Woman paddleboarding in Hawaii

Whether you want to bike with a world-renowned cyclist in Colorado or paddleboard with a pro surfer in Hawaii, these getaways with world-class athletes are anything but ordinary. (Getty Images)

Because of their industry, professional athletes are often avid travelers. What happens once they retire? Many world-class athletes still want to make a living while visiting incredible locations, and have embraced the growing trend of hosting active getaways. These retreats usually aren't cheap, but when you consider that you'll be traveling with decorated Olympians, Super Bowl champions and Grand Slam winners, and you'll be traveling to Hawaii, the Maldives and other world-class destinations, the splurge can be a worthwhile investment for your overall health, wellness and fulfillment. Here are nine upcoming retreats hosted by professional athletes worth traveling for.

[See: 8 Winter Events Worth Planning a Trip Around.]

Ride Waves and Work Out with Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reece

What happens when two world class athletes – an Olympic gold medalist in beach volleyball and America's most famous big-wave surfer – invite you to work up a sweat with them in Hawaii? Expect lots of time in the pool, on a paddleboard and in recovery ice and heat sessions. The performance training-focused retreats – XPT Experiences – were designed by Laird Hamilton and his wife, Gabrielle Reece, for jetsetters looking to take their fitness game to the next level. And because both athletes love the beach, they're held in incredible destinations like Kauai's North Shore. The next three-day all-inclusive XPT Experience with availability is in February and starts at $5,500 per person.

Clip-In with Christian Vande Velde in Colorado

Christian Vande Velde is one of the most recognized names in American cycling. The former Olympian and Tour de France veteran is now retired from the pro circuit, but he hasn't retired from the road. In late summer, he heads to Colorado to host his sold-out Clip-In with Christian cycling camps at The Little Nell, a luxury and cyclist-friendly hotel in Aspen. He also brings some of his famous riding friends including former professional cyclists Craig Lewis and Ryder Hesjedal. The four-day camp starts around $6,000 per person and includes fully supported rides, state-of-the-art racing bikes, Michelin star-worthy meals and apparel and gear for each day.

Ride Greenville's Backcountry Roads with Big George

Serious cyclists with cycling-averse spouses who enjoy cooking should also consider the Experience Domestique packages at George Hincapie's Greenville property, Hotel Domestique. The former pro cyclist – who rode in 17 Tour de France races and five consecutive Olympic Games – often leads four-day cycling camps at the same time his restaurant's chef, Nick Graves, hosts culinary camps. XD Cycling Experiences include fine food, luxurious accommodations, fully supported rides, trainer-led classes, a bike mechanic and massage. They start at $2,000 for single occupancy, and $3,000 for double occupancy.

Take Part in Chix on Stix with Olympic Skier Stacey Cook

This ski weekend hosted by three-time Olympian Stacey Cook is for females only. Open to women of all ages, Chix on Stix is one of Mammoth Mountain's most popular packages, often selling out months in advance. Space is limited to 25 ladies and the weekend activities, which include yoga and skills and drills courses, culminate with skiing Mammoth's famous "Hole in the Wall." The two-day package starts at $299 per person.

Attend a Triathlon Camp with "The Man"

Dave Scott earned his nickname, "The Man," for his prowess in all things Ironman Triathlon-related. The six-time Ironman Triathlon Hawaii champion was the first person inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame. But you don't have to be signed up to swim 2 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26 miles, to train with this inspiring athlete. Scott trains triathletes of all levels and abilities at his series of triathlon camps hosted by Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Kona, Hawaii. The five-day clinic starts at $2,000 per guest and includes training with video analysis, gear, group meals, nutrition classes and even consultations.

[See: Best Adventure Vacations in the USA.]

Hunt with a Chicago Bear Veteran

Tim Wrightman is best known for winning the Super Bowl in 1985 with his team, the Chicago Bears. But these days, the former tight end can be found on his Weiser, Idaho property, Lazy Bear Ranch. The 190-acre ranch is groomed to be an ideal habitat for guests to partake in wild pheasant-hunting excursions. The pheasant season runs from September to March, so there are plenty of opportunities to spend the day hunting alongside the NFL veteran. A two-day hunt costs $975 per person, and includes a one-night stay in Wrightman's lodge or bunkhouse.

