Top 25 Summer Vacation Destinations in the United States, including Fire Island, New York

As the summer months are approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your trip (or a long weekend getaway). If you don’t want to travel internationally, this list of the greatest summer vacations in the United States is ideal for you!

As previously stated, this post contains the best spots to visit around the United States, where you can enjoy the warm weather and the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that can only be found during the summer. Make a point of including them on your American bucket list.

Whatever type of traveler you are, you will certainly find a tour to suit your needs here.

From mountains to beaches, national parks, city tours, and romantic getaways, there’s something for everyone! It will be difficult to pick just one.

Summer Vacations in the United States

1. Kauai, Hawaii

As long as you enjoy swaying palm trees, beautiful sandy beaches, and mild sea breezes, there’s no bad time to visit the Hawaiian Islands. However, if you’re planning a trip to Kauai, summer is the greatest season to take advantage of all of the Garden Island’s natural attractions, making it not just one of the best US vacation places but also an incredibly romantic escape.

Kauai is the archipelago’s northernmost island, with a diversified scenery that includes lush tropical forests, towering waterfalls, as well as deep red and green gorges.

Vacation with a twist

Hiking trails along the rough shoreline and above the clouds can be found on the scenic Na Pali Coast to the northwest.

At the same time, sandy beaches such as Hanalei Bay and Poipu provide many opportunities to spread out and relax in the sun.

The dry season on Kauai is summer, which makes outdoor activities and sightseeing flights to the island’s distant interior more viable.

The sea is also calmer at this time of year, making it ideal for snorkeling and splashing in the waves on hot afternoons that reach the mid-80s.

While summer follows winter as the prime tourist season, the crowds on this laid-back island full of little towns tend to be less than on its more famous neighbors Oahu and Maui.

2. Utah

If you enjoy the outdoors, Utah is likely one of the top vacation places in the United States, as well as a fantastic spring break option. You may stroll among the cacti and sagebrush in the desert in southern Utah, or drive five hours north to enjoy the cooler weather surrounded by pine forests and alpine lakes in northern Utah.
It has everything.

While it can get quite hot here in the summer, with temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it is still a fantastic location.

3. Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park, in Maine, is one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in the summer.

The food is delectable, the weather is perfect, and the atmosphere is enticing. Oh, and did I mention that the treks in Acadia are incredible?

The Bar Harbor Grand Hotel, located in the lovely town of Bar Harbor, is one of the greatest places to stay in Acadia National Park.

The historic hotel, which was built in 1881, is only a short walk from the pier, restaurants, and pubs.

Seafood is a must-try at Acadia National Park. Of course, the requisite lobster rolls must be consumed. Try anything with blueberry for dessert, as it is their specialty.

Blueberry pies, beverages, ice creams, and candies are available.

Go hiking in Acadia National Park

Hiking is one of the nicest things to do in Acadia.

The National Park has a lot of great hiking paths. The Precipice Trail is one of the more popular ones.

Because of the need to climb and scramble up the mountain, it is a popular hike. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s an interesting and enjoyable hike.

In the summer, Acadia National Park is a fantastic vacation place. Most shops close for the year in the fall, winter, and spring, making it difficult to locate lodging, restaurants, and pubs open.

In addition, the weather in the summer is magnificent, making it one of the greatest times to visit this stunning national park.

4. Oregon

There are plenty of things to do in Oregon, but staying a few nights in a vintage fire lookout tower is a genuinely unique experience. Oregon had more fire lookouts than any other state decades ago.

The Forest Service has now turned them into a new type of travel experience by renting them out to anyone who wants to live in a glasshouse.

Our family has stayed at two lookout towers in Oregon, and there are at least 18 available for rent. Lookouts come in a variety of forms, some of which are mounted on stilts 20-40 feet in the air.
Others are on the ground but at the ridgetop’s highest point. Each lookout has large windows on all four sides, providing unrestricted views in all directions.

5. Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine, is one of those up-and-coming locations that, despite its popularity, doesn’t always get the credit it deserves as a top summer vacation destination in the United States. I’ll even admit that I didn’t have big hopes for my visit. Portland, on the other hand, has quickly become one of my favorite destinations for a variety of reasons.

While I was there with a group of friends, Portland is the kind of place that would be ideal for a couple, a family of various ages, or even someone traveling alone.

6. Santa Catalina Island, California

Santa Catalina Island is a lovely and popular island off the coast of California that is about 45 minutes away by ferry.

It’s a great place to come in the summer, and there are two main cities on the island to visit: Avalon and Two-Harbors.

The town of Avalon is by far the most popular tourist destination, with many visitors choosing to spend their whole vacation there. Many visitors enjoy spending a lazy weekend on Catalina Island by going to the beach, shopping in Avalon, and dining at one of the island’s numerous restaurants.

7. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

If you’re searching for one of the top destinations to visit in the United States during the summer, the Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-see. Long before you approach the park, you are greeted by towering snow-covered peaks, many of which are over 12,000 feet tall.

