25 Best Summer Vacations In USA You Won’t Want To Miss

What does your ideal summer vacation look like? Whether it’s camping in the great outdoors, soaking up the city sun, touring museums and galleries, or hiking mountains, you’ll find a little bit of everything in the States.

25 Best Summer Vacation Spots In The States

America has a rich history, and it’s bursting with bustling cities, mountainous neighborhoods, and more food than you can shake a stick at. Wherever you end up, you’re in for a treat, and you’re sure to find a spot that the whole family can enjoy.

If you’re feeling a little spoiled for choice, we’re here to help. Kick back and take a load off while we walk you through 25 of the best summer vacation spots in the States. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re here to help you find it!

1. Yosemite National Park, California

1. Yosemite National Park, California

First on our list of getaway spots is Yosemite National Park, California. Yosemite is a truly beautiful spot, awash with mesmerizing waterfalls, thrilling outdoor adventure opportunities, and an abundance of wildlife.

When you work your way to the center of the park, you’ll find yourself surrounded by beautiful towering rock formations that go as high as 900m up. It’s an incredible sight! If you love a good adventure holiday, you’ll love Yosemite.

You’ll never be too far from a thrilling hiking spot, and you can spend hours working your way through its awe-inspiring scenery, spotting both rare and familiar wildlife, including some striking birds of prey.

In the summer, temperatures can reach 32 degrees with minimal rain, so if you want to enjoy the beauty of nature in all its glory, this is really the place to be.

Some sections of the park are managed by Yosemite Hospitality, which provides plenty of lodging options for you and your family. You can rent tents, cabins, and even deluxe rooms, so there’s lodging to suit everyone.

Whether you want to hike, fish, skydive, enjoy a BBQ, spot some wildlife, or admire the beautiful waterfalls, Yosemite is a truly memorable adventure holiday spot that your family will be talking about for years to come.

2. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

2. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

A quick heads up: we’ve mentioned several national parks in this list because, well, we love them! The U.S.A. has so many geographical points of interest, and its national parks are a prime opportunity to get up close and personal with the best of what nature has to offer.

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is no exception. Bryce Canyon National Park is a red rock paradise, and home to some of the most exciting vacation spots in the whole of the U.S., and it can be found in the southwest of Utah.

When you first step foot in the magic that is Bryce Canyon, you’ll be able to explore forests, lakes, incredible canyons, and beautiful monuments.

We’d also recommend visiting the most popular section of the park, Bryce Amphitheater, to see the world’s largest concentration of hoodoos or irregular rock spires! When the sun sets, the fun doesn’t stop.

As day turns into night, Bryce Canyon becomes a spectacular viewpoint for stars and constellations, so you’re guaranteed beautiful sights, 24 hours a day.

There are plenty of great hiking spots, including simple walks across the Bryce Amphitheater, or more challenging trails by the Peek-a-boo Loop Trail.

You can even rent a bike and cycle the first three miles of the park, try your hand at horseback riding and access the horse trails, and much more!

There are plenty of hotels nearby, including Bryce Trails Bed and Breakfast, Bryce Country Cabins, and many more, all within a 5 miles radius of the park.

Whether you’re staying for a few days or a week, Bryce Canyon is the ultimate summer adventure you won’t want to miss out on!

3. White Sands National Park, New Mexico

3. White Sands National Park, New Mexico

Next up, we have one of our favorite national parks ever: White Sands National Park in New Mexico. From the depths of the Tularosa Basin rises one of the greatest natural wonders in the world – the white sands.

If you’re a national park lover, you won’t want to miss the chance to see this spectacular sight for yourself. Here, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for the whole family to explore, adventure, have fun, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

At White Sands National Park, you can backcountry camp amidst the spectacular white sands, but spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so arrive early to avoid disappointment!

Once you arrive and receive your permit, you’ll backpack over to your camping spot, and get to live amongst the alabaster dunes and the unique ecosystem that surrounds you.

The sunsets and sunrises will never fail to inspire you, and it’s a scene that the whole family will love. Some of the incredible wildlife you may spot include coyotes, bobcats, rabbits, porcupines, foxes, badgers, and rodents.

Plus, the white sand (also known as gypsum sand), doesn’t hold the heat like regular sand, meaning you can walk barefoot throughout it during the day. What more could you want in the summer?

Have you ever wanted to go sledding in the height of summer? Well, you can do so at White Sands! The sand acts like snow, making it perfect for sledding on. Don’t forget to bring your sled and hit the slopes – it’s one experience you won’t want to miss!

You’ll also find five established trails in the park to hike on, each with varying difficulty. There are so many opportunities to explore, grab a good picture, and see the wildlife around you.

