6 of the Best Summer Vacation Spots in the USA
Looking for more quiet destinations for the summer holidays? We've rounded up 6 summer vacation destinations to escape the crowds in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and more!
Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic, family-friendly American summer vacation spots because of its views, notoriety, and things to do while you are here. Summer is a crowded time, as it is peak season, especially with kids out of school, so you will want to lock in lodging many months in advance. Plan ahead for activities that might require a reservation, like rafting on the Colorado River.
There are lookouts and hiking trails throughout the Grand Canyon, and you can even take the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim, which is a popular vantage point. The South Rim is where you can find the Grand Canyon Village and the winding Bright Angel Trail, which is a popular hike for those who want a more aggressive excursion.
The North Rim is the least crowded spot with fewer tourists and it is only completely open from May to October. From October to December 1 it is only open for day use.
There’s no bad time to visit the Hawaiian Islands, as long as you’re into swaying palm trees, gorgeous sandy beaches, and warm sea breezes.
But if you’re heading to Kauai, summer is an ideal time to enjoy the best of all the natural features the Garden Island has to offer, making it not only one of the best US vacation spots but also an incredibly romantic getaway in the USA.
The northernmost of the archipelago, Kauai’s diverse landscape includes everything from lush, tropical rainforests and towering waterfalls to deep canyons painted in red and green.
There are many things to do in Oregon, but for a truly unique experience, stay a few nights in a historic fire lookout tower. Decades ago, Oregon had more fire lookouts than any other state. Now, the Forest Service has created a new travel experience by renting them out to anyone who wants to experience living in a house of glass.Others are on the ground but at the peak of a ridgetop. Each lookout features expansive windows on all 4 sides, offering unabated views in every direction.
Door County, Wisconsin
One of the best summer vacation spots in the United States is the serene peninsula of Door County, Wisconsin. The 19 small villages that stretch along the peninsula each have charming uniqueness, from cherry orchards and beaches to cliffs and historic bed and breakfasts. With 300 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan on one side and Green Bay on the other there are so many ways to make summer memories.
Take a guided kayak trip in Peninsula State Park or over the shipwrecks of North Bay. You can also choose to hop on board the ferry to Washington Island, where you can see Schoolhouse Beach, which has pebbles instead of sand, and soak in the relaxing aroma at the Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm.
In the evening, gather around for a traditional Door County fish boil as you listen to stories around the fire at one of the historic inns. It is easy to add a day or two in Green Bay to your Door County vacation, where you can tour Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, and visit several other Green Bay attractions.
Santa Catalina Island, California
Santa Catalina Island is a beautiful and popular island that sits right off the coast of California and is only a 45-minute ferry ride away.
It makes for a fantastic summer getaway location, and there are 2 main towns on the island that you can visit, Avalon and Two-Harbors.
The town of Avalon is by far the most popular stop for visitors, and many people opt to spend their entire time here.
Many people love to enjoy a lazier weekend on Catalina Island by spending time at the beach, shopping in Avalon, and eating out at one of the many local restaurants on the islands.
If you’re up for the challenge, there is also a 39-mile long trail, the Trans-Catalina Trail, that traverses the island’s length that you can hike for 3-5 days backpacking. It’s a unique way to see the entirety of Santa Catalina Island.
If backpacking the entirety of the island isn’t your style, there are still many beautiful shorter hiking trails throughout the island.
And no matter what you do at Santa Catalina Island, you’re bound to enjoy your time there, and maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot one of the free-roaming bison on the island during your time there.
Summertime is the peak tourist season in Portland, Maine but it is also one of the best times to visit for the full flavor of the city. Temperatures, even during the summer, are comfortable and barely exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you love outdoor activities, Portland fits your vacation style with preserved natural beauty and a simplistic vibe.
Much of your time will be spent on the rocky coastline listening to the sounds of the sea crashing upon arrival. One of the things Portland is most known for is its lighthouses. There are six within close proximity, including its most prominent, Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth. You can take a tour of one or all of them to get a sense of the town's importance to maritime history.
Outdoor recreation in Portland spans from kayaking and fishing to golf and sailing. Since Portland is located on the coast, you will find small restaurants serving up seafood and culinary creations using in-season fruits and vegetables.