Summer Road Trips: Unplugged Travel

The call of the open road is as booming as ever. As far as domestic leisure travel is concerned, more Americans are opting to go by way of the automobile. Whether it’s due to the flexibility of packing heavy and stopping at will along the way or the nostalgia of highway getaways, road trips are back! In this series, we offer destinations for the perfect American road trip.

Nowadays, the best way to recharge is to unplug. Stow away your tech devices and grab a paper map to make the most of your road trip. Here are some U.S. destinations where going off-grid is in.


Red Rock Ranch

Bridger-Teton National Forest, U.S. Forest Service

Your cell phone won’t receive a signal at this dude ranch in the Bridger-Teton National Forest near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With private cabins, horseback riding, fly fishing, and square dancing, an all-inclusive getaway at the western retreat is a great way to leave your worries — and e-mail notifications — behind.


Out’n’About Treesort

Photo by Nicolás Boullosa

Stay in a real-life themed treehouse at this bed and breakfast near the Oregon-California border. Families, couples, and solo travelers can enjoy hiking in nearby Siskiyou National Forest, where waterfalls and the northernmost natural redwoods meet the Pacific coast. The “treesort” also offers a zipline tour of its grounds as well as horseback rides and river rafting.


Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold

Photo by Ryan Stanton

This ornate palace was built by untrained devotees of Krishna consciousness in the 1970s in New Vrindaban, West Virginia. The history of the palace and its founders is rife with scandalous intrigue, but the community has worked to clean up its reputation in recent years and attract the spiritually curious to its cow-and-peacock-filled grounds. The palace lodge warns of a “fairly weak and sometimes unreliable” Wi-Fi signal, but guests can enjoy vegetarian dining and seasonal celebrations and retreats app-free.


Maine Windjammer Cruise


Sailing with Maine Windjammer Cruises guarantees a unique vacation aboard a completely wind-powered historic schooner around the islands of Maine. Each cruise is unpredictable since the route depends on weather and wind direction, but you’re sure to experience the surrounding harbor seals and gulls on spruce-covered islands and a signature lobster bake. The company has been taking passengers around the Maine islands since 1936. They didn’t need an iPad to do it then, and you don’t need one for it now.


Camp Wandawega


A stay at this Wisconsin camp is like travelling back in time to the summer camp of your childhood — without the rules and counselors. Like a Wes Anderson film set, Camp Wandawega is meticulously designed and furnished with vintage wares, from the canoes on Lake Wandawega to the hardcover books lining each cabin. There are plenty of activities available, like archery, volleyball, cycling, and evening campfires, and the retro feel might make you forget laptops exist.


Big Bend

Photo by Blair Pittman, 1973

Between the Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas is Terlingua, a ghost town. Throughout the region are limitless opportunities for hiking, camping, and exploring the mountainous desert terrain. In Terlingua, visitors are encouraged to check out the abandoned mining town before trying the chili at Starlight Theatre. In November, the “Superbowl of chili cook-offs” takes place in Terlingua.


Hot Springs, Virginia


The first hotel was built on the site of the town’s natural hot springs in 1766. Since then, The Homestead — now The Omni Homestead Resort — has hosted 23 presidents to relax in the property’s restorative baths. Unfortunately, the Jefferson Pools — the local favorite bathhouse that Thomas Jefferson reportedly visited in 1818 — have been closed due to structural issues, but the mineral-rich, crystal clear waters are said to have been used by Native Americans for more than 9,000 years.