10 Amazing Vacation Spots in the USA to Visit in Summer 2019
From East to West and Everything in Between
Summer is the time to grab a road map, throw your hiking boots and camera in the back of a car and take a road trip across the great wide promise of the United States. As the weather warms up, leave winter jackets and cities behind, and discover greener, wilder and more tranquil pastures.
Up the Californian coast, through rugged national parks, all the way down the east coast to the Gulf of Mexico — there is an endless list of places to fall in awe with.
Whether you want to drive and follow in the footsteps of thousands of road-trippers, or take a luxury train vacation to get the seldom-seen perspectives of popular destinations, the summer is meant for exploring this beautiful country.
Because knowing where to start can be hard, here is a list of the best places to visit in USA in summer 2019. Pick one or all of them, and spend the season knitting together an itinerary that takes in as many seaside towns, natural wonders, craft beers and sunsets as possible.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
To kick off your summer in America, why not go back to where it all began? Yellowstone National Park was the world’s first national park, established in 1872 before even the National Park Service in the US existed.
In Yellowstone, nature’s sense of drama bursts forth in the hot springs and geysers erupting from the ground. Its vast wilderness and stunning views make it one of the of the top camping destinations in the USA.
You might happen across some hairier encounters too, with grizzlies, bison and wolves all calling the park home. Plus if you want to add even more adventure to your trip, you won’t be far at all from several fun dude ranch vacations that are suitable for the whole family!
Arches National Park, Utah
Another national park not to be missed, the red rock landscapes and otherworldly stone arches of this Utah beauty are vaguely reminiscent of Mars. A wonderland of rock formations, hiking trails weave around and through more than 2,000 natural arches, including the 65-foot-tall Delicate Arch, which you may recognize from Utah license plates.
An incredibly photogenic patch of earth, the red rocks become even more saturated in color as the sun sets. For even more incredible hikes, check out the nearby Zion National Park hikes.
Twisted oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, fountains spouting pure sunshine and ghost stories to make you shiver: Savannah is an idyllic summer destination in the US with just a touch of the surreal.
Take a horse-drawn carriage through one of the manicured parks, or stroll through the cobblestone historic district to admire the antebellum architecture. The lush Southern charm of this town under heavy summer heat is pure seduction.
Bourbon and bluegrass are the flavors of Louisville in the warmer months. Summer evenings in Kentucky come alive with the sounds of the banjo and fiddle, and an excellent line-up of distilleries invite enthusiastic tastings.
Louisville is also making a name for itself as a culinary destination, having taken out the number one spot on the National Geographic Traveler’s list of “Top Food Cities” in 2017. While in town, make sure to grab a Hot Brown, the turkey sandwich that is causing so much fuss in the foodie world.
You might not be able to get there in your car, but summer is the perfect time to explore Alaska. When the ice and the snow disappear, they leave behind green landscapes and wilderness unfurling for miles on end, beckoning to the bold and adventurous.
On a vacation in Alaska, you can take getting off the beaten track a step further and leave roads behind altogether. A place to truly discover your wild side, you can climb to the highest peak in North America, camp under a million stars and maybe even spot caribou.
There is more to Florida than just Miami and theme parks. The Florida Panhandle is road trip heaven, miles of soft sand stretching along the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
One of many serene vacation spots on this coast, Destin is the kind of place that makes you feel like you have left the mainland behind and escaped to an island. Long afternoons strolling along the boardwalk, sinking your toes into the white-sand beaches, or enjoying decadent seafood, will lull you into a state of pure relaxation.
Among all of the hedonistic summer escapes in America, Sedona offers something a little more spiritual. Set against the backdrop of Arizona’s red sandstone, allegedly peppered with vortexes, Sedona draws in artists, healers, spiritual seekers and anyone looking for a retreat from stresses of everyday life.
As well as mysticism and a plethora of New Age shops and eclectic art galleries, Sedona is famed for its impressive scenic beauty. It makes a great jumping-off point for exploring the surrounding canyons, red-rock buttes and pine forests.
Santa Barbara, California
At the foot of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara’s white stucco and red-roofed buildings give California’s coast a wistfully Mediterranean feel. Ocean breezes and mountain views combine with upscale boutiques and restaurants in this town that is both classy and relaxed, polished and naturally beautiful.
The many sandy spots dare you to resist their allure, and a thriving local winery scene conveniently invites you to end the day with a glass of vino in hand.
Highway 101, Oregon
Stitching together mile upon mile of rocky vistas, deserted beaches and quaint fishing towns, traveling down (or up) this stretch of highway is a requisite for any great summer road trip. Every bend in the road brings something different.
Hop from lighthouse to sandy dunes to sea caves full of seals. Pass through pretty towns like Astoria and Ashland, and see how many hiking trails you can find.
If you’re hungry, there is plenty of freshly caught seafood to sample. If you’re thirsty, stop by a local beer brewery. If you’re tired, just slow down, relax and enjoy the pace of life on this piece of the Pacific Coast.
Although often overshadowed by New York to the north and Washington, D.C. to the south, Philly has recently been forging a name for itself as a popular under-the-radar US summer destination. UNESCO crowned Philadelphia the First World Heritage City in the US, Pope Francis dropped by not too long ago and innovative pop-up parks are getting all the right kinds of attention.
Dubbed an ‘urban beach,’ the trendy, temporary Spruce Street Harbor Park appears on the Delaware River Waterfront over summer, complete with hammocks, floating restaurants and beer gardens.