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Travel News Remote locations in the United States and the rest of the world

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Remote locations in the United States and the rest of the world

Whether you’re looking to really get off the beaten track or just want to get away from civilization, these 10 remote destinations in the United States and beyond may be just what you need! If you want a place to vacation in isolation, this is the time to start planning your remote getaway.

While we know travel is difficult right now, we still want to inspire your future travel plans so you can get back out there when the world opens up again. Bookmark our coronavirus travel advice page to stay updated on international travel restrictions and the latest travel advice.

Most remote islands

Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Have you ever noticed the little trail of islands on the western side of Alaska while browsing a map for your next destination? With 14 main islands and 55 small volcanic landmasses, this archipelago is known as the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

As one of the most remote islands in the world, you can either take a three-day ferry from Homer or a three-hour flight to Dutch Harbor, Unalaska from Anchorage. Unalaska’s population is about 4,500 and the largest of all the islands. The Aleutian Islands played an important role in World War II, which can be seen in the buildings (think: bunkers, barracks) and learned about at the Aleutian WWII National Historic Area in Unalaska.

With isolation comes benefits — like being able to view endangered animals like Stellar sea lions, humpback whales, and short-tailed albatrosses in their natural habitat.

Two people on remote island Unalaska

Santa Cruz Island, California

A one-hour ferry ride from California’s mainland, Santa Cruz Island is the largest of the Channel Island chain. While most locals and visitors mill around downtown Santa Barbara, take a detour to the quiet and isolation of mountain trails, fine-grain beaches, and tide pools.

The waters around the island are perfect for snorkeling, diving among the thick kelp forests, and kayaking for hours along the cliffs. This remote destination is home to species such as the island scrub-jay, California brown pelicans, and island foxes. It’s also a fantastic place to view 27 different species of migrating whales and dolphins.

Planning to stay overnight? Although there are no hotels, $15 will get you a family-friendly campsite with water, picnic tables, and a pit toilet.  

Boat docking at Santa Cruz Island, California

Tristan da Cunha

A British overseas territory, Tristan da Cunha lays the claim as the most remote island on Earth. But how isolated is it really? Located in the South Atlantic, Tristan is 1,750 miles east from South Africa and over 2,000 miles west from South America.

With no airport, the only option is to sail for five to six days from Cape Town. Due to its remote location, you may think this island is uninhabited. However, Tristan has an estimated population of about 260 people! Although there are no restaurants or hotels, you can still have a pint at the world’s most remote pub, Albatross Bar, to commemorate your trip.

Most remote desert destinations

Black Rock Desert, Nevada

Once covered by water in prehistoric times, the Black Rock Desert is now a whopping 314,829 acres of flat, desert wilderness. Dry and tree-less, the alkaline flats have a beauty of their own that can’t be found anywhere else. The Black Rock Desert is about two hours from Reno by car and one of the most remote destinations in Nevada.

As of 1986, a part of Black Rock Desert turns into a self-sufficient city once a year during Burning Man (postponed for 2020). The Burning Man event lasts about a week and attracts thousands of artists, installations, and musicians. If you’re seeking isolation, make sure to visit the Black Rock Desert when Burning Man isn’t in full swing.

Black Rock City in Nevada

Ténéré Desert in Niger and Chad

Extremely hot and dry, the Ténéré Desert is exactly what you imagine when you think of the Sahara Desert. Comprised of hundreds of miles of sand dunes, the Ténéré Desert sits between Niger and Chad. With little water and 154,000 square miles of sand, it’s an unforgiving region in the Sahara. It’s known not only as one of the most remote deserts but also as one of the most remote destinations in the world.

Sand dunes in Tenere Desert

Most remote towns in the US

Marfa in Texas

Although Marfa has been popularized by Instagram, it’s still one of the most remote destinations in the USA. This small town in West Texas (with a population of around 1,900) was first designated as a water stop in the late 1800s. Now, it attracts a community of creatives with its contemporary art galleries, boutiques, outdoor installations, and exhibitions. Its secluded location, over 170 miles from any big city, makes Marfa a fabulous place to stargaze, do astrophotography, and take in the Milky Way.

Prada art installation in remote Marfa, Texas

Glasgow in Montana

According to Oxford’s Big Data Institute, the “most isolated town in America” is Glasgow, Montana. Although Glasgow has surrounding towns, the closest city — defined as having over 75,000 people — is 4.5 hours away in any direction. What used to be an air force base, is now considered by scientists as “the middle of nowhere.” While you take a road trip through Montana to see Glacier National Park or Yellowstone, you can also add a stop at the most remote town in the US!

Open plains of Montana

Supai in Arizona

Deep within the Grand Canyon lies one of the most remote villages in the US, home to the Havasupai Tribe. Although there is no road to the village, word has gotten out about the neighboring natural wonder, Havasu Falls. In order to preserve its beauty, reservations are required ahead of time to help manage the potential effects of over-tourism. While this area isn’t currently open to travelers, keep tabs on it while you complete other must-see Arizona road trip stops.

Havasu Falls near most remote village

Most remote places in the US

100-Mile Wilderness in Maine

Although this hundred-mile stretch of unspoiled nature is part of the Appalachian Trail, hiking the earlier portion is not a pre-requisite. While the terrain is tough and rugged, you’ll be able to hike through stunning blue lakes, thick evergreen forests, and be in near-solitude in the mountains (other than the occasional AT hiker!). Although you might have to train, there’s never been a better time to pick up a new hobby, especially if it allows you to experience beautiful, remote destinations like this one.

Remote wilderness in Maine

Nebraska Sand Hills

Located in the center of the United States, Nebraska can often get overlooked as a travel destination. However, being off the radar is great when you’re looking to get away from crowds of people. Specifically, take the time to visit the Nebraska Sand Hills — sand dunes covered in prairie grass that cover about a third of the state and date back over 10,000 years.

This remote destination is also an integral part of the sandhill crane migration. If you’re lucky, you can see hundreds of thousands of cranes every year resting along the Platte River before continuing north.

Nebraska sandhill cranes

Discover where you can go

Making plans to get back out there? Find out which borders are open with our interactive global map. You can also sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.

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