50 destinations everyone wants to visit in the US this summer

Nashville is one of the most desired summer destinations. f11photo/Shutterstock
  • Kayak compiled a list of the most searched destinations for summer travel.
  • Florida came out on top with interests in Miami, Fort Myers, and Key West.
  • Hawaii was the second most popular with interests in Kailua-Kona, Maui, and Kauai.

Planning a summer vacation can be difficult, especially when trying to narrow down a location. While many struggle to afford an international trip, there are some great travel destinations right here in the US.

Kayak compiled a list of the most popular destinations in the US that users search for when booking their summer travel plans. While Florida has the most cities that people are interested in, destinations all over the country are points of interest.

These are the top 50 most sought out locations in the US for summer travellers.

Orlando, Florida, is an excellent option for family vacations.

Lake Kissimmee State Park in Orlando. Karen Fields/Shutterstock

Although Orlando is known for Disney World and Universal Studios, there are other reasons this is the top destination for summer travel. The city also has a number of museums, public gardens, and even ballet performances. Downtown Orlando also offers a vibrant nightlife with excellent restaurants to satisfy any craving.

Honolulu, Hawaii, is another popular destination in the US.

Skyline of Honolulu, Hawaii. Getty/buraktumler

Hawaii is one of the greatest natural wonders within the US, and Honolulu is the best location to experience it. In the state’s capital, you can visit Waikiki, which is one of the best beaches in the world. You can even tour the only royal palace in the US, Iolani Palace. If that isn’t enough, take a hike through the volcanic crater Diamond Head, which offers magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean.

Another top destination is Las Vegas, Nevada, known for its dazzling casinos and nightlife.

Las Vegas, Nevada. Kobby Dagan/Shutterstock

While many come to Las Vegas to gamble at the casinos and to see some legendary shows, there’s so much more to do. From an entertaining arcade to an adrenaline-pumping zip line, this city has something to offer every traveller. If nature is more your speed, you can book a tour of the Grand Canyon or Red Rocks.

Although Seattle, Washington, is known for its gloomy weather, it’s a great destination in the summer.

While the Space Needle is a common draw to Seattle, the city has so much more to offer. From Pioneer Square to Downtown Seattle, this city is full of culture and entertainment. For instance, you can visit Kerry Park and the Seattle Great Wheel. You can also take in a moving show at the Seattle Symphony or at the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Another popular destination in the summer is New York City.

New York City in the summer. Getty Images/Andrew Burton

It’s no secret that New York City has a ton to offer culturally. To escape the heat, take a long tour of the world famous Met Museum. If you want to enjoy the rays of summer, lounge in legendary Central Park. You can even take a trip down to Brighton Beach and historic Coney Island.

Denver, Colorado, is the perfect summer locale for anyone who loves nature.

Denver, Colorado. Oscity/Shutterstock

The Mile High City has tons to offer in the summer months with beautiful bike trails and hiking trails to connect you with nature. You can even take an exciting ride in the rapids in Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park. Culturally, you can visit the Denver Art Museum or take in a show at the Red Rock Amphitheater.

Los Angeles, California, has so much more to offer than just Hollywood.

Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles. Flickr / Mark Mitchell

Yes, Los Angeles is the center of Hollywood, but it also makes for a great summer destination. The city has great shopping options like The Grove and Melrose Avenue Shopping District. You can even take a scenic hike up Runyon Canyon and take in the entire city. If you want to see more than just the city, take in the whole universe at the Griffith Observatory.

People flock to Miami’s beaches for the summer.

Faena House, Miami. Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

Miami is best known for its legendary beaches – and rightfully so. South Beach is perhaps one of the most well-known beaches in the country, with crystal clear blue water and perfectly white sand. The city is also known for its lively nightlife, packed with bars and clubs. With its Latin majority, Miami’s also a great city to experience Hispanic culture.

Boston, Massachusetts, is a great summer destination for history buffs.

Beacon Hill in Boston. Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Boston is brimming with history. During the summer months, you can take a stroll down the cobbled streets of Beacon Hill or take a guided, walking tour around the entire city to learn more about American history. You can also take in the sun on the Boston Common or get in touch with nature in the city’s Public Gardens.

Portland, Oregon, is the perfect place for a summertime bike ride.

Portland, Oregon. DC_Colombia/iStock

It’s easy to tell why Portlandia has been chosen as one of the top summer travel destinations. The city is perfectly designed to explore on bike, but it’s also a great place to experience the popular bookstore, Powell’s, or take a tour of Rhododendron Garden, where you can see some of the best roses. The Oregon Zoo is a great place to visit with children, or you can learn something new at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Like Honolulu, Maui is another great location to visit in Hawaii.