If you’re an experienced hiker, you’ll love the Alkali Flat Trail, which winds through the heart of the sands and tumbles over some of the park’s steepest dunes. Buckle up for the adventure vacation of a lifetime, White Sands National Park is where it’s at!

4. Maui, Hawaii

4. Maui, Hawaii

This incredible volcanic island is the second-largest Hawaiian island, and it’s a vacation hotspot for travelers from all over the world. If we had to give you a brief summary of Maui, it would be “a little slice of heaven”.

Maui is home to a staggering 30 miles of tropical beaches, with insane coastal views and some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever witness.

From waterfalls and highways to incredible coastlines and the volcanic Haleakala, there are so many dazzling natural wonders to see while you’re here.

When you vacation in Maui, you’ll get a chance to enjoy island life. Kick back, relax, and enjoy your own little pinch of paradise on one of Maui’s many beautiful beaches.

You can even try your hand at an abundance of water activities, including kayaking, paddle boarding, and surfing! If you really want to make the most of your holiday, why not go snorkeling with manta rays and dolphins?

Alternatively, you can take to the open road and drive through the stunning seaside cliffs that surround Maui. This 65-mile route has restricted speeds and some pretty treacherous turns, so the adventure will easily take you a whole day.

Once you are near Hana, you can cool off at the Honokalani beach, and take a memorable walk through the black volcanic sand, or stop by for some one-of-a-kind tacos at one of the area’s best-loved food trucks!

For plenty of delicious food and quality entertainment, we’d highly recommend booking an evening at the Old Lahaina Luau. Here, you can witness the iconic celebration that displays a vibrant nod to tradition, through music, dance, and a variety of unique food.

There are plenty of places to stay in Maui, from beachside hotels to campsites like Camp Olowalu and Hosmer Grove Campground. Maui has so much to offer, and trust us, you won’t want to miss a second of the fun!

5. Honolulu, Oahu

5. Honolulu, Oahu

If you want to visit Hawaii, you won’t want to miss the chance to visit Honolulu. Honolulu, informally known as Hawaii’s “gateway to the world”, is the vibrant capital city littered with incredible landmarks, unique shopping experiences, and fine dining.

Honolulu can be found on the island of Oahu, and it’s the best place to explore the arts and culture of Hawaii. When you visit Honolulu, you’ll be greeted by pleasant weather the whole year round, with particularly sunny summers!

It’s the perfect blend between urban and beach environments, and you’ll have many beautiful sights to see, including the iconic Pearl Harbor National Memorial, and the Battleship Missouri Memorial. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a trip to Honolulu if you didn’t explore the beach.

Waikiki beach is a hotspot for tourists; although it can get a little crowded on the weekends, Waikiki beach is a world-famous stretch of beach adorned with crystal clear waters and a long stretch of white sand.

Whether you want to lounge around, swim, or try your hand at surfing or snorkeling, it’s fun for all the family. For a small island, Honolulu has a pretty impressive shopping experience.

The area is awash with plenty of small, local shops, and large shopping centers that are home to some more well-known brands. You’ll even stumble across flea markets from the local farmers, which are great places to shop if you’re in the market for some rare finds!

Don’t forget to stop by Honolulu Zoo, either, which is home to some incredible animals, including the Burmese python, black rhinoceros, aardvark, African wild dog, Galapagos tortoise, and many more.

To make the most of your vacation, we’d recommend staying in the heart of Waikiki, where you’ll never be far from the beaches, shopping experiences, nightlife, and incredible restaurants. If you want a beach-style vacation in the city, Honolulu is the place to be!

6. Grand Teton National Park

6. Grand Teton National Park

Now it’s time for another National Park. Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming is one of the state’s most beautiful national parks, littered with alpine terrain, awe-inspiring wildlife, and crystal-clear lakes.

Grand Teton has so much to offer, and it’s the ideal place to vacation if you’re looking for a little adventure and peace. You’ll be surrounded by 310,000 acres of mountain meadows, lakes, mountain ranges, and valley floors – what more could you ask for?!

Grand Teton National Park is a paradise for hikers the whole year round. It’s always a beautiful sight to see, but in the summer, the park is really in its prime. If you don’t have time for too many hikes, you can explore plenty of the national park from your car.

Grand Teton has a 42-mile loop drive that flows through the highlights of the area, including canyons and stunning lakes. You can even drive up to the summit of Signal Mountain for some of the most beautiful panoramic views you’ll ever witness!

If you love being out on the water, you won’t want to miss your chance to go canoeing. Hire a raft and set off on an unforgettable adventure through Jenny Lake.

This is destined to be one of the most serene trips of your life, and from the comfort of your boat, you’ll see some incredible wildlife, such as ospreys, deer, and eagles, and you’ll get an uninterrupted view of the incredible mountains that surround you.

