USA Travel – Summer Bucket List

Embark on a remarkable journey in the summer of 2024 to some of the most beautiful and distinctive locations in the United States.

These  20 destinations have something to offer for every traveler, from thrilling outdoor adventures to relaxing getaways.

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Whether you prefer popular tourist spots or hidden gems, these places cater to all your tastes. We have personally visited each of these places multiple times!

1. Mackinac Island, Michigan (Step Back in Time)

Mackinac Island, located in Lake Huron, is a car-free destination that offers a unique step back in time. Explore the island by foot, bike, or horse-drawn carriage, and visit historic sites like Fort Mackinac and the Grand Hotel. The island is also known for its delicious fudge, beautiful lilacs, and stunning waterfront views.

  • Where: Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
  • Cost: Mackinac Island offers various accommodations and activities, catering to different budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature on Mackinac Island during the summer months ranges from 67°F (19°C) to 75°F (24°C).

From coastal paradises to mountain escapes, these 18 unique summer destinations in the USA offer something for everyone. No matter which location you choose, you’re sure to create unforgettable memories and experience the diverse beauty and culture that the United States has to offer.

Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to Mackinac Island, pack lightweight and breathable outfits to stay comfortable during warm days, typically ranging in the 70s (°F).

Include a mix of casual clothing for daytime exploring and a dressier option for evening dining at at the Grand Hotel for example.

Always bring a light jacket or sweater as evenings can be cool, especially near the water. Don’t forget to pack a rain jacket or an umbrella, as summer showers can surprise you during your visit.

2. Hocking Hills, Logan, Ohio

Upper Falls at Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio is a fantastic summer destination. We love it, because it offers so many outdoor activities and events. Old Man’s Cave offers scenic hiking trails that take you through breathtaking rock formations, waterfalls, and forests, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and hikers.

The park’s vast expanse has opportunities for many outdoor activities, such as rock climbing, zip-lining, and canoeing. All that makes it a great spot if you are an adventure seeker.

If you visit in August, the park hosts the annual Hippie Fest, which celebrates the music, art, and culture of the 1960s and 70s, with live performances, art vendors, and food trucks.

Hocking Hills is surrounded by little towns and is full of charming accommodations, such as cabins and camping sites, providing the perfect place to rest and recharge after a day of outdoor activities and exploration.

  • Where: Hocking Hills State Park is located in Logan, Ohio. Maps
  • Cost: Since Hocking Hills is a State Park in Ohio, there is no cost for visiting, and it is free to enjoy the area as you wish.
  • Weather: The weather in Hocking Hills for the summer months averages a high of 83°F (28.3°C) and a low of 58°F (14.4°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer visit to Hocking Hills in Logan, Ohio, pack outfits that accommodate both warm days and cooler nights. During the day, temperatures can rise, making lightweight, breathable clothing ideal for hiking and exploring beautiful landscapes.

Include sturdy footwear suitable for walking on uneven terrain and trails. Also, pack a fleece or light jacket for the cooler evenings and potential rain showers that are common in this region during summer.

3. Put-n-Bay, Ohio (Lake Erie)

Put-in-Bay, Ohio, is a summer destination that shouldn’t be missed! It’s a great place to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather, with various outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, and swimming in Lake Erie.

The island is known for its vibrant nightlife, with a range of bars and restaurants offering live music, delicious food, and refreshing cocktails. Put-in-Bay is rich in history and offers a unique glimpse into the past with attractions such as the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial and the South Bass Island Lighthouse, and is home to several annual events, including the popular Pyrate Fest and the Wine Festival.

It also has stunning scenery and a charming atmosphere making it ideal for a relaxing day trip or a fun-filled getaway with family and friends.

  • Where: Put-n-Bay is located on South Bass Island, just north of Sandusky, Ohio, in the great Lake Erie. Maps
  • Cost: The Miller Ferry offers the cheapest way to Put-n-Bay, at $7.50 for adults and $1.50 for children 6-11, under six years of age, rides for free. The island itself is free to wander around as you, please.
  • Weather: The weather in Put-n-Bay for the summer months averages a high of 80°F (26.6°C) and a low of 67°F (19.4°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer getaway to Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie, choose outfits that are versatile for both water activities and casual exploring. Pack lightweight clothing for warm days, which can include shorts, t-shirts, and swimsuits for time spent on or near the water.