Golf on Hallowed Ground with Hall of Famers

This international retreat marries history with golf. Hosted by the New Orleans-based National WWII Museum, the eight-night package takes guests to world-class golf courses, including Omaha Beach in France and Scotland. Professional golfers Lanny Wadkins and John Mahaffey are always on hand to play with guests and offer instruction. Donald J. Miller, a leading WWII historian, is also present to provide historical context and lead cultural tours. Offered July 17-25, Heroes & Legends starts at $12,999 per person, and is based on double occupancy.

Enjoy a Family-Friendly Fitness Getaway with Randy Moss

Considered to be among the greatest wide receivers of all time, Randy Moss isn't the first person that comes to mind when you think of a family vacation. But for the past two years, the former San Francisco 49er has led family-friendly summer getaways at St. Lucia's premier wellness resort, BodyHoliday Saint Lucia. Moss's WellFit Families packages start at $530 per person and includes all meals, activities such as beach boot camps, healthy cooking classes, motivational talks and rainforest hikes, along with accommodations.

[See: The Best Cities for Baseball Fans to Visit.]

Take Beachfront Backhand Lessons with Jonas Björkman

The hardest part of playing tennis with Andy Murray's former coach, Jonas Björkman, is getting to the courts. Soneva Fushi, a luxury hideaway in the Maldives, hosts these winter lessons which are free for guests in the resort's 57 private villas. They start at $4,324 per night. However, they are easy to justify if your dream is to win at Wimbledon. Björkman, a Swedish native, is a nine-time Grand Slam winner currently coaching Croatian player Marin Cilic, who is currently ranked fifth in the world.


10 Best Trips for Adventure Junkies


Photo Gallery
Halong Bay, Tuscany, New Zealand
The Great Wall of China at sunset.
Beautiful landscape with vineyards in Tuscany
Pacific Crest Trail
Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City)
Mount Everest base camp
Milford Sound
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Shark diving
Tourist hiking in Torres del Paine National Park, Magallanes Region, Chile, South America.
Camel in front of the treasury or Al Khazna, it is the most magnificant and famous facade in Petra Jordan, it is 40 meters high.
|

Test your limits on a heart-pounding trip in nearby and far-off locales.
Travel, in its purest sense, moves you. It takes you outside of your comfort zone to unfamiliar destinations. And no type of travel experience fosters personal growth more vigorously than adventure travel. After all, adventure trips don't just introduce you to a new place, they offer cultural immersion – with challenging bike rides through Vietnam's dirt roads, grueling marathons weaving along the Great Wall of China and deep sea dives that explore endangered coral reefs in Australia. Not for the faint of heart, these trips are designed to challenge and enrich your understanding of the world – and yourself. So, if you're yearning for a transformative trip, embark on these life-changing tours.
(Getty Images)

Run the Great Wall Marathon.
If you've never run a marathon before, it's advised not to start with this one. Tour operator, Intrepid Travel, offers a nine-day expedition that introduces you to China's only sanctioned marathon, which welcomes more than 2,500 runners a year. The path is tricky and demanding, taking runners up and down sloping mountains and along brick paths built in the third century B.C. After the grueling race, the tour takes you to some of China's most famous landmarks, including the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. If you want to experience the Great Wall but aren't marathon-ready, you can still tame your adventurous spirit with the race's half-marathon and 10K course instead.
(Getty Images)

Bike through Tuscany.
With an ever-changing mural of picturesque rolling hills, sprawling vineyards and medieval backdrops, the Tuscany Bike Tour offered by reputable outfitter Backroads is as beautiful as it is challenging. You'll pedal over the uneven cobblestones of Tuscany's famous cities, like Arezzo; through world-famous Chianti vineyards; and up towards the 14th- and 15th-century castles that loom above the hills. The rides may be tough, but the end result is well worth it: lively dinners with local families, wine tastings in famous vineyards and all of the fresh pasta you can eat.
(Getty Images)

Hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
Stretching from Mexico to Canada and encompassing more than 2,000 miles, the Pacific Crest Trail is, arguably, one of the most cumbersome trails in North America. Though the trail has long been on the adrenaline junkie's bucket list, it's gained heightened recognition due to the success of Cheryl Strayed's acclaimed novel "Wild." The trail is tricky, traversing some of the U.S. and Canada's toughest terrain, including the Mojave Desert, the icy peaks of the Sierra Nevada, the staggeringly high Mount Rainier and the uneven valleys and gorges of Yosemite National Park. Learn more about the hike and how to do it on the Pacific Crest Trail Association website.
(Courtesy of Pacific Crest Trail Association)

