14 of The Best Places to Go in The USA for a Summer Vacation

Melanie Haiken

USA summer vacation destinations

Top U.S. Summer vacation destinations include Hawaii, California, and Florida. These spots offer diverse activities and stunning scenery.

Hawaii’s beaches and lush landscapes attract many summer travelers. California provides a mix of coastal beauty, national parks, and vibrant cities. Florida’s theme parks and warm weather make it a family favorite. Each destination offers unique experiences, from surfing in Hawaii to exploring California’s diverse ecosystems.

Florida’s famous attractions like Disney World and the Everglades ensure memorable adventures. These popular destinations cater to varied interests, making them ideal for summer getaways. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or family fun, these U. S. Spots deliver unforgettable vacations. Pack your bags and enjoy a perfect summer escape.

1. The Big Island, Hawaii

Kilauea Volcano

The Big Island of Hawaii stands out as a premier summer vacation destination in the US, offering diverse landscapes ranging from lush rainforests to volcanic deserts. Visitors can explore the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea.

Pristine beaches like Hapuna Beach offer the perfect spots for sunbathing and snorkeling. Thrill-seekers may enjoy zip-lining through tropical canopies or diving with manta rays in the crystal-clear waters. Aside from natural beauty, the island also provides rich cultural experiences with traditional Hawaiian luaus and historical sites such as Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.

Whether seeking adventure or relaxation, the Big Island offers something for every traveler.

2. Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island, Michigan, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical charm, making it a perfect summer vacation destination. With its ban on motor vehicles, the island exudes a peaceful, old-world atmosphere that’s ideal for relaxation and exploration. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the scenic shoreline or take a horse-drawn carriage tour to learn about the island’s rich history.

The stunning Mackinac Island State Park covers over 80% of the island and features lush forests, limestone bluffs, and breathtaking views of Lake Huron. History buffs will appreciate Fort Mackinac, a well-preserved 18th-century fort offering interactive exhibits and reenactments. Fudge lovers will find a plethora of shops offering the island’s famous sweet treat, while boutique stores and charming restaurants add to the enchanting experience.

Mackinac Island provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, making it an unforgettable summer getaway.

3. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park offers breathtaking views and a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle. Outdoor enthusiasts will find a paradise of over 700 miles of hiking trails, where every turn reveals stunning vistas of alpine meadows, dense forests, and pristine lakes.

Wildlife lovers may spot grizzly bears, mountain goats, and more amidst the park’s diverse habitats. For those interested in scenic drives, the Going-to-the-Sun Road provides an unforgettable journey through the heart of the park, showcasing panoramic views that are simply unparalleled.

Whether exploring on foot or by car, Glacier National Park promises an unforgettable adventure surrounded by nature’s splendor.

4. Lewes, Delaware

trip out on the water from Lewes, Delaware

Lewes, Delaware, offers a charming summer getaway with its pristine beaches and rich history. Visitors can explore Cape Henlopen State Park, a haven for nature enthusiasts, featuring scenic trails, sandy dunes, and a historic lighthouse. The town’s quaint streets are lined with unique shops, cozy cafes, and delightful seafood restaurants, providing a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

History buffs will appreciate the Lewes Historical Society, where they can delve into the area’s maritime heritage. With its welcoming atmosphere and diverse attractions, Lewes is a hidden gem for a memorable summer vacation.

5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park stands as one of the most iconic summer destinations in the United States. Boasting a diverse array of natural wonders, this park offers breathtaking landscapes, including geysers, hot springs, and expansive forests.

The wildlife here is equally impressive, with opportunities to spot bison, elk, and even grizzly bears. For outdoor enthusiasts, the park provides countless activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping. The geothermal features like the famous Old Faithful geyser never fail to captivate visitors.

A trip to Yellowstone is a journey into a world where nature’s raw beauty and power are on full display.

6. Outer Banks, North Carolina

incredible coastline of North Carolina

A trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina promises an enchanting blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue. This unique barrier island chain stretches over 200 miles, offering pristine beaches, charming seaside villages, and an array of outdoor activities.

Visitors can explore the rich history of the area by visiting landmarks like the Wright Brothers National Memorial and the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The region’s diverse ecosystem supports a variety of wildlife, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Water sports, such as kayaking and kiteboarding, are popular among adventure seekers. The Outer Banks’ relaxed atmosphere and scenic landscapes make it an ideal destination for a memorable summer vacation.

7. Boston, Massachusetts

Soak up the history of Boston

Boston, Massachusetts, brims with historical charm and contemporary allure, making it an ideal summer destination. Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill, where gas lamps and brick townhouses create a picturesque scene. Dive into American history along the Freedom Trail, a 2.

5-mile red-brick path that takes visitors past 16 historically significant sites. Families will enjoy a day at the Boston Children’s Museum, offering interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for kids. For a touch of nature, the Boston Public Garden, with its swan boats and vibrant flower beds, offers a tranquil escape.