If you want to be as close to the action as possible, we’d recommend staying in Jenny Lake Lodge. This rustic cabin property is ideal for the whole family, and it offers some of the most stunning views of the park you could hope for.

You’ll also find other lodgings nearby, including Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa, Triangle X Ranch, and more. Adventure-loving families will adore their stay here – it’s one way to set your summer off with a bang!

7. Lake Tahoe

7. Lake Tahoe

On the border between California and Nevada, you’ll find one of America’s most beautiful sights – Lake Tahoe. This freshwater lake can be found in the Sierra Nevada of the states, and it’s a particularly popular destination in the summer.

Lake Tahoe is one of the largest lakes in North America, and it’s filled with beautiful beaches and plenty of hiking trails. All-in-all, it’s a must-visit destination for those looking to unwind.

It’s also dog-friendly, so your favorite four-legged friends can come along for the adventure, too! Most of the trails around Lake Tahoe lead to Emerald Bay State Park. This outstanding area can be found on the west shore of the lake, and it’s a hotspot for tourists and locals.

From here, you can even take a kayak to the shoreline of the bay, and head out onto the open waters for an unforgettable adventure. Don’t forget to check out one of the area’s most popular picnic sites, Echo Lake.

This lake is just a 25 minutes drive from Lake Tahoe, and here, you’ll find even more hiking trails to get stuck into. This area is quieter than Lake Tahoe, so if you’re looking for some peace, you’ll be sure to find it here.

If you’re hungry for a mountain climb, you can work your way up Mt. Tallac, one of the highest mountain peaks around Lake Tahoe. The route can be a little challenging for inexperienced hikers, but the view at the peak is SO worth it.

On the way up, you’ll trek through granite and lose rock, and at the top, you’ll see some of the best views of Lake Tahoe, Granite Lake, and the wilderness beyond.

Whether you want to get away for a few nights or a few weeks, Lake Tahoe has endless opportunities to relax, hike, swim, kayak, and much more. You’ll love this place so much, you’ll never want to leave!

8. New York City, New York

8. New York City, New York

How could we make a list of summer vacation destinations and not include New York?! New York is beautiful the whole year round, and although it may be most popular in the winter, if you’re not visiting in the summer, you’re REALLY missing out.

This once-in-a-lifetime destination is enticing to visitors from all walks of life. Anyone and everyone is welcome in the big city, and no matter what you’re after, you’ll find it here. You’ll never get bored in New York, so it’s the ideal place to get away with the family!

Whether you want to visit museums, picnic in Central Park, see a Broadway show, try cuisine from all over the world, or take a walk through the botanical gardens, you’ll find it all on your doorstep.

You may think of New York as a traditional destination for those who love the hustle and bustle of the big city, but it’s also great for beach lovers, too.

New York is awash with long stretches of sand that line the Atlantic coast, and some of its beaches offer a real retreat into nature. Some of them are so serene, you’ll forget you’re in one of the biggest cities in the world!

New York is home to almost 23 km of beaches, such as Brighton Beach in Brooklyn or Rockaway in Queens, and both can be reached by bus or ferry from the heart of the city.

Don’t forget to visit the Statue of Liberty, visit the Bronx Zoo, take a stroll through the streets of Chinatown, and walk on the High Line, either. If you’re planning your summer vacation, don’t miss your chance to see the sights of New York. The big city is waiting!

9. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

9. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

The town of Jackson Hole is one of America’s finest tourist destinations. It may not be the most popular, but boy, does it have a lot to offer! If you’re ready to reconnect with nature, see plenty of incredible wildlife, or visit an intriguing festival, Jackson Hole is the place to be.

This bustling scenic location is a ski resort in the winter and a hiker’s paradise in the summer. The Town Square is also a popular sight for tourists, and it features unique arches made from antlers sourced from the nearby National Elk Refuge.

Jackson Hole offers a vacation like no other. Whether you want to fish, go rafting, visit a ranch, feast on some delicious food, or simply find your peace, you won’t be disappointed here.

Jackson Hole is also a favorite spot for some of the world’s biggest names, including Kanye West, Brad Pitt, Uma Thurman, and Sandra Bullock. When you see it for yourself, you’ll understand why!

If taking in your surroundings wasn’t enough, you’ll also find plenty of other things to do at Jackson Hole, including mountain biking, golf, dog sledding tours, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, climbing the Tetons, and much, much more.

You’ll also find plenty of lodges and rustic inns to stay at in the area, and wherever you end up, you’ll never be far from the beautiful sights that surround you. Jackson Hole is a vacation like no other, so don’t wait to book your trip!

10. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

10. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Next up, it’s one of our personal favorites: Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Rocky Mountain National Park boasts 415 square miles of protected mountains, forests, and wildlife, and it’s so beautiful, it barely looks real!

