Chances are, like many Americans, you are dreaming about a trip away from the confines of your home.
Fall is an optimal time to be outdoors, socially distanced and traveling responsibly, no matter where you live.
Many major airlines are restricting the number of passengers on flights as well as blocking out seats to allow for extra space. If you aren’t ready to fly just yet, settle in for a fun road trip.
From glamping in Georgia to experiencing the great outdoors in Oregon, we have some ideas for you.
Take a trip where you truly disconnect from technology, work and the stresses of daily life. Getawayis the ultimate socially distanced vacation, offering small cabins nestled in nature. With no access to WiFi on the grounds, guests can read, play card games, embrace nature and spend time with loved ones. Each cabin has all the necessities — hot shower, shampoo and conditioner, air conditioner and heat to make a stay comfortable and cozy.
About seven hours from Memphis is the Getaway Atlanta Outpost, featuring cabins, like tiny homes, spread across 59 acres of nature and all its beauty in Suches, Georgia. You might spot other cabins, but you will never feel crowded or stressed that there are too many people.
Take in the views, stroll along the path, and connect with family and friends. The cabin even has a cellphone lockbox, encouraging guests to leave technology behind, even if just for a couple days.
Settle into the lounge chairs surrounding the campfire, make some s’mores and look up contentedly at the stars.
Getaway also has Outposts outside cities including Dallas and Houston.
Details, including a full list of Outposts: getaway.house
Enjoy the great outdoors
If you’re looking to travel farther away from the Mid-South, nothing says the great outdoors like the Pacific Northwest. With an estimated 4.19 million people living on 98,466 square miles, Oregon — where wildfire season is coming to a close — has plenty of space to explore. While Portland is known for its brewpubs, restaurants and many eclectic activities, Southern Oregon offers geographical diversity with its rich landscape of rivers, waterfalls, hot springs, rolling vineyards and tall mountain peaks.
Start your trip in Ashland, a city best known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which has attracted visitors from far and near since it was founded in 1935.
Rich with history and elegance, stay at the Ashland Springs Hotel, which was built in 1925. The hotel has been lovingly restored with modern amenities. The hotel has precautionary measures for COVID-19 in place, including requiring face masks to be worn at all times in all indoor public areas. Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine is the on-site restaurant, serving the freshest, locally sourced ingredients grown on nearby farms, meat from small ranchers, Oregon cheeses and nuts. In response to the pandemic, the hotel offers indoor and outdoor dining in addition to takeout and delivery.
While in Ashland, hike Lithia Park, which consists of more than 90 acres of forested trails around Ashland Creek, while still close by the town’s shops, restaurants and cafes.
You can book a spa treatment at Waterstone Spa at the Lithia Springs Resort. Reinvigorate in nature’s healing waters and refresh your senses with the all-natural, and delightfully effective, botanical products used in the spa’s treatments. The Oxygenating Facial is a great option for all skin types especially those in need of a boost of hydration having come out of the summer months.
Make dinner reservations at Amuse, where chef and owner Erik Brown prepares a Northwest and French-inspired menu daily, using organic, seasonal meat and produce.
Partake in “Perfect Pair” Yoga and Wine Tasting at Grizzly Peak Winery, where Ashland Yoga Centerholds an all-level outdoor therapeutic session. After the hour-long yoga class, enjoy wine and a cheese plate with appropriate social distancing in the field. The winery is set on 40 beautiful acres, with refreshing views of nearby Grizzly Peak and Mount Ashland. Check the Ashland Yoga Center website for class schedule.
Head to Smithfields, which is open for socially spaced dine-in or takeout. The restaurant and bar specialize in sustainable “nose-to-tail” dining and in-house charcuterie. You won’t want to miss the char-grilled ribeye, an in-house specialty featuring house-made Worcestershire sauce.
Klamath Falls, Oregon
About a 2-hour drive from Ashland is Oregon’s Crater Lake, a must-see landmark during any trip to Southern Oregon. There are two options for people to enjoy the lake — take the 33-mile Rim Drive and stop at the many vista points overlooking the water or go on the 1-mile hike down a switchback trail to the water’s edge. There are also various hikes within the park to explore.
Crater Lake National Park formed from the eruption of Mount Mazama about 7,700 years ago when the mountain collapsed, creating a 2,000-foot deep crater. The result is a lake created solely from snow melt — there is no river flowing in. Scientists have measured the water’s clarity to as deep as 120 feet.
Check in at Running Y Ranch Resort, situated at the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range on 3,600 pristine acres, surrounded by the great outdoors. The pristine resort offers year-round adventures such as white-water rafting in the summer to snowshoeing in the winter. Other activities include hiking, kayaking, geocaching and fly fishing. Known for its 18-hole Arnold Palmer golf course and full service spa, the ranch is big enough to accommodate a safe experience for all travelers.
Explore the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, which is a 55-minute drive north of Klamath Falls, where you might spot sandhill cranes, ducks, Canada geese, yellow rails and Oregon spotted frogs. Visitors can explore via canoe, kayak or walking trails.
Embark on a kayak tour of the Malone Springs Wetlands with ROE Outfitters as they take you on a paddle of 15,000 acres of freshwater marsh in calm waters. ROE will provide all the gear you need as your experienced guides offer a unique look into a beautiful wetlands area rich with cultural history.
After your active day, head back to your hotel at the Running Y Ranch and order room service from the on-site restaurant, Ruddy Duck, which serves up hearty dishes such as Columbia River Steelhead Piccata or Filet Mignon with a wide assortment of vegetarian options as well.
Grants Pass, Oregon
As you make your way to Grants Pass, be sure to stop at one or two of the many farms that feature agritourism. It’s a perfect opportunity to visit and learn about locally grown foods.
At Pennington Farms, a family-run berry farm and bakeshop in the Applegate Valley, sample homemade pies, baked goods and jams including some hard-to-find varieties like luster berry, kotata berry, and tayberry.
A fan of cheese? Make a stop at the Rogue Creamery Dairy Farm just outside Grants Pass to sample its award-winning cheeses, fresh from the source. Walk around and get a glimpse of the cows and learn more about the green technology and high-tech robotic milking machine. Free guided tours of the farm are offered at noon Friday.
Rest your head at the Weasku Inn, which was built in 1924 along the banks of the scenic Rogue River. Back in its day, the lodge was a vacation retreat to many Hollywood personalities such as Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Walt Disney.
The Vine Restaurant serves up Italian-inspired fare using local ingredients. Sit outside on the patio to enjoy fresh air and the scenery or order your meal for pick up. After dinner, enjoy a stroll through Riverside Park.
On your next day, be sure to stop by the Glass Forge to admire hand-blown vases, bowls, perfume bottles and one-of-a-kind pieces. Pick up a souvenir to remind you of your time spent in Oregon.
Make your way to Wooldridge Creek Winery, which started out as owners Ted and Mary Warrick’s “hobby” vineyard in the 1970s and became what it is today: a winery, creamery and charcuterie. The couple’s commitment to preserve and protect the soil, forest and watershed sustainability is at the center of all they do. Stop in for a tasting and don’t miss the chef’s board of cheese and charcuterie made on site.
For more information, visit southernoregon.org.