The best places to go in the summer for vacation

When the temps start heating up and the vacay days are calling, it’s time to pack up the bags and start up that much needed time off. If you’re looking for places to go in the summer, this guide is a great launching point, full of ideas and inspiration in the US and around the world, whether it’s a culture-filled escape to far off lands, or some R&R at a beach spot just a state away. The best places to visit in summer are calling.

East coast summer vacations

You don’t have to venture far for some incredible summer vacation places. They line the shores of the east coast, from big cities packed with arts and culture hubs to tiny islands dotting the Atlantic that spring to life come May or June. Places to visit on the east coast in summer trace from Hilton Head Island’s golf courses and sand-front cottages in South Carolina, through Boston’s history-rich Freedom Trail, and up to the bobbing boats of Bar Harbor, Maine, on the cusp of Acadia National Park.

Family getaways to the Bahamas

If you’re after the best summer vacations with kids, look no further than the Bahamas. An easy hop off the coast of Florida, this archipelago has literally 100s of islands and cays that glisten white with powdery soft sand. Breezy rental cottages here with Caribbean vibes are situated just steps from the gentle aqua waves, perfect for swimming and snorkeling with the colorful tropical sea life and enjoying family picnics under the sun.

Affordable summer vacations in Mexico

So, you don’t have a supersized budget to splurge on summer vacation packages. That’s okay! Some of the best places to travel in the summer don’t have to scare the piggy bank silly. Look to the cotton sand beaches and tasty taquitos of Mexico, which sees its peak season and prices in winter. The east side has big names like Cancun and Cozumel, but don’t forget about the Baja California Peninsula on the Pacific, an easy hop from West Coast states that doesn’t have to worry about the summer Caribbean hurricane season.

Best summer vacation spots on US beaches

A passport is not even required for some the prettiest beaches and best places for summer vacation around. Staying in the states is sometimes just more practical, not to mention wallet-friendly. If it’s dolphin-watching boat rides, sand-castle building, and tanning you’re after, the Gulf shores along the west coast of Florida are at the ready. Summer homes here with breezy decks front soft, pale beaches in spots like buzzing Sarasota and Panama City Beach on the Panhandle.

Where to go this summer in Hawaii

Thinking about the Aloha State for summer vacay? Great choice! The Pacific chain has some incredible places to go during summer, from its picture-perfect beaches where cerulean waves wash onto golden shores dotted with palms to soaring volcanic peaks, some still bubbling with steamy lava and others turned into adventuresome hubs in their dormancy. The best summer destinations here include Oahu’s bustling Waikiki and chilled-out North Shore, Kauai’s epic coastal trails, and Maui’s condo-fronted Kaanapali and turtle-frequented Wailea.

Island summer destinations for couples

Looking for somewhere to scoot off with that special someone? Exotic islands are some of best places to go in summer for honeymoons and romantic getaways – think thatched-roof bungalows that sit on stilts over rippling turquoise-blue seas and couples massages accentuated by warm salty breezes. Head down to the South Pacific and you can bring those bucket-list images to life in Bora Bora, where you can add once-in-a-lifetime scuba diving, or lush Fiji, with its 100s of palm-filled islands.

Summer vacation destinations in Europe

Newsflash – not all top summer vacation spots are located beachside. There are amazing places to travel in the summer all across Europe, from cosmopolitan capitals full of art museums and flaky croissants – hello, Paris – to rolling green hills and dramatic rocky coastlines in the likes of Ireland. If you’re after places to go for summer vacation that mesh European culture with some beach time, too, Italy is ideal. Try the Amalfi Coast for cliffside villages that spill down to patches of Mediterranean sand.