It’s not uncommon to scroll up on your Facebook feed and see multiple out-of-state vacation posts. People (masked or not masked) out by historic sights, poolside, or dining indoors without a care in the world. This would’ve been a bigger issue a year ago, due to the spread of COVID-19. However, what’s most important about traveling now versus a year ago, is that more people are vaccinated. Fully vaccinated travelers won’t spread the virus or catch it.
Traveling During Covid Quarantine
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), fully vaccinated travelers with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the good ole U.S.A! So the big question is what vaccines are approved by the FDA? Since this website is primarily about Maryland, D.C, and Virginia living, here is information pulled from the State of Maryland’s website:
State of Maryland’s Covidlink website indicates…
- Pfizer. Approved by FDA. There are two doses that are delivered three weeks apart. This vaccine is 95% effective at preventing COVID-19.
- Moderna. Approved by FDA. There are two doses delivered four weeks apart. This vaccine is 94.1% effective at preventing COVID-19.
- Johnson & Johnson. Approved by FDA. There is one dose. This vaccine is 85% effective at preventing COVID-19.
There’s still testing made for Novavax and for Astrazeneca so keep watching the news for updates. For anyone (in the United States) interested in getting a vaccine nearby, check out VaccineFinder’s website here.
Fully vaccinated travelers don’t need to get tested before or after travel (unless the destination requires it). However, fully vaccinated travelers must follow the CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely by:
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Not under your nose, not under your chin, and please do not take your mask off to talk to someone right near you. So rude.
- Stay six feet from others and avoid crowds. You don’t want random droplets spread to you! Even if you are wearing a mask, there are people outside who won’t wear a mask and being near them reduces the effectiveness of your mask.
- Wash your hands often and please use hand sanitizer. Unlike last year, hand sanitizer is so easy to find and buy.
The CDC recommends delaying travel unless you are fully vaccinated because travel can increase your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19. For even more information on Domestic Travel for vaccinated and for unvaccinated people, check out the CDC’s travel recommendations here.
For folks who are unvaccinated, it’s imperative to get a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. After your trip, get a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home self quarantine for 7 full days. Of course wear a mask, use your hand sanitizer often and please stay more than six feet away from folks. Each state should have a government mandated website to help folks find a testing site. The state of Maryland has an excellent website here.
If you are staying at a hotel, there are simple guidelines here to stay safe. A golden rule is to always call up each hotel, Airbnb, or motel you stay at and ask them for hotel protocols, ventilation system effectiveness, minimize use of recreation spaces, and make sure you are staying with someone from the same household. If not, make sure you both are fully vaccinated.
For air travel, packing lists, other lodging, ground transportation, and car travel safety protocols, check out the Mayo Clinic’s website. You will get comprehensive information on TSA mandates, safety protocol, and important questions that need to be raised before you travel out of state.
January 2019 I took a mini trip to Old Town Virginia to see the lights, eat delicious chocolates, and explore the area.
The aforementioned information above should help you if you want to travel out of state, even if you want to travel to all 50 states like a boss. I was fortunate to travel to all 50 states two years before COVID struck the world. So for the time being, I am waiting to travel.
Traveling Before Covid Quarantine
I am biding my time at home, waiting until more people are vaccinated. One day when restrictions lessen and when the world can spin back to a day when we can see each other, face to face, without fear of catching ‘rona.
Don’t get me wrong, I do miss traveling. But even with the burgeoning spread of the vaccine, and more people wearing the mask, there are still folks out there who don’t believe in COVID-19 and mistaken it for the flu. There are also folks who wear their masks below their nose and will go up to your face, pull their mask down, and speak to you. Why travel when there are super spreaders all around? Let’s not forget that there’s still a spike in deaths and cases in every state and that’s not always as widely reported in the news as the spread of vaccines.
Until then, I will relish my past travels across 50 states in this throwback post. Keep in mind this process took years. It’s not always easy to take off work and to cram multiple states in a week. Money doesn’t grow on trees so you also have to save up, plan your driving route, book flights in advance, rent cars, pack lightly, and plan your itinerary closely.
Washington D.C has always been a personal favorite of mine. I love the art and cultural ambience of our nation’s capital. Around December 2018, I went to the Winternational Embassy Market bazaar spearheaded by Jan Duplain. A remarkable woman who brings cultural events to D.C residents. Before going to this bazaar, I made a quick pit stop to the National Portrait Gallery to see some famous paintings which I am sure many of you can recognize.
