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8 Unreachable U.S. Destinations You Must Visit Without a Car

These are the marvelous U.S. destinations you must visit without a car! 

Whether we like it or not, cars have become a necessity, even on vacation. Even if you’re traveling to the destination by plane, you will probably need to rent one when you get there. But I have good news for you, my globetrotters: there are some U.S. destinations you must visit without a car! And trust me, the views are marvelous.

While some of them are ideal for an afternoon trip, others you can spend several days exploring. Now, I bet you’re curious so enough with the bla bla, let’s take a look at these amazing US travel destinations without a car:

U.S. destinations you must visit without a car
Photo by Henry Skinner from Shutterstock

1. Catalina Island: California

What comes to mind when you think about California? For many people, this means being stuck in horrible traffic in Los Angeles for hours. But there are still some destinations in California that allow you to have a car-free vacation! Catalina Island is one of them and is by far one of the best places I’ve visited in the past few years.

While there are a few automobiles on the island, golf carts are significantly more common, and I recommend you take advantage of them. Visitors can get to the island via private boat or ferry. You may even use the golf cart that is provided in many of the area’s hotel rooms while you’re there.

Whether you stay for a day or a week, you’ll have no trouble finding something to keep you engaged with the interesting shops, wonderful restaurants, and most importantly, a walkable town area, because, after all, this is what this is about. To walk more steps throughout the day instead of driving your vehicle.

2. Bells Canyon Reservoir: Utah

Another one of the U.S. destinations you must visit without a car is Bells Canyon Reservoir located in Utah. If you are looking to go hiking a bit and enjoy the surroundings without looking at the GPS or car roads, go for Bells Canyon. Trust me, there is so much to discover in this area that you’ll wish to stay the entire weekend.

If you don’t have a great physical condition or are simply not used to long hiking, you will find Bells Canyon Reservoir a true challenge. But when you get to the top, get ready to take out your camera. A few pictures are more than mandatory! The only thing that’s forbidden is swimming, but otherwise, the place is fairly safe if you enjoy camping. So put away your swimsuits until later!

3. Cumberland Island: Georgia

Are you looking for an adventure that feels like a fairy tale? Then pack your bags and go for a car-free vacation on Cumberland Island, Georgia. The island is home to the abandoned remains of a Carnegie mansion, in addition to being crowded with a herd of wild horses.

There are walking and bus excursions with guides available, but if this doesn’t appeal to you, you may also choose to take your time exploring the island’s beautiful beaches and woodlands. If you want to stay the night in this enchanted location, there are five campsites nearby.

The only ways to get to Cumberland Island are via private boat or the passenger ferry from neighboring St. Mary’s Island.

4. Caladesi Island State Park: Florida

Woop, woop! I couldn’t leave Florida outside of this list of car-free vacations, and I chose Caladesi Island, which is located on the west coast of Florida. If you want to go to a Caribbean destination but your budget doesn’t allow you to, Caladesi Island can easily replace it.

You can’t reach Caladesi Island without a ferry, or you can walk there if you begin from north Clearwater Beach. With breathtaking white-sand beaches, it’s one of Florida’s last natural islands. The three-mile walk around the island is a great way to get your heart rate up and take in the scenery before spending the afternoon lounging on the sand.

Be aware that the only option to stay the night on this excursion is aboard a private boat berthed at the marina; thus, it’s a day trip that requires no cars.

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5. Polihale State Park: Hawaii

Did somebody just say Hawaii? One of the best destinations in the entire world for me is Hawaii. But Polihale State Park is by far my favorite, mostly because it isn’t as full of tourists as other beaches.

It takes a long, poorly maintained road that is prone to floods and full of potholes to reach this location on the western side of Kauai. So I don’t recommend taking your vehicle here. Me and my husband tried riding the bike, and it was fine, but walking is the best.

If you manage to get here, you can feel free to soak up the sun, swim, and enjoy a nice meal without being disturbed by crowds of people.

6. Sitka: Alaska

Another marvelous car-free destination is located in Alaska, and its name is Sitka. Sitka, Alaska, is a settlement located on the wild Baranof Island. You can get there only by plane or by ferry.

This town is one of those U.S. destinations you must visit without a car because of its natural beauty and rich historical legacy. Totem poles and cultural displays about the 1867 Battle of Sitka, which led to Alaska’s transfer from Russia to the United States, may be seen in the Sitka National Historical Park.

Bears may frequently be seen in the town because it is home to many forests, so be careful and take some precautionary measures. This location is very unique, so make sure you add it to your future travel list!

7. Mackinac Island: Michigan

If you’re looking for a couple of other U.S. destinations you must visit without a car, add Mackinac Island to the list. This small town hosts around 500 people, but during the summer, numbers are close to 10,000 thanks to the tourists.

The gorgeous scenery, lovely tiny village, and delectable fudge of the island are well-known throughout the nation. The absence of traffic and the resort vibe make Mackinac Island seem more unique.

Since this is another city in which you may have a car-free vacation, the only way to get to the island is by ferry. To move around the island, you can rent a bike or come with your own because, as far as I know, it’s allowed on the ferry, but it’s better to read their policy before.

U.S. destinations you must visit without a car
Photo by Varina C from Shutterstock

8. Havasu Falls: Arizona

Last but not least, one of the car-free vacation destinations is Havasu Falls, located in Arizona. As a tourist, you must travel 10 miles to get to see the waterfall and permission must be obtained in advance of your visit.

If you decide to visit Havasu Falls, I advise you to plan the trip at least 6 months before since the demand for permits is so high and everything sells out in a matter of minutes. Day treks are prohibited, and lodging at the adjacent Havasupai Lodge is required for the night.

Although this car-free vacation requires a bit of planning and good physical health, the benefits outweigh the challenges.

How do you feel about a car-free vacation this summer? Tell me in the comments.

Are you ready for your next vacation? If packing your bags gives you trouble every single time you can change that by reading a few tips here 15 Efficient Ways to Pack Your Suitcase for A Proper Vacation

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