We’re all eager to travel somewhere besides the backyard or the basement, but people are definitely going to be very cautious even when venturing out again. Domestic travel is going to restart ahead of international travel, and at first a lot of people might stick to places they can drive to in a few hours’ time before flying, even as airlines continue their vigorous sanitization efforts. We want our travelers to be safe first and foremost, so we have some tips on how to social distance while traveling.
California’s Napa and Sonoma valleys get the most publicity, and with good reason because there are some great wines and wonderful places to enjoy them along with some great views and meals. The Willamette Valley in Oregon and wine regions of Washington are also very nice. If the West Coast is too far afield for you, though, there are ample wineries in New York’s Finger Lakes and North Fork, throughout Virginia and five American Viticulture Areas in Pennsylvania. Wherever you live, there are wineries with vast vineyards and boutique hotels full of charm.
With a population density of 1.2 people per square mile, our largest state is almost entirely wide open spaces. The wildlife is of a different type but plentiful enough to rival anything you’ll see on safari. Fishing lodges reachable by float plane can ensure plenty of breathing room. Alaska’s summer season ought to correspond fairly well with the relaxation of shelter at home orders. It’s yet further evidence that Seward’s Folly wasn’t such a bad deal at all.
Living the cowboy life in Big Sky Country sounds pretty good to us right about now. There are a bevy of Virtuoso-preferred ranches out West — in Montana and other states — that have an array of personalized activities outdoors day and night, from horseback riding to stargazing. Fresh air and mountain scenery abounds. Accommodations are typically well spread out. The endless sure beat walking around your block for the 5,000th time.
The entire system was designed with returning to nature in mind. While the highest concentration of parks is in the West, there’s almost certainly a national park within a few hours of your home. There are also national trails and monuments throughout the country. Operations are modified on a park-by-park basis, so be sure to check before planning. Glamping options and National Park lodges abound, so you can be in the heart of nature.
Some might not be able to resist the lure of a new city. If that describes you, make sure to pick one with good weather and tons of outdoor activity. The Phoenix, Houston and San Diego areas have some of the largest urban parks in the U.S. Denver, Seattle, Portland and Salt Lake City have abundant outdoor opportunities and are within easy reach of nature areas. We don’t know what reopening will look like exactly, but we’ll keep dreaming with you until we make your travel dreams a reality.