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Nebraska is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, both across the Missouri River; Kansas to the south; Colorado to the southwest; and Wyoming to the west. It is the only triply landlocked U.S. state.
Indigenous peoples, including Omaha, Missouria, Ponca, Pawnee, Otoe, and various branches of the Lakota (Sioux) tribes, lived in the region for thousands of years before European exploration. The state is crossed by many historic trails, including that of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Nebraska's area is just over 77,220 square miles (200,000 km2) with a population of over 1.9 million. Its capital is Lincoln, and its largest city is Omaha, which is on the Missouri River. Nebraska was admitted into the United States in 1867, two years after the end of the American Civil War. The Nebraska Legislature is unlike any other American legislature in that it is unicameral, and its members are elected without any official reference to political party affiliation.
Nebraska is composed of two major land regions: the Dissected Till Plains and the Great Plains. The Dissected Till Plains region consists of gently rolling hills and contains the state's largest cities, Omaha and Lincoln. The Great Plains region, occupying most of western Nebraska, is characterized by treeless prairie. Nebraska has two major climatic zones. The eastern two-thirds of the state has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa); a unique warmer subtype considered "warm-temperate" exists near the southern plains, which is analogous to that in Kansas and Oklahoma, which have a predominantly humid subtropical climate. The Panhandle and adjacent areas bordering Colorado have a primarily semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk). The state has wide variations between winter and summer temperatures, variations that decrease moving south within the state. Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes occur primarily during spring and summer and sometimes in autumn. Chinook wind tends to warm the state significantly in the winter and early spring.
10 budget-friendly adventures across the midwest
Outside exploration close to home became a popular alternative for conventional vacations this year providing a safe and creative chance to rediscover (or even discover for the first time) our own backyards. While travel may look different, there are plenty of safe and distanced ways to find fun and adventure. The Midwest is a treasure trove of unique experiences for every age with a range of exciting opportunities and beautiful landscapes. The Midwest is known for four very distinct seasons and many of the experiences can be enjoyed with a whole new perspective based on season (though some are strictly seasonal) These ten destinations in six Midwest states provide a range of options …from National parks to local U-pick farms, avoiding indoor crowds opting instead for wide open outdoor spaces. 1. Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana. This beach in the middle of the country has a surprising ocean vibe with opportunities to hike, swim, camp, fish, and bird watch. The park offers the “3 dune challenge”, a hike involving a 1.5 mile trail with a 552 vertical feet climb (equivalent of 55 stories) to the 3 highest dunes in the park…through sand!! The views are worth the climb and completion of the hike is an accomplishment in itself. Admission is 7-12$ per vehicle. Starved Rocks State Park, Illinois. Photo by: Vigil Photography. Flickr creative commons license. 2. Matthiessen and Starved Rock State Parks, Illinois. These parks, within a few miles of each other, offer trails that lead to spectacular displays of bluffs and canyons highlighted with scenic overlooks, rock formations and waterfalls. In the summertime, the waterfalls provide a cool respite from the hike and in the winter ice falls form and are climbable. Admission is free. Elephant Rocks State Park. Photo by: Miguel Acosta. Flickr Creative Commons License. 3. Johnson’s Shut Ins and Elephant Rocks State Parks, Missouri. These parks, also within a few miles of each other, are both truly hidden gems. Johnsons Shut Ins is essentially a natural water park with chutes, slides and waterfalls as well as swimming holes and rocks to climb. This adventure is truly one of a kind – a stunning destination to see and experience. Elephant Rocks State Park is made of giant elephantine boulders that are available to climb and explore. The park provides an accessible trail. Both are free. Maquoketa Caves State Park. Photo by: Phil Roeder. Flickr Creative Commons license. 4. Maquoketa Caves State Park, Iowa. A unique park in Iowa with 13 caves suited for different levels of exploration, from caves that are lighted and large enough to walk through on a boardwalk…to small caves well suited for spelunking. The park provides hiking trails through rocky canyons and a spectacular natural bridge. *For added fun, 61 Drive In Theater (just miles from the caves) is a fun way to end the day…a throwback to time gone by, the drive in usually offers current double features, a playground for children before the movie, a concession stand and a train ride. The caves are free. The drive in ranges in price from 7-9$ for children and adults. 5. Drive the Great River Road. A natural scenic byway passing through 10 states along the 3000 mile Mississippi River. In Illinois, a day’s drive might start in the quaint artsy town of Galena to enjoy the vibrant main street shopping and eateries. After which, drive along the river to Palisades State Park to hike the bluffed overlook enjoying the views. Continue with a stop in the Quad Cities, the only place where the mighty Mississippi runs east to west instead of north to south. The Quad Cities are home to John Deere world headquarters and pavilion where construction and agricultural machinery is often available to view on their outdoor terrace. A paddlewheel riverboat cruise is reminiscent of simpler times depicted by Mark Twain in his life and writings on the Mississippi and a perfect way to enjoy the third longest river in the world. End the evening on the sky bridge with a sweet corn flavored ice cream watching the sunset . All free with exception of the cruise (and the ice cream.) 6. Henry Doorly Zoo, Nebraska. This zoo was a wonderful Midwest surprise (similar to the inland beach), as this zoo is constantly ranked as one of the best on the world and is right here in the middle of the country. The zoo has a variety of specialized exhibits including an aquarium, butterfly enclosure and creatures of the night display. The animal population ranges from polar bears and penguins to gorillas, rhinos, elephants, giraffes and mesmerizing jellyfish. Price is $18.95-$25.95 for a child or adult. 7. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. While this one may be more crowded and a bit pricier – it most definitely deserves a spot in the top ten. From idyllic natural scenery to thrilling water adventures, the Dells is a must see destination. Self proclaimed water park capital of the world, the dells offer water sports, waterslides, museums, amusement parks, and the original duck boat ride – which takes passengers from land to sea on the same craft. The majestic scenery of the sandstone bluffs and the opportunity to explore natural beauty of Witches Gulch or Devil’s Lake State Park is not to be missed. Prices vary depending on activity. 8. Monticello Iowa Canoe Company, Iowa For an afternoon of canoeing, kayaking, or tubing down the Maquoketa River through beautiful bluffs – truly a memorable way to enjoy a sunny summer day. The company provides a bus ride or covid friendly van ride for small groups or families to the beginning of the float and collects the rented equipment at the end of the float leaving only relaxation time for the floaters. 3-6 hours float for 15-30$ depending on canoe, kayak, or tube rental. Chestnut Mountain, Galena. Photo by: Alan Light. Flickr Creative Commons license 9. Sky Tours Zipline, Iowa. This most unique adventure combines adventure with history and nature. A guided tour through the ruins of an entertainment venue from the early 1900’s including hiking through the natural overgrowth and nine ziplining opportunities. 