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Summer’s coming to a close, but the usual jam-packed travel season looked quite different this year. Travel has become an increasingly difficult feat, filled with anxiety over testing, social distancing and mandatory mask requirements.
Nevertheless, Americans have expressed their desire to travel. According to a study by the U.S. Travel Association, road trips have been on the rise over the past five months, while 44% of people report feeling more confident about traveling outside of their communities. With almost three-quarters of the population working from home, people have toyed with the idea of working and traveling at the same time.
While the CDC recommends staying home to reduce the chance of spread of the coronavirus, they provide helpful guidelines on best practices to follow if you decide to travel. The CDC advises everyone to abide by wearing masks and social distancing, as well as checking local ordinances for restrictions before traveling.
If you’re looking for a safe and socially distanced getaway this fall and winter, here’s a list of where you can and can’t travel to within the United States during the age of the coronavirus. The following list does not account for any other travel restrictions besides alerts related to the pandemic at hand.
States you can travel to
The following states currently do not have coronavirus-related travel restrictions for intrastate travelers (these are subject to change):
- Alabama: Home to national civil rights sites such as the Freedom Riders National Monument and the cities of Selma and Montgomery. This fall and winter, you can arrange a self-guided tour through the state of Alabama this fall and winter.
- Arizona: As temperatures start to drop, it’s the perfect time to cross some major bucket list items off your list – including (but not limited to) the Grand Canyon and Lake Mead.
- Arkansas: Plan your next outdoor adventure for Hot Springs National Park or Buffalo National River, offering an impressive number of hiking trails and water activities.
- California: Enjoy fewer crowds at popular destinations during the upcoming offseason. Whether you want to taste wine at Napa Valley or head up to Yosemite National Park, California awaits you.
- Colorado: Known for its national parks, trails and monuments, Mesa Verde and Rocky Mountain are just some of the destinations worth putting on your bucket list.
- Delaware: As the summer traffic slows down, this small coastal state remains charming in the fall and winter. From Rehoboth to Dewey Beach, plan your postcard-worthy getaway.
- Georgia: From Savannah to Jekyll Island, Georgia should be on your mind. With mild temperatures in fall and winter, it’s the ideal time for your next vacation.
- Indiana: For family camping fun, visit the Indiana Dunes National Park to walk or bike over 50 miles of trails.
- Iowa: Experience a kaleidoscope of colors on a trail ride at the Jester Park Equestrian Center or on a hike through Lewis & Clark State Park.
- Kansas: Kansas isn’t as flat as you might expect, with must-see Flint Hills and 12 byways with stunning drives. Plus, the state has many civil rights landmarks.
Kentucky: If caves are your thing, check out Mammoth Cave to learn about thousands of years of human history. Or, visit Cumberland Falls State Park for breathtaking waterfalls, otherwise known as the “Niagara of the South”.
- While not required, a 14-day quarantine is recommended for those visiting states with a positive coronavirus rate equal to or greater than 15% – to check these states or any other updates, click here.
- Louisiana: Visit the Bayou country and check out Louisiana’s paddle trails. Indulge in the Cajun culture and cuisine, the latter is at true foodie’s paradise.
- Maryland: Nestled by the Chesapeake Bay, the Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail is a must. With crab season wrapping up and at the start of oyster season, visiting during the fall and winter is a no-brainer.
- Michigan: Nothing beats Michigan’s iconic Great Lakes, and the fall is still a great time to visit. With peak foliage in September and October, gear up for your socially distanced adventure.
- Minnesota: Stargaze in the Northern Lights at Voyageurs National Park or canoe at Boundary Waters for an outdoor experience of a lifetime.
- Mississippi: Discover music and history with the Mississippi Blues or Country Music trails and tons of jazz museums.
- Missouri: Get a taste of the Midwest this fall. Drive through Route 66 and take a visit to the Ozark Mountains for top-notch outdoor recreation.
- Montana: In all of its untamed beauty, visit all nine of Montana’s legendary national parks, from Glacier National Park to Bighorn Canyon.
- Nebraska: If you didn’t know, Nebraska’s slogan is “Honestly, It’s Not For Everyone.” But don’t sleep on Scotts Bluff National Monument and Niobrara National Scenic River for your next fall adventure.
- Nevada: Besides the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, Nevada has no shortage of outdoor activities. Visit the largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe, or the Great Basin National Park for a beautiful fall camping trip.
- North Carolina: From driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway to hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, relish in the cool weather and mesmerizing fall foliage. Nearby, check out the Biltmore Estate and Asheville for breweries and good eats.
- North Dakota: Camp at dozens of national and state parks where social distancing is no problem. Where history and wildlife intersect, you’ll adore the Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
- Oklahoma: Defined by its Western and American Indian heritage, drive through the Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway to get to the Wichita Mountains and Lake Lawtonka.