I officially started traveling across the United States at 21 years old. Growing up I have already explored Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware. Yet, I was a child back then. But when I turned 21, I explored the French quarters in New Orleans, discovered delicious ice cream (Graeters) in Ohio, and saw so many lights in Las Vegas. From then on I made it my personal goal to hit up every state. I was allured by the different modes of travel, meeting new people, and collecting life experiences.
Right below is a snippet of my experiences traveling across the country. Unfortunately, I don’t have every picture taken at each state so I hope this mini gab session will suffice it for you. I honestly have no idea what it’s like to travel each state during COVID-Quarantine, partaking in taking a COVID test en route, or quarantining after each state. What I do know is that with all of these safety measures in place, it’s possible to discover new wonders without much fear and inhibition.
Traveling to all 50 states before Covid Quarantine Rules and Restrictions
Alabama: I was in this state for an entire hour. Only an hour. I drove across state lines, visited a local country market which was ironically full of all sorts of guns. As I walked through each aisle, the store owner and customers gave me a curious look. I felt the glare but still walked along. Butter cakes, homemade candies, and moon-shine inspired treats were sold here at a steep discount. I didn’t buy anything that day.
Alaska: I flew to Alaska a few years ago. I stayed in Anchorage for a day or so, and hiked along beautiful greens, ate reindeer jerky, and played darts for half a day. I couldn’t find the sun at all amidst the misty views but the people there were super friendly.
Arizona: I took a helicopter ride along the Sedona and saw the most beautiful views. I regret not going to any spas that day but I did go along the Apache trail, a very intimidating car trail along a mountain. I will never forget the high altitudes. I think I was in Arizona when I went to Four Corners, and was met with several Native American vendors. I learned about different native cultures and also bought silver ‘life energy’ sign earrings too. One gentleman, I think he came from a Cherokee background, took one good look at me and asked, “Where are you from?” And I joked, pointed away, and said, “I am the other Indian.” He laughed hard and we conversed on travel, culture and dreams.
Arkansas: I remember staying at a friendly Bed and Breakfast with ornate rooms, a deluxe breakfast buffet and a beautiful country view. I also visited a mansion and toured some kind of garden. The slow pace of life was comforting and I remember how great the food was.
I saved the best for last with Hawaii. I primarily stayed in Oahu and the waters were so beautiful. Musubi which is basically spam and rice was so delicious over there. If you do decide to go to a Luau, prepare for a ton of other tourists to join you.
California: I have been to California several times now and I still feel that’s not enough. The first time I visited Los Angelas (LA), I was suppose to vacation there for a week but there was a ‘Frankenstorm’ so I had to stay in LA for another week. It was a blessing in disguise. So I went parasailing, salsa danced with the Original Black Power Ranger, ate delicious food in Korea town, toured the creator of Jelly Belly’s candy facility, went indoor skydiving, toured Hollywood sets, and was an extra on a now cancelled Comedy Central show called “The Ben Show”. Ironically enough, I reunited with an old high school friend because he saw me on that episode about Kelsey Grammer. Before traveling to LA, I went to Cali another time on a one week skiing trip. On this trip to the Heavenly Ski Resort, I accidentally went through a ramp and crashed a fence (no harm).
Colorado: Denver was fun. I regret not going there when it was skiing season though. I stayed in downtown for a few days and hiked around Red Rocks. I was amused that there was a John Denver statue by the concert venue. Colorado and John Denver are synonymous to me.
Another travel highlight was Casa Bonita. If you have ever watched classic “South Park,” there really is a Casa Bonita Mexican restaurant. It was the greatest Mexican restaurant I have ever been too (minus the food, of course).
Connecticut: One year, I drove along the New England area but didn’t really think about planning much around Connecticut. I really should’ve because I know this state has many wonders. My fondest memory of Connecticut was stopping at this grocery store called Geisslers and seeing a sale for personal watermelons. There were these small, square shaped, watermelons and I was so confused. I didn’t know you can personally eat a watermelon?
