Every year when summer rolls around, I find myself on weekend trips and with the itch to see new places. I would love to be an off-season traveler (fall and spring would be beautiful, cooler, less crowded, and less expensive in so many places), but the nature of my academic-calendar focused job and Will’s school schedule means summer is the easiest and most realistic time for us to travel, even though it means we are trying to make travel plans with everyone else and their brother.
There are some destinations I have always wanted to visit, and some that, because of their northern locations, would be easier and more fun to visit in the summer as an escape from the heat and humidity of the South. I have rounded up a few places that I have been in the summer and love, and some that I would love to see, especially during the summer months. What other destinations should I add to my summer travel list?
Nantucket is on my short list of places to visit. Every photo I have seen is gorgeous, no matter what time of year, but the summer pictures, filled with hydrangeas and sailboats, take the cake. Some year I’d love to get to the oyster shell paths and the shaker shingle houses to see the New England beauty and escape from the hot North Carolina summer.
If you follow along on Instagram, you know that I actually visited Napa Valley over the first weekend of June! The lush grape vines and California weather made it a great early Summer destination. The views of the vineyards are so lovely and quaint, and makes for a picturesque background for relaxing with a glass of wine.
The Grand Canyon + National Parks in Southern Utah
A few of the places I want to visit most in the U.S. are the national and state parks in Southern Utah and the Grand Canyon. The U.S. has so many breathtaking landscapes and so much natural beauty and I feel like I have only seen a fraction of it. As much as I love traveling abroad and seeing new countries and cultures, I also want to see the extremely different and beautiful places within this country. The red desserts and massive canyons, arches, buttes, and rock formations look incredible and I would love to experience their vastness in person.
My family visited Cinque Terre on a trip to Italy when I was younger, and I remember walking along the cliffs and seeing the village, but seeing photos of it and the other Italian seaside towns make me want to go back and experience it as an adult. The vibrant cliffside houses against the bright blue water strike such a striking and fun dichotomy with the craggy cliffs and rugged shoreline.
I have only heard great things about Alaska in the summer. The landscapes and national parks look beautiful, and the small towns seem cute and quaint. I would love to see the turquoise lakes surrounded by snow capped mountains and enjoy the cooler weather.
I have been to Maine twice in the summer – once to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park with my family, and once to Portland for the first leg of our honeymoon. Both times it was so nice to escape the hot weather and enjoy the rocky Maine coastline and the adorable small coastal towns of the northeasternmost state. Depending on where you go, you can find mountains filled with blueberries, rock climbing near the rocky coast, or cute harbor towns. It is such a beautiful summer getaway.
Grand Teton National Park
My family took a summer trip to Jackson Hole, the Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone when I was in college and I still remember being awed by the beauty of the huge, jagged mountains and the bright lakes. It was one of the most beautiful trips I have been on and would absolutely recommend a trip to this Wyoming destination in the summer. Don’t miss the ski lift to happy hour at the top of the Tetons!
The Bahamas were never a place I had a strong desire to visit until recently. In the past few years, I have seen such beautiful pictures of the water, sailing, and brightly colored towns on the island and would love to see it in person. Dreaming about this charming cottage makes me want to hop on a plane asap. And with a name like Hope Town, it literally has my name all over it ;)