Love camping, but want to enjoy the escapism without the *bears*? I checked out the secluded Escape Resort villas in the middle of Ruidoso, New Mexico for some much needed get away time, while still safely distancing myself from others.
Ruidoso is home to local shops, markets, and restaurants all owned and operated by the merchants of the town. One key tip? If you happen to visit in the off-season, make your food reservations early! While you may be able to grab a classic & dairy-free Flat White at the Cornerstone Bakery Cafe for breakfast, for lunch and dinner, you'll definitely want to call ahead at Grill Caliente for amazing Mexican food or the Rio Grande Grill & Tap Room if you're ready for great apps & drinks!
Another stop you'll need to make while on your escapism trip in the middle of New Mexico is the Grindstone Lake and local trails. The options are endless at this state park: from renting kayaks to hiking the 38 mile Grindstone Mesa Loop! The kayaks and paddle boats are only available to rent on weekends, so I recommend stopping at the boat shack early on a Saturday to get your water time in. If fishing will be more your speed, have no fear. Grindstone has a fully stocked tackle shop also available to purchase from while at the lake. One takeaway: BRING. YOUR. OWN. SNACKS. The lake has no available snack shop or local eaterie nearby, unless you're willing to leave the park for take-away. Be prepped with plenty to snack on: I posted my Ruidoso trail mix recipe on my saved Instagram stories, check it out for inspiration!
If you plan on staying for a while, the Noisy Water Vineyard is another nature option a few miles away. Once a month, the vineyard hosts sunset yoga - with complimentary wine tasting! If you happen to be in Ruidoso on a Sunday, Noisy Water also hosts a Farmers Market with local merchants, artisans, and yummy snacks for sale. Their wine-tasting and bottling storefront is located on the main State Street, if you're unable to check out any of Noisy Water's main events at the actual vineyard.
The Florida Keys hold many natural treasures with a day trip that will give you an introduction to the most fragile ecosystems in the world and many endangered species. This one focuses on the coral reef and mangrove island habitat, which are disappearing fast as development continues to put huge stresses on the limited natural and human resources