer, bobcats, gray foxes, raccoons, river otters, and ospreys are just a few of the many animals that can be found here.
Shem Creek offers boardwalks with beautiful views of the creek and surrounding wetlands. Enjoy the many trails, seafood restaurants, boats, fishing and more.
Nestled at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor and neighbor to the Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island is an inviting mix of wide beaches and watersports, history and folklore, local restaurants and shops, peace and perfect – just minutes from Charleston.
Historical island known in more recent times for its tea production including, The Lipton Tea Company who operated here from 1960 until 1987. It was then converted into The Charleston Tea Plantation. It’s American Classic Tea has been the official tea of the White House since 1987. In 2003, Bigelow Tea Company purchased the Charleston Tea Plantation and is one of the last remaining working tea farm’s in America. Wadmalaw now also produces Firefly, a sweet tea flavored vodka.
Waterfront Park is a twelve-acre park along the Charleston Harbor known for its many fountains, including the Charleston Pineapple Fountain (pictured) where many people make a wish.
Located in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, this prominent landmark provides a spectacular view of Fort Sumter and the Charleston Harbor. It was first used as a public garden in 1837. With the outbreak of the Civil War, it became a fortification for the city. Many of the historic mortars and cannons from the Civil War used to shell as well as defend the city can be found here.
“It’s right by the house we used to live on Ashley Ave (Our EP is named after Ashley Avenue.) It’s got free wifi and is our favorite afternoon getaway. Walking around the lake is an unusual experience in an urban metro.” — SondorBlue
“Close to where we lived when recording our recent E.P. Lots of dogs and an overall great hangout. The giant pillars in the middle of the park were once part of a museum.” — SondorBlue
“East Bay Street lines the water and there is a lot of history, cobble stone roads, and restaurants.” — SondorBlue
Devil’s Lake State Park is a state park located in the Baraboo Range in eastern Sauk County, just south of Baraboo, Wisconsin. Devil’s Lake State Park is the biggest state park in Wisconsin.
Pewit’s Nest State Natural Area is a nature reserve of Wisconsin, USA, that includes a deep gorge formed during the retreat of the last glacier. Pewit’s Nest is outside of Baraboo in Sauk County.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum is a teaching and research facility of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the site of historic research in ecological restoration.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens is located in Madison, Wisconsin. Named for its founder, Michael Olbrich, the gardens are owned and operated jointly by the City of Madison Parks and the non-profit Olbrich Botanical Society.
Stricker’s Pond is Middleton’s largest kettle pond at approximately 30 acres in size. The pond and its surrounding watershed contain around 557 acres.
Blue Mound State Park is a state park of Wisconsin, USA, located atop the largest hill in the southern half of the state, near the village of Blue Mounds.
Washington Island is located about 7 miles northeast of the tip of Door Peninsula in Door County, Wisconsin.
This green oasis next to Lake Monona offers walking trails, a beach, picnic tables & sports fields.
Park in Maple Bluff, Wisconsin.
This beautiful park is located right on the shoreline of Lake Mendota and is a quiet spot for picnicking and yoga in the warmer months, and watching the sun set.
Located on a steep ridge overlooking the scenic Kickapoo River Valley, Wildcat Mountain State Park offers hiking trails with spectacular views and camping for families, groups, and horseback riders. Canoe the Kickapoo River in your own canoe or rent one in Ontario.
A 17-mile paved recreation trail perfect for walking and biking around Madison.
Hilltop park with views of Downtown Los Angeles plus hiking trails & history exhibits.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens is one of the world’s most extensive cultural, research, and educational centers.
The Library houses over 420,000 rare books and over 7 million manuscripts largely spanning British and American history.
Notable works include the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a Gutenberg Bible on vellum, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, and a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works.
The art collection showcases many 18th- and 19th-century British and French art, and1690s to the 1950s American art, including Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy, Mary Cassatt’s Breakfast in Bed, and Edward Hopper’s The Long Leg.
The Botanical Gardens spans 120 acres and includes the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Chinese garden. The camellia collection is one of the largest in the country. Other important botanical attractions include the Subtropical, Herb, Jungle, and Palm gardens.
“Elysian Park is where you can find me in daisy dukes walking my friend’s beautiful pitbull, Larry. I love it a lot, there’s a weird sign about horses somewhere on the trail, and I am obsessed with the CONCEPT of horses, though I have never actually touched one or seen one up close. I guess you could say they’re like god, in that way.” – Tolliver
Nestled near Dodger’s stadium, Elysian Park offers paths for walking and biking, as well as a great view of downtown.
“Hike at Tuna Canyon Park, as well as hit the cool shops and boutiques. Feels like you’ve left the city.” – Grizfolk
Recommended in the Los Angeles edition of the Waterloo Sparkling Sessions, presented by Waterloo Sparkling Water.
Topanga State Park is a California state park located in the Santa Monica Mountains, within Los Angeles County, California. It is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
This section of Griffith Park has man-made caves to explore, as well as trails & scenic views of the Hollywood sign.
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles, and is the final resting place of some of the city’s most significant cultural icons. The cemetery also hosts many cultural events, including music concerts and summer movie screenings.
“We saw Bon Iver perform here at dawn. Everyone stayed the night in the cemetery and then Justin and co. took the stage at dawn. There’s something unsettling yet surprisingly chill about sleeping amongst the dead and waking to a life-bringing force such as music.” — BRÅVES
Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. The park is also home to the Griffith Observatory, the L.A. Zoo, and the famous Hollywood Sign.
Known as the “Whale Capital of the West,” Dana Point Harbor is a scenic coastal destination for dining, shopping, and seaside activities.
Black Star Canyon is a remote mountain canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains, located on the eastern edge of Orange County. It is popular among hikers and mountain bikers for its wild scenery.
Open-air market features a range of vendors selling antiques, vintage goods and collectibles. Open every Sunday 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.
“There are multiple hikes to explore around here. The Sandstone Peak, also known as Mount Allen, is a good one and apparently the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains. You can basically see the whole world up there.” — Awolnation
“They have lovely trails, lush and green and fresh air.” — Diana Purim & Eyedentity
“MacArthur park anytime after sundown is amazing, catching the reflections of the down town skyline in the water is rad. You can even take a dip in the lake if you’re feeling saucey enough!” – Sadgirl
Recommended in the Los Angeles edition of the Waterloo Sparkling Sessions, presented by Waterloo Sparkling Water.
“Switzer Falls blows minds. It’s 20 min outside of eagle rock and you’re in the woods with a waterfall. Los Liones in the Palisades is the ocean VIEW of ocean views. It feels personally carved out for you, especially during the week when it’s not busy and pretty quiet.” – Alicia Blue
“Descanso Gardens is a beautiful place to explore and its totally free. 150 acre botanical gardens in La Canada Flintridge. It sounds far but it isn’t. Only take about 20 minutes to get there and technically its in Los Angeles.” – Livingmore
South Beach is known for its beaches and the glamorous scene around its happening nightspots and celebrity-chef eateries. Chain stores and indie fashion shops line pedestrian shopping strip Lincoln Road Mall. On Ocean Drive, known for its well-preserved art deco architecture, outdoor cafes offer a ringside view of the scene. Museums include the Wolfsonian-FIU, which has a collection of modern art and objects.
Biscayne Bay is a lagoon and state aquatic preserve that is approximately 35 miles long and up to 8 miles wide located on the Atlantic coast of South Florida.
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale, is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, and is a popular destination for canoeing, fishing, and picnicking.
Jaco Pastorius Park in Oakland Park, Florida, is a park and event venue named in remembrance of one of the all-time greats of jazz and bass guitar, Jaco Pastorius, who lived in the neighborhood as a child.
Located on the Huron River, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding is available.
The Border-to-Border Trail is a 10.5-mile long non-motorized pathway open for walking, running and bike riding, and takes you through several parks and across bridges for views along the Huron river.
“I love to run and the Border-to-Border Trail has been wonderful.” – EH Sherman
“I love the energy here. I usually bring a blanket and sit in the grass sketching the trees, students or friendly squirrels.” – EH Sherman
“I love to stand on the path and just watch the river move under the bridge for a time. The view of the city and medical campus is just beautiful and the walk toward the Argo area is just below, making it a perfect pit stop for a few photos.” – EH Sherman
“I consider it a bit of a hidden gem. It’s half woodland and half restored prairie. The woodland is high quality considering its being located in a more industrialized part of the city, with a nice buttonbush swamp at its center.” – Allene Smith
“I haven’t been there for sunrise, but Cedar Bend Park is another city park that’s really hilly, and I imagine looking east in the morning from a high point there could be pretty stunning.” – Allene Smith
An alley on East Liberty Street in Ann Arbor where the walls are covered with graffiti. The wall has served as a canvas for many graffiti artists over the years and is continuously evolving as new artists leave their mark.
