The most positive thing I can truly say about The COVID challenge is that is certainly has brought out the explorer in me and those I talk to. Are we traveling to the four corners of the world? No. But that doesn’t mean brilliant discoveries are not being made. They just happen to be in our own “backyard’ of the USA.
EXPLORING THE USA
Tired of our own 4 walls we are branching out! Here in the Northeast, our once-high coronavirus numbers are successfully reduced by the measures taken by our state and regional governments in a cooperative coalition. For us, we are happily road tripping from New Jersey to Maine. And boy, did the crowds in Bar Harbor show that!
Leaf Peeping in New England
In the fall, there is no better road trip than leaf peeping. New England is great for that – plus apple-picking, winery visits, beautiful temperate hiking and biking. I can suggest staying at Troutbeck in Dutchess County, NY, Winvian in Litchfield County, CT among others.
National Parks in the West
Further afield, the National Parks in the West were a highlight for many – always on the bucket-list to visit, and now with international travel curtailed, sights were set on exploring in those places. Now through mid-October is a great time to plan, still. I find many places that normally close from the end of September until the end of November to reopen for the winter season are accepting guests a little longer this year, I would suggest fly into Bose, Montana or Jackson, Wyoming, rent a car and explore the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Big Sky. Lodges and guest ranches abound as well as boutique hotels.
Use a Local Guide
I suggest having a guide take you into Yellowstone for 2 days – they get you not only to the iconic sites without the crowds, a picnic lunch is included in your day! Or consider a stay at Amangiri in your own private glamping accommodation.
This is a great base to explore Utah’s Big Five national parks. It is in the heart of the Grand Circle region, and within easy reach of some of North America’s most magnificent protected areas, including the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and Monument Valley Tribal Park, home of the Navajo Nation.
Outdoor and City Activities
I myself just went to the Southeast, road tripping from Old Town. Alexandria, VA opposite Washington DC on the Potomac and the hometown of George Washington- Mount Vernon is right down the road. If you love the coast, visiting Old Town, D.C. and then heading to Annapolis and driving along the eastern Shore of Maryland is a spectacular fall trip, made even more special with a stay at The Inn at Perry Cabin. From there, I went to the mountains of western North Carolina for outdoor adventures that included hiking to waterfalls, some easy river and lake kayaking, the cutest small towns and a stay in a luxury cabin. Also worthwhile when driving back east through North Carolina to Charlotte was time spent in Asheville exploring the arts scene and visiting the Biltmore Mansion. A fall trip to this area for fall leaf peeping would be spectacular.
Exploring American History
Also in the Southeast, you could plan to follow the Appalachian Trail by road trip, stopping at places of our American history and for some hikes. Our last stop on this road trip was Charlotte, North Carolina, a vibrant city. Its Uptown area, though relatively quiet affords great dining and museums. Outside of Charlotte we enjoyed boating time on lakes.
These are but a few suggestions for a road trip this fall or to plan for 2021.
PREPARING FOR A ROAD TRIP
Here are my top suggestions for making your own trip a success:
- If going far, do fly to the closest airport to your desired destination. If you have limited time, flying is a safe option – with the recommended and required health-safety precautions. So, unless you have the desire to drive across country, do consider flying. If you have the time to meander, work with your Travel Advisor to know where to stay to be safe along your route – I keep up-to-date on closures, health warnings, and work with you ensure a safe journey.
- When driving, rent a car. This will save you wear and tear on your own vehicle, and you can choose one to match your travel style! An SUV for your adventure trip, a convertible for those sunny crisp fall foliage trips set the tone for your experience.
- Break up the trip with at least a 2-night stay in a gorgeous location. Explore the area more deeply than a drive-and-go itinerary. Relax and really vacation.
- Treat your road trip the way you would an international adventure. Experience the local culture, architecture, history. Definitely have a local guide where you haven’t been before to open hidden doors for you. Be a traveler more than a mere tourist.
The best thing we can do for our mental and physical well-being is to take advantage of what is within reach. A road trip may be the perfect antidote to the challenges of this year.
Ready to explore? I am here to help! Get in touch to get out on your road trip.
If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning in 2020 and 2021, I’d love to help!
You can stay informed and inspired in planning your travel by reading more of my blogs. You can also follow me on Facebook. Twitter @enlitndjrntrvl, and Instagram @enlightenedjourneystravel. Sign up to receive the blogs and a newsletter filled with more insights and offers so you don’t miss a thing.