Revel in Texas-Size Fun

Visiting Rough Creek Lodge & Resort in the famed Texas Hill Country is like going to your rich uncle’s country retreat. On the menu for an active family: horseback rides, cattle drives, fishing, kayaking, hiking, hunting, bungee trampoline, a climbing wall, a zip line, bicycles, paintball, and four-wheeling, just for starters. Nearby Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, a 1,700-acre wildlife conservation and learning center with cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and more, also provides for family adventure. Fossil Rim offers guided tours and overnight options, including the Foothills Safari Camp.,

Follow in Ken Burns’ Footsteps in the Southwest
Filmmaker Ken Burns spent 10 years making The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. Working with Burns and mining not just his knowledge but the knowledge of the local experts Burns consulted, Tauck has assembled a new series of Ken Burns-crafted itineraries. “Spirit of the Desert: The National Parks of the Southwest” takes participants on a 10-day hike, mountain bike, river raft, and horseback tour of six Southwest parks – including Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park — with the authors, rangers, and historians who collaborated with Ken Burns dropping in for talks. Fitness can be smart.

Reach Understanding Among South African Trees

To reside amid the trees with a leather bed and private plunge pool is to know comfort. To wake in a private game reserve (the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, adjacent to South Africa’s Kruger National Park) is to inhale the beauty of South Africa. Tree Camp Londolozi offers opulence, yes — yoga, Swedish massage, candlelight dinners — but also guided bush walks, animal tracking, and fishing, all to help you better understand South Africa’s magnificent wilds.

Discover the British Virgin Islands’ Newest Port of Call

Scrub Island Resort Spa & Marina, 230 acres of privacy in the sun-kissed British Virgin Islands, opened in February 2010 as the first new resort in the BVIs in 15 years. The centerpiece is a 53-slip marina and the dreamy winds and idyll of the BVIs; there’s reason why you can’t look to any BVI horizon without seeing a sea of sails. Or you can choose to just stay put, enjoying spa treatments and fine Caribbean cooking.

Cycle Up (and Up) Alpe d’Huez
France’s Alpe d’Huez may be cycling’s most famed ascent, and that is precisely why it is almost always a heart-whopping part of the Tour de France course. What are you up against? Alpe d’Huez is 8.7 miles long, with an average grade of 7.9 percent and a total elevation gain of 3,641 feet. If that’s not challenge enough, Discover France Adventures’ self-guided five-night Alpe d’Huez-to-Brianron Tour throws in a few other climbs to boot.

Play in the Wilds of Chile and Argentina

Patagonia is wilderness at its best, and Austin-Lehman Adventures takes you through this land of alpine lakes, Andean peaks, sweeping vistas, surreal blue glaciers, and serene solitude over 10 days in multisport style — by foot, bike, horseback, kayak, and ice trek (over the Perito Moreno Glacier). Recovery time is memorable: a night spent in a heated yurt in a beech forest, gourmet beach picnics paired with Argentinian wines, and a chance to try your hand at cooking empanadas.

Enjoy a Fine Irish Swing — and ­Possibly a Surf

On offer: five-star lodging, a Greg Norman-designed golf course, a whiskey sommelier and tastings, a state-of-the-art spa, and an on-site genealogist for those who wish to research their Irish roots. Known among golfers for its spectacular Atlantic’s-edge course but little known to nongolfers, The Lodge at Doonbeg­ in County Clare offers a world of simple Irish pleasures. Should the swell cooperate, there’s even opportunity for a surf on Doughmore Beach.

Mason Fischer
Wind Down the Amazon in a Riverboat

The Amazon is an astonishing place, home to pink dolphins, black caimans, birds, and rain forest so dense you feel the weight. International Expeditions takes only 28 passengers aboard La Amatista (featuring air-conditioned cabins, private baths, and floor-to-ceiling windows to dine by), offering an intimate look at one of the world’s greatest natural wonders via nature walks, night-skiff soirees for nocturnal life, village visits, and even piranha fishing. You’ll fly in and out of Lima, but you’ll forget man’s world exists.