Beach in Maui, Hawaii. Mike Brake/Shutterstock

Maui has so much to offer. From the scenic Iao Valley State Park in central Maui to the rainforests and waterfalls of east Maui, this island covers something on everyone’s travel bucket list.

Alaska isn’t always freezing. A trip to Anchorage in the summer is truly something to remember.

Summer in Anchorage, Alaska. Kyodo News/ Getty

There are so many ways to experience the natural wonders of Alaska. Whether by raft, by railroad, by horse, or by hike, this city is sure to amaze every traveller. Anchorage also has a wide array of locally owned shops, like The Kobuk and the Anchorage Market.

Although Chicago is called the Windy City, it has great beach options during the summer.

Navy Pier in Chicago. f11photo/iStock

During the summer months, Chicago’s lakefront offers the perfect beaches for tourists. While enjoying the Bean, you can take in a free concert or a movie in Millennium Park. The city is also close to some of the best farmlands in the country, so enjoy a day of berry picking at Stade’s Farm and Market or at Thompson Strawberry Farm.

San Francisco is the perfect destination for wine lovers.

San Francisco, California. Andrey Bayda/Shutterstock

San Francisco is surrounded by some of the best wineries in the region, so it’s the best location for wine aficionados. You can take a full day to enjoy the Napa & Sonoma Wine Country Tour. Otherwise, take in the gorgeous summer weather at Golden State Park or enjoy a game at AT&T Park.

San Diego, California, is one of the best beach destinations in the country.

San Diego, California. Shutterstock/Sebastien Burel

San Diego is filled with summer activities, including the San Diego Zoo, Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark, LEGOLAND California Resort, Balboa Park, and Belmont Park. But the real reason everyone flocks to the city is for the legendary beaches, which include Blacks Beach, Imperial Beach, and La Jolla.

New Orleans isn’t just for Mardi Gras. In fact, the city is still a perfect destination during the summer.

New Orleans, Louisiana. USA-Reiseblogger/Pixabay

While most know New Orleans as a party city, there is a ton to do for every traveller – including families. You can take a trip to the Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Families can even take swap tours or enjoy the 15 rides at Carousel Gardens Amusement Pak.

Another popular Florida destination is Fort Lauderdale.

Beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Shutterstock/Kamira

Although Fort Lauderdale is largely a beach town, there is a ton of activities to take part in. A stroll down Las Olas Boulevard will take you to the best boutiques, restaurants, and cafes in the area. The Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District offers great options, like theatres, operas, and museums.

The nation’s capital, Washington D.C., also has a lot of activities to offer in the summer months.

Washington D.C. is known for its history, monuments, and museums. But, you can also partake in a number of waterfront activities on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers while visiting the city. You can even visit Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens to spot some jaw-dropping wildlife.

The third most popular summer destination in Hawaii is Kauai.

Kauai, Hawaii. Education Images/ Images

Kauai is a nature lover’s dream. With sites likeLimahuli Garden and Preserve, Hanalei Pier, and the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park, there’s a breathtaking view at every turn. But the island is also known for its golf courses – its most famous being the Makai Golf Club.

Salt Lake City, Utah, isn’t just good for skiing. There’s so much to do in the summer as well.

Salt Lake City, Utah. f11photo/iStock

If you’re in Salt Lake City for the summer, take a stroll through Red Butte Garden, one of the largest botanical gardens in the US. You can even take a tour of the Timpanogos Cave or bike around some of the most beautiful parts of the city.

Nashville, Tennessee, is the summer destination for country music lovers.

Nashville, Tennessee. f11photo/Shutterstock

The city of Nashville offers a wide range of concerts and festivals during the summer, including CMA Music Festival, Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman, and Live on the Green. If music isn’t your thing, you can visit the Adventure Science Center, AdventureWorks, and the Belle Meade Plantation.

The number one travel destination in Minnesota is Minneapolis.

Minneapolis, Minnesota. csfotoimages/iStock

If you’re booking a trip to Minneapolis this summer, make sure you take a trip to the legendary Mall of America. But if you want to connect with nature, then take a stroll through Loring Park or through the Chain of Lakes.

Unlike many other spots on this list, Jackson, Wyoming, is a town, not a city. But it’s made a name for itself as a great summer locale.

Jackson, Wyoming. Courtesy of Katherine Parker-Magyar

From mountain biking through Snow King Mountain to paragliding over the Teton mountains, Jackson is perfect for adventure seekers and nature lovers. If you want to tour the destination in a more unique way, try horseback riding and you’ll feel like you’re in a western.

Another popular location in Florida is Tampa for the summer months.

Tampa, Florida. ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Tampa, Florida, is a bustling metropolis with loads of activities, including Busch Gardens, ZooTampa, the Florida Aquarium. You can also take a stroll down Ybor City, which has nightlife, restaurants, and shops.