Delaware: Delaware is a small state with great travel potential. I visited the University of Delaware to see an old college friend awhile back. She threw a wonderful get together where we all ate fancy appetizers, sampled complex wines, and partook in easy going conversation. They were all PHd students who had good souls. No ego in sight. It truly was a great day. Most of my life, I have driven through Delaware to get to another state like New York but I hope to further explore the state in the nearby future. After Covid Quarantine, ofcourse.
Florida: Driving through Florida was a true experience. I truly felt like I was in the country. I sampled the finest fudge by the largest confederate flag I have ever seen. Disney World was fun too. I enjoyed Space Mountain but a part of me was looking for anyone portraying Esmeralda (my favorite Disney character). The little girl inside of me wanted a picture by her.
Georgia: My favorite memory of Atlanta Georgia is the Coca Cola factory. I sampled coke drinks from all around the world and was so hyped up on sugar. Georgia had delicious soul food too but I had to go to less touristy parts of town to eat there.
Hawaii: This was my last state on my U.S travel bucket list and the one state where I had the craziest adventures. I jumped off a trampoline and straight into the ocean, went on a canoe, went snorkeling (ugh, didnt see much), ate musubi, and paid respects at Pearl Harbor. I also learned to be very careful about which Airbnb you stay at. Never stay at an Airbnb with no recommendations, limited information, with a host that doesn’t give a pleasant introduction to you. Despite the discount, it’s not worth staying in a place where you cannot ask questions and be able to communicate. I recommend having an in-depth conversation with your host on house rules and what is expected (or not expected) from the tenant before you pay to stay anywhere.
Idaho: I was in Boise, and saw really minor sights. Grass, roads, cows, cars on long stretches of road.
Illinois: Chicago is one of my favorite cities! I have been there thrice over. One time I attended a Coffee festival for work, and sampled the best fraps ever. Another time I went to Chicago, I hung out with comedian Robert L. Hines and some of his comedian friends. Not only is Robert currently touring but you can also watch his Moby Combs: Cold Ass Cryotherapy and Cryptocurrency Advisory clip here.
Chicago is famous for having the best comedians, fyi. I also highly recommend the Architecture boat tour, eating an authentic Chicago hot dog, and taking a segway down the magnificent mile.
Indiana: Indiana is famous for their covered bridges. Bridges were covered back then as a way to preserve its wooden trusses. I only remember being on the Medora covered bridge.
Iowa: It was a very rainy day, nothing in sight, except a Dairy Queen. I think that’s all I did. I went to this Dairy Queen and waited until the rain stopped.
I made a trip to San Francisco in July 2019 for a high school pal’s wedding. Touring the vineyards at Napa, discovering lovely architecture, driving through the golden gate bridge, and eating delicious octopus in Japan town.
Kansas: Visiting Kansas was more a blur than anything. I drove through so many country roads, saw beautiful farms, and visited the President D. Eisenhower presidential library.
Kentucky: In Kentucky I unfortunately did not eat any fried chicken. I did, however, visit Churchill Downs, sampled some delicious bourbon and visited the big four bridge. This state was one of 14 states I visited in the span of 2-3 weeks.
Louisiana: New Orleans was memorable. Walking along bourbon street, trying a hurricane, and exploring the French-inspired architecture of the French quarters was memorable. I regret not doing the swamp tour when I had the chance but I do recall crashing a beautiful wedding.
Maine: I’ve been to main twice. One time was part of a New England road trip, and I only had enough time to eat a lobster roll. The second time I went to Maine, I was able to see Steven King’s house, go blueberry picking, and go on a star watching hike for half the night.
Maryland: Out of all the states I have been too, I think this one takes the cake. I would like to explore more of Western Maryland, would love to visit St. Michael’s one day, and maybe go crabbing along the Chesapeake. There’s always something to do in this great state.
Massachusetts: I have only been to Massachusetts once but I would love to go to Martha’s vineyard one day. I went to Boston, took the train to Harvard University for a complimentary tour. Afterwards, I ate a Boston cream pie and hiked quite a bit to the “Cheers” original bar. I went on a Saturday so I also visited the cutest flea market.
Michigan: I went to the Ford Museum, saw a bunch of cars, took touristy pictures and booked a flight back home. It was all a speedy blur.
Minnesota: I had a 1-2 hour lay away from a flight to two different states. So I decided to take a shuttle to the Mall of America. It was the biggest mall I have ever been to. It was also the first time I ate food from Long John Silvers and I will always fondly remember this baby I saw at the mall. The baby had the face of a very old man. I wonder if he or she outgrew that?
