Maybe travel restrictions remain in your favored vacation destination, or perhaps the idea of boarding a plane before researchers find a viable COVID-19 vaccine leaves you iffy. You’ve decided to take a staycation instead.
Why not make your holiday more eco-friendly? Staying close to home cuts considerable plane emissions, and you can find exciting places to visit from coast to coast. The nine best sustainable staycation locations below can help you have a memorable trip close to home and minimize your carbon footprint.
1. Lancaster, PA
It’s almost peak leaf-peeping season and the rolling hills of Pennsylvania Dutch country offer the ideal place to take jaw-dropping photographs. Plus, with the fall harvest in, you can find the freshest organic produce imaginable at one of the many roadside Amish stands. One bite, and you may never want to leave.
While there, take a tour of the area’s many covered bridges, making ideal photographic backdrops to nature shoots. Social distancing is a snap — most locations stay relatively uncrowded. Check out a corn maze or stop to let your little one pick a front porch decoration at Pumpkin Days.
2. Pikes Peak, CO
Do you want to soar to new heights without ever stepping foot on an airplane? Head to Pikes Peak, Colorado, where you can climb more than 14,000 feet in elevation. You’ll feel the altitude change in your lungs, even if you call the Mile High City home.
While there, stop by the Manitou Cliff Dwellings to explore the way the ancient ones lived. Take a side trip to Denver to check out the local arts scene. You’ll find a variety of outdoor festivals even after the first snows fall.
3. Beacon, NY
Do you live in the Big Apple? Why not take a train ride to nearby Beacon, NY, where you can explore the best in outdoor living and the arts?
Make sure that you aim to attend Second Saturday. This citywide celebration occurs on the second Saturday of each month and features live music, food tastings and gallery exhibitions. It’s one of the Hudson Valley’s most celebrated street fairs, and its walkability means you’ll burn off all those caramel apples and other treats.
4. Sonoma, CA
California has seen more than its fair share of wildfires this season, but many wineries remain operational. Why not go a little “Sideways” on a tasting tour and help to rebuild the local economy.
Don’t worry — you won’t have to risk a DUI by driving from vineyard to vineyard. You can find ample full-day tours with bus transportation included — safety first.
5. Sedona, AZ
Nestled in the middle of Coconino National Forest is the small town of Sedona. The beauty of this location is that you can walk from one end to the other without your feet touching the sidewalk — trails surround it.
Take your compass and your boots. You can explore scenic wonders like Cathedral Rock. Are you brave enough to use rock handholds to scale your way to the spires? If you prefer more low-key entertainment, the town is a natural health mecca — you’ll find no shortage of day spas offering massage and other holistic therapies.
6. Bar Harbor, ME
If you don’t feel in the spirit of the season until you experience your first cold snap, why not head north? Bar Harbor, ME, offers outdoor adventure followed by ample opportunities to curl up by the fireplace with hot cocoa at day’s end.
Start your trip at the Hull’s Cove Visitor’s Center, where you can view a scale model of surrounding Acadia National Park. Rent a cabin or even a private island and explore the scenic beauty of the north woods.
7. Williamsburg, VA
As the saying goes, Virginia is for lovers, so why not make Williamsburg your second honeymoon destination? The area is rife with history, and if you love strolling museums, you’ll find no shortage to delight you.
That’s not all the area has to offer. You can bathe your senses in the stunning fall scenery. Head to Chickahominy Riverfront Park or College Landing Park for a little fun on the water before it turns to ice.
8. Stowe, VT
What better way to get aerial photographs of the changing leaves than on a sky gondola ride at Stowe Mountain Resort? You’ll get a breathtaking glimpse of the glory of nature from above.
Are you adventurous? Have a treetop adventure at Stowe Mountain Resort before the snows arrive. Get your fill of Jack-o-Lantern mania with Stowe-at-Night Lantern tours or head to Smuggler’s Notch for disc golf and mountain biking adventures.
9. Salem, MA
Halloween season is here, and what more “spooktacular” place to celebrate than Salem, MA? You’ll find no end of witchy goodness to explore — magic and crystal shops abound.
During the day, tour the many museums dedicated to the famous witch trials and learn the legend of Giles Corey and others. Get yourself in the holiday spirit with a candlelit tour of the areas most haunted attractions.
Have a Sustainable Staycation at One of These 9 Locations
Who said you needed a passport stamp to make a memorable vacation that treads lightly on the planet’s resources? Have an unforgettable staycation this year at one of these nine hometown locations.
Written by Jennifer Landis
About the Author
Jennifer Landis is a mom, wife, writer, and blogger at Mindfulness Mama. She’s quite fond of peanut butter, distance running, yoga, and drinking as much tea as possible. Find her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.
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