Categories Travel Ideas

14 Car-Free Getaways to Unwind Without Wheels

Calling all car enthusiasts and road warriors! Tired of being stuck in endless traffic jams and navigating congested city streets? While we know you love your cars, sometimes it is good to get away and breathe that fresh air!

It’s time to shift gears and explore a world where the open road takes on a whole new meaning.
From quaint European villages to idyllic island paradises, these car-free destinations offer a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the daily commute. So, get planning that car-free trip the whole family will enjoy!

Halibut Cove, Alaska USA

halibut cove alaska

Halibut Cove is a small fishing village located in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay State Park. With a population of around 70 people, this remote community can only be accessed by boat or plane, as there are no roads leading to it. Residents and visitors alike rely on walking, boats, and planes for transportation within the village, making it a truly car-free environment.

Giethoorn, Netherlands

Giethoorn netherlands waterway

This picturesque Dutch village is often referred to as the “Venice of the Netherlands” due to its extensive network of canals. Instead of roads, the village relies on waterways and footpaths for transportation, with boats and bicycles being the primary modes of getting around.

Lamu, Kenya

lamu kenya waterfront

Situated off the coast of Kenya, Lamu is an island town with a rich history and a unique way of life. Its narrow, winding streets are inaccessible to cars, and residents rely on donkeys, bicycles, and their own two feet to navigate the town.

Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy

Civita di Bagnoregio

Perched atop a crumbling hill in the Italian countryside, Civita di Bagnoregio is a medieval town that can only be accessed by a long footbridge. Cars are prohibited within the town’s walls, preserving its ancient charm and tranquility.

Islas Cíes, Spain 

Praia dos Viños, en Monteagudo, Illas Cíes

This stunning archipelago off the coast of Spain is part of the Atlantic Islands National Park. To protect its pristine natural beauty, the number of daily visitors is limited, and cars are not allowed on the islands.

Fire Island, New York USA

fire island lighthouse in ny

A barrier island located off the southern coast of Long Island, Fire Island is a car-free haven accessible only by boat or ferry during the summer season. Residents and visitors alike rely on walking, bicycles, and golf carts to get around this charming island community. During the off-season there are some permits for the people that live on the island. 

Zermatt, Switzerland

zermatt switzerland cable cars

Nestled in the Swiss Alps, Zermatt is a popular ski resort town that has banned cars since the early 20th century. Visitors and residents alike use electric taxis, horse-drawn carriages, and trains to navigate the town and surrounding mountains.

Hydra Island, Greece

port of hydra island in greece

This picturesque Greek island in the Saronic Gulf has maintained a car-free tradition for centuries. Donkeys and water taxis are the primary modes of transportation, with only a few exceptions for garbage trucks and emergency vehicles.

Fes el Bali, Morocco

Bab Bou Jeloud gat e to fes morocco

The ancient medina (old city) of Fes el Bali is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a labyrinth of narrow alleyways that are inaccessible to cars. Residents and visitors alike rely on donkeys, carts, and their own two feet to navigate this historic part of the city.

Venice, Italy 

venice italy santa maria della salute

One of the most famous car-free destinations in the world, Venice is a city built on canals, where transportation is by foot or boat. Cars are prohibited in the city center, preserving its unique charm and historic architecture.

Mackinac Island, Michigan USA

mackinac island sugar loaf limestone

Located in Lake Huron, Mackinac Island has banned cars since 1898, with limited exceptions for emergency and service vehicles. Visitors and residents alike rely on bicycles, horse-drawn carriages, and their own two feet to explore this charming island.

Bald Head Island, North Carolina USA

bald head island landscape
Bald Head Island

This barrier island off the coast of North Carolina is accessible only by boat or ferry, with no cars allowed. Residents and visitors use golf carts, bicycles, and their own two feet to navigate the island’s pristine beaches and natural surroundings.

Tunø, Denmark

ferry to tuno denmark

Tunø is a small island located in the Kattegat Sea, off the east coast of Jutland, Denmark. It is a car-free island, making it a unique and tranquil destination for visitors. There are an estimated 100 permanent residents on the island and it can only be accessed by a ferry.

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

little corn island coast nicaragua

Little Corn Island is a small Caribbean island located about 70 km off the eastern coast of Nicaragua. It is part of the Corn Islands, an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The island is car-free and the only modes of transportation are walking and biking. There are about 1,200 residents on the island.

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