Mississippi: I only stayed in this state for a cool hour. I ate tacos at some random mom and pop fast food shop and was confused with the customer service. The servers were extra nice but only if they feel like their lives were threatened? Around me they were cool but being there felt like a completely different world.
Missouri: The only thing I remember about my trip to Missouri was the BBQ and blues music. I also remember not being able to get a hotel stay so I slept in my car all day and had to figure out where to shower. Sometimes the best made out plans can have a glitch.
Montana: Glacier National Park was fun. I also checked out the Museum of the Rockies, Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum. When I think of Montana, I think of pretty mountains, and dinosaur fossils.
Nebraska: I remember driving through Nebraska and seeing yellow grass, antique stores dotted on simple roads, and rustic diners. Naturally, there was a highly coveted Pizza hut too with the most cars and most traffic.
Nevada: Vegas, baby! I’ve been there twice, and had an amazing time. First time I stayed, VIP, at the Encore, and watched La Reve, ate at a great buffet, and visited all the major casinos. The Bellagios is so pretty. The second time I went, I visited Old Vegas, saw a cool 90’s hip hop show, and went on a few amusement park rides on top of a building. I also saw the Grand canyon around there too.
Maine is full of beautiful waters, and delicious diners that sell lobster rolls. I went there around September 2019 and the weather was just right.
New Hampshire: So I drove through roads that had signs about moose’s crossing before heading to a site called “Old Man the Mountain.” The Face literally collapsed May 3, 2003, but there’s still a touristy vibe in that area.
New Jersey: I honestly don’t know what to say about New Jersey except there’s Atlantic City which is not what it used to be. I visited Atlantic City in August 2019 and found the beach to be overcrowded, boardwalk was decent with a few shops here and there, and a strong college-kid vibe for some of the casinos out there. I do like the White Castle burger place though, New Jersey is the only state that has those.
New Mexico: I was a big fan of the show “Roswell” when I was young, and naïve about life. As I grew older and realized New Mexico was on my U.S.A bucket list, I planned an exhaustive itinerary to not only visit Roswell but to also check out really cool alien inspired museums too. You can visit Crashdown.com to check out my ‘Roswell’ Travel guide and you can also check out an exclusive interview I did on Brendan Fehr and on ‘Roswell High’ author Melinda Metz.
New York: I usually visit New York 1-3 times per year to either go to the Summer Fancy Food Show, New York Fashion week to promote an upcoming designer, see a Broadway show, or visit an art museum (Museum of Modern Art, Frick Museum, and beyond). As a bona fide foodie I also try to hit Michelin or Bib gourmand hot spots too. Once this pandemic is over, I do want to take a train over to NYC again. I mean, who doesn’t love New York?
North Carolina: I went to the Outer Banks, and enjoyed the chill vibe several years back. I stayed at a chic beach house, ate fresh seafood, and actually faired decently well in a game of Monopoly.
North Dakota: For a good portion of this trip, I was on route 66 and went along a route Lewis and Clarke went. I also visited the Theodore Roosevelt national park and Enchanted Highway. I admit, there was a point where I got completely lost driving at night and there weren’t any street lights. I will always remember that and how I had to calm myself down and to just keep going. Keep fighting the dark skies, and drive on.
Ohio: I have been to Ohio countless times. I have been to Cincinnati, Columbus, and even Cleveland. I really like Graeter’s ice cream, Malley’s chocolate, and other midwestern treats in this state. My two favorite tourist attractions was the “Christmas Story” house and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. “Christmas Story” is one of my top favorite Christmas movies and I do love music. Well, most people like music so what I said at the end was what most travel bloggers would say?
Oklahoma: I visited the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Forgotten Wheels Museum, and a prairie reserve. But I know there is more I can see down in the West.
Oregon: Portland was magical. Antique book stores, voodoo donuts, vinyl records, and hipsters in four shades of flannel. I felt very creative in this city and was floored with the city’s coffee options.
Pennsylvania. I have been traveling to Pennsylvania since I was a little girl. I have been to Hershey Park several times, visited Philly alot (minus running up the Rocky Steps), and have also gone to Amish country to eat great pie.