A light jacket or sweater is wise to have for cooler evenings or breezy boat rides. Also, consider bringing a rain jacket, as sudden showers are not uncommon during the summer months in this area.

4. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky is a must-visit destination during the summer months. The weather is perfect for exploring the park’s vast underground caves, which maintain a cool temperature year-round.

The park offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and canoeing, and the diverse flora and fauna are in full bloom, providing a beautiful backdrop for your adventures. Mammoth Cave National Park is home to the world’s longest known cave system, with over 400 miles of underground passageways, giving it a rich history, including the legacy of the enslaved guides who first explored the cave.

  • Where: Mammoth Cave National Park is located in central Kentucky near Brownsville. Maps
  • Cost: Entry to Mammoth Cave National park is free of charge, however, there is a fee to tour the cave or stay in campgrounds. Prices range, depending on tour type, from $8-$66. Kids under 6 and Seniors have a discount on arrival. Camping prices are $25 ($12.50 for seniors) or $40 for groups per night.
  • Weather: The weather in Mammoth Cave State Park for the summer months averages at a high of 89°F (31.6°C) and a low of 62°F (19.4°C).

For a summer trip to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, pack outfits suitable for both warm outdoor activities and cooler cave exploring.

Lightweight, breathable clothing will keep you comfortable in the humid Kentucky heat, while a light jacket and pants are a good idea for the cooler temperatures inside the caves.

Sturdy, comfortable footwear is a must for hiking the park’s trails and navigating cave tours.

5. Columbus Food Truck Festival, Ohio (Festival)

The Columbus Food Truck Festival in Ohio is a must-visit destination for foodies and festival-goers alike during summer. The festival features over 60 food trucks from across Ohio and beyond, offering a diverse range of delicious and unique culinary experiences. It includes live music, art vendors, and family-friendly activities, making it a fun and entertaining outing for all ages.

Eco-conscious travelers will be happy to know the Columbus Food Truck Festival adores sustainability, including the use of compostable materials and recycling stations, making it a socially responsible and eco-friendly event.

  • Where: The Columbus Food Truck Festival is located in Hilliard, Ohio, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. Maps
  • Cost: Advanced tickets cost $5 for adults; children under 12 get free entry if accompanied by an adult. Tickets at the gate will cost $7.
  • Weather: The weather in Columbus for the summer months averages at a high of 85°F (29.4°C) and a low of 60°F (15.5°C).
Outfits/Packing

For the Columbus Food Truck Festival in Ohio, dress for comfort and convenience to enjoy the diverse culinary offerings and lively atmosphere.

Lightweight and casual outfits are ideal for staying cool in the summer heat, so consider packing shorts, breathable tops, and comfortable shoes for walking around the festival grounds. Since you’ll be outdoors, include a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

It’s also a good idea to carry a light rain jacket or an umbrella, as summer weather can be unpredictable.

6. Moab, Utah (Arches National Park)

Moab, Utah, is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, boasting access to the mesmerizing Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Known for its iconic red rock formations and stunning desert landscapes, Moab is the perfect summer destination for hiking, mountain biking, and off-roading. In Arches National Park, you’ll find over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the famous Delicate Arch, as well as scenic drives and beautiful sunsets. Meanwhile, Canyonlands National Park offers deep canyons, spectacular vistas, and some of the most challenging hiking trails in the country.

Tip: Start your hikes early in the morning to avoid the scorching midday heat, and always carry plenty of water with you. Consider visiting the national parks during weekdays to avoid the peak crowds.

  • Where: Moab is located in southeastern Utah, just a few miles from the entrances of both national parks.
  • Cost: Entrance fees for Arches and Canyonlands are $30 per vehicle, valid for 7 days. Various outdoor activities and tours are available at additional costs.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Moab during the summer months ranges from 90°F (32°C) to 100°F (38°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to Arches National Park in Utah, pack outfits that will help you manage both the intense sun and variable temperatures.

Light-colored, breathable clothing will keep you cool under the strong sun, and a wide-brimmed hat along with sunglasses are essential for sun protection.

Sturdy shoes are necessary for safely navigating the rocky terrain. Also, include a light jacket or fleece for the cooler mornings and evenings, as temperatures can drop significantly in the desert.

