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5 Socially Distanced Fall Road Trip Destinations

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With a little forethought and strategy, it’s easy to plan a fall road trip while minimizing exposure to crowds

Got wanderlust but want to steer clear of crowded vacation destinations this fall? Here are five isolated places to road trip to this autumn to help ensure that your travels are as healthy as they are fun. As usual during these uncertain times, check to make sure these destinations are still open and find out about any travel restrictions before finalizing trip plans.

Efficient Fall Travel Buddies: Learn more about the 2021 Terrain and Equinox model’s recent recognition from US News

Red River Gorge, Kentucky

Get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life when you head to Red River Gorge, Kentucky, for the weekend. Located within Daniel Boone National Forest, the gorge delivers stunning landscapes that are sure to refresh your spirit. From ziplining and rock climbing to hiking and kayaking, you’ll find a variety of recreational activities to suit your taste. Tent camping or cabin rentals are two popular options for lodging.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Take in views of lighthouses and less-crowded beaches when you plan a getaway to Outer Banks, North Carolina. Bring a tent and camp under the stars with the sound of the waves in the background lulling you to sleep. Or go the rental house route if you prefer to glamp with your loved ones. Explore some barrier islands and check out the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Or enjoy aerial views when you book a biplane tour.

Finger Lakes, New York

Upstate New York can be breathtaking in autumn — especially in the Finger Lakes region. From socially distanced apple- and pumpkin-picking to paddling on one of the lakes, you’re bound to stay busy with pleasant pastimes as you regain a sense of serenity. If you’re into wine, make sure to sample local vino from the area’s famous wine trail. Watkin’s Glen, Taughannock Falls State Park, and Keuka Lake are three must-see attractions to add to your itinerary.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana

Immerse yourself in mountain views and catch a glimpse of large animals such as elk, bison, and moose when you book a trip to Yellowstone National Park. Rent an RV or pitch a tent at one of the park’s campgrounds. Vacation rentals and cabins are another accommodation option, though these tend to be booked way in advance.

Tucson, Arizona

Ditch the crowds in favor of wide-open spaces and desert views when you road trip to Tucson, Arizona. (Tucson’s monsoon season runs from mid-June to the end of September. So, make sure to plan your visit after that for sunnier, dryer weather during your stay). Consider staying at a dude ranch or renting out a house or small cabin, depending on the size of your travel party. Hike the trails at Saguaro National Park, check out Tucson Botanical Garden, go off-roading at Mount Lemmon, and take some panoramic pictures at Sentinel Peak.

Check out these tips for traveling safely during the pandemic. And learn more about a new National Park Service app that makes RV travel easier if you decide to rent one rather than take your vehicle.