Enjoy COVID-conscious experiences for the entire family.
From epic road trips along Route 66, to hiking spectacular trails at some of the USA’s top national parks, there’s an endless array of experiences to enjoy while keeping social distancing and safety guidelines in focus. Cruise a rented RV on a scenic byway alongside beaches, or down a winding mountain road. Enjoy a picnic and a movie at a drive-in theater, or sip wine while touring a vineyard. Whether you’re planning a future vacation, or simply dreaming of traveling again, the USA offers a wealth of adventures for visitors.
National Parks and the Great Outdoors
In the USA, most of the popular national parks are operational with COVID-19 guidelines implemented to promote guest safety. Face masks are required in National Park System (NPS) buildings and within parks where social distancing is not possible. This includes narrow trails with high foot traffic, overlooks and historic homes. Some capacity limits are in place along with temporary closures of some sites and one-way trails.
Regardless of safety guidelines, the USA’s national parks provide a stunning backdrop for making memories. At Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, marvel at the Mammoth Hot Springs, bubbling geysers and gorgeous scenery. California’s Yosemite National Park provides photo-worthy views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and ancient sequoia trees, while Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is home to hiking trails, hoodoo rock formations and spectacular stargazing tours.
Visitors can also immerse themselves in all the USA’s natural wonders by camping under the stars. National and state parks feature campgrounds of all sizes, each with their own set of social distancing guidelines. Check with specific campgrounds for details before booking.
A photo op with a massive fallen tree in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park
Hit the Open Road
Road trips are an ideal solution for travelers seeking escape, while remaining in your own bubble. The USA’s famed Route 66, known as the Mother Road, offers outdoor attractions that are fun for the entire family. In Wilmington, Illinois, the Gemini Giant stands 9.1 meters tall and is one of many “Muffler Men” found throughout the USA. Don’t miss a chance to photograph the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. Towering at 192 meters, it’s the largest arch in the world. Love all things quirky? Check out Catoosa, Oklahoma’s Blue Whale. Built in the 1970s, this structure of a smiling blue whale has become one of the most recognizable stops on Route 66. Continue west to New Mexico and explore the ghost town of Glenrio, then check out Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park. In addition to its colorful, petrified wood, the park is home to the Newspaper Rock petroglyphs and the ancient village of Puerco Pueblo. End your Route 66 excursions with views of California’s breathtaking coastline from the iconic Santa Monica Pier.
More oceanfront vistas await along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Running the length of the state, the scenic route takes travelers sightseeing through San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica. Be sure to pull over and relax on wide stretches of sandy beaches, or take a dip in the Pacific Ocean.
Visitors can find fantastic road trip opportunities throughout the USA’s states and territories, from the snow-capped Rocky Mountains to the expansive Great Plains. Seeking a more upscale road trip? Rent a luxury RV for a five-star experience on the open road.
Classic car outside the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton
Drive-Ins, Outdoor Dining and More
Destinations around the USA are promoting safe, socially distanced attractions. A visit to the drive-in can add an exciting twist to movie night. Drive-in theaters across the USA are having a resurgence, while some theaters are setting up pop-up outdoor screens to meet demand. Pack a picnic and watch a film from the comfort of your vehicle at drive-ins like Sun-Ray Cinema in Jacksonville, Florida, or Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In and Movie Theatre in Gibson City, Illinois. Many theaters are now offering contactless concessions as well. Be sure to check with theaters regarding COVID-19 guidelines; many require advanced ticket purchases to reserve a parking space. Many indoor movie theatres are also open, often with distanced seating.
Watching new movies on 1940s screens at Jesup Drive-in Theatre in Georgia
Visitors to the USA don’t have to skip on decadent dining experiences. Expanded outdoor seating options have become the norm with many restaurants offering dinner with a view. Take in city sights, snap photos of breathtaking mountain peaks or marvel at rolling waves. Many pop-up outdoor dining locations (temporary restaurant locations serving unique menu options) are trending. While indoor dining remains limited, some cities are shutting down streets to traffic to expand outdoor dining opportunities and maintain distances between guests.
Most vineyards have resumed tours and tastings with new safety guidelines in place, including tours with limited capacity, mandatory face coverings (except during tastings) and expanded outdoor seating. California’s Napa Valley is home to over 500 wineries, while Oregon’s Willamette Valley is known for its pinot noir. Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois also feature fantastic wine country. Farm tours are another great way to spend an afternoon. Stroll through pecan orchards at Pecan Point Farm in Hurtsboro, Alabama; picnic in fragrant fields of flowers at Red Rock Lavender Farms in Concho, Arizona; or satisfy your sweet tooth with a decadent cinnamon roll at Knaus Berry Farm in Homestead, Florida.
Thrills await at amusement parks, which have reopened at limited capacity with new sanitation procedures, socially distanced ride queues, mandatory face coverings and plentiful hand sanitation stations. Whether you’re seeking roller coaster thrills at California’s Six Flags Magic Mountain or family adventures at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort, you can still partake in the fun while staying safe.
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