Understandably, many travelers are limiting their vacations to destinations with plenty of outdoor recreation options, accessible by car. From winding roads through woods with glorious autumn color to remote pumpkin patches and apple orchards, it’s possible to have some socially distanced fun as the seasons turn. Here are some of the best outdoor weekend excursions for fall 2020. Remember to check for quarantine restrictions in your destination state. Out-of-state travelers may be required to isolate themselves for up to two weeks, making weekend outings impossible for those coming from across state lines.
Best known as a ski resort, Stowe offers gorgeous, winding mountain roads and great fall colors. Local lodgings, including the Trapp Family Lodge, have begun to reopen, offering outdoor recreation options. Wherever you are thinking of staying, contact the lodging to find out the latest on their COVID precautions.
Water Mill, New York
There was a lot of misconduct in the Hamptons during the summer, with partiers flouting pandemic distancing rules. An alternative to crowds is Water Mill, New York, where you can find the Shou Sugi Ban House. This retreat offers fitness, culinary, and wellness activities including spa treatments, yoga, and meditation. Their website explains the steps they are taking to protect guests and staff during ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
With gondola rides, gorgeous mountain vistas, and scenic drives, Telluride has a reputation as a stunning location. It’s also known as a rowdy town, where visitors like to kick up their heels. Hiking and mountain biking are prime summer and fall activities. Other ski town options that make great fall destinations include Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Bozeman, Montana. Both are within driving distance of Yellowstone National Park, and each town boasts wide-open spaces, mountain views, and outdoor activities including river rafting, kayaking, or hiking and horseback riding.
San Diego, California
While away the weekend in San Diego’s huge Balboa Park. Beaches and hiking trails in the nearby Torrey Pines Natural Reserve will keep you outdoors in the fresh air for most of the weekend. San Diego’s harbor offers the Maritime Museum, and a trolley provides step-on-and-off access to attractions.
Rent an RV
If the thought of sharing recycled air in a hotel gives you pause, rent an RV from a company that has adopted stringent sanitation procedures and head out to the state park, national park, or forest preserves nearest you to enjoy some socially distanced outdoor appreciation. Be sure to check your destination’s rules on parking an RV overnight and what facilities are available to RV visitors.
Wherever you choose to spend a weekend outdoor excursion, pack wisely. You don’t want to spend your whole weekend lugging heavy suitcases or trying to decide what to wear. Base your packing on your intended activities and the predicted temperature range and weather during your visit. Double-check COVID restrictions at your intended destination, as some that have reopened have had to dial back, reimposing restrictions after flare-ups in COVID infections.