The Evolution of Adventure Resorts — 8 to Add to Your ‘Bucket List’

Night time view of Adventures on the Gorge, West Virginia
The adventure resort Adventures on the Gorge is located on the lip of the New River Gorge in West Virginia.

The modern adventure resort offers a wide variety of outdoor pursuits all within access of on-site accommodations that generally run the gamut from ‘pimp’ to ‘roughing it’. These days, they are well-oiled machines that provide outstanding, but efficient, access to outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, zip lines and arial courses, mountain/trail biking and a plethora of other active options.

The origin of these resorts probably starts in the European Alps, where magnificent hotels catered to the wealthy while on the ‘Grand Tour’. In those alpine environments, it’s natural that the guests might try their hand at hiking, skiing, falconry, or other activities that presented themselves just outside the hotel door.

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‘Chez’ Chesak is an award-winning travel writer, tourism consultant and 25-year veteran of the outdoor and travel industries. He is Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and formerly was the Vice President for Business Development for the Adventure Travel Trade Association and Executive Director of the Family Travel Association. He has been serious about his writing since about age eight. He also runs the Central States Chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers. He’s lived all over the U.S. and traveled to some 36 countries but has the most fun when he’s exploring with his wife and two daughters. An avid outdoors person, he’s happiest on a trail, on skis, or nestled into a sleeping bag. He deployed to Iraq with a U.S. Army line unit in 2005. His works have appeared in the Los Angeles Times,, Good Housekeeping, Rachel Ray Every Day, Fatherly, Yahoo Travel, Family Vacation Critic, and many others. He also does periodic travel segments for the morning show of his local FOX affiliate and on American Forces Radio.

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