“The things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist,” quoth one Papa Hemingway.
Which is to say, your daytime adventures are predictable. So on your next vacation, see things in a new light. I.e., without any.
Here to help: our guide to 12 amazing nocturnal adventures around the globe.
Play nine holes of night-vision golf at a five-star resort. Stroll through a luminescent redwood forest on the world’s longest suspended walkway. Charter a private helicopter over the volcanic glow of Hawaii’s lava streams.
Embrace the dark side.
As you stroll atop the world’s longest suspended walkway — consisting of 23 swing-bridges and living platforms 82 feet above the ground — eight-foot tall lights illuminate the surrounding New Zealand redwood forest.
An illuminated one-mile night walk by the sea in Quebec conceived by the multimedia firm behind the stage shows of Madonna and Muse (and the mind-bending Foresta Lumina, which may return this year as well). Think towering lights and starlit spectacle.
The Four Seasons Volcano Adventure
By day, a helicopter charters you over Hawaii’s waterfalls and beaches until you reach a private beach and luxe hideaway near Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (spa and private chef included). At night, a “Volcano Ambassador” leads you to the Klause Caldera overlook to marvel at all the glowing lava.
Explore the sparkling dinoflagellates of Vieques by kayak in low moonlight — it’s the brightest biobay in the world.
Zip through the twilight hours at 60 MPH over a hundred feet above Whistler’s old growth rainforest … with just distant lights and a headlamp to lead the way.
Jasper Dark Sky Preserve
Alberta’s Jasper National Park is a “dark sky preserve,” which means there’s almost no artificial light visible at night. Great for stargazing, night rock climbing and dark sky hikes. (Or just hit up the Dark Sky festival in October, which gets science talks and concerts).
Singapore; Switzerland; Scotland
Get up close and personal with wildlife during the wee hours: the Night Safari in Singapore was the world’s first nocturnal zoo and is still going strong. You can watch the antics of both beavers and bats during your nighttime raft trip down the Rhine (the tour will even provide you with your own “Bat Detector”). And on Wild Scotland’s Nocturnal Wildlife Tours, you’ll be outfitted with night vision and thermal cameras to check out the local badgers, deers and rabbits.
Create Some Fireworks
Literally! The lavish Las Ventanas Al Paraíso resort in Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula (the kind of place where you’ll get your own pool butler and Mini Cooper) resort allows you to craft your own bespoke fireworks display from a private deck. Then, take ‘em up on their “Sleeping With the Stars” package, where couples can sleep outdoors on an “intimate” rooftop terrace (it’s part of the hotel’s “Romance Menu”).
Glow in the Dark Golf
Your handicap? Light. Play in the (glowing) dark greens of this Virginia resort’s nine-hole executive course.
Redwoods Nightlights photos: Bill Hedges