Best USA Summer Vacations in 2020

On the highest end of the Bear Lake to Fern Lake trail

The temperatures are at its all-time high and all you can think about is a getaway – that means it’s time to take a summer vacation. I know what you’re thinking, a global pandemic is afoot and you need to be extra careful. Can you even travel this summer at all? I really hope we can. And if we can’t really go abroad, we should explore something closer, right here in the US. So here are the best summer vacations that you should consider in 2020 before booking your next trip! 

The United States is such a huge and diverse country. You travel to a different state and see a completely new culture, climate, and people. This year, I encourage you to go somewhere you haven’t been before while staying safe, and check out this list for even more bucket list ideas in the US. Last summer I went to San Francisco and it was magical! But of course, more ‘rona-friendly places will be my first recommendation on this list!

Best Summer Vacations 2020

Hike the Rocky Mountains

If you like going on outdoor adventures, you will love a trip to the Rockies! Camping, hiking, horseback riding or white water rafting – you will find so many fun activities in the area! The best time to go is late summer: the weather is perfect and most of the trails are open for hikers! If you think about going, I recommend staying at the Moraine Park Campground, it is right in the National Park area, very close to the trails and has beautiful views of the mountains. Check out some of the most amazing hikes you can take and views you will see in the Rockies!

Hike to the Bottom of the Grand Canyon

Hike to the Bottom to the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of America’s most famous and awe-inspiring natural attractions, it is worth any bucket list. The views are even more amazing from the bottom than they are from the top, and if you would like, you could take the mules up or down.

If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon yet, summer 2020 might be the time to go. There will be most likely be a lot less people than in many years. And if hiking down is not an option, choose the Rim Trail. It is a mostly paved walking path that follows the rim of the Grand Canyon for 13 miles, from South Kaibab Trailhead to Hermit’s Rest. This nearly level path, with a mix of sun and shade from scattered trees, is one of the most scenic hikes in North America, don’t miss it!

Adventure in Yellowstone National Park

Summer Vacations Yellowstone

Yellowstone is a perfect destination in summer: the park is only open from April to October with its peak months in June, July, and August. It’s a nearly 3,500-sq-mile wilderness recreation area on top of a volcanic hot spot. It’s a perfect spot for day hiking and camping. You can see the canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs, and gushing geysers, including the Old Faithful. It’s also home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, bison, elk, and antelope. See my full guide to Yellowstone!

Summer Bucket ChecklistPrintable Packing List

See the Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls Itenerary

A trip to Niagara Falls could be the perfect vacation for 2020. If you’re anywhere in the midwest or on the East Coast, this is a perfect road trip.  And see more about Niagara Falls here.

Stay the Week in St. Louis

Summer Vacations Saint Louis

It makes this list because there are so many fun and free things to do in St. Louis! It’s a great city to visit in the summer and it’s not as crowded as the more popular destinations like NYC or Chicago. When you go to Saint Louis, you can’t miss the famous Gateway Arch, the St. Louis Zoo, the Science Center, and the St. Louis Art Museum. Also, visit Cathedral Basilica, home to one of the largest collections of mosaics in the world. It took nearly 80 years to install the more than 40 million mosaic glass pieces that adorn the inside of the church. Hopefully, most of these will be open this summer, but do check their websites for more information!

Check out the Museums in Washington D.C.

Summer Vacations Washington DC

Washington, D.C. is one of the most tourist-friendly cities in the United States and most attractions are free. The city is home to all three branches of the federal government, as well as the White House, the Supreme Court, and the Capitol Building. Visit the sites of later forts from the Civil War at the Fort Circle Parks, then take a tour of the White House built in the late 1700’s, the United States Capitol building from 1800, and the Washington Monument, built in 1885.

If you are planning to be traveling soon, use my Free Printable Packing list to help you pack everything you need for your next summer vacation!

Enjoy a new city – San Francisco, California

Best Summer Vacations

San Francisco is a beautiful city for traveling with plenty to do and see along with some of the most diverse neighborhoods and districts in one city. It is one of the best summer vacation spots in the United States because of the nice weather and a variety of cultural activities. When you go, make sure to try authentic ramen in Chinatown and burritos in Mission District, ride a cable car to Fisherman’s Wharf and hike all the way to Land’s End.

Explore Chicago

Summer Vacations Chicago

Chicago, known as the Windy City, is packed with places to enjoy art, film, theater, and music. And even though this year, there will be fewer adventures, restaurant patios are still going to be open as well as parks, monuments, and more. Hoping that museums will also be open, you can visit the Chicago Art Institute, which has over 300,000 works of art in its permanent collection, and Millennium Park offers 25 acres of interesting architecture, pretty landscape and a fascinating collection of public art. I also recommend going to the Museum of Science and Industry, the largest science museum in the western hemisphere.

Chicago is my new home, so I have many more Unique and Amazing Ideas for things to do here!

Looking for more ideas for this summer? Check out my American bucket list or my summer bucket list!

Hi, I'm Marina, passionate traveler and blogger, based in the United States and travelling the world. Thanks for following me on my life and travel adventures!

29 Comments

  1. Mason Jackson
    July 13, 2018

    I love this post…Thank you for sharing with us.
    I agreed with your points San Francisco is the best city for travelling with families, friends and couples in summer vacation.
    waiting for the next post…

    Reply
  2. V at LoveBecomesHer
    July 15, 2018

    I’ve been to four of these and I agree! Still trying to get to DC during the summer ☀️ i think it’d be cool to see such historic buildings.

    Reply
  3. Amands
    July 15, 2018

    Awesome! We love cruising; we go every year! So fun and a great priced family vacation!

