5 Of The Best Socially Distant Getaways Along The West Coast

Road trips, hiking, wine tasting, and more.

By Jacqueline Parisi

1 September 2020

Not ready to hop on a plane but still looking for adventure? Get outdoors to one of these within-driving-distance US locales—and leave the planning to Journy. When you purchase one of these packages, we'll customize it to you while keeping COVID-19 considerations and safety top of mind.  

1. An epic road trip along California's Pacific Coast Highway

Carmel-by-the-Sea, Cambria, and Malibu

The Pacific Coast Highway, or State Route 1, is one of the country's most epic drives. Each twist and turn reveals an even more impressive ocean view—with the occasional whale sighting if you're lucky. Between each seaside hamlet, you'll find rolling green hills, rugged beaches, and dense forested interiors. While the drive can technically be done in a day, we recommend at least a couple of overnight stops to fully appreciate it. This trip can begin in either Los Angeles or the Bay Area.

View Pacific Coast Highway Sample Itinerary

2. A desert escape to Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park, with optional add-ons to Las Vegas and Death Valley National Park

The high desert, a geographic area including parts of the Mojave Desert, has long held an allure for Southern California residents looking to escape city life. Joshua Tree National Park's unique landscape is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, while the towns of Pioneertown, Yucca Valley, and Twenty-Nine Palms have attracted artists, musicians, actors, and free spirits for decades. But the desert's draws have never been stronger than they are right now—with the sweeping, unpopulated views and room to roam that offer ultimate peace of mind.

From extended hikes among the park's peaks and valleys to sundowners with a view, we'll recommend lodging plus a selection of activities and dining for your high desert hideaway, all up to date with the latest COVID-19 restrictions and regulations.

View Joshua Tree National Park Sample Itinerary

3. A long weekend in the scenic Cascades of Bend, Oregon

Bend, with optional add-ons to Crater Lake National Park or Ashland

With its 300 days of sunshine, Bend has become a beloved escape in the Pacific Northwest—so much so that many visitors ultimately end up moving here. The lush, forested slopes of the Cascade Mountain range to the west have seemingly endless options for hiking, biking, paddling, skiing, and more. In the other direction, the arid Central Oregon desert presents a landscape of an entirely different variety, defined by massive rock formations, sand dunes, and colorful geologic wonders. We'll recommend the best options for activities, dining, and drinking to make the most of your stay.

View Bend, Oregon Sample Itinerary

READ MORE: 17 Eco-Travelers Inspiring The World To Adventure Sustainably

4. A road trip to remember up California's Northern Coast in Mendocino

Mendocino, with optional add-ons to Napa Valley, Eureka, and Redwood National Park

Don't let its small size fool you: Travelers to the tiny coastal town of Mendocino are spoiled for choice. Hike, paddle, or bike? Wine or craft beer? Leave it to us. We'll suggest lodging, dining, and activities for your family-friendly getaway, romantic escape, or friends weekend.

View Mendocino Sample Itinerary

5. A perfect week in the heart of California's wine country

Napa, Sonoma, Healdsburg

Together with Sonoma County, Napa makes up the heartland of California’s iconic wine region. And if the wine and accompanying food aren’t enough of a draw, there’s stunning scenery and ample outdoor adventures to boot—including sun-drenched green hills, rivers, lakes, and mountains. In this week-long itinerary, you'll explore the idyllic region on land, sea, and air as you visit a hand-selected list of our top wineries, bike through the vineyards, marvel at the stunning aerial views from your hot air balloon ride, catch a site of rare river otters on your kayak tour, and so much more.

View California Wine Country Sample Itinerary

Heading to Napa with the little ones? We've got you covered with a full list of kid-friendly restaurants, wineries, hiking trails, museums, day trips, and hotels.