For many people, access to cannabis is an important consideration when planning a vacation; for both everyday and occasional users, kicking back and relaxing just isn’t the same without it (and what’s the point of going on vacation if you can’t unwind the way you want to?). But marijuana isn’t legal in every US state, which means planning a trip can require a little more research if you want to be sure you can either bring or buy bud while you’re away from home. With this in mind, here are our three picks for cannabis-friendly summer getaways within the United States this year.
1. Napa Valley, California
For most people, just hearing the name Napa Valley brings to mind rolling hillside vineyards. Ranked one of the top regions in the world for vino, people travel to northern California from all over to tour best-in-class estates, sample the wares and enjoy the warmer climate. But Napa isn’t just about cabernet sauvignon: As of February 1, 2022, recreational cannabis sales are now legal in Wine Country. This is good news for marijuana enthusiasts who want to enjoy both weed and wine on their sojourns to this area of California: There’s no shortage of gorgeous views, delicious food and incredible places to stay, and now access to cannabis for anyone over 21 can round out your time away.
Where to eat: There’s no way we could choose just one restaurant to recommend for your travel itinerary. Napa Valley is home to 16 (!) Michelin-star restaurants, and you pretty much can’t go wrong with any of them. From American comfort food at Ad Hoc to wood-fired pizza and classic Italian at Ciccio, there’s something for every mood.
Where to shop: Brand new to Napa is a cannabis retailer you’ll almost certainly recognize: The global brand Cookies, known as much for their bright packaging and super-recognizable clothing as they are for their weed, recently opened their first Napa location. Cookies dispensaries are popping up all over the world, with a consistent recipe for success that seems to work in any market.
Where to stay: Hands down, the Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa is the place to be for anyone who wants to work cannabis into their Napa experience. The Calistoga is a former 1940s roadside motel that has been renovated into a wine valley gem, with beautifully appointed rooms and a spa that boasts CBD-forward soak and massage treatments.
2. The Berkshires, Massachusetts
Despite the fact that the Berkshires really isn’t a huge geographic area, this gorgeous region attracts millions of tourists each year. Known for its large tracts of wilderness, including a section of the Appalachian Trail, as well as a thriving arts and culture scene, recreational marijuana sales were legalized in 2016. Now, in addition to world-class museums and galleries, live theatre and performances, phenomenal eating and more, residents and visitors can purchase cannabis at a number of dispensaries throughout the area.
Where to eat: You know you have to be extra cautious in museums and art galleries, lest you brush up against an expensive piece of work, so it’s probably a good idea to finish up your PUBLIC Eat+ Drink burger before you take a tour of the nearby Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). Okay, so we’re not saying you’re going to walk around and rub your sticky hands on statues and canvases, but we’d advise against a smear of ketchup on priceless art pieces.
Where to shop: Female-founded, minority-led cannabis dispensary Rebelle is nothing short of stunning. Described as “an Apple store meets a luxury spa retail shop,” the aim of the Great Barrington spot is so give its customers a high-end experience. In the light, airy shop that looks like it belongs in a design magazine, you’ll find marijuana in all forms—flower, pre-rolls, vapes, concentrates and edibles.
Where to stay: While not exclusive to the Berkshires, budandbreakfast.com is a great resource for finding 420-friendly places to stay for all of your cannabis-friendly summer getaways. The Berkshires boasts quite a few options, from rooms in historic inns to entire cottages and farmhouses where weed is welcome.
3. Sante Fe, New Mexico
Last on our list of cannabis-friendly summer getaways is this beautiful destination, widely considered one of the greatest art cities in the world. We’re talking all kinds of art, too—visual art, literature, music, dance and more. The US’s second oldest city, Sante Fe is recognized as a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, and you’re just as likely to be able to catch a one-of-a-kind art exhibit as you are an opera. New Mexico is another newbie to recreational cannabis sales, with the first legal dispensaries opening their doors in the spring of 2022.
Where to eat: With both authentic recipes and fresh takes on Mexican cuisine, Paloma makes everything homemade in-house—including the blue corn tortillas for their tacos—and their ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible. The menu also features a selection of agave-based cocktails, as well as classic drinks, beer, wine, mezcal and tequila.
Where to shop: Best Daze is a common cannabis retailer in the state, with seven locations across New Mexico (including three outposts in Sante Fe). If you want to include a Best Daze trip on your sightseeing itinerary, hit up the Railyard location. This area of the city is home to markets, restaurants, shopping and more.
Where to stay: It doesn’t appear that many (if any) hotels in Sante Fe are particularly high-minded, so your best bet is to find accommodations close to the city’s action. La Fonda on the Plaza and the Eldorado Hotel and Spa are both multi-star options that are sure to enhance your stay in Sante Fe.