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Socially distant adventures on the Carolina coast

By Kylie Ruffino
August 27, 2020
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©Natalia Bratslavsky/Getty Images
From Charleston, SC to Savannah, Georgia, here is a list of great adventures you can go on and still say safe from COVID-19.

It’s that time again. It’s been a week since you’ve left the house and it’s enough stir-crazy between your partner or your kids for a lifetime. Even the dog is sick of you. Here are ten things you can do in an expertly planned one day trip on South Carolina coast. Pack the day full, because even though it’s not a week in Cabo, it will make going home feel relaxing enough to mask the crazy.

Kayaking at Sunrise in Charleston

Plentiful waterways make up the iconic scenery of Charleston. What better way to enjoy what Charleston has to offer while remaining primarily secluded than kayaking at sunrise. Further out of town the top rated company Charleston Outdoor Adventures offers kayaking and paddleboarding to escape the city life. Make online reservations to plan ahead and stay distanced. As always, bring your own sanitizing wipes and sanitizer.


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Breakfast Downtown Charleston

Many of the restaurants in Charleston vary from dine-in to takeout only or closed all together. This is why we recommend heading downtown. This socially distanced option allows you to pick up whatever you want (we recommend Toast! a charleston breakfast hotspot) because there are several great outdoor picnic spots around. Just pick up your tasty treat and find yours. On a slower day mid week, you could even go to Joe Wiley Waterfront Park to find a picnic spot. This park offers a great look into historic Charleston. Cobblestone streets lead you to a scenic fountain and pier. The walk along the way is beautiful too.


South Carolina Aquarium

Get out of the heat, even though it’s morning, don’t doubt the East Coast humidity. The one indoor activity on here features the South Carolina Aquarium who takes social distancing very seriously. They believe “as a scientific organization, it is our duty to keep the health and safety of our guests and staff top priority.” Find more information on their FAQ page about safe visiting. The aquarium requires guests to purchase timed entries online to limit the capacity of visitors and to wear a face mask at all times.


Beach Picnic in Hilton Head

Take the day elsewhere by driving down to Hilton Head. Just two hours away travelers can make it for an afternoon picnic on the beach. On the main beach, many seafood restaurants offer outside seating or takeout. But who wouldn’t want to eat by the waves? All beach access and surrounding recreations restored to normal. For those searching for less crowds, you might have better luck finding a beach access point off of the main.



Rent a Bike in Hilton Head

Just like the Kayaks, make sure you bring hand sanitizing wipes. Even with sanitizing practices of their own, you can never be too careful. The options for rentals seem almost limitless. All across the island visitors can find beach cruisers. Biking around the beaches or the walk ways amongst the trees is a great way to spend the afternoon. You can do this alone or with a small group (we recommend nothing over six). When you get hot or tired, jump in the ocean. When it comes to getting out of the house, nothing beats a little bit of exercise to boost the seratonin.


Golf in Hilton Head

But if biking just isn’t your vibe, then try golfing. This is another outdoor, energy boosting activity with lots of walking and enjoyment (but none of the pedaling). Though, this is a little bit of a pricier option. Tee times run around $100 for the surrounding courses. The most expensive course looks out to the ocean. Golden Bear golf clubs hold one of the highest rating clubs in the area. This sport thrives through social distancing. As you know by now, it’s great as long as you bring some hand sanitizing wipes for the clubs and the cart.


104603214_10108556127533725_2864249938047805959_o.jpg?mtime=20200827111408#asset:108947Sunset in Hilton Head, SC. Photo by Laura Brown

Watch the sunset in Hilton Head

Hilton Head has a plethora of fantastic places to sip a cocktail and watch the sunset. Our favorites are the Skull Creek Boathouse on the north side of the island, and the Sunset Grill on the Western side. The Sunset Grill is an upscale restaurant nestled in the Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort, for the RV enthusiasts.


Margs at the Park in Savannah

Once you’ve finished the afternoon in Hilton Head, drive on down to Savannah. Another short drive away, Savannah brings in visitors all over the state for the simple fact of open carry alcohol. While bars start to open their doors to guests, the numbers are already growing for tourists. If you are really looking for a way to travel away from the crowds, the best option is to head over to Tequila Town, or any other bar, and grab an open cup margarita. Then find yourself a nice, lonely park bench to enjoy it on. The evenings start to cool down and what better way to cap off a day of fun.