It’s one of the most visited parks in the country, and wherever you turn, you’ll be greeted by towering peaks, streaming valleys, and unique hiking trails. It also has one of the highest roads in the country to drive on!

If you’re geared up for a scenic drive, take to the 48-mile Trail Ridge Road which provides some of the best opportunities to see elk, sheep, and many popular lookouts, including Fairview Curve, Many Parks Curve, and Forest Canyon Overlook.

If you’re more of a hands-on thrill seeker, you’ll enjoy rock climbing, bouldering, and mountaineering in the area. If you really want to make the most of the area, you can even book a guided tour of the park and learn more about its unique history!

Some other tourist hot spots in the area include the geological formations of Alluvial Fan, Old Fall River Road, Alberta Falls, Sprague Lake, and many more.

Ponderosa Lodge and Fall River Cabins are two of the most popular places to stay in the area, or you can even make your way to one of the park’s campgrounds, such as Aspenglen, Glacier Basin, and Moraine Park.

You’ll be elevated up in the mountains, and wake up to the most unbelievable sights every day. It really doesn’t get much better than this!

11. Acadia National Park, Maine

11. Acadia National Park, Maine

In keeping with our national park theme, let’s take another look at one of America’s most beautiful destinations, Acadia National Park. Acadia National Park can be found on the mid-section of the Maine coast, approximately 160 miles from Portland, and 50 miles from Bangor.

Acadia is home to a staggering 47,000 acres of land, marked by beaches, granite peaks, woodland, and more. It’s also home to Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the East Coast!

Acadia, sometimes called the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast”, and here, you’ll never be short of things to do. Some of the area’s most popular attractions include Bass Harbor, Thunder Hole, Bubble Rock, Jordan Pond, and more.

When you’re visiting the area, there’s only one real rule – leave no trace. When you visit, you and your family can get stuck into a variety of activities, including swimming, tide-pooling, cycling, birdwatching, stargazing, and much more!

Don’t forget to take to the water on a kayak, either. It’s great fun for all the family, especially if you can take a trip at sunrise. The views are unforgettable! Sand beach is also one of the most beautiful beaches in the area.

This stunning little beach is just 290 yards long, but it’s one of the most beautiful sights you’ll see on your visit. Sand beach is nestled between the mountains, and it’s one of the park’s most visited areas.

Impressively, Sand Beach is also one of the few cold-water-shell-based sand beaches in the world.

This means that 70% of its sand is made up of barnacles, periwinkles, sea urchins, and mussels, and when the tides and waves crush the shells, the result is a beautiful, colorful array of sand. For the ultimate park-cation, Acadia National Park is one place you won’t want to miss.

12. Chicago, Illinois

12. Chicago, Illinois

Next on our list is good old Chicago. Our much-loved Windy City can be found on the shores of Lake Michigan, and it really does offer something for everyone.

Whether you want to visit a sports stadium, visit a museum, or an art gallery, experience some fine dining, or visit a world-class shopping center, you’ll have plenty of things to choose from! On the surface, Chicago may just look like any other built-up city.

However, it’s also home to over 300 parks, and some of the most inspiring architectural designs in the world. Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, and Burnham Park are three of the most popular parks in the area, offering some slow, tranquil spaces to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.

Before you do, though, we’d highly recommend stopping by George’s Deep Dish to try some of that infamous Chicago deep-dish pizza! If you’re all about heights and picturesque views, you won’t want to miss The Ledge.

This beautiful glass box (literally) is suspended over 1300 feet in the air, and when you’re up there, you can see the most beautiful sights of the city from a whole new perspective. It’s not to be missed!

If you’re ready to hit up Chicago’s prime shopping destination, take a trip to Michigan Avenue. This distinctive area is home to some of the area’s most bougie boutiques and luxury brands, giving you no excuse not to treat yourself!

When you’ve finished shopping, you can always head over to the Chicago River Walk and stroll across its stunning pedestrian walkway, which will give you plenty of opportunity for a good photo op, and some unique views of Chicago’s skyscrapers.

There are plenty of riverside restaurants close by, too, so you can always finish off your day with dinner with a view! If you love diverse cities, you’ll love Chicago.

The Windy City comes to life in the summer months, and you’ll find plenty of scenic spots (and good weather) to enjoy your surroundings with!

13. Big Sur, California

13. Big Sur, California

California is one of the most beautiful spots in the state, and Big Sur is one sight you won’t want to miss. This rugged, mountainous, and totally gorgeous area can be found on the Central Coast of California, just along Scenic Highway One.

If you love coastal areas, dramatic scenery, and geographical points of interest, Big Sur is an unmissable summer vacation destination!

Big Sur stretches out for approximately 100 miles along the Pacific Ocean, and it’s littered with an abundance of beautiful lookout points, campgrounds, and infamous landmarks. If you’re not up for a long hike, you can even take in most of the views from your car!

