As the summer is hurtling toward us at breakneck speed, it’s time to hammer out those last minute details on your summer vacation plans. What kind of trip would you like to have? Something quiet and romantic? Or perhaps you’d prefer something a little off the beaten path? Take a look through these 6 summer destinations within the continental United States that you should experience.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park is one of the top rated most beautiful national parks in the United States. If you love the outdoors — this is definitely a place you want to visit in your lifetime. This park has 26 named glaciers that hikers of all skill levels can have the opportunity of seeing. There are over 1 MILLION acres of the national park to see. With two mountain ranges, over 700 lakes, and numerous waterfalls, there’s something here for everyone. Whether you like camping or staying in a cabin, you’ll have plenty of space to explore and spend time one on one with your family.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Over the last few years, Hilton Head has become a prime vacation spot for the social elite. It’s become known for its location — an island off the coast of South Carolina — that has access to spas and luxury hotels and villas. Just across the bridge in Hilton Head proper, the community is beautiful, bustling, and they take pride in keeping the area looking pristine and natural. It’s become known for its art and music festivals and is growing in the culinary industry as well. Don’t worry, it’s family friendly all around as well, so don’t leave your kiddos behind.
Napa Valley, California
Known as one of the most romantic places to vacation, Napa Valley is most well-known for its plethora of wineries and vineyards dotting the valley. Stay in a lovely villa tucked between lush vineyards and take a tour of the valley on the Wine Train, a famous locomotive and restaurant that makes its way across the valley. Don’t forget the food scene either. Napa has a huge public market, the Oxbow, that allow you to try gourmet cuisine. For those of you who want to have a romantic getaway, think about Napa Valley for the experience of a lifetime.
St. Louis, Missouri
Whenever you think about St. Louis, everything always conjures up an image of the Gateway Arch. While it is impressive to see in person, that’s not all that St. Louis has to offer. There are breweries, clubs, restaurants, parks, art exhibits. Not to mention that Six Flags has a location in St. Louis for those more adventurous and have a love of rollercoasters. Two of the best excursions in St. Louis, have to be the City Museum and the Science center. Both locations are great for families and are positively massive. For those of you who like to enjoy the sun, however, St. Louis has plenty of music festivals and their own botanical gardens and a zoo. There’s bound to be something that will pique the interest of everyone in the family.
The Emerald Coast, Florida
Okay, I’m going to be the first to admit that I’m 1000% biased here on this one since I technically live on the Emerald Coast. To me, being just a short drive to the beach is an everyday occurrence. But the white sand of the Emerald Coast just cannot be missed. There are dozens of nature reserves and national parts — both on the water and off — to explore if you’re a nature lover. The food is also amazing. No matter where you go along the coast, there’s always an opportunity to try freshly caught seafood. There are even fish markets that you can go to that makes fresh sushi and steamed shrimp on sight so you can enjoy it as fresh as possible. Anywhere along the Gulf Coast is sure to set your heart at ease and your mind on the water.
Portland has become one of the most famous cities in the United States, so it had to be added to this list. With plenty of gardens and parks to visit, there are little pockets of nature across the city. There are numerous botanical gardens and arboretums to keep you outside. If speed is more your style, check out the Portland International Speedway to catch an event. It boasts nearly 550 events a year, so you’re bound to be able to find one. The art community in Portland has been ever expanding as well so you can check out a museum or craft fair within the city limits frequently throughout the year. If you want something a little different and that can give you glimpses of a plethora of city experiences, Portland will be an excellent option for you.
Planning a vacation need not be difficult, especially when you have a whole continent full of places to see. Think outside the box and experience things in a whole new light. Take a trip to a new city and see what it has to offer you — from art and food to a full gambit of cultural experiences. For those of you who enjoy getting out into the great outdoors and away from it all, there are options for that as well! No matter where you go, on or off this list, make sure to have a great time!