The city’s culinary scene dazzles with seafood specialties, particularly the renowned clam chowder and lobster rolls. Catch a game at Fenway Park, one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the country, and soak in the spirited atmosphere. Boston’s mix of history, culture, and modern amenities ensures a memorable summer experience for all ages.

8. San Diego, California

laid-back San Diego

San Diego, California, offers a unique blend of beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and family-friendly attractions. This coastal city is home to the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, where visitors can explore diverse animal habitats. For those interested in history, the USS Midway Museum provides an immersive experience aboard a historic aircraft carrier.

Balboa Park, with its lush gardens and cultural institutions, is another must-visit destination. Surfing enthusiasts and sun-seekers will find La Jolla Shores an ideal spot to enjoy the Pacific Ocean. The Gaslamp Quarter, known for its lively atmosphere, offers a variety of dining and entertainment options.

Whether traveling with family or friends, San Diego promises an unforgettable summer vacation.

9. Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado

Colorado, offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. This charming town is renowned for its world-class skiing, but summer reveals a completely different side, with lush landscapes and outdoor adventures.

Visitors can explore the Maroon Bells, two of the most photographed mountains in North America, or enjoy a scenic hike along the many trails. The vibrant downtown area boasts boutique shopping, gourmet restaurants, and a lively arts scene, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Aspen also hosts numerous festivals during the summer, celebrating everything from music to food and wine.

10. Chicago, Illinois

art and architecture with a summer trip to Chicago

Chicago, Illinois, offers a dynamic blend of urban excitement and scenic beauty, perfect for a summer getaway. The city’s iconic skyline, featuring architectural marvels like the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center, provides a breathtaking backdrop for exploration. Stroll along the Lake Michigan shoreline at Navy Pier, where you can enjoy rides, dining, and entertainment.

Millennium Park is another must-visit spot, home to the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, affectionately known as “The Bean. ” For a bit of culture, the Art Institute of Chicago houses an impressive collection of artworks spanning centuries. Food enthusiasts will delight in Chicago’s diverse culinary scene, from deep-dish pizza to gourmet dining.

The city’s numerous festivals and events throughout the summer ensure there’s always something exciting happening.

11. Portland, Oregon

flowers in bloom in summer in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon, offers a unique summer vacation experience with its vibrant arts scene and lush green spaces. Visitors can explore the city’s renowned craft beer culture by touring local breweries or enjoying tastings at one of the many beer festivals held throughout the season.

The city’s numerous parks, including the sprawling Forest Park, provide excellent opportunities for hiking, biking, and picnicking. For those interested in culture, the Portland Art Museum and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry offer intriguing exhibits. The bustling Saturday Market presents a perfect spot for finding unique crafts and sampling delicious local foods.

Portland’s diverse neighborhoods, each with its own character, add to the city’s charm, making it an excellent destination for a memorable summer getaway.

12. Grand Canyon, Arizona

iconic Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon stands as a testament to nature’s grandeur, offering breathtaking vistas that captivate every visitor. This iconic natural wonder presents an array of activities for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Hiking trails like the Bright Angel Trail provide an immersive experience into the canyon’s depths, while the Rim Trail offers panoramic views without the strenuous effort.

Families can enjoy educational ranger programs and scenic overlooks that are easily accessible. For a unique perspective, consider a helicopter tour that showcases the canyon’s vastness from above. Whether it’s exploring geological formations or simply basking in the natural beauty, the Grand Canyon promises an unforgettable summer vacation.

13. South Walton, Florida

South Walton, Florida

South Walton, Florida, offers a serene escape with its pristine beaches and charming coastal towns. Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, this destination boasts 26 miles of sugar-white sands and turquoise waters. Visitors can explore the 16 unique beach neighborhoods, each with its own character and attractions.

From the artistic vibe of Grayton Beach to the upscale ambiance of Rosemary Beach, there’s something for everyone. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy biking along the scenic 30A highway or kayaking in the rare coastal dune lakes. Culinary delights await at local eateries, serving fresh seafood and Southern cuisine.

South Walton is a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, making it an ideal summer getaway.

14. The Ozarks, Missouri

hill country of Missouri

The Ozarks offer a picturesque retreat for summer vacationers. Known for its stunning lakes and lush forests, this region provides a perfect escape into nature. Lake of the Ozarks, one of the main attractions, boasts over 1,150 miles of shoreline, ideal for boating, fishing, and swimming.

Families can explore numerous hiking trails that wind through the dense woodlands, revealing breathtaking views and hidden waterfalls. The Ozark Mountains also present an array of outdoor activities, from zip-lining to cave tours. With charming small towns like Branson nearby, visitors can enjoy a mix of natural beauty and local culture.

Whether seeking adventure or relaxation, the Ozarks cater to all preferences, making it a top summer destination.


Choosing the perfect summer destination in the US can create unforgettable memories. From beaches to national parks, options abound. Start planning your trip today and enjoy the best the US has to offer. Don’t miss out on these incredible spots for an unforgettable summer vacation.

Happy travels!

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