Cruise down Highway One and Bixby Bridge to see beautiful coastal views, and stop at Point Lobos State Park to see the sea of greenery below you. If you’re up for an adventure, you can hike your way around most of the Big Sur area.

Many of the hiking trails will lead you straight to some of California’s hidden gems, including charming waterfalls and cliffside views.

Don’t forget to stop by Pfeiffer Beach, Old Coast Road, McWay Falls, and Julie Pfeiffer Burns State Park for crystal clear waters, long stretches of purple sand, tidewater pools, and unique rock formations. These are truly some of the best sights in the area.

Big Sur has so much to offer, so making it your summer destination spot is a great call. You’ll find plenty of places to stay nearby, including Big Sur Lodge, Post Ranch Inn, and Glen Oaks Big Sur.

These establishments can be found in and around Big Sur, and you’ll get to wake up each morning to sunshine, beautiful forests, and the sound of the waves crashing.

Whether you want to cycle, hike, or lounge around and enjoy the views, you’ll find something for everyone at Big Sur!

14. Telluride, Colorado

14. Telluride, Colorado

Here’s a summer getaway destination you probably haven’t thought of – Telluride in Colorado. Telluride is a populous town in San Miguel County, found in the southwestern area of Colorado.

Telluride is steeped in history: this former Victorian mining town is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and is a particularly popular destination for keen golfers and skiers.

Telluride played a significant role in the American West, and it was officially declared a National Historic Landmark District in the 1960s.

Telluride has changed a lot over the years, and today, you can expect to find plenty of museums, gourmet restaurants, and attractive shopping boutiques.However, there’s one thing that’s stood the test of time in Telluride – The Rocky Mountains!

Wherever you are in the area, you’ll be surrounded by these dramatic mountainous views, and you’ll never be short on places to hike. If you really want to take in the views, we’d recommend taking the free Gondola ride over San Sophia Ridge and into the Mountain Village!

The trip takes just 13 minutes, but you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime. Prepare to be in complete awe of your surroundings, including its rugged canyon walls, lush forests, and waterfalls.

Telluride also has over 90 hiking trails to get stuck into, with multiple altitudes and surroundings to immerse yourself in. The Jud Wiebe Memorial Trail is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and it finishes off at one of the area’s most beautiful waterfalls.

This stunning 3-mile loop is also home to plenty of quality picnic spots, so don’t forget to pack a hamper! If hiking isn’t enough to satisfy your need for adventure, you can always take the family rafting on the San Miguel River!

The San Miguel River runs the entire length of Telluride and it’s the ideal spot for a quick dip, a spot of fishing, or a hike. Enjoy the river from an entirely different perspective with a guided rafting tour, and make some truly unforgettable memories!

Telluride is a truly unique place, and when you visit, you’ll return from your summer vacation feeling totally refreshed!

15. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

15. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Next up, we have one of our personal favorites: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Myrtle Beach is a popular resort city perched on the east coast of the U.S. in South Carolina.

It also sits right in the middle of one of the most infamous stretches of beaches, The Grand Strand, which spans an incredible 60 miles! Myrtle Beach is one big playground for lovers of the outdoors.

When you arrive at The Grand Strand, you’ll have so many activities to choose from that you’ll feel spoilt for choice! Whether you want to go fishing, surfing, jet skiing, horseback riding, kayaking, or parasailing, you’ll find it all at Myrtle Beach.

Plus, you’ll get to do it all against the backdrop of some stunning white sand beaches and crystal waters, what’s not to love!? Although the beach is the main attraction here, there are plenty of things to do that don’t involve the beach.

Some of the area’s most popular attractions include Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium, where you can see some of the most magnificent and unusual artifacts ever.

Take a stroll through their unique art galleries, intriguing curiosities, and animal oddities, and prepare to be amazed! Keeping the quirky theme in full swing is one of Myrtle Beach’s newest sensations – escape rooms.

Try your hand at a variety of interactive puzzles and attractions, and see if you have what it takes to break out of these rooms, escape the killer, or find the treasure!

You’ll also find a multitude of other exciting attractions on Myrtle Beach, including bowling, laser tag, segway and bike rentals, gold, trampoline parks, helicopter rides, and much more!

If you don’t want to waste a second of your vacation, Myrtle Beach is the place to be. With so much to do, you can be sure that every second is memorable.

16. Miami, Florida

16. Miami, Florida

Is it really summer if you don’t visit Miami? If you’re non-stop sun and nonstop fun, Miami is the place to be. Miami is famous for its incredible beaches, clear waters, glitz and glamour, and national parks.

Miami is called “The Magic City” for a reason, and when you visit, it won’t take you long to realize why! Miami is a vibrant metropolis that’s bursting with life and culture. There are so many things to do, you won’t know where to start!