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Horse Drawn Carriages in Savannah

Traveling historic Savannah is the second best part to the city, so do it in style. You know, it also keeps you several feet above everyone else (probable a six foot distance if you know what I mean). Horse drawn carriages are back in business and taking riders in fewer quantities with more time in between.


Beach Under the Stars at Tybee Island

Tybee island is a local favorite for anyone in Savannah. The best times to go are for sunrise and the stars. Bring drinks, dessert and a blanket. You’ll find good company among some of the others who come out, but mostly with the crabs. There isn’t much light pollution in Savannah to begin with, but there is hardly any in Tybee. On a clear night, you can see everything and listen to the waves.


Enjoy the Road

Lastly it’s about enjoying the road trip. These days, just getting out of the house is an adventure, even if you spend most of your time in the car listening to your favorite songs driving from place to place. A trip from Charleston to Hilton Head to Savannah might not seem like a typical day trip, but why not rise to the challenge? Where else can you drive in a day?

(P.s. we highly recommend the new Taylor Swift album Folklore for your road trip tunes.)


Kylie Ruffino is a Budget Travel intern for Summer 2020. She is a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

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Explore the Natchez Trace from Tennessee to Mississippi

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Inspiration

The world’s last Blockbuster is available to rent on Airbnb

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Inspiration

Celebrate 100 years of women's suffrage with these monuments

August 18, 2020 marks a century since the ratification of the 19th constitutional amendment granting the right to vote regardless of gender. Since far before and after 1920, women of all backgrounds across the U.S. have been championing civil rights and other issues of the day. While landmarks, monuments and memorials to suffragettes and female civil rights advocates might have limited hours or be inaccessible due to COVID-19 mandates, you could walk or drive past some of them. Here is where to begin: Alabama Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue is along the route of the bus that Rosa Parks would board and refuse to give up her seat to a white man in 1955; a life-size statue of Parks stands there. Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum and Library on Montgomery Street is dedicated to Parks’ action and the subsequent Montgomery Bus Boycott. California In San Diego’s Arts District Liberty Station, the Women’s Museum of California preserves her-story by teaching about various women’s experiences and contributions. Colorado In Denver’s Capitol Hill, the Molly Brown House Museum showcases the famous Titanic survivor who helped to organize the Conference of Great Women in 1914 in Newport, while the Center for Colorado Women’s History tells about this topic through exhibits and lectures. In Colorado Springs, a statue of entertainer and philanthropist Fannie Mae Duncan, who owned and integrated the city’s first jazz club, stands outside the Pikes Peak Center. Connecticut In Canterbury, the Prudence Crandall Museum honors Connecticut’s Official State Heroine who ran a higher education academy for African American women until mob violence forced her school to close. In Hartford, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is where the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” author and activist once lived. 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Kentucky The SEEK Museum in Russellville has put on display a life-size bronze statue of civil rights pioneer Alice Allison Dunnigan – the first female African American admitted to the White House, Congressional and Supreme Court press corps – at a park adjacent to its Payne-Dunnigan house on East 6th Street. In Lexington, at Ashland, the estate of Henry Clay, a marker honors Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, Clay’s great-granddaughter, social reformer and suffragist. Maryland Along the Harriet Tubman Byway, the Bucktown Village Store in Cambridge is where a young Tubman would defy an overseer’s order and was impacted by a resulting head injury. At Historic St. Mary’s City in Southern Maryland, learn about Margaret Brent, an 17th century woman asking the colony’s leaders for voting rights. In Baltimore, the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum was home to this predominant Civil Rights leader and president of the city’s NAACP branch. 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Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn is named for first African American Congresswoman and the first woman and African American to run for president. Ohio An “Ohio Women in History” road itinerary lists eight stops including Oberlin College, which first granted undergrad degrees to women in a co-ed setting, and the Upton House and Women's Suffrage Museum in Warren, which recognizes Ohio suffragists. In Akron, a historical marker for Sojourner's Truth "Ain't I A Woman" speech commemorates where the church she spoke at once stood. Tennessee In Nashville, the Hermitage Hotel was used as a headquarters by suffragists to secure Tennessee’s ratification. Centennial Park is where the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument depicts five suffragists -- Carrie Chapman Catt, Sue Shelton White, J. Frankie Pierce, Anne Dallas Dudley and Abby Crawford Milton. Knoxville’s Tennessee Woman Suffrage Memorial depicts suffragists Lizzie Crozier French of Knoxville, Anne Dallas Dudley of Nashville, and Elizabeth Avery Meriwether of Memphis. Texas In downtown Dallas, Fair Park has a women’s history lesson where the 1893 State Fair featured a woman’s congress of over 300 women. During its 1913-1917 years, the fair’s Suffrage Day had local suffragists coming to promote women’s voting rights. Houston’s Barbara Jordan Park is named for this Civil Rights activist who was both the first African elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first Southern African-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The Christia Adair Park features a mural depicting Adair’s devotion to gaining equal rights for blacks and women. Virginia In downtown Richmond, at Broad and Adams streets, a statue of Maggie L. Walker honors this civil rights activist and entrepreneur. Nearby, Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site represents more about accomplishments, including being the first woman to serve as president of a bank in the U.S. At the Virginia State Capital, the Virginia Women’s Monument features Walker and artist and suffragist Adele Clark among its 12 statues of women from across the Commonwealth. In Richmond’s Capitol Square, Virginia Civil Rights Memorial honors Barbara Johns, a Civil Rights activist led the first non-violent student demonstration in 1951. Wyoming In Laramie, the Wyoming House For Historic Women has an outdoor sculpture of Louisa Swain, who was the first woman to cast a ballot; it’s a block away from where she did that. Then, the Wyoming Women’s Suffrage Pathway includes part of South Pass City; it’s home to Esther Morris, the first woman to serve in the office as Justice of the Peace.