Inside, over 300 miles of winding roads and trails, old pine woods, wildlife, wildflowers, lakes, and panoramic views transport you to a place of wonder and adventure.

As you gaze into far vistas from the Trail Ridge Road, which winds for miles over 12,000 feet and crosses the Continental Divide, you’ll see subalpine and alpine terrains.

8. Jekyll Island, Georgia

Jekyll Island, Georgia, is one of the top summer vacation spots in the United States, with peaceful beaches, beautiful scenery, and plenty of Southern charm. Unlike many other beach resorts in the Southeast, Jekyll Island has remained relatively undeveloped and commercialized.

A visit to Driftwood Beach is a must-do on any vacation to Jekyll Island. The beach is being eroded by the sea, leaving behind a cemetery of dead trees. The outcome is an eerily gorgeous setting.

Driftwood Beach’s distinctive environment is spectacular at any time of day, but the sunrise and sunset provide the greatest views. Capture your camera with you since you’ll want to take a photo every 3 seconds.

9. New Orleans, Louisiana

It’s impossible to have a top list of the greatest summer vacation places in the United States without including New Orleans.

New Orleans is a fascinating blend of people, sights, and noises that is unlike anything else in the United States, if not the entire world. The place will steal your heart with its wonderful food, great music, and nice people.

10. Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island is a small island off Rhode Island’s coast. It’s the ideal summer getaway because there are plenty of gorgeous beaches that aren’t overcrowded. The beaches are beautiful, and some of them are perfect for clamming or fishing. You can charter a fishing boat if you are serious about fishing.

There are also numerous hiking and riding trails. Hundreds of glass balls are scattered around Block Island as part of the Glass Float Project. Geocachers will enjoy the challenge of locating them.

You can however visit the island’s two historic lighthouses and enjoy the breathtaking views from the cliffs.

11. Fire Island, New York

Is there a better place to spend your summer vacation? Imagine an island that is only accessible during the summer!
That one-of-a-kind location is Fire Island, New York, a 32-mile-long barrier island off the south shore of Long Island in New York State.

It’s near to home and a great site for a summer day trip from where I reside, but many people make Fire Island their summer vacation destination. Fire Island can only be reached by ferry. Several buses run to Fire Island, with some leaving from Bay Shore and Sayville.

12. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park in California is one of the most well-known national parks in the United States.
Every year, thousands of visitors come to witness the stunning, glacially sculpted, huge granite cliffs that mark the entrance to Yosemite Valley and are part of the epic Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
The finest and most accessible times to visit the park are during the summer months when the roads and most treks should be open, campsites will be active, and Yosemite village will be bustling.

13. Assateague Island, Maryland & Virginia

In the summer, Assateague Island has to be one of the nicest places to visit. Its location on the Maryland-Virginia border makes it relatively accessible to many people, particularly those traveling from Washington, DC, or elsewhere on the East Coast.

14. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park is the place to go if you’re searching for a summer vacation away from the crowds and towns. It’s only 50 miles from Washington, D.C., and offers a welcome break from the frantic pace of life inside the Beltway.

It’s the ideal destination for families, couples, and lone travelers alike, with over 200,000 acres of protected wilderness.

The wildflowers grow in the summer, and the lush, green countryside that Virginia is known for is on full display, making it the ideal time to come.

Skyline Drive is the primary attraction of Shenandoah. Between Front Royal and Rockfish Gap, where it links to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the National Scenic Byway runs for 100 miles along the top of the Blue Ridge.

15. Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New York, is known for its severe winters. Buffalo’s snow problems are caused by Lake Erie, which is also one of the reasons Buffalo is fantastic summer vacation. Buffalo is a city with great architecture, and the best time to visit is during the summer. Buffalo’s prosperity reached its pinnacle in the early twentieth century.
Many of the skyscrapers in Downtown Buffalo were constructed around this time and are decorated in the typical Art Deco style.

Buffalo is the terminus of the Erie Canal and once served as a crossroads for goods traveling across the Great Lakes. The Buffalo River is lined by massive grain elevators.

Take a Buffalo River History Tour to hear the ghosts of Buffalo’s past while learning about the Queen City’s rise, fall, and rise again.

16. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Some of the best summer experiences are from Cape Cod.

Geographically, it resembles a hooked finger beckoning you to “come hither,” but it is a getaway from the hustle and bustle of Boston and the rest of Massachusetts. The Bourne and Sagamore bridges are monuments that take you into vacationland, complete with sea breezes, sunsets, and beaches with water that is never warm enough to swim in comfortably.

You don’t go to the Cape for a relaxing holiday in the sun.

17. San Francisco, California

In San Francisco, summer means fun, cuisine, and adventure. It’s when the street fairs kick-off, kayaking and boating around the renowned Bay becomes a lot more enjoyable, music festivals pop up, and you can take advantage of the numerous wonderful hiking options.

