With many cruise lines still closed or operating on reduced schedules and theme parks and other tourist attractions facing shortened hours, travel continues to look a bit different than it did pre-COVID as we head into fall.
Whether you had to cancel or modify your summer trip yet again this year or not, you might be dreaming of getting away for a bit of rest, relaxation, or perhaps some adventure this season.
Luckily, some vacation options already promote healthy social distancing and have since long before COVID-19 started. Southern Utah is the ultimate fall destination. Cooler temps, fewer crowds, and some beautiful fall colors make for a memorable trip, while the chance for some natural social distancing means this is a great way to escape the crowds without sacrificing a vacation.
If you’re thinking about hitting the road this summer, keep reading for a few tips that will help you plan a safe, healthy vacation.
A year ago, many destinations were limiting visitor numbers to promote social distancing. Now, as crowds begin to descend on national parks and other outdoor destinations, many parks were forced to set capacity limits for an entirely different reason.
Looking for a safe, healthy destination for their next vacation led many tourists to head to national and state parks this summer. This meant that some parks, like Yellowstone and Zion, faced record or near-record visitor numbers.
But don’t let this scare you away this fall.
It’s far easier to practice safe social distancing in the great outdoors. With kids headed back to school and many businesses bringing their employees back to the office, crowds are likely to begin to taper off. This makes fall the perfect time to enjoy Utah’s beautiful Mighty 5. If you’re planning an early fall trip or want to visit on a holiday weekend, head for one of the state’s lesser-known national parks.
Capitol Reef may not be the household name that Zion or Arches are, but it’s no less beautiful. With stunning red rock views, epic hiking trails, and breathtaking views, it’s a great destination for those hoping to experience Utah’s famous national parks without the record-breaking crowds.
Get Off the Beaten Path
Just because a destination is outdoors doesn’t make it a great choice for your fall adventure.
Some destinations may continue to face crowds on weekends. And many, like popular beaches, museums, and other hot spots, will continue to see crowds into the fall, especially on weekends. Despite the ongoing health risk, tourists and locals have flocked to these destinations, with many ignoring warnings about safe social distancing.
Iif you want to stay safe and avoid crowds, it’s best to skip these tourist destinations this year. Instead, get off the beaten path and head to less crowded, but equally stunning destinations.
Dead Horse State Park, Goblin Valley State Park, and Goosenecks State Park are just a few of the countless state parks located just a short drive from Cougar Ridge. While they might not be as well-known as Capitol Reef, they are no less deserving of a visit.
Another great way to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about the crowds or your health is by taking a scenic drive. Fall is perhaps the best time to do so, as Southern Utah bursts with color all season long.
Stick to What You’re Comfortable With
There’s no right answer for what your vacation plans should look like this year. Instead, it’s important to take your own health and comfort into consideration when making your plans.
If you aren’t ready to fly yet, a road trip might be a better choice. A shorter vacation might be easier to manage than a longer trek. If hotels make you uncomfortable, a stay at a smaller location like our lodge or casitas means fewer run-ins with other visitors. And if you usually travel with a large group, sticking to just your family unit might help ease your worries.
No matter what you choose to do this summer, it’s also important to be flexible with your plans, and follow any local health recommendations in the areas that you visit. It’s also important to practice healthy travel habits, both now and in the future.
Planning a Fall Vacation in 2021
Whether you’re eager to get out and are already booking a trip for August or September or just starting to think about going somewhere later in the fall, Cougar Ridge might be just the answer you’re looking for in this confusing time.
With easy access to Capitol Reef and several lesser-known state parks and plenty of room on-site for social distancing, it’s the ultimate destination for anyone that wants to not only get away from home but also get away from crowds of other tourists.
Looking for a quick, relaxing getaway or the perfect basecamp for your fall adventure? Book your stay with us today!