Tennessee: The South's New Adventure Mecca
Credit: Andrew Kornylak / Aurora

In 1969, Chattanooga's industrial smelters belched so much smog the city was ranked as having the country's worst air pollution. Forty years later, the smoke has cleared to reveal world-class climbing, Class IV kayaking, and nearly 100 miles of mountain-bike trails – all within 30 minutes of downtown. Treat it like a hub: Over a weekend, you can climb Sunset Rock, paddle the Ocoee River's middle-section rapids, and bike the new 10-mile section of Stringer's Ridge (located entirely within city limits). Cap it off with pints at downtown's Boathouse raw bar – reachable along the river by standup paddleboard.

More Information: Outdoor Chattanooga offers maps and rental information.