7. Asheville, North Carolina (Blue Ridge Mountains)

Asheville, North Carolina, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, offers a vibrant arts scene, a burgeoning food and craft beer culture, and access to a wealth of outdoor activities. Hiking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting are just a few of the adventures awaiting visitors in this charming mountain town. The Blue Ridge Parkway, one of America’s most scenic drives, runs through Asheville and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Tip: Take advantage of the higher elevation to escape the heat, and consider exploring the many waterfalls and swimming holes in the area to cool off.

  • Where: Asheville is located in western North Carolina, about 130 miles west of Charlotte.
  • Cost: Accommodation and activity prices vary, but Asheville offers options for all budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Asheville during the summer months ranges from 80°F (27°C) to 85°F (29°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, pack outfits that are adaptable to both warm days and cooler mountain evenings. Lightweight, breathable clothing is suitable for hiking and exploring the scenic trails during the day.

Sturdy footwear is essential for the uneven and sometimes slippery mountain paths. Since temperatures can drop quickly as elevation increases, include a fleece or light jacket.

Additionally, packing a rain jacket is wise, as the mountains can experience sudden rain showers in the summer.

8. San Diego, California (Beaches and Culture)

San Diego, California, is famous for its beautiful beaches, diverse cultural attractions, and perfect summer weather. Explore the picturesque La Jolla Cove, relax on the shores of Coronado Beach, or visit the family-friendly Mission Beach. In addition to the coastline, don’t miss Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and the USS Midway Museum for a mix of culture, history, and outdoor fun.

Tip: While at the beach, use umbrellas, sun hats, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade to avoid overheating.

  • Where: San Diego is located in Southern California, about 120 miles south of Los Angeles.
  • Cost: San Diego offers a wide range of accommodations and activities to suit all budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in San Diego during the summer months ranges from 72°F (22°C) to 78°F (25°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer visit to San Diego, California, pack a variety of outfits that will accommodate the city’s mild and sunny weather. Lightweight and casual clothing like shorts, t-shirts, and sandals are perfect for strolling along the beaches or exploring urban attractions.

Don’t forget to pack swimwear for days at the beach or poolside relaxing. Additionally, include a light sweater or jacket for cooler evenings, especially if you plan to enjoy waterfront dining or nighttime activities along the coast.

9. Traverse City, Michigan (Lake Michigan)

Traverse City, Michigan, situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, is a popular summer destination known for its beautiful beaches, lush vineyards, and vibrant downtown area. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers miles of sandy beaches, towering dunes, and scenic hiking trails. Wine enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula, both of which boast numerous wineries.

Tip: If visiting the dunes on a hot day, wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water, and take breaks in the shade when possible.

  • Where: Traverse City is located in Northern Michigan, about 250 miles northwest of Detroit.
  • Cost: Traverse City offers a variety of accommodations and activities for different budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Traverse City during the summer months ranges from 75°F (24°C) to 80°F (27°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to Traverse City, Michigan, located by Lake Michigan, prepare for a range of activities with versatile outfits. Lightweight, casual clothing is perfect for exploring local shops and the scenic downtown area.

Pack swimwear and a beach towel for relaxing days on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. Include a light jacket or sweater as evenings can be cool, especially near the water. Additionally, consider a rain jacket, as summer can bring occasional showers to the area.

10. Sedona, Arizona (Red Rock Scenery)

Sedona, Arizona, is renowned for its stunning red rock formations and vibrant arts community. This desert town offers numerous hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as opportunities for spiritual exploration and relaxation. Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, experience a healing vortex, or take a jeep tour to explore the unique geological wonders of the region.

Yes, we know it’s very hot, but with the right planning, it’s still a very enjoyable visit. The big advantage: It’s significantly less busy compared to the previous spring months. That’s why we recommend visiting Sedona in the summer.

Tip: Due to the extreme heat, plan outdoor activities for the early morning or late afternoon, and always carry plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat.

  • Where: Sedona is located in northern Arizona, about 120 miles north of Phoenix.
  • Cost: Sedona offers various accommodations and activities, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts and spas.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Sedona during the summer months ranges from 90°F (32°C) to 97°F (36°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to Sedona, Arizona, prepare for extreme heat by packing lightweight, breathable clothing to help manage the high daytime temperatures. A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and strong sunscreen are critical to protect against the intense sun.

