Editor’s Note: We’re highlighting this story with the understanding that for most of us, traveling extended distances is not currently safe or advisable. Please respect and follow all local/regional COVID-19 safety regulations. We hope this story can help our community with inspiration and travel planning for when it’s safe to travel again.
If there’s one thing we could all use a bit more of these days it’s time out in nature, moving our bodies and getting a bit of distance from the challenges of this crazy year.
If you’re feeling trapped in the city, never fear. There’s no need to travel far to get a breath of fresh air. KOA has a nationwide network of campgrounds that make it easy to book a weekend away, wherever you are. KOA campgrounds are family-friendly, pet-friendly, and a perfect home base away from home.
Here are a few of our favorite city escapes to check out this winter.
1. Escape from Los Angeles
Photo by Matt Purciel
Two hours east of Los Angeles lies otherworldly Joshua Tree National Park. From the Seussian Joshua Trees to the prickly cholla cactus who nearly glow at sunset, this landscape is full of surprises. Wide open spaces give your mind room to roam, and park trails give your legs room to wander. Be sure check out the hike up Ryan Mountain.
2. Escape from Denver
Photo by Josiah Roe
Get a new look at the Front Range with a trip to Fort Collins. If there’s snow on the ground, bring or rent a fat bike to check out the Foothills Trail, or stretch your legs on the Coyote Ridge Trail. The best news? Fort Collins is offering heated outdoor dining options, so you can still get a glass of brew after your adventure.
3. Escape from Phoenix
Photo by Sara Sheehy
Explore the open spaces and big sky of Cochise County, a short 3 hour drive from downtown Phoenix. Kiss those city streets goodbye and hike to the ruins of Fort Bowie, or put some serious miles under your boots on the 12-mile Cochise Stronghold Trail.
4. Escape from Dallas
Photo by Lisa Groene
Head north from Houston to Sam Houston National Forest for miles of trails, calming lakes, and beautiful forests. The 125-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail is a highlight of the park, and there are numerous access points to hop on and off at your leisure. Dogs are allowed, too!
5. Escape from Jacksonville
Photo by Sara Sheehy
Cruise down the A1A South and spend a weekend adventuring in historic Saint Augustine. Bring a bike and ride on the wide, firm beaches, or check out the natural sand dunes at Guana State Park. If you’re keen to get wet, the calm waters around Anastasia State Park are an ideal spot to try out stand up paddle boarding.
6. Escape from Washington, DC
Photo by Lucas Bremer
Winter isn’t the high season along the Chesapeake Bay, but when you’re looking for a little space, it’s the perfect time to go! Work your legs on the Jamestown Island bike trail, or bundle up and enjoy a beach day at quiet Bethel Beach.
Cover photo by Josiah Roe