To travel or not to travel this summer?
Well, you know that your travel will revolve around our new normal.
Chances are you will be traveling with almost EVERYTHING your family might need for the trip since some items are hard to find, right?
Masks, disinfectant, and your own linens come to mind as top items to bring along.
But, what types of vacations can you strike a good balance of social distancing yet great times?
Social distancing vacation destinations are easily accessible and readily available.
In fact, these 4 social distancing vacation destinations to consider might have been the ones you poked fun at before!
Because once upon a time, certain types of more ‘isolated’ vacations were termed the ‘anti-socials’ of vacationing right?
Not anymore, because the new social distancing vacations are the old, ‘I want to vacation but I don’t want to be with everyone else’ type of getaways!”
Remember, this is NEW To all of us, but the social distancing vacations I will share have long been in existence and I have experienced MANY versions of these as a travel writer with a family!
There’s no reinventing the wheel but there is introducing a new type of vacation to your family.
4 Social Distancing Vacation Destinations To Consider
From Cruising to The Most Magical Place On Earth
This summer won’t be about the sea calling or a jammed themed ship for princes and princesses.
Nor will you want to head to the most magical place on earth unless you want to suffer through all the new normal adjustments that probably WILL impact your level of fun!
Personally, I can’t even imagine what the most magical place that shares tons of pixie dust yearly will be like.
Also, I don’t want to be one of the first in line, because there’s just too much at risk.
While I do trust that new standards will be in place, I don’t trust that the path that we are dealing with is cleared and I don’t want to be part of those cluster breakouts.
Last, while masks might be mandatory to enter, as they are in stores, etc., people may take their masks off, and what if mask usage is not enforced?
I can only imagine that places that attract those larger crowds, will want happy faces and not altercations, so will masks, and handwashing be enforced?
How can you enjoy a place with a mask on?
The food, the drinks, how does consumption happen.
What You Came For The Most and Can’t Get But I Know Where You Can Get It!!!
Better yet, if you are spending ALL that money to be at the most magical place on earth, with pixie dust included, how do you capture what you came for most?
Oh, you don’t know what it is do you?
Those million-dollar smiles that your kids and family member dawn when they enter, ride, and interact with the cast and crew.
You won’t be able to capture that, will you?
That’s why there are other, better vacation options to try for your family, so you can see ALL the smiles and enjoy all the food!
My Norm ~ From childhood to present
Early on, my dad used to take us to a really cool vacation spot.
Here we fished, rode around in a Jeep, hiked, and biked.
Popcorn parties led the way to fun-filled movie nights or gaming nights.
Pit fires were the norm at night, then showers and indoor parties.
Bedrooms were so many in number, we had our pick of which room to sleep in.
The kitchen was open 24/7 and the fun never stopped from starry nights to sun shining mornings!
We stayed in a cabin.
The cabin had a picnic bench for a dinner table, and 2 family rooms, with fireplaces.
Outside there was a stocked pond for fishing and a Jeep in the garage, etc.
Fun, for our family and those that we took with us.
Daytime included hikes and biking and plenty of running around.
The night was about the cookouts and popcorn parties.
Days would pass by so fast and then we would pack up and leave.
Fun, and memories with smiles my parents could see.
Fast Forward to My Article and 4 Social Distancing Vacation Destinations for Families To Consider
The best part about the 4 social distancing vacation destinations for families to consider this summer is that they already exist!
None of the crazy will be in your path, nor will the people.
Each offers wide open spaces with great lodging options.
I will still tell you to pack your own linens and disposable utensils, but I will also advise you to GO and Enjoy! We are!
#1 Sevierville Tennessee ~ The Great Smoky Mountains Outdoors
Pack up your vehicle with your family, luggage and of course, a cooler filled with the staples you know are hard to find (meat, milk, etc).
Bring along rain jackets, hiking shoes or athletic gear, and water!
Get ready for fun in the great outdoors.
Do you need to wear a mask when you are walking outside with your family and hiking?
Can you enjoy their smile underneath a starry sky?
Will you have a great week lounging in your own space?
The Big 3 C’s of Social Distancing Vacation Destinations ~
Cabins, Condos, and Campgrounds
Cabins are incredible for families that don’t own an RV!
Amenities like bedrooms from 1-7, pools, hot tubs, fireplaces, porches, what a place to set up for a week or 2.
The longer you stay, the more you will fall in love with Sevierville, Tennessee.
For those that prefer to stay in condos, there are plenty to choose from and you will still be able to social distance from other families on vacation too, as you have your OWN living space.
Last but not least, if you have an RV, you’ve got your choice of incredible campgrounds!
It’s time to spend time outside!
Whether you choose water adventures or hiking getaways, there are just endless options!
Maybe you want to whitewater raft? Zipline?
How about Douglas Lake for water sports, swimming, and boating?
Fishing is a great way to spend time as a family!
You might be lucky enough to hook any of these on your line!
- Black Bass
- Largemouth Bass
- Smallmouth Bass
- Spotted Bass
- White Crappie
- Black Crappie
There are also plenty of streams and rivers to seek out and enjoy, so allow yourself plenty of time!
Hike or Nature Trails What’s Your Pleasure? Social Distancing Vacation Destination Options
Consider your hiking options in the Smokey Mountains: Abram Falls, Alum Cave Bluff, Arch rock, Chimney Tops, Hen Wallow Falls.
