best summer city vacations

Best U.S. Cities for Summer Travel

As tourist season gears up for travelers from the U.S., it’s good to know where you can travel and get the most out of your vacation. Obviously, remote areas are ideal if you’re looking for experiences that are a bit more intimate. But what if you travel itinerary includes major cities? If you want to immerse yourself in the busy bustle of a major city and its people, you might want to know whether or not summer vacations in certain big cities will get you the greatest experience during your vacation. We’ve put together a list of some of the best U.S. cities for summer travel and vacations.

Best U.S. Cities for Summer Travel 

Austin, TX – Austin is home to some of the greatest festivals in the world. South by Southwest is one of the most impressive, small and independent music, art and intellectual conferences on the planet. In addition to offering great music attractions, this bustling city has been declared the BBQ capital of the world! It’s got some great food, gorgeous neighborhoods, and fantastic nightlife. If music and BBQ aren’t your thing, there are plenty of cool cultural experiences to take in, too. Check out this inclusive guide to see what snags your interest!

New Orleans, LA – If you’ve yet to visit this tourist hot spot, you might want to check it out this summer. Despite summer being a bit toasty and humid down south, it still can be great when traveling to this iconic American city. Hotter temps mean less tourists for NOLA, and that means your day to day exploration may be a little easier to navigate. Take a carriage ride through the French Quarter, grab some oysters, pick up a po-boy and explore its historical landmarks. From street performers to random jazz groups, the ambiance in New Orleans will mesmerize you. It’s no wonder it made our list for best summer city vacations despite the heat!

NOLA best US cities for summer travel
Carriages and mules lined up in front of Saint Louis Cathedral in NOLA. New Orleans is one of the best U.S. cities for summer travel.

Seattle, WA – When you think of Seattle, you’re probably drawn to complaints of rain year round. You might be surprised to know that the summer months here are fairly dry and even sunny! You’ll have access to outdoorsy activities like hiking and boating, and that fresh crisp salt air will keep you invigorated. While you’re there, you’re definitely going to want to cross visiting the Pike Place Market off your bucket list. It’s going to be packed no matter what time of year you visit, but it’s worth every minute. Seafood dining is a must, you’ve got the freshest picks right at your fingertips, and make sure you soak up every minute of sunshine outside!

San Diego, CA – Appreciated for its temperate climate, San Diego may be perfect for a nice summer getaway. You’ve got great weather, beaches everywhere you turn, LegoLand, Sea World, one of the world’s most impressive zoos, microbreweries and great food all in one gorgeous location. We’d be remiss if we didn’t have this destination on our list of best U.S. cities for summer travel. You’ve really got to check it out!

Denver, CO – Aside from lacking in ocean beaches, Denver really does have it all. The mountains on one side, reservoirs and lakes, beaches all over, moderate summer weather and great food all within reasonable distance of one another make Denver a perfect vacation destination. Spend an afternoon hitting up Estes Park and some of the resort towns, stop in at Red Rocks and see where some of the greatest musicians in history have played. Then hit downtown Denver for great eats, microbrews and a pretty awesome nightlife. With nature and modern living so close to one another, your options are limitless.

Red rocks summer vacation
If you’re stopping in Denver for your ultimate city summer vacation, make sure you check out Red Rocks!

Of course the list could go on forever; the U.S. is home to some truly amazing places. We couldn’t list them all, so these are just a few of our favorites! Now you just have to plan your trip – road trip could mean squeezing multiple destinations into your itinerary. Who doesn’t love a good road trip? If you’re planning on flying, you may want to look into your state’s compliance status on Real IDs, as the new Real ID may be necessary for domestic airline travel depending on where you live. Once you’ve hashed out the details of your trip, be sure to share your adventures with us!

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