It’s summertime! It’s time to pack up the car (check out our expert tips), gas up the tank and hit the road for fun in the sun. Or relaxing in the sun. Or maybe exploring nature or the big city. Whatever your vacation preferences are, we’ve got you. We offer plenty of summertime safe driving tips, but today we’re sharing something even more exciting: destination inspiration!
Check out our list of must-see places across the United States, and whether they’re ideal for a trip with the family, solo travel or a romantic getaway for couples.
1. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Named one of the best beach towns for families by Parents Magazine, Hilton Head offers plenty of family-friendly fun beyond beach time. But the 12-plus miles of white-sand beaches don’t hurt, either! Let your little ones explore nature on the boardwalk, climb the 114 steps to the top of the lighthouse, get in the water to swim or kayak and much more. Mom and Dad will love the Southern charm and laid back atmosphere!
2. Napa Valley, California. Wine. Enough said. Ranked as the #3 best romantic getaway in the USA by U.S. News & World Report travel rankings, Napa Valley is a must-see for any vacationer, but especially for couples! The beautiful scenery makes for a romantic setting, there’s plenty of wineries to visit and a wide variety of resorts offering everything from golfing to pampering in the spa and everything in between.
3. Washington, D.C. There is so much to do and see in our nation’s capital, a travel buddy isn’t needed! Check out one of the 17 Smithsonian museums or take a bike ride or stroll along the National Mall to view the many memorials. The city’s size is manageable and the layout not complicated, making it a great place to explore.
4. New York, New York. A city so nice, they named it twice –and we named it as a family friendly and solo vacation spot! With plenty of iconic sites to see like Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Memorial and much more, you’ll never be bored enough to notice you’re traveling solo. Plus, there are plenty of family-friendly activities and destinations like the Museum of Natural History, the Central Park Zoo, the Bronx Zoo, Children’s Museum of the Arts and so much more.
5. Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Love nature? Jackson Hole is the perfect location to unplug, relax and take it all in. It also offers one of the best viewing spots for the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental U.S. in almost 40 years, happening this year on August 21. Additionally, Jackson Hole offers two major national parks: Grand Teton and Yellowstone.
6. Sedona, Arizona. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report travel rankings as the #3 best weekend getaway, the #7 best relaxing getaway and the #8 best romantic getaway, Sedona is a must-see. It’s typically described as one of the nation’s most beautiful destinations –the stunning landscapes of red rocks and sandstone buttes with a blue sky make it impossible not to feel romantic. Sedona is a great location for nature lovers as well –it’s home to more than 100 hiking trails, plus plenty of spas for some post-hike relaxing.
7. Grand Canyon, Arizona. The Grand Canyon is often named as one of the must-see sites in the U.S., and it’s a national park that every child should experience at least once! While the South Rim may be crowded during the summer months with sightseers and hikers, the North Rim is less crowded and ideal for camping and hiking for those more experienced.
8. San Francisco, California. In a bustling city like San Francisco, there’s no shortage of things to do! Because of the size of the city and numerous attractions, it’s ideal for a solo traveler. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk around exploring. Make sure to check out the Golden Gate Park, Alcatraz Island and Fisherman’s Wharf, and if time allows, take a cruise around the Bay!
9. Traverse City, Michigan. One of the best kept secrets in Michigan, Traverse City is on the shores of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay and offers romantic fun for couples! There are plenty of wineries to experience and restaurants to try, plus hiking and cycling, golf courses, swimming, boating and more.Additionally, the nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes offer 64 miles of sweeping vistas, sand dunes, miles of freshwater beaches, hiking trails and much more. It’s perfect for experiencing nature as a couple and unplugging to unwind!
10. Walt Disney World and Disneyland: Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California. No list of family-friendly summertime vacations would be complete without Disney representing! Located in Florida and California, it’s a great experience for kids and parents alike.