Safest Places to Visit in the US After the Pandemic
The whole world is still reeling from the onslaught of the pandemic in the first quarter of 2020. It changed our perception of a safe place. Suddenly the safest place is not where the crime rate is low and the weather is predictable. It’s not the less treacherous valleys and the absence of roaming wild beasts. The only safe we want to hear: it’s COVID-19 free.
The world suddenly shrank and forced us to the last safe one- our homes. We postponed travel goals, business, and leisure alike. Together we boxed ourselves and wait for things to get back in place. But don’t put off your plans yet. After the pandemic, you will have your chance to explore the world again. This time taking the moment to enjoy life, maybe a bit of sunshine, the waves, fresh air, or mountain breeze. Think about reconnecting with nature to heal your souls after the isolation. Think about the simple pleasures’ nature holds for us humans. But where to?
The United States continues to hold the top spot with a huge number of COVID-19 cases in mid-May. Despite that, there are still places that remain almost untouched by the pandemic. These are not only the safest counties but also the most breathtaking scenic wonders to explore. So grab your passport and head on to these safest places to visit in the US after the pandemic
- Juneau, Alaska. Unwind and explore Alaska’s countless glaciers, fjords, and ice-covered alps. You can visit scenic fjords or inlets via a guided cruise. The most famous is Tracy Arm Fjord that is accessible by a boat. Imagine feasting your eyes in the surrounding alps and passing by the Tongass National Forest that house various wildlife! Hitch a ride in Mount Roberts Tramway to see Alaska from above. It will lead you to restaurants and shops way up in Mount Roberts. Then you can choose to trek your way down for a cool experience. Alaska is not a stereotypical place of ice and permafrost. It is a county rich in national heritage preserved in the Alaska Native Heritage Center. On a side note, who would not love to savor the best salmon Alaska has to offer?
- Oahu, Hawaii. Get your dose of sunshine and fun after the pandemic and experience the idyllic beauty of Hawaii. Waikiki Beach is the famed beachfront that will let you experience the so-called luau, the native way. Bask in the wide stretch of oceanfront to go beaching, surfing, snorkeling, and sailing like no other. Or you can head to the national historic landmark of Pearl Harbor for a glimpse at the bygones of World War II. You can even tour the deck of a historic battleship there!
- Bozeman, Montana. You will be needing fresh air, cool breeze, and adrenaline rush after the isolation. So get your passport ready and reserve a place stay in Montana. Lovers of winter sports swear by its ultimate skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking experience. Big Sky Resort is one of the most active tourist destinations during the ski season because of its wide span of winter alpine. And if you want to just go and spend time with the healing company of nature, go for a hiking trip at Storm Castle Peak for a scenic view of the rolling countryside. Likewise, have a great fishing and hiking adventure in Custer Gallatin National Forest. Stopover by the Montana Grizzly Encounter and learn more about grizzlies and their inspiring backstory.
But wait. You probably know that if you are a foreign national it is tiresome to enter the US territory. You need to allot time in processing documents like visas. You cannot just leave your country without proper authorization. The Customs and Border Protection will make sure of that. But the good news is, VWP or Visa Waiver Program will allow qualified tourists to enter the states even without a visa. They granted some countries the liberty to do so, provided they would get online authorization beforehand. This is through the ESTA travel authorization who will decide on foreigners’ admissibility to the country. So whether you are traveling for business or in this case for leisure, you need to secure an ESTA instead of a visa.
You can Check ESTA status on the US Customs and Border Protection website for detailed information on the process. You will need to present your e-passport and other supporting documents and answer some personal and eligibility information. This is far more convenient than applying for a tourist visa. It will take only about 20 minutes to 72 hours to know if you are good to go. The authorization will be given via email so make sure you have a working one. They have provided the list of payment methods on the website.
The ESTA is valid for up to two years, so you can already start applying before even booking your flight. This is convenient because there might be cases where some applications are disapproved. What happens if you get disapproved? Don’t fret. You can still apply for a tourist visa so you can get to see the safest places to visit in the US after the pandemic.
- Stowe, Vermont. Remember grandma’s picturesque postcards? One is probably Mount Mansfield and the arctic tundra of Vermont. But the county’s name sounds like something else – ice cream! Home to the famous Ben & Jerry’s, you can visit their factory for a guided tour, and of course product sample. Vermont does not only have low COVID-19 cases but also has the lowest crime rate in the United States. On top of that, Vermont has the best ski resorts like Okemo Mountain Resort and Stowe Mountain Resort where you can have a gondola ride. You can also visit the Shelburne museum to discover Vermont’s rich and diverse art and culture.
- Cheyenne, Wyoming. How about a trip to the wild west for rodeos, ranches, and cowboys? Wyoming offers more outdoor adventure in its vast wilds. You can enjoy outdoor fun going camping and hiking in Flaming Gorge or Bridger-Teton National Forest. It also homes the Yellowstone National Park, a park of geothermal wonder with active geysers, and hot springs. Take a side trip to visit the Buffalo Bill Center because, why not?
A string of disasters may make us realize things. But the COVID-19 made us realize more things. We need to take things slow, make time for ourselves, and savor life’s indulgences. So start planning your commune with nature today and get ready to leave town when the pandemic clears away.