The best places to visit in 2021 are remote and socially distanced locales across America. Thanks to COVID-19, we saw the return of the great American road trip. Eighty percent of travel this fall was by car, an AAA Travel survey found. Outdoor destinations draw the most drivers, whether that’s Keystone, SD (home to Mount Rushmore), or Colorado Springs, CO (both debuted on AAA’s top 10 road trip hot spots). Places near lakes and rivers—like Emory, TX; Slade, KY; and Mannford, OK—saw an uptick in popularity, too.
And with so many people still working from home (82 percent of companies surveyed by Gartner plan to offer remote work post-pandemic), extended vacations are becoming increasingly popular. Airbnb found travelers are seeking stays of more than 28 nights in low-density areas, from western Maine and Vermont to Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and Whitefish, MT.
The key to travel in 2021: remote and socially distanced spaces. Cabins and cottages have replaced villas and townhouses as the ideal rental space, Airbnb found. In general, short-term rentals have done better than hotels during the pandemic. What better way to hunker down and reset for the new year than in your own “home” away from home?
Best Socially Distanced Places to Visit in 2021
1. San Diego, CA
To escape for the long haul this winter, three hotels in the always-temperate San Diego area—the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, and the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay—offer Hyatt’s new Work From Hyatt extended-stay package for remote workers. Good luck expensing it, though!
2. Steamboat Springs, CO
For vacationers seeking socially distanced outdoor recreation, Colorado is a must. Skip the crowds in Steamboat in favor of Bluebird Backcountry, the first and only in-bounds backcountry ski area in the U.S., which just opened for its first season.
3. Big Indian, NY
Northeastern city folk are fleeing to the woods, even for short escapes. At the newly opened Urban Cowboy lodge in Big Indian, NY, rooms are available in five stand-alone buildings set on 68 acres, with guided hikes, outdoor-only dining, and open-air soaking tubs.
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