Where Can I Travel Now? Weekend Trip Ideas for Every Region
posted on July 28, 2020 | by Heather Bien
For most of us, it looks like travel for pleasure is going to be of the road trip variety for the foreseeable future. We’re mourning each canceled flight, spending hours chasing down refunds and credits, and wondering how we’ll satisfy our wanderlust when just going to pick up dinner seems like an adventure. For me, this hits on a personal level. As I write this, I should be returning from several days spent in California and finalizing my packing list for a 9-day jaunt through Mexico City and Oaxaca. Instead, I’m wondering if it’s too hot to walk up the street to get takeout.
But, I’m trying to keep in mind the positive here: think about all the regional trips that we may have let fall off our radar if we were still dreaming of far-flung destinations! Many of us have awesome getaways just a short drive from home…yet we often choose to look past them in favor of those sexier trips involving pre-check and a passport.
So, let’s take this opportunity to focus on those places closer to home. We’ve tracked down weekend trip ideas for every region. Remember, no matter where you are, you can always discover a new place to relax and reset.
SOUTHEAST: Fairhope, AL
This is a trip I did last year while visiting friends in Alabama. Unless you’re from the Gulf Coast, this probably isn’t the Southeast beach region you typically think of –– and that’s why it’s just the right getaway for this season of life. It’s not the Outer Banks, Hilton Head, or Sea Island. But, this charming beach town should absolutely be on your radar for this year’s summer vacay.
Stay at the Grand Hotel, the “Queen of Southern Resorts.” Explore the artsy downtown. Bike along the trails that wind through Fairhope, a quintessentially Southern city. On your way out of town, stop by Bluegill Restaurant near Mobile and indulge in buttery flaming oysters, marsh views, and a lively atmosphere.
NORTHEAST: Bar Harbor, ME
I was actually supposed to take this trip back in June, but I’m a bit outside of a reasonable driving distance, so I’ll sit here jealous of those of you who are enjoying a gorgeous New England summer. From lobster rolls to hiking along rocky shores and throwing on a summer sweater during chilly evenings, this is your season to enjoy a classic Maine experience.
Stay at Balance Rock Inn for a touch of luxury amidst a rugged weekend of hiking through Acadia National Park. Keep an eye out for puffins. Go on a kayaking adventure. Staying socially distant is the name of the game when you’re out there taking in all the coastline has to offer.
MIDWEST: Traverse City, MI
A trip to any of the Great Lakes would make for the perfect road trip getaway, but we particularly love the “Cherry Capital of the World,” Traverse City. In this Northern Michigan beach town, you’ll find a picturesque downtown surrounded by rural landscapes and sweeping lake views.
Stay at the Spring Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast right on the water, then use a few days to work on your paddleboarding skills or try out fly fishing. Or, if you prefer activities of the liquid variety, the area has a booming winery, distillery, and microbrewery scene. And, of course, there are always the beaches. I mean, who doesn’t need a laid-back beach day right now!?
SOUTHWEST: Sante Fe, NM
Whether you’re into nature, food, or artisan culture, the adobe Pueblo architecture and rich history of Santa Fe, New Mexico is calling your name.
Stay at the St. Francis, New Mexico’s oldest hotel to set the vibe with artisan decor. From the miles of adventure waiting for you on the Dale Ball trails to the Santa Fe National Forest and the iconic Rio Grande River, there’s no shortage of options to get outside –– and safely away from other tourists. When you’ve gotten enough physical activity for one day, treat yourself to a margarita and some of Santa Fe’s renowned cuisine.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST: Kalispell, MT
Has Glacier National Park been on your bucket list? Now’s the time to tick this incredible outdoor adventure off your list in Kalispell. And, if you’re looking for some jaw-dropping water views, check out Flathead Lake.
Stay at the Coyote Bluff Estate to add a bit of luxury to your outdoorsy excursion and, don’t think it’s all about hiking and staying active. Kalispell has a darling downtown that’s everything you’ve imagined a small mountain town to be. There’s shopping, breweries, restaurants, and more. Plus, the weather will be ideal for social distancing and dining outside.
WEST COAST: Big Sur, CA
Fields of wildflowers, massive cliffs, and otters –– yes, otters –– these are all reasons to plan a socially distant trip to Big Sur. Take a drive down the iconic Highway 1, where the drive itself is part of the getaway.
Stay at Glen Oaks Big Sur because, well, just because you’re exploring the great outdoors doesn’t mean you have to camp, right?! Split your trip by spending a few days hiking the trails and taking in the awe-inspiring landscapes, then treat yourself to a day (or two) of wine tasting because don’t we all deserve to treat ourselves right now?
So, tell us, what are your travel plans for the rest of 2020? Have you found a way to scratch the wanderlust itch safely? Or have you made the decision to push plans to 2021?