As the world comes to a standstill as we try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we encourage all of you to hunker down right now, too. In the meantime, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to get back out there.
Winner: Bend, Oregon
A funny thing happened in Bend recently: the town, long a hub for skiers and climbers, became a certified SUP boomtown. The sport is so popular here that you can build your own board with Eager Beaver Surf Company (from $1,600; eagerbeaversurfboards.com). The reason for the surge is simple: variety. The Cascade Lakes of the Deschutes National Forest, about 30 miles southwest of town, offer prime flatwater paddling under the icy gaze of 9,065-foot Mount Bachelor (board rentals, $45; supbend.com). Or head to River Bend Park and work your way downstream through the Old Mill District, where plans for a new whitewater park are under way. The Tetherow Hotel (from $149; tetherow.com) opens in April and is located near 15 craft breweries. You can sample most of their offerings at the Lot, an open-air food-truck court and beer garden.
Runner-Up: Bahía Concepcíon, Mexico
For oceangoing purists, Bahía Concepcíon has 30 miles of calm waters on the Sea of Cortez side of the Baja Peninsula. Rent a board from Harker Board Company (from $8 per hour; harkerboardco.com) when you fly into La Paz, then drive to your base camp at a two-room casita at the Playa Frambes Lighthouse Resort in Mulegé (from $150; mulege.org), and paddle into the sunrise on glassy-flat seas that see little morning wind.