We get it, sometimes it’s hard to let go of your phone and completely unplug for a few hours, let alone an entire vacation. Between work, family, friends and other commitments, we rely on our phones not only to keep us connected, but to stay on schedule, take photos and direct us to places. Whether you need a break from technology or you want to nudge a family member to unplug, there are plenty of vacation destinations that command your full presence … whether due to their sheer beauty, device-averse activities or lack of Internet connectivity.

We’re highlighting border-town destinations and nautical adventures that are known for their ability to silence cell phones.

East Coast vs. West Coast

Whether you’re looking to surf, sail, hike, bike or find some other outdoor adventure, you can fill the void left by your technology on either coast.

There’s something about hiking in the unadulterated wilderness in the Adirondack Mountains that emboldens you to be one with nature. The six-million acres in Northern New York are dotted with quaint towns, lakeside villages, breweries and wineries and just about every outdoor adventure imaginable. One thing the Adirondacks does come up short on is cell phone bars. If you’re looking to splurge and experience a five-star resort (and if you’re giving up your phone, you deserve it), check out The Point Resort. The resort, built by William Avery Rockefeller, includes log mansions and activities including boating, fishing, tennis, swimming, hiking, skiing and more. If The Point is out of your price range, check out Lake Placid Lodge for a more affordable getaway with similar views and activities.

If you’d rather head west, there are plenty of scenic golf courses, spas and wineries to distract you from unread emails, texts and social media notifications. Check out L’Auberge Resort in Del Mar for a relaxing weekend at the spa. Named one of Travel & Leisure Magazine’s World’s Best Resorts, it boasts fireplaces, private patios, multiple restaurants and bars and a private pathway to one of the best beaches in California. If snow-covered mountains and lush rainforests would be more conducive to disconnecting, head further up the Pacific Coast to Olympic National Park in Washington. No mobile device can compete with 70 miles of wild coastline, thousands of years of human history and several distinctly different ecosystems.

North or south of the border

Nothing deters cell phone usage quite like the threat of hefty roaming charges. Consider a trip out of the country to the mountains in Canada, or an ocean-side resort in Mexico. A stay at a Kenauk Nature chalet in Montebello, Quebec, will literally take you off the grid. Chalets run on propane lights and solar power. Each of its 16 chalets is situated on either a private lake or gentle river with breathtaking views … all promise “peaceful seclusion.” 

If you would rather head south to Mexico for a tech-free getaway, consider Rancho La Puerta, a fitness and spa retreat in Tecate, Mexico. Known for having an atmosphere that inspires change and renewal, this resort addresses the many factors of mindful living, such as food, nutrition, exercise, rest and relaxation, education and expression. Tuck your phone away and enjoy classes that cover everything from fitness and cooking to art. Not big on classes? Enjoy the spa at the resort, or get out for a scenic hike.

Out to sea

While cruise fares are inclusive of fine dining, live music, Broadway-style shows and endless activities while traversing the high seas, Internet connectivity is not free for the taking. Cell phones often serve as vacationers’ cameras of choice, but it’s rare to see cruise guests connected to their devices. This forced moratorium from electronic devices is one way to limit distractions and focus on the moment.

Not only is it a good idea to take a break from your phone for your own mental health, you also want to be careful about what you share on social media when you’re away from home to avoid any unwanted house guests. Share your favorite places to unplug and unwind with us and other Fast Park fans on our Facebook page.