While the coronavirus may have put a damper on long-distance vacation plans, you can still enjoy a getaway on a close to home trip. Look for a spot far enough away that you can really unwind and relax, but close enough that you can easily travel by car.
And there are lots of possibilities. Perhaps you want to return to a place that holds fond memories. Or maybe you’ve put off visiting closer destinations, figuring eventually you’ll get there. Now is a great time to check one or more of them off your travel bucket list.
For example, think about visiting the wineries of northern California’s Napa Valley, getting rejuvenated at a wellness retreat in the Southwest, taking a Midwest vacation along the Great Lakes, heading to a beach resort on the mid-Atlantic coast, or exploring a historic New England town. Your Travel Leaders travel advisor will have plenty of suggestions about where to go, what to do and where to stay.
Think of outdoor activities you can do where it’s easier to keep your distance from other people. If you’re heading to a historic destination, see if there’s a map with a walking trail. Look for restaurants with outdoor seating or get takeout that you can bring to a nearby park.
Of course, you’ll probably want to do some indoor browsing. This is a difficult time for many small businesses, so as you pick up some souvenirs to remember your stay, you’ll be helping them out, too.
If you want a place where it’s even easier to be socially distant, plan your trip around a visit to a wildlife refuge or conservation area. The National Wildlife Refuge System (//fws.gov/refuges) is a good place to start.
While visitor centers may be closed, trails will be open. Refuges are home to a variety of plant and animal life and they cover hundreds of acres. Many offer scenic drives and activities like kayaking, canoeing, hiking and fishing.
There’s a lot to see in the summertime, too, such as monarch butterflies at Iowa’s Neal Smith Refuge, near Des Moines, Iowa, and nesting sea turtles at the Archie Carr Refuge, on a stretch of coastline near Melbourne, Florida.
Museums are also starting to reopen in some parts of the country. Their large exhibition areas make it easy for people to spread out. You can expect timed entry for admission and a limit on the number of visitors at one time, as well as a mask requirement. At Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History (fieldmuseum.org), hand-sanitizer stations will be installed throughout the building and markers will direct visitors along one-way walking paths. Some museums are located completely outdoors, making it even easier to socially distance. The Storm King Art Center (stormking.org), in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley, is a 500-acre outdoor museum with large-scale sculptures and installations that explore the bond between art and nature.
This content is provided by Travel Leaders / Fly Away Travel, located at 1445 W. Harvard Avenue in Roseburg. Call 541-672-5701 for information.