How Travel Channel Fans #OptOutside

Skip Black Friday madness and go outside.

Last year thousands of Americans opted out of Black Friday, choosing to spend time in the great outdoors and take advantage of our great country and national parks. If standing in line at 3 a.m. in the freezing cold waiting for doorbuster deals doesn't sound like your kind of holiday either, welcome to the #OptOutside movement.

Our Travel Channel fans have opted outside more than 4,300 times with #LiveTravelChannel on Instagram since last year. Here are just a few of our favorite shots. 

Nu‘uanu Pali, Hawaii

Portland, Maine

La Jolla, California

Oneonta Gorge, Oregon

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona

Zion National Park, Utah

Fort Macon State Park, North Carolina

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California

North Cascades National Park, Washington

Mount Whitney Summit, California

More #OptOutside Ideas

Sunrise at the Grand Canyon National Park
Little River Canyon National Preserve (Alabama)

Little River Canyon National Preserve (Alabama)

Plan your trip to the Yellowhammer State. See the full list of Alabama national parks here. 960 1280

Jeff Schreier Photography  

Denali National Park (Alaska)

Denali National Park (Alaska)

Explore a world of wild beauty and pure adventure. See the full list of Alaska national parks here. 960 1280

National Park Service/Tim Rains  

Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

Adventure awaits in The Grand Canyon State. See the full list of Arizona national parks here. 960 1280

Image Bank / Getty Images  

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (Arkansas)

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (Arkansas)

Historic battles, hot springs, the Ozarks and more! See the full list of Arkansas national parks here. 960 1280

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism  

Redwood National and State Parks (California)

Redwood National and State Parks (California)

Iconic landscapes and unforgettable experiences. See the full list of California national parks here. 960 1280

Visit California/Carol Highsmith  

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve (Colorado)

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve (Colorado)

The Rocky Mountains and so much more. See the full list of Colorado national parks here. 960 1280

Alison Turner  

Twin Brooks Park (Connecticut)

Twin Brooks Park (Connecticut)

These New England landscapes tell a unique story. See the full list of Connecticut national parks here. 960 1280
Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network (Delaware)

Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network (Delaware)

Discover the beauty of America’s first state. See the full list of Delaware national parks here. 960 1280

James River Association, flickr  

Washington Monument (District of Columbia)

Washington Monument (District of Columbia)

Plan your trip to the nation’s capital. See the full list of District of Columbia national parks here. 960 1280

Dennis Govoni / Getty Images  

Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

Everglades, alligators and underwater adventures. See the full list of Florida national parks here. 960 1280

NPS photo  

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (Georgia)

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (Georgia)

Lush greenery, roaring rivers and plenty of peaches. See the full list of Georgia national parks here. 960 1280

Sebastien Windal / iStock  

Kalaupapa National Historic Park (Hawaii)

Kalaupapa National Historic Park (Hawaii)

Stunning landscapes abound on these mythic islands. See the full list of Hawaii national parks here. 960 1280

  

Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (Idaho)

Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (Idaho)

Where friendly faces and rugged wilderness meet. See the full list of Idaho national parks here. 960 1280

Jarrod Clift  

Lincoln Home National Historic Site (Illinois)

Lincoln Home National Historic Site (Illinois)

Plan your trip to the Land of Lincoln. See the full list of Illinois national parks here.
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Joe Scherschel  

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana)

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana)

Start your adventure in the Hoosier State. See the full list of Indiana national parks here.
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Christine Livingston / Indiana Dunes Tourism  

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail (Iowa)

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail (Iowa)

A celebration of Midwestern history. See the full list of Iowa national parks here.
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Fort Larned National Historic Site (Kansas)

Fort Larned National Historic Site (Kansas)

Prairies, plains and trails await in the Midwest. See the full list of Kansas national parks here. 960 1280

Walter Bibikow  

Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area (Kentucky)

Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area (Kentucky)

Explore vast caves, mountain peaks and more. See the full list of Kentucky national parks here. 960 1280

Danita Delimont  

Poverty Point National Monument (Louisiana)

Poverty Point National Monument (Louisiana)

Discover bayous and blues history down South. See the full list of Louisiana national parks here.
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zrfphoto  

Acadia National Park (Maine)

Acadia National Park (Maine)

Explore Northern coastlines, trails and mountains. See the full list of Maine national parks here. 960 1280

