I was wondering where people would be able to travel safely this Summer after hearing all the reports of Coronavirus spreading rapidly in Florida, Arizona, Texas and other states. Europe is closed to Americans, as is Canada, for the foreseeable future.
After much discussion with my fellow travel advisors, we’ve all concluded that while most US travelers are staying close to home this summer, preferring short-distance car trips to international air travel, some voyagers won't let a global pandemic curb their travel plans. And there are still a handful of options.
I thought I’d share the latest travel openings and advisories, and make some recommendations.
Most of the Caribbean is open for US tourists. Other countries -- including Mexico, Maldives and Turkey -- aren't exactly welcoming US travelers with open arms (more like a temperature check and a Covid-19 test), but they are allowing visitors to cross their borders for the first time since coronavirus shut down much of the world.
Whether travel to "open" international destinations is responsible or advisable is up to individuals to decide. But it's worth noting that since the pandemic is ongoing, anything can (and does) change at any time. Also worth noting: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against all nonessential international travel.
While there may be bookable international flights to restricted countries, any outbound US passenger should check with your travel advisor before finalizing travel plans. Where to go is the question these days. Most travel advisors, myself included, will tell you to vacation locally. There are many vacation spots right here in our own backyard. Here are my top 10 picks for a memorable road trip...
Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway - Maine This New England road trip will have you going to go from Mexico to Madrid, Maine-style, on ME routes 17 and 4 as they traverse the pristine lakes and mountains of this wild section of northern New England. Don’t miss the panorama at the Height of Land pullout, and keep an eye peeled the whole way for moose, bear, and bobcats. Distance: 50 miles. ~~~~~~~~~~ Mount Desert Island Loop - Acadia National Park, Maine Make charming Bar Harbor your base, and take a relaxed circumnavigation of Acadia National Park via the Mount Desert Island Loop Road. This rugged, spectacular island is the second-largest in the New England. Bring a picnic, and make time for the Hulls Cove Visitors Center. Distance: 27 miles round-trip. ~~~~~~~~~~ Coastal Crossing - New Hampshire Here’s a short, summer delight of a New England road trip—take in the length of the New Hampshire coastline, from Seabrook Beach to Portsmouth in a breezy half-day. It’s only 18 miles, but full of great places to stop, including funky Hampton Beach, Fort Constitution, and charming New Castle, home of the elegant Wentworth by the Sea Hotel. Distance: 18 miles. ~~~~~~~~~~ Green Mountain Ribbon - Vermont Vermont’s Route 100 is a road-tripper’s dream: long, straight, and flanked the entire way by the beautiful Green Mountains. While the road runs the entire north-south length of the state, a great section begins in Ludlow and ends in Waterbury. Must-stop: the charming villages of neighboring Warren and Waitsfield. Distance: 90 miles. ~~~~~~~~~~ Alpine Drama - Vermont With this New England road trip, you’ll think you’re in the Alps, as VT108 climbs steeply from Stowe toward Smugglers’ Notch in the Green Mountains, tightening into a blacktop corkscrew past boulders and cliffs. Get ready to have your breath taken, and Instagram all those photos on the other side, over a meal in tiny Jeffersonville. Distance: 18 miles. ~~~~~~~~~~ Mohawk Trail - Massachusetts Famous at foliage time, but equally splendid in the summer, this historic scenic highway winds along northern Massachusetts via MA2, among the rolling hills of the Berkshires, combining art museums like Mass MoCA with classic roadside Americana (like the Shelburne Fall “Big Indian”) and great vistas. Distance: 63 miles. ~~~~~~~~~~ Housatonic Valley - Connecticut On this New England road trip, following Route 7 along the Housatonic River from New Milford to Canaan reveals the green beauty of Western Connecticut. There’s a covered bridge and waterfalls. Distance: 35 miles. ~~~~~~~~~~ The Quiet Corner - Connecticut Travel back in history for bucolic tranquility on quiet CT169 from Old Norwich to Woodstock, meandering past colonial homesteads and stone walls, farmers’ fields and quaint town greens. Distance: 40 miles. ~~~~~~~~~~ Shore of Dreams - Rhode Island The perfect New England road trip for beach lovers, this route follows US 1 from RI’s funky surf town of Narragansett along Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean to historic Westerly (and veranda cocktails at Ocean House). With beaches this good, this might take you a week. Distance: 25 miles. ~~~~~~~~~~ Kingly Cape Cod - Massachusetts Winding, historic, green and dotted with extraordinary vistas out to Cape Cod Bay, this glorious trip along MA6A, or the Old King’s Highway, is a showcase of New England village life from Sandwich to Orleans. Plus, great book shoppingand antiquing. Distance: 34 miles.