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The Best Summer Travel Destinations If You Plan To Stay In The U.S.

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Despite reported tighter budgets this year, travelers are still ready to unplug and pack their bags for the ultimate summer getaway. Luckily, there are plenty of domestic flights that make you feel like you’re a world away. (No IG envy here!) The travel platform Tripadvisor recently announced its Summer Travel Index featuring the most popular summer travel destinations. From Key West to New England, Chicago to San Diego, travelers are choosing to stay close to home this season and explore the unique places the U.S. has to offer. Here are the 10 best summer travel destinations to visit in the U.S. this year. Prefer something a little more off-the-beaten path? Look at Tripadvisor’s reported fastest growing destinations like Yosemite National Park in California or Mackinac Island in Michigan.


Las Vegas, NV

Photo by Cameron Rainey

Whether you’re planning a getaway with your best friends or a romantic weekend, Vegas really has it all. Beyond the iconic casinos, you’ll find big-name concerts, unforgettable culinary experiences, and luxe resorts. Vegas offers world-class spas, hotels, and restaurants like the Green Valley Ranch Spa and Resortset in the warm desert (hello, good hair days). Lounge on a poolside day bed and then shuttle over to the Vegas strip for fun, vibrant nightlife. It’s the perfect long weekend destination no matter who you’re with!

Myrtle Beach, SC

what to do in myrtle beach

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Experience Southern charm at your next seaside getaway. This family-friendly destination offers an entertainment-filled boardwalk with rides, beautiful beaches, and tons of outdoor experiences, like golf, kayaking, and dolphin watching!

Orlando, FL

what to do in Orlando

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Disney adults unite: Orlando is home of the theme park, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando filled with adventurous rides and family-friendly attractions. But there’s more to Orlando than the theme park scene. Enjoy fun outdoor activities like paddle boarding, bioluminescence kayaking, and boat rides around the lake. Catch Broadway-style shows here too so make a day and night of it!

Honolulu, HI

Photo by Jess Loiterton

The capital of Hawaii is your gateway to stunning beaches and rich cultural events. Head to Oahu’s North Shore for a serene escape with luxe resorts, perfect for snorkeling, surfing, enjoying a luau, watching dolphins or taking a waterfall hike. History buffs will not want to miss the Pearl Harbor Memorial too.

New York City

what to do in new york city

Photo by Charles Parker

NYC comes alive in the summer. Travelers and locals are all out reveling in the warm nights, enjoying outdoor concerts, al fresco dining, and the amazing energy of summer in the city. Stay cool uptown among the 843 acres of Central Park and head out at night to enjoy the buzz of downtown, from Union Square to Soho to the Lower East Side. Governor’s Island, just a ferry ride away, is a perfect summer escape, offering a chill scene and stunning views. Check out our guide to Brooklyn and beyond by B+C local Haley Sprankle before you go!

Chicago, IL

what to do in chicago

Photo by Chait Goli

Architecture fans will love this city where Frank Lloyd Wright left his legacy. Take a breathtaking architectural tour along the Chicago River, shop upscale and mid-range boutiques along the Magnificent Mile, art gaze at one of many museums like The Art Institute of Chicago, and grab a slice of deep dish at Angelo’s Stuffed Pizza or Bartoli’s in Roscoe Village. Explore Chicago’s Hippest Neightborhood Wicker Park too with our local guide.

Key West, FL

what to do in key west

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

This island city, the southernmost point of Florida, offers a unique blend of stunning subtropical beaches and rich historical charm. Key West, once home to literary legends like Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, and Robert Frost, as well as musician Jimmy Buffett, feels like a nostalgic journey to the past. Stroll along palm-lined streets and admire the pastel-hued, Victorian-era gingerbread houses and tin-roofed conch-style homes. Enjoy live music and sip Hurricane cocktails at outdoor bars, or explore its vibrant coral reefs just 90 miles north of Cuba.

Ocean City, MD

what to do in ocean city md

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Welcome to the other “O.C.,” an east coast family favorite. Find 10 miles of beautiful beaches between the picturesque Assawoman Bay, perfect for enjoying breathtaking sunsets each evening. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or an action-packed vacay, Ocean City’s combo of natural beauty and unique local culture makes it a must-visit destination. Stroll along the nearly 2.5-mile-long boardwalk, and savor the season’s finest seafood at popular spots like On the Bay Seafood, Ropewalk, or the upscale Blu Crabhouse & Raw Bar.

San Diego, CA

what to do in san diego

Photo by Daniel Frese

This picturesque city along the Pacific coast is known for its pristine beaches and near-perfect climate. Experience the laid-back surfer vibe at Ocean Beach, marvel at the pelicans and sea lions at the stunning La Jolla Cove, or enjoy family-friendly fun at Carlsbad, near Legoland Park. Wander through Balboa Park and visit the renowned San Diego Zoo. Dine and drink in the Gaslamp District, explore the historic Hotel del Coronado, and hike the breathtaking trails of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for the best coastal getaway on the west.

Boston, MA

what to do in boston

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There’s so much to love about this charming city. Walk the historic Freedom Trail, catch a ballgame at Fenway Park, and cross the Charles River to explore Cambridge and Harvard Square. Savor New England fare, from Regina Pizza to a delicious Maine lobster roll at Neptune Oyster in the North End. From the city, you can take a ferry to Cape Cod and Salem or hop on a train to Maine and Rhode Island for the full New England experience.

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Lead image of Key West via Shutterstock.

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