Covid Safe Travel Destinations in the US

bear lake monster

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While many people are optimistic that the vaccinations are going to change everything we have dealt with for the last twelve plus months, we have realities to look at like our neighbor, Canada, going back into Covid-19 induced lockdown again. People are starting to look at where to possibly spend part of their hard-earned summer vacations and want to know about Covid Safe Travel Destinations in the US.

Covid Safe Travel Destinations in the US

We know that each state, heck, each county of those states, all seemed to have different rules and regulations for how their communities dealt with Covid restrictions to keep their locals safe. If you are still concerned, like we are, about what you might encounter, then during this epidemic, you simply have to consider less crowded places for your travel where the risk of an epidemic endangering you is low.

Covid Safe Travel Action Plan

First of all – we are looking at less-populated areas to be in, with the logical thinking that social distancing is going to work in your favor. Less people around you should equal less of a risk, right? Let me start by saying that Camping is our go-to so far, and what our family personally enjoyed in 2020 over the summer. We connected with nature, not people, and had a darned good time as we escaped the home that was starting to feel like a prison.

Still pack your hand sanitizer and masks, and think about traveling in your car instead of on a plane, although airplane risk seems to be lower than we originally thought.

Remember that the air on an airplane is quite clean due to industry standards and regulations requiring air circulation and HEPA filters. Therefore, airborne transmission of viruses and other germs is rare, similar to being outdoors. However, the difficulty to social distance on airplanes raises the chance of coronavirus transmission through an infected person’s respiratory droplets. Transmission from touching contaminated surfaces is also possible. So it’s important to wear a face mask that fits well, limit how much you touch objects, and frequently clean your hands.

It sounds like the time you spend in the Airport itself is a higher risk than what you find on the plane.


Regardless, this list will have only our top suggestions in the United States as most of Europe still remains closed to American tourists. There are other areas that have opened back up to us like a number of Caribbean, South and Central American, and African countries that have re-opened their borders to U.S. travelers.

Covid Safe To Travel List

Most of these would make excellent road trips – perfect to take the kids with. I can’t guarantee Covid Safe Family Travel, but this list should help you come close.

The Catskills Mountains, New York

It is one of the most popular travel destinations where the risk of an epidemic is low. The Catskills form the northeastern end of the Allegheny Plateau.  It is located in the southeastern part of the state of New York. This place is famous for tubing, a sport of rafting down a river in an inner tube.  It is also famous for hiking, camping, cycling, and skiing.

I think I need to go zip-lining again after watching that! This makes it great for getting out into nature as well as a fun adventure with the kids.

Places To Stay Nearby

Lexington, Kentucky

It is the second-largest city of the Bluegrass state, popularly known for its horse farms and historic bourbon distilleries. It is also only a three-hour drive from Nashville, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Ohio.

OK, I LOVE Indianapolis, as their Children’s Museum is totally the bomb!

You can see almost 50 breeds of horses, along with museums, art galleries, shows, and demonstrations at the Kentucky Horse Park. You can stroll through the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, the largest restored Shaker village in the world.

Places To Stay Nearby

Covid Safe Travel Choices

While I love playing in Washington DC as monuments are both plentiful and free to visit, we have a gem for you that is outside of that congested city hustle and bustle.

Bristol, Virginia

It is situated about six hours from Washington DC. In the southwestern part of Virginia near the Tennessee border, the town is within 20 minutes of destinations such as the Appalachian Trail and Cherokee National Forest, and about two hours from the Smoky Mountains.

Home to world-class fly fishing waters, it is truly a beautiful area and one worth exploring. And all of you country music fans? The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is right there! Not to mention the legendary BBQ the area is known for. Just. Yum.

Places To Stay Nearby

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is the largest city in the US. state of South Carolina. The best time to visit Charleston is from March to May or from September to November when temperatures are mild. Charleston is right on the coast and home to some great waterside attractions, including boat tours, dinner cruises, and sightseeing outings from Charleston Harbor. You can have a boat cruise on the Charleston harbor where there is a very small group.

I could go on and on about Charleston as it is chock-full of historic buildings, monuments, and museums. Plantation tours are an incredible way to step back in time and work over logistical history with your kids as well as Fort Sumter.

Places To Stay Nearby

Bear Lake, Idaho

This natural freshwater lake connects the Utah-Idaho border, where anyone can breathe fresh air and relax for a while. Bear Lake is a stunning lake snuggled in the Wasatch Mountains. It is often known as the Caribbean of the Rockies because of the teal, bright color of the water.

Better yet – it has it’s own lake monster!

Favorite things to do in Bear Lake include hiking, swimming in the lake, reading on the beach, paddle boarding, and enjoying delicious raspberry shakes made with the local berries. (We just LOVE farm-to-fork experiences) The ideal time of year to visit this place in June and July. The weather is very pleasant in Bear Lake due to elevation, so it is a great escape from hotter parts of the country while you bond with both your family and nature.

Places To Stay Nearby

Shawnee National Forest, Illinois

Shawnee National Forest area in Southern Illinois is one of the most underrated and less crowded vacation spots in the US. This place has a variety of scenery, including waterfalls, unique rock formations, and stunning overlooks. You can visit the trails at Giant City State Park or Garden of the Gods National Recreation Area or even the Panther Den Wilderness Trail. We found that we enjoyed the Little Grand Canyon Trail.

Giant City Stables has about 30 horses that are just pawing at the ground while waiting for you to come and ride them – with a bargain price of $40 for an hour-long trail ride.

Places To Stay Nearby

Covid Safe Travel in Cars

It is doable. It is possible. You can help bring back the classic road trip that many of us experienced in our youth. If you need more ideas than this, I highly suggest you check out my latest book: Midwest Road Trip Adventures for great places to visit, incredible things to see, neat places to stay, and delicious food to eat.

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