For well over a year now you’ve been hearing about travel bans and then more recently – social distancing while traveling. We’ve shared our picks for the best outdoor and remote activities to keep you safe. But now, with vaccinations in full swing and post-pandemic travel restrictions starting to lift all over the world, it seems the right time to point out some awesome cities to visit this summer.
Here are our top picks for U.S. cities that are opening up and ready to welcome tourism again.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Let’s just get the party started – no holds barred. Vegas has been open and in business for quite a while. You’ll find that the casinos are in full swing, but as of June 1, Sin City is completely open to fully vaccinated visitors. This means that restaurants will operate at capacity and hotels will likely see spikes in bookings. Masks are no longer mandated for the vaccinated as well, and live shows are coming back online – check local listings for your favorites.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy has effectively opened things up for vaccinated folks, with indoor venues operating at a maximum capacity of 250 people. Concerts and bars can also be open, and the only restrictions are for the unvaccinated (please wear your mask and social distance). New Orleans does have one of the most lenient set of restrictions we’ve seen, and the only real inconvenience seems to be a warning to make dinner reservations.
If your idea of a dream summer vacation involves lounging poolside with a pina colada and having a couple’s massage, you’ll find the resorts in and around Scottsdale to be a fantastic value in the summer months. Rooms that run you upwards of $600-800 a night during the winter high season can be booked for sometimes 70-80% off. And Scottsdale has a vibrant bar scene that hasn’t missed a beat. Bonus – much of the dining and nightlife is al fresco anyway – come and hang with a fun group of your vaccinated friends!
New York, New York
The Big Apple is also back, baby! The governor has been pretty flexible – while bars, restaurant and other indoor venues have been open since May 19 without mask mandates, he did say that individual establishments are allowed to set their own rules. So if you’ve been to New York recently and noticed some places require masks, that’s the reason why. A complicated set of curfews for the city have all been lifted, and Manhattan has already seen a spike in tourist business this summer. Broadway shows are the only real exception – expect to see them back in the fall.
Florida was way out in front of some of the other states in terms of opening up – so much so that if you did happen to hear about any larger group gatherings like concerts or meetings in recent months, it’s likely that they were happening in Florida. There’s not too much to say here other than that Miami has a lot of outdoor dining options, and people tend to spend their time doing things on the beach. It’s a great option for folks looking to book their first post-pandemic trip. A federal mandate remains in place on public transportation and at Miami International Airport.
In mid-May, Chicago relaxed masking restrictions in most settings other than public transportation, healthcare settings and schools. Bars have been permitted to open up without restriction and no curfews are in place. In normal times, Chicago has an exciting festival season that starts in late spring and goes well into the fall. The city has been given the go-ahead to resume the full festival schedule as of mid-June, so you can expect to see crowds and music and food fests back in full force.
The District of Columbia is yet another city to be throwing open its doors. In mid-May the city started relaxing COVID restrictions. By June 11, all remaining restrictions will be lifted, including sports venues (which will be permitted to open at full capacity). Washington DC has some of the best value for the money, with many free museums and activities for the family.
Los Angeles, California
L.A. has made a slower recovery than other places around the state, but things are starting to come back and there are a ton of attractions to track. The governor announced that on June 15 almost all restrictions will ease. No more physical distance requirements or capacity limitations at all. Masks will not be required for fully vaccinated people at most places other than on public transportation and airports, though partially vaccinated and unvaccinated will be expected to continue to wear masks.
Disneyland has begun the process of reopening, and we’ve shared what you can expect with the new COVID-19 precautions in place.
We’re so excited to see popular cities coming back online. Let us know in the comment sections which cities you’re looking forward to visit. We’re also open to any questions you need answers to about these destinations!