Distinctive Hiking Destinations for Luxury Rejuvenation

Distinctive Hiking Destinations for Luxury Rejuvenation

With a newfound hope in the air for the traveling public to adventure freely once again along state borders in mid-2021 (and fingers crossed international borders soon after), we all eager to begin preparations for our next adventures outside of year-long shelters-in-place.  Many states dependent on the hospitality industry will certainly err on the side of caution in hosting tourists, fortunately, outdoor travel activities will satisfy the skilled athletes and casual nature lovers alike. 
 
America’s popular choices to experience great hiking, biking or canoeing with stunning views would be at the tried and true landmarks such as Half Dome Day Hike in Yosemite National Park or South Rim Trail in the Grand Canyon.  Let’s explore three alternative United States destinations that will delight any outdoors person or adventure seeker. 

HAWAII

Haleakalā National Park (means ‘house of the sun’ in Hawaiian) in Maui, Hawaii is known for being a dormant shield volcano with one of the world’s largest volcanic craters.  The summit area of Haleakala is one of the best places to experience Maui’s famous sunrises, sunsets, and stargazing.  The park consists of 30,000 acres of deserts, rock gardens, lush waterfalls and streams, and miles of scenic hiking trails.  Obviously, the amount of activities (i.e., whale watching, water sports, and 30 miles of famous beaches), visitors to Maui can engage in is numerous, however, having the opportunity to put your hiking skills to test in Haleakala is just as rewarding and memorable. At the posting of this blog, the state of Hawaii has one of the strictest Covid-19 guidelines for visitors to self-quarantine or have a negative test result from a trusted source to bypass the 10-day quarantine.  Be sure to check updates on their government site.

For 4 and 5-star accommodations near the Haleakala National Park with ocean views are exclusive for those with deep pockets.  The types of properties are diverse:  both inland and oceanfront brand hotels offer visitors upscale suites, villas, cottages,  resorts, condos, and Airbnbs.

·         Ho’olei at Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort is an absolute stunning property offering suites, and villas. 

·         The Wailea Beach Resort, a Marriott property

·         Hyatt’s Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

·         The Ritz Carleton Kapalua  

·         Airbnb Maui Luxury properties

Kahului Airport – 47-mile drive to Haleakalā National Park with accessibility to all major car rentals or private car services.

MONTANA

Glacier National Park, Montana is located in northwestern Montana on the Canada-United States border consists of 700 miles of trails for hikers to commune with nature.  The park is a diverse blend of breathtaking forests, meadows, mountains, lakes and all types of wildlife including brown bears and .  Any visitor of the park is sure to experience the famous scenic two-lane highway ‘Going-to-the-Sun Road’ that splits the park into east and west.  The road passes through every type of terrain from large glacial lakes, cedar forests, and alpine tundra and the best-kept secret is every spring before cars are allowed, hikers and bikers are privy to enjoy this National Historic Landmark.

The sky is the limit with regards to luxury accommodations around Glacier National Park.  Rentals, Airbnbs, Lodges, brand hotels, and resorts with either dining facilities on the property or kitchens designed in the floor plans.

·         The Lodge at Whitefish Lake – 40 minutes by car in addition to suites, condominiums and luxury home rentals for families

·         The Firebrand Hotel –  located in downtown Whitefish has more of an urban vibe with dining and nightlife options while also participating in all the outdoor amenities of golfing, skiing, and hiking.  Luxury accommodations consist of lodge suites, cabins, or glamping with a view of Glacier National Park/

·         Airbnb Accommodations can be reserved in both towns and cities within close proximity of Glacier National Park

The airport which handles both domestic and international flights is Glacier Park International Airport located 6 miles from Kalispell, Montana and offers major car rentasl, limo and private car service.

MARYLAND

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Park – Billy Goat Trail

Rich with history as a critical passageway for frontiersman and traders who used the Potomac River to transport their wares of coal, lumber, and agricultural products to river communities from Cumberland to Washington D.C.  Visitors can explore the Potomac River waterways in a canoe, kayak or powerboat.  Or Drive the 236 miles of country roads and state highways.  For hikers, there are 3 trails including Billy Goat Trail accessible to hikers in the park based on difficulty:  Section A is more for rock climbing and is considered more technical and strenuous; Section B is a challenge for hikers (as if this post was closed due to trail damage and erosion)  and Section C is the easiest to hike.

Accommodations in Hagerstown are slightly more rustic and offer plenty of smaller independent hoteliers and rentals.  Yet there are a several properties that offer 4-star accommodations and amenities including:

·         Beavercreek Inn and Spa 11 miles outside of Hagerstown by car

·         Mercerburg Inn 17 miles away, a little under ½ hour by car

·         Airbnb properties Hagerstown, Maryland   located in Hagerstown or adjacent towns

Closest airport is Hagerstown Regional Airport  which is less than 5 miles away  or Washington Dulles International Airport is 50 miles away providing both domestic and international options including private jet terminals.  Major car rental companies and private car services can be reserved at Dulles.

Whether you want to surround yourself with a deep history of the young United States with courageous pioneers working the Potomac River’s waterways to forge a future, or a more western environment on a Montana landscape with a view of our Northern international neighbors, or indulge in the luscious tropics of the U.S.’s only island state  built from hundreds of years of volcanic activity and The United States offers beauty in all areas of the beautiful country:

 

TRAVEL SAFETY NOTE:  Even with the challenges presented by pandemic, the travel industry is continuing to ease the minds of new or returning visitors.  Constant updates on air transportation, the parks themselves, amenities (such as campgrounds which are closed as of the date of this posting) around the park are listed on the sites linked, based on the CDC and the individual states’ guidelines on opening or having limited accessibility with regards to Covid-19 (the Park sites are updated regularly).  All three national parks are going through phased reopening based on risk assessment to employees and the public.   -AJ

Share your thoughts in the comments section below or on Twitter!

Thank you to the above and below links for site content:

Go Hawaii.com Haleakala National Park Maui

Jetsetter.com – Best hotels in Maui

National Park Service – Billy Goat Trail  in Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Park

Hat Tip to the following photographers’ work:

Carol Baylis – Crater in Haleakalā National Park

Jason Carnegie – The Falls At Makahiku, Haleakalā National Park

Rina Miele – Sunrise, Haleakalā National Park

Jelle de Gier – Crater Floor, Haleakala National Park

Keanan Brown – Glacier National Park

Jodi Noordmans – Blue Water, Glacier National Park

Ethan Wiese – McDonald Creek, Glacier National Park

Hans Isaacson – Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park

WikimediaImages – Billy Goat Trail

WikimediaImages – Billy Goat Trail Woods

Joshua Hoehne – Billy Goat Trail Section A view of Potomac

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