While 2020 threw a lot at everyone and it's good to remember the year, let's go into 2021 with positive attitudes! Life may not completely return to normal or even resemble normalcy, but 2021 can still be a good year! If anything, 2020 made everyone adapt, especially when it comes to travel. Who knows if it will be safe to travel the world in 2021, but let's have some hope. I've put together this list of 21 places to visit in 2021 with uncertainties and precautions in mind. Don't forget that you must decide if it is safe for you to travel and remember to follow the rules wherever you go! Without further ado... 21 places to visit in 2021:
1. Salem, Massachusetts
Salem is a quaint, colonial town (not far from Boston) known for witch trials. Salem has so many historical buildings and cemeteries to visit, and it is home to the oldest continuously operating museum in the US, the Peabody Essex Museum! Learn about the Salem Witch Trials at the Witch House, a home owned by James Corwin who was involved in the trials. Salem is a great place to visit since it is small and has beautiful parks and beaches where you can social distance!
2. Big Bend National Park/Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas
Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park are both beautiful and offer visitors a breath of fresh air away from other people. There are so many opportunities for hiking, fishing, horseback riding, biking, four-wheel-driving, canoeing, and birding! I also highly recommend ziplining in Lajitas!! It's so much fun and there are incredible views from the Lajitas area! From Candelilla Cafe at Lajitas Golf Resort you can see views of the golf course and mountains!
3. Silverton, Colorado
Silverton, Colorado is an old mining town in the southwestern corner of Colorado, surrounded by mountains. Silverton has a mining tour, train rides, jeep trails, and fun outdoor activities, like hiking trails, skiing, and more! There is so much to offer in and around Silverton; it is near ghost towns and other mountain towns, like Telluride. It's a beautiful place to visit and take in some mountain air!
4. Vicksburg, Mississippi
What was once a Civil War battleground is now a small, historical town! Vicksburg, Mississippi was home to the Battle of Vicksburg (I bet you couldn't have guessed that one! hehe), a pivotal point in the Civil War. Today, you can visit the Vicksburg National Military Park and walk around the battleground! Vicksburg has more than just the battleground, though. They also have museums, casinos, and shopping! Explore the USS Cairo Gunboat and Museum or the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum before doing some shopping in downtown Vicksburg!
5. Lead, South Dakota
Before I visited South Dakota, I didn't realize how much I would enjoy it! Lead is the perfect home base in western South Dakota. It's surrounded by Black Hills National Forest and it is close enough to Badlands National Park, Hot Springs (mammoth site), Devil's Tower in Wyoming, Spearfish, Keystone, Mount Rushmore, and Custer State Park for plenty of day trips! Venture to Badlands National Park and have a picnic after a morning of exploring. See the presidents at Mount Rushmore, then make your way Rushmore Tramway Adventures for some ziplining. There are also many opportunities for outdoor activities in the national forest!
6. Red River, New Mexico
One time when my family was vacationing in New Mexico, we decided to go on a day trip to Red River. Turns out that we made a great decision! Red River has summer activities, like hiking, fishing, and jeeping, and winter activities, like skiing, tubing, and snowshoeing. There are also some cool stores in town! If you go in the summer, definitely try mountain tubing; it's a lot of fun! Another really fun summer activity is whitewater rafting!
7. Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is a bit larger than some of the other towns on this list, but they have plenty of outdoor activities! I love Colorado Springs because there is so much to do there! They have Garden of the Gods and Seven Falls in town, and there is also plenty to do in the surrounding area. Manitou Springs has a great walking/shopping area, some nice parks, and Manitou Incline. There is also Pikes Peak, which you can drive up, and North Pole (a cool family amusement park), where you can play games, ride rides, and meet Santa!
8. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
With waterfalls, fishing, hiking, mountains, and historic buildings, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the place to be! There are incredible views, around 800 miles of trails, so many overlooks, and miles and miles of streams in the Smokies! You are also bound to see some wildlife in the park! We saw bears (from a distance) when we were there and we hiked to some beautiful waterfalls!
9. Chincoteague Island, Virginia
On Chincoteague Island, you can relax at the beach or go hiking or biking around the island. Take a boat or kayak tour or try your hand at crabbing or clamming while you're there! There is also a fun, little amusement park for families (with mini golf)! While you're spending some time chilling at the beach with friends or family, you might even see some wild horses!
10. Williamsburg, Virginia
Home to the largest outdoor living museum in the U.S., Williamsburg is full of history and charm. At Colonial Williamsburg you'll have the opportunity to learn about colonial life and explore historical buildings and an art museum. Colonists (employees decked out in 18th-century clothing) show visitors techniques and tools that were used in Colonial Williamsburg and you're able to buy items produced there! For dinner, head to Shields Tavern and chow down on Mrs. Shield's 3-course supper (cup of soup, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and ice cream)!
11. Tombstone, Arizona
Walk the streets of Tombstone where cowboys and miners once roamed! Visit the O.K. Corral to see Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, and others in a reenactment and learn about Tombstone. You can also take different tours, like history tours, ghost tours, mining tours, or ghost town tours. Don't forget to watch the movie Tombstone before visiting the town!
12. Port Aransas, Texas
In Port Aransas, you're on island time! From boat tours and dolphin tours to fishing, Port A has all of the beach/water activities. You can even go stand up paddle boarding or kayaking! Mustang Island State Park, near Port Aransas, is also a great place for relaxing on the beach, fishing, and birding. Between Mustang Island and Port Aransas there are 18 miles of shoreline for you to enjoy!
13. Avery Island, Louisiana
You know TABASCO® sauce? Avery Island is the birthplace of the delicious pepper sauce that you put on your potato hash! Visit the island and you'll be able to tour the Tabasco factory to see how the sauce is made. You'll also have the opportunity to shop for everything Tabasco (even Tabasco jelly beans), eat at the Tabasco restaurant, and tour the Jungle Gardens (where there are beautiful plants and massive oak trees)!