74$ for the ziplining tour lasting approximately 2 hours. *To extend the day’s adventures, nearby in Galena Illinois is Chestnut Mountain which is home to one of the Midwest’s “alpine” slides providing approximately 2000 feet of downhill fun! The tri- state views from the top of the mountain are spectacular and the slide is thrilling way to spend an afternoon. Prices are 10$ per ride or multiple ride passes may be purchased too. 10. U-pick farms. An afternoon to relax and enjoy nature’s harvests is a perfect way to pass the day. The farms are local and seasonal but opportunities to spend an afternoon in an orchard or field are plentiful in the Midwest. Options range from picking flowers, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, pumpkins, and even Christmas trees depending on the time of year. The harvests of the day can be enjoyed long after with fresh bouquets, delicious homemade pies and pumpkin carving or the fresh pine smell of a real Christmas tree for the holidays, An afternoon at a local vineyard can be truly heavenly with friends or as a romantic getaway…a time to enjoy this unique time in history secluded with the ones you love. Miss Effie’s Country Flowers – first You pick flower farm in Iowa – Donahue, Iowa. Pride of the Wapsi – Pumpkins and sunflowers Long Grove IA Wilson’s Orchard and Farms (apples) Iowa City Iowa Shady Knoll Pumpkin Patch Moline IL Lakeside Pines (Christmas trees) – Hillsdale IL Galena Cellars – vineyard and winery Galena IL Prices vary
The best books to read in every state in America
As soon as coronavirus arrived in New York City last winter, my brain became a tangle of anxious thoughts, pounding down on my already overtaxed amygdala. I had one salvation: a three-by-two map of America hanging in my living room. While most of my friends set their sights on the Balis and Bermudas of the world, my only travel goal has long been to visit every state in America. Ostensibly, this map’s point was to be the canvas for a smattering of pins until I created a multi-hued distribution upon all 50 sates. In actuality, the point was to accomplish something, to wrangle up America into a palm of pastel thumbtacks, to live a life full of stories. Stories from a life of zigzagging our great terrain this past year, it turned out, would not be in the cards as travel restrictions and lockdowns made all too clear from the outset of this mess. But as I squinted once again at the pin-less sweep of real estate on my wall somewhere between Minnesota and Oregon early last spring, I realized I could still get to work on these travels, if I got a little creative. Thus, my 50 states book project was born, where I embarked on a challenge to read a tome set in every state in the union. I still met people and places and things and disasters and triumphs, but I didn’t rent a car, or hop on a plane, or even scour the internet high and low for Clorox wipes to sanitize my hotel room. Instead, I let William Least Heat-Moon, Bill Bryson, and Paul Theroux lead me on road trips, I hung out with that guy who walked across America, Peter Jenkins, I chased redbirds in Kentucky with Sharon Creech, listened to crawdads singing in North Carolina, and I went on one hell of a bender with Hunter S. Thompson in Vegas. I spent a grand total of $233.96 buying used books on Amazon—less than an average one-night hotel stay in Chicago, mind you. I read classic texts and obscure novels, fiction and nonfiction, humorous and heartbreaking, and it completely changed the way I think about travel. For one thing, given the titles I read, I can now unequivocally say the best adventures are the outdoors ones. My nationwide literary adventure had me walking around my own little nook of a park, Sutton Place Park in Midtown Manhattan, like I was a Thoreauvian naturalist (I’m not sure how he’d feel about the giant neon Pepsi Cola sign across the East River). In lockdowns, these books gave me inspiration to find meaning in the toughest of days knowing that This Too Shall Pass, and the road awaited me. It even helped me feel a little less pissed when my well-intentioned best friend would send me gorgeous mountain-y snapshots from her quarantine castle in the Hudson Valley. After all, I had just gotten back from a whirlwind stint in Iowa. Perhaps counterintuitively, surveying a book from every state in America blurred the lines of my much-loved pushpin map. Alaska was Alabama was Kentucky was Kansas. On page 18 of my Michigan selection, The Deer Camp: A Memoir of a Father, A Family, and the Land That Healed Them by Dean Kuipers, I came across this passage: “The great American anarchist Edward Abbey is probably not a terrific role model for mature relatedness—by all reports, he had prickly relationships with other people and, like Henry David Thoreau, needed the solitude he so extolled. But in Desert Solitaire Abbey addressed that need to confront our position vis-à-vis the nonhuman world…” In a quick swoop of the pen, my Michigan author had referenced my Maine essayist and my Utah wordsmith. We’re all independent, yet linked. Separate, yet dependent. Alone in the woods, yet with your friends on the forest floor. Alaska is Alabama is Kentucky is Kansas. Alabama Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep Cep does a deep dive into Harper Lee’s true-crime book about reverend Willie Maxwell, an alleged serial murderer that never was finished and published. Her portrait of To Kill a Mockingbird’s scribe, Harper Lee, is just as fascinating as the unreal story of Maxwell. Alaska Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer There’s hardly a stretch of 10 pages in this book without creased corners and underlining, in this enthralling account of a renegade college grad who abandons the conventions of traditional life on Alaska’s harsh frontiers. Arizona Arizona Then and Now: People and Places by Karl Mondon By the time I got to my Arizona selection, my eyes had glazed over from so. much. text. Thankfully, this assortment of archival photos from the Jeremy Rowe Collection juxtaposed with modern-day photography from Mondon was exactly what I needed. Nothing will beat the heavenly Grand Canyon, but the main street photos of towns like Bisbee and Winslow really made me nostalgic for wandering a new teeny town’s downtown for the first time. Arkansas Hipbillies: Deep Revolution in the Arkansas Ozarks by Jared M. Phillips Hippies of the Haight-Ashbury variety + backwoods hillbillies = “Hipbillies.” A fascinating perspective on this Southern counterculture from the 1960s and ‘70s, I was intrigued to learn about these back-to-the-landers’ incredible impact on the future of the Ozarks. California The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan Head to San Francisco in this award-winning gem from Tan that also brings you along to China in stories of immigrant Americans, the lives and pain they left behind, and the chapters they’ve built anew. Colorado The Voyeur's Motel by Gay Talese A journalist uncovers a heck of a world after receiving an anonymous letter from a peeping Tom who owns a hotel in Aurora and spies on unknowing guests. It’s creepy, it’s can’t-put-down, and it will definitely have you look around extra carefully after you check into a hotel room. Honorable mention: Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up with Hunter S. Thompson by Juan Thompson Connecticut The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin Well, guess I need to see the 2004 movie starring Nicole Kidman now. Because, wow, what a book: When Joanna arrives in Fairfield County with her husband and kiddos from New York City an American horror classic ensues, from the same author as Rosemary’s Baby. Delaware And Never Let Her Go: Thomas Capano: The Deadly Seducer by Ann Rule This book has something for every kind of reader, true crime, politics, superb research, psychological nuances...the list goes on and on. You’ll stay up way past your bedtime finishing this one. Florida Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh Woman decamps from her busy life and heads to Captiva Island, off the coast of Fort Myers. Woman picks up various seashells and uses them as metaphors to reflect on life: work, relationships, struggles, joys. Turns out said woman is married to a Nazi (see: New Jersey), which ruins this poetic, rhythmic philosophical missive for me. Georgia Between Georgia Torn between two families, a husband and a best friend love interest, the tension is palpable in this Southern Drama with a capital D. As one reader referenced in the Amazon reviews, the saying "We don't hide crazy in this family. We sit it down on the front porch