Trek to Ciudad Perdida.
Often dubbed one of the world's most challenging hikes, the hike to the lost city of Colombia (known as Ciudad Perdida) is the ultimate bucket list trail for true adventure-seekers. The small-group adventure travel outfitter G Adventures offers a seven-day round-trip trek from Santa Marta that reaches a staggering altitude of 3,937 feet at the ruins of Teyuna. You'll weave through lush jungles in 110 percent humidity, up and over rocky, uneven pathways, over deep river basins and up narrow, windy mountain passages. Unlike Machu Picchu, this city is still relatively undiscovered, so you can enjoy breathtaking, unspoiled ruins.
(Getty Images)

Climb to Mount Everest's base camp.
As any avid hiker can attest, crossing Mount Everest's base camp off your list is no easy feat. On this trek by Intrepid Travel, you'll hike into the jaw-dropping Himalayas, past the fantastical Gokyo Lakes and up an incredible 17,600 feet to the south base of the world's highest mountain. This intensive 15-day itinerary allows for more local immersion than a regular trek – with stays in Nepalese teahouses and in-depth conversations with the area's famed Sherpas. This hike is considered one the toughest in the world, but those who have done it describe the 360-degree views of the snowy Mount Everest as the most euphoric moment of their lives.
(Courtesy of Intrepid Travel)

Plan an epic New Zealand adventure.
New Zealand is, unofficially, the adventure capital of the world, with more adrenaline-packed adventures per capita than anywhere else on the planet. The best way to get a sense of all of the country's heart-pounding activities available in the North and South islands is with the 28-day Flying Kiwi's exclusive Ultimate Explorer tour. You'll hike, bike, kayak, climb, sky-dive, bungee jump, swim and walk through the country's most beautiful landmarks and cities, including the Milford Sound, the Bay of Islands, Fiordland National Park, Aoraki National Park, Rotorua and Queenstown. And afterward, you'll quickly realize why this country is every adventure-seeker's dream.
(Getty Images)

Hike, bike and kayak in Vietnam.
One of the world's most beautiful destinations, Vietnam is a country best explored off the beaten path. G Adventures' Hike, Bike and Kayak tour through this diverse country offers an unspoiled view of the verdant jungles, picturesque bays, limestone karsts, lush islands and small, welcoming villages it's best known for. This 10-day exploration begins in Ho Chi Minh City and blends cultural immersion (think: homestays in villages and food market visits) with blood-pumping activity such as kayaking through Halong Bay, hiking up to Mai Chau and taking a bike ride to the tomb of Tu Duc.
(Getty Images)

Dive with great white sharks in Australia.
With the largest reef in the world, Australia has hooked water-loving adventurers for decades. However, for those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, snorkeling among colorful reefs just won't cut it. That's why adventure tour company Dive Worldwide offers the chance to swim alongside the country's most aggressive marine mammal, the great white shark. This expedition takes you deep into the dark blue waters of South Australia's Neptune Islands, where you'll come face to face with the massive sharks. Plus, you can swim side by side with stingrays and other sea creatures. The tour also takes you above water with hikes to famous islands, where you'll likely spot sea lions and seals.
(Courtesy of Rodney Fox Expeditions/Dive Worldwide)

Hike Patagonia's epic Torres del Paine.
Located at the southern tip of South America, Chilean Patagonia offers enchanting landscapes and challenging trails that attract admirers from across the globe. For unrivaled views of Torres del Paine, along with guided hikes, all-inclusive meals and comfortable accommodations, consider staying at Explora. The picturesque lodge sits in the middle of the Torres del Paine National Park and faces the breathtaking Cordillera del Paine Mountains. With more than 50 hikes to choose from, including the trek to Cordillera's "horn" mountain peaks, there are many ways to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. Plus, the lodge offers horseback riding for a more leisurely way to enjoy the park's splendor.
(Getty Images)

