Feeling as if you need to recharge without all the hustle and bustle of digital slash technological chaos? Luckily, even in such a modern world such as ours, there are still a handful of spots in and around the good old United States where it is in fact possible to “unplug”—to get away from phones, tablets, and all other electronic devices to enjoy gorgeous scenery and invigorating activities instead. Rid your mind for a bit by going totally device-free. Here are six great U.S. destinations with no phone service.
DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT IN THESE DESTINATIONS
1. Big Sur
In and around this exquisite location on the California coast, commercial activity is fairly limited and super concentrated, especially along the stretch north of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. It’s only in ‘the Village’ that you’ll typically find the most hustle and bustle—and if you’re lucky, a few measly little service bars or Wi-Fi signals (or even AM radio). But all in all, you should just pretty much give up on cellphone usage because reception within this rugged stretch between Carmel and San Simeon is spotty to basically non-existent.
Ditch those gadgets and gizmos by traveling to Big Sur to experience nature in all its glory—from stunning beaches to meditation retreats to spectacular mountains, or wondrous whale-watching to endlessly star-smattered nighttime skies. You’ll be able to truly escape to a spot where there are no bothersome crowds, traffic lights, or digital age chaos. Instead, find just the sun, the moon, the stars, the fog, the wind, the ocean, and you.
Check out of the Digital Age with something like Lake Placid Lodge’s “Check-In To Check-Out Package”—which prompts you to leave any and all electronics at the door. Spend two nights in front of a fireplace in a cozy cabin instead of in front of a screen, or go on a long hike into the mountains or for a swim in the lake instead of busily texting your life away on a phone.
You and the family will truly be able to get off the mobile merry-go-round at this old-school Adirondack camp on New York’s lakeshore. Guest rooms are more than spacious, with polished wood furnishings, warm stone fireplaces, and hand-built beds that’ll have you spending the night roasting s’mores, playing a board game, and enjoying the company of human beings instead of internet trolls you’d rather live without anyways. Be sure to check out the one-hour cooking lessons with the resort’s chef in its Teaching Kitchen!
It’s the one and original off-the-grid American vacation that to this day still remains a stellar way to get out of the data stream and into the wild. Despite heavy tourist traffic during all four seasons, this Arizonian hotspot really is one of the best isolated spaces in the county to have dodgy cell service.
Hike the rims of the canyon and witness awe-inspiring stargazing at night instead of endlessly checking the screen of your phone. You’ll get comfy with American history and Mother Nature by visiting Indian ruins, learning more about the canyon’s history at the geology museum, and breathing in some of the best air to be found (the area is known to be more lightly polluted than most).
Isolate yourself with water activities, a hike or a boat ride into an isolated valley on the island of Kauai. You’ll be able to explore the lush mountainsides during the day and to camp out by the beachside come nightfall without the hassle of technology.
The entire Hawaiian island chain may be pretty remote by itself and especially full of spots where you’ll find absolutely no cell bars-- but especially so on this northwestern corner coast. Step away from the modern world to a place where there are no actual roads, but only endless miles of trails, cliffs, and spectacular beaches. Trek and surf to your heart’s content by following Highway 56 north for thirty miles as it curves along the coast to a totally device-free zone. You’ll be in digital-less paradise once hitting Hanalei.
Face it. National Parks are worth a visit—they are legacies within our great nation and there is no better way to bond with the family to enjoy the outdoors by heading out to special places such as Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Parks. When it comes to modern telecommunications, however, these nature-infused sites have extremely limited infrastructure-- lack of connectivity is the rule, not the exception.
Find instead, incredible things such as over 2.2 million acres packed with geysers, waterfalls, wildlife, scenic beauty, and an ancient caldera. There are wonders to be found at every turn in both parks, as well as the guarantee of no technological interference whatsoever. Get away from the outside world by adventuring in the parks’ various "cell phone free zones" without having to fret about sending Instagram pictures of your new cowboy experiences. Hop on a horse for the first time or chill out on a guest ranch, but just be ready to feel oh so disappointed with the persistent "no service" symbol that’ll be blinking on your silent mobile. Go on and savor Big Sky Country.
Pennsylvania and Ohio's Amish country offer yet another opportunity to leave those gadgets and gizmos behind to take a step into America’s past. Witness horses and buggies galore—along with an utter lack of modern conveniences that’ll have you appreciating the simplicity and beauty of life instead.
Pennsylvania and Ohio's Amish country offer yet another opportunity to leave those gadgets and gizmos behind to take a step into America’s past. Witness horses and buggies galore—along with an utter lack of modern conveniences that’ll have you appreciating the simplicity and beauty of life instead. Observe the no-fret lifestyle of the Amish, while staying relatively unplugged from the rest of the world by staying a weekend at guesthouses such as Ohio's Grandma's Homestead Bed & Breakfast, where you won't find access to Internet, televisions, or phones—but plenty of chances to take in gently rolling hills, lush farm landscapes, unique area antique stores, cheese factories, and other special attractions.
This article was written by Pamela Chan.