Or perhaps take time on one of the many self-guided nature trails: Cades Coves, Cosby, Cove Hardwoods, Laurel Falls, Sugnarlanda Valley Nature Trail.
Other Options in Sevierville
Love golf? Great. Golf is available!
You could also bike, visit historic gravesites and structures, horseback ride, picnic, and take in wildlife viewing.
Endless options for fun and social distancing vacation moments with Big Smiles You will be able to SEE as they won’t be BEHIND a mask in the great outdoors!
Do you love hiking, biking, and kayaking?
Perhaps you love to browse and walk?
Enjoy everything from wildlife to craft beverages and still keep that social distancing vacation desirable.
Plan a trip to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
When the outdoors is part of your vacation, the smiles that you can see, without being BEHIND a mask, never end!
After all, that is what vacation is about, seeing the delight on the faces of everyone and making memories right?
The Three Best ‘C’s of Lodging during Social Distancing Vacations Cottages, Cabins & Camping
Need a cabin?
No worries, because the Blue Ridge Cabins are waiting for your family!
Fun On The Water
For those that love kayaking, spending time on the water’s edge, in a boat, fishing, etc, then you want to be in Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
Smith Mountain Lake and Upper James River Water Trail are perfect destinations for day time!
By Land – Biking & Hiking
Mountain Biking is actually what the Blue Ridge Mountains are famed for.
Did you know that you can ride on American’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital while you are here?
Whether a novice or a pro, now is your chance to flex those legs and move those feet!
Hiking – Hit The Trails – No Masks Required!
Try out Dragon’s Tooth, Hay Rock, McAfee Knob, Roaring Fun Falls, and Sharp Mountain Top!
To top it all off, check out the key summit along Route 311 at Catawba Mountain to settle down your wanderlust.
It’s a #TravelPhotography moment you must capture and experience to feel.
Truly something the family will remember forever!
What’s better on vacation than a sunrise?
A sunset is the answer!
Those that have been aboard a boat on Smith Mountain Lake will tell you that the best sunsets are those from the lake.
But, you don’t have to be on a boat, just head over and sit lakeside to enjoy the sunset at Smith Mountain Lake.
I’m sure you will get a lot of ‘oohs and ahhs’ out of your crew!
Life is different now, and your getaway needs to be as well.
However, Parkersburg already has the vacation you never knew you wanted, perfected.
Because the area has been providing these vacations for years!
Now, let’s add your family to this area and stir up the fun!
Campgrounds, Extended Stays, and Cabins ~ Perfect Social Distancing Vacation Destinations
The Huffman House is on my life of, “I Gotta!”
It’s an extended large home for staying a while!
If we are leaving, I want to be gone for a while since we have been locked down long enough!
Cabins are another great option, try Mountwood Park, or North Bend State Park, you are sure to find one you will love!
Outdoor Activities You Don’t Want To Miss
Try birding in great Parkersburg.
Yes, it is fun and you won’t believe how many birds you will actually see.
Head on To North Bend State Park
Enjoy fishing and hiking and rental cabins!
Did I mention there is a 305-acre recreational lake?
Go mountain biking or horseback riding.
Of course, there is also a lot to see like the rail trail from Parkersburg, WV to Wolf Summit, WV!
I am biased because I have spent a lot of time in the Outer Banks area, yet never enough.
There are so many communities and towns to visit, that it is impossible to capture it all on ONE vacation.
Why I have always LOVED the Outer Banks is the wide-open spaces.
Biking, beach time, rental homes, nature trails and that’s just the beginning.
You can stop along any beach, or walk for miles on the beaches!
Naturally, there are seashells begging to be collected, and it’s a fisherman’s paradise.
Accordingly, if you have never fished before try casting your line here!’
It’s All About Family Time Here
Unlike so many other ‘beach communities’ Outer Banks is truly the epitome of FAMILY Time.
The spacious rental homes, condominiums, cottage courts, and campgrounds beckon families to come and enjoy.
We’ve stayed in homes with 15 bedrooms and smaller with just 3.
My recent stay was in a hotel that offers upscale luxuries and is in Duck (and I can’t wait to visit again)!
Things To Do in OBX
Ready for some family fun?
Try going crabbing, or going fishing, or renting a fishing charter!
Head over to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuse or Pea Island.
Photo the lighthouses of the Outer Banks.
Try any of these they make for great travel imagery and memories.
You don’t need to enter them to experience their majestic beauty!
Start with any of these:
- Bodie Lighthouse
- Currituck Beach Lighthouse
- Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
- Ocracoke Island Lighthouse
Indulge in the 75 Mile Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Rent a bike, and cycle through the neighborhoods.
Spend the day sightseeing and venturing.
I personally love the Duck Sounside Boardwalk!
Visit Elizabeth Gardens or hang on the beach in your own area away from everyone else!
Enjoy a vacation, with wide-open space, and keep on smiling! ~ Dana XO
About Dana Vento – Dana Vento is a travel and food writer. When she’s not traveling borrowing your destination experiences, she’s at home, working on simple DIY projects! Dana enjoys getting outdoors, exploring, finding the hidden gems and taking the road less traveled, all while staying on the finer side of things!