Today’s Solutions: April 17, 2024

Leave the stress and bustle of modern life behind and enter a world where serenity replaces vehicles. These four gorgeous, car-free communities in the United States provide a unique respite from everyday life.

Halibut Cove, Alaska

Halibut Cove is a tranquil jewel nestled among Alaska’s gorgeous surroundings. This car-free refuge is surrounded by Kachemak Bay State Park and welcomes you to see a world shared by eagles, seals, and whales. The town’s allure is unrivaled, with stunning vistas of the Kenai Mountain Range and the Harding Icefield.

Halibut Cove‘s origins can be traced back to Alaska Native Peoples and Scandinavian settlers. This 8.12-mile island, accessible by water taxi from Homer, reveals its splendor through foot trails and rivers. Hiking, kayaking, and the creative ambiance of local galleries await you or take the Grewingk Glacier Trail for a captivating journey through virgin forests.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island, devoid of motorized vehicles, harkens back to a bygone era of eternal tranquillity. With almost 80 percent of the island designated as Mackinac Island State Park, travelers are captivated by its morning vistas and charming boutiques. Cynthia Birk, a Michigan novelist who loves the island’s pace, says, “I’m more connected to the sights, sounds, and even the other people there.”

The island, which is surrounded by Lake Huron, has 19th-century architecture and a tranquil atmosphere. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage trips through the island’s history and moments that feel like a journey through time.

Supai, Arizona

Travel to Supai, the most distant town in the continental United States, for a true retreat from civilization. Supai, located on the rim of the Grand Canyon, is inaccessible by car and requires an eight-mile climb. The ancestral home of the Havasupai Tribe provides a glimpse inside a thousand-year-old community.

The settlement, which is devoid of traffic and city lights, immerses tourists in nature’s embrace. The blue-green waters of Havasu Creek, which feeds into Havasu Falls, entice campers looking for peace and quiet under a starlit sky.

Monhegan Island, Maine

Monhegan Island, settled by Native Americans and secluded from the mainland, weaves a calm story. This one-square-mile haven, accessible only by boat, invites exploration along 17 miles of trails through rocky terrain.

The island fosters creativity because of its rich artistic past. The island echoes a creative tradition, from the Monhegan Lighthouse to the Monhegan Museum of Art and History. The Monhegan Artists’ Residency entices artists with the promise of inspiration in the midst of nature’s embrace.

As writer Shaina Kapeluck puts it, “Spruces as tall as city hall… more rugosa roses, the brightest I’ve ever seen.” Monhegan Island’s allure is in its simplicity, with a tapestry of experiences ranging from shipwrecks to panoramic views from the cliffs of Black Head.

These car-free havens provide an escape from the mundane, whether you meander through picturesque towns or immerse yourself in nature‘s embrace. Explore, unwind, and make memories that will last a lifetime among these lovely retreats.



We are highlighting this piece as part of our annual “Best Of” roundup of articles published at The Optimist Daily this year. Today’s focus is on the top Lifestyle solutions of 2023.

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