From Oregon wine country to Maui, we’ve got some great ideas for your 2022 travel plans.

Suttle Lake Lodge & Boathouse in Oregon
Thomas J. Story

The United States is waiving a COVID-19 testing restriction for travelers entering the country, just in time for summer travel to begin in earnest, and just in time for travelers looking to explore the West.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is lifting its negative testing requirement for international travelers coming into the country and for domestic travelers upon re-entry—a restriction in place since last January.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has now shifted to a new phase,” a CDC spokesperson said in a statement, “due to the widespread uptake of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, the availability of effective therapeutics, and the accrual of high rates of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity at the population level in the United States. Each of these measures has contributed to lower risk of severe disease and death across the United States.”

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The CDC will continue to monitor the situation, according to officials, and could reinstate the testing requirement if cases rise or new variants spread.

The change went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday.

“CDC continues to recommend that those travelers boarding a flight to the U.S. get tested for current infection with a viral test as close to the time of departure as possible (no more than 3 days) and not travel if they are sick,” its statement continued.

For those traveling to the U.S. after months of waiting, or considering travel after years of staying away, we’ve gathered our recommendations for some of the newest and most exciting destinations in the West. Add these to your 2022 travel lists now.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle view of Pike Place market and Seattle skyline

Thomas J. Story

A blissfully balmy day amid a fun street scene couldn’t encapsulate this moment in this city’s evolution as a graceful culinary and cultural destination any better. At a sidewalk table outside Pakistani soul food spot Karachi Cowboys, a young couple with a French bulldog share a vibrant salad napped with fenugreek ranch dressing; down the hill revelers spill out of the aquatic themed-speakeasy style bar-within-a-bar Inside Passage; and readers browse the international magazines at Big Little News, a fresh iteration of the increasingly endangered species known as the newsstand.

From Capitol Hill to Beacon Hill and beyond, restaurants, shops, and hotels are dishing up new takes on the city’s longtime traditions. And now is a particularly delightful time in Seattle as the weather warms, the sun peeks out from behind the clouds, and the city comes alive. Whether you’re looking for nostalgic Filipino comfort food, a James Beard-level tasting menu, or an artisanal scoop to beat the fleeting heat, we’ve gathered where to dine, drink, shop, and stay in the coastal crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest. Explore more here.

Oregon Wine Country

Adirondack chairs at Stoller Family Estate in Willamette Valley, Oregon

Stoller Family Estate; Mike Haverkate

Oregon’s Willamette Valley is just one region of wine country gaining travelers’ attention lately. Great views, date-night spots, and expert wine lists push this area above the rest. Meanwhile, nestled between the Siskiyou Mountains in the south and the Rogue River in the north, the Rogue Valley is home to a variety of grapes from Pinot Noir to Chardonnay, as well as welcoming vineyards and innovative tasting rooms.

Here, Dave and Lois Cho, founders of CHO Wines, and Foris Vineyards winemaker Stephanie Pao walk us through these two Oregon wine regions. Explore more here and here.

Phoenix, Arizona

Outdoor bar in Phoenix, Arizona

Thomas J. Story

“There is definitely a buzz in Phoenix right now,” says Lauren Danuser, owner of the city’s expertly curated Local Nomad boutique. “You can feel the growth and expansion happening everywhere, being propelled by creatives, many of whom either grew up here and found their way back, or by transplants who have discovered Phoenix to be a land of opportunity.”

A new generation is making its mark on Phoenix, “leading with heart” and “bringing something new to the table,” as Danuser says. Explore more here.

Maui, Hawaii

Walk into the Best Western Pioneer Inn, and you’re stepping into a piece of history; the hotel has been operating on Maui since 1901. “Every room boasts a second-floor outdoor lanai that overlooks either busy Front Street and one of the largest banyan trees in the country, or the peacefully hidden historic courtyard on the interior of the hotel,” says Lee Anne Wong, a previous Top Chef contestant and producer who’s now behind the onsite restaurant Papa ́aina. The menu features “locally sourced and inspired brunch fare,” Wong says, like macadamia nut ricotta pancakes and crispy ramen with kalua pork. There is so much more happening in Maui, from fresh eats to tours and renovated hotels. Explore more here.

Palm Springs, California

Two Bunch Palms pool - mineral hot springs resort and spa in Desert Hot Springs, California

Stephanie Pia

If you’re heading out to the desert, we’ve got you covered. Palm Springs is brimming with new restaurants, bars, and coffee shops worth checking out. Restaurants like Bar Cecil boast the The Fifty Dollar Martini, Boozehounds is the ultimate pet-friendly restaurant with an expansive outdoor patio is the perfect perch for your pooch, and Vietnamese-American hot spot Rooster and the Pig remains a must-visit for good reason. It’s worth getting every dish to share, from the jasmine tea leaf salad to the shaking beef. Explore more here and here.

Take a Road Trip Along the Coast

Joshua Tree National Park camp

Thomas J. Story

It’s no surprise that people who love the outdoors want to keep the West Coast beautiful for years to come. One in five campers own an electric vehicle, according to Kampgrounds of America. So, we put together some road trip route ideas with plenty of charging stations along the way. Check out some of our favorite routes across the West, keeping in mind electric charging stations and mileage for your specific electric vehicle. Explore more here.

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