Skip Rio for These 13 Epic Olympic-Inspired Getaways

Skip Rio for These 13 Epic Olympic-Inspired Getaways

Whether you're scared of Zika, pollution — or something else — try these golden ideas instead.

By Aly Walansky

There’s a lot of reasons not to hit up Rio for the Olympics summer. (Perhaps you've been watching the news?) First of all, it's a bit late in the game to plan a trip now, friends. Beyond that, tickets to the games are super hard to come by. And if you do get them, they are ridiculously expensive. Of course, that doesn’t include the cost of getting to Brazil, or staying there.

If you are worried about the potential global security issues — or Zika — those are more reasons to stay far away from Rio this summer and check out these other Olympics-inspired getaways instead.

1. Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock is known for being a big ski and snow sports destination. It’s actually the site of the first ski tow in America and home to a host of summer-focused activities for the avid outdoorsman or woman to tie into the Olympics: hiking or trail running on Mount Tom, mountain or road biking the peaceful back roads, golfing at the Woodstock Inn & Resort Golf Club, or taking a dip in the Ottauquechee River — all great options if you are looking for some Olympics-styled weekend adventures.

2. Bowling Green, Florida

Streamsong Resort boasts Gil Hanse, the Olympic golf course designer in Brazil, who is currently at work for the third course at Streamsong (Streamsong Black slated to open in the fall of 2017).

3. Whistler, British Columbia

The Olympic legacy lives on in Whistler, British Columbia, mountain host of the 2010 Winter games. At the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, which is situated at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, guests are given the opportunity to ski or snowboard with one of 12 local Olympians based in Whistler. There is also Olympic bobsleigh or skeleton at the Whistler Sliding Centre on Blackcomb Mountain, as well as biathlon, cross-country skiing, and ski jumping.

4. West Point, Mississippi

Mossy Oak Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi is slated to open on September 2, and will be a new premier golf destination experience known as nature’s golf — a sustainable and mindful approach to golf course development. This will be the first public golf course designed by Gil Hanse to open in the U.S. following the debut of his 2016 Olympic course in Brazil.

5. Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca: So hot right now! At Jumeirah Port Soller in Mallorca, there will be a cycling weekend October 20 through 24 with David Millar(former captain of British team in the Olympics and only British cyclist to win all Tour de France jerseys), offering cycling fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend three days riding in Mallorca. In advance of the trip, riders receive a customized training plan and upon arrival, they'll enjoy their own personalized jersey and kit from Chpt III, Miller's new clothing line in collaboration with Castelli.

6. Los Angeles, California

The Longines Masters of L.A. (September 29 through October 2) is the first major show jumping competition following the Olympics. It’s a phenomenal way to see (favored to medal) Olympians compete immediately following the summer games in Rio. And it happens in beautiful sunny Long Beach at the convention center (with the historic Queen Mary as the backdrop). The other neat part is that this event in L.A. is the kickoff of the three-leg global competition. After L.A., the Masters goes to Paris in December, and ends in Hong Kong next February.

7. Lake Placid, New York

Another fun option is to go summer bobsledding. Conceived by a former Olympian and modeled after the Adirondack Great Camp, Whiteface Lodge offers expert ADK Guides (for Aide de Kamp) — some of them past Olympic athletes — versed in a variety of outdoor activities on and off property. These adventure concierges arrange whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and other seasonal excursions that include instruction, plus other features.

8. Paradise Valley, Arizona

If you have secret triathlon dreams, you can train with the best in the gorgeous setting of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. The three-day Triathlon Training package includes a day each of swimming, desert biking, and running instruction by the resort’s own team of experts, followed by pampering spa treatments selected to enhance athletic performance and soothe sore muscles. Coaching guests through the swim portion is 200-meter butterfly Olympic champion Misty Hyman, the resort’s resident swim instructor.

9. Miami, Florida

At Fisher Island Club in Miami, the 216-acre tropical island paradise offers a host of Olympic-themed activities and amenities including a championship seaside golf course, all four “Grand Slam” playing surfaces at its Tennis Center, swimming, sailing, and a private beach ideal for volleyball.

10. Maui, Hawaii

Photo: Hawaiian Paddle Sports

Sure, you can watch canoeing and kayaking in the Summer Olympic Games, or you can do it yourself on the beautiful island of Maui! Hawaiian Paddle Sports, Maui’s only Certified B Corporation and premier eco-tour company, offers intimate outrigger canoe or kayak tours in Makena (South Maui), Olowalu (Central Maui), or Honolua Bay (West Maui). It also offers private stand-up paddle boarding, surf lessons, and canoe surfing. All guides are Lifeguard, CPR and Marine Naturalist Certified, and encourage guests to discover a deep appreciation of and connection to Hawaii’s marine environment.

11. Davis, California

Reminiscing about Olympic rugby as it returns to the Olympics for the first time in 92 years? The city of Davis — on Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe with its own Winter Olympics history, plus right near Napa Valley wine country — is home to the museum of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, and the University of California, Davis, is hosting an exhibit to celebrate alumnus Colby E. “Babe” Slater who led the U.S. Rugby team to its gold medal in 1924. Slater was a two-time gold medalist in the sport and member of the International Rugby Hall of Fame. The exhibit includes his two gold medals, photographs, posters, news stories, and other memorabilia from the Olympic Games in 1920 and 1924.

12. Gangwon-do, South Korea

Just two hours’ drive from Seoul, South Korea offers its own Alpine-style hidden gems, nestled within the unspoiled beauty of the Taebaek Mountains. The InterContinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort offers plenty of adventurous activities, including two Olympic-class ski slopes, three scenic golf courses, and Ocean 700, South Korea’s most modern indoor water park. This resort is even scheduled to host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, guaranteeing world-class ski slopes and proper facilities!

13. Greece

We’ve saved the best for last: What better way to celebrate an Olympic year than a visit to the birthplace of the Olympics: Greece!

A week in Greece can encompass a visit to Athens, home of the first modern Olympic Games. In addition to a visit to the world-famous Acropolis and the all new Acropolis Museum, travelers can visit “Kalimarmaro,” the Panathanaiko Stadium, built for the first modern Olympic Games. Enter the stadium and run laps in its tracks while envisioning yourself as an Olympic champion. This can be combined with a running tour of the city (at your own pace). We have even arranged for guests to train in their sport with Greek National Team coaches,” says Mina Agnos, president and co-founder of Travelive.

Continue with an overnight tour to the home of th Olympics: Anceint Olympia. “Olympia was founded in the eighth century B.C. Its extensive ruins include athletic training areas, a stadium, and temples dedicated to the gods Hera and Zeus," Agnos says. "Here guests can stand on the starting blocks that served as the start for ancient athletes and run on the same tracks where ancient Olympians competed in the nude. In ancient times, the Pythian Games were held as a precursor to the Olympic Games, two years prior. They were held in honor of the God Apollo at Delphi. Guests can continue to Delphi and learn more about the games as well as the site that was home to the Oracle that counseled some of the most notable figures in Ancient Greece."

Sign us up! Drinking ouzo is our kind of training anyway.

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