Since we know summer is coming, chances are you are seeking the best summer holiday destinations in the USA for you, your friends, or your friends and family! Whether you term a getaway in the summer a holiday, travel, or vacation, it all means the same thing!
Today’s post will help you plan a fun summer vacation and seek out the best USA summer travel destinations for you and your family. Plus, as an added bonus, we will share a bonus luggage tip with you.
Don’t worry if the big question is, “where to travel in the U.S. this summer that you have not been to before that might be suitable for friends and family?” We have some great suggestions to nudge you to plan a trip or trips to the best U.S. summer travel destinations we love!
Whether planning a legendary trip or a simple domestic weeks trip in the good old USA, we will help you figure out where to travel in the US in the summer!
We’ve got 7 Best USA summer travel destinations for everyone, AND they are NOT DISNEY trips!
Believe it or not, vacations extend beyond the Magic Kingdom, are loaded with their forms of Pixie dust, and are more magical and reasonable!
Why Are These The Best USA Summer Travel Destinations?
Remember where to travel in the US in the summer list we are sharing is our opinion of summer’s best vacation spots, but there are many more options; this is more or less a list to get your mind flowing with all of the beautiful domestic vacation summer spots available!
Each destination in the USA for vacation might be skipped on your list of summer holiday domestic travel ideas if you have not heard of them. One USA destination is often overlooked as a USA option!
As the official trip planner, keep this one travel planning piece of advice in mind as you plan a fabulous domestic summer holiday.
We suggest asking your traveling companions (friends or family) a few questions before planning US vacation destinations, as you are not the only person going!
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Best U.S. Summer Travel Destinations Planning Questions To Ask
Before you plan a domestic summer holiday (or any vacation), you want to ask yourself and those traveling with you a list of questions to help you narrow down where your vacation might be, as well as what everyone wants to do while they are there, like a bucket list!
- Are zoo visits and aquariums a big part of the trip?
- Is a beach a top priority?
- Is sightseeing more the mode of the trip?
- Amusement parks, yes or no?
- Is your trip more about camping or luxe hotels?
- Are you traveling in the USA as a large extended or small family?
- What kind of lodging will you require?
- How many days can the United States vacation be based on everyone’s vacation days available?
- Will you drive to your vacation spot in the US or fly to your summer USA destination?
- Who is booking the flights if flying to the best U.S. summer travel destinations?
- If traveling with children, can they share beds or require their own?
- If traveling on a USA holiday, will anyone want to visit summer sports events or concerts?
Many of these questions will help you narrow down where to travel in the U.S. this summer and help you add fun things to do when you arrive at that destination.
You’ll find that a simple set of questions will help ease the question of “where to travel in the U. S. this summer” if you have a basis for planning. After all, travel is not what you drag people along and force them to see; that makes for misery.
Instead, traveling together, as a family or a group of family and friends, should offer something for everyone (every age) to give everyone something to look forward to on the best summer holidays and those fun destinations you travel to!
What Are The Best USA Summer Travel Destinations
Many summer vacation destinations in the USA can be overly populated, but if that is where your group wants to go, you go.
It’s how you plan around the chaos or add to it that will make your friends or family or both summer holiday fun, so keep that in mind!
#1 USA-Based Cruises Are A Blast
Here’s a question for you. Where can you:
- Unpack one time on your vacation
- eat and drink in large groups whenever you want
- Find an exhaustive food menu to please EVERYONE
- Have pool time and beach time
- enjoy entertainment
- Visit multiple destinations on one summer trip!
- Always find something to do for everyone.
If you answered with “a USA-based cruise with family and friends!” you got it right because that is one of our favorite options for where to travel in the U.S. this summer!
Unlike many best summer holiday destinations in the USA, you’ll find more flexibility on a cruise ship than on any other travel.
A Flavor Of Potential Cruise Options With USA-Based Travel
- USA summer holiday destinations include river cruises
- Alaska USA Cruise is one of the best U.S.summer travel destinations
- A Pacific Coast cruise is another answer to where to travel in the US in the summer
I can personally attest to the best summer vacations aboard a cruise ship. Book a USA cruise if you want to see teens smile, kids laugh, and parents have a blast.
Remember, a Cruise begins with ‘C’ for CHEERS to vacation and ends with ‘E’ for EVERYONE to have fun.
#2 These US Island Summer Vacation Spots = No Passport Required
It’s funny, but these islands are not on the list more often than not when considering the best summer holiday destination in the USA!
You’ll love this choice if you are seeking:
- Fun in the sun
- domestic travel
- A vacation that you fly too
- Airbnb or VRBOs
- Want to island-hop, or you don’t have to
- Luxe hotels
- And all of the above over and over again
If you guessed the United States Virgin Islands, you just got real with where to travel in the US this summer!
- St. Thomas 👈 (check for booking options here )
- St. John 👈 (check for booking options here )
- St. Croix 👈 (check for booking options here )
Each island is a USA territory vacation option, not requiring passports, just flights.
And all are great answers to the question of” where to travel in the US this summer as they each have different ways to meet summer travel budgets of any kind!
They are all very different from one another, and you can gain passage between the three once you arrive at one via boat or plane.
#3 Can I Get A “Yee-haw” For USA-Based Dude Ranch Vacations
One of the best U.S. summer travel destinations for those who love the outdoors beyond a beach is dude ranches.
Things Your Friends and Family Will Love About A Dude Ranch
- horseback riding
- Conestoga wagon rides
- nighttime under the stars
- campfire singing
- skeet shooting
- fly fishing
- white water rafting
- disconnecting from the grid for a few days
- outdoor fun all day, every day
- small and large group activities
- great food
- small and large group activities
- SPA (some offer spa menus as well)
If you’re looking for a place to have your family disconnect from tech and reconnect as a family, there is no better place than an old-fashioned ranch.