and give it a cocktail” was just made for this book. Hawaii The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings You know a book is that good, when the George Clooney movie version doesn’t even hold a candle to it. There’s a wife in a coma and her extramarital affair, a husband forced to reckon with raising his two daughters alone and being heir to a ton of primo real estate, and so much more that will leave you unable to think about anything else for a couple of days. Idaho Idaho by Emily Ruskovich I’ll be the first to admit I picked this book up for the eye-catching floral design on the cover, but I couldn’t put it down for the pathos bleeding through every page. When a mother kills her child, so much more crumbles and is lost, but the beauty here is in all that is found, practically, philosophically, and otherwise. Illinois Searching for John Hughes by Jason Diamond When I was an editor at Men’s Journal in 2016, I sat in the cubicle next to Mr. Diamond (remember these things called offices) and this book encpatures so much of who he is: wise, writerly, idiosyncratic, and a touch grumpy. Enjoy the ride as he commences a quest for the filmmaker behind Home Alone, Sixteen Candles, and National Lampoon’s Vacation. Indiana The Fault In Our Stars by John Green I’m still crying, but to be fair, how could you not be crying after reading this novel about two kids who love like there are thousands of tomorrows despite the terminal cancer diagnoses with which they’re both reckoning. Iowa The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson 1950s-era Iowa is brought to life in this oft humorous memoir from the beloved travel writer. It really made this New York City kid feel like she was missing out on a quintessential childhood experience by never having attended a county fair. Kansas In Cold Blood by Truman Capote A true crime classic that revolves around the brutal slaying of four family members in a small town in Western Kansas and the detective work that ensues. The book was praised for utilizing novelistic techniques to describe the characters and their feelings, a trailblazer for the nonfiction genre. Kentucky Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech Lockdowns have had me returning to tween books (don’t judge me), and I don’t regret the walk down memory lane in the least, especially in the company of the protagonist Zinny. The industrious youngster sets out into the woods and grapples with grief, blossoming love interests, and frustrating family dynamics along the way. Don’t we all? Louisiana Magic City by Yusef Komunyakaa Step inside 1950s Louisiana in Komunyakaa’s hometown of rural Bogalusa in this harrowing collection of poems. Within, the talented poet tackles racism, sexuality, and economic inequalities with a swift, vivid hand. Maine The Maine Woods by Henry Thoreau What I would give to escape this city jungle and take a walk in the Maine woods right about now. Thankfully, Thoreau’s quintessential naturalist account of three trips into the rugged woods with philosophical musings intertwined with the detailed physical descriptions of all that Thoreau witnesses. Pretty foreboding for the mid1800s: “the mission of men there seems to be, like so many busy demons, to drive the forest out of the country.” Maryland Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler Admittedly, I picked up this book because there was a tantalizing slice of pie on the cover. But I’m glad I did: Follow along for all that unfolds as one grieving Baltimore family learn about long-hidden truths and struggles to cope. Massachusetts Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom I mean, what can I say about Tuesdays with Morrie? In this blockbuster memoir-cum-biography, a journalist visits his beloved former college professor at home as he dies of ALS. A five-star book (albeit, with some four-star writing). A beautiful biography of a life well lived, and a workaholic writer who’s outlook is changed because of his inspiring teacher’s example. Michigan The Deer Camp: A Memoir of a Father, A Family, and the Land That Healed Them by Dean Kuipers It was easy to fall in love with Kuipers’ elegant prose in a story about an estranged father and his three sons and what happens when said absent dad tries to make amends after buying 100 acres of hunting property in middle-of-nowhere Michigan. It’s a memoir I know I’ll be recommending for years to come. Minnesota Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich I had picked this book up because I was supposed to gather with a crowd of hundreds to see Erdrich speak at the 92nd Street Y this past month. Needless to say, that blessed packed auditorium never came to fruition, but I’m glad I still devoured this spooky, powerful account of a pregnant woman in a world where expecting mothers are held captive in hospitals. Honorable mentions: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen; The Good Girl by Mary Kubica Mississippi The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner I did it. I read a full Faulkner book. And while I probably would have understood more about this Deep South family and Dilsey, their black servant, had I read the SparkNotes, if only for the occasional heart-stopping quote like “Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.” Missouri The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States by Walter Johnson This Missouri native and now Harvard professor captures the oft overlooked history of St. Louis, tracing the city from Lewis and Clark’s 1804 expedition to modern times, with moving examples in each chapter. It’s a tough look at racism in our country from centuries past to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014, but a look well worth taking. Montana A River Runs Through It and Other Stories by Norman Maclean So far, I’ve lost one friend to Big Sky Country since lockdowns commenced, and I can now totally appreciate why. Penned by a retired English professor who commenced his fiction career at 70, this novella and accompanying short stories will have you eager to fly-cast and play cribbage amidst a backdrop of trout streams, drunkards, and whores (maybe not the whores). Nebraska The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert Venture to the 1898 Omaha World's Fair – filled with sinners and saints – as one ventriloquist stumbles upon a new love. The book has burlesque dancers, snake oil salesmen, and plenty of wild west drama and romance. In these strange times, what more could you want? Nevada Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson Like The Plot Against America (see: New Jersey) I didn’t think this stream of conscious book would be for me, so I was amazed that I polished it off in three evening reading sessions. Vegas is wild, life is wild, and it’s all gravy baby in this fast-paced (psychedelic) trip. New Hampshire Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving If this doesn’t make you want to traipse around New Hampshire (minus an accidental murder and an unfortunate sheriff), I don’t know what will. The inventive novel takes detours to Iowa, Vermont, and more, as you get to know three generations of men and a rotating cast of women and feel particularly drawn to say goodbye to your smartphone for a while and retreat to 1950s Coos County, New Hampshire. New Jersey The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth In this lengthy novel, Roth reimagines a world in which Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh is President, creating fantasized historical fiction that has striking parallels to today’s dystopian America. The book focuses on Philip’s upbringing in Newark in the 1940s in a tight-knit Jewish community, with a brother desperate to leave and a cousin returning home from World War II missing a leg. Overall, this book a nice reminder for me that reading beyond your typical wheelhouse pays dividends. Check out the miniseries on HBO Max after you’re done. Honorable mention: Shore Stories: An Anthology Of The Jersey Shore by Richard Youmans (Editor) New Mexico House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday After I told a friend in California about my little project, I was touched when this book arrived in my mailbox a few days later. This Pulitzer Prize novel by esteemed Kiowa journalist moved me in all the right ways during such a time of turmoil with the unforgettable Abel, a Native American man who returns to his reservation after fighting in