Today's topic: We rank the Top 40 schools where you can hit the books AND the backcountry. Your assignment: Rappel off that ivory tower and take our cram course on America's most adrenaline-friendly colleges. You'll come for your B.A. (Bachelor of Adventure) and want to stay for life.

1. Havasu Falls, Supai, Arizona Hike two miles to this perfect turquoise pool, with year-round 72-degree water, in Havasu Canyon. All About H2O The wet stuff is always there for us—it grows our food, puts splash and spirit in our adventure, and (by the way) keeps us alive.

When the sea summons you, answer! Fourteen idyllic beach escapes, from Cape Cod to Sanibel.

The year's most intriguing guided adventures

Is a great beach more than a gazillion grains of sand mixed with sun and water? You bet. Here, the 15 best for families.

WARNING: If you are pregnant, or have kids of any age, read on. This report contains information guaranteed to provide you with the premier places to rest you head. Then rip it in the great outdoors with your wee ones. Access and Resources 888-502-9612 www.cheatmountainclub.com Ten…

At the First Church of What Happens Next—MIT— a NASA-trained engineer and his stable of whiz kids are jump-starting the future of outdoor gear

Let the motorized leaf peepers have their New England. It'll keep them far away from ours.

Want instant access to the Big Outdoors—trails, rivers, wild shores, just minutes from home—without compromising your livelihood? Then check out these ten towns on the verge of paradise, where you don't have to ditch it all to have it all.

Inside the high-risk Hollywood quest to bring Sebastian Junger's true-life thriller to the screen

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