According to Intrepid Travel’s Adventure Travel Index, more than 50% of people who take adventurous trips do so to recharge their batteries.1 Others go on adventures because they’re curious about new places and experiences, or because they want to feel younger or challenge themselves.
Of course, everyone has their own definition of “adventurous.” You may know people who can’t wait to hit black diamond ski trails and others who daringly try new restaurants—before reading the Yelp reviews.
So what makes some people more adventurous than others? According to our data, how bold you are could be related to the state you live in.
To determine which states expressed the most interest in adventure-seeking activities, we used proprietary prediction models based on purchases and subscriptions related to adventure sports such as rock climbing and scuba diving We scored each state based on their interest in each category and ranked them accordingly.
Correlations & key findings
- Utah came out on top as the most adventurous state. The Beehive State has five national parks—the third highest of any state in the country.2 Coincidence? We think not!
- Six out of the 10 most adventurous states are also among the 10 states with the most national park land by acreage.3
- The Rocky Mountain states dominate the top four spots with Montana in second, Colorado in third, and Idaho in fourth. Oregon represents the Pacific Northwest in the fifth spot.
- Two states surprised us with their “just average” adventure ranking: America’s Last Frontier (Alaska) and the sunshine and surf mecca that is Hawaii came in at numbers 22 and 33, respectively.
- Mississippi ranked as the least adventurous state on our list, followed by Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. In fact, southern states were generally among the least adventurous overall.
- Residents in five of the least adventurous states on our list also get the least exercise, according to recent data. In contrast, those in four of our 10 most adventurous states get the most exercise.4
It’s important to note that although adventurous states tend to have more national parks and tend to exercise more, correlation isn’t the same as causation. We don’t know if active, adventurous people gravitate toward national parks or the Rocky Mountains—or if living in those places inspires more adventure.
Whether you live in an adventurous state or not, don’t be afraid to get a little bit daring. You don’t have to get dropped in the jungle and find your way back to civilization with nothing but a machete and a stick of chewing gum to be adventurous. Maybe being daring means taking a trip to a place you’ve never visited or trying out a new sport.
No matter your idea of adventure, be safe. Use the buddy system, and tell loved ones where you’re going and when you plan to be back. When you get your adventure on, plan ahead, wear protective gear, and use the expert services of trainers, guides, and other professionals.
What are your favorite ways to adventure where you live? Tell us in the comments below!
The Most Adventurous States
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