For those that are looking to explore regionally and safely, this is for you!
While international travel is at a bit of a standstill and some places are opening back up with different restrictions in place, you may be trying to figure out just where you can go. As many folks are opting to stay domestic right now, USA road trips have become quite popular.
As you plan your trip, understand that restrictions are constantly in flux—certain things may be closed and some communities do not want outside visitors.
My suggestion is to research what’s going on locally, be cautious, wear protective gear, and be mindful of others. Here are my tips for how to travel safely during COVID-19.
If you’re taking a road trip or flying domestically and looking to explore somewhere new, here are my suggestions for the best USA places to travel to right now!
To stay socially distanced while exploring, you may want to consider camping or renting an RV, focusing your trip around national parks, and try sticking to the outdoors as much as possible.
Meyer and I rented an RV through RVShare and it made for an epic camping trip!
If you are deciding to travel, pay attention to the CDC guidelines, avoid close contact to anyone who you are not traveling with. Wear a mask in public spaces. Wash your hands often and/or use sanitizer. And avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
As my home state, California is near and dear to my heart, and, in my opinion, one of the best places to road trip! From road tripping the California coast to visiting some iconic national parks, California has a ton to offer.
Northern California is absolutely brimming with beauty and your options for exploring are endless.
You’ve got coastal views in Mendocino and all along Pacific Coast Highway, with stretches where you hardly see a soul. If you’re into vino, there’s the wine country of Napa and Sonoma, or if you’re wanting to surround yourself with trees, check out Tahoe or the Redwoods!
There are few places in the world more beautiful than Big Sur, and it’s one of the state’s greatest treasures. Perched on the rugged central coast of California, this is a nature lover’s dream destination.
Born and raised in Southern California, I’m a bit biased. While the beaches are some of the most beautiful in the country (aside from Hawaii, of course), you’ve got a variety of different terrain here, too.
Essentially you can come for the beaches but then stay for the desert and all the glistening stars in Joshua Tree! An ideal place to get your distance from others and relax, Joshua Tree is an incredible escape from it all.
With rugged coastlines and vast forests, Oregon is the ideal place to climb that mountain and get your fill of waterfalls. If you love camping, there are so many campgrounds to choose from—just make sure to book ahead.
There’s a common theme on this list of places with rugged, natural beauty…and I’m particularly fond of coastlines. Maine’s rocky shores are a splendid place for isolation and there are tons of places to go hiking, biking, or explore the waterfront.
For the ultimate getaway, check out the gorgeous Acadia National Park.
Fancy a road trip through Alaska?
There are so many beautiful small towns and tons of history to discover. Being the USA’s largest and most sparsely populated state, you can explore many of the gems like Ketchikan or Juneau, and potentially a glacier or two!
As long as you’re willing to follow a strict two-week quarantine (Hawaii has a 14-day quarantine for any visitor to the island), Hawaii could be the ideal place!
If you’re working from home and looking to switch things up a bit, quarantining in Hawaii and then experiencing beach life for a few weeks (or months) sounds pretty darn great!
It’s no wonder why New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment.
From ancient natural wonders to Native American and Southwestern culture, to UFOs and alien lore, the state is one of the most wonderfully unique destinations in the United States and the world.
Arches National Park
As stated above, restrictions are always in flux, make sure to check individual parks and see what restrictions are in place before going. Some parks are partially open with select entrances blocked off, while others you are completely free to roam.
There are so many national parks that could make this list (after all, there are over 400 national parks in the US alone!). However, I narrowed it down to a select few… no need to overwhelm with choices! In no particular order, here are a few options for some of the most beautiful national parks to visit.
Yosemite National Park in California
Famous for its towering granite peaks, ancient giant sequoias, and views of the forested valley that will take your breath away, this is a dream hiking destination.
Check out this weekend guide to backcountry hiking in Yosemite!
Glacier National Park in Montana
Located in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, the park is filled with peaks carved by glaciers and stunning valleys. There are more than 700 miles of hiking trails, roads to cycle, and so many photographic points.
Here’s a local’s guide to Glacier National Park!
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
Located atop a volcanic hot spot, Yellowstone is a must-see! Featuring gorgeous canyons, lush forests, tons of hot springs, and impressive geysers—Old Faithful being the most famous—there’s so much to see and do.
Arches National Park in Utah
The Mars-like red rock landscape of Arches, located in Moab, will make you feel like you’re on another planet! If you’re looking to road trip and see other places along the way, check out this ultimate Southwest USA road trip itinerary, or this one-week “Mighty 5” Utah road trip.
While this only has a handful of places, there are many other national parks and great nature-focused locations to explore beyond this list.
What places do you think are ideal for staying socially distanced and exploring the great outdoors? Let me know in the comments below!