Photo courtesy Blackberry Farm

On the road again: Drivable destinations now open to visitors

Walland, Tennessee

According to travel advisor Kristin Diehl, getting out of the house also involves staying somewhat close to home as COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift. “People are looking for destinations that are close enough that they can avoid the airport,” she explains. Making the road trip part of the experience, she suggests traveling a little farther and taking in the South’s great outdoors. The Great Smoky Mountains’ 420-acre Blackberry Farm—pictured above—offers a multitude of ways to do so, including fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking and even instructional farming and gardening classes.

Amelia Island, Florida

Situated on Florida’s northeast coast, Diehl’s next suggestion offers an alternative to the beaches that Baton Rougeans have become all too accustomed to. Private cabanas and hammock massages are hallmarks at this resort, in addition to a golf course, surfing lessons and hands-on activities for kids.

Sylacauga, Alabama

In the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Pursell Farms features the intersection of old and new. Guests have the option to stay in the historic Old Hamilton Place, a home built in 1852, while enjoying Orvis sporting adventures and treatments at the Spring House Spa. Dog sitters are unnecessary, as this resort is pet friendly.

Adairsville, Georgia

While England is out of the question for this summer, this English countryside-inspired resort is within reach, with its post-COVID opening set for June 12. Private cottages with porches and clawfoot tubs form a home base as guests explore the remnants of the original 19th-century manor, ride horses around the property, and forage for wild herbs and mushrooms.