3 ideas for the perfect socially distanced road trip

(BPT) - While it’s hard to know what’s around the corner, many travelers with wanderlust are thinking about heading for the horizon in 2021. And while travel may look different this year, there are lots of great socially distanced destinations on the map.

Nokian Tyres is sharing some of the great places drivers plan to travel in 2021:

Close the hood and head for Oregon

Craggy coasts, vast volcanoes, lush vineyards, remote forests — it’s hard to match the geographical diversity of Oregon, making the Beaver State a cherished road trip destination.

Eclectic Portland is a great home base. In the Rose City, quirky meets classy in a delightful blend as rich as a Willamette pinot noir. From there, it’s time to explore the Beaver State’s wealth of environmental riches.

Set your sights east toward towering Mount Hood, which presides over Northwest Oregon from its pulpit 90 miles outside town. Oregon’s highest point stands at 11,250 feet. Head to Government Camp, a pocket-sized tourist town on the side of the slope. It’s home to several shops, restaurants and boutique hotels; you can also hit trails that’ll get you up the mountain.

For the best driving experience, install a set of all-weather tires, which are designed to thrive in unpredictable weather, which is an Oregon specialty.

Explore mountains of adventure in the Green Mountain State

Vermont brushes the shores of Lake Champlain before gracefully rising into the clouds, shrouding a world of adventure and escape that’ll make you glad you visited the Green Mountain State.

Start in Burlington, the state’s largest city. Stroll down Church Street for a socially distanced jaunt to immerse yourself in the city’s eclectic culture — part college town, part New England village, part business capital.

Then, it’s time to head for the hills. Killington Ski Resort is 60 miles south of the capital city but feels like a world away. It’s the largest ski area in the Eastern United States and boasts the biggest vertical drop in New England — more than 3,000 feet. If it’s summertime and the slopes aren’t frosty white, rent a mountain bike and tackle the hills on wheels instead.

Volunteer for a jaunt through Tennessee

If you live in the Eastern U.S., perhaps the mountains are calling. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited in the country — and for good reason.

Carve your way from bucolic Gatlinburg up to Clingmans Dome, Tennessee’s highest point, for stunning views — as long as the Smokies’ namesake haze isn’t shrouding the hills below. Dip your toes in a frigid mountain stream and dive into the trail map for thousands of hiking and backpacking options. And when your head is ready to hit the pillow, book a cabin on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies in Townsend, Tennessee, for a quiet escape. If you’re headed east, rest at renowned Hemlock Inn in Bryson City, North Carolina for a bucolic bed-and-breakfast experience.

For a list of tire safety tips that’ll help protect you on journeys near and far, visit NokianTires.com/TenRules.

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