The Best Places to Visit in the USA in the Summer

The 15 Best Places to Visit in the Summer in the USA

Traveling during the summer in the US has its benefits and drawbacks. For one thing, with many children off for summer vacation, a great deal of the country is taking advantage of the time off for some family vacations, which means higher crowd levels in many of the US’s top vacation spots.

But the weather is a big reason why traveling during the summer can still be ideal. Many vacation spots in the US are experiencing their best weather of the year. If you’re looking for a quintessential beach day, in particular, you can’t get better than a summer getaway!

Looking for where to go for your own summer vacation in the US? I’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in the summer in the US, from oceanfront getaways to historic cities. Pick your favorite vacation from this list, and you’re bound to have an amazing summer escape.

The 15 Best Places to Visit in the Summer in the USA

1. Step Back in Time in Boston

Best Places to Visit in the US in Summer: Boston

While many of the major cities in the US will be experiencing their peak season in the summer, that’s not the case for Boston, which is what makes it one of the best places to visit in the summer in the US. Boston is a big college town, and many of the students go home in the summer, which can actually make the city a lot less crowded. 

Plus, Boston will be experiencing some of its best weather of the year in summer, allowing the city to be fully awake after its winter slumber. Even in spring, Boston can sometimes experience a resurgence of winter weather, but by summer, things are warm enough for you to enjoy sunny summer fun, like by walking the Freedom Trail or riding the Swan Boats in the Public Garden.

2. See the Wildlife at Katmai National Park

What Places to Visit in the US in Summer: Katmai National Park

Have you ever heard of Fat Bear Week? It’s become a national phenomenon in which people vote on the bear that’s best prepared for the winter. 

Those brown bears can be found in Katmai National Park & Preserve, and summer is one of the best times of year to see them, making this national park one of the best summer vacation spots for wildlife lovers. With salmon in abundance, the bears will be plenty active, giving you many opportunities to see these majestic creatures. 

3. Enjoy a Sunny Summer Day at Spring Lake

Where to Vacation in the US in Summer: Spring Lake

As a New Jersey native, it was hard to resist making this list just a list of the best places to visit on the Jersey Shore because summer is always the best time to visit the Shore. It’s when the water is warm and the days are sunny. 

But Spring Lake deserves a special shoutout as one of the best summer vacations in the US because it’s a bit off the beaten path of what you’d expect of a Jersey Shore experience. Rather than busy boardwalks, Spring Lake offers a quaint downtown with local boutiques and restaurants, as well as expansive beaches with soft sand that you’ll just want to spend the whole day on.

4. Take a Carriage Ride Around Acadia National Park

Best Places to Visit in the US in Summer: Acadia National Park

While summer is the busy season for Acadia National Park, it’s busy for a good reason. While Acadia is open year-round, the facilities and roads aren’t always open due to the snowy weather in the winter. In the summer, the park is typically fully open and ready for you to explore.

Enjoy carriage rides on the historic carriage roads, bike riding, hanging out on the beaches, tide pooling, and much more that this beautiful park offers you.

5. Explore Portland, Maine

What Places to Visit in the US in Summer: Portland, Maine

Both Portlands land on our list of the best summer vacations in the US. In the case of Portland, Maine, it’s a perfect summer spot if you’re looking for plenty of things to do. 

With mild temperatures and mostly sunny days, it’s no wonder why Portland comes alive with events in summer. From Portland Wine Week to the Maine Outdoor Film Festival, there’s always something to do in Portland in the summer.

6. See the Flowers Bloom in Portland, Oregon

Where to Vacation in the US in Summer: Portland, Oregon

Over in Oregon is another Portland that’s one of the best summer vacation spots in the US. Portland is known as the City of Roses, and summer is the perfect time to see them in bloom. 

While you can see these beautiful blooms throughout the summer, one of the biggest highlights of the season is the Portland Rose Festival, which typically runs from Memorial Day to mid-June, during which you can attend a massive fair, watch illuminated parades, celebrate all things roses, and much more.

7. Experience All There is to Do in New York City

Best Places to Visit in the US in Summer: New York City

NYC may be crowded in the summer, but it’s one of the best summer vacations in the US if you’re looking for a trip that’s jam-packed with things to do. Throughout the summer, there’s always something happening in and around the city. 