World War II. New York The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger In a time when it was easy to forget New York City’s boisterous splendor, it was comfort food to cavort around famed landmarks and reconvene with old Phoebs, Holden, and even pimply Ackley. As for “those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South,” I’m pleased to report they appear to be COVID-free and frolicking about even as hell and temperatures freeze over. Honorable mentions: A Walker in the City by Alfred Kazin; Here Is New York by E.B. White; Manhattan’45 by Jan Morris; An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena; The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America by Russell Shorto North Carolina Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens A haunting murder story with unforgettable characters, a moving love story, and evocative descriptions of nature’s wonders, all set in the marshlands of the Old North State. North Dakota The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown by Blaire Briody Part culture analysis, part travelogue, this book about the oil biz delivers on the premise of its title — especially on the wild front. Ohio Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance From page one to the end, try putting this book down as it simply yet poignantly captures the realities of growing up in a family riddled with addiction and drama. P.S. If you watched the stekkar new Netflix flick, you’ll definitely appreciate reading the original memoir. Oklahoma A Map of Tulsa by Benjamin Lytal Dubbed “a love letter to a classic American city,” this love story in a Tulsa that straddles the line between dusty and sparkling is unlike any other you’ve ever read. Oregon Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed Okay, so it also covers California and Washington, but since the author lives in Portland, we’ll give this unique, achingly beautiful memoir to her stomping grounds. Chronicling one woman’s quest to hike the PCT in the cradle of grief, this memoir will change your outlook on everything from nature to family. P.S. Reese Witherspoon stars in the 2014 movie adaptation. Pennsylvania Rabbit, Run by John Updike This was the first Updike book I read, but it won’t be the last. I think one Goodreads reviewer nailed it: “Have you ever seen something noted because it is a representation of a specific thing? For example, a building might be marked with a plaque as a perfect representation of a type of architecture. Well, this book should be marked with a plaque as a perfect prose example of America in the late 50s/early 60s.” It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t progressive in its treatment of women, but man was it enthralling. Rhode Island The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore Get to know Anthony, Joy, and Lu, three strangers whose lives become intertwined on Little Rhody’s picturesque Block Island. They may call it a summer beach read, but I call it cozy quarantine perfection. South Carolina The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank Set in Georgia and South Carolina, its a low-country love story that will leave you feeling Hallmark movie good. Also, the descriptions of towering trees, Sullivan’s Island, and Charleston restaurants, will help you indulge the armchair traveling spirit we all need right now. South Dakota Deadwood by Pete Dexter When the going gets tough, the tough head to Deadwood...at least in the 1870s if you’re Wild Bill Hickok or Calamity Jane. Expect searing grit. Booze, sex, betrayal, and murder in an action-packed work of fiction you won’t soon forget. Tennessee Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver A searing fictional narrative that grapples with the effects of climate change and draws you into the world of a young woman living on a farm in an isolated sliver of Tennessee. If you’re a lover of the mystical monarch butterflies, this is definitely for you. Texas God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright Diverse chapters covering everything from hurricanes and guns to music and Texan heroes, get a taste of this big, beautiful, and oft contradictory state. (Which, by the way, is so much more than Austin) Utah Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey This best-seller reminded me of the understated, almost eerie grandeur of Utah (I once took a SUP yoga class in thermal waters within the Homestead Crater, a 10,000-year-old crater, about a half-hour outside of Park City, if that’s not enough trendy activities rolled int one) — and had me itching to return. Through Abbey’s elegiac prose, sourced from journals and reflections of his time spent as a ranger at Arches National Park outside Moab, you’ll yearn for the day when you can visit all of the natural wonders he describes for yourself, and with new eyes. Vermont Stranger in the Kingdom by Frank Mosher It’s a real treat to get lost in fictional Kingdom County, Vermont, in this tale that centers around a small town, a murder, and life in New England. Dealing with difficult themes like racism, Mosher manages to weave in humor and moral lessons without being preachy. Virginia The Jezebel Remedy by Martin Clark What happens when a married couple who are partners in law in a small Virginia town encounter a mysterious death of their most eccentric clients will leave you surprised at each twist and turn. One of my first quarantine reads last spring, it’s a veritable page-turner and welcome distraction from the relentless news cycle. Washington Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (Spoiler alert!) The last line of this courtroom drama regarding a case of a drowned fisherman on remote San Piedro Island was well worth slogging through the entire book for me: “Accident ruled every corner of the universe except the chambers of the human heart.” West Virginia Last Mountain Dancer: Hard-Earned Lessons in Love, Loss, and Honky-Tonk Outlaw Life by Chuck Kinder This Goodreads review just about summed it up: “At turns uproariously funny and break-my-goddamn-heart sad, Last Mountain Dancer started off good and ended even better, set in a world where Hank Williams occupies the same spiritual space as the ubiquitous Jaaaaaysus.” Suffice to say, I’m looking forward to the day when I get to visit these country roads for myself. Wisconsin Population: 485 — Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time by Michael Perry I’ve visited my fair share small towns in Wisconsin like outdoorsy Door County’s fly-speck gem, Sister Bay, and Elkhorn to see the Dave Matthews Band play the much-hyped amphitheater that is Alpine Valley, but I’ve never ventured to one quite like Perry’s hometown of New Auburn, rendered beautifully in this unforgettable memoir. Wyoming Wrapped and Strapped by Lorelei James I like Harlequin romance novels, so shoot me. Hippie vegetarian meets hunky cattle farmer in a raunchy stint at the ole Split Rock Ranch and Resort in this “Blacktop Cowboys” series mass market paperback hit. Now I definitely want to visit Wyoming for the, um, scenery.
19 Romantic Staycation Ideas for Valentine's Day Weekend
As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, hotels and destinations around the U.S. have been doing their best to reopen safely, initiating strict health and safety protocols and updates like contactless check-in to help restore confidence in travel among visitors and keep employees safe. Valentine’s Day is happening during a long weekend this year, making it a great time to escape with your beloved to a remote cabin in the woods or try a romantic staycation closer to home. According to a recent study by vacation rental search engine HomeToGo, U.S. travelers are booking Valentine’s Day weekend vacations 48% more than they did last year, prioritizing trips to remote cabins and rural destinations over busy cities. Searches have increased the most for rentals in the Adirondack Mountains and Windham in New York, Joshua Tree National Park in California, Banner Elk in North Carolina, Captiva Island and Anna Maria Island in Florida, Aspen and Colorado Springs in Colorado, Big Sky in Montana and the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, with travelers requesting whirlpools, Wi-Fi and pet-friendly perks as top amenities. For those willing to wear a mask, practice social distancing and follow the rules in the places they visit, there are plenty of affordable romantic packages to be had. Here’s a look at 19 of our favorites, all available for under $220 a night. Maine In South Berwick, The Stage House Inn’s romance package includes a $100 credit at its onsite restaurant Dufour, a bottle of prosecco and homemade truffles to enjoy during your stay. Rates from $199 a night when you book by calling (207) 704-0516 and stay between February 11 and March 13, 2021. Rhode Island Hotel Viking in Newport wants you to celebrate the good times with a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine and breakfast for two at One Bellevue Restaurant. Rates start at $199 a night when you book through this link. Virginia Just 20 minutes from Washington, D.C, Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria’s Valentine’s Day package comes with locally made treats like a cocoa mask kit for two and two Bailey’s chocolate mousse cheesecakes from the Alexandria Makers Market. Rates start at $179 a night and include late 2 p.m. check-out. Northern Virginia is also a great place for day trips to local wineries, with most sporting socially distanced seating with heaters and fire pits for you and your beloved to cozy up next to as you sip locally made wine. Stop by Cana Vineyards & Winery in Middleburg, Cave Ridge Vineyard & Winery in Mount Jackson, Barren Ridge Vineyards in Fishersville, Potomac Point Winery & Vineyard in Stafford, Montifalco Vineyard in Ruckersville, Valley Road Vineyards in Afton or King Family Vineyard in Crozet — all within a 2.5-hour drive of Washington D.C. North Carolina Calling all Nicholas Sparks fans: Get ready to geek out in Beaufort — where two of his novels, A Walk to Remember and The Choice were set — with Beaufort Hotel’s A Ride to Remember package. In addition to a one-night stay, you’ll get a special keepsake and two tickets to the Ride to Remember guided bike tour of Beaufort. Use promo code PRIDE to unlock rates from $169 a night. Florida Celebrate Valentine’s Day all month long at Plunge Beach Resort, located in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea about 45 minutes north of Miami. As part of the romance package, you’ll get a free bottle of Champagne and a $30 breakfast credit to use at one of the resort’s onsite restaurants, with rates from $179 a night in February. Tennessee Bode’s Valentine’s Day promotion includes a 14% discount and a complimentary bottle of prosecco when you book a night at either of its two Tennessee properties now thru February 15, 2021. Rates start at $171 a night at Bode Nashville and $111 a night at Bode Chattanooga with promo code BEMINE. Texas In Austin, Lone Star Court’s retro-style Valentine package comes with complimentary Wi-Fi and parking, a bottle of bubbly and a special kit so you can create your own s’mores by one of the onsite fire pits. Rates from $144 per night. With rates from $149 a night, Hyatt Regency Houston’s romance package treats guests to a bottle of Champagne and chocolates upon arrival, complimentary parking and late 2 p.m. check-out. Call (713) 654-1234 or choose the romance package offer when booking this deal online. Le Meridien Houston Downtown’s Better Together package is bookable for Friday and Saturday stays only, making it the perfect excuse to plan a romantic night in. You’ll get a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine, late check-out, VIP access to the rooftop bar, Z on 23, and two house cocktails, with rates from $204 per night. The Westin Stonebriar in Frisco, about a 30-minute drive from Dallas, treats guests to sparkling wine and gourmet chocolates, late check-out and a romantic four-course dinner for two at its restaurant, Herd & Hearth, as part of its Retreat to Romance package. Rates from $209 per night for stays February 12-14, 2021. About 90 minutes from Dallas, head to East Texas for a romantic and socially distanced stroll at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, home to 14 acres and 35,000 rose bushes sporting over 500 varieties of roses. Afterward, drive 40 minutes south to Jacksonville for a romantic retreat at Hotel Ritual and Wellness Center, with rates from $150 a night and all-inclusive amenities like complimentary cocktails, daily gourmet breakfast, spa pools (treatments are extra), sauna access and free snacks, coffee and tea all day long. New Mexico Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a complimentary bottle of bubbly at El Rey Court in Santa Fe when you stay between February 11-15, 2021. Use promo code HEART to unlock rates from $150 per night. Missouri St. Louis is the place to be Valentine’s Day weekend, with a socially distanced jazz extravaganza at BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups on February 13 (tickets from $20) and a special Valentine’s dinner at Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn February 11–13. Spend a romantic — and potentially haunted — night at the Inn, with rates from $150 a night Sunday thru Thursday and from $205 a night Friday and Saturday. Wisconsin If a romantic cabin in the woods is more your style, the following are all located within a 90-minute drive of Madison, with a two-night minimum stay required. In Platteville, Walnut Ridge is home to two luxury log cabins, each with a perfectly placed whirlpool spa by the fire and rates from $150 to $170 per night. Rustic Ridge Log Cabins in Merrimac offers five upscale and spacious log cabins with Wi-Fi, fireplaces and in some, Jacuzzis so the two of you can spend some much-needed alone time in Wisconsin wilderness. Seasonal rates from $219 a night thru March 2, then from $199 a night thru May 4. In Oxford, escape to A Secret Cottage for a romantic stay in the country with a private lake, whirlpool tub, fireplace, spacious front porch, fully stocked kitchen and a skylight upstairs so you can snuggle under the stars. Rates on Friday, Saturday and holidays start at $155 a night, while they’re from $150 a night for Sunday through Thursday stays. Nebraska You really can’t get more romantic than celebrating Valentine’s Day in an actual town called Valentine. If you’re up for a drive, Heartland Elk Ranch — located about five hours from Omaha in the north-central part of the state — is home to four beautifully furnished cabins close to hiking trails and stocked fishing ponds, as well as a herd of 50-75 elk that roams the area freely. Enjoy views of the Niobrara National Scenic River, with rates from $155 a night Monday thru Thursday and from $165 a night Friday thru Sunday and on holidays. In Omaha, celebrate your love at the same hotel John and Jackie Kennedy once visited for their 5th year anniversary, the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel, formerly known as the Blackstone Hotel. Its Love is All Around Us package gives guests a special amenity, valet parking, two tickets to redeem for free wine or tea at the Fontenelle Room and a complimentary yoga class in the Gold Coast Ballroom if you’re there on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
Look up tonight! Northern Lights expected in Northern USA
The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has put out a geomagnetic storm watch for December 9-11, 2020. The storm should make the Northern Lights viewable across a large swath of the Northern United States. The forecast is the largest Coronary Mass Ejection (CME) of 2020. States that will likely be able to see the Northern Lights are Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. For the best viewing, find a dark, clear night and turn off all lights. According to the SWPC: "Geomagnetic Storm Watches are in effect from December 9th - 11th, 2020 due to anticipated CME effects. The CME occurred on December 7th, and was associated with a C7 flare from Region 2790. Analysis suggests CME arrival possible late on 9 December, initially resulting in G1 (Minor) storm levels. As CME effects continue, activity is likely to increase, especially if the magnetic field carried with the CME connects well with Earth's magnetosphere. Therefore, the potential for strong storm levels exists and a G3 (Strong) Watch is in effect for December 10th. CME-related disturbances are forecast to continue into 11 December, likely resulting in G2 (Moderate) storm levels - and another Watch has been issued accordingly. While SWPC forecasters are fairly confident in CME arrival at Earth, timing and geomagnetic storm intensity are less certain. Continue to monitor our SWPC webpage for the latest conditions and forecast."
What countries can US travelers visit right now?
Editor's Note: This list was updated on October 20, 2020. Please check specific country sites for the most updated information before booking travel. In August, the department returned to its previous system of "country-specific levels of travel advice", which means it's back to rating individual countries from levels 1-4 based on their current health and security situations. The decision was made in line with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and advisories are updated regularly as situations evolve quickly. But despite the removal of the sweeping travel ban, the department warns: "we continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic." Canada and much of Europe, Asia and Oceania are pretty much off-limits to US travelers. But in recent weeks some countries have begun to relax their border restrictions and are now allowing US citizens to enter provided they follow the public health guidelines of the local authorities. Travelers are also encouraged to download the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive travel and emergency alerts. If you do plan to travel, below is a list of where you can go now. But it's important to note this is not a complete list and rules are quickly changing. Albania US travelers can visit Albania without the need to quarantine or prevent a negative COVID-19 test result, but they will be required to submit to health screening at the airport. "Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice," the state department warns. Anguilla Travelers must pre-register their visit on the country's tourism board website and present proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken no more than five days before travel. The British Overseas Territory is currently accepting online applications for visitors who would like to work remotely with new visa programs. See more here. Antigua and Barbuda US travelers must "present a negative Covid-19-RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven days of their flight." See more here. Armenia Armenia is open to US travelers who take a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival or self-isolate for 14 days. Aruba Aruba is open to US travelers but they must be tested at the airport and provide requisite insurance coverage. Starting from September 24, travelers from Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Virginia, states deemed high-risk, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 result from a test taken between 12 and 72 hours before flying. The list of states who have to undergo enhanced testing is updated regularly. Aruba has also introduced the "One Happy Workation" program, which allows visitors to stay for a maximum of 90 days, and offers a series of deals and discounted rates at local accommodations. The Bahamas US visitors must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. They also must adhere to the country's safety protocols which include presenting a "COVID-19-PCR Negative (Swab) Test" taken no more than 10 days prior to the date of arrival. See more here. Bangladesh Bangladesh is open to US travelers but they must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours before travel and self-isolate for 14 days, even with a negative test result. Coast of the Carribean Sea in Bridgetown ©Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock Barbados See Barbados' requirements here. Belarus Despite widespread mass demonstrations, US citizens can visit Belarus without any restrictions. Health screenings are in place at airports. Bermuda See Bermuda's requirements here. Cambodia Cambodia is open to visitors provided they pay a $3000 deposit by cash or credit card for “COVID-19 service charges” at the airport upon arrival, and have $50,000 of travel insurance cover. Colombia International flights between Colombia and the US resumed on Monday with incoming passengers required to present a negative COVID-19 test result. Costa Rica Costa Rica initially opened to residents from just eight US states in September but will increase that to all US residents by Novmber. Tourists must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, taken no more than 72 hours before their trip. See full requirements here. Croatia is one of the few countries in Europe that is open to US travelers ©Marcin Krzyzak/Shutterstock Croatia US travelers can visit Croatia, provided they they hold evidence of paid accommodation in the country. Travelers must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of arriving in Croatia. If they don't have that, they must undergo a mandatory quarantine/self-isolation period of 14 days upon arrival in the country. Curaçao Th Dutch Caribbean island will open to residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from November, with more states to follow. Tourists from these states must present their driver's licence or state ID at the borders as proof of residence and present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result. See full requirements here. Dominica See Dominica's requirements here. Dominican Republic In August, the Dominican Republic introduced free COVID-19 insurance for travelers, including US citizens, and dropped mass testing at the borders. See more here. Ecuador US travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 10 days ahead of travel, or get tested upon arrival and quarantine while awaiting results. If traveling on to the The Galápagos Islands, travelers must take another COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours of arriving into Ecuador. Egypt Travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no later than 72 hours before arrival. Travelers must present paper copies of the test result, digital copies will not be accepted. Temples, archaeological sites, and museums are open to tourists. Ethiopia All visitors must present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight in addition to completing a 14-day quarantine upon their arrival. French Polynesia Travellers must have a COVID-19 test 72 hours before the departure to French Polynesia, and international travel insurance is compulsory for every non-resident visitor Ghana US citizens must present a negative COVID-19 test result from a test conducted no more than 72 hours before travel. Health screenings are in place in airports, and travelers must also undergo a second COVID-19 test upon arrival at a cost of $150 per person. The fee must be paid online and passengers must present proof of payment prior to boarding, according to the US Embassy. Grenada The Spice Island is open to US tourists but has some requirements: visitors must present a recent negative COVID-19 test result; book a minimum of four-day reservation at approved accommodation for observation and quarantine, and undergo a second test after quarantine to travel the island. See more here. Great Sphinx of Giza with the Great Pyramid of Giza. ©Anton Belo/Shutterstock Haiti All international visitors to the country must declare their COVID-19 status via an incoming flight form, will get temperature screened upon arrival and are required to quarantine for 14 days. Honduras Incoming travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. Ireland US travelers can visit the country but nonessential travelers are asked to quarantine for 14 days and fill in a form indicating where they will stay for the duration of that time. The US Embassy in Ireland notes travelers should "restrict their movements" and "be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice." Due to a surge in coronavirus cases, Dublin is on Level Three of the country's five-level COVID-19 plan until October 9: restaurants and pubs are closed except for takeaway and outdoor service; museums, galleries and libraries are closed and nonessential travel is banned in the capital. The full details of the additional restrictions are available here Jamaica See Jamaica's requirements here. Kenya Travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken no later than 96 hours before arrival and undergo health screening. A nightly curfew is in place from 9pm until 4am and there are restrictions on interstate travel. Water bungalows at Maldives ©haveseen/Shutterstock Maldives Incoming travelers present a with a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival. Montenegro US citizens must present a negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours on arrival, or a positive antibody test result and undergo health screening at the airport. According to the US Embassy in Montenegro, travelers must not have stopped, nor transited through, countries that are not permitted to enter Montenegro within the previous 15 days. Morocco Morocco is open to travelers who have confirmed hotel reservations. Visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 test that’s no more than 48 hours old upon arrival. Heavily touristed cities, including Marrakesh, Fez, Casablanca and Tangier, are still under a strict lockdown that started at the end of July and is in place until further notice. Mexico Land crossings between the US and Mexico are closed until October 21 but visitors can arrive by plane. However, the CDC currently recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to Mexico as the COVID-19 risk there remains high in places such as Colima, Nuevo León, Nayarit, Mexico City and Baja California Sur. Tourists may be subject to health screenings at airports. Namibia Namibia requires visitors to present a recent negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival, and undergo a second test five days later. Safari parks are open in Rwanda ©Goran Bogicevic/Shutterstock Rwanda Travelers must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate for a test taken no more than 120 hours before their initial flight. The US Embassy recommends that travelers carry a printed copy of their negative test results "during all legs of their flights to Rwanda." They must also take a second test and quarantine in a designated hotel for approximately 24 hours while awaiting their results. St Bart's See St Bart's requirements here. St Lucia See St Lucia's requirements here. St Maarten See St Maarten's requirements here. Serbia Serbia is open to US citizens but they must fill out on online health assessment before traveling and a second assessment 10 days into their trip. St Vincent and the Grenadines Travelers who arrive in the country must sign a Pre-Arrival Form. All travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within five days prior to travel. They will also need to quarantine in an approved hotel for five days and undergo a second test on the fifth day. South Korea US citizens must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine when entering South Korea. The US Embassy advises that travelers will also experience "some combination of temperature screening, health questionnaires, and/or COVID-tests." All arriving passengers are required to download and respond to daily questions through the Self-Diagnosis Mobile App for 14 days. Tanzania Travelers must provide a negative test result for COVID-19 upon arrival and may be subject to health screening. View of Galata Tower, Galata Bridge in Karakoy quarter of Istanbul ©vovik_mar/Getty Images Turkey Travelers arriving in Turkey will be required to complete an information form and will be checked for symptoms. Anyone suspected of having COVID-19 will be transported to a hospital for examination. Curfews remain in place in some areas but these do not apply to foreign tourists though the US Embassy warns "local authorities may put in place additional COVID-19 restrictions, including curfews, with little or no advance notice." Turks and Caicos See Turks and Caicos' requirements here. Uganda Passengers must arrive with a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate for a test conducted within 72 hours prior to arrival in Uganda, and undergo a health screening upon arrival, including a temperature check and assessment for other signs or symptoms. In its commitment to keep people safe, Uganda has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels Global Safety & Hygiene Stamp for complying with enhanced health and safety rules. See full requirements here. United Arab Emirates In Dubai, visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result, taken within 96 hours of arrival, and have medical travel insurance to cover any illness-related expenses. While in Abu Dhabi the rules are more strict; visitors are required to quarantine for 14 days and wear an electronic wristband to ensure quarantine adherence, in addition to providing a negative test result. United Kingdom US citizens arriving into the UK are required to self-isolate for 14 days. There are fears that a second wave is incoming due to a recent surge in new daily coronavirus infections. As a result, new regional lockdown measures have been applied across the country. This article was first published on September 22 and updated on October 20, 2020.
A state-by-state guide to travel restrictions in the US
If you’re planning to travel between states for a vacation or a short trip, the situation is constantly changing, so it's best to check all local travel advisories before packing your bags. Editor's note: This story was last updated on November 2, 2020. We will update this piece regularly to stay on top of the latest travel advice. Alabama As of November 2, Alabama has no statewide restrictions on travel. According to the governor’s most recent coronavirus-related state of emergency proclamation, issued September 30, masks, social distancing, and other measures are required. Visit the Alabama Tourism Department’s website for updates. Alaska As of August 11, non-residents arriving from out of state must submit a travel declaration form and self-isolation plan to the Alaska travel portal, and either arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before departure or submit to a test upon arrival, which costs $250 and mandates a quarantine until the results are in. Negative pre-arrival test results can be uploaded to the portal in advance, and travelers awaiting their results can upload proof that they’ve taken the test as well, though they’ll have to quarantine in the meantime. Residents of Alaska returning from another state or country must also follow the steps above, but they can either receive a free COVID-19 test upon arrival and self-quarantine until their results arrive, or skip straight to the self-quarantine – either for 14 days or the duration of their trip, whichever is shorter. See the state’s Safe Travels hub for further details. Arizona As of November 2, there are no travel restrictions for individuals traveling to or through Arizona. Check with the Arizona Office of Tourism for updates. Arkansas As of November 2, Arkansas “encourage[s] potential travelers to assess their own health risks before traveling,” but no overarching guidelines are in place. The state’s Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism has updates. California California’s government is currently discouraging long-distance leisure travel to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but as of November, there are no restrictions on entering from another US state. Travelers are asked to wear a mask in public, keep 6ft away from anyone not in their household, check on local health guidance at all points along their itinerary from start to finish, and refrain from traveling if they’ve been sick in the past 14 days or live with someone with COVID-19. Check Visit California for travel alerts and updates. Colorado As of November 2, Colorado has a statewide mask mandate that requires face coverings be worn indoors and, in some areas, outdoors as well when social distancing isn’t possible. There are no restrictions on travel to the state at this time, but the Colorado Tourism Office has updates and details. Connecticut As part of a joint travel advisory issued with New York and New Jersey, anyone arriving in Connecticut from a state with a positive coronavirus test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average, must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. There are 41 states on the list as of October 27, and anyone entering from one of them must fill out a travel health form online or upon arrival, including returning citizens. Connecticut’s official state website has more details. Delaware As of November 2, Delaware has no statewide travel restrictions in place, but social distancing is in effect and masks are required in all public spaces, including parks and boardwalks, and highly encouraged on beaches as well. See the Delaware Tourism Office’s website for information and updates. Florida As of November 2, Florida has no travel restrictions in place, but the health department advises that crowds, closed spaces, close contact, and gatherings of more than 10 people should be avoided, and face coverings should be worn when social distancing isn’t possible. The state’s COVID-19 response site has more details. Georgia As of November 2, there are no restrictions for travel to, from, or within Georgia, though social distancing, sanitation, and public health safety measures are in place and local restrictions may apply. Masks are encouraged, and home isolation is required for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. For updates on travel restrictions, check the state of Georgia’s website. Hawaii As of October 15, all US travelers will have an alternative to Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine: a pre-travel test with one of the state’s 11 trusted testing partners. Travelers have to register with the State of Hawaii Safe Travels online system, then submit to a temperature check and complete an online health questionnaire before they can leave the airport. Some counties may require a secondary test upon arrival, including the Big Island’s county of Hawaii, so travelers should check local mandates at their destination. Websites for the state’s tourism authority and transportation department have updates and details, as well as links to the individual counties’ websites. Idaho As of November 2, a 14-day self-quarantine is encouraged for anyone entering Ada County, which includes the city of Boise. The Visit Idaho website has information on the sanitation and social distancing requirements in some communities as well as travel resources across the state, and the governor’s Coronavirus Resources page has regular updates. Illinois Illinois doesn’t currently have any statewide travel restrictions in place, but Chicago has recently updated its emergency travel order requiring visitors from high-risk areas to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. As of November 2, there are 31 states and territories on the list: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The Illinois Department of Public Health has guidance for travelers. Indiana As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s travel website has information on restrictions within each individual county, and the state’s coronavirus hub has regular updates. Iowa As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in Iowa, but everyone over the age of 2 is “strongly encouraged” to wear masks in public, especially when social distancing isn’t possible. The Iowa Tourism Office has more information for travelers. Kansas As of November 2, there are no statewide restrictions in place in Kansas, but some residents and visitors are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the state: anyone who attended an out-of-state gathering of 500 people or more where social distancing and mask-wearing were not observed; anyone who has been on a cruise ship or river cruise since March; and anyone who has been notified by public health officials that they’ve been in close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. The state’s Department of Health and Environment updates its travel quarantine list approximately every two weeks, and Kansas Tourism offers regular travel updates and resources. Kentucky The latest update to Kentucky’s travel advisory was issued August 12 and recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone entering from states and territories with a positive coronavirus testing rate equal to or greater than 15%, including Florida, Nevada, Mississippi, Idaho, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, and Arizona. Team Kentucky has COVID-19 reports and updates. Louisiana As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Louisiana, but a mask mandate remains in effect. The Louisiana tourism office has travel alerts and updates. Maine As of November 2, all travelers visiting Maine must self-isolate for 14 days or have a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test within 72 hours of arrival; only those traveling from New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts are exempt. Maine’s Center for Disease Control & Prevention has travel advisories and updates. Maryland Since late July, Maryland has advised against nonessential travel to states with a 10% or higher positivity rate, including Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina and Texas, as of November 2. People who travel to those states are required to get tested upon returning to Maryland and self-isolate while awaiting results. The tourism office has travel updates and alerts. Massachusetts As of August 1, all arrivals must quarantine for 14 days or present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel. Arrivals from high-risk states are required to fill out a health declaration form upon entering the state, and those caught breaking quarantine rules could face fines of up to $500 per day. Essential workers are exempt from the quarantine directive, as are those arriving from lower-risk states – California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington, as of November 2. Visit the Department of Public Health’s website for updates. Michigan As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Michigan. For updates and guidelines, see the government’s coronavirus hub or the official tourism website. Minnesota As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Minnesota. Masks are required indoors. Explore Minnesota has details on the state’s COVID-19 protocols. Mississippi As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Mississippi. The state’s tourism authority has travel alerts, and the health department has coronavirus updates. Missouri As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Missouri. Check with the state’s Division of Tourism for updates. Montana As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Montana, but masks are required in counties with more than four active COVID-19 cases and encouraged everywhere else. The state’s seven Native American reservations may have different guidelines; visit the Montana tourism office for links to each tribal government’s website as well as general travel alerts. Nebraska As of November 2, travelers returning from international destinations are no longer required to self-quarantine and self-monitor for 14 days upon arrival, though strict social distancing is still recommended. The Nebraska Tourism Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services