By Kim Carpenter (Near Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park 8911) [CC BY 2.0],   

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine (Maryland)

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine (Maryland)

Visit historic battlefields, monuments and parks. See the full list of Maryland national parks here. 960 1280

Buyenlarge  

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (Massachusetts)

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (Massachusetts)

Explore peaceful beaches and historic sites. See the full list of Massachusetts national parks here. 960 1280

Kindra Clineff  

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (Michigan)

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (Michigan)

Visit magnificent rock formations and sandy shores. See the full list of Michigan national parks here. 960 1280

Stephen Saks  

Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

Journey to fresh rivers, lakes and waterfalls. See the full list of Minnesota national parks here. 960 1280

StevenSchremp  

Tupelo National Battlefield (Mississippi)

Tupelo National Battlefield (Mississippi)

Scenic roads and sandy beaches await in Mississippi. See the full list of Mississippi national parks here. 960 1280

UniversalImagesGroup  

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Missouri)

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Missouri)

Explore wide open spaces and historic paths. See the full list of Missouri national parks here. 960 1280

Danita Delimont  

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (Montana)

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (Montana)

Experience our adventure in Big Sky Country. See the full list of Montana national parks here. 960 1280

zrfphoto  

Agate Fossil Beds (Nebraska)

Agate Fossil Beds (Nebraska)

See plains and trails pioneers traveled before you. See the full list of Nebraska national parks here. 960 1280

Posnov / Getty Images  

Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

Rugged adventures await in the Great Basin Desert. See the full list of Nevada national parks here. 960 1280
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site (New Hampshire)

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site (New Hampshire)

See beautiful foliage and trails in New England. See the full list of New Hampshire national parks here. 960 1280

  

Gateway National Recreation Area (New Jersey)

Gateway National Recreation Area (New Jersey)

Northern shores, immigration history and much more. See the full list of New Jersey national parks here. 960 1280

E+ / Getty Images  

Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

See Southwestern deserts, canyons and petroglyphs. See the full list of New Mexico national parks here. 960 1280
Governors Island National Monument (New York)

Governors Island National Monument (New York)

Majestic waterfalls, historic homes and much more. See the full list of New York national parks here. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Cape Hatteras National Seashore (North Carolina)

Cape Hatteras National Seashore (North Carolina)

See mountaintops, scenic parkways and sandy shores. See the full list of North Carolina national parks here. 960 1280

Outer Banks Visitors Bureau  

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site (North Dakota)

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site (North Dakota)

Find adventure in vast, rugged landscapes. See the full list of North Dakota national parks here. 960 1280

Peter Baer, flickr  

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

Find scenic trails, monuments and aviation history. See the full list of Ohio national parks here. 960 1280

zrfphoto  

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site (Oklahoma)

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site (Oklahoma)

Visit symbolic memorials, historic trails and more. See the full list of Oklahoma national parks here. 960 1280

Danita Delimont  

Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

Breathtaking views of mountains, valleys and lakes. See the full list of Oregon national parks here. 960 1280

Moment Open / Getty Images  

Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania)

Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania)

Bucket list trips for the American history buff. See the full list of Pennsylvania national parks here.
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Ron Cogswell, flickr  

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site (Rhode Island)

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site (Rhode Island)

Where history and culture meet. See the full list of Rhode Island national parks here. 960 1280

Swampyank at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

Discover the tallest trees in the Southeast. See the full list of South Carolina national parks here. 960 1280

Eric Foltz / iStock  

Mount Rushmore National Memorial (South Dakota)

Mount Rushmore National Memorial (South Dakota)

Discover Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and more. See the full list of South Dakota national parks here. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee)

A go-to destination for outdoor adventure. See the full list of Tennessee national parks here. 960 1280

WerksMedia  

Big Bend National Park (Texas)

Big Bend National Park (Texas)

Adventure awaits in the Lone Star State. See the full list of Texas national parks here. 960 1280

Ian Shive / Aurora Photos   

Arches National Park (Utah)

Arches National Park (Utah)

Discover "The Mighty 5" and so much more! See the full list of Utah national parks here. 960 1280

Whit Richardson / Aurora Photos  

Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park (Vermont)

Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park (Vermont)

Appropriately dubbed the Green Mountain State. See the full list of Vermont national parks here. 960 1280
Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

The stunning backdrop to early American history. See the full list of Virginia national parks here. 960 1280

  

Mount Ranier National Park (Washington)

Mount Ranier National Park (Washington)

Explore the nation’s Northwest corner. See the full list of Washington national parks here. 960 1280

Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.  

