The keys offer Caribbean vibes without leaving the country. Credit: Nextvoyage

It’s with a sigh of relief that we bid goodbye to winter and step into spring. Outdoor brunching resumes, spring break commences (skip trips to Florida this year) pesky seasonal allergies return, there’s a rare eclipse approaching, and a collective sense of renewal abounds. Finally. Spring is also the perfect season for digital nomads to take a break from the likes of Bali, Lisbon and Mexico City, stop home, recharge, catch up with the fam, and visit some of the top stateside destinations before they’re teeming with summer crowds and high temps. Here are The Escape Home’s top five picks for a bit of domestic digital nomading.

The Florida Keys

Think less “Florida man” and more tropical Caribbean vibes. In fact, free-spirited Key West  sarcastically seceded from the U.S. in 1982, declaring itself the “Conch Republic.” Overall, the vibes are laid back, the people are friendly and there is no shortage of things to do. Key Largo offers some of the best diving and snorkeling in the U.S., both in its reefs and wrecks. It’s home to the USS Spiegel Grove, the third-largest wreck dive in the world, as well as the famous Christ of the Abyss Statue. For those looking to party, eclectic Key West is known for its raucous nightlife scene. But for those who want a quieter stay, the white-sand of Marathon Beach is the perfect place. It’s one of the keys between Key Largo and Key West. Spring is also the perfect time to visit, beating both the crowds and oppressive summer heat — however, the Keys are the kind of place you intend to stay for a week and find yourself as a regular at a local bar three months later.

Poppies in Antelope Valley. Credit: Pamela Heckel / Unsplash

Antelope Valley, California

While spring’s iconic cherry blossoms peaked early this year, you can still get your flower fix in. You may have seen it before on Instagram, but less than two hours north of Los Angeles on the western tip of the Mojave Desert lies the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. Every year, typically between mid-February and June, the 1,700-acre park transforms into a sea of orange as the hills are blanketed in brightly colored poppies. As of publication, the poppies are just beginning to bloom, and the California Parks Department expects this year to be even better than last.

Flagstaff is the perfect base to explore Arizona. Credit: James Lee / Unsplash

Flagstaff, Arizona

A good selection of avocado toast and açaí  bowls might sound cliche but, let’s be real, they’re true requisites for any digital nomad destination — and Flagstaff has both. It still has an edge though: a “wild west town run by hipsters” is how one digital nomad put it. If that doesn’t sound like the nomad dream — a bit of a thrill tempered by high-speed wifi, we don’t know what is. It’s also a good jump-off point for a road trip of the state — Flagstaff is less than an hour from the iconic red rocks of Sedona and just under two from the Grand Canyon.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a long-established digital nomad hub. Credit: Diego F. Parra

San Juan, Puerto Rico

We know we’re pushing it with this one, but it’s not like we’re telling you to go to Hawaii. San Juan is an easy four-hour flight from New York City and under three from Miami (OK, if you’re on the West Coast you probably should just go to Hawaii). The city really sells itself — a charming blend of old and new on an island in the Caribbean that you don’t need a passport to enter. San Juan also has an established digital nomad scene, and there are plenty of coliving and coworking spaces with affordable rates. 

Arches National Park. Credit: NOAA / Unsplash

Southern Utah

A quick drive from Flagstaff by American standards, Southern Utah stands out as a digital nomad location for the outdoorsy types (you know, the ones car camping with their Starlink). There’s no shortage of national parks: Bryce, Arches, Zion, Canyonlands offer ample hiking opportunities, while the rapids of the Colorado River make for excellent rafting. Shoulder season is the best time to visit this region, and you can base yourself out of Moab, a funky little town known as an “outdoor playground” for its endless recreational activities: ATVing, rock climbing, mountain biking, 4×4 exploring, sand boarding and more. 

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