Named for Queen Anne of England, the Rivanna is home to countless birds, fish, turtles and other creatures, and provides a wonderful place for visitors to fish, canoe, swim and boat.
Enjoy over 500 miles of gorgeous hiking trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Stumble upon a ridge crest, panoramic views, waterfalls and canyons. Spot deer, black bears, and wild turkeys. When in season admire the abundant wildflowers and apple trees. Stop to learn about its history from one of the many stone foundations, and cemeteries.
The Grove is the legendary tailgating area located at the center of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) campus. It is approximately 10 acres in size and takes its name from the oak, elm, and magnolia trees surrounding the area.
“Just off campus is an old railroad cut that has acres upon acres of hiking, riding and running fun. Most students see it often enough but if it’s your need to get away, that’s a close and proper way to meet that need.” – Sam Kendricks
“I’m a big fan of Phoenix Rock Gym. They’re super friendly and there’s always a great crowd of people to climb with. They also have a good variance on types of climbing they offer from top roping and leading to two separate bouldering areas. Even if you’ve never climbed before it’s a great place to go and start learning!” – Zane Bickham
Grant Park is a large urban park in the Loop community area of
Chicago. Located in Chicago’s central business district, the park’s most
notable features are Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art
Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus.
-Recommended by Ajani Jones
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago and originally intended to celebrate the third millennium. The park officially opened in 2004, four years behind schedule. Within the park is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate, the Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden, and various other attractions including Grant Park which hosts Lollapalooza. Because the park sits atop a parking garage and the commuter rail Millennium Station, it is considered the world’s largest rooftop garden.
This popular dog-friendly beach draws patrons for its numerous activities including kayaking and volleyball rentals, non-motorized boat launch, and distance swimming at Tower 4. After working up an appetite, visit one of the many food concessions to sate your hunger. Take some time to look around – a natural dune habitat shows thriving endangered plant life, and attracts many migratory birds during the fall and spring.
“We love Montrose Beach in the summer! They’ve got a little restaurant/bar where live music is held right on the beach. It’s also spitting distance from the dog beach if you want to see a million dogs have the ACTUAL times of their lives.” – Late Nite Laundry
Recommended in the Chicago edition of the Waterloo Sparkling Sessions, presented by Waterloo Sparkling Water.
Hollywood Beach (recently renamed Osterman Beach for the late Kathy Osterman, the former Special Events Director for the city) is a smaller beach that attracts the local gay community and neighboring residents and features a fishing pier and a gay volleyball league.
Promontory Point is a man-made peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan. It is located in Chicago’s Burnham Park. The Point was constructed from landfill and by the late 1930s was protected by a seawall or revetment.
Sandy swimming beach, open seasonally, featuring lifeguards, skyline views, concession stands, picnicking and a boat launch.
Baseball, basketball & soccer are offered at this local park with playgrounds & a game room.
Public swimming pool in Chicago, Illinois.
Union Park spans 13.46 acres and offers tennis courts, baseball fields, a swimming pool, a playground, an athletic field for football or soccer and basketball courts, as well as a field-house with a theater.
The park hosts events throughout the year including Pitchfork Music Festival, concerts, movie screenings, and more.
Located right on the shore of Lake Michigan, locals flock to Oak Street Beach for its laid-back atmosphere and unbeatable views of Chicago’s skyline accented by palm trees (the city imports them every year). Play or watch a beach volleyball game and one of the many volleyball nets set up on the sand, or simply lay back and enjoy the people watching.
The 63rd Street Beach features a non-motorized boat launch site. A natural area provides much-needed habitat for migrating birds in the spring and fall seasons.
“Nestled along Lake Michigan, and right outside of Chicago, Fort Sheridan is a beautiful beachside escape from the big city.” – Pool Holograph
Recommended in the Chicago edition of the Waterloo Sparkling Sessions, presented by Waterloo Sparkling Water.
