This blog post was updated on August 22, 2019.
Summer is on its way, and it’s time to start planning your vacation. If you’re looking to explore more of the United States, there are always plenty of great destinations to choose from that are just some cheap flight deals away. If you’re visiting America from overseas, you probably aren’t aware of just how many hidden gems there are to visit across the country…although a lot of Americans aren’t aware of them either. But no matter your traveler designation (international or domestic), if you’re on a solo trip or a getaway with friends, embarking on a romantic vacation with your partner or going on a fun-filled adventure with your family, here are 7 suggestions for vacation spots in the U.S. that you should consider for this summer.
Most people recognize Vail as one of the most popular destinations for skiing and snowboarding, but Vail also provides plenty of great activities after the snow melts away from the summer heat. Although some options may be pricey, Vail is perfect for anyone with a deep love for music, mountains, animals, and food. It’s one of the few places in the U.S. where you can go on a guided trek with llamas (and they can accompany you to lunch). If your budget is tight, there are wallet-friendly options such as free concerts in the amphitheater and checking-in at the Minturn Inn for affordable lodging. A good way to deal with altitude sickness, which is a real thing, is to stop in Denver for the night to let yourself adjust to the altitude, and then pop over to Vail the following day.
Also known as the Windy City, Chicago is a major hub — figuratively and literally because of O’Hare International Airport — for sport fans, history buffs, artists, foodies, shoppers, and people who love lakefront activities. The city has a great public transit system with buses and trains running almost 24/7, which benefits solo travelers. There are over 30 things that you can do for free, including an immersive zoo with lions, tigers, and gorillas, as well as seasonal festivals. Stop by the Chicago Cultural Center to take advantage of their free art exhibits, tours, and musical and dance performances. If free museums are up your alley, check out the Museum of Contemporary Photographs, DePaul University Art Museum, or Oriental Institute Museum (and many others in the area). If you’re not worried about budget constraints, check out the Magnificent Mile of shopping, Mirror Bean, and Navy Pier as well.
Start planning your summer vacation today with some great cheap flight deals!
When people think about Scottsdale, some may imagine dry heat, cacti plants, and Southwestern cuisine. While all that’s true, Scottsdale is also an amazing location, especially for couples. Not only is the desert landscape stunning, but it also gives you the best of both worlds with several spas, golf courses, resorts, museums, and plenty of nature attractions. Thrill-seeking couples can go on a hike up the Camelback Mountains. Sunrises and sunsets are undeniably romantic, but you and your partner can make them even more memorable with a hot air balloon ride over the Superstition Mountains.
Napa Valley, California
With its wide variety of famous wineries and 5-star restaurants, the phrase “wine and dine” describes Napa Valley perfectly. Naturally, it had to go on the list for romantic escapades, and let’s be real; it would also be an amazing destination to visit with your friends. While it’s a great location year-round, the offerings vary from season to season. Some wineries accept walk-ins, but others require appointments. You can savor both the wine and the sights on the Napa Valley Wine Train, which is a beautifully restored 20th century rail car. If you don’t mind traveling to the end of the valley, make sure to spend some time in the pool that gets its warmth from geyser-heated hot springs at Indian Springs Calistoga.
Rosemary Beach, Florida
Although Rosemary Beach is aptly named, it’s not about the herb we use in cooking. It’s located along the gorgeous 30A route in Florida, surrounded by the Gulf Coast with sparkling turquoise waters, white sands, and beautiful architecture. Everything is so accessible that you don’t even need a car. Around here, people prefer to ride their bicycles to grab a cup of coffee, stop by the beach, or go to restaurants for a quick bite. Make sure to visit the Pearl Hotel to check out its cool architectural details, and if you can fit it in your budget, you can stay overnight at the hotel too. Swing by the Sugar Shak to indulge your sweet tooth after a long day at the beach and sightseeing. Every square in Rosemary Beach has different features such as movies on the lawn for the family, face painting, food trucks, karaoke, and more.
If you’re familiar with the New England region, you’ll know that Boston is a prime destination for weekend getaways and family-oriented summer vacations. Boston’s history is full of many American milestones, such as the first free municipal public library, first public school, first public park, and first subway system. It’s also home to Fenway Park, Boston Children’s Museum, and the Museum of Science. Before you go to Boston, we recommend picking up a CityPASS or Go Boston card to take advantage of the discounts for local attractions. It’s also a good idea to pack some comfy shoes because walking is the best way to get around.
Door County, Wisconsin
While it’s not a specific city, Door County has an island and 11 beautiful towns clustered fairly close to each other, making it a quaint and charming piece of Wisconsin nestled away from the humdrum of city life. Despite its size, there’s no shortage of activities and natural beauty. If you go between mid-May and mid-June, you’ll be able to see the white cherry blossoms everywhere. There are many state parks, so nature lovers will feel right at home. It has everything from the limestone cliffs to the lavender fields on Door County’s Washington Island (wait until mid to late July). For a quick dose of adventure, you can go zip-lining or kayaking. Locals and frequent visitors claim that watching the sunset at Anderson’s Deck is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Have you started making plans for your summer travels yet? Are any of these suggestions on your list of places to go? Let us know in the comments below.