Due to the significant heat, carrying a hydration pack is essential to stay hydrated during outdoor activities like hiking the stunning red rock trails.

As temperatures are cooler in the morning, include a light jacket or sweater. Additionally, sturdy hiking shoes are recommended for navigating the rugged terrain safely.

11. Savannah, Georgia (Southern Charm and History)

Savannah, Georgia, exudes Southern charm with its cobblestone streets, historic squares, and beautiful antebellum architecture. Discover Savannah’s rich history with a guided walking tour or a visit to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. In the summer months, enjoy the city’s lush parks, outdoor cafes, and vibrant riverfront area.

Tip: Stay cool by exploring Savannah’s many indoor attractions during the hottest parts of the day, and don’t forget to indulge in some refreshing Southern sweet tea.

  • Where: Savannah is located on the eastern coast of Georgia, about 250 miles southeast of Atlanta.
  • Cost: Savannah offers a range of accommodations and attractions for different budgets.
    • Weather: The average high temperature in Savannah during the summer months ranges from 88°F (31°C) to 92°F (33°C)
Outfits/Packing

During the summer months in Savannah, Georgia, temperatures often reach highs in the upper 80s to mid-90s (°F), accompanied by high humidity, making it feel even hotter.

For this kind of weather, it’s important to pack lightweight, breathable clothing to stay cool. Fabrics like linen and cotton are ideal for shirts, dresses, and shorts. Make sure to include a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect against the strong sun, and comfortable walking shoes for exploring the city.

Due to frequent summer rain, also pack an umbrella or a lightweight rain jacket to stay dry during showers.

12. Burlington, Vermont (Lake Champlain)

Burlington, Vermont, perched on the shores of Lake Champlain, is a vibrant college town with a lively arts scene, delicious farm-to-table dining, and plenty of outdoor activities. Rent a bike and explore the Burlington Bike Path, or take a boat tour of Lake Champlain to enjoy the stunning views. The city also hosts numerous summer festivals, including the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival and the Vermont Brewers Festival.

Tip: Explore the nearby mountains or take a refreshing dip in the lake.

  • Where: Burlington is located in northwestern Vermont, about 100 miles south of Montreal, Canada.
  • Cost: Burlington offers various accommodations and attractions, catering to different budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Burlington during the summer months ranges from 76°F (24°C) to 81°F (27°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer visit to Burlington, Vermont, situated by Lake Champlain, packing should include versatile outfits that adapt to both warm days and cooler evenings. Here are some tips:

  • Daytime Wear: Opt for lightweight, breathable clothing such as shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops for warm days exploring the waterfront or local markets.
  • Evening Attire: Since temperatures can drop near the lake, include a sweater or a light jacket for evenings, especially if you plan to enjoy sunset views or dine outdoors.
  • Water Activities: Don’t forget swimwear and a beach towel if you’re planning to participate in water activities on Lake Champlain.
  • Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes are a must for city exploration, and sandals are perfect for more relaxed days by the water.
  • Rain Gear: Summer showers can occur, so packing an umbrella or rain jacket is a wise decision to stay prepared.

With these items, you’ll be ready to enjoy everything Burlington has to offer, from its vibrant downtown to the serene lakeside settings.

13. Santa Fe, New Mexico (Art and Culture)

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a hub for art and culture, boasting a rich history and distinctive adobe architecture. Visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, explore the historic Santa Fe Plaza, or take a stroll through the vibrant Canyon Road Arts District. Santa Fe is also known for its delicious cuisine, featuring a blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican flavors.

Tip: On hot days, explore the city’s indoor attractions, such as museums and art galleries, or consider taking a scenic drive through the nearby mountains.

  • Where: Santa Fe is located in northern New Mexico, about 65 miles northeast of Albuquerque.
  • Cost: Santa Fe offers a range of accommodations and attractions for different budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Santa Fe during the summer months ranges from 81°F (27°C) to 86°F (30°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, you’ll want to pack with both the warm days and cooler evenings in mind. Here are some outfit and packing tips:

  • Lightweight Clothing: Pack lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen to stay comfortable during warm daytime temperatures, which can rise into the high 80s (°F).
  • Evening Layers: Temperatures can drop significantly once the sun sets, so include a light sweater or jacket for cooler evenings.
  • Sun Protection: The high altitude and clear skies mean strong sun exposure. Bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Opt for sturdy, comfortable shoes suitable for walking on the city’s uneven streets and occasional hiking outside town.
  • Art Scene Essentials: If you plan to visit galleries or upscale dining venues, consider packing a few dressier options.