“…the perfect summer experience with great bands and good hangs.” – Discus
Recommended in the Chicago edition of the Waterloo Sparkling Sessions, presented by Waterloo Sparkling Water.
Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s flagship park.
“My favorite place to explore outdoors is Prospect Park. There are a lot of nooks and crannies to get lost in!” – Sylvan Paul
National Historic Landmark cemetery in Brooklyn.
The conservation area showcases a set of large red rock formations. The walls are up to 3,000 feet high, making them a popular hiking and rock climbing destination.
This oasis is only a 15 minute drive from the strip and offers hiking trails, a variety of wildlife and guided tours.
“The house we were living in when I wrote/recorded BATS is right near Downey Park. It’s a peaceful, wide open park with a mangrove-lined creek on its border that’s home to a colony of thousands of bats. Most evenings we’d take our dogs Missy and Evie down to the park and watch the bats wake up and fill the sky as the sun would set. It was a truly beautiful thing to experience and looking back, those walks down at the park feel like a calming constant in a period of significant change and personal development. That has really stayed with me and has inspired this album both musically and visually.” — Cub Sport
“If you’ve got time to head an hour or two north, the national park in Noosa is unbelievably beautiful.” — Cub Sport
“Riverstage is a pretty inspiring outdoor space, it is located in the Botanical Gardens and has hosted some music legends in its time!” — Sheppard
South Bank is a cultural, social, educational and recreational precinct in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The precinct is located in the suburb of South Brisbane, on the southern bank of the Brisbane River.
“We have a boat that runs up and down the Brisbane River called the City Cat. It’s actually a super easy way to get around Brisbane and is beautiful at night.” — Sheppard
Fortitude Valley is one of the major nightlife districts in Brisbane, offering everything from dive bars and mellow live music venues to rooftop cocktail lounges and pumping dance clubs.
The Audubon Nature Institute is a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature that includes a zoo, aquarium, insectarium, and park plus nature conservation programs.
The Charles River (sometimes called the River Charles or simply the Charles) is a river in eastern Massachusetts. From its source in Hopkinton, the river flows in a northeasterly direction, traveling through 23 cities and towns before reaching the Atlantic Ocean at Boston.
62-foot marble tower built in the Mount Auburn Cemetery. Named for George Washington, the tower provides excellent views of the surrounding area.
“Just go. It is a paradise. Make sure you check out the bonsai garden.” — Ruby Rose Fox
Radnor Lake is a 1200 acre nature preserve in Oak Hill, just outside of Nashville. Hikers can enjoy four unpaved trails surrounding the lake, and enjoy Tennessee’s wildlife including river otters, beavers, mink, muskrat, bobcat, coyote and white-tailed deer.
“My favorite outdoor spot is Radnor Lake. It’s not too far from town, and it’s the best early in the morning when there’s still a chill in the air, and there’s no one around. It’s the quiet you need when you just need to listen to yourself.” – Oginalii
One of seven caves along the San Diego coast. Explore the caverns and tide pools (best to go at low tide for prime and safe exploring). You’ll likely stumble upon all kinds of birds and creatures like Horn shark egg cases, lobster, California Sea Hare, Abalone shells, Turban snails and much more.
The Torrey Pines Gliderport, is the most historic aviation site in North America, with nearly 100 years of flying history. It is Southern California’s premiere location for paragliding, hang gliding, remote control models and sailplanes.
The approximately 3 mile hike from Gliderport to Black’s Beach comes highly recommended by locals for its scenic views. Black’s Beach is clothing-optional and part of the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve offering some of the most beautiful and pristine views of the Southern California coast.
Pipes is famous among surfers for its good waves and laid back vibe. All levels of surfers can be seen hitting the waves. After hanging-ten, check out some of the local eateries and shops like Bull Taco, a gourmet, locally-famous taco shop serving lobster ceviche and duck tortas.
Site of the annual San Diego County Fair in June and July, as well as the Del Mar Racetrack built by the Thoroughbred Club in 1937 by founding members Bing Crosby and Pat O’Brien with Paramount Studios as corporate sponsor. Plus Del Mar Arena, a 3,500-seat arena used for sporting events, concerts and other special events.
