local travel; quick COVID getaway road trip guides per state at a gas tank distance

With COVID among us the World has flipped upside down. Nothing is normal yet this is the new normal and people are struggling. I put together this list of places in each of the continental state to ‘get away’ safely. They are meant to be for locals just looking for an escape- people who are going to vacation regardless of the restrictions. These suggestions are to inspire you to travel in state.

This list is not meant to encourage travel otherwise. I very much would prefer people to come together in minimizing the spread- by staying home. For those of you who will not stop… please travel local. Click on your state to find some hidden gems close to home. Or if you are in a town close to a state border- check out that state’s list. Traveling homeside can still satiate your need to get away.

Travel Local

Like sex, abstinence is the only sure proof way to stay safe. Until the virus is contained, the most effective/safe way to not contract the virus is to remain inside… quarantined. Since the COVID outbreak in the USA happened, mid-March 2020, I have stayed home… with no plans of travel for the remainder of the year. In this time, I moved away from all of my family/friends and have little to no interactions with people in person; it’s just me and my dog. If I can do it… so can you. 

And while it may seem like I got traveling out of my system, after being a fulltime Nomad, it’s actually quite the opposite. I never planned to stop. More so, I was forced to stay put for the safety of myself, my family, community, and so forth. I hope you do the same; if not, TRAVEL LOCAL.

Gas Tank Getaway

The places I share are all within 1-2 hours of major cities in each state; they should only require one gas tank to complete. Some recommendations might be out of the state, if they are near a major city in the bordering state; for example DeSoto State Park (AL) is near Atlanta, GA, Chattanooga, TN, and Birmingham- so I’ll list it in more than just Alabama recommendations.

If you have decided to hunker down and quarantine, pin these places to your maps for a future outing. The list is to inspire you to find a new favorite getaway to escape to when life gets to be too much. Quick easy drives close to home (major cities) but far enough away to feel like a vacation- even if just for a day. Most of these places can be seen in less than 24 hours but some may require an overnight car camping session or weekend campout.

The format will be the same for each state, regardless of their COVID phase:

  • 1 city to explore by foot- even just to wander;
    • I’ll include 1 or 2 LOCAL restaurants, currently operating, with details and a link to the menu or website. Support local businesses!
  • Outdoor escapes- state parks, reserves, or county parks.
    • I include links to the Park site/details where you can check admission price (by car), check which trails are pet friendly, reserve campsites, and find COVID updates/closures.
  • Some states will even include an ‘Asphalt’ category for scenic routes. 

If you decide to travel, even if you do it the safest way possible…  you are still exposed. This can happen by using a restroom, passing other hikers on a trail, stopping for gas, grabbing food curbside and so on. That being said, CDC recommends you quarantine for 14 days upon arriving home before you mingle outside of your household. For more safety tips click here.

Travel Local by state:

 

 

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California- north

California- south

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

 

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Minnesota

Michigan

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

 New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

 

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming