Top 10 Destinations in the US for a Covid Vacation
By Janine Devine
Feeling like a vacation? We could all use a break! Over 50% of the population has received at least one vaccine shot. Still, it’s too soon to tell when Americans can comfortably and safely return to the pre-pandemic world of travel. Although borders may be reopening across the globe, that wine-tasting journey through Italy might have to rest on the back burner. It may also be too soon for that rainforest adventure in Ecuador or refining your samba moves in Brazil even if both have re-opened. COVID did have one positive effect on the travel industry. The elimination of airline cancellation policies and the easing of change fees made travel a bit easier. There’s no better time to start planning a vacation than now.
Here’s some inspiration to take that getaway now. If you have an expired passport, or never applied for one, no need to stress. There’s a big country waiting right outside your door. There are so many popular destination options, too: beaches, mountains, big cities, and charming rural towns. Don’t forget our National Parks are renowned for their inspiring scenery.
With 50 states and a few territories, there will be different entry requirements in place. It’s best to check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for travel advisories. Always refer to the state’s website for entry requirements before finalizing your plans. Sneak another peek once before you leave for any changes. We’ve included links to the sites for these ten destinations. So who needs a passport? Everything you want is right here!
Alaska is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. Here you’ll find glorious scenery, and majestic glaciers and mountains, including the tallest peak in the U.S. in Denali National Park. Enjoy Northern Lights in winter and White Nights in summer when the sun never sets. Alaska is a bucket list destination, with no shortage of opportunities for up-close, wildlife encounters. Check with Backroads, a leading supplier of outdoor adventures for Alaska, for an adventure to suit your needs.
Face masks and social distancing are in place throughout the state, although some municipalities are stricter than others. Vaccinated or not, a negative PCR test is required; upload results here before arrival. Full details are here.
Land-locked Orlando fuels the Florida vacation fantasies of most kids, but there is so much in this state to appeal to adults. Find amazing architecture from the Art Deco of Miami Beach to Gilded Age Flagler opulence of glitzy Palm Beach and Boca Raton on the East Coast. Relax in gorgeous resorts with world-class dining, and enjoy golfing, fishing, and boating. Speaking of coasts, Florida boasts 10 of them in over 8,400 miles, and some of the finest beaches anywhere. Enjoy heavy influences in culture, music, and food from Cuba, its closest neighbor to the south. At the U.S.’s southernmost point, soak in the off-beat, flamboyant charm of Key West.
But back to Orlando: Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and Disney World. There are many features geared toward adults in these theme parks, and a visit to any will delight your inner child. Delta Vacations makes booking air and hotel packages in Florida simple!
Florida has no travel restrictions in place, other than wearing face masks and social distancing. Check here for updates.
Puerto Rico awaits with promises of sun and surf, culture, food, history, and much more. You’ll find beautiful sand beaches here rivaling any in the Bahamas or Mexico. Stay in lovely resorts with lavish spas. Fill your days with great golfing, tennis, and watersports. At night, the melodic chirping of native coquí frogs will lull you to sleep.
Puerto Rico is a US commonwealth, so no passport is needed to visit. You are also exempt from CDC testing requirements for international traveler entry to the US mainland. Enjoy all the Caribbean’s charm and none of the immigration pain. Check with Delta Vacations for flights plus resorts.
You’ll find entry requirements for travel to Puerto Rico here. You must have a negative COVID-19 test result when you arrive or face stiff fines and quarantine. Before travel, register for a QR code to display when you check-in for your flight and again you arrive at immigration. Complete the Travel Declaration here.
New York is home to the world’s greatest city. Manhattan’s streets are definitely quieter right now. But by July 1st, its famed restaurants will no longer have curfews and will be open at 100% capacity so you can enjoy its world-class dining. The incredible museums here are already open and will keep you occupied for weeks. Broadway will be fully open by September 1st. Beyond Manhattan, you have the beaches and wineries of Long Island Sound to enjoy. New York State is ideal for road trips. Travel northwest to the majestic Adirondacks or the pristine Finger Lakes Region. Getting here with Delta Vacations is a breeze, too.
Travelers from beyond the States bordering New York need to complete this form. Testing and quarantine are no longer required for asymptomatic or vaccinated travelers. For more information, check online.
Hawaii is all about romance, adventure, beauty, and culture. There’s something here for everyone here. This tropical paradise rivals exotic destinations like The Maldives.
Only Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT) processed by a pre-approved lab are accepted. Bring a hard copy of the test results with you.
California, the Golden State, enjoys some of the best climates in the country. This results in high-quality produce, artisanal foods, and award-winning wines, of course. California is famous for its beaches and surfing, Hollywood, Los Angeles and (masked) celebrities, and San Francisco’s beautiful architecture. Enjoy basking on the American Riviera in Santa Barbara and skiing in Lake Tahoe. Explore two deserts and forests of towering redwoods in the state’s national parks. California considers vacation non-essential travel, although fully vaccinated travelers are welcome.
With so much to explore here, do your own road trips or explore beaches, vineyards, and national parks via Backroads.
Colorado is an outdoor playground. The state is home to four National Parks, including the Rocky Mountains. Its mid-sized cities Denver and Boulder topped the lists of Best Places to Live in 2020. Enjoy diverse landscapes that include plains, mesas, canyons, forests, and even a desert! Colorado enjoys the highest mean altitude of any state, making it a natural for skiing. In the summer, enjoy hiking, biking, and paragliding. Settle into a dude ranch (see our articles), enjoy fishing the pristine rivers, or take a hike! Check with Backroads for tours.
Colorado has no travel advisories in place besides face masks and social distancing. For more on Colorado, see here.
Wyoming is premier for natural social distancing. The 10th largest state is also the least populous. Home to Yellowstone, our country’s first, and most popular National Park. Yellowstone is where you’ll see the geyser Old Faithful. But wait, there’s more: Grand Teton National Park, and Devil’s Tower (which is quickly eroding) are here, too. The people here are independent with a definite cowboy vibe. Absorb that vibe with a dude ranch getaway or join a Backroads trip.
There are no entry requirements in place in Wyoming. For updates, check online.
Louisiana offers visitors so much to love: jazz, food, history, and a little mystery. New Orleans, the State’s biggest city, is a place the travel industry likes to call “Disneyland for grownups.” It’s not all about N’awlins, although the city is a great place to begin a Louisiana getaway. Lakes, rivers, bayous, and the Gulf Coast are key natural features of Louisiana. Its National Parks focus on its history. Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve and New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park are two must sees. Our past pick, Delta Vacations, will get you there in style. The local guides at Cajun Encounters will make every part of Louisiana come alive for you.
Face masks and social distancing are still in effect. Safety measures are now controlled by local governments.
Vermont is the picture of small-town America. Its farms and villages interspersed along scenic highways are perfect for road trips. Experience all four seasons here: fall foliage and maple syrup, skiing and winter carnivals, spring flowers and craft cheeses, summer kayaking, and farmer’s markets. Wide-open spaces beckon travelers with kayaking, hiking, and biking.
Vermont had some of the strictest safety measures and the lowest transmission rates in the country. It has recently updated its entry requirements. Fully vaccinated travelers no longer have to show proof of a negative PCR test. Un-vaccinated travelers still must, but are no longer subject to 14-day quarantines. For full details, check online.
Ready to start planning a getaway now? You’re in good company. Airline passenger numbers continue to grow as travel restrictions loosen. With reduced or waived airfare penalties and cancellation fees, now is a perfect time to rediscover all the wonders of the United States. What are you waiting for?