• Donna Zabel

Where to Travel Closer to Home



It has been quite a year: international borders closed, intermittent lockdowns and “stay at home” orders became commonplace, “virtual” the way most of us travel or communicate. We all want out of our confinement, to come and go as easily as the birds in our backyards. While our passports are gathering a little more dust, there are special places we can visit in the US, on either side of the Mississippi. This is a short list of a few beloved destinations that can bring some smiling relief from our long, lonely winter.


For the East Coast:


Asheville, North Carolina. In the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has something for everyone. Tour the Biltmore Estate with enough art and architecture to rival any European castle. Wander the River Arts District, get out of town for wonderful hikes, enjoy a special dinner.


Haywood County, gateway to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. A wonderful destination for anyone wanting to escape New York or Washington D.C., there are accommodations at all levels of luxury or adventure. Reconnect with a legendary area, unique on our planet.


Wylder Hotel Tilghman Island, Chesapeake Bay. This 54-room resort, set on nine acres on its own little island, has become so popular every weekend gets sold out. There are wonderful restaurants, a private marina, and plenty of outdoor sports. If you crave privacy or want to keep that social distance, go for a refreshing bike ride in the salt air and then relax with a gourmet meal delivered to your room.


Nemacolin Woodland Resort, Farmington Pennsylvania. With a history spanning generations, from a hunting lodge to complex with golf course and casino, Nemacolin is a well-known destination for vacations, events, and recently as the set for a season of The Bachelor. Offering a variety of dining, activities, and especially known for golf, Nemacolin is in southern Pennsylvania, not far from West Virginia.


Glendorn Lodge, Bradford PA. This wonderful lodge, an easy drive from my home in Northeast Ohio, is the perfect place for a romantic getaway, a wedding, a power-sharing meeting…. anything that can be imagined in a beautiful setting. An often-overlooked gem.


For the West Coast:


Napa. Anything Napa. Or Sonoma, quieter and more laid-back. Resorts and B&B’s are everywhere, with facilities from basic to luxury to spa. Stay right in downtown Napa close to everything at the Andaz Hotel, or for totally pampering head up to Yountville and the Bardessono Hotel and Spa. Of course, there are the winery visits and Michelin rated restaurants, but don’t miss the 19th century Mission San Francisco in Sonoma, along with the charming colonial era plaza. To clear the head after a few winery tours, head out to the Jack London State Historic Park and contemplate the writer’s contribution to the West’s culture or try yoga in the vineyards.


Red Rock, Nevada. For a getaway that’s not too far from civilization, head to Red Rock Casino & Spa. Indulge in all the resort has to offer after exploring the Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area. This gorgeous area is only 11 miles from Las Vegas.


Canyon Madness Ranch, New Mexico. This latest addition to getting away from our daily Zoom meetings is in a remote part of northeastern New Mexico. The specialty here is equestrian activities, hiking, fishing, and all terrain vehicles. The Teepee Lodge with only eight suites will guarantee you can forget—at least for a while—about COVID containment.


#travelnow #spa #resort #asheville #haywoodcounty #wylderhotel #nemacolin #glendorn #napa #sonoma #redrocknevada #newmexico #chesapeakebay

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