Planning a summer vacation can be
difficult, especially when trying to narrow down a location.
While many struggle to afford an international trip, there are some great travel destinations
right here in the US.
Kayak compiled a list of the most popular
destinations in the US that users search for when booking their
summer travel plans. While Florida has the most cities that
people are interested in, destinations all over the country are
points of interest. Click through the slideshow above.
These are the top 50 most sought out locations in the US for
Orlando, Florida, is an excellent option for family vacations.
Although Orlando is known for Disney World and Universal Studios,
there are other reasons this is the top destination for summer
travel. The city also has a number of museums,
public gardens, and even ballet performances. Downtown Orlando also offers a
vibrant nightlife with excellent restaurants to satisfy any
Honolulu, Hawaii, is another popular destination in the US.
Hawaii is one of the greatest natural wonders within the US, and
Honolulu is the best location to experience it. In the state’s capital, you can visit
Waikiki, which is one of the best beaches in the world. You
can even tour the only royal palace in the US, Iolani Palace. If
that isn’t enough, take a hike through the volcanic crater
Diamond Head, which offers magnificent views of the Pacific
Another top destination is Las Vegas, Nevada, known for its dazzling casinos and nightlife.
While many come to Las Vegas to gamble at the casinos and to see
some legendary shows, there’s so much more to do. From an
entertaining arcade to an adrenaline-pumping zip
line, this city has something to offer every traveler. If
nature is more your speed, you can book a tour of the Grand Canyon or Red Rocks.
Although Seattle, Washington, is known for its gloomy weather, it’s a great destination in the summer.
While the Space Needle is a common draw to Seattle, the city has
so much more to offer. From Pioneer Square to Downtown Seattle,
this city is full of culture and entertainment. For instance, you
can visit Kerry Park and the Seattle Great Wheel. You can also
take in a moving show at the Seattle Symphony or at the Pacific
Another popular destination in the summer is New York City.
It’s no secret that New York City has a ton to offer culturally.
To escape the heat, take a long tour of the world famous Met
Museum. If you want to enjoy the rays of summer, lounge in
legendary Central Park. You can even take a trip down to Brighton
Beach and historic Coney Island.
Denver, Colorado, is the perfect summer locale for anyone who loves nature.
The Mile High City has tons to offer in the summer months with
beautiful bike trails and hiking trails to connect you with
nature. You can even take an exciting ride in the rapids in
Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park. Culturally,
you can visit the Denver Art Museum or take in a show at the Red
Los Angeles, California, has so much more to offer than just Hollywood.
Yes, Los Angeles is the center of Hollywood, but it also makes
for a great summer destination. The city has great shopping
options like The Grove and Melrose Avenue Shopping District. You
can even take a scenic hike up Runyon Canyon and take in the
entire city. If you want to see more than just the city, take in
the whole universe at the Griffith Observatory.
People flock to Miami’s beaches for the summer.
Miami is best known for its legendary beaches – and rightfully
so. South Beach is perhaps one of the
most well-known beaches in the country, with crystal clear
blue water and perfectly white sand. The city is also known for
its lively nightlife, packed with bars and clubs.
With its Latin majority, Miami’s also a great city to
experience Hispanic culture.
Boston, Massachusetts, is a great summer destination for history buffs.
Boston is brimming with history. During the summer months, you
can take a stroll down the cobbled streets of Beacon Hill or
take a guided, walking tour
around the entire city to learn more about American history. You
can also take in the sun on the Boston Common or get in touch
with nature in the city’s Public Gardens.
Portland, Oregon, is the perfect place for a summertime bike ride.
It’s easy to tell why Portlandia has been chosen as one of the
top summer travel destinations. The city is perfectly designed to
explore on bike, but it’s also a great place to experience the
popular bookstore, Powell’s, or take a tour of Rhododendron Garden,
where you can see some of the best roses. The Oregon Zoo is a
great place to visit with children, or you can learn something
new at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
Like Honolulu, Maui is another great location to visit in Hawaii.
Maui has so much to offer. From the scenic Iao Valley State Park in central Maui to
the rainforests and waterfalls of east Maui, this island covers
something on everyone’s travel bucket list.