Gauley River National Recreation Area (West Virginia)

Gauley River National Recreation Area (West Virginia)

Discover historic mountains, rivers and towns. See the full list of West Virginia national parks here. 960 1280

Trevor Clark / Aurora Photos   

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wisconsin)

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wisconsin)

Enjoy this state’s ample water and rolling hills. See the full list of Wisconsin national parks here. 960 1280

  

Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

The least populous state has room to roam. See the full list of Wyoming national parks here. 960 1280

iStockPhoto.com/dmathies  

Stargazing at Utah's Natural Bridges National Monument
To the Bridge, Spock

To the Bridge, Spock

Utah’s Natural Bridges National Monument already has a height advantage, rising 6,500 feet above sea level on Cedar Mesa. The rocky catwalks not only bring you closer to the stars, they carry the distinction of being in the first national monument to be certified by the International Dark-Sky Association, an organization that aims to curb light pollution and preserve our celestial views (sort of like a non-profit dimmer switch). 960 1280

  

Star Man

Star Man

Park Rangers at Southern Utah’s Bryce Canyon take their stargazing seriously. They are tasked with protecting the area’s incredible natural darkness for the 100+ astronomy programs that operate every year within the park. How dark is it? It’s so dark that Venus and Jupiter are bright enough to cast your shadow on the canyon floor. For maximum cosmological majesty, plan your trip around the Annual Astronomy Festival in early June.  960 1280

BRYCE R. BRADFORD  

California Stars

California Stars

Just beyond the reach of L.A.’s ring of smog and neon, Joshua Tree National Park is Southern California’s personal planetarium. Winter solstice offers the longest night of the year and best star gawking opportunity. Weave your way through the desert hippie caravans and gaze deeply into the turquoise buckle of Orion’s belt.  960 1280

  

Temple of Stars

Temple of Stars

While perhaps not an obvious choice, Zion National Park in Utah rewards the patient star seeker with some stellar views of the Milky Way. With its towering sandstone cliffs and peculiar rock formations, there’s always something to see in Zion if you look up, even on a moonlit night. Just stay to the paths.

 

 

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The Western Sky

The Western Sky

California’s Yosemite National Park is a popular destination for amateur astronomers who tend to gather at Glacier Point between June and August. Ask politely and they may let you peep through their impressively large telescopes. If you’re looking for a guided star voyage, astronomy walks are offered in Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, and Wawona. DIY-ers can download an app like GoSkyWatch and plot their own trip through the night sky.  960 1280

  

A Star is Born

A Star is Born

Utah’s Arches National Park is one of the most arresting and photographed landscapes in the world, but at nightfall it becomes a darkened theater for the big cosmic revue overhead. Campers extinguish fires and recline their lawn chairs to take in the great celestial spray of the Milky Way as it bends from horizon to horizon, upstaged only by the occasional streaking meteor. 960 1280

Diana Robinson  

Sea of Darkness

Sea of Darkness

If you really want to get away from the city lights, head for the improbably named Dry Tortugas National Park, which is actually a string of seven small islands in the Gulf of Mexico. Go native and camp on the beach for some all-night sky watching. The only non-celestial light you’ll see is the intermittent flashing from the lighthouse on Loggerhead Key.  

 

 

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Picasa  

Party With the Stars

Party With the Stars

Arizona’s Grand Canyon offers one of the best views of the night sky in the U.S. The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association throws star parties on the canyon’s South Rim, while the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix hosts competing events on the North Rim. Whichever bash you choose, make sure you dress warmly and look down from time to time. That first step is a doozy.  960 1280

  

Pacific Northwest Trail
Pacific Northwest Trail

Pacific Northwest Trail

The Pacific Northwest Trail spans 1,200 miles -- including 3 national parks and 7 national forests. To tackle this route, which runs through Montana, Idaho and Washington, you'll have to keep a pace of 20 miles per day. That'll get you to the trail's end in about 60 days.

Best times to hike:Year-round at lower elevations, summer and fall at higher elevations.
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Andy Porter, flickr   

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

The famed Appalachian Trail spans more than 2,180 miles. A thru-hike usually takes between 5 and 7 months, cutting through 14 states between Georgia and Maine. Along the way, enjoy views of pink rhododendrons along the trail’s Tennessee-North Carolina state line and in southwest Virginia, from late spring to early summer.

Best times to hike: Spring to fall.
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Thinkstock  

John Muir Trail

John Muir Trail

Naturalist John Muir loved this area of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Today, the trail named in his honor runs 211 miles, from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney (the highest point on America’s mainland). Most hikers start their trek at Yosemite’s Happy Isles or Tuolumne Meadows.

Best times to hike: Generally July to September.
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Steve Dunleavy, flickr  

Hayduke Trail

Hayduke Trail

Uber-hiker Andrew Skurka calls Hayduke Trail “one of the finest ways to discover the Colorado Plateau … and get away from it all.” No wonder. The 800-mile trail running through Utah and Arizona covers the area’s big national parks: Zion, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches.

Best times to hike: Spring and fall.
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Thinkstock  

Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail

The massive Pacific Crest Trail covers more than 2,600 miles, from California, Oregon and Washington to British Columbia. The trail is among the “Big 3”: If you hike the Pacific Trail, as well as the Continental Divide Trail and the Appalachian Trail, you’ll get the American Long Distance Hiking Association’s Triple Crown Award.

Best times to hike: Late April to late September.
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Marshmallow, flickr  

Sierra High Route

Sierra High Route

The Sierra High Route is one of pro hiker Andrew Skurka’s favorite trails. The 195-mile trail in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains offers amazing views of meadowlands, lake basins and mountain peaks. Keep a pace of roughly 20 miles per day, and you’ll complete the trail in a little over a week. Also, keep in mind logistical considerations.

Best time to hike: Depends on skill level.
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Getty Images  

Arizona Trail

Arizona Trail

The 800-mile Arizona Trail runs north and south through the state, and showcases some of the region's most unspoiled terrain: ridges, mountains and wilderness areas that have remained untouched since Arizona became a territory in 1863. That remoteness also means hikers must stay current on Arizona Trail conditions.

Best times to hike: Year-round at lower elevations, summer and fall at higher elevations.
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Rick Hall, flickr  

Long Trail

Long Trail

Known simply as the Long Trail, this route runs 273 miles through Vermont -- the whole length of the state. The trail also happens to be America’s first long-distance hiking trail. Construction began in 1912 and continued for nearly 20 years. Today, hikers can enjoy short day hikes and extended treks (including to Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain).

Best times to hike: Late spring through late fall.
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dvs, flickr  

Continental Divide Trail

Continental Divide Trail

At 3,100 miles, the Continental Divide Trail is not for the faint of heart: Only about 25 people a year attempt to hike the entire trail, which runs between Mexico and Canada. Some areas can only be traveled by bushwacking, aka make-your-own-trails, and roadwalking.

Best times to hike: April to October.
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Getty Images  

Superior Hiking Trail

Superior Hiking Trail

Everyone loves Superior: Hiker Andrew Skurka ranks the trail among his 10 favorite US hikes, Readers Digest ranks it among its top 5. The 275-mile footpath showcases scenic views -- boreal forests, rushing waterfalls and the 30-mile-long Sawtooth Mountains are among the attractions -- as well as 81 campsites for a little R&R.

Best times to hike: Late spring to early fall.
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Thinkstock  

Florida Trail

Florida Trail

Alligators are among the wild critters that hikers can encounter along the Florida Trail. The 1,400-mile trail starts at Big Cypress National Preserve (about 45 miles west of Miami) and ends in the Pensacola, FL, area. And if you see a gator along the way? Give it space, circling around its tail end so it doesn’t feel threatened.

Best times to hike: Year-round.
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B A Bowen Photography, flickr  

Colorado Trail

Colorado Trail

Hikers, horse riders and bicyclists, the Colorado Trail is calling your name. The 486-mile trail runs from the Denver area to Durango, CO, with some of Colorado’s most beautiful scenery in between: wildlife (marmots, deer, sheep and more), as well as wildflowers, forests, lakes and streams ideal for fishing. A thru-hike generally takes 4 to 6 weeks to complete -- a feat accomplished by roughly 150 people per year.

Best times to hike: Primarily July and August.
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Kimon Berlin, flickr  

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