With these items, you’ll be prepared for the unique climate and cultural experiences Santa Fe has to offer.

14. Acadia National Park, Maine (Coastal Beauty)

Acadia National Park, located on Maine’s rugged coastline, offers a stunning combination of ocean, mountains, and forests. Hike the numerous trails, explore the tide pools, or enjoy a scenic drive along the Park Loop Road. Don’t forget to visit the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the east coast of the United States, for breathtaking views.

  • Where: Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island, about 160 miles northeast of Portland, Maine.
  • Cost: The park entrance fee is $30 per vehicle, valid for 7 days.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Acadia National Park during the summer months ranges from 67°F (19°C) to 75°F (24°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to Acadia National Park in Maine, packing appropriately ensures you can comfortably enjoy both the trails and coastal views. Here are some outfit and packing tips:

  • Versatile Clothing: Include lightweight and breathable fabrics like shorts and t-shirts for warm daytime adventures, and layer with long sleeves or a fleece for cooler mornings and evenings.
  • Durable Footwear: Hiking boots are crucial for the park’s rocky terrain, and if you plan to be near the water, consider bringing along water shoes as well.
  • Rain Gear: Since weather in Maine can be unpredictable, always pack a waterproof jacket or raincoat to handle unexpected showers.
  • Sun Protection: Protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, even on overcast days.
  • Backpack: Carry a sturdy backpack for essentials like water, snacks, and a map while exploring the expansive park.

These items will help you navigate the varied environments of Acadia, from sunny shorelines to shaded forest trails, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable visit.

15. Outer Banks, North Carolina (Beach Paradise)

The Outer Banks, a chain of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, offer pristine beaches, rich history, and abundant wildlife. Enjoy swimming, surfing, and beachcombing, or explore the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Wright Brothers National Memorial, and the historic lighthouses. The Outer Banks are also famous for their wild horses, which can be seen roaming the shores.

Tip: If you’re visiting during a hot spell, spend the hottest parts of the day in the shade or water, and don’t forget to use sunscreen and stay hydrated.

  • Where: The Outer Banks are located off the coast of North Carolina, stretching from the Virginia border to Cape Lookout.
  • Cost: Accommodations and attractions in the Outer Banks cater to a range of budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in the Outer Banks during the summer months
Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, it’s essential to pack for both beach activities and exploring the local attractions. Here are some outfit and packing tips:

  • Beachwear: Pack swimwear, cover-ups, and flip-flops for spending time on the sandy beaches. Lightweight, quick-drying materials are best for comfort and convenience.
  • Casual Outfits: Include shorts, breathable t-shirts, and tank tops for daytime exploration, whether you’re visiting historic sites or walking along the boardwalks.
  • Evening Layers: Evenings can be breezy, especially by the sea, so bring a light sweater or jacket for night-time beach strolls or dining out.
  • Sun Protection: The sun can be intense, so don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen to protect against UV rays.
  • Footwear: Sandals are perfect for the beach, but comfortable walking shoes are important if you plan to explore nature trails or local towns.

With these items, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy everything the Outer Banks has to offer, from relaxing on its beautiful beaches to discovering its rich history and natural beauty.

16. Glacier National Park, Montana (Mountain Majesty)

Glacier National Park in Montana is a hiker’s paradise, featuring over 700 miles of trails, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes. The park is home to the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot grizzly bears, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep. Don’t forget to check out the historic chalets and lodges throughout the park.

Tip: Read our complete guide to Glacier National Park in the summer.