However, the beaches are one of Miami’s most popular attractions, so it goes without saying that these are well worth the visit.

Mid-Beach, Haulover Beach, and South Pointe Park Pier are some of Miami’s most popular beaches, and you’ll be greeted with crystal waters, white sand, and plenty of sunshine every time.

There’s also plenty of nightlife nearby, so a night on the town with a sea view is a must! Miami’s Seaquarium is one of the area’s most popular attractions, and here, you can get up close and personal with penguins, tropical fish, and even dolphins!

If you’ve ever wanted to swim with dolphins and seals, this should be your first stop! Wine lovers won’t be disappointed either, because Miami is home to PLENTY of wine bars. Miss Schnebly Redland’s Winery is a hotspot for wine connoisseurs seeking a fruit taste of Miami.

Here, you can try plenty of exotic wines made from local fruit, and you can even take a stroll through the establishment’s tropical courtyard, and see a few waterfalls on the way!

17. San Diego, California

17. San Diego, California

San Diego sits on the coast of Southern California, and like most other places in California, it’s most famous for its beautifully warm climate, beaches, and parks, making it the ideal summer vacation destination!

San Diego is consistently warm and sunny, so it’s no wonder people are so happy here. It’s also a cultural melting pot, filled with vibrant entertainment, water sports activities, and much more.

If you’re a lover of museums and beautiful beaches, San Diego is the ideal spot for your summer getaway. If you’re planning a getaway to San Diego, your first stop should be Balboa Park.

This unique urban park is home to a zoo, museums, live shows, and cultivated areas. Its vibrant gardens are home to over 350 species of plants, and the Botanical Building is still standing after 100 years.

Walking through here feels like a fairytale, and it’s one spot that will be loved by the whole family. If you want a spot where the kids can run wild and you can keep yourself busy, too, you’ll love Embarcadero.

Embarcadero is a walkable harborfront in San Diego that’s awash with shopping boutiques, eateries, and stunning views of Coronado Island. Here, you’ll also find the USS Midway and heritage ships, which are must-see attractions for maritime history lovers.

The kids will love playing in the interactive fountains in the Waterfront Park – the perfect place to cool off if the heat gets too much! There are also plenty of creative playgrounds in the area, which the kids will keep wanting to come back to.

If that isn’t enough, you can also head out on the water for a spot of kayaking, rafting, or jet skiing, or just go for a swim! San Diego is one of our favorite summer destination spots, and we’re sure you’ll love it just as much as we do.

18. Seattle, Washington

18. Seattle, Washington

Seattle can be found in the northwest region of the US, and the northwest of Washington State. Seattle, also known as Rain City or The Coffee Capital of the World, is a small but vibrant city, and home to plenty of the country’s best cultural experiences, museums, and parks.

One thing’s for sure, you’ll never be short on adventures in Seattle! One of Seattle’s finest attractions is its oldest neighborhood, Pioneer Square. In Pioneer Square, you’ll find yourself surrounded by plenty of cafes, bookstores, art galleries, and stunning architecture.

The Klondike Gold Rush Museum is a hotspot in the area, where you can learn more about Seattle’s role in the mass migration to Yukon in the 1890s. For thrill-seekers, the Smith Tower offers spectacular views from the 35th floor.

It’s a breathtaking sight and one you have to see to believe! However, one of Seattle’s most popular attractions is, of course, the Space Needle.

This landmark provides panoramic views of the area, and it feels more like standing in a flying saucer than a building! For a more scenic experience away from the city, visit Bainbridge Island.

The Bloedel Reserve is filled with 150 acres of ponds, gardens, and meadows to spend the day exploring, and you can even stop by for some incredible ice cream on the way back at Mora Iced Creamery – a must-visit!

From remote parks to bustling neighborhoods, Seattle has a little slice of everything for everyone. In the heat of the summer, The Rain City becomes one of Washington’s most vibrant, bustling hotspots – aka, the ideal summer getaway spot!

19. Nashville, Tennessee

19. Nashville, Tennessee

Fancy something a little different? Why not take a trip to Nashville, Tennessee? Nashville, the capital city of Tennessee, sits on the Cumberland River in Davidson County.

As you’d expect from any capital city, Nashville is bustling with life and culture, and it has fast become one of the most popular destinations for domestic travelers in the U.S. Nashville is also informally known as the “Capital of Country Music”, so music lovers are in for a treat!

The Ryman Auditorium can be found in the heart of Nashville, and it’s one of the area’s most legendary music venues. Concerts still happen here frequently, and if you love the history of music (and beautiful architecture), you’ll definitely want to see it!

