After what felt like a decade, quarantining as we know it is coming to a close. Summer is fast approaching and many of us are ready to put what seemed like a never-ending travel itch to rest.
While varying levels of travel restrictions still exist around the globe, fully vaccinated individuals should get ready to dust off their passports and drag their luggage out of storage, because travel—both domestic and international—is finally a reality this summer.
Whether you are looking to reconnect with nature, snap some truly IG-worthy content or simply find your bliss on a secluded beach, we have the perfect medley of post-COVID summer destinations for you to enjoy.
For the Hiking Enthusiast: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
If being trapped in a 500-square-foot city-bound apartment with your loved one has made you yearn for the big wide open, you’re not alone. Not only have national parks seen a banner year in terms of visits, but places like Jackson Hole, Wyoming are ideal for those looking to both socially distance and commune with nature.
The crown jewel of Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park offers a stunning array of hikes suitable for every fitness and skill level. For a moderate-level hike, we suggest the Phelps Lake Overlook, which offers pristine views of Phelps Lake’s tranquil sandy shores and untouched woodlands.
More interested to take in the Wild West with a side of adrenaline? Summer in Jackson Hole is the ideal time to unleash your inner daredevil. Both Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee offer lift-accessed mountain biking all summer and if you’re looking to cool off, book a white water rafting trip on the Snake River Canyon.
For the Romantic: Mykonos, Greece
If the thought of a sun-soaked Mediterranean romp with all-you-can-eat hummus makes you want to belt out the “Mama Mia” soundtrack, then why not make your holiday a Grecian one?
The Greek Islands have long been a go-to destination for both romance and adventure. If you’ve been putting off exploring this foreign locale, this summer may be your chance. While mask-wearing mandates and a ban on large gatherings are still in place across most of Europe, Greece is fully opening its borders to tourists (including those from the United States) effective May 14th under the following guidelines.
And what better destination to head to than the “Ibiza of Greece”? Mykonos offers dream-like sunsets, cycladic architecture and traditional white-washed houses — all surrounded by fantastic beaches, including the aptly named Super Paradise Beach.
Besides stuffing yourself silly with spanakopita, our favorite way to enjoy Mykonos is to hit the seas! With the quick charter of a boat, you can take a day trip and explore the untouched bays and crystal blue waters of Rhenia Island.
For the IG Traveller: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
For a foreign fling that’s a little closer to home, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico offers an enviable mix of culture, aesthetics, and gastrological delights. Only four hours northwest of the capital Mexico City, but world’s apart in feel, this colorful city boasts both cheerful facades and Spanish Colonial architecture.
Conde Nast Traveler recently named this ‘small big city’ one of the best cities in the world and it is easy to see why. The cobblestone streets, traditional textiles, and fairy tale-like churches that peak around each corner are just begging to be memorialized in your Instagram feed. Once you’re ready to venture into the city, tantalize your taste buds with the best tacos in town at the humble (no address) Tacos Don Tomas. Heaven forbid you are not in the mood for tacos, you can eat, shop, and drink to your heart’s content at Doce 18—a food-hall-concept house serving mouth-watering options from a number of exotic vendors.
For the Traditionalist: Newport, Rhode Island
Classics never go out of style, and even we can admit there is something comforting about a consummate New England Summer. So grab your boat shoes and head east to Newport, Rhode Island for a summer oasis filled with colonial charm, gingham, and lobster rolls galore. Feel the ocean breeze on your skin and revel in the panoramic view and gilded opulence of the stunning mansions during the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk.
Post-walk, don’t forget to embrace your inner history nerd by touring Newport’s most famous mansions—including the Breakers. What was once the summer playground for the rich and famous has now been meticulously preserved to showcase the artistry, architecture, and personality of many of America’s most elite families. It would be a travesty to leave the ‘City by the Sea’ without some seafood, so make sure to save room for a nearly one-half pound of buttery lobster roll deliciousness from Anthony’s Seafood (of “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” fame).
For the Beach Bunny: Hawaii
Hawaii has long been on everyone’s trip list and can you blame them? Recent flight data suggest that many people will be saying “aloha” to the tropical vacay of their dreams this summer. After more than a year of quarantining, a domestic beach getaway is the perfect way to recharge the batteries.
If this is your first trip to Hawaii, Maui or the “Valley Isle” is a great place to start. Maui is the Hawaii you have been fantasizing of—complete with white-sand beaches (over 30 miles of them), rocky-mountain hikes, and ocean waters teeming with marine life.
Cultivate your inner Moana with a snorkeling trip to the Molokini crater, located between the islands of Maui and Kahoolawe. This aquatic escapade will take you to a magical crater and reef ledge which serves as home to hundreds of underwater species including ulua, manta rays, and monk seals.
After a year staying home and socially distancing, we can all agree that a change of scenery sounds incredible. Of course public safety and COVID precautions are paramount, but with restrictions easing, now is the time to indulge your quarantine travel aspirations. No matter what type of traveling you are hoping to do this summer, from an exploration of the wild west to an international-island-hopping sojourn, we hope you embrace the thrilling excitement that these new horizons bring.
Featured image by Jakob Owens via Unsplash
“Oxbow – Grand Teton National Park” by Kathleen via (CC BY 2.0)
“Mykonos – Greece” by Alex Healing via (CC BY 2.0)
“San Miguel de Allende” by Jiuguang Wang via (CC BY-SA 2.0)
“Newport RI” by 6SN7 via (CC BY 2.0)
“Maui” by Tony Webster by (CC BY 2.0)
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