The Adams Avenue Street Fair and Adams Avenue Unplugged are San Diego’s largest free music festivals and occur on the final weekend of every September and April. Taste of Adams Avenue, held every year at the end of June, provides the opportunity to sample the Avenue’s finest flavors from over 30 food and beverage establishments.
This park offers amazing views of Mission Bay, the Pacific Ocean and the city below. The 79-acre park is perched high atop Lamont Street at Soledad Road and is named after noted local horticulturalist and “Mother of Balboa Park,” Kate Sessions.
The park is divided into two section: a low sloping area ideal for picnicking and activities. The north side features wild habitat with coastal sage scrub and numerous hiking trails for nature loves.
Known as San Diego’s “jewel by the sea,” La Jolla is one of the top beach destinations in the world. La Jolla attracts locals and visitors alike for its beautiful beaches, the La Jolla Cove which is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, La Jolla Shores for surfing and kayaking and much more.
The Gothenburg Botanical Garden is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, and is much loved by visitors for its secluded groves and gorgeous walking paths.
The Archipelago of Gothenburg comprises two large groups of islands off the west coast of Sweden. Daily fairies and walking bridges allow visitors to enjoy the history and natural beauty of the archipelagos.
The Garden Society of Gothenburg (Trädgårdsföreningen) is a park and horticultural garden in central Gothenburg. Come for the flowers, stay for the delicious food and drink at the cafe.
Liseberg is an amusement park located in Gothenburg that opened in 1923. Its numerous rides and attractions make it one of the most visited amusement parks in Scandinavia.
Popular food truck in the trendy Magsinsgatan district serves up traditional Swedish street food like fried herring and mashed potatoes with lingonberries.
Popular swimming area off the coast of one of the islands in the Gothenburg Archipelago.
Monument located in Slottsskogen and built in honor of Ebbe Lieberath, founder of the Swedish Scout Movement.
The Forks is a historic site, gathering place and green space in Downtown Winnipeg at the intersection of the Assiniboine and Red rivers. Year round, locals and visitors enjoy The Forks many dining and shopping offerings, and numerous entertainment and events, and unique attractions.
Garden showcasing biodynamic cultivation of vegetables, fruit, and flowers, with a greenhouse cafe.
“Find the slope (actually a skiing slope in the wintertime, but not exactly an alp..) Hammarbybacken and get up on top, catch your breath and see the beautiful scenery of Sthlm, a breathtaking view! Even more recommended at sunset!” – Peter Bjorn and John
“While you’re loaded you should go to Slussen and take the boat out to Djurgården, maybe just for the boatride and because you really need to see some water while you’re here. It’s the Venice of the north after all! There’s loads to do out at Djurgården too, like eat fancy meals, walk around beautiful green areas, talks to cows or maybe even visit the national park and zoo Skansen, stride alongside the canals or go to museums.” — Peter Bjorn and John
Gröna Lund is an amusement park in Stockholm, Sweden. It is on the seaward side of Djurgården Island. It is relatively small compared to other amusement parks, mainly because of its central location, which limits expansion.
“I’ve only been here once but this place it unreal, truly. It is an island commune in Normandy, France. You drive in during the day when the tide is out and then as the sun sets the tide returns and you find yourself surrounded by water. It feels as if it is a living island that breathes or something to that effect. The water comes in, surrounds the town and the water leaves.” — CLARA-NOVA
“La Fondation Jean Arp in Clamart, a suburb of Paris. It’s in a small house. A hidden gem. Versailles Castle gardens are not only for tourists too. It’s really nice walking there. There is so much space, you can lose yourself and spend the whole day chilling around 17th century statues and fountains.” – STAL
“When summer comes, playing tennis in le Jardin du Luxembourg is a MUST!” – STAL
“Boulder is such an outdoor town and there’s so many epic places to go. The Flatirons are probably the most popular place to go but some of my things to do are to bike out to the Boulder Reservoir and also biking up 4-Mile Canyon.” — Trevor Hall
Boulder Reservoir is a 700-acre, multi-use recreation and water-storage facility that offers a beautiful environment for swimming, camping, and other outdoor activities.
The Pearl Street Mall is a four-block pedestrian mall in downtown Boulder, CO, that is home to a number of businesses and restaurants, as well as the Boulder County Courthouse.