Don’t forget to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, either, which is a must-see if you’re a fan of the likes of Taylor Swift or Loretta Lynn! There are also plenty of architectural sights and stunning greenery to see, including Cheekwood Estate, the Tennessee State Capitol, and the John Seigenthaler Bridge.

The Cheekwood Estate, in particular, is a great spot for those who love art, history, and plants! The opportunity for a night on the town shouldn’t be passed up, either. As you’d expect from this country music hotspot, there are plenty of live music venues to visit.

The Basement, The Station Inn, and Mercy Lounge are three of the area’s most popular venues, hosting dreamy indie bands, blues, country, and more! Plus, there are plenty of tasty drinks and food to boot.

For country fans, nature lovers, and those who love a simple museum trip, a summer vacation in Nashville is a dream come true!

20. Atlanta, Georgia

20. Atlanta, Georgia

Next up, we have Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta has so much to offer, and its history is truly magical. As the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr, the city remains a political hotbed and is held in high esteem by those that live there, and those that visit.

Atlanta also boasts some of the country’s most impressive street art, stellar sports teams, delightful coffee shops, high-end shopping boutiques, and much more. Summer in the city has never felt so good!

Plus, here’s a little secret you may not know about Atlanta – it’s one of the coolest vacation spots in the U.S. if you love festivals! No matter what time of year you visit, you’re sure to find a festival in Atlanta.

Unsurprisingly, though, the summer is one of the best times to catch some action! From Atlanta Ice Cream Festival to Shaky Knees Music Festival, there’s a little something for foodies and music lovers alike.

If you want to learn more about the incredible history of the place, why not tour the Atlanta History Center and see one of the country’s biggest exhibitions on the Civil War?

If you want to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement, go for a walk through Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, a 35-acre park that’s not only the birth home of MLK but also his final resting place.

Atlanta is also known as “The City of Trees”, and the name doesn’t disappoint. When you visit, you’ll find plenty of beautiful green spots to kick back and relax in.

Outdoor fun is a focal point in Atlanta, with Atlanta Botanical Garden, Piedmont Park, and River Tubing down the Chattahoochee River being some of the area’s most frequented attractions!

This vibrant city is a fine place to be in the summer, and it’ll be a memorable vacation spot for history and nature lovers alike.

21. Santa Catalina Island, California

21. Santa Catalina Island, California

Ladies, and gents, here’s one you won’t want to miss. Santa Catalina Island can be found around 22 miles south-southwest of LA, and it’s made up of two towns: incorporated Avalon, and unincorporated Two Harbors.

Santa Catalina is a small but popular island, and it takes just 45 minutes to get there from the center of California by ferry! If you want a slow, lazy getaway, Santa Catalina was made for you.

On this beautiful island, you can spend your time sitting by the beach, doing a spot of shopping, or heading out to dinner at one of the island’s most revered restaurants.

If you want to balance slow and lazy with a slice of adventure, you can also head out on a 39-mile hiking trail, the Trans-Catalina Trail. This gorgeous trail stretches through the length of the island, and it can take between 3-5 days to complete it if you’re backpacking!

If you want to see the island at its finest (and push your limits while you’re at it), there’s no better way to explore than through this trail. There’s also plenty of free-roaming bison in the area, so keep your eyes peeled!

Whether you’re going away for a few nights or a whole week, you’ll never get bored of the beautiful sights of Santa Catalina.

22. Portland, Maine

22. Portland, Maine

Itching to get back to the city? When summer rolls in, it’s time to head to Portland, Maine! Portland is a port city that lives in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s the largest city in the state of Oregon.

It’s hard to know where to start with Portland because honestly, the city is awash with life, culture, and nonstop fun. Not only does it boast some incredible views of the wild outdoors, but it’s also a foodie’s dream.

Portland is famous for its food, and throughout the city, you’ll find a diverse range of international cuisines to feast on. Voodoo Doughnut is one of the most popular.

If you’re wondering why you’d travel so far just to taste these doughnuts, does the thought of grape, bacon, or pistachio doughnuts pique your interest?! Portland is also famous for its gardens.

It’s nicknamed “The City of Roses” for a reason, and here, you’ll find one of the biggest rose gardens in America. That’s right – The Rose Test Garden is home to more than 10,000 beautiful roses; what a great setting for a romantic walk, or a slow afternoon stroll!

For an immersive historical tour (and the promise of seeing three beautiful lighthouses), take the Real Portland tour with Real Local.

This friendly bunch will take small groups on an immersive tour of the city, and you’ll get the chance to ask plenty of questions and snap lots of photos on the way.

Don’t forget to stop by Casco Bay, the Portland Museum of Art, the Eastern Promenade Trail, and the Portland Observatory, either.

This unique city is warm, inviting, and packed full of fun in the summer – especially for foodie’s! Don’t miss out on your chance to spend your summer in The City of Roses.