    Reply
  4. Renae
    July 15, 2018

    We just returned from Yellowstone National Park last week, and it is incredible! There is so much to do and see. We only had two days there, which wasn’t nearly enough time to really see everything. San Francisco is a must-see destination, too. It tends to be cool there, even in the summer, I always tell people to take warm clothes, especially a hoody or jacket. The best weather is in the late summer.

    Reply
  5. Joseph
    July 20, 2018

    Great quick list of must see places in the US! I’ve been to the majority of these places, except the cruise. Now you have me thinking about my next vacation plans!

    Reply
  6. Belle
    July 20, 2018

    Love this! Sometimes the best spots are right in our backyards. I’ve been to most of these except yellowstone *gasp lol. Funny I was jut talking about visiting National parks the other day. I think I’ll start there.

    Reply
  7. Jenny
    July 20, 2018

    This is a great list. I’ve only been to a few of these places, but not in the summer. DC was amazing when we went, the cherry blossoms were blooming. Must have been around March. I’m headed over to check out summer bucket list!

    Reply
  8. Kiara
    July 20, 2018

    This article gives me some ideas for my list of places to visit! I’ve not been to one place on this list. I would loooove to go to NYC!

    Reply
  9. Rich
    August 31, 2018

    BOOKMARKED!! Haha I’m planning to travel soon after school to see the country but have no clue where yet. I’d like to mix things up from going to sight seeing to hitting up great food spots and clubs! Great article! I’ll be referring to this when I need to plan it!

    Reply
  10. Amal Freije
    February 21, 2019

    Lovely just what I was looking for.

    Reply
  11. Kay Shannon
    February 28, 2019

    I’ve often thought spending Christmas at the Yellowstone Lodge would be amazing. Snowmobiling, cross country skiing, a roaring fire at the end of the day, and incredible scenery would make it so special.

    My husband and I slept on one of the benches next to Old Faithful. In the rain. We were young then

    Reply
  12. Kristina G
    February 28, 2019

    Great post! Like your ideas (though you need a Florida spot on your list:) I grew up in the DC area and would definitely recommend it as a place to visit for all! Been to St. Louis and New York. Would love to check out the Rockies and Yellowstone sometime in my life! I like how you summed each one up and gave just a few ideas, just enough to get people thinking about each place. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Marina
      March 14, 2019

      Thank you, I went to Florida for Spring break once and it was amazing! How is it in the summer? Would you recommend to go?

      Reply
  13. Cheri
    February 28, 2019

    Hello there! First off I love your blog! Thanks for sharing your ventures with us. D.C. is beautiful, I have an uncle who lives there! Can’t wait to go back. I always encourage people to travel as its perfect for cultural building! San Francisco is definitely on my list. Again thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Marina
      March 14, 2019

      You’re welcome! I am so glad you enjoyed my post! I hope you can go to San Francisco soon, it’s probably my favorite US City at the moment!

      Reply
  14. Kerri
    February 28, 2019

    Great post! I am contemplating facing my fear of a cruise in the near future! Something about a cruise ship just terrifies me! But I have heard so many great things about them.

    Reply
    1. Marina
      March 14, 2019

      I have been on 3 cruises already and can’t wait to go again! Once you go, you’re hooked! I’ve met a man who has been on 63 cruises!!! You should definitely try it. My mother was scared at first, but then she found it peaceful and can’t wait to go again, too!

      Reply
  15. Lissy
    March 1, 2019

    So many great places on your list! Yellowstone and Rocky mountains are my favorite.

    Reply
    1. Marina
      March 14, 2019

      Yes! U.S. has so many amazing national parks. You have to see at least some of them! And the best thing is how accessible they are.

      Reply
  16. Roamy
    June 20, 2019

    I have wanted to visit the US for a long time, reading your post makes me feel it`s time to stop dreaming and just do it.
    Having said that, it`s time I started planning, no point in taking a long haul flight (I`m from Europe) for a 2-week vacation,as I`ll want to visit, most of the major cities in America, I will need to have 4 weeks.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Marina
      July 6, 2019

      It’s true, you should go for longer than 2 weeks, it would not be enough! But, you should also go to nature areas in the US, not just the cities! I would say they are a lot more rewarding here!

      Reply
  17. Melissa
    June 20, 2019

    Perfect timing to come across this list as we’re trying to plan a fall trip!
    Yellowstone and DC have been on my wishlist for years!

    Reply
    1. Marina
      August 3, 2019

      Yes! They are both beautiful destinations!

      Reply
  18. Claire
    June 20, 2019

    Every single one of these places is on my US bucket list.

    Bring on retirement!

    Reply
  19. John Harper
    January 6, 2020

    DC is always on my bucket list. This list is great to explore the USA in 2020.

    Reply
  20. Aman verma
    March 5, 2020

    I’m searching for honeymoon destinations and I found this. This article is so much helpful in finding the best place. and I share my experience in the form of a blog.

    Reply
  21. Under Flowery Sky
    March 9, 2020

    So many national parks and cities, this sounds so amazing..

    Reply
  22. AnywhereSheRoams
    March 9, 2020

    What a great post! thank you so much for sharing your tips on travel places in the USA – it is defo somewhere i want to explore more 🙂

    Reply
  23. Baig Adnan
    June 29, 2020

    Image Source While Colorado is more of a winter place, it is also a summer paradise worth visiting with your close ones, making it one of the best holiday destinations in May. This place enjoys a moderate temperature, letting you indulge in activities like hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, and more. Apart from the rich experiences, it is also home to luxury and comfortable stays, which look too dreamy to be true. It is one of those places that make for the best summer vacations in the world.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top