The Best Staycation in Every State

By: TRIPSAVVY EDITORS | Pulished on 2024-01-26

New River Gorge, West Virginia

The Best Staycation in Every State-Trip Advise
Zack Frank / 500px / Getty Images

West Virginia, USA
PHONE +1 304-465-0508

WEB :Visit website

When Morris Harvey bought his first 1,000 acres in 1866, nobody thought the land was worth much. It was steep and rocky, and Harvey got the whole parcel for $20. Today, that land along West Virginia’s New River is priceless, protected forever as part of the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve, the newest American national park.


Harvey’s circa-1902 mansion in nearby Fayetteville is still there, too, and its homey bed and breakfast rooms are loaded with charm. But don’t plan to spend much time inside. The New and Gauley Rivers have some of the most thrilling whitewater in America, and outfitters like Adventures on the Gorge and ACE Adventure Resort will give you the ride of your life on Mother Nature’s roller coaster.


Post-paddle, pick up slices from Pies & Pints (if heirloom tomato pizza’s in season, don’t miss it), grab a table with a view at the base of the New River Gorge Bridge, then strap on a harness for a sunset stroll on the catwalk. From its center, with your feet swinging 876 feet above the river, you’ll get a perspective few see, and none forget. —Kate Morgan

Madison, Wisconsin

The Best Staycation in Every State-Trip Advise
Henryk Sadura / Getty Images

Madison, WI, USA

WEB :Visit website

Even when it’s too cold to pop the sails or hop onto a stand-up paddleboard (this college town is home to five lakes covering 15,000 acres), winter in Madison is packed to the gills with outdoor fun.


Explore Madison’s 200 miles of trails, including its park system (you can explore on snowshoes rented at Vilas Park) and learn the joys of cross-country skiing when you glide along groomed trails at Yahara Hills or Odana Hills.


Order lattes from intimate, artsy cafe institutions (such as Mother Fool’s on the East Side or Michelangelo’s near the Capitol Building on State Street). The Edgewater’s ice-skating rink mimics a Norman Rockwell print with rentals available on-site. This modern revamp of an Art Deco jewel hugging Lake Mendota even offers contactless pickup for comfort foods like deep-fried cheese curds, a local-cheese plate, or a fish fry. —Kristine Hansen

Sheridan, Wyoming

The Best Staycation in Every State-Trip Advise
ferrantraite / Getty Images

Sheridan, WY 82801, USA

WEB :Visit website

The best staycation in America’s least-populated state is the scenic Old West town of Sheridan, located halfway between Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore in the Bighorn Mountains of north-central Wyoming. Sheridan boasts an unspoiled beauty, with wildflowers dotting the alpine meadows and glacially-carved valleys of Bighorn National Forest and the snow-capped Black Tooth Mountain looming on the horizon.

But there’s more to Sheridan than just wide open spaces and wilderness: Explore artifacts of the American Plains at the Don King Museum (and purchase Western memorabilia at King’s Saddlery) before visiting the American Indian Art & Culture exhibit at The Brinton Museum, located on a historic 620-acre ranch.


Check-in at the Sheridan Inn, a local landmark established in 1893 and the former home of Buffalo Bill. Head to Market Hall to check out Sheridan’s answer to Eataly—the culinary space opened in May 2020 and is a perfect take-out venue. —Katherine Parker-Magyar

More Article