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Starting to think about where to spend your summer vacation?

If you are planning to head to the USA, summer is a great time to visit. Beaches, cruises, theme parks and national parks, there is so much to do in summer in the US.

Here is a look at some of the best places to visit in the USA this summer.

Travel to the USA

What are the Summer Months in the USA

Summer runs from 1 June to 31 August in the USA. Summer break for many may not start until mid to late June. 

Make Sure You Check Your USA Visa Requirements

Most foreign nationals will require a visa to enter the United States on holiday. Make sure you check your American visa requirements before you travel. 

Hammock in front of log cabin in forest. hanging out here is one of the best things to do in the usa this summer

Places to Visit in the USA This Summer

Florida

Florida has always been a popular vacation destination. So much so, in 2018 US travellers voted Florida as the number one place they would enjoy spending their summer.

With sunny skies, beautiful beaches, loads of outdoors and cultural attractions, the Sunshine State will not disappoint as a summer destination.  Summer truly is the best time to visit Florida.

Beach umbrella with out of focus beach, summer is the best time to visit florida

Places to Visit in Florida 

New Smyrna Beach

South of Daytona Beach, located on Florida’s Central Atlantic Coast, New Smyrna Beach is a surfing hub with miles of gorgeous beaches including nearby Canaveral National Seashore. The coastal Smyrna Dunes Park has lovely views of Ponce Inlet and the lighthouse.

Downtown, you’ll find the palm-lined Canal Street Historic District with shops, dining, museums, and galleries thanks to a thriving arts community.

New Smyrna Beach is a charming beach town known for its lovely coastal architecture and laid back, friendly community.

 

red lighthouse and palm trees in key west. best place for diving and snorkelling in usa this summer

Key West

The island city of Key West, part of the Florida Keys archipelago is the perfect destination for some summer R&R. 

Situated at the southernmost part of Florida, roughly 90 miles north of Cuba, life in Key West is laid back. Famed for its pastel-hued, conch-style houses, Key West is also a popular dive and snorkel destination thanks to its coral reefs.

sunset between 2 palm trees on Amelia Island USA voted a top island in the world.

From the Key West Aquarium to the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum, there is plenty to do in Key West beyond the beach. And, of course, the happy hour always starts early in Key West. 


Things to do in Key West


Amelia Island.

Named one of the top islands in the world by Condé Nast readers – Amelia Island, one of Florida’s lesser-known summer destinations checks off everything you could want in an island getaway.

Twenty-one kilometres of stunning quartz sand beaches, no less than seven golf courses, a fabulous historic district, great shopping, 90 fantastic dining options and a full calendar of events and festivals. 

Amelia Island is the perfect summer destination. 

 

sun shining through palm tress on amelia island voted a top island in the world

California

According to TripAdvisor, California was the second most popular summer destination in 2018. Located in the Western United States, California has the largest population in the US.

Californians enjoy warm dry summers with average coastal temperatures hovering around 70°F/21°C up to 80°F /27°C. Summer in California also means open-air concerts, parades and festivities in cities across the state.

waves crashing against point with lighthouse in California the most popular summer destination in usa

Here are some great things to do in California during the summer.

  • Take a cycle tour across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco with Alcatraz entry.
  • Enjoy music, foods and live performances at street festivals in downtown Oakland and Los Angeles. 
  • Take a tour of Silicon Valley and the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.
  • Visit Beverly Hills, the most expensive shopping district in the US.  Window shop at iconic stores such as Coco Chanel, Gucci, Christian Dior, and Armani. And, of course, always be on the lookout for big-name celebrities. 
  • Visit the breathtaking sandy beaches in San Diego which cover close to 70 miles of coastline. 
  • Visit California’s renown winemaking region of Sonoma. Take a half-day Sonoma Valley Wine Country Tour
  • Get to know the locals by volunteering at a local community organisation. Take a dog for a walk from a local animal shelter or enjoy Calfornia’s wilderness by joining the California conservation group in planting trees. 

golden gate bridge through some greenery. cycling tours of the golden gate bridge are one of the best things to do in california.

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Arizona

Arizona, home of the Grand Canyon National Park. Located in Northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is one of the United States greatest tourist attractions.

