The temperatures are at their 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 2024 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, 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!
Best Summer Vacations 2024
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
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 2024 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
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!
See the Niagara Falls
Stay the Week in St. 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.
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!
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.
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!