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    23 Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations That Are As Beautiful As They Are Remote

    Crowds are so 2019.

    The coronavirus pandemic is still impacting travel, and destinations around the world have different COVID-19 restrictions in place. Always check and adhere to local government policies, and use our content to dream about a future trip.

    It may be some time before you're hopping on a flight or planning a cross-country vacation, but short road trips or day excursions might not be as far off.

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    Rather than dreaming up a trip to San Francisco or NYC, where crowds are guaranteed, why not find somewhere you can hike for miles without seeing a soul or stargaze in the open air. You may have never heard of these US locations (and that's a good thing), but they'll provide plenty of future travel inspo for when it's safe to get back out there.

    1. Hood River, Oregon

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    This walkable town sits right on the Oregon-Washington border and seems to have it all — outdoor art installations, a handful of breweries and cideries, and direct access to the Hood River and Columbia River confluence, where you’ll find wind and kite surfers sailing across the water. If mountains are more your thing, there’s easy access to Mount Hood, the tallest peak in Oregon, and a myriad of hiking and mountain biking trails.

    2. Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve, Oklahoma

    3. 100 Mile Wilderness, Maine

    4. Portal, Arizona

    5. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

    6. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota

    Beautiful pastel-colored sunset over a lake with trees lining the shore
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    It doesn’t get more remote than this 1 million-acre wilderness area in northeastern Minnesota. Boaters can explore the seemingly endless waters that traverse glacial lakes and primitive landscapes.

    7. The Berkshires, Massachusetts

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    This rural area in the mountains of Western Massachusetts has more than 11,000 acres of open space waiting to be explored. Adventurous travelers can climb Mount Greylock — the highest point in the state — or hike part of the Appalachian Trail.

    8. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

    View of Mount Moran reflected in a river with fall foliage on the shores
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    It doesn’t get more remote than Wyoming, the least populated state in the US. And while the nearby Yellowstone National Park gets all the attention, Grand Teton National Park is home to the impressive Teton mountain range, tons of hiking trails, and its own share of wildlife — including bears, bison, and moose.

    9. Red Lodge, Montana

    10. Santa Ynez Valley, California

    Manicured vineyard with rolling hills in the background
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    This picturesque, agricultural valley is just over two hours from Los Angeles but feels like a world away. The tiny town of Solvang boasts Danish-style architecture, while Los Olivos offers a one-stop wine country experience without the Napa Valley crowds.

    11. Salida, Colorado

    12. Petoskey, Michigan

    13. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

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    The caves of Gila have housed nomadic people for thousands of years, and in the late 1200s, the Mogollon, prehistoric Native American peoples, made the caves their home. Today, visitors can explore preserved cave dwellings, while camping and natural hot springs can be found nearby at Gila Hot Spring Campground.

    14. Siloam Springs, Arkansas

    15. ACE Basin, South Carolina

    16. Marfa, Texas

    17. McCall, Idaho

    Sunset on Payette Lake with hotel and cloud reflections in the water shoreline
    Michael Overstreet / Getty Images

    McCall is a perfect mix of lake life and mountain adventure. Located on shore of Payette Lake, you can spend the morning fly-fishing in the stillness before exploring the trails of Ponderosa State Park.

    18. San Juan Islands, Washington

    A killer whale breaches off the west coast of San Juan Island with Mount Baker as a backdrop
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    It’s easy to find your own secluded spot on this archipelago in northwestern Washington near Victoria, Canada. Famous for the orca whales that inhabit the waters year-round, San Juan Island's Lime Kiln Point State Park has giant creatures you can watch for. Or you can take a dip in one of the five freshwater lakes in Orcas Island's Moran State Park.

    19. Roan Mountain State Park, Tennessee

    Joshua Moore / Getty Images

    This park sits near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina in the dense southern Appalachian forest. Here, you’ll find the park’s namesake Roan Mountain and legendary trout fishing. If you're up for an overnight backpacking trip, make your way from Carver’s Gap to US 19E along the scenic Appalachian Trail (this section is just under 17 miles).

    20. Park City, Utah

    Blue lupine wildflowers above the ski runs in Park City
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    Park City is famous for its skiing, but during the summer, the town blossoms into an outdoors-lover's paradise — there’s mountain biking, endless hiking, and a charming downtown. Its proximity to Salt Lake City makes it easy to get to, while the surrounding mountains provide a reprieve from city life.

    21. Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

    22. Manchester, Vermont

    23. Honey Island Swamp, Louisiana

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