Take a safari through Jordan.
One of the oldest civilizations in the world, Jordan has long lured those seeking enlightenment. In addition to UNESCO World Heritage sites and the incredible world of Petra, Jordan also boasts never-ending desert horizons, hot springs, bustling cities and deep oceans for those craving more active pursuits. Outfitter Absolute Travel offers a Wild Jordan Adventure that hits Jordan's famous highlights, like the city of Petra, as well as some lesser-known spots, such as Wadi Mukheris and the gushing waterfalls of the Ma'In Hot Springs. Plus, this tour offers a mix of steep hikes, city walking tours and four-wheel drive desert expeditions.
(Getty Images)

Halong Bay, Tuscany, New Zealand
The Great Wall of China at sunset.
Beautiful landscape with vineyards in Tuscany
Pacific Crest Trail
Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City)
Mount Everest base camp
Milford Sound
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Shark diving
Tourist hiking in Torres del Paine National Park, Magallanes Region, Chile, South America.
Camel in front of the treasury or Al Khazna, it is the most magnificant and famous facade in Petra Jordan, it is 40 meters high.

Test your limits on a heart-pounding trip in nearby and far-off locales.
Travel, in its purest sense, moves you. It takes you outside of your comfort zone to unfamiliar destinations. And no type of travel experience fosters personal growth more vigorously than adventure travel. After all, adventure trips don't just introduce you to a new place, they offer cultural immersion – with challenging bike rides through Vietnam's dirt roads, grueling marathons weaving along the Great Wall of China and deep sea dives that explore endangered coral reefs in Australia. Not for the faint of heart, these trips are designed to challenge and enrich your understanding of the world – and yourself. So, if you're yearning for a transformative trip, embark on these life-changing tours.
(Getty Images)

Run the Great Wall Marathon.
If you've never run a marathon before, it's advised not to start with this one. Tour operator, Intrepid Travel, offers a nine-day expedition that introduces you to China's only sanctioned marathon, which welcomes more than 2,500 runners a year. The path is tricky and demanding, taking runners up and down sloping mountains and along brick paths built in the third century B.C. After the grueling race, the tour takes you to some of China's most famous landmarks, including the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. If you want to experience the Great Wall but aren't marathon-ready, you can still tame your adventurous spirit with the race's half-marathon and 10K course instead.
(Getty Images)

Bike through Tuscany.
With an ever-changing mural of picturesque rolling hills, sprawling vineyards and medieval backdrops, the Tuscany Bike Tour offered by reputable outfitter Backroads is as beautiful as it is challenging. You'll pedal over the uneven cobblestones of Tuscany's famous cities, like Arezzo; through world-famous Chianti vineyards; and up towards the 14th- and 15th-century castles that loom above the hills. The rides may be tough, but the end result is well worth it: lively dinners with local families, wine tastings in famous vineyards and all of the fresh pasta you can eat.
(Getty Images)

Hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
Stretching from Mexico to Canada and encompassing more than 2,000 miles, the Pacific Crest Trail is, arguably, one of the most cumbersome trails in North America. Though the trail has long been on the adrenaline junkie's bucket list, it's gained heightened recognition due to the success of Cheryl Strayed's acclaimed novel "Wild." The trail is tricky, traversing some of the U.S. and Canada's toughest terrain, including the Mojave Desert, the icy peaks of the Sierra Nevada, the staggeringly high Mount Rainier and the uneven valleys and gorges of Yosemite National Park. Learn more about the hike and how to do it on the Pacific Crest Trail Association website.
(Courtesy of Pacific Crest Trail Association)

Trek to Ciudad Perdida.
Often dubbed one of the world's most challenging hikes, the hike to the lost city of Colombia (known as Ciudad Perdida) is the ultimate bucket list trail for true adventure-seekers. The small-group adventure travel outfitter G Adventures offers a seven-day round-trip trek from Santa Marta that reaches a staggering altitude of 3,937 feet at the ruins of Teyuna. You'll weave through lush jungles in 110 percent humidity, up and over rocky, uneven pathways, over deep river basins and up narrow, windy mountain passages. Unlike Machu Picchu, this city is still relatively undiscovered, so you can enjoy breathtaking, unspoiled ruins.
(Getty Images)