Phoenix, Arizona, is the best place to experience the desert during the summer.

Phoenix, Arizona. Flickr/Bureau of Land Management

Phoenix is known for its sweltering heat during the summer, so you can enjoy a fun tube ride down Salt River or spend the day at Big Surf, one of the larger water parks in the area. If you’d rather stay indoors to avoid the heat, you can spend time in casinos, museums, or even the aquarium.

Kailua-Kona is yet another popular summer destination in Hawaii.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Nils Nilsen/ Getty

Located on the west coast of Big Island, Kailua-Kona is the perfect spot to snorkel on King Kam beach or enjoy a walk along the Kailua pier. If you love beer, spend a day at the Kona Brewing Company and have a fantastic tasting. For shopping lovers, Ali’i Drive is the best place to buy souvenirs for your loved ones back home.

Summer travellers love to come to Dallas, Texas, for its metropolitan culture.

Yoga in Dallas, Texas. kan_khampanya / Shutterstock

As a thriving metropolis, Dallas has a lot to offer travellers. The Dallas Arts District is the place to soak in art and culture. Klyde Warren Park is the perfect place for a stroll or a morning yoga class. Also, take a trip to the Dallas Arboretum and enjoy Rory Meyer’s Garden.

Tourists in the summer love coming to Atlanta, Georgia, for its diversity and culture.

Atlanta, Georgia. Flickr/Jon Gos

Summers in Atalanta are hot but filled with activities. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of CNN Studios, meet the giant red pandas at Zoo Atlanta, or get a history lesson on Georgia’s Civil Rights Trail. If you’re seeking even more adventure this summer, you should definitely visit Six Flags Georgia and scream your heart out on The Twisted Cyclone.

Nature-loving travellers also love Kalispell, Montana, because it’s a gateway to the Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park. Zack Frank/Shutterstock

Downtown Kalispell is as historic as the Glacier National Park is beautiful. Conrad Mansion, which dates back to the 1890s, has been turned into a museum, making it a great attraction for tourists. The Hockaday Museum of Art offers another great attraction for culture lovers. But, the real beauty of Kalispell is its proximity to the Glacier National Park, filled with mountains, grizzly bears, and ethereal views for miles.

The second most popular destination in Texas is Austin.

Austin, Texas. Shutterstock

Austin is well-known for its music scene, which you can experience at The Continental Club or any small bar sprinkled around the city. In fact, the city is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” If history is more your thing, consider visiting the National Museum of the Pacific War or the Bullock Museum.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the perfect summer destination for history buffs.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Philadelphia is the perfect city to spend your summer vacation because there’s so much to do. Whether you’re having a picnic in Rittenhouse Square or having a beer at Independence Beer Garden, the city is sure to entertain. You can also take a stroll or bike ride through one of the largest metropolitan parks in the country, Fairmount Park.

Detroit, Michigan, isn’t only known for being the Motor City. It’s also a popular destination for summer travellers.

Detroit in July. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Since Detroit is known as the heart of the automotive industry, you must visit a car museum while visiting the city. But, there is a ton of other things you can do there as well, including biking the riverfront, learning about music at Motown Historical Museum, and paddleboarding in Detroit’s Eastside canals.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a popular beach destination during the summer months.

Boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Forsaken Fotos/Flickr

Myrtle Beach is 60 miles of coastline, offering travellers unparalleled beach experiences. The beach town also has fantastic eateries, including Ruth’s Chris Steak House or Throughbreds Chophouse. The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel is another entertaining attraction along the 1.2-mile boardwalk.

Charleston is another popular destination in South Carolina.

Charleston, South Carolina. Shutterstock

Charleston offers travellers some great beaches, like Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Edisto, Kiawah, or Seabrook. You can also stroll through The Battery, which gives you great views of the harbour. You can also try taking walk through some of the old cemeteries in town, where you can see some notables’ grave sites.

Newark, New Jersey, has so much more to offer summer travellers than just an airport.

Newark, New Jersey. Shutterstock

Although Newark is known for its international airport, the city has a lot to offer. For example, Military Park is a great place for yoga, ping pong, and even chess. Riverfront Park is also a great place to view Passaic River and see the iconic “Orange Sticks.”

Those who don’t flock to Las Vegas in Nevada usually choose Reno instead.

Reno, Nevada. James Mattil/Shutterstock

Reno is famous for its hotels and casinos, but it also offers a great deal of other entertainment for summer tourists. You can check out the Nevada Museum of Art, the Truckee River Whitewater Park, or the Reno Arts District and Riverwalk.

The third most popular place in Texas for summer travel is Houston.

