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Many of you don’t have your mind on a vacation right now, do you? How will we do road trips while social distancing? So why not take some time away from the depressing news and start planning an economical vacation. Here are some ideas for taking social distancing trips this year. And a picture to give you a hint where I’m headed!
Minnesota road trips while social distancing!
Since I live in Minnesota USA, I’ll focus on examples from the northern part of my state. Our parks and other public areas are currently open, but the rules for social distancing are in place, and may be all summer. There are many places that are not likely to be crowded and are very good places to see. For example, I googled “Less visited attractions near me”, “Hidden Gems in Minnesota” and “Outdoor vacation spots Lake Superior”. (Those in other parts of the US or the world can use similar search words suited for your area.)
Once our communities have opened again and lodging is available, select your destinations, pack your belongings, including all the needed sanitizing and cleaning supplies, and head out! (See link here to read about recommendations on sanitizing on road trips.) Remember, I’m NOT advocating going anywhere until it’s safe to do so!
Here are some ideas from my research. I found the following places for a great road trip that is all in Minnesota. Museum of Great Hinckley Fire of 1894; Tobies for a great, sweet snack or meal (they are providing curbside service), also in Hinckley; Skyline Drive in Duluth; Lighthouse Point in Two Harbors; Gooseberry Falls near Castle Danger; Split Rock Lighthouse near Beaver Bay; eight state parks spread out along the North Shore; Heritage Center near Grand Portage which is near the Canadian border, and many more attractions. The picture above is taken from Palisade Head between Beaver Bay and Silver Bay. Shovel Point is a great little hike. Usually not crowded so you and your family can keep your social distance.
Additional side adventures
For the adventuresome among you, the Superior Hiking Trail, also known as the SHT, is a 310-mile (500 km) long hiking trail from Duluth to the Canadian border that follows the rocky ridges overlooking Lake Superior for much of its length. Compared to the other Great Lakes, it’s Superior!
A great side trip is going up the Gunflint Trail. This road leaves Highway 61 at Grand Marais and runs about 30 miles up to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. There are resorts and great scenery along the way. See? You can do road trips while social distancing!
Want to try a road trip planning app?
If you need a great tool to help you plan; here is a referral link to Roadtrippers Plus. (Disclaimer: I do get a commission at no additional cost to you if you buy a membership for a year.) They have been offering discounts to you as well if you use a referral code. Here’s the current code (BTR5QTP) to use when you click on my link. They also offer a free version that lets you enter your start and end, and up to 5 stops which will allow you to try it out. And especially this year, that may be all you need. Even the free version suggests other attractions on your route.
By the way, here is a link to another (hybrid) camping trip. I called it a “hybrid” because we rented both a camp site and a hotel. We wanted to spend time camping but didn’t want to sleep in a tent that time. Worked out well, except paying for two lodgings. But it was only four days! And it’s a road trip while social distancing.
“Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne
Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up one-on-one
I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on
Running on (running on empty)
Running on (running blind)
Running on (running into the sun)
But I’m running behind
Written by: Jackson Browne
(Always liked this song. Maybe a good use when your vacation budget is “Running on Empty”.)