Summer 2020 & Beyond - U.S. Vacation Destination Ideas
Ok, so you’ve settled into the fact that your summer 2020 travel plans aren't going, well, as planned! You realize you have to scrap your original plans, return to the drawing board and you’re trying to figure out where you could possibly go and have a good time staying closer to home. You want to venture out further than your back yard, county, and possibly your state, but you’re just not sure what to do.
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Disclaimer: Please be sure to check with your travel agent, or with the local and state governments to ensure that travel is welcome in the destination of your choice and what precautions or procedures you may need to adhere to. Rules are constantly changing, and it’s likely that they will continue to do so.
Below we've shared some of our U.S. destination ideas. No passport is required, and depending on where in the U.S. you’d be originating from, a flight or two may be in order. But, be rest assured, you won’t need to worry about complicated customs, immigration, or border procedures to go to any of these places. You may though, have to adhere to local and state health regulations, depending on where you go.
The list below is not comprehensive but, it’s a good place to start! There are a multitude of ideas out there - in fact, I’d love to know what your ideas are for Summer 2020 U.S. travel. Do you think something should’ve made the list? Send me a message, comment below and let me know your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you! Who knows, if I get enough feedback, I may do another post!
*The following list is in no particular order!*
Idea #1: Visit a National Park, or two! A National Park is a “a scenic or historically important area of countryside protected by the federal government for the enjoyment of the general public…” - Oxford Languages. Have you been to any? Have you always heard about them, but have been meaning to visit? Have you seen the Grand Canyon from any of its amazing peaks, or walked through the Redwood National Forest and gazed up at the giant trees, where you felt like a tiny fairy in the forest or even driven your car through one of them? Did you know they had trees so big that you could literally drive through them? It's quite the experience! How about visiting Yosemite? If you’ve ever driven, walked, hiked, explored, or spent any amount of time within a National Park, you know the beauty and majesty within. Whether you’re on the far west coast, or you’re in the northeast, each park has its own characteristics that make it unique and magnificent. You won’t find two that are the same! Consider taking the family to one of these national treasures and experiencing what all they have to offer. Need some ideas on how to pair this trip with other nearby experiences? We’ve sent many clients to some of these various treasures and would love to help you with yours! Note: *Not all National Parks are open as of this writing, so be sure to check with us first!* Looking for a free resource to check out the National Parks? Click here!
Idea #2: Take a ride through Napa Valley/Wine Country aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train and explore the various regions of California that make some of the wines you love. Love to sip wine, eat great food, relax in a spa and enjoy the luxuries of life? Wine Country definitely has all you need to take a break and relax! And - many of the wineries that you love are now open! (As of this writing.) Whether you hop aboard the wine train, or simply drive at your leisure and visit the various wineries in this region, you'll find there are many great places to explore. Get lost in the antique shops, boutiques in the nearby towns where these famous vineyards are and explore some of the best eateries along the way. Looking for something that takes you beyond food and wine? Napa Valley has a variety of spas that are out of this world to give you that fully pampered experience that will leave you rested and rejuvenated!
Idea #3: Escape to an island - in the U.S.! When you think of island getaways, your first thought might be the various islands in the Caribbean, or beyond, but did you know that the U.S. has many different islands where you can enjoy that tropical vacation closer to home? From Catalina Island to Hilton Head Island, from Martha’s Vineyard to the Hawaiian Islands, there is an island out there for you. Don’t think that you can’t still have that island oasis experience without a passport. In fact, we can recommend some destinations in Florida that will surely have you thinking you’ve hopped on a plane to the Bahamas! So leave your passport at home and head out to one of the many island destinations the U.S. has to offer. Check out the Conde Nast 2019 list for the best U.S. Islands here! After a few days at one of these destinations, you'll come back refreshed and sure that you went beyond the border!
(* Note - as of this writing Hawaii isn’t fully open to tourism from the “main land”, but they are expected to be soon!)
