For most people anxious to get away this summer but still uneasy about flying, one of the safest ways to avoid crowds is to take a road trip. Many hotels have opened up (a few never closed) completely sanitized and safe for the most squeamish visitors. Discover an off-the-beaten path attraction or well-known National Park, but whatever you choose, pack sterile gloves (for handling gas nozzles), sanitizer and face masks. You’ll get the most out of your getaway if you choose destinations in compliance with COVID-19 safety and physical distancing guidelines. Here are some reopenings for both day trips and longer stays which will safely and happily welcome you with open arms:
Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg, California has reopened for outdoor seated food and wine pairing experiences. Guests can experience a new “Paris on the Terrace” bistro-style dining experience or try a picnic lunches or dinner. The magnificent Jordan Chateau is surrounded by terraces and lawns shaded by oak, magnolia and sycamore trees, and of course, ample physical distancing. There are nearly 1,200 acres of preserved open space to hike, vineyards (and vineyard tastings) olive orchards and lakes. Says CEO John Jordan, “We’re all about hospitality. I cannot imagine anything more rewarding than providing visitors with safe, outdoor experiences and a taste of France in Wine Country after months of being cooped up inside.”
The Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale, Arizona, one of the top golf resorts in the country, has remained open with limited resort services but full services at the two championship golf courses. Summer season rates for private casitas have dropped dramatically. While the Spa and fitness center remains closed, the golf courses are open as well as three swimming pools, two restaurants and walking paths on 1,300 acres. Guests enjoy a “Hilton CleanStay” focusing on special cleaning and disinfecting services in all guest rooms and public areas.
Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock, Vermont is perfect educational and fun day trip to take the kids and is welcoming back visitors with a brand new Heifer Barn, a blooming 10,000 square foot Sunflower House, and a summer camp for junior farmers. The farm follows Vermont’s Department of Health and CDC guidelines prioritizing the well-being of the guests, staff, and animals. Spaces open to guests include the pastures, walking trails, Visitor Center & Theater, “Upon This Land” exhibit, Farm Life Exhibits, Wagon and Chicken Barns. The new Heifer Barn with state-of-the-art technologies ensuring “cow comfort” is open for tours. Visitors can explore The Sunflower House, the Heirloom Garden, Victory Garden, Pollinator Garden, and Pizza Garden.
Yosemite National Park, Yosemite California is the ideal place to experience almost 750,000 magnificent acres of giant sequoias, iconic rock formations, sheer cliffs and serene waterfalls. And smack in the middle of all that beauty against a background of majestic cliffs is The Ahwahnee, a grand hotel inside the park near the base of Half Dome and Glacier Point. The Ahwahnee is one of the most distinctive resort hotels in North American and a National Historical Landmark where guests are transported back in time to an era of elegance. The hotel was built in the 1920s with the goal of attracting well-heeled clientele. Since then, The Ahwahnee has hosted presidents, royalty, and A-list celebrities and since Covid-19 has implemented new cleaning and social distancing policies to keep guests and employees safe.
For some people, the road trip itself is much more important than the destination. Here are three trips worth your while:
Road Trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles. On this trip, visitors can experience The Best of the West in some of The Golden State’s most iconic locations. Starting in San Francisco, head down Route One which hugs the ocean. Make stops in Napa Valley to sip some wine, whale watch in Big Sur, stroll the Santa Monica pier, head for the beach in Malibu and complete the journey in Los Angeles.
Road Trip from Atlanta, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina: This bucket list trip offers roadtrippers some of the South’s most beautiful natural landscapes. Wander the famous Oak Tree Lane in Savannah, Georgia and be sure to snap photos of the grassy marshlands of South Carolina, reminiscent of an Impressionist painting. Check into boutique waterfront property HarbourView Inn and relive the classic film, The Notebook, one of Charleston’s favorite love stories. Travelers can visit some of the film’s locations including The American Theatre and Boone Hall Plantation.
Road Trip from Glenallen to Fairbanks, Alaska. This just–under-five-hour-drive from remote Glenallen to Fairbanks offers drop-dead views of the awe-inspiring Alaskan wilderness. Those who like it into-the-wild should head to Northern Nights Campground and RV Park with views of three of Alaska’s major mountain ranges. Next stop: Log Cabin Wilderness Lodge, an ideal halfway point to take in the midnight sun and Northern Lights before landing at River’s Edge Resort RV Park, only 10 minutes from the center of Fairbanks.