The coolest places to visit in the USA in summer
Looking for some inspiration for that upcoming getaway? You’ve come to the right spot. This guide is full of info about the best summer vacation spots in the US. How does some R&R beachside cooled by gentle sea breezes sound? Or an outdoorsy visit to some famous – for good reason – national parklands full of wildlife spotting and hiking? Places to visit in the USA in summer range from buzzing metros full of arts and culture to quiet coastal hubs with stellar fish tacos, all packed with unique vacation rentals in beachy bungalows, sleek modern apartments, and homey guest houses. Intrigued?
California for families
With so many miles of coastline, buzzy big cities packed with attractions, and nature-filled parks of forests, mountains, and desserts, there’s hardly a summer vacay wish that can’t be fulfilled in the Golden State. The LA metro is a great place to start if you’ve got the family in tow, with plenty of touristy fun in Hollywood and action-packed sands around Santa Monica – hello, boardwalk carnival rides and cotton candy. That’s not even mentioning Disneyland in nearby Anaheim, where condo rentals with brightly-decorated interiors are just a stone’s throw from the coasters and characters the kids will love.
Out west in Yellowstone National Park
Looking for a summer vacation in the USA full of wide-open spaces, cool nature experiences, and the occasional wildlife sighting? Yellowstone offers all this and more in the northwestern corner of Wyoming. Winding rivers, horseback-riding trails, boating lakes – it’s all here. But perhaps the most famous feature of the US’s first ever national park is the steaming hot springs and bubbling geysers, including the famous Old Faithful that spouts up to applauding crowds throughout the day. Vacation lodges and cabins here dot communities just outsides park bounds, like West Yellowstone and Gardiner across state lines in Montana.
Say aloha to Oahu
The best summer vacations in the US don’t have to take place on the mainland. Enter Hawaii – pretty much everyone’s dream destination. Most travelers head straight to Oahu’s Honolulu for aquariums, museums, shopping, and more around the capital city and its buzzing Waikiki neighborhood. You’ll find sleek vacation apartments and condos blocks from the Pacific in this zone, with features like rooftop pools and breezy balconies. For more local vibes, just head to the surfer bungalows and thrashing waves of the North Shore, or east to neighborly Kailua for family-friendly beach parks and Hawaiian-style cottages.
Take a bite out of NYC
Nothing says summer in the USA like boat rides to the Statue of Liberty, roller skating in Central Park, and trips to the roller coasters and hot dog stalls of Coney Island on extra steamy days. The Big Apple is packed with activities, whether you’re into museum hopping to see dino bones and priceless artworks, touristy hangouts at Times Square and the Empire State Building, or culture-filled nights at Broadway shows and concert venues. Make it a Manhattan loft for easy access to the Financial District and Chinatown or hop across the Brooklyn Bridge for apartment rentals with a local vibe near cheap pizza joints.
The bucket-list busting Grand Canyon
Put this on the list of must-see places to visit in the USA in summer. The Grand Canyon is a stunner, for sure. Most folks head straight for the national park’s South Rim, where miles upon miles of rim trails provide views of the turquoise Colorado River carving through rusty canyon walls. Classic summer vacation ideas in the USA here center around the Western-style town of Williams, AZ, with its old-timey train rides, door-swinging saloons, and vintage houses and cottages for rent.
Affordable trips to Florida
If you’re looking to save a little on summer vacay but still have access to pale, sandy beaches, warm swimming and snorkeling waters, and action-packed coastal towns full of open-air cafes, look no further than the Sunshine State. Winter is the busiest and priciest season in most spots here, but summer holidays in the USA like Memorial Day and July 4th bring big crowds, too, so avoid those to save the most. Daytona is a great place to look in summer, after the spring break and racing season rush has filtered out, the beaches calm a tad and prices sway downward, even in the oceanfront condo communities with onsite pools.