Alaska isn’t always freezing. A trip to Anchorage in the summer is truly something to remember.
There are so many ways to experience the natural wonders of
Alaska. Whether by raft, by railroad, by horse, or
by hike, this city is sure to amaze every traveler. Anchorage
also has a wide array of locally owned shops, like The Kobuk and the Anchorage Market.
Although Chicago is called the Windy City, it has great beach options during the summer.
During the summer months, Chicago’s lakefront offers the perfect
beaches for tourists. While enjoying the Bean, you can take in a
free concert or a movie in Millennium Park. The city is also
close to some of the best farmlands in the country, so enjoy a
day of berry picking at Stade’s Farm and Market or at
Thompson Strawberry Farm.
San Francisco is the perfect destination for wine lovers.
San Francisco is surrounded by some of the best wineries in the
region, so it’s the best location for wine aficionados. You can
take a full day to enjoy the Napa & Sonoma Wine Country
Tour. Otherwise, take in the gorgeous summer weather at
Golden State Park or enjoy a game at AT&T Park.
San Diego, California, is one of the best beach destinations in the country.
San Diego is filled with summer activities,
including the San Diego Zoo, Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark,
LEGOLAND California Resort, Balboa Park, and Belmont Park. But
the real reason everyone flocks to the city is for
the legendary beaches, which include Blacks Beach, Imperial
Beach, and La Jolla.
New Orleans isn’t just for Mardi Gras. In fact, the city is still a perfect destination during the summer.
While most know New Orleans as a party city, there is a ton to do
for every traveler – including families. You can take a trip to
Audubon Aquarium and Audubon
Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Families can even take swap
tours or enjoy the 15 rides at Carousel
Gardens Amusement Pak.
Another popular Florida destination is Fort Lauderdale.
Although Fort Lauderdale is largely a beach town, there is a ton of activities to take part
in. A stroll down Las Olas Boulevard will take you to the
best boutiques, restaurants, and cafes in the area. The Riverwalk
Arts & Entertainment District offers great options, like
theatres, operas, and museums.
The nation’s capital, Washington D.C., also has a lot of activities to offer in the summer months.
Washington D.C. is known for its history, monuments, and museums.
But, you can also partake in a number of waterfront
activities on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers while visiting
the city. You can even visit Kenilworth Park & Aquatic
Gardens to spot some jaw-dropping wildlife.
The third most popular summer destination in Hawaii is Kauai.
Kauai is a nature lover’s dream. With sites likeLimahuli Garden and Preserve, Hanalei
Pier, and the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park, there’s a
breathtaking view at every turn. But the island is also known for
its golf courses – its most famous being the Makai Golf Club.
Salt Lake City, Utah, isn’t just good for skiing. There’s so much to do in the summer as well.
If you’re in Salt Lake City for the summer, take a stroll through
Red Butte Garden, one of the largest botanical
gardens in the US. You can even take a tour of the Timpanogos Cave or bike
around some of the most beautiful parts of the city.
Nashville, Tennessee, is the summer destination for country music lovers.
The city of Nashville offers a wide range of concerts
and festivals during the summer, including CMA Music
Festival, Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman, and Live on the Green.
If music isn’t your thing, you can visit the Adventure
Science Center, AdventureWorks, and the Belle Meade
The number one travel destination in Minnesota is Minneapolis.
If you’re booking a trip to Minneapolis this summer, make sure
you take a trip to the legendary Mall of America. But if you want to connect with
nature, then take a stroll through Loring Park or through the
Chain of Lakes.
Unlike many other spots on this list, Jackson, Wyoming, is a town, not a city. But it’s made a name for itself as a great summer locale.
From mountain biking through Snow King
Mountain to paragliding over the Teton mountains, Jackson is
perfect for adventure seekers and nature lovers. If you want to
tour the destination in a more unique way, try horseback riding
and you’ll feel like you’re in a western.
Another popular location in Florida is Tampa for the summer months.
Tampa, Florida, is a bustling metropolis with loads of
activities, including Busch Gardens, ZooTampa,
the Florida Aquarium. You can also take a stroll down Ybor City, which has nightlife,
restaurants, and shops.
Phoenix, Arizona, is the best place to experience the desert during the summer.
Phoenix is known for its sweltering heat during the summer, so
you can enjoy a fun tube ride down Salt River or spend the day at
Big Surf, one of the larger water
parks in the area. If you’d rather stay indoors to avoid the
heat, you can spend time in casinos, museums, or even the
Kailua-Kona is yet another popular summer destination in Hawaii.
Located on the west coast of Big Island, Kailua-Kona is the
perfect spot to snorkel on King Kam beach
or enjoy a walk along the Kailua pier. If you love beer,
spend a day at the Kona Brewing Company and have a fantastic
tasting. For shopping lovers, Ali’i Drive is the best place to
buy souvenirs for your loved ones back home.
Summer travelers love to come to Dallas, Texas, for its metropolitan culture.
As a thriving metropolis, Dallas has a lot to offer travelers.
The Dallas Arts District is the place
to soak in art and culture. Klyde Warren Park is the perfect
place for a stroll or a morning yoga class. Also, take a trip to the Dallas Arboretum
and enjoy Rory Meyer’s Garden.
Tourists in the summer love coming to Atlanta, Georgia, for its diversity and culture.
Summers in Atalanta are
hot but filled with activities. Take a behind-the-scenes tour
of CNN Studios, meet the giant red pandas at Zoo Atlanta, or get
a history lesson on Georgia’s Civil Rights Trail. If you’re
seeking even more adventure this summer, you should definitely
visit Six Flags Georgia and scream your heart out on The Twisted
Nature-loving travelers also love Kalispell, Montana, because it’s a gateway to the Glacier National Park.
Downtown Kalispell is as historic as the Glacier National Park is
beautiful. Conrad Mansion, which dates back to the 1890s, has been turned into a museum, making
it a great attraction for tourists. The Hockaday Museum of Art
offers another great attraction for culture lovers. But, the real
beauty of Kalispell is its proximity to the Glacier National Park, filled
with mountains, grizzly bears, and ethereal views for miles.
The second most popular destination in Texas is Austin.
Austin is well-known for its music scene, which you can
experience at The Continental Club or any small bar sprinkled
around the city. In fact, the city is known as the “Live Music Capital
of the World.” If history is more your thing, consider
visiting the National Museum of the Pacific War or
the Bullock Museum.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the perfect summer destination for history buffs.
Philadelphia is the perfect city to spend your summer vacation
because there’s so much to do. Whether you’re having a picnic in
Rittenhouse Square or having a
beer at Independence Beer Garden, the city is sure to entertain.
You can also take a stroll or bike ride through one of the
largest metropolitan parks in the
country, Fairmount Park.
Detroit, Michigan, isn’t only known for being the Motor City. It’s also a popular destination for summer travelers.
Since Detroit is known as the heart of the automotive industry,
you must visit a car museum while visiting the
city. But, there is a ton of other things you can do there as
well, including biking the riverfront, learning about music at
Motown Historical Museum, and paddleboarding in Detroit’s
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a popular beach destination during the summer months.
Myrtle Beach is 60 miles of coastline, offering travelers
unparalleled beach experiences. The beach town also has fantastic
eateries, including Ruth’s Chris
Steak House or Throughbreds
Chophouse. The Myrtle Beach
SkyWheel is another entertaining attraction along the
Charleston is another popular destination in South Carolina.
Charleston offers travelers some great beaches, like Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s
Island, Edisto, Kiawah, or Seabrook. You can also stroll through
The Battery, which gives you great views of the harbor. You can
also try taking walk through some of the old cemeteries in town,
where you can see some notables’ grave sites.
Newark, New Jersey, has so much more to offer summer travelers than just an airport.
Although Newark is known for its international airport, the city
has a lot to offer. For example, Military Park is a great place
for yoga, ping pong, and even chess. Riverfront Park is also a
great place to view Passaic River and see the iconic
Those who don’t flock to Las Vegas in Nevada usually choose Reno instead.
Reno is famous for its hotels and casinos, but it also offers a
great deal of other entertainment for summer tourists. You can
check out the Nevada Museum of Art, the
Truckee River Whitewater Park, or the Reno Arts
District and Riverwalk.
The third most popular place in Texas for summer travel is Houston.
Houston has a plethora of museums for every interest, including
the Museum of Natural Science, the Space
Center Houston, and the Downtown Aquarium. You can also take
in a show at the Miller Outdoor Theatre or
enjoy the summer weather at Buffalo Bayou Park.
Another popular travel destination in Florida is Key West.
Key West is the perfect waterfront destination for any summer
tourist, and the locale has so much to do. You can
take a boat tour, take a tour of the Key West Butterfly and
Nature Conservatory, and explore Ernest Hemingway’s House and
Savannah, Georgia, also attracts a great number of summer tourists.
There are so many must-sees when visiting Savannah, including
Johnson Square, Madison Square, Forsyth Park, and historic
Bonaventure Cemetery. But the city’s real draw is its
Historic District. Savannah attracted as many as 13.7 million
visitors in 2015.
Charlotte, North Carolina, is also popular among travelers.
The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, has so many activities in
the summer, including access to beaches and nature hikes. If you
want to try some of the south’s famous barbecue, head over to
and Queen City.
Yet another popular destination in Florida is Fort Meyers.
Fort Myers is another great beach destination when it comes to
summer travel. But if you’re not in the mood for the beach, Fort
Myers also offers shows at the Center for Performing Arts-Bonita
Springs. You can also visit a 2,000-year-old island called
Travelers also love to visit Sacramento, California, during the summer.
Sacramento is filled with culture and attractions that will
excite any summer tourist. You can enjoy a day at the Sacramento
Zoo or the Crocker Art Museum. For water park lovers, the
city has Raging Waters, which has 25 water slides. But no
trip to Sacramento is complete without a trip over Tower Bridge.
Summer tourists also flock to Missoula, Montana, for its greenery.
Tourists can walk through Historic Downtown or enjoy the art at
Missoula Art Museum in Missoula. But, the city also has a
favorite pastime: folf, which is disc golf. There are a number
of courses scattered throughout the city for tourists who are
interested in learning the sport.
Another popular location in California is Santa Ana.
Santa Ana is Orange County’s largest city, and it’s packed full
of activities for summer tourists. Take a trip to the Grand
Central Theatre, which has dances and art galleries. When you get
hungry, stop in one of the city’s famous eateries, including
Gypsy Den and The Ranch.
Milwaukee is a great summer destination because of its proximity to Lake Michigan.
Lake Michigan has some great beaches and parks that can be found
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Whether you’re kayaking or going for a
quick dip, the location cannot be beat. The state also holds the
Wisconsin State Fair for 11
days in the city, attracting travelers from all over the
state and beyond.
Raleigh is another popular summer destination in North Carolina.
If you’re traveling with kids to Raleigh, take them to the
interactive Marbles Kids Museum or take them
to the splash pad at Fuquay-Varina’sSouth
Park. If you’re looking for something more adult, there’s a
plethora of music festivals,
hikes, and eateries for every appetite.
People love to travel to Spokane, Washington, to experience water adventures.
Spokane, Washington, has 76 lakes and hundreds of miles of
rivers and creeks, so it makes sense that this city is known
for its aquatics. The whole family can boat, kayak, canoe, and
raft. But Spokane Falls is something
every visitor must take in before they leave the Washington area.
Buffalo, New York, is another popular destination among summer travelers.
There’s a bunch of ways to see Buffalo, New York. You can take a
Buffalo River History Tour or hop on
Buffalo CycleBoats and
Buffalo Pedal Tours. There’s also plenty of places you can
bike to in the small city in upstate New York.
One of the best places to travel to in the Midwest this summer is Indianapolis.
There is a ton to do in Indianapolis,
including The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Black Pine
Animal Sanctuary, and the Indiana Dunes. You can even spend the
day at the Indianapolis Zoo with the whole family.
Bozeman, Montana, is the perfect place to explore the Rocky Mountains during the summer months.
Bozeman is every nature lover’s dream summer destination. You can
head into the Rocky Mountains that surround the city
where you can spot bears, coyotes, and skunks. The city is
also close to several entrances to the Yellowstone National Park.
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