Outdoor recreation area with trails of varying difficulties for hikers and climbers of all skill levels.
“Chautauqua Park is an iconic Boulder gem. There are gorgeous hiking trails, a massive and beautiful green lawn, summer concerts, and sweet little cottages. All summer there are weddings in the park. It’s a really dreamy spot.” -Rodes Rollins
“Everybody marvels at Mt. Olomana and The Koolau Mountains and rightfully so but Kailua Boatramp is the most underrated landmark in Kailua. It’s tiny, barely a usable boatramp. But it’s a hub. Start there and see what happens.” — The Green
Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington. The Market opened in 1907 and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States.
“For me, the most inspiring outdoor space has got to be Green Lake. You can run around it to get fit and clear your mind. You can walk around with a friend or date. You can even just sit and people watch or catch the sunset. You can do it all. I’ve even written songs while chilling at Green Lake. Great place all times of the year.” — Sol
“We are only 30 minutes from the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea. I love the desert out there.” — Alex Clare
The barrier island consistently receives more than one million visitors each year, making it the most-visited state park in Florida.
Clearwater Beach has stunning views and impeccable beaches with a small town feel. Caladesi Island, off the north end of the beach, was recognized as the nation’s best by Dr. Beach (2008).
“I’m a big fan of Pass-a-Grille. It’s got a cool charm to it. It’s not as crowded as St. Pete beach. There is a rock jetty with a paved path on it, that extends a few hundred feet out into the gulf, and at night it’s a good place to star-gaze.” — J. T. Brown
Sawgrass Lake Park is a 333-acre park that offers a road for biking and in-line skating, as well as birdwatching, hiking, and picnicking.
The park overlooks the University of Tampa’s Plant Hall, which is directly across the river. The park is in an area known as the Waterfront Arts District.
Lush green space with a variety of wildlife, plus a lake for boating, sports fields and a dog park.
“Get out of Reykjavik and visit Hljóðaklettar. The volcanic crystalline towers of basalt are stunning. The glacial river running through the national park will also lead you to the largest waterfall in Europe.” — Úlfur
“Türkenschanzpark is one of the most inspiring outdoor spaces in Vienna. When you are there, you get the feeling that you are leaving the city for a moment.” – MYNTH
“St George’s Market is the oldest surviving covered market on the island of Ireland. The stunning building with its elegant Victorian red-brick and green wrought-iron gates hosts a bustling weekend market that is one of my favorite weekend haunts.” — Alana Henderson
“Cave Hill is my favorite place to escape the city and get some inspiration and perspective! It has an amazing panoramic view of Belfast, including the famous H&W cranes Samson & Goliath and the docks where the Titanic was built. Cave Hill was the inspiration for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Swift thought that it resembled a sleeping giant safeguarding the city.” — Alana Henderson
Public garden established in 1928. It is home to a large variety of exotic plants and trees, and hosts various cultural events on location.
“Lagan Meadows, a nature reserve, is mere minutes from the city center and you’ll see protected bird species and cows grazing along the riverside.” — Alana Henderson
“I love open water. It terrifies me and centers me all at once. It’s Ireland at its most postcard perfect.”-Ciaran Lavery
“Feels like standing on the edge of the world.”-Ciaran Lavery
“Quite literally the edge of the island.”-Ciaran Lavery
“One of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s a short 30 minute ferry over from Auckland’s Viaduct Harbor. The ride over alone is a remarkable view and you can have nibbles and wine on the ferry as you pass by volcanoes and admire the sea. Once there, prepare to stay a while. The island is full of adventures like jet skiing, swimming, and horseback riding, and is covered in gorgeous vineyards. Pop over to Tantalus Estate vineyard, Stonyridge, or my personal favorite Man O War vineyard for incredible views, food, and WINE.” — Parson James
Mauao, or Mount Maunganui is an extinct volcano that overlooks Tauranga Harbor in New Zealand. Mauao is considered a very sacred place by the local Maori population, and is featured heavily in their traditional myths. Visitors are invited to hike the trails and enjoy the spectacular views, and hopefully experience and appreciate the sacred nature of this ancient site.
“The most inspiring outdoor place is Umstead park. I usually do my long runs out there. its the mecca of running in my humble opinion in North Carolina. You can just get lost out there and enjoy 10 mile runs.” — Boulevards