CANNABIS CULTURE – Sure, you could stick to the status quo with a trip to Amsterdam or Jamaica to celebrate your favorite flower; or you could visit a place none of your friends have explored before. Peruse our list of ten 4/20 destinations to elevate your celebration! Each prime location is handpicked to make a momentous experience out of your herb supply. Keep in mind that while not all of these places are totally legalized, most are either decriminalized or unenforced, making them even safer than most of us were before the more recent wave of legalization we’ve experienced in the U.S., so if you’re already used to being stealthy, you should have no issues.
The best under the radar 4/20 destinations are:
- Rainbow Mountains in Cusco, Peru
- Lavender sands of Pfieffer Beach, California
- San Juan Archipelago, Washington State (near Seattle)
- Blue Lagoon, Malta
- The French Alps in Sisteron, France
- Singing Sand Dunes, China
- Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
- Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats), Bolivia
- Joshua Tree, California
- Iguazu Falls, Argentina
- Rainbow mountain in Cusco, Peru
Nothing can prepare you to see a mountain covered in colorful stripes, yet this is what you’ll find if you take a day trip from Cusco out to the Rainbow Mountains in the Andes. Once an important worship site for the Inca, the rainbow mountains area result of a geological formation where the sediments settled in striking colors and variations that we don’t normally see on mountains; they were only discovered by tourists two years ago. This is not an easy hike, especially if you’re high, so make sure you’re in good shape and the weather isn’t bad. However, it’s more than worth it once you see the view. Peru is also a 4/20 fave location due to last October’s legalization of medicinal use and production.
- Lavender Sand at Pfeiffer Beach, California
Yes, the sand is purple. Another rare geological formation that will blow your mind with your favorite pipe in-hand. Expect to spend several hours ogling the psychedelic sand as it flows through your hands; you may not be sure what’s the THC running through you or the spirits of nature coursing through your soul. It’s probably a combination of the two. Make sure to go right after it rains, because the purple is extra visible after a pleasant shower.
- The San Juan Islands, Washington State
Imagine waking up on a beach–not too far out in the water is a baby orca and its mom, gently waving to you with a cute yet powerful flipper. Welcome to the San Juan Islands. A geological wonder to truly enjoy on your 4/20-themed vacation. Wonder how Sea World and all those other theme parks got their killer whales? This is the place! You can even island hop by bicycle: just take a stretch on the ferry to travel from island to island. Island residents are known for being “hippies” who love to grow their own food. Rumor has it they throw the best summer solstice parties on the West Coast (4/20 parties are a speciality there too), so you might be booking a return ticket for June.
- Blue Lagoon, Malta
While we’re talking about archipelagos, maybe you want to collect some stamps on your passport and leave the country: Malta is a must. Pleasantly placed in the Mediterranean, crisp blue water and vibrant sunshine makes for a perfect 4/20 vacation. The downtown is cool, but the Blue Lagoon on Comino Island is where you really want to be with your weed. It may be difficult to tell if you’re just really high or somebody dyed the water such an effervescent blue — it’s spectacular.
- Sisteron, France
Most people think of two cities when it comes to visiting France: Paris and Provence. Both are cool and both boast excellent croissants. But, to truly appreciate nature in all her beauty, you have to travel to a secluded portion of France somewhere in between. Le Drome, France is a well-kept secret French folk savor for summer vacations. The area is world renowned for impressive rock climbing, cycling and farm land. You can easily spend a whole day luxuriating on the river in Sisteron, marveling at the old architecture of Medieval cities and the towering rocks above.
- Singing Sand Dunes
No, you’re not hearing voices: the Singing Sand Dunes in Southern China are themselves singing from wind whipping the sand around the dunes so quickly. It’s a sight to behold. In fact, the Singing Sand Dunes are seated in a place called the “Town of Sand.” Beware of the winds in planning this epic adventure: now is not the time to bring any sort of bong or pipe — stick with a maneuverable vape pen or edibles beforehand.
- Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
You know how sometimes you’re smoking and you’re not asleep, but it feels like you’re floating through a dream? That’s exactly the sensation you can savor on a boat ride through Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. There’s something surreal about the rich limestone towers topped by beautiful trees and emerald water that laps at the rocks and grottoes below. Make sure your boat is dope and the captain is cool with some 4/20 supplies on board; this will make all the difference for your Ha Long Bay trip.
- Salt Flats in Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world! So why would you go there for 4/20? It might just be the only thing more ethereal than cannabis herself. Photographers spend days here, making it one of the top attractions for people experiencing Bolivia. Be proactive in getting the munchies here and do NOT be tempted to eat the salt. Bring your own potato chips, Bolivian salteñas, or whatever delicious food you are feeling at the time.
- Joshua Tree in Southern California
A classic location for those with a psychedelic spirit, JTree is easily one of the best places for a 4/20 vacation in America. Not only is it in prime recreational territory, you will find yourself off the beaten path, blissfully undisturbed by fellow humans and the bustle of the city. You’ll swear you’ve never seen stars shine so brightly. If you capture the right photos, you’ll be able to see an arm of the Milky Way. This has been a trusted stoner’s paradise for years, so go ahead and bring out the big guns with your favorite dab rig or other bong at this one.
- Iguazu Falls
You may have heard of this one. The largest waterfall system in the world, it stretches between Brazil and Argentina. Iguazu Falls is not the largest actual waterfall, but is by far the most enchanting waterfall of them all — you’ll know when you see it. While we highly recommend getting high and watching the water for a good few hours with your favorite munchies, the best part is actually the beautiful plants and animals around the falls, known as the Misiones Jungle. You’ll find endangered species of trees called Palo Rosa (pink wood) and a variety of beautiful toucans and orchids that are perfect for starting at when your eyes are red and glazed over.
If you’ve ever traveled for 4/20, what’s been your favorite trip? Let us know and maybe we’ll put it on the list for the best 4/20 destinations of 2019!
Sam K. is a cannabis activist of over ten years. This passion has her now pursuing a law degree to help elevate cannabis patients and professionals in Chicago’s budding industry. When she’s not buried in law books or writing pieces for the cannabis scene, she’s cozied up with her husband and cats–eyeing glass art on Instagram and cultivating clouds from her go-to vape pen over a comedy podcast.