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Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips.

While Mexico and the Caribbean have long been popular spots to escape the everyday grind, traveling is a little more complicated right now. Many of us are avoiding—and in some cases banned from—visiting spots beyond the American mainland, and that means finding stateside destinations that offer some of the benefits of a tropical escape. Here’s where to set your watch to piña colada o’clock—no passport necessary.

RELATED: Todrick Hall’s Guide to Texas

Palmetto Bluff, SC

Photo courtesy of Montage Palmetto Bluff

The best tropical vacations offer a chill, relaxed feel amid a sandy backdrop. All that is possible in South Carolina’s Low Country, right between Charleston and Savannah. This area just west of Hilton Head is surrounded by 32 miles of riverfront and boasts river access and boat storage, plus a canoe club and golf course. For an elegant mix of Southern hospitality and breezy palm trees mixed with plenty of joints boasting Southern classics like biscuits and gravy, or shrimp and grits, Palmetto Bluff is a great pick.

STAY Montage Palmetto Bluff

St. Pete Beach, FL

Florida is a no-brainer when it comes to visiting paradise without a passport. Full of sandy beaches and sunshine, Florida looks a lot like a trip to the Bahamas, but with all the conveniences of remaining stateside. St. Pete Beach offers fun options like pirate cruises, marine line excursions, major league baseball spring training, or just a relaxing day at the beach or the pool. (Which is all we really want anyway, right?) For a classic old Florida feel, don’t miss a stroll around charming Pass-A-Grille.

STAY Kimpton Hotel Zamora

Nashville, TN

Hear us out! While Nashville is best known for country music, there’s much more to love about this Southern city. From upmarket eateries to rowdy honky tonks, Nashville has it all, including a slice of island life via the just-opened Margaritaville Hotel Nashville, offering beach-vacation vibes in the middle of the city. In the lobby check out the life-sized (and Instagrammable) flip-flop, catch some rays on the palm tree-lined rooftop pool deck, and enjoy a Tiki beverage at Fins Bar. You’ll forget you are minutes from Music Row and instead think you’ve landed in Key West or the Bahamas!

STAY Margaritaville Nashville

ALSO: Earn rewards while you relax in the sun, only with Orbitz Rewards!

Huntington Beach, CA

Southern California technically boasts a Mediterranean climate: Think sun, sand and surf all year round. Plus, Huntington Beach in Orange County is a mecca for the ultimate beachfront sport—surfing! Rise and shine to check out the city’s best breaks (wetsuit required), then enjoy Pacific Rim eats at the Shore Hotel chased with rum-inspired drinks at Jan and Dean’s Tiki Lounge. Expect the weather in SoCal to be pretty much perfect year round so feel free to hit the waves, even in winter.

STAY The Shore Hotel 

Santa Fe, NM

While not the first place someone may think of when planning a tropical getaway, Santa Fe is nothing if not a string of colorful adventures. From unique pueblo-inspired architecture to elegant art, you can’t help but feel like you are in another world even as you enjoy green chilies and fun jewelry finds. And while Santa Fe can get pretty chilly in winter, it’s a mecca for day spas and wellness retreats so you’ll have no trouble melting away in paradise. For a taste of island life, hit up Jinja Bar & Bistro—a local favorite.

 STAY Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

RELATED: These are the places Florida locals vacation

Las Vegas, NV

Photo courtesy of the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

While Las Vegas may be known for endless casinos, shows and restaurants, this desert paradise actually has a lot of tropical fun going for it. The Flamingo is the Strip resort that most closely resembles island life, thanks to outdoor waterslides, access to nearby golf courses, and a wildlife habitat filled with  exotic birds, koi fish, turtles and, yes, Chilean flamingos! It doesn’t hurt that Margaritaville restaurant is located within the resort.

STAY The Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Palm Springs, CA

The desert climate alone screams paradise, but sunny days aren’t the only item on tap in this mid-century mecca. For a true taste of island life in the desert, check into Caliente Tropics. This A-frame hotel is a touch kitschy, but that’s also part of the fun! Tiki touches abound, including vintage surf posters and floral prints in guest rooms, tropical libations at the classic poolside Reef Bar and lush grounds meant to evoke Polynesia. Best of all, the Caliente is one of the desert’s better budget options—more money to spend sipping mai tais!

STAY Caliente Tropics

Tagged: California, Florida, Las Vegas, Nashville, Palm Springs

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Aly Walansky
Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer.

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