A trip to the Golden Gate Bridge is a must, as is riding a bike across it to Sausalito if you’re feeling adventurous.
Enjoy an ice cream at the legendary Lappert’s while admiring the houseboats bobbing along the bay.
Those with tired legs can return on the ferry and take in the city beauty from the water.

18. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Many people recommend going to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the fall. The weather is cool, and Albuquerque’s famous Balloon Fiesta is taking place nearby. These well-intentioned individuals, however, are incorrect.

Summer is the finest time to visit Santa Fe because it is the only time when you can see the world-famous Santa Fe Opera.

This opera is held in an acoustically perfect location in the desert. Not only does the music sound wonderful, but you can also enjoy the sunset over the desert while attending the concert.

19. Sonoma County, California

Sonoma County will check all of the boxes on your summer bucket list. The Russian River flows through this valley, providing numerous beaches for swimming and canoeing along the river.

The vistas of the neighboring vineyards and redwood trees will leave you speechless.

If you need a break from the sun, Armstrong Redwoods State Park offers easy walking pathways through the gorgeous trees.

Wineries can be found all around the county.

Drive southeast through Kenwood to compare the wine alternatives offered in one of their magnificent picnic spots, or check out the Dry Creek Valley for a tiny town setting with wonderful sampling.

20. Anchorage, Alaska

Dog sledding, ice fishing, and a lot of snow come to mind when you think about Alaska. Alaska, on the other hand, is as beautiful and enjoyable as the summer. Camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and other outdoor activities abound in this northern metropolis.

Alaska is known as the “Land of the Midnight Sun,” because the sun rarely sets in Anchorage during the summer. It never gets dark here. Plants grow quickly and large as a result of the abundance of sunlight.

Anchorage takes full use of this, with lovely gardens strewn across the city.

Wildlife viewing, renting a bike and biking on the many paths, and seeing small prop seaplanes take off and land on Lake Hood are some of the other things to do in Anchorage.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Anchorage Museum, Fish Creek, the Alaska Railroad, Alaska game foods such as reindeer sausage, and all of the city’s green spaces are all worth seeing.

This summer, visit Anchorage if you enjoy beauty and adventure.

21. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

For history buffs and foodies, Philadelphia is the ideal summer getaway in the United States. It is the birthplace of the United States flag and the Declaration of Independence, as well as Independence Hall. Furthermore, there is no such thing as bad food in Philadelphia.

Spend a day touring the Historic District and the Old City if you’re interested in history. Take a tour of Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House, or any of the other historic sites in the vicinity.

Make sure to spend a morning on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway visiting Eastern State Penitentiary and various museums!

In just two days, you may visit all of Philadelphia’s major historical landmarks, as well as experience the nightlife and delicious cuisine. It’s the ideal summer weekend getaway in the United States!

22. Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, tucked away in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, may not be New England’s most well-known summer resort, but it is certainly one of my favorites.
It’s a low-key town with miles of picturesque bike routes connecting natural, cultural, and culinary attractions.

Pick your berries and peaches at the Sweet Berry Farm in the morning for the ultimate summer picnic.
Then you’re ready to enjoy the 3,5-mile-long Newport Cliff Walk, a designated National Recreation Trail along the town’s stunning cliffs, guided by the revitalizing sea wind.

23. Florida

Beaches or Disney World are typically the first things that come to mind when people think of Florida.
Florida, on the other hand, features a plethora of unique outdoor and nature-based activities that are frequently ignored. Nature tourist opportunities abound in the state dubbed “The Real Florida.”

The vast array of natural springs in Florida is perhaps the crown treasure.

The fact that Florida is at sea level means that the water table is extremely high.

This, mixed with the state’s limestone deposits, makes it a natural springs and sinkhole hotspot.

24. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park is an excellent place to visit in the summer. Because the park is located at a higher elevation, it is essential to visit during the summer to get the most out of your stay.

Anything containing huckleberry is the best dish to eat in Glacier National Park. Huckleberry pies, ice cream, pancakes, and salads abound at all of the restaurants. Berries are also available for purchase at fruit stands.

25. Fort Worth, Texas

Look no farther than Fort Worth, a short drive from Dallas, if you’re seeking a distinctive summer getaway in the United States. Fort Worth is a one-of-a-kind blend of spectacular cowboy tradition and a down-home modern twist that is sure to make you fall in love with this wonderful city. In the summer, as the temperature rises, so does the enjoyment!

First and foremost, we must locate some fantastic lodgings for you to stay in while in Fort Worth. We recommend staying in the Sundance Square area.

Sundance Square is a 35-block district in downtown Fort Worth comprising restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.

It is easily walkable and close to public transportation, making it a wonderful place to call home during your visit. We love staying at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel or the Omni in Sundance Square.

While in Sundance Square, be sure to visit Yold for an awesome breakfast before heading to Del Frisco’s Grill for some fabulous food and cocktails later in the day.

The Bottom Line

It’s now your turn. What are your highest-ranked summer vacation destinations? Do let us know in the comments section. We’d be delighted to hear from you.