Idea #4: Feeling lucky? Las Vegas is (mostly) open! While the usual cram-packed casino environment may have changed in recent months, you can still take your chance with ‘Lady Luck’ in the Gambling Capital of the World. Just bring your mask! Las Vegas and its casinos were one of the first to open its doors to the public, with just a few more safety precautions in place. So if you love Vegas and you’re hoping to return, or if you just want to go and explore what the city has to offer, be rest assured that you can! And for those that don’t like to gamble, there is more beyond blackjack tables and casinos to see in Vegas. Take a stroll or a ride down the Strip via the Las Vegas Monorail and check out the many beautiful properties and not spend a dime! Hungry? You can head over to the Bellagio after 3pm to grab a bite and stay to watch their famous water show. Live entertainment may be paused or amended for now, but, there is still so much to do in this vibrant destination. Looking to go beyond Vegas? Did you know that you’re within a short drive to the famous Hoover Dam and just a few hours to the Grand Canyon? If you have a full day to explore, you can see both of these places in one day. Many of our clients love the excursions that take them to both places! So if you’d like to take your chances on the slots and see some of the amazing natural wonders of the U.S., Vegas is open* and waiting for you. *Note: Pools are practicing social distancing, live entertainment is paused for the time being and nightclubs are still closed and masks are required.
Idea #5: One of America’s favorite things to do is explore its large metropolitan cities. Did you know that some of the U.S. cities bring in millions of travelers each year to check out all they have to offer? If you’ve never been to “The Big Apple” (New York City), or you’ve never walked the streets of Chicago, this might be the perfect time for you! Ever been atop the Seattle Space Needle? How about the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis? From the north to the south and the east to the west, there are a plethora of American cities for you to enjoy. Every city has its own unique foodie finds too! Head to Philadelphia and try the famous Philly Cheesesteak, or take a trip to Coney Island for the famous hotdog on the boardwalk. And have you tried Chicago pizza? Pack your appetite and be ready to chow down on this famous pizza with melty cheese and sauce atop a thick crust! You won’t leave hungry! Looking for something more historical? Cities like Boston, Savannah, and New Orleans are filled with rich American history that will put your history knowledge to the test! So take one of these destinations and mark it off your list this summer - explore an American city you’ve always wanted to check out. Note: Depending on what state you're traveling from, visiting New York, and some of the other states may require quarantine. Be sure to check with us, your travel agent, for requirements.
Idea #6: Hideaway in a mountain retreat! Maybe the cities of America are not your cup of tea. You’d rather escape to somewhere quiet and relaxing. You’re anxious to get in touch with nature and all it has to offer. Get outdoors and escape to a mountain retreat! Maybe places like Asheville, N.C. near the Smoky Mountains or Aspen in the Colorado Rockies, or even Park City in Utah are more for you. From hiking, to camping, fishing excursions to star-watching, these destinations will take you away from the hustle and bustle of life and give you the opportunity to completely unwind and recharge. And speaking of camping - have you ever considered staying in a yurt? Yurts give you a mixture of the home-like feel of a cabin with the rustic nature of camping in a round-shaped dwelling made of angled wood and felt. Looking for something more luxurious? Glamping, or glamorous camping is a common trend that gives you all of the luxuries you love, in a simplified camping experience amid a remote environment. So take the family away to one of these get-away-from-it-all ideas to recharge!
Idea #7: If your idea of getting away to recharge is riding horseback on the prairie, target shooting, cattle wrangling, hayrides, and the great wide-open outdoors then a Dude Ranch is perfect for you. These ranches are more than just dusty boots and the wild west. They’re a way for those who want to escape their suburban chaos and truly immerse themselves in a ranch lifestyle. You’ll be deeply immersed into the ways of the ranch life and you'll get to learn and experience how they operate. But don't worry, it's not all work! You’ll have plenty of time to relax and unwind. While dude ranches are primarily located in the American West in states like Wyoming, Montana, Oregon and Colorado, you can also find some in Texas as well. And, they are even popping up in the eastern part of the U.S. as well.
Idea #8: Does a thrill of speed and the rush of wind through your hair get you excited? Looking forward to wild rides and crazy corkscrews to let loose some steam? Theme parks around the U.S. are slowly opening up. From Walt Disney World, to SeaWorld, and thrill parks like Six Flags and Cedar Point many of these parks are open now, or are ready to welcome you sooner than later. Capacities are still limited at many of these famous attractions, so you’ll want to do your homework, or call a travel agent (like me!) to ensure that they are open and what proper precaution measures are in place. You may have to socially distance your little ones from Mickey at Walt Disney World, but they can still see the characters out and about throughout the parks. So grab the little ones and big ones and head out to your favorite theme park this summer. Just be prepared that things will look a bit different and various safety precautions will be in place.
*At the time of this writing, the opening date for Disneyland in California has been pushed back indefinitely.
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