Today’s dude ranches are loaded with amenities like 5-star dining, world-renowned destinations, and backdrops that embellish your photography with a simple camera click.
You might even sign that your little ones have tears in their eyes when it’s time to leave.
#4 Best U.S. Summer Travel Destination Separate From The Mainland
You are trying to figure out where to travel in the US in the summer, and you have overlooked one of the most prominent places that offers so much and is still domestic and require no passport to gain entrance!
As this is one of our favorite and best summer U.S. summer travel destinations, you will find:
- Cruise ports
- Fortress to visit
- Both an Old and a New side
- Wellness Events
- Loads of culture, and this is the shortlist!
So where is this fabulous domestic summer holiday destination you must experience at least once in your vacationing life? The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico!
#5 Put The “New” In This State: Where To Travel in The U.S. This Summer!
We love visiting this state for all of the possible best USA summer travel destinations, and if you are here, you are super close to being able to travel to the area where you border 4 states at once! How’s that for being one of the best U.S. summer travel destinations?
Head over to Gallup, New Mexico, for a fabulous summer vacation, and here are a few things you and your crew can experience on this fabulous USA summer holiday!
- Hot Air ballooning (from setup to takeoff)
- Photography buffs will LOVE the skyline and the hiking
- Hiking (easy to hard trails)
- Mud Runs through valleys and hills
- Loads of Pawn Shops, and not what you think a typical pawn shop is
- native American villages
- cultural functions
- fun flea markets with local vendor work
- cruising on Route 66
What You Need To Know About Gallup New Mexico Lodging
You will want to have your trip planned and organized because Gallup is about 2 hours from the Santa Fe airport, and the lodging options should be booked in advance, as we spent a good bit of time there a few summers ago.
There’s no true upscale lodging, so you must read reviews, check out the images, and know your budget. Also, as a booking tip, we suggest using Booking.Com to search for places to stay that fit your budget and bucket list! ↓↓↓
#6 Head On Over To The Bayou
The Bayou is a fabulous vacation destination with a lot to do, even though it will be very warm. Still, you are seeking the best summer holiday destinations in the USA, and this is one of them!
We specifically suggest HOUMA, LOUISIANA, as it is a very different vacation, and the culture is worth the trip alone!
- wildlife discovery beyond your wildest imagination
- swamp boat rides that will thrill
- a food trail of unbelievable eats from sweets to seafood and everything in between
- Gorgeous plantation B&Bs, Airbnb options, and fabulous hotels!
- Go Shrimping
- Fishing charters
#7 The East Coast Has 100+ Miles of Nothing But Beach
Our favorite beach vacation area that we will boast as the best USA summer travel destination is, hands down, the Outer Banks.
- perfect for every age
- very family and group friendly
- big beautiful houses for rent
- very few hotels
- Airbnb rentals and VRBO
- Our favorite home rental is Brindley beach vacation rentals
- Many different areas on the barrier island, and each is very different.
- Visit an even more remote barrier island for a day trip via a ferry, and it is part of the OBX
There’s so much to do on this barrier island made up of villages that it is impossible to list all the adventures, but here are a few.
- hang gliding
- deep sea fishing
- nature walks
- at-home private chef parties
- outlet shopping
- visit sand dunes
- state parks
- Ferry rides
- Visit wild horses on a beach
Where To Travel in The USA This Summer + 3 Bonus Luggage Tips
The airlines have rules to follow with bags; if you don’t want to pay more, you should follow them.
To adhere to the Under 50-pound limit, we suggest the following for any trip that you are using airlines to fly to your USA destination:
- Buy a luggage scale and pack it for every trip you go on (we do)
- Always bring a carry-on and pack your shoes in there (they are the heaviest!)
- Use space bags, yes, space bags, because these bags are a saving grace (nothing to do with the weight tho)
- wet bags = dry clothes when packed in these bags
- compact and press the air out of your packing
- Stay organized and use these for dirty laundry to seal the smell.
Once You Plan Where To Travel In The U.S. This Summer, Do This
Don’t take a trip without travel insurance. With the crazy new world we are living in, with all of the health scares and issues that can occur on a trip, be prepared so that if you have issues, you are covered and can get some of your money back!
Now just because you have the best summer vacation planned, you’ll want to back that plan up.
Travel insurance is not just for assisting you if someone is too ill to travel when the big trip day comes around.
Travel insurance is there if you are traveling and your money or luggage are stolen or someone at home in your immediate family that didn’t come along gets ill.
No matter where you travel in the USA, you’ll want to ensure that you find a brand you read up and, check out the reviews, and purchase it as soon as you have your trip planned and in place.
In many cases, booking with a credit card no longer covers travel insurance and much more, so you’ll need to take action to make this happen.
Take no chances on ruining the trip to one of the best U.S. summer travel destinations; buy insurance for travel!
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Use The 7 Best USA Summer Travel Destinations To Plan Your Vacay
Use these ideas for where to travel in the U.S. this summer to have a fabulous vacation with something for everyone in your group.
Plan now, take your time, and figure out where to travel in the US in the summer; share it with your group, and don’t wait to book.
Traveling domestically can take a lot of strain off of the planning stages as well as the finances, as you can drive or fly, depending on where you are headed.
There are many states to visit in the summer, so where are you going?
The best summer begins by placing your dreams and capturing them by going! The best summers are made of bucket lists, family time, and fun!
We hope you love our picks of the best summer holiday destinations in the USA and will use them! ~ Dana XO
Dana Vento is an accomplished travel writer who has written award-winning articles for Niagara Falls, USA, and Cabarrus, NC, and won IG photography for Southern Delaware beaches. Her best stories are on the pages of her passport. Dana offers tips for travel to help you have the best adventures!