23. Boston, Massachusetts

23. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston: it’s the vibrant state capital of Massachusetts, and it’s never short on things to do – especially for those who love sports and the great outdoors. When you dig beneath the surface, Boston has a LOT more to offer than meets the eye.

It’s no surprise this city is fast becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S.! So, why should you take your summer getaway to Boston?

Well, Boston is home to an abundance of green spaces, including the iconic Charles River, which flows through the whole of Boston and provides plenty of opportunities to get active and enjoy the great outdoors in the summer.

Whether you want to sail, kayak, paddleboard, or fish, you’ll find plenty to do here! You could even just bring down a hamper and set up by the water for a scenic picnic. There are also several beaches close by, including Malibu Beach and L Street Beach.

Both of these beaches are still close to some of the city’s main attractions, but they offer the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a moment of calm. Be warned, though, they can get pretty crowded in the summer!

Boston is also home to plenty of state houses, churches, and of course, the USS Constitution Ship which draws in thousands of tourists each year.

Take a stroll through the city and see these for yourself, or take part in the self-guided Freedom Trail, where you can walk for 2.5 miles and get a bit more insight with your history. There’s something for everyone in Boston – your new summer vacation destination awaits!

24. Washington

24. Washington

Now let’s look at a classic ‘summer in the city’ destination – Washington. Washington can be found on the east bank of the Potomac River, and it shares a border with Virginia and Maryland.

This 68-square-mile district is home to some of the most important museums, monuments, and artifacts in the whole country. If you’re a proud patriot or a lover of U.S. history, you’ll definitely want to spend your summer here!

Known as the birthplace of Starbucks, its stellar football team, snow-capped mountains, and national parks, Washington has a lot more to offer than just U.S. history. Its public parks are a particular hotspot for tourists, and over 20% of the area is dedicated to green spaces.

In fact, it’s thought that around 98% of Washington residents only live within 10 minutes of a local park, so you definitely won’t be short on greenery!

Most of these spaces are maintained by the National Park Service, including Tidal Basin, Georgetown Waterfront Park, Rock Creek Park, and many more.

Each park has something different to offer, but if you want a little slice of nature on your city break, rest assured, you’ll never be far away. We’d highly recommend visiting the Tidal Basin if you can.

This stunning park is also home to the Cherry Blossom Festival – no more description needed! When you do find yourself wanting to learn a little more about Washington’s history, don’t forget to visit any of the Smithsonian museums, which are completely free to enter.

There are around 17 museums and galleries in the collection, so there’s plenty of fun to be had. You can see the Declaration of Independence, the flag that gave us the National Anthem, and even Neil Armstong’s very own space suit!

Don’t forget to squeeze in a trip to the local markets, too. The Eastern Market is a must-see if you’re looking for fresh local produce and flowers. You’ll also find other vendors including jewelers and farmers in the area.

No matter who you are, where you’ve come from, or what you’re looking for, we have no doubt that you’ll find all of it and more in Washington.

25. Bar Harbor, Maine

25. Bar Harbor, Maine

Maine is never short of beautiful sights, and Bar Harbor is one of them. This charming resort town sits on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine.

With a population of just under 6,000, this is the ideal spot for tourists seeking a beautiful, easy-going destination to enjoy their summer break in.

Bar Harbor is famous for its natural beauty, the Acadia National Park (which you may remember from earlier!), its celebrity residents, and the Jackson Laboratory. If you want to spend your summer doing something completely out of the norm, why not try a spot of lobster fishing?

Yes, you heard us right! Take a trip on the Lulu Lobster Boat Ride, or Miss Samantha Lobster Fishing and Seal Watching Cruises for the full lobster fishing experience. It’s not one to miss!

In the summer months, bar harbor has a charming and vibrant nightlife scene that’s visited frequently by both locals and tourists.

Downtown Bar Harbor is the hotspot, and you’ll find plenty of quirky places to knock back a few drinks, including Leary’s Landing Irish Pub, Finback Ale House, Cottage St. Pub, and many more.

Whether you’re after craft beer or blueberry-infused cocktails, you’ll find it all right here! Food lovers are in for a treat, too. At Bar Harbor, you can take part in an exceptional walking food tour that lasts approximately three hours.

You’ll get to visit multiple establishments within the area, taste plenty of local dishes, and learn all there is to know from your tour guide about the food in the area.

Plus, you’ll get to see the historic architecture of New England on the way around! Bar Harbor is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the perfect getaway for those in search of an easygoing vacation.

Final Thoughts

At approximately 40 times the size of the UK (including all four of its countries), America is hardly short on things to do.

If the sheer amount of opportunities has left you feeling overwhelmed, we hope this article has helped you narrow down your search, and cherry-pick a few sweet spots for your next summer vacation!

Alex Kallen
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