Climb to Mount Everest's base camp.
As any avid hiker can attest, crossing Mount Everest's base camp off your list is no easy feat. On this trek by Intrepid Travel, you'll hike into the jaw-dropping Himalayas, past the fantastical Gokyo Lakes and up an incredible 17,600 feet to the south base of the world's highest mountain. This intensive 15-day itinerary allows for more local immersion than a regular trek – with stays in Nepalese teahouses and in-depth conversations with the area's famed Sherpas. This hike is considered one the toughest in the world, but those who have done it describe the 360-degree views of the snowy Mount Everest as the most euphoric moment of their lives.
(Courtesy of Intrepid Travel)

Plan an epic New Zealand adventure.
New Zealand is, unofficially, the adventure capital of the world, with more adrenaline-packed adventures per capita than anywhere else on the planet. The best way to get a sense of all of the country's heart-pounding activities available in the North and South islands is with the 28-day Flying Kiwi's exclusive Ultimate Explorer tour. You'll hike, bike, kayak, climb, sky-dive, bungee jump, swim and walk through the country's most beautiful landmarks and cities, including the Milford Sound, the Bay of Islands, Fiordland National Park, Aoraki National Park, Rotorua and Queenstown. And afterward, you'll quickly realize why this country is every adventure-seeker's dream.
(Getty Images)

Hike, bike and kayak in Vietnam.
One of the world's most beautiful destinations, Vietnam is a country best explored off the beaten path. G Adventures' Hike, Bike and Kayak tour through this diverse country offers an unspoiled view of the verdant jungles, picturesque bays, limestone karsts, lush islands and small, welcoming villages it's best known for. This 10-day exploration begins in Ho Chi Minh City and blends cultural immersion (think: homestays in villages and food market visits) with blood-pumping activity such as kayaking through Halong Bay, hiking up to Mai Chau and taking a bike ride to the tomb of Tu Duc.
(Getty Images)

Dive with great white sharks in Australia.
With the largest reef in the world, Australia has hooked water-loving adventurers for decades. However, for those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, snorkeling among colorful reefs just won't cut it. That's why adventure tour company Dive Worldwide offers the chance to swim alongside the country's most aggressive marine mammal, the great white shark. This expedition takes you deep into the dark blue waters of South Australia's Neptune Islands, where you'll come face to face with the massive sharks. Plus, you can swim side by side with stingrays and other sea creatures. The tour also takes you above water with hikes to famous islands, where you'll likely spot sea lions and seals.
(Courtesy of Rodney Fox Expeditions/Dive Worldwide)

Hike Patagonia's epic Torres del Paine.
Located at the southern tip of South America, Chilean Patagonia offers enchanting landscapes and challenging trails that attract admirers from across the globe. For unrivaled views of Torres del Paine, along with guided hikes, all-inclusive meals and comfortable accommodations, consider staying at Explora. The picturesque lodge sits in the middle of the Torres del Paine National Park and faces the breathtaking Cordillera del Paine Mountains. With more than 50 hikes to choose from, including the trek to Cordillera's "horn" mountain peaks, there are many ways to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. Plus, the lodge offers horseback riding for a more leisurely way to enjoy the park's splendor.
(Getty Images)

Take a safari through Jordan.
One of the oldest civilizations in the world, Jordan has long lured those seeking enlightenment. In addition to UNESCO World Heritage sites and the incredible world of Petra, Jordan also boasts never-ending desert horizons, hot springs, bustling cities and deep oceans for those craving more active pursuits. Outfitter Absolute Travel offers a Wild Jordan Adventure that hits Jordan's famous highlights, like the city of Petra, as well as some lesser-known spots, such as Wadi Mukheris and the gushing waterfalls of the Ma'In Hot Springs. Plus, this tour offers a mix of steep hikes, city walking tours and four-wheel drive desert expeditions.
(Getty Images)

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Tags: travel, vacations, sports


Katie Jackson has been a travel contributor for U.S. News since 2015. She began her career in 2011 as an on-air travel spokesperson for NBC LA before she transitioned into travel writing in 2013. Her work has appeared at USAToday.com, FoxNews.com, OutsideOnline.com, Bicycling.com and in The Sunday Times. Travel, adventure, luxury and anything requiring the signing of a waiver is in her wheelhouse. She spends most of the year traveling internationally, but when she's not on a flight, she's at home in Montana with her Leonberger, Zeus. You can follow her travels on Instagram at @katietalkstravel.

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