- Oregon: An underrated West Coast destination, Oregon has outdoor activities and craft breweries galore. Visit Crater Lake National Park for hiking, water activities and spectacular views, or bike down the Oregon Coast to appreciate both mountains and sea.
- Pennsylvania: History buffs can explore from Gettysburg to Valley Forge National Historical Park and beyond. With the longest fall foliage season than any other state in the United States, Pennsylvania is a must-see destination for its autumn leaf-changing colors.
- South Carolina: Enjoy views and crisp fall weather from the Cherokee National Foothills Scenic Highway all the way down to Charleston.
- South Dakota: Known for Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and its wide array of national parks, make a point to visit South Dakota this fall for the road less traveled.
- Tennessee: Take a much-deserved mountain trip and explore Gatlinburg to the Tuckaleechee Caverns, and bask in shades of red, yellow and amber.
- Texas: Everything’s bigger in Texas: Discover the trails in Big Bend National Park or the Texas Panhandle.
- Utah: With its world-renowned ski resorts, book a mountain lodge to enjoy a winter sports getaway. An hour’s drive from Salt Lake City, you can access 10 world-class ski destinations, from Park City to Powder Mountain.
- Virginia: Experience autumn in all its glory cozying up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, home to Shenandoah National Park.
- Washington: Autumn in the Pacific Northwest is truly one of a kind. Beyond Seattle, adventure through the alpine regions of Mount Rainier and the North Cascades for a trip of a lifetime.
- Wisconsin: Head to the Apostle Islands off of Lake Superior for a scenic, adventure-filled trip. From caves to lighthouses, this is a fantastic Midwest destination.
- Wyoming: Explore Grand Teton National Park and Devils Tower National Monument for some serious hiking and wildlife adventuring.
States with travel restrictions
- Alaska: Travelers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to departure (or proof of pending test results within this timeframe). Alternatively, testing is available upon arrival for $250. And if you remain in the state for more than seven days, “a second test should be taken 7 to 14 days after arrival.” For more information, click here.
- Connecticut: Visitors from states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or with a 10% positivity rate or higher over a seven-day rolling average, must quarantine for a 14-day period. The list of states is updated every Tuesday and can be found here, along with more details.
- Hawaii: All visitors must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. This is expected to change Oct. 15, 2020, where travelers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours upon arrival. Otherwise, travelers will still be subject to the 14-day quarantine. For more information, click here.
- Idaho: Travelers to Ada County from a substantial community spread or case rates higher than Idaho are advised to quarantine for 14 days. Other information about COVID-19 travel information can be found here.
- Illinois: While there are no statewide travel restrictions, the city of Chicago issues a 14-day quarantine requirement for all travelers (including Chicago residents) traveling to designated states with high rates of coronavirus infections. The exact list can be found here, and click here for other pertinent travel information for the state of Illinois.
- Maine: All travelers (including Maine residents) must show negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours upon arrival or quarantine for 14 days. If you’re awaiting test results after you arrive, you must quarantine until they arrive. States exempt from this requirement include New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. For further information, visit this page.
- Massachusetts: All visitors (including Massachusetts residents) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours upon arrival or quarantine for 14 days. If you are awaiting your test results, you must quarantine until you receive a negative test result. However, travelers from lower-risk states are exempt. Click here to view this list and other details.
- New Hampshire: All travelers (including New Hampshire residents) are required to quarantine for 14 days, however this requirement is lifted for visitors from Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. For more information, click here.
- New Jersey: Individuals entering New Jersey from high-risk states (10% positivity test or case rate higher over a seven-day rolling average) are asked to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. While not officially required, the website states, “The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected.” Visitors who are in the state for less than 24 hours are exempt from this advisory. A list of these states can be found here, as well as other travel information for the state of New Jersey.
- New Mexico: For travelers coming from high-risk states, you must show a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival or quarantine for 14 days. Travelers from low-risk states are exempt from this requirement. For a detailed list of these restrictions, visit this page.
- New York: A 14-day quarantine is required for visitors coming from states with more than 10% positive coronavirus tests, or more than 10 positive cases per 100,000 residents. Click here for more information.
- Ohio: Visitors from states with 15% or higher positive COVID-19 cases (based on a seven-day rolling average) are advised to quarantine for 14 days. The list of states and other travel information can be found here.
- Rhode Island: All travelers (including Rhode Island residents) entering from a state with a coronavirus positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days and schedule an asymptomatic test. For more information, visit this page.
- Vermont: Travelers arriving to Vermont via public transportation (plane, train or bus) must complete a 14-day quarantine or a seven-day quarantine followed by a negative COVID-19 test. Residents visiting from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia may bypass these restrictions, only if arriving by personal car. For more detailed information, click here.