Seven Places to Book Ahead This Year
While the new year doesn’t magically solve our pandemic problems, the approval of the coronavirus vaccine is stirring hope for travel in the hearts of many. So as you begin to plan this year’s adventures, we wanted to share some of those top spots that you’ll want to book well in advance. Due to the increased demand for domestic U.S. travel and the high number of bookings rolled over from 2020, we do expect availability in the most popular destinations to be challenging.
Summer in the National Parks
Despite the travel challenges of last year, incredibly some major national parks saw record visitor numbers and it’s looking like that trend will continue in 2021. There are a few parks in particular that are essential to plan ahead for this year.
Summer is the most popular time to visit Yellowstone National Park, so it’s key to book in advance. July and August in particular bring the best weather and it’s a fantastic time to take in one of the most spectacular landscapes in North America.
The Grand Canyon, Zion and Yosemite are all in the top five most popular American national parks to visit. As a COVID-19 precaution, some of these parks are enacting measures to prevent overcrowding. Zion is limiting advanced purchase tickets to the shuttle, which in peak months is the only way to enter the park. Last year Yosemite required advance reservations and a reduced number of vehicles were allowed to enter. While this requirement is no longer in place, it is possible it may be re-introduced again over the busy summer months.
Fall in New England
It’s no secret that New England shines in autumn. Last fall, strict COVID-related travel restrictions and closures kept many visitors away, so it’s no surprise that people want their fix of East Coast fall foliage this year.
Rooms at some of our favorite boutique getaways and luxury inns are quickly filling up, so if you fancy spending your autumn amongst bright falling leaves, winding between cheddar creameries and cider mills, and enveloped in the salty air of coastal Atlantic towns, start the planning of your custom journey through New England soon.
As a general rule, an exploration through the wild terrain of Alaska is not an adventure that you want to enter into haphazardly. It’s a huge state with miles of remote frontier, so you need to have a strategy for how you’ll get where and who will be guiding the way.
Plus, because of the extreme weather, there’s a short window of opportunity in the warmer months to access much of Alaska, meaning high demand for the best places. For all of these reasons, it’s always best to plan ahead.
Our Alaska luxury travel specialists have handpicked the finest wilderness lodges, expert private guides, and standout experiences so as to design a luxury Alaska vacation to remember. From aquamarine glaciers, steep-walled fjords, majestic grizzlies, endless snow-capped mountain ranges, and breaching humpbacks; there’s an abundance of ‘bucket-list’ Alaska experiences spread across a vast geography.
The Harvest in California Wine Country
Around late September, California wine country bustles with energy during the harvest. Vineyards race to pick their grapes at their peak ripeness, the weather begins to cool and the smell of harvest fills the valleys. This is always an exciting time to visit, but is even more so this year considering how COVID closures kept most visitors from enjoying 2020’s season. The already limited rooms at our favorite boltholes, like the Inn at Newport Ranch in Mendocino or Sonoma’s Farmhouse Inn, won’t last long.
Likewise, the harvest being a time of great culinary celebration, tables will quickly fill up at the many acclaimed (and Michelin-starred) restaurants in California’s wine country region. A key part of All Roads North’s trip planning services is making sure you get the reservations you want and we’ll be keeping an eye on openings at legends like Napa Valley’s French Laundry or Sonoma’s SingleThread Farm for those hoping to indulge their taste buds this year.
It’s always a good idea to plan ahead for spring break, but especially this year. Need some inspiration?
Arizona is a beautiful place to visit in the spring, whether finding rest and relaxation amongst the sacred red rocks of Sedona or searching out adventure in the saguaro cactus-studded desert surrounding Tucson. Or, take advantage of the sun and sea in Southern California. From surfing to hiking to fine dining to art exhibits, you’ll never have to suffer a dull moment. For spring breakers looking for a cultural immersion, look no further than New Orleans. Dynamic and diverse, this city is larger than life in almost every area; not least food, music and history.
Blending authentic ranch life with luxury bells and whistles is something that the U.S. does best. From Montana to Arizona, many of our favorite ranches consist of several stand-alone cabins with a main lodge centered in their midst– a setup that COVID made extremely popular due to its inherent socially distanced structure.
Not only the accommodation but also the accompanying activities allow for seclusion. Most luxury ranches, like the Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana or Zapata Ranch in Colorado, offer endless outdoor activities, like horseback riding, fishing and hiking, all from one secluded base.
Whether you are planning to ski in the winter, raft in the summer or hike amongst golden aspen in autumn, mountain towns never go out of season. The difficult decision isn’t deciding if you want to get away for some alpine fresh air, it’s more of a question of where you’ll go. Here are some of our favorites (and the ones that will book up the fastest):
Jackson, Wyoming is a bit of a dichotomy. On one hand, Jackson is an old western town with wooden boardwalks, swinging saloon doors and its signature elk antler arches in the main square. On the other, it’s a chic mountain town that has become a playground for the well-heeled and adventurous. Aspen, Colorado is similar in that way– with perhaps a little more glitz than grit. What most defines Aspen though is its exceptional natural beauty. Walking down Main Street in Telluride, Colorado, you’ll understand why it’s often described as the quintessential mountain town. The spunk of its mining town origins is miraculously preserved and its location nestled in the valley of a box canyon causes just about any angle of the town to be picture perfect. Taos, New Mexico is a mountain town infused with the blend of Mexican, Spanish and Native American culture that New Mexico is known for. It’s rich in cultural experiences and full of adventurous outdoor activities as well.