3 places to go, right now

The number of travelers is steadily increasing a year into the pandemic just as the calendar turns to spring.

This is the perfect time to get out and go somewhere. Traveling right now also means avoiding the even larger crowds that are sure to form this summer, when a year’s worth of pent-up demand will surely be fulfilled.

Not only are the following three destinations open, but no passport is required as each place is located within the United States.

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Miami’s cityscape at night.
Miami’s cityscape at night. | Dennis Lennox

Greater Miami

When many people think Miami, they think of postcard-perfect sandy beaches — the ones, technically speaking, located in Miami Beach. Yet, Miami and Miami Beach are two separate cities.

Visitors interested in all things art and architecture will especially appreciate the several notable museums in Greater Miami. These include the Pérez Art Museum with its collection of modern and contemporary works; the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, housed within a Gilded Age villa that fronts Biscayne Bay; and HistoryMiami, which as its name suggests tells the history of southern Florida.

Also overlooked are three churches. The late 1800s Gesu Church, a Jesuit congregation and the oldest Roman Catholic church in Miami, and the Mediterranean Revival-style Trinity Cathedral, seat of the Episcopal bishop of Southeast Florida, are for sure worth a visit. But the most interesting historic church is St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church, a medieval Spanish monastery that was dismantled stone-by-stone and shipped across the Atlantic before eventually being rebuilt in North Miami Beach.

Early morning in Ketchum, Idaho.
Early morning in Ketchum, Idaho. | Dennis Lennox

Ketchum, Idaho

Best known for Sun Valley, a purpose-built resort once the home of legendary author Ernest Hemingway, this small town in Idaho has become a year-round destination with more to offer than just world-class skiing.

In fact, Ketchum now gets more visitors in the traditional shoulder season –– late spring through summer –– than ski season.

It’s no wonder why: Shoulder season is a great time to explore the outdoors or head to the quaint downtown with its independent shops, galleries and growing number of eateries. Some notable restaurants include the Cellar Pub, Enoteca and Town Square Tavern.

The drive from Boise, Idaho’s capital and the closest major airport, takes about two-and-a-half hours. Consider staying at the Limelight Hotel, an upscale 99-room hotel in the heart of downtown Ketchum.

The National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri.
The National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri. | Dennis Lennox

Fulton, Missouri

The 75th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s famous “Sinews of Peace” speech was commemorated earlier this month at the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri.

The museum is located on the campus of Westminster College, where the great British wartime prime minister spoke in 1946 and correctly predicted the rise of the Soviet Union.

Visitors to the museum also discover the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the style of English Baroque and built after the Great Fire of 1666 destroyed much of London, the church fell victim to Nazi bombs during the Blitz in 1940. Reconstructed with an interior faithful to Wren’s design, it reopened in 1969 during a ceremony attended by Lord Mountbatten, the war hero and last viceroy of India who was later assassinated by Irish Republican Army terrorists.

“Spires and Crosses” is a weekly travel column. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter and Instagram.

Dennis Lennox writes about travel, politics and religious affairs. He has been published in the Financial Times, Independent, The Detroit News, Toronto Sun and other publications. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter.

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