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20 Places to Visit in USA in Summer 2021

Warm sunny weather will quickly be approaching, and it will finally be time for you to take a summer vacation in USA!  There are thousands of places to visit in USA in summer, which means that you will need to plan your time wisely if you want to have a fabulous time.  With that being said, you really cannot go wrong with any of the numerous summer vacation destinations that you are choosing from. So, here are 20 places to visit in the USA in summer 2020, in no particular order.

1. Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad California is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

When you are planning a summer vacation in USA, you must consider Carlsbad, California.  Your days can be spent at SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND, but you should also spend a little time wandering through the Flower Fields at the Carlsbad Ranch.  The beautiful weather during this time of the year will also be perfect for walking along the Aviara Trails and hitting the waves at the local beaches. So, this is definitely one of the places to visit in USA in summer.

Did you know that Carlsbad has one of only a handful of salt water desalination plants in the US? Schedule a visit to the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant.

Learn more about Carlsbad in one of our other posts:

The 10 Best Things to do in Carlsbad, California.

2. Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola Beach is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

One of the best summer vacation destinations is Pensacola, Florida and this is the best place where you can watch the Blue Angels practice their flight demonstrations.  When you do not have your eyes to the sky, you might want to explore the Naval Museum, do a little shopping at the Palafox Market, and take a walking tour through historic downtown.  Add in a little time at Fort Barrancas and the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum and you will find your vacation days quite packed with fun! So, make sure Pensacola is one of your places to visit in USA in summer.

3. Austin, Texas

Austin is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

Austin is one of the better destinations of my 20 places to visit in USA in summer 2020, but be prepared to face the crowds in this quickly growing city.  You can begin at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center or climb to the top of Mount Bonnell to see the spectacular views.  New boots can be purchased at Allen Boots, which is a landmark store that has been around since the 1970s.  At night, you must venture over to the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the thousands of bats leave their home under the bridge to find something to eat and fly around all night long.

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Sante Fe, NM is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

Santa Fe is the best destination for both week-long vacations and quick weekend getaways, so you can consider this option according to your schedule.  While you can relax quite easily in Santa Fe, you may find yourself very busy as you wander through the numerous art galleries and take a cooking class or two.  Don’t forget to do a little shopping at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market, because you can grab a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables for your meals and a few souvenirs to take back home.  And, if you time your trip just right, you can go to the Santa Fe Indian Market as well.  This market is part of a cultural event that has been held during the month of August for more than ninety years now. You should definitely make Santa Fe one of your stops on your summer vacation in usa.

5. Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket, Massachusetts is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

Nantucket is a great location of my 20 places to visit in USA in summer 2020, and you will find this area of the state quite appealing shortly after arriving.  When you choose Nantucket for your summer vacation in USA in 2020, your days will be filled with both adventures and relaxation.  You can begin with a visit to the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge or the Whaling Museum before finally seeing what all the hoopla is about at the Brant Point Lighthouse.  In between trips to the beach, you may want to find some time to see the Old Mill and the Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum.

6. Big Sur, California

Big Sur, California is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

When you take the time to visit Big Sur in California during a summer vacation in USA, you must do the 17-Mile Drive.  This road trip will take you along the gentle winding road that leads from Pebble Beach to Pacific Grove and the views that you see will simply take your breath away.  Other things to do include stopping at Point Lobos Natural Reserve, walking along the Cyprus Grove Trail, and floating down the Big Sur River. 

7. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

Nothing screams summer like BBQ, and you can find some of the best in Kansas City, Missouri.  That alone makes Kansas City one of the perfect places to visit summer vacation in USA.  Of course, this fabulous destination offers so much more, including the National World War I Museum, the Arabia Steamboat Museum, and the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.  Add in a little shopping at the Country Club Plaza and your vacation will be better than you could have ever imagined!

8. Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley, CA is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

Napa Valley is the best summer vacation in USA destination when it comes to wine and wine tastings.  You may want to start with a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train before walking around downtown St. Helena and exploring the Napa Art Walk.  When you are ready for a little downtime, you might want to consider wandering through the Oxbow Public Market or simply relaxing by Lake Berryessa.

9. Livingston, Montana

Livingston, Montana is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

If you are craving a true western vacation, then Livingston, Montana is the place for you during your summer holidays in USA.  A hike along the trails of the Absaroka Mountains can be followed by a long soak in the Chico Hot Springs.  Picnics are best at Sacajawea Park, while history awaits at the Yellowstone Gateway Museum, the Natural History Exhibit Hall, and the Sleeping Giant Wildlife Museum.

10. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod, Massachusetts is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

Cape Cod is one of the most popular places to visit in USA in summer, so you will want to be prepared for crowds during your visit.  You could spend days exploring the Cape Cod National Seashore but save a little time for wandering through the Heritage Museums and Gardens.  Add in a tour of the Sandwich Glass Museum and the Edward Gorey House and you will have ample activities to enjoy when you are not sitting on one of the sandy beaches.

11. Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

When you are visiting Portland, you must take the time to travel to the Columbia River Gorge.  This gorgeous destination is perfect for hiking, but make sure you take the trail that lead to waterfalls like Multnomah Falls.  There isn’t as much rain in Portland during the summer months, but if you do happen to find yourself getting wet, you can always duck into the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry for a little fun.  Other options for this summer vacation destination includes smelling the flowers at the International Rose Test Garden, wandering through the Portland Saturday Market, and purchasing a few books at Powell’s City of Books.

12. Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

Most people think of Denver as one of the places to visit in summer, but you shouldn’t make the same mistake.  While the Mile High City has long been known for its skiing and cold temperatures, there is so much to do here during the summer months.  Start your journey with one of the many walking tours and then walk through the Denver Botanic Gardens.  There is a plethora of music festivals in this city during the summer, so you may want to be proactive and plan your vacation according to who will be playing there at the same time.  Before you leave Denver, you must take the time to eat a little ice cream at Little Man Ice Cream.  The line is always long, but the wait goes by quickly with the live entertainment.

13. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

If you are looking for a low-key summer vacation destination, then Lancaster, Pennsylvania should be close to the top of your list.  This area is known for the Amish people who live there, and there’s a lot to see.  In fact, your days can be full as you visit an Amish Farm and House, wander through the Phillips Museum of Art, and listen to music at Long’s Park.  Add in a trip to the Central Market and you will finally be able to say that you have visited the oldest farmer’s market in the country.

14. Savannah, Georgia

savannah, Georgia is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

Savannah is may not be one of the coolest places to visit in USA in summer, but there are plenty of things that you can do inside to escape the heat.  Begin with a trolley tour, so you can get acclimated to where everything is in this historical city.  Afterwards, you can walk around the city streets, take a riverboat cruise on the Savannah River, and take a drive out to the beach on Tybee Island.  If you want to see a different side of this city, you may want to consider one of the nighttime ghost tours.

15. Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackiniac Island, Michigan is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

Mackinac Island will have you feeling like you have been transported back in time, because there are no cars on this island, and it has a laidback vibe.  However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have a fantastic time when you choose this destination for your summer vacation in USA.  More than three quarters of this island is a state park, so you will spend a good amount of time exploring it all.  Other places to see during your visit include Fort Mackinac, Arch Rock, and the historic downtown.

16. Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic, Connecticut is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

The town of Mystic, Connecticut is very charming, and it is also very busy during the summer months.  An entire day can be spent walking along the Main Street of Mystic, while other days can be spent exploring Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium.  You may also want to do a little shopping at Olde Mystic Village.  It is recommended that you also watch the Mystic River Bascule Bridge go up and down as larger ships pass on by but do it from the sidewalk and not your car as you are stuck in traffic from the raised bridge.

17. Misquamicut, Rhode Island

Misquamicut, Rhode Island

When you simply want to spend most of your time on the beach, Misquamicut, Rhode Island is the best of all the places to visit in USA in summer.  You can rent a room or house right on the beach, so you can walk a few steps and be in paradise for the rest of the day.  When you tire of the beach, you can hike through Dr. John Champlin Glacier Park, explore the Watch Hill Lighthouse, and take a cruise out on the water.

18. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

There is never a bad time of the year to visit Nashville, but the weather is often the best for a summer vacation in USA.  Concerts and festivals are plentiful in Nashville, so check the schedule before planning your adventures.  This is also the best time of the year to wander the streets of downtown, ducking into bars along the way to listen to whoever is playing at the time.  Add in stops to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry and you will never listen to country music in the same way ever again. 

19. Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head, South Carolina is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

Islands can make the best summer vacation destinations and Hilton Head, South Carolina is one of the most popular of them all.  There are miles of trails that you can either walk, or bike, along and they allow you to see the most of this gorgeous island.  When you are not out on the trails, you should spend a little time at Coligny Beach Park, as you relax under the shining sun.  If you are looking for more adventure, check out H2O Sports.  It is there that you can do anything from parasailing and jet skiing to getting up close to alligators and dolphins.

20. Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington is a top 20 summer vacation in usa

The sun shines a little more often in Seattle, Washington during the summer months, so enjoy the weather as you see sites like the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the Seattle Great Wheel.  While you are in Seattle, you must also stop to see the gigantic Hat n’ Boots within Oxbow Park, the Seattle Pinball Museum, and Golden Gardens Park. 

These are my top 20 places to visit in USA in summer 2020, and every single one of them will be a perfect choice for your time away from home.  It will not be easy to make a decision between them all when planning your summer vacation in USA.  However, you can make it easier by starting at the top of the list and then working your way down in the future.  Or, you can simply choose one at random and see where your adventures go from there!

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