In the winter we published 5 Top Travel Destinations for Firearm Enthusiasts, and now that summer has arrived, we found five more top travel destinations for a shooting vacation. If you’re itching for more trigger time and to use up some of those stockpiled vacation days, these ranges offer something special for every skill level.
NRA Whittington Center (Raton, New Mexico)
Situated on more than 33,000 acres and boasting 25 ranges, the Whittington Center is a truly special place. It provides top-of-the-line training, guided hunts and lodging, all surrounded by a breathtaking southwestern landscape. From defensive and precision firearm courses to bull elk, pronghorn, mule deer and turkey hunts, there’s something for everyone at the center. You have the option to pitch a tent at a primitive campsite or put your feet up in a cozy cabin. The Whittington Center also prioritizes its youth program, so it’s a vacation the entire family will enjoy. Just for NRA Women, don’t miss the Women’s Wilderness Escape. It’s a week of fun with firearms, outdoorsmanship and camaraderie.
Heli Gunner (Texas)
There are all kinds of ways to make target shooting more interesting, from reactive targets to bigger guns, but have you tried adding a helicopter? Heli Gunner provides guests the opportunity of a lifetime: shooting steel targets with a modern sporting rifle out of a flying helicopter. While it’s not exactly a destination per se, because their events take place all over Texas and sometimes other states, it’s worth planning a trip to incorporate a Heli Gunner session. You will be able to hop on a helicopter with a suppressed AR-15 or M-4 and send 50 rounds of ammo downrange on two live-fire passes. They also offer helicopter hog hunting trips!
The Equinox (Manchester Village, Vermont)
You might be drawn in by the historic New England charm and world-class golf course, but adventure awaits. Equinox offers a fly-fishing school and shooting school through Orvis Outdoors, and a Land Rover experience where you learn expedition-style driving techniques. The Orvis shooting instructors are expert shotgunners committed to the English Churchill method of shooting. Equinox promises that no matter how experienced you are with a shotgun, you’ll learn something new at their range.
The Point at Pintail (Queenstown, Maryland)
This facility boasts an addicting and challenging sporting clays course with plenty of fun packages. There’s Cast and Blast, where participants receive 50 sporting clays targets, shotgun shells and a half-day fishing charter! Other packages include the Bachelorette Party, where each group member receives 25 targets, shells, shotgun rental and a golf cart. While Point at Pintail is exclusively a shooting and fishing center, there are plenty of nearby accommodations that make this an ideal vacation destination.
The Resort at Paws Up (Greenough, Montana)
This western resort has plenty of activities to keep your adventure-fueled getaway rolling … floating, riding, skiing and more. From river exploration to hopping on a horse to fishing and even hot air ballooning, there are tons of outdoor adventures lying in the Missoula mountains. The Resort at Paws Up offers a scenic 10-station sporting clays course and an Old West rifle range where you can plink away at a rustic mock ghost town. Of course, a luxury resort would be remiss not to have a spa, island lodge and … certified S’moreologist?