Where to travel post-pandemic? Hawaii, Mexico and Oregon are best bets
Chances are, if you’re like most of us, you’re wanting to travel and make new memories again. After a year of staying (and possibly working) at home, finally, now many states are easing restrictions and hotels are reopening, ensuring the safety of their guests by following social distancing and mask-wearing procedures. You might be wondering where to go. So why not go all out?
Look no further than our fun and inspiring dream trips, for every type of traveler.
1. Wake up in a rainforest (Volcano Village, Big Island of Hawaii)
- 1 1. Wake up in a rainforest (Volcano Village, Big Island of Hawaii)
- 2 2. Dine in a teepee on the beach (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico)
- 3 3. A room with a view (Cannon Beach, Oregon)
- 4 4. A playground for everyone (Bend, Oregon)
- 5 5. Kohala Waterfall hike (Waimea, Hawaii)
- 6 6. Experience an authentic luau (Waimea, Hawaii)
Nestled at the end of a narrow road sits Volcano Mist Cottage, a sanctuary in the Kilauea Forest Preserve, only a few minutes drive from Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Located at 4,000 feet elevation, this area is designated a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve. Your dream hideaway will have many of the comforts of home, like a full kitchen with a pantry already fully stocked upon your arrival with breakfast goodies.
A full outdoor lanai living room with a fireplace can be a great place to relax and read a book. For the more adventurous, there are two Trek mountain bikes available for use. After a long day of hiking at the national park, soak in the hot tub in the middle of the forest and take an outdoor “Temple Bath” shower as you gaze at the stars.
If your stay includes a Sunday, head to the early morning (beginning at 6 a.m.) Farmers Market at the Cooper Community Center on Old Volcano Road at Wright Road. There, you’ll be delighted with a variety of local arts and crafts, estate-grown Big Island coffees, organic produce, baked goods as well as authentically prepared dishes.
2. Dine in a teepee on the beach (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico)
If you’ve never had an all-inclusive experience, treat yourself to Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort. Located on a 1.2-mile stretch of pristine white beach on the Pacific Ocean, the adults-only spa destination offers full-service amenities and facilities, including four restaurants, wellness-inspired spa and activities, spacious accommodations and two swimming pools.
With the help of your personal butler, you can arrange to celebrate a special occasion with a Sunset Teepee dinner, which is set right on the beach. This unique experience includes a personal chef-prepared four-course meal, cooked in front of you and served at sunset under the cover of your own teepee. During this time of social distancing, this indulgence is the perfect activity you’ll remember for years to come.
Have breakfast at the resort’s Quivira Clubhouse, situated between the first tee and 18th green of the award-winning Quivira Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course, and enjoy the magnificent views.
Whether you decide to book a cabana for the day and lounge by the pools or play 18 holes of golf, you won’t be disappointed. During your stay, be sure to schedule the invigorating organic ritual at Armonia Spa, a full-service spa offering world-class amenities. Best of all, guests can take a free shuttle to any of the sister properties and take advantage of their amenities as well.
3. A room with a view (Cannon Beach, Oregon)
The view of Haystack Rock from the Stephanie Inn is beyond phenomenal. Known as a sea stack, the 235-foot monolithic rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon, is considered to be the third-tallest intertidal structure in the world. The beach is compact and easy for runners and walkers alike.
Book reservations at the Stephanie Inn, located right on the oceanfront, for a romantic getaway. Rooms feature a cozy fireplace and relaxing Jacuzzi, a setting for laid-back luxury.
Make dinner reservations at the inn’s restaurant, serving up elevated Pacific Northwest cuisine using some of the freshest ingredients of the region. For more casual fare, head to the Wayfarer Restaurant & Lounge, which serves some of the best crab cakes and beer-battered fish and chips in town. If you have a hankering for beer, you won’t want to miss Public Coast Brewing, a brewhouse with two 20-barrel fermenters and four 10-barrel fermenters. The restaurant has a large pet-friendly patio that is perfect for social distancing.
4. A playground for everyone (Bend, Oregon)
Whether you are a golf enthusiast, runner, hiker or just a family seeking some time away, look no further than the Tetherow, situated on 700 acres of land and a mere 10 minutes west of downtown Bend, 20 minutes from Mount Bachelor, and on the edge of the Deschutes National Forest. The resort’s Vacation Rental Homes provide families with privacy and the space to spread out. Outfitted with top-of-the-line finishes and modern aesthetics, each home has a full kitchen with dinnerware, utensils and modern appliances.
As an added convenience, the hotel can shop for your groceries ahead of time so they are already there prior to your arrival. Enjoy easy access to the resort’s amenities such as the fitness center, pool and cabanas and access to two restaurants; The Row, which offers pub-style food in a casual atmosphere or Solomon’s for a fine dining experience highlighting flavors from the Pacific Northwest. The Bleu Diamond Burger and Steak Salad is a must-try.
Book a Cave Tour at Wanderlust, an adventure you won’t want to miss. Your naturalist guide will take you underground, into darkness (with headlamps!) and provide information about the region’s geology, ecology and history. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes.
Make sure to explore Bend, where you can grab lunch at Mother’s Juice Cafe, serving cold-pressed juices and nutritious breakfast and lunch offerings. Head over to the Old Mill District, nestled into 270 acres along the Deschutes River, where more than 55 local and national restaurants and stores call home. This spot on the river makes for a fun shopping experience.
Between Downtown Bend and the Old Mill District, the recently renovated The Box Factory hosts over 32 local businesses including a brew coffee taphouse, cafes and bakeries, as well as fitness studios and much more.
5. Kohala Waterfall hike (Waimea, Hawaii)
Enjoy a private hiking tour of Kohala’s waterfalls. Hawaii Forest & Trail offers a wide assortment of experiences that you will be sure to treasure. The Kohala hike offers 3 levels (easy/ moderate/ strenuous) that will immerse you in stunning views and rugged valleys. The trails and waterfalls are curated by Founder Rob Pacheco, who is passionate about preserving the beauty of the land. These are trails that aren’t accessible to anyone, so it is a worthwhile experience.
Stay at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which is newly renovated and offers a great family-friendly experience. The resort is situated along the 175-mile long Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, perfect for morning hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The Westin offers a state-of-the-art fitness center complete with new treadmills, spinning bicycles and a separate area for Pilates, yoga and HIIT workouts. The hotel also offers beach yoga on certain days with a lovely view of the Pacific.
Dine at Meridia, a Mediterranean restaurant with inspiration from the island’s bounty.
6. Experience an authentic luau (Waimea, Hawaii)
Stay at the Mauna Kea Hotel, which opened in 1965 under the development of Laurance S. Rockefeller, who chose the specific spot for this iconic hotel. A timeless classic, the resort is a homage to sophisticated architecture and design, offering over 200 spacious guest rooms and suites.
The Mauna Kea Hawaiian Luau is one of a kind. Steeped in Hawaiian history, the luau offers a cultural experience by way of a mesmerizing performance, authentic food and tradition. A sampling of the menu includes poi, poke, kalua pig and much more.
Book a lomi lomi massage at the Mauna Kea Spa by Mandara, a luxurious experience of pampering and relaxation while your significant other plays the legendary 18-hole Mauna Kea Golf Course, which is a golfer’s dream come true. Kids of all ages can enjoy activities at the Mauna Kea Keiki Club.
If you’re up for it, you won’t want to miss the Manta Ray Moonlight Snorkel, which is a snorkel tour with manta rays in their natural habitat while being guided by an experienced researcher who has studied these gentle giants for 26 years.