The 1 mile (1.6km) deep and 277 mile long (446 km) canyon reveals millions of years of geological history in its layered bands of red rock carved out by the Colorado River over millions of years.

misty cloudy sky above grand canyon. watch out as it is busiest in summer which is the best time to visit the grand canyon

They are many ways to enjoy the spectre of the Grand Canyon. Hiking tours that will take you to the bottom of the canyon. Scenic helicopter flights, riding a mule on the Grand Canyon nature trails and whitewater rafting on the Colorado River are some of the experiences on offer in this incredible destination. 

Summer is peak season at the Grand Canyon so you should make travel bookings in advance whether planning to stay in a hotel or one of the park’s campsites.

helicopter pilots flying through the grand canyon. a great thing to do in the grand canyon when you visit in summer

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New York State

While New York City swelters in the summer, New York State has plenty to offer in the summer months. If you’re chasing the cooler climes of New York state’s mountain ranges, you have the Catskills and the Adirondacks.

If it is a beach style holiday you are looking for New York state has you covered there too with the Atlantic, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario for a start. These are just a few of the best places to visit in New York State in summer.

Places to Visit in New York in Summer

The Finger Lakes Region

Named for a series of long, thin lakes and a renown wine region. The surrounding area boasts stunning high gorges, and dramatic waterfalls, including Taughannock Falls and Buttermilk Falls.

 

homestead under green hills at thousand islands one of the best places to visit in northern usa

The Thousand Islands

Straddling the border of the U.S. and Canada, the region is made up of more than 1,800 islands in the St. Lawrence River. Fashionable with the wealthy and elite in the late 19th century, today, the Thousand Islands is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts.

Fascinating island mansions such as the German-style Boldt Castle on Heart Island, and Singer Castle with its Gothic windows and secret passageways on Dark Island, are a highlight of the area.

 

castle in lake, bodt and singer castles are popular things to see in thousand islands usa

Hudson River Valley

Stretching along the Hudson River from Westchester County to Albany, the state capital, The Hudson Valley region is known for its vineyards and orchards.

A region steeped in history, natural beauty, culture and a burgeoning food and farmer’s market scene, the Hudson River Valley has been designated a National Heritage area for a good reason.

Named by National Geographic as “one of the top 20 must-see destinations in the world”, the Hudson Valley makes a fabulous summer retreat, especially for food-oriented travellers who enjoy great wine and plenty of farm to plate culinary experiences.

 

view down into the hudson river valley green trees and winding river, the hudson river valley is a must see destination in usa this summer

And, of course, you have Long Island its white sand beaches, the famous Niagra Falls on the Canadian border, beautiful lake retreats, national parks and so much more. 

Take a Three Day Tour from NYC

Take a Niagara Falls, Toronto and Thousand Islands 3-Day Tour from NYC.

Package includes accommodation, transport, breakfast, professional tour guide, sightseeing in Niagara Falls, Toronto and Thousand Islands a

dmission to the Maid of the Mist, Thousand Islands cruise (May to October).

See here for full details

Oregon

Portland, Oregon’s largest city, known for its beautiful green spaces, an eco-friendly culture and a thriving microbrewery and coffee scene. Arts, music and theatre also feature prominently in Oregan which means summer is prime for festivals.  

Portland sign on old building. portland is the place to visit for the best beer festival in north america

The Oregon Brewers Festival

The Oregon Brewers Festival, from July 24 through July 27 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park attracts over 70,000 people each year. The biggest and most popular outdoor beer festival in North America is held over four days.

Sample the best craft beers, cider & wine from the region. Whether you prefer Belgians, Pilsners or Sours at the Oregon Brewers Festival you’ll find plenty of the world’s best-loved craft beer to drink.

 

half glass of dark beer on a barrel at Portland home of the best beer festival in north america

The Waterfront Blues Festival.

The Waterfront Blues Festival, an annual event in Portland, Oregon is held over the July 4th Independence Day weekend holiday. Held over four days, you can enjoy performances by over 100 blues acts across four stages. In true Oregan style, there is also lots of great food on offer throughout the festival. 

Once you’re finished with the festivals, head to the coast to relax at the sandy beaches in Seaside or Cannon Beach.


Whether it’s relaxing on the beach, hiking, popular festivals, country getaways, or world renown wine regions you’re after – the US has so many fantastic summer destinations. 

Planning your summer vacation? Here are 5 of the best places to visit in the USA this summer.


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