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Explore the Great Outdoors of the Pikes Peak Region

UPDATE 8/4/2020: Colorado Springs says in a press release that they have launched a certification program for local businesses that will comply with COVID protections. You can read more about Colorado Spring's response here: https://www.visitcos.com/coronavirus-colorado-springs/peak-of-safety-pledge/ As our country is on the road to recovery, travel planning has resumed. While the typical summer travel season will look different in the “new norm,” there is still plenty to see and explore while remaining safe.In Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, many businesses and attractions have started to open their doors once again. Whether you’re ready to pack your suitcase or still in the early stages of planning your trip, our guide will ensure you have a fun-filled itinerary and are prepared with all of the info you need to be “Colo-Ready.” Know Before You Go Colorado is currently in a “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors” phase of recovery. It means people are still encouraged to social distance but can recreate and get outdoors responsibly. Each county of Colorado has its own requirements and regulations, so make sure you check with individual counties before you arrive. The Pikes Peak region comprises El Paso, Fremont and Teller counties, each of which may have their own regulations. In Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, we welcome visitors and encourage them all to practice social distancing and respect guidelines of individual businesses. For example, while most municipalities don’t require face masks be worn at all times, we do ask that visitors bring masks with them and wear them 1) If a business requires it 2) If they are indoors where others are congregating and 3) If they are in more crowded outdoor areas. The Pikes Peak region is well positioned for social distancing with plenty of activities to do outdoors, all allowing space from others. If you’re planning to spend time on the beautiful trails and open spaces, make sure to spend a few minutes learning how to Leave No Trace. The Adventure Is You In the Pikes Peak region, you can truly craft your own adventure. From going on a hike to whitewater rafting or sitting on a patio and enjoying a brew – there’s something for everyone. ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS Whether you’re planning a leisurely family weekend or a trip jam-packed with adrenaline-pumping adventure, you can find it in the Pikes Peak region. Check out the recommended attractions and activities below that are now open for business and explore more things to do at VisitCOS.com. Summit Pikes Peak – Nothing says social distancing like heading to the top of one of the state’s 14ers. Hike, bike or drive up Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. At 14,115 feet, the top of the mountain serves breathtaking views of the region. The current Summit House is now open for business, offering summiteers hot coffee, fudge and its world-famous fresh donuts. Explore Garden of the Gods Park – A National Natural Landmark, Garden of the Gods features towering sandstone rock formations framing majestic Pikes Peak. Rent an e-bike, go rock climbing or hike the many trails in the park. Hit the road on a scenic drive – Colorado Springs is a hop, skip and a jump away from plenty of scenic drives. Get your camera ready, check out jaw-dropping gorges and wind your way through mountain ghost towns. Visit the Royal Gorge region – Just an hour outside of Colorado Springs, the Royal Gorge region is full of activities. The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park offers gondolas, ziplines, the Skycoaster, Via Ferrata and suspension bridge. Afterward, you can book a ticket aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad to ride, dine and unwind. Take the family on a Jeep tour – Buckle up and get a taste of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region in the open air. Adventures Out West will take you on a tour through well-known landmarks like Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Canyon and Manitou Springs while you learn about Colorado history. Colorado Jeep Tours in Cañon City offers interpretive tours of the Royal Gorge, Red Canyon and historic mining district of Cripple Creek and Victor. Get your zen on with paddle yoga – Sign up for a paddleboard yoga class. Dragonfly Paddle Yoga offers dynamic, flowing yoga sequences on Monument Lake, Quail Lake and Prospect Lake while following safety precautions and social distancing. Ride the rapids or relax while rafting – Experience a one-of-a-kind rafting adventure with Echo Canyon River Expeditions. With safety guidelines in place, you can enjoy an adventure ranging from extreme white water rafting to calm family floats. Challenge yourself on a rock-climbing adventure – Sign up for a guided climb with Front Range Climbing Company at Garden of the Gods Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space or North Cheyenne Cañon. Learn basic rock-climbing skills or tackle a more expert route. Hike to your heart’s desire – There is no shortage of hiking in the region. Check out the Trails and Open Space Coalition for recommendations of less-crowded trails. From beginner trails to trails that take you all the way up Pikes Peak, there are plenty of options for all explorers. Find additional hiking trails here. LODGING Colorado Springs offers a variety of lodging options from luxury hotels to camping, glamping, cabins and more. Luxury hotel stays Cheyenne Mountain, A Dolce Resort – Experience a luxury, lakeside stay with mountain views, fine dining and spa services. Garden of the Gods Resort and Club – Relax and focus on your wellness at a world-class resort with views overlooking Garden of the Gods Park. Glen Eyrie Castle – Stay the night in a castle situated in the rolling foothills. It’s rich, spiritual history and modern comfort will provide you with a safe haven during your stay. Alternative stays Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort – If you’re planning a trip full of biking and activity, the Bicycle Resort is your base camp for adventure. Located on a designated bike route connecting Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, it’s in close proximity to countless miles of biking trails at the base of Pikes Peak and less than a mile from Garden of the Gods Park. SCP Hotel – Known for its holistic hospitality, SCP stands for “Soul, Community, Planet.” Its hand-crafted venues feature reclaimed wood, living green walls, exposed brick and hand-painted murals, which unite earth-friendly and socially responsible practices. It’s the perfect place to stay for those who value personal wellness, social good and the environment. Timber Lodge Cabins – If you’re looking for a truly Colorado environment, the Timber Lodge is a great option. The charming A-frame cabins are located on the far west side of Colorado Springs, on the border of historic Manitou Springs and only a mile from Old Colorado City. It’s walking distance from the hiking trails of Garden of the Gods Park and Red Rock Open Space. FOOD & DRINK The Pikes Peak region is known for its vast array of food and drink options. Dive into Instagrammable plates and local brews. Bars/breweries The Bench – Enjoy burgers, brews and sports at this charming downtown sports bar. Colorado Mountain Brewery – From starters like fried pickles and brewery pretzels to burgers, pizzas and wraps, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Wash it down with one of the brewery’s flagship beers. Phantom Canyon Brewery – Named after the majestic Phantom Canyon, the brewery offers flagship beers and guest beers along with a full dining menu. The rooftop showcases sweeping views of the city and Rocky Mountains. Home-style restaurants Coquette’s Bistro – Coquette’s is a 100% gluten-free restaurant serving up food, baked goods and cocktails. Located in a cozy corner of downtown Colorado Springs, the spot is convenient for enjoying the city’s atmosphere. Mason Jar – Dive into traditional American specialties like the legendary Chicken Fried Steak and comfort food that never goes out of style. Elevated dining Joseph’s Fine Dining – With 25 years working in many five-star hotels and restaurants, Joseph Freyre’s concept mixes the world of old table side flambé cooking with nouveau cuisine. Experience dishes from escargots to sea scallops and lamb leg steak. The Warehouse – Chef James Africano prepares dishes using only the freshest ingredients and local, in-season products. Try unique plates like pan-seared lamb liver and rabbit carbonara. Cultural cuisine Edelweiss – This authentic German restaurant serves up everything from weinerschnitzels and jagerschnitzels to bratwurst, strudels and sauerbraten. La Casa Fiesta – This family-owned Mexican restaurant is a Monument staple. Enjoy traditional Mexican food with a New Mexican flare. Whether you’re from Colorado or traveling from afar, Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region is an area ripe for exploration. With so many options for exploring outdoors, it’s the perfect trip to start planning now. Get “Colo-Ready” and pack your bags! Budget Travel is working with tourism boards around the USA to highlight destinations that are ready for tourists and can provide safe, socially distant activity.

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