Sometimes, you just want to get out of town and don’t want to have to deal with passports, customs lines, and potential required vaccinations to do so. Especially with the spring and summer months rapidly approaching, the travel bug may soon hit hard for many of us. Read on for 10 dreamy vacation destinations, with no passport required.
Known for a vibrant arts community and New Age flair, Sedona is also perfect for spa lovers. For breathtaking natural views, go for a hike at nearby Boynton Canyon or Red Rock State Park. Afterward, head to Uptown Sedona for unique local shops and art galleries.
Located only 30 miles west of downtown L.A., Malibu is a whole different world. Malibu Lagoon State Beach, El Matador State Beach, and Zuma Beach are all so well maintained that it’s surprising to remember that they’re so close to a major U.S. city. The Malibu Pier is nice for dining and taking in the sunset. If a trendier scene is what you’re after, head to the Malibu Country Mart for upscale shopping and potential celebrity sightings.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
This artsy desert paradise boasts unique Pueblo-style architecture and is known as a hotbed of healers and shops peddling crystals and gemstones. Those on the hunt for some turquoise jewelry will be in luck with options abound here. If New Age wares aren’t as much your thing, check out the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum or dig into some of the city’s authentic Mexican cuisine.
Although you may immediately think of snow when you hear the word “Aspen,” the mountain town is huge for hiking and biking in the summer. The bar and restaurant scene renders it a haven for foodies as well, and each June, Aspen hosts the Food & Wine Classic. After tasting some delicious fare, the Silver Queen Gondola will transport you 11,212 feet up to the peak of Aspen Mountain for majorly photo-worthy views.
Big Sur, California
With incredibly sweeping ocean views from massive cliffs, Big Sur is almost otherworldly… or at least feels like something that could only be seen somewhere like Australia rather than stateside. The entire area is filled with state parks and beaches, meaning that hiking (and photos!) are a must here. If you start in either San Francisco or L.A., the drive to Big Sur on the Pacific Coast Highway will be a highlight of the trip.
Vieques, Puerto Rico
This Caribbean island right off the shores of Puerto Rico is famous for its bioluminescent bay, but is also known as Mosquito Bay. Visitors are able to take boat tours there, where the water glows a blue-greenish hue at night. Vieques also offers numerous pristine beaches and great snorkeling. Something you will rarely see elsewhere are the horses that roam freely around the island, making for the perfect Instagram opportunity.
Palm Springs, California
Although long known as a hotspot for golf and tennis players, most hotels in this luxurious desert town have fabulous pools for those just looking to lounge. Art galleries, home décor stores, and vintage shopping can also be found in abundance here. Architecture buffs will appreciate the mid-century buildings while those looking for a more natural experience can escape to Joshua Tree National Park, just 45 minutes away.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
This classic New England beach town is about as picturesque as it gets. Those in search of an adventure can walk or bike on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, enjoying scenic views along the way. Visitors who wish to be completely immersed in aquatic life can take a boat ride off Cape Cod’s shores where seals, dolphins, and humpback whales are often spotted. The Cape’s famous lighthouses are a must-see, just as the lobster and clams are must-eats.
New Orleans, Louisiana
This old-world city boasts live New Orleans jazz, a unique Creole and Cajun food scene, and some great shopping at local boutiques. Other fun activities with New Orleans flair include browsing the local voodoo shops and taking a ghost tour. Go to New Orleans during the spring, before this humid Southern city becomes super steamy!
The less commercialized and touristy counterpart to Napa, Sonoma features numerous smaller, family-owned wineries. Check out Wine Country Bikes for bike rentals and bikeable wine tasting routes. Downtown Sonoma features many stores offering handcrafted gifts, jewelry, home goods, and of course, wine.