Houston, USA. Sean Pavone/Getty Images

Houston has a plethora of museums for every interest, including the Museum of Natural Science, the Space Center Houston, and the Downtown Aquarium. You can also take in a show at the Miller Outdoor Theatre or enjoy the summer weather at Buffalo Bayou Park.

Another popular travel destination in Florida is Key West.

Key West, Florida. John Panella/Shutterstock

Key West is the perfect waterfront destination for any summer tourist, and the locale has so much to do. You can take a boat tour, take a tour of the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, and explore Ernest Hemingway’s House and Museum.

Savannah, Georgia, also attracts a great number of summer tourists.

Savannah, Georgia. Christian Hinkle/Shutterstock

There are so many must-sees when visiting Savannah, including Johnson Square, Madison Square, Forsyth Park, and historic Bonaventure Cemetery. But the city’s real draw is its Historic District. Savannah attracted as many as 13.7 million visitors in 2015.

Charlotte, North Carolina, is also popular among travellers.

Charlotte, North Carolina. Shutterstock/digidreamgrafix

The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, has so many activities in the summer, including access to beaches and nature hikes. If you want to try some of the south’s famous barbecue, head over to Bar-B-Q King, Bill Spoon’s Barbecue, and Queen City.

Yet another popular destination in Florida is Fort Meyers.

Fort Myers, Florida. Shutterstock/Jillian Cain

Fort Myers is another great beach destination when it comes to summer travel. But if you’re not in the mood for the beach, Fort Myers also offers shows at the Center for Performing Arts-Bonita Springs. You can also visit a 2,000-year-old island called Mound House.

Travellers also love to visit Sacramento, California, during the summer.

Tower Bridge in Sacramento, California. Education Images/ Getty

Sacramento is filled with culture and attractions that will excite any summer tourist. You can enjoy a day at the Sacramento Zoo or the Crocker Art Museum. For water park lovers, the city has Raging Waters, which has 25 water slides. But no trip to Sacramento is complete without a trip over Tower Bridge.

Summer tourists also flock to Missoula, Montana, for its greenery.

Missoula, Montana. Shutterstock

Tourists can walk through Historic Downtown or enjoy the art at Missoula Art Museum in Missoula. But, the city also has a favourite pastime: folf, which is disc golf. There are a number of courses scattered throughout the city for tourists who are interested in learning the sport.

Another popular location in California is Santa Ana.

Santa Ana, California. sean ehrke/Shutterstock

Santa Ana is Orange County’s largest city, and it’s packed full of activities for summer tourists. Take a trip to the Grand Central Theatre, which has dances and art galleries. When you get hungry, stop in one of the city’s famous eateries, including Gypsy Den and The Ranch.

Milwaukee is a great summer destination because of its proximity to Lake Michigan.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin. iStock / Aneese

Lake Michigan has some great beaches and parks that can be found in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Whether you’re kayaking or going for a quick dip, the location cannot be beat. The state also holds the Wisconsin State Fair for 11 days in the city, attracting travellers from all over the state and beyond.

Raleigh is another popular summer destination in North Carolina.

Raleigh, North Carolina. John_T/Shutterstock

If you’re travelling with kids to Raleigh, take them to the interactive Marbles Kids Museum or take them to the splash pad at Fuquay-Varina’sSouth Park. If you’re looking for something more adult, there’s a plethora of music festivals, hikes, and eateries for every appetite.

People love to travel to Spokane, Washington, to experience water adventures.

Spokane Falls, Washington. Wolfgang Kaehler/ Getty

Spokane, Washington, has 76 lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers and creeks, so it makes sense that this city is known for its aquatics. The whole family can boat, kayak, canoe, and raft. But Spokane Falls is something every visitor must take in before they leave the Washington area.

Buffalo, New York, is another popular destination among summer travellers.

Buffalo, New York. AnwarShamim/iStock

There’s a bunch of ways to see Buffalo, New York. You can take a Buffalo River History Tour or hop on Buffalo CycleBoats and Buffalo Pedal Tours. There’s also plenty of places you can bike to in the small city in upstate New York.

One of the best places to travel to in the Midwest this summer is Indianapolis.

Indianapolis, Indiana. Wikipedia

There is a ton to do in Indianapolis, including The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, and the Indiana Dunes. You can even spend the day at the Indianapolis Zoo with the whole family.

Bozeman, Montana, is the perfect place to explore the Rocky Mountains during the summer months.

Bozeman, Montana. Shutterstock.com / Colton Stiffler

Bozeman is every nature lover’s dream summer destination. You can head into the Rocky Mountains that surround the city where you can spot bears, coyotes, and skunks. The city is also close to several entrances to the Yellowstone National Park.