So, you didn’t get to travel in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic? Fear not. There are plenty of opportunities to travel in the new year even if the virus doesn’t go away any time soon. While experts agree there’s no such thing as “safe travel” in the age of the coronavirus, driving is considered much safer than hopping on an airplane. You can avoid large crowds and see the wonders of this great nation up close and personal. If you’re thinking of taking a road trip in the new year, add these destinations to your list to make the most of your time on the road. But before you hit the road, make sure you put seat covers on to protect that nice leather from spills and crumbs.
A must-see for any American, Wyoming is home to arguably our greatest national park, Yellowstone. It’s been a family favorite for generations. It’s known for its hot springs and shooting geysers, which are sure to delight everyone in the group. The biggest draw tends to be Old Faithful, which gets its name from its regular schedule, shooting up water every hour or so. Be sure to stick around to see the show. You will be able to explore acres of open wilderness, full of exotic wildlife. While you’re in the area, don’t forget to stop by the Grand Tetons, another awe-inspiring national park. Check out the park’s crystal blue lakes surrounded by massive canyons for even more breathtaking views.
Utah may not be known for much other than being home to Salt Lake City, but it’s actually a treasure trove of natural beauty. You will see some truly out-of-this-world landscapes, including bright red, orange and purple canyons, endless miles of open desert and sunsets that will linger in your memories for decades. We recommend heading south to Zion National Park. You will see towering rock formations with slick curves and magnificent arches for the perfect photoshoot. Pitch a tent at one of the many national parks nearby to become one with Mother Earth.
If you feel like heading towards the Eastern Shore of Maryland should be at the top of your list. This coastal state is full of natural beauty and fascinating history. Head towards the outer edges of the state to see stunning beaches, many of which let you camp right near the surf. This area tends to be much less crowded than Virginia Beach, which is just a few miles south. If you feel like getting in touch with your inner history buff, make a pit stop at the capitol. You can explore treasures of our democracy that you’ve probably only read about in books. It’s a great way to honor the legacy of the U.S.
If you’re up for a drive, consider going all the way down the peninsula to discover the beauty of the Everglades, a unique national park that’s slowly been disappearing for nearly a century. It’s full of soggy marches, dense thickets of trees and some of the most astonishing wildlife you’ll ever see, including outrageous insects, reptiles and even the occasional alligator. Be sure to book a guided tour to learn more about the fragile ecosystems in the park. Despite its beauty and importance, the Everglades are going the way of the dinosaur. The park is currently about the size of New Jersey, half of what it once was, so be sure to see it before it’s gone for good. Use Alligator Alley, a famous stretch of highway, to cross the massive park.
For more tropical adventures, we recommend driving even farther south to the Florida Keys. Take Highway One to weave your way through these small islands off the coast of the U.S. You’ll find Key West all the way at the bottom, a gorgeous destination for any traveler.
The classic American road trip wouldn’t be the same without Arizona. It’s home to the Grand Canyon, one of the great natural wonders of the world. Getting to the bottom can take a while, so take your time exploring this amazing destination. You can also try your hand at white water rafting if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. Use a trained guide when navigating the steep cliffs to make sure you make it back to the top in one piece.
As you start exploring the Grand Canyon, take a moment to head to Horseshoe Bend. It’s located on the eastern rim of the park where the river makes a sharp curve. The natural rock formations are truly a sight to behold and it makes for a perfect group photo. You can also stop by one of the many Native American villages and heritage centers during your trip. Rediscover the powerful, if not tragic, history of the Native American peoples and their centuries-old relationship with the land. It’s a fascinating romp through one of the darker sides of American history.
There are so many incredible destinations to behold in the U.S. The coronavirus may have put your traditional travel plan on ice, but you can still get out and explore without putting your health and safety at risk. Use caution when making pit stops and using public bathrooms. Bring along plenty of hand sanitizer and face masks to avoid infection. If you’re not used to spending so much time in the car, use custom fit car mats to quickly clean up the interior. You can get rid of dust, dirt and spills that can lead to mold and reduce air quality. You won’t enjoy the trip if it’s hard to breathe in the front or back seat, or you have to step on crumbs every time you get in and out of the car.
Navigating these rural destinations can also be a challenge for some drivers. Keep your eyes on the road with a window mount cell phone holder so you can navigate without putting your party at risk. Bring along paper maps to make sure you can still get around if you lose a signal. With these accessories in tow, you can enjoy a magical road trip that satisfies your inner wanderlust.