Rhode Island. I have only been to Rhode Island once. I had a rental car and I visited 3-4 gourmet food stores, to figure out my personal culinary palate. I was in the capital and also did typical touristy stuff such as visit mansions, RISD museum of art, and downtown. I am sure there is more to the state but I didn’t explore enough of it though.
South Carolina. I was in Charlotte staying at a friend of a friend’s home. We unfortunately did not explore the area and the only sights I saw were from my car window. I hope to go back one day to rectify the situation.
South Dakota. Aside from the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and visiting local Native American reservations, there is one tourist attraction that speaks volumes to me. Wall Drug. If you don’t know what this is, then you need to travel down to South Dakota.
After visiting Mount Rushmore, I drove 100 miles down. Every 1 to 1/2 of a mile there was a strange ad for Wall Drug, South Dakota’s biggest tourist trap. The ads were entertaining and better than seeing sand, cactus, and the same blue sky. So I did make a trip down to Wall Drug and I was heavily humored with its kitschy gifts, western themes, and food options.
Tennessee: I have been to Tennessee twice. Once I went to Bonnaroo for 2-3 days, and saw so many bands perform. Radiohead, DeadMaus5, and beyond. I literally camped inside a tent that almost blew away, endured squatting on porta potties, and listened to music in extreme heat waves. Don’t get me wrong, it was totally worth it. The second time I went back to the state, I almost toured Graceland. The ticket price and my budget prevented this once in a lifetime experience.
I have been to Philadelphia countless times but it was even more memorable going July 2019 to celebrate my longtime gal pal’s birthday! We visited a famous church, got lost for 3 hours in the city, took a historic tour to learn more about the country’s founders, and had delicious bubble tea in Chinatown. I also had amazing gelato with one of my faves who runs the GREATEST financial Vlog and Blog ever!
Texas: I have been to Austin, Texas twice. Once was to go to a few music festivals and to eat a ton of brisket (Rudys) and the second time I went to the ATX festival to check out a few tv reunions (Revenge, Roswell, Everwood, and beyond). The art scene in Austin was remarkable, the graffiti art I saw was inspiring. I hope to go back to Texas again to explore more of the state.
Utah: I was in downtown Salt Lake City and visited the historic temple square, and also frontier homestead state park. Residents of the state are THE NICEST!
Vermont: Burlington was fun. I visited multiple farms, saw beautiful churches, and had the best maple syrup ever. I wanted to visit the Great Vermont Corn Maize but I did not have enough time. I only spent a day there after all.
Virginia: There’s much to see and do in Virginia. It’s right near Maryland, America in Miniature. I do like Northern Virginia quite a bit. The best ethnic restaurants are found in Falls Church, Virginia. Where else can you get authentic Egyptian food? If you want to do Karaoke all night long, then Annandale is the place to go.
There is definitely a strong rivalry between Virginia and Maryland on which is the best state. Honestly, who even cares. I call it instigation for the bored and repressed to bring it up.
Washington: I visited an old Middle School friend who ran a successful coffee stop along the coffee district in Seattle. I will always miss her Lavender honey lattes. I did typical touristy stuff like visit the first Starbucks, dine at Pike Place Market, go up on the Space Needle and visit the Chihuly garden and glass. I took a ferry up to Bainbridge island and enjoyed the ambience of the water. I think the craziest thing that happened to me in that trip was being chased down by a homeless man 4 blocks to my friend’s place. I am even surprised that I outpaced him given that I am just an average jogger.
West Virginia: I’ve hiked along Harpers Ferry and visited a few antique shops here from time to time. I know I can drive back here again, and try to find more rustic beauty in this nearby southern state. Apparently West Virginia is famous for their casinos and outlet shopping, but that’s not something I am interested in.
Wisconsin: I drove along the downtown area and saw the major sights. Yes, I did that. My favorite memory about this state was spending most of the afternoon at The Cheese Mart and spending massive money on German influenced cheese. That Butterkaas cheese melted in my mouth, devoured my soul, and keeps me wanting more.
Wyoming: Yellowstone national park was the best park I have ever been too. I regret not seeing a bear though. I did go to a few ‘Wild Wild West’ museums, drove along long stretches of land and saw a beautiful sunset over some mountains. You will not regret going to any of the jerky shops along the way and the meat was so tasty!
Have you also traveled to some of these states (possibly all) too? Feel free to join in the gab session.