Best Places to Safely Visit This Summer and Avoid Crowds
What a crazy year it has been for us all – the reality of COVID-19 has halted many people’s plans, especially for travel.
While different parts of the country and around the world are in different phases of coming out of COVID-19 lockdowns and distributing vaccines, people may be able to travel soon, but will most likely want to still stay away from large crowds.
Finding some space for you and your thoughts will bring you peace of mind and some solitude to reflect and relax. It’s important to treat yourself to gentleness, to take a deep breath, and feel the calm wash over you.
After all the isolation and sacrifices the world has had to make, a getaway could certainly improve your mindset. Traveling away from chaotic crowds is always a nice way to refresh your outlook and take a break.
We live busy lives working on projects, going from point A to Z, making appointments, and endless scheduling. Seeking out a remote location can give you back autonomy over your life and actions. You might even venture to a place without a WiFi signal so you can really unplug from the hustle of every day.
Traveling within the U.S. is a great way to reconnect with that wanderlust side of yourself while discovering parts of your own state that you’ve never seen before. You can embark on adventures to places you’ve never been or a few you have!
Whether it be a beautiful flower you didn’t know existed, a peaceful clearing among dense woods, or the serenity you’ve been longing for, there could be hidden treasures right in your hometown just waiting for you to discover.
Some rural places are beginning to open up internationally, too, likely with some kind of quarantine when you arrive. There are some truly beautiful places to visit where you can feel at ease and stay safe away from big bustling crowds. Here are some of our favorites:
Great Basin National Park, Nevada
A very remote national park, Great Basin is one of the least-visited national parks with miles of trails — a true hidden gem of the U.S! Hiking with a loved one or two through the twists of mountains and their hidden lakes, the fresh forest air will bring you peace.
This park is perfect for astronomy lovers, where you’ll find some of the darkest night skies in North America. Rightfully named the International Dark Sky Park, you’ll spend hours tracing and creating your own constellations.
On a clear night, even without a telescope, you can easily see thousands of stars. Among them, you’ll be able to find numerous planets, meteors, and satellites. It’s a beautiful feeling to be able to see the universe before your eyes.
Here you can even see the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way spilling across the blackness stretched out before you.
With several trails to choose from, any you choose can become a kind of expedition or scavenger hunt. Walk Island Forest Trail or Baker Creek Trail to view rare and remarkable wildflowers such as Alpines.
At elevations over 10,000 feet, flowers grow closer to the ground and are much smaller. They become harder to find, but their beauty is unmistakable. Keep your eyes open for Crimson Columbine, Jeffrey’s Shooting Stars, Mountain Bluebells, and Parry’s Primrose nearby water sources.
Playalinda Beach, Florida
Off of the Space Coast (Canaveral National Seashore), Playalinda Beach is part of one of America’s best National Parks. This calm and quiet coast could lull you to sleep while you take in blissful sunshine.
Launches would normally be breaking the sound barrier here, but this time of year, the area is pretty quiet and crowd-free. A well-kept secret vacation spot, the beach is just what you need to get away.
One of the best locations to witness launches from Kennedy Space Center, it’s also a peaceful place ready to make you feel relaxed during its off-season. With some of the best waves in Florida, it’s a popular destination for surfers as well.
There is an entry fee of $20 for vehicles and $10 for walking in or bicycling. There’s a nearby visitor center (Apollo District Visitor Center) to tend to any tourist needs or questions, including maps, brochures, or a Junior Ranger book for the young wildlife lover in your family. The beach is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm.
This beach is among the quietest areas you’ll find in the Sunshine State. Book your stay in nearby Titusville and you’ll be just an hour from Orlando and minutes from the Kennedy Space Center.
Vis Island, Croatia
Since its appearance in HBO’s Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has been drawing crowds to gasp over its natural beauty. Vis Island, however, is an overlooked unique destination in this land of rich history and breathtaking landscapes.
A small island on the Dalmatian Coast, ancient walls still stand. This is a place full of history and archeological wonders, like St. Jerome’s Church and Monastery, which is built on the foundations of a Roman theater.
Spending lots of time outdoors away from people will be easy here, where the island hosts many secluded bays perfect for relaxing. And with endless vineyards, the wine-loving traveler can attend many wine tastings.
What better way to immerse yourself in a place than to partake in locally-made delicious food and drink?
In Stiniva Cove, you might be able to swim among gorgeous creatures like a bottlenose dolphin or a loggerhead turtle. Truly beautiful rocks and cliffs shelter this area and frame the turquoise water washing over light sand. Don’t forget to bring your camera to this picturesque area.
An early or late summer vacation will avoid any tourist crowds while still allowing plenty of sunshine and nice weather during your stay. Currently, Croatia is open to U.S. travelers, though the entry requirements are subject to change at any time.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
Normally during the summer months, Moab is completely packed with tourists. Hikers from near and far are anxious to see legendary arches and the Canyonlands National Parks. But often forgotten nearby is the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Barely any visitors flock to this tremendously beautiful and untouched landmass. It contains more than one million acres of diverse biological zones with a multitude of plants, animals, and land formations.
With something different around each corner, this area was one of the last places within the United States to be mapped. Large, colorful rock formations will make you feel like you’ve landed on another planet.
You might even feel like you’re back in the Wild West.
Bonaire, Caribbean Sea
While the majority of people from the U.S. go to the Caribbean in the wintertime to escape the blizzards and storms of their homeland, the area is virtually the same during its winter months (our summertime here in the Northern Hemisphere).
Enjoy the beaches and islands with the same warm weather that lasts all year long. The island sits beside the Venezuelan coast that protects it from hurricane season and houses some of the best areas of the Caribbean.
Bonaire is a top-notch place for diving and snorkeling and tickle-me-pink colorful sand beaches. Just imagine soaking in the ocean, looking for teeny shells among the sand while feeling the sun radiate onto your back. Pure bliss!
Home to several quiet beaches, this underrated region is often forgotten as most tourists choose the more popular Aruba or Curacao.
Bonaire is currently open to U.S. visitors. Travelers must travel through Curacao and follow their entry protocols, being sure to fill out an online health declaration 48-72 hours prior to departure. Proof of a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure is required. Health insurance is required to visit Bonaire.
Treat Yourself With a Stress-Free Getaway!
After a stressful year learning and adjusting to life with the COVID-19 virus, an incredible summer getaway is much-needed.
Just imagine all of the natural sights you have missed and what a hike full of sunshine and fresh air could do for your mind and body.
Taking spontaneous adventures is something we have all missed, and pulling out the hiking gear and passport may be just the medicine you need to clear out room for new memories.
Make this summer special by treating yourself to a fun and relaxing trip. To make it even more Zen, find a remote location where you can live like the locals and feel comfortable and safe.
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