both have resources and recommendations for travelers. Nevada As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Nevada. Travel Nevada and the Nevada Health Response both have information for travelers. New Hampshire As of November 2, travelers to New Hampshire from the surrounding states of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are no longer required to self-isolate, but those arriving from non-New England states for an extended stay will still need to quarantine for two weeks. Anyone overnighting at a lodging property is also required to sign a document stating that they “remained at home for at least a 14 day quarantine period prior to arriving in the state.” The Department of Health and Human Services has general travel and quarantine guidance, and the state’s official website has information for out-of-state visitors; for updates, see the website for the Division of Travel and Tourism Development. New Jersey Per an incoming travel advisory in effect in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, anyone entering from an “impacted state” – those with an average daily number of new cases higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period, or those with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day period – is expected to quarantine for 14 days. As of November 2, there are 41 states and jurisdictions on the list: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The state’s COVID-19 information hub has news and updates. New Mexico As of November 2, travelers arriving in New Mexico by car or plane – from states other than Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington – are required to quarantine for 14 days, unless they can provide documentation of a valid negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of entry. Those awaiting test results must self-isolate, and masks are required across the state, with fines of up to $100 for violations. The tourism department has details on updates and exemptions. New York In a joint travel advisory with Connecticut and New Jersey, anyone arriving from a state with a positive coronavirus test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10% or higher rate over a seven-day rolling average, must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, including returning citizens and arrivals from Puerto Rico. Out-of-state travelers must fill out a health form upon arrival. Beginning November 4, out-of-state visitors may "test out" of the two-week quarantine. Travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours must get a test within three days of departure from that state. Then, upon arrival to New York, they must quarantine for three days. On day four of their quarantine, the traveler must get a second COVID test. If both tests are negative, the traveler may leave quarantine early. The list of states on the quarantine list is updated regularly as infection rates change, and the state’s coronavirus hub has updates as well. North Carolina As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in North Carolina, and visitors are not required to quarantine upon arrival. Social distancing is encouraged, and cloth face coverings are required in public when physical distancing of 6 feet is not possible. See the state’s official website for COVID-19 travel resources. North Dakota As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in North Dakota. The state’s Department of Health has guidance for travelers. Ohio Travelers visiting Ohio must quarantine for 14 days if traveling from states with a 15% or higher rate over a seven-day rolling average – as of November 2, Alabama, South Dakota, Idaho, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Nevada, and Utah. For updates, visit Ohio’s coronavirus portal. Oklahoma As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place, but anyone entering Oklahoma from an area with “substantial community spread” should wear a mask in public and refrain from attending indoor gatherings for 10 to 14 days. The state’s department of health has updates and travel advisories. Oregon As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in Oregon. Visit the tourism department’s website for travel alerts and information. Pennsylvania As of November 2, a 14-day quarantine is recommended for those arriving from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has information for travelers. Rhode Island Anyone returning from an international destination must self-isolate for 14 days, as must those traveling into Rhode Island from states with a COVID-19 positivity rate higher than 5%. Arrivals who present a negative COVID-19 test result taken no later than 72 hours before travel can bypass quarantine, though quarantine is preferred as the best way of limiting the spread of COVID-19. Non-residents are required to complete a certificate of compliance and an out-of-state travel screening form upon arrival in Rhode Island. The Department of Health maintains a running list of states with travel restrictions upon entry to Rhode Island. South Carolina As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place. Visit South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control for travel updates and information. South Dakota As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in South Dakota, though some routes through tribal lands may be closed. Travelers should check their itinerary on SafeTravelUsa.com and consult the Department of Tourism’s document regarding travel restrictions on tribal lands. Tennessee As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in Tennessee. Check with the state’s Department of Tourist Development for updates. Texas As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions or mandatory quarantine requirements in place in Texas. Face coverings are required inside public spaces and outdoor areas where social distancing is not possible, and the government encourages travelers to review the health and safety guidance at their destinations. Travel Texas has updates and information. Utah As of November 2, there are no COVID-19 travel restrictions or quarantine requirements in Utah. Visit the state’s coronavirus hub for travel guidance. Vermont As of November 2, travelers to Vermont must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, unless they receive negative PCR test results on or after day 7 to end their quarantine early. For some travelers, quarantining at home before coming to Vermont is an option. See the Department of Health’s website for updates and details on exceptions to the quarantine requirement. Virginia As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions or quarantine requirements for people arriving from domestic or international destinations to Virginia, but masks are required in public buildings for anyone age 10 or older. Visit the Department of Health for travel updates. Washington As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions or quarantine requirements for arrivals to Washington, though people traveling from high-risk areas should quarantine for 14 days. Masks are required in public spaces indoors, and outdoors as well when social distancing isn’t possible. The Department of Health has updates and frequently asked questions. Washington, DC All nonessential travel outside of the DC metro area is currently discouraged, and any nonessential traveler arriving from a high-risk area – with a positive coronavirus test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average – is required to quarantine for 14 days. Travelers from the border states of Maryland and Virginia are exempt from this rule. For the current list of states requiring a quarantine, last updated November 2, visit Destination DC. West Virginia As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in West Virginia. Visit the tourism office’s website for updates and alerts. Wisconsin As of November, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in Wisconsin, but the government discourages all travel, including travel within the state and between multiple private homes, and recommends that people practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible. In some counties, there are travel advisories for seasonal and second homeowners, so check for for area-specific safety updates, closures, and quarantine requirements before departure. Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services has updates and information for travelers. Wyoming As of November, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place for US travelers in Wyoming. Visit Wyoming’s Department of Health for updates.
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Zac Taylor (born May 10, 1983) is an American football coach and former quarterback who is the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He previously served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams from 2017 to 2018 and Miami Dolphins from 2012 to 2015. From 2005 to 2006, Taylor played college football and was the starting quarterback at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Valley County is a county in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 4,260. Its county seat is Ord.In the Nebraska license plate system, Valley County is represented by the prefix 47 (it had the 47th-largest number of vehicles registered in the county when the license plate system was established in 1922).
North Platte is a city in and the county seat of Lincoln County, Nebraska, United States. It is located in the west-central part of the state, along Interstate 80, at the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers forming the Platte River. The population was 23,390 at the 2020 census. North Platte is a railroad town; Union Pacific Railroad's large Bailey Yard is located within the city. Today, North Platte is served only by freight trains, but during World War II the city was famous for the North Platte Canteen. Tens of thousands of volunteers from North Platte and surrounding towns met the troop trains passing through North Platte, offering coffee, sandwiches, dessert, and hospitality to nearly seven million servicemen.North Platte is the principal city of the North Platte Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Lincoln, Logan, and McPherson counties.