Summer, with its hours of sunshine and slow pace, is made for sightseeing.
While the novel coronavirus outbreak limits travel options for many, there are ways to safely plan a summer adventure.
Stay safe this summer
Remember to keep safety in mind when you travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that, before you travel, consider if COVID-19 is spreading in the area you're traveling to, if it’s spreading in your community, if you are traveling with people who are likely to get ill from COVID-19, or if you live with someone likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
The CDC identified older adults and people with a serious underlying medical condition as being more at risk for becoming severely ill from COVID-19.
Travelers should also consider whether the destination they are traveling to, or the area they live in, requires self-quarantining for 14 days after traveling, or whether they will have to miss work or school if you get COVID-19, according to the CDC.
The CDC recommends people avoid non-essential travel to all global destinations.
If you do plan to travel, choose areas with wide-open spaces without many tourists nearby. Get off the beaten path and take in scenic beauty! Consider destinations where you can view gorgeous scenery from the safety of your vehicle.
1. Drive the Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Maine to Georgia, is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The total trail is 2,193 miles long and crosses through 14 states. Travelers can also drive through portions of the Appalachian Trail.
Consider this trip from Road Trip USA, which runs parallel to the Appalachian Trail through New Hampshire: https://www.roadtripusa.com/appalachian-trail/new-hampshire/.
Highlights include Mt Washington, the tallest mountain peak in New England, and Franconia Notch, which features covered bridges, an aerial tram, waterfalls, and a granite gorge.
Nature at its best
2. For an adventure out West, try this trip, from Yellowstone National Park: https://www.yellowstonepark.com/road-trips/yellowstone-glacier-road-trip
This 2,100-mile trip takes tourists from Seattle to Yellowstone National Park and back. Highlights include Glacier National Park in Montana, known for beautiful hikes, mountains, and wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, moose, and mountain goats. There is also the Coeur d’Alene in Idaho, which offers lakeside beaches, and Yellowstone, with hot springs, famed geysers, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, wide valleys, and breathtaking wildlife. Note the National Park Service facilities are in a phased reopening process, after being closed due to the novel coronavirus.
Find yourself amidst quiet and gorgeous scenery
3. The Loneliest Road in Nevada
According to Road Trip USA, The Loneliest Road, or Route 50, runs coast to coast, from California to Maryland.
The Nevada portion of Route 50 takes travelers across 400 miles, from Lake Tahoe to Great Basin National Park.
Travel Nevada recommends starting in Carson City, heading through Fallon, a farming community with agriculture, vineyards, and a distillery.
Head to the Grimes Point Archaeological area, which has petroglyphs on a short trail, and is near the Hidden Cave, a Native American storage site that is thousands of years old.
At Great Basin National Park, try the Wheeler Park Scenic Drive, a scenic 12-mile drive scenic drive with an elevation that is more than 10,000 feet above sea level, according to the National Park Service website. There is also the Pictograph Cave, which includes ancient rock art, an excavated Native American village circa 1220 AD, fishing and hiking opportunities. At night, people can see thousands of stars, planets, meteors, and the Milky Way, and there are astronomy programs held at Great Basin throughout the summer.
Pack up the car and try the Road Trip USA route: https://www.roadtripusa.com/the-loneliest-road/nevada/
Whether you travel near or far this summer, safety is key. Be sure to wash your hands frequently when traveling, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and stay at least six feet away from others, according to the CDC. They also recommended wearing a cloth mask in public, covering coughs and sneezes, and picking up food at a drive-through, instead of dining in a restaurant.
Before hitting the road, do your research, check travel advisories and restrictions, and plan in advance.