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Where Can You Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Where Can You Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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):

  1. 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.
    • Most entertainment venues (including tourist attractions), restaurants and bars are open at limited capacity, so be sure to check specific rules at your given destination.
      Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, courtesy of Getty Images
      Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, courtesy of Getty Images.
  2. 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.
    • “Visit Arizona”, Arizona’s official tourism website, has an updated list of open and closed attractions across the state.
  3. 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.
    • A list of coronavirus-related travel resources for Arkansas can be found here.
  4. 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.
    • Check California’s travel alerts related to the coronavirus here.
  5. 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.
    • Nonessential travel is not recommended. Click here for coronavirus-related travel updates.
      Cape Henlopen in Delaware, courtesy of Getty Images
      Cape Henlopen in Delaware, courtesy of Getty Images.
  6. 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.
    • For the most updated travel information and coronavirus updates, click here.
  7. 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.
    • Any COVID-19 resources and travel updates can be found here.
  8. Indiana: For family camping fun, visit the Indiana Dunes National Park to walk or bike over 50 miles of trails.
    • Check county-level coronavirus alerts here for any travel advisories.
  9. 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.
    • Businesses have started to reopen with limited capacity, but will depend on the country. For coronavirus traveler information, click here.
  10. 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.
    • The reopening of businesses is contingent on local orders, but find state-wide coronavirus updates and restrictions here.
      Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky, courtesy of Getty Images
      Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky, courtesy of Getty Images.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
    • For a holistic list of coronavirus information and updates, visit this site.
  13. 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.
    • The reopening of businesses is under guidance by local jurisdiction. Be sure to confirm with your exact destination before visiting, and click here for any coronavirus-related travel information.
      Houghton County in Michigan, courtesy of Getty Images
      Houghton County in Michigan, courtesy of Getty Images.
  14. 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.
    • For travel guidelines and coronavirus restrictions, click here.
  15. Minnesota: Stargaze in the Northern Lights at Voyageurs National Park or canoe at Boundary Waters for an outdoor experience of a lifetime.
    • For updated information on Minnesota’s coronavirus reopening plan, click here.
  16. Mississippi: Discover music and history with the Mississippi Blues or Country Music trails and tons of jazz museums.
    • All 13 state welcome centers are open. Click here for updated COVID-19 travel information.
  17. 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.
    • For the most updated coronavirus travel information, click here.
      Glacier National Park in Montana, courtesy of Getty Images.
      Glacier National Park in Montana, courtesy of Getty Images.
  18. Montana: In all of its untamed beauty, visit all nine of Montana’s legendary national parks, from Glacier National Park to Bighorn Canyon.
    • Some sites may not be open yet, so it’s important to check their respective websites. For updated COVID-19 travel alerts, visit this page.
  19. 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.
    • For coronavirus traveler recommendations, click here.
  20. 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.
    • For coronavirus-related tourism updates, check here.
      Asheville, North Carolina, courtesy of Getty Images
      Asheville, North Carolina, courtesy of Getty Images.
  21. 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.
    • Visitors are advised to check local guidance for the most accurate information. Click here for coronavirus travel resources.
  22. 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.
    • Most attractions are open to the public with limited service, but many events have been canceled. Check this updated list of coronavirus-related closures.
  23. 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.
    • For coronavirus travel information, click here.
  24. 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.
    • For any and all travel alerts in Oregon, click here.
      Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, courtesy of Getty Images.
      Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, courtesy of Getty Images.
  25. 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.
    • For travel guidance and resources during coronavirus, click here.
  26. South Carolina: Enjoy views and crisp fall weather from the Cherokee National Foothills Scenic Highway all the way down to Charleston.
    • For more COVID-19 travel information, visit this page.
  27. 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.
    • For more COVID-19 travel information, check out this page.
  28. Tennessee: Take a much-deserved mountain trip and explore Gatlinburg to the Tuckaleechee Caverns, and bask in shades of red, yellow and amber.
    • For COVID-19 travel safety resources and updates, visit this page.
      Big Bend National Park in Texas, courtesy of Getty Images.
      Big Bend National Park in Texas, courtesy of Getty Images.
  29. Texas: Everything’s bigger in Texas: Discover the trails in Big Bend National Park or the Texas Panhandle.
    • Travelers should monitor this page upon visiting.
  30. 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.
    • The list of coronavirus guidelines for national and state parks, public lands, cities and ski resorts is updated daily and can be found here.
  31. Virginia: Experience autumn in all its glory cozying up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, home to Shenandoah National Park.
    • Nonessential travel is not recommended. For a comprehensive list of coronavirus-related updates, click here.
      Seattle and Mount Rainier in Washington, courtesy of Getty Images.
      Seattle and Mount Rainier in Washington, courtesy of Getty Images.
  32. 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.
    • A list of coronavirus-related travel guidelines can be found here.
  33. 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.
    • For information on traveling during the coronavirus, click here.
  34. Wyoming: Explore Grand Teton National Park and Devils Tower National Monument for some serious hiking and wildlife adventuring.
    • National parks and monuments remain open to the public with some limitations, and any travel updates can be found here.

States with travel restrictions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.  
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.  
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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. 
  10. 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. 
  11. 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.
  12. 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. 
  13. 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.  
  14. 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.
Stella Shon

Stella Shon is a travel credit cards writer with ValuePenguin. A personal finance wiz and travel rewards expert, she knows the ins and outs of the credit card industry. She recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in journalism.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).