From night markets to rooftop parties to free performances in Central Park, Bryant Park, and many more places around the city, you’ll never be at a loss for what to do during your NYC trip.

8. Take a Cruise Around Kenai Fjords National Park

What Places to Visit in the US in Summer: Kenai Fjords National Park

In Alaska, you’ll find another national park that’s one of the coolest summer vacations in the US – literally. It never gets too hot at Kenai Fjords National Park, but the summer season is warm enough for guests to enjoy being out on the water, taking in the incredible sight of the glaciers. 

There are boat tours for those looking to relax on their trip, but adventurous visitors are bound to love kayaking the fjords.

9. Lay Out on the Beaches of Gloucester, MA

Where to Vacation in the US in Summer: Gloucester, MA

Gloucester, a charming town on Massachusetts’ northern cape, Cape Ann, is a perfect summer vacation spot in the US for those looking to relax on the beach and have a quintessential seaside summer. Spend your days in the water, get out on the water on the beloved Schooner Lannon, go whale watching, and enjoy that incredible New England seafood.

10. Play Around the Outer Banks in North Carolina

What Places to Visit in the US in Summer: Outer Banks in North Carolina

While you can go to the Outer Banks for a lazy beach day, what makes the Outer Banks one of the best places to visit in the US in summer is the access to so many outdoor adventures. From hang-gliding over Jockey’s Ridge State Park to going on a tour to see Corolla’s famous wild horses, there’s always something to keep you busy all summer long.

11. Take in the Beauty of Burlington, Vermont

Where to Vacation in the US in Summer: Burlington, Vermont

Located on the lovely shores of Lake Champlain, Burlington offers one of the best summer vacations in the US for those looking for a walkable getaway. With a charming downtown, outdoor drinking and dining options, and incredible waterfront views, you’re sure to get your steps in here, both in the pedestrian-friendly downtown and on the nearby hiking trails.

12. Enjoy the Lovely Weather in Seattle

Best Places to Visit in the US in Summer: Seattle

Seattle may be known for its rain, but summer is a prime time to get a break from the wet weather. Seattle is one of the best US summer vacation spots because those clear, sunny days are the best time of year to check out some of the city’s most picturesque attractions, like the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and Glass

13. Get Away to Martha’s Vineyard

What Places to Visit in the US in Summer: Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is a scenic getaway that’s perfect for a summer trip. Hop on a bike and see all there is to offer at this stunning vacation spot, from the gingerbread cottages of Oaks Bluff to the Aquinnah Cliffs Overlook. And with so many beaches with their own personality, you may just end up spending every day of your trip taking in the view from the sand.

14. Relax at Cannon Beach, Oregon

Where to Vacation in the US in Summer: Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach is so much more than a beach, although you can spend the entirety of your summer vacation on the Oregon Coast’s beaches, and we wouldn’t blame you at all. 

But Cannon Beach is also home to scenic hiking trails, tidepools, numerous breweries, and so much more. If you’re visiting early in the summer, be sure to head to Haystack Rock to see the tufted puffins!

15. Get Outside at Isle Royale National Park

Best Places to Visit in the US in Summer: Isle Royale National Park

On a cluster of islands in Lake Superior is Isle Royale National Park, another one of the best places to visit in the US in summer. This national park is a perfect choice for those who want a summer vacation that lets them spend their days outside and active. 

Isle Royale, with all its rugged wilderness, makes for a playground for paddlers, divers, hikers, and anyone else who loves the Great Outdoors.

There you have it! The 15 best US summer vacation spots. Where’s your favorite place to go for summer vacations in the USA? Let us know in the comments!


  • Jacqueline Gualtieri

    Jacqueline is a writer and editor pursuing the freelance life to explore the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, she spent her college years in Boston before settling down with her partner and puppy in Monterey, California.

    When she’s not writing, you can often find her planning her next trip. Road trips are her favorite, whether it’s driving across the country or simply exploring a new city in her own backyard. She loves uncovering the history of every new place she goes.

    Jacqueline has a restless passion for learning and makes it a goal to pick up a new skill every year. She’s picked up embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and cross-stitching, but she’s hoping to master more languages to help her in her travels. She’s also a published author, with short stories and poetry appearing in several anthologies.

    View all posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *