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United States - walkable, historic or high energy, warm

United States - walkable, historic or high energy, warm

Old Jan 17th, 2022, 06:39 AM
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United States - walkable, historic or high energy, warm

My husband and I are in our late 30s, no kids, high stress jobs that allow little time off. We take COVID seriously, double mask in crowded environments. Before the pandemic, we went on culturally rich and complex trips to Europe and Asia. Europe and anywhere far is too hard for us with our COVID protocol, so we've been doing shorter trips to Mexico, Caribbean, Vegas, Disneyworld, Miami, the historic south (Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, etc). The catch for us is we don't like to drive, so we like really walkable places with an old town and a shorter flight time from NYC.

Out of all the trips I've been on, embarrassed to admit Disneyworld was one of my best. It was calming and genuinely enjoyable. all around comfortable. Liked staying at the Swan Dolphin resort and taking a boat directly into the park. Something about the absence of barriers was very nice.

I've been thinking about Palm Springs which has dramatic scenery, large resorts, hikes, and easy weather... A bit long flight times though.

We might return to San Jan Puerto Rico which I loved last time I went. A place where we could be outside, interested in our surroundings, and just feel comfortable.

We LOVE DC and go there repeatedly to visit friends and family.

Anything else you can think of? Maybe a National Park?

Last edited by TravelNerd1977; Jan 17th, 2022 at 06:42 AM.
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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 07:49 AM
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Skiing? Santa Fe? Jackson Hole? Sedona?
Not driving I assume would also mean you wouldn't eschew UBER?
Oops just saw warm
How about Belize. My kids have loved it there during Covid
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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 08:11 AM
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Have you been to Key West? Unique spot with plenty to do -- historic and literary homes to visit, kayaking, fishing, good food snorkeling out at Fort Jefferson. Can be a bit wild but if you are veterans of Savannah and New Orleans you should be able to cope.

If you want to cross borders I would suggest a visit to Mexico City and Oaxaca. Two very different destinations, MC is vibrant metropolis, Oaxaca a smaller provincial town. Both offer ancient ruins, good food, colonial architecture, day trips and exotic culture.
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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 08:28 AM
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Take a look at Albuquerque NM. There are several museums, a zoo and an arboretum in the west end. Central Avenue all the way through town was the old Rt. 66. There is a fair bus service all the way from the east end to the west. On the east end is Sandia Peak where you can take the gondola up to the top and hike down. In October there is a big balloon festival.
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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 08:40 AM
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I'm having trouble understanding how someone could be taking COVID seriously and yet going to Vegas and New Orleans, etc. Especially Vegas.

I'd suggest St Augustine or Tampa FL for some interesting history and walkable etc in historic areas with some interesting sties/museums.
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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 10:06 AM
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I'm not sure Palm Springs is walkable but the Santa Fe Historic District with the Old Plaza certainly is. Lots of old Adobe buildings and homes, art galleries (with Southwestern and Native American artwork), restaurants with New Mexican cuisine and much more. You can fly into Albuquerque and take the Roadrunner commuter train to near the Plaza area in Santa Fe. It's one of the top destinations in the US.
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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 10:12 AM
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Hi TravelNerd1977–

I seek out destinations also that work well with walking and have a compact interesting historic center. You’ve gotten some great domestic suggestions so far; I’ll add San Antonio, Texas.

Best wishes,


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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 11:05 AM
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What time frame are you considering? Many places are warm in the summer, not so much now. Also, how many days?

I think Palm Springs is terrific but without a car you could be quite limited. WITH a car, it's another story - Joshua Tree NP, aerial tramway, Indian Canyons... But if Covid is a concern, watch out for gatherings like Coachella (in April.)

I'd also look at Merida in the Yucatan. Gorgeous, historic city, plenty of excursions available to places like Chichen Itza.

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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 12:14 PM
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Palm Springs is pretty spread out especially if you count in the surrounding communities of Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and La Quinta. It does have a couple of adjacent Indian casinos but they are not like Vegas casinos though. Santa Fe is a good suggestion.
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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 03:13 PM
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What time of year are you thinking of? Boston fits the bill. It's a great walking city with tons of historical sites, museums, great restaurants, etc. But if you are planning this trip for the winter months, then you probably wouldn't like it.

If you visit a national park, you would need a car to really enjoy it. I think trying to get around on public transportation at a national park would be difficult. Of course the national parks out west are stunning, but that would mean a longer flight, and possibly having to change planes. So nearby I would recommend Acadia National Park (Maine) or Shenandoah National Park (Virginia).
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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 05:36 PM
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Albuquerque is not really walkable. There’s a tiny kitschy Old Town but not sure the hotels within walking distance of it are acceptable. There’s little to see downtown.

There’s Mackinac Island Michigan for summer, fly into Pellston.

Santa Barbara or Pacific Grove could work.

Last edited by tom_mn; Jan 17th, 2022 at 05:38 PM.
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 01:29 AM
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It's been years since we vacationed on St John USVI and hopefully you can still get around without renting a car. There's a National Park. We used public transportation or hiked. The underwater snorkel trail can be crowded but there's great snorkeling in other bays. Park rangers give lectures and tours. From the airport on St Thomas you take a cab to the ferry to St John. If you want to visit St Thomas during your stay just take the ferry again. End of day relax watching sailboats coming into a bay for the night.
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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 09:30 AM
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I second Santa Barbara if you don't want to do Santa Fe. It is located on the American Riviera and has a very mild climate. Much of the architecture is in the Spanish Colonial style with red-tiled roofs. Sights include the Santa Barbara Mission, Stearns Wharf, the Waterfront, El Presidio State Historical Park, Botanic Gardens, centuries-old oaks in Mission Canyon, great restaurants and some of the best beaches in America. Sunbathe at East Beach.
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Old Jan 19th, 2022, 06:25 PM
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I'll second Fra_Diavolo's suggestion of Oaxaca. I'm assuming this is a winter trip & having spent about 2 winter months there on 2 trips it just couldn't have been nicer. I've posted in depth about it all here:


I like it so much I think seriously about selling up & moving down.
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