  • Where: Glacier National Park is located in northwestern Montana, near the Canadian border.
  • Cost: The park entrance fee is $35 per vehicle, valid for 7 days.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Glacier National Park during the summer months ranges from 70°F (21°C) to 80°F (27°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to Glacier National Park, where you’ll encounter varied elevations and temperatures, it’s crucial to pack strategically. Here are some outfit and packing tips:

  • Layered Clothing: Start with moisture-wicking base layers like lightweight t-shirts and add long-sleeve shirts or light pullovers for hiking at higher elevations or during cooler mornings. Always have a fleece or insulated jacket for significant temperature drops, especially in shaded or higher elevation areas.
  • Durable Footwear: Sturdy hiking boots are essential for the park’s rugged terrain. Make sure they are well broken-in to avoid blisters during long treks.
  • Rain Gear: The weather can change rapidly, especially at higher elevations, so include a waterproof jacket or raincoat to stay dry. Waterproof pants can also be helpful for rainy days or crossing streams.
  • Sun Protection: High altitudes mean stronger UV rays. Carry sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Versatile Pants and Shorts: Include both hiking pants and shorts to adjust to changing temperatures throughout the day. Lightweight, breathable fabrics that offer sun protection are ideal.

Packing these items will help you comfortably enjoy Glacier National Park’s stunning landscapes, whether you’re trekking through low valleys or exploring high mountain passes.

17. Newport, Rhode Island (Seaside Charm)

Newport, Rhode Island, is a charming seaside town with a rich history, stunning Gilded Age mansions, and a picturesque harbor. Visit the famous Cliff Walk, tour the opulent mansions, or enjoy a leisurely sail around Narragansett Bay. The city is also home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame and hosts the annual Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival.

Tip: Head to one of Newport’s beautiful beaches for a refreshing swim or find shade in one of the town’s many parks.

  • Where: Newport is located on Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island, about 75 miles south of Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Cost: Newport offers a variety of accommodations and attractions for different budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Newport during the summer months ranges from 75°F (24°C) to 80°F (27°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer visit to Newport, Rhode Island, you’ll want to pack for a mix of leisurely seaside activities and exploring the town’s historic sites. Here are some outfit and packing tips:

  • Seaside Casual: Pack light and airy clothing like shorts, skirts, and breathable tops for daytime warmth, and include a swimsuit for days spent on the beach or sailing.
  • Evening Wear: Evenings can be cooler, especially by the sea, so bring a cardigan or light jacket for dining out or evening walks along the waterfront.
  • Footwear: Comfortable sandals are great for the beach, but also pack walking shoes for touring the mansions and strolling the Cliff Walk.
  • Sun Protection: The sun can be strong, especially near the water, so include a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect against UV rays.
  • Versatile Accessories: Consider a light scarf or shawl that can add a layer of warmth or style to your evening outfits, and don’t forget a beach bag for carrying your seaside essentials.

These items will help you enjoy the varied experiences Newport offers, from its beautiful beaches and ocean views to its rich cultural attractions.

18. Portland, Oregon (Urban Greenery and Food Scene)

Portland, Oregon, is a vibrant city known for its lush green spaces, thriving food scene, and diverse cultural attractions. Wander through the city’s numerous parks, including the expansive Forest Park and the International Rose Test Garden. Don’t miss the eclectic food cart scene, where you can sample dishes from around the world. For art lovers, the Portland Art Museum and numerous galleries are a must-see.

Tip: On a very hot or rainy day, consider visiting one of Portland’s many indoor attractions, such as the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or take a stroll along the shaded waterfront park.

  • Where: Portland is located in the northwestern part of Oregon, about 170 miles south of Seattle, Washington.
  • Cost: Portland offers a variety of accommodations and attractions to suit different budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Portland during the summer months ranges from 72°F (22°C) to 80°F (27°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to Portland, Oregon, you’ll want to be prepared for both warm days and the possibility of rain, typical of the Pacific Northwest. Here are some outfit and packing tips:

  • Layered Clothing: Pack a combination of short-sleeved shirts and light long sleeves, ideal for layering. Mornings can be cool, but it can warm up significantly by afternoon.
  • Rain Gear: Even in summer, Portland can experience showers. Include a lightweight, waterproof jacket or a sturdy umbrella to stay dry.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Bring comfortable walking shoes as Portland is very pedestrian-friendly, with lots of parks and outdoor markets to explore.
  • Evening Layers: Nights can cool down, so having a sweater or a light jacket will keep you comfortable, especially if you’re dining outdoors or enjoying the city’s nightlife.
  • Sun Protection: While sunny days aren’t as intense as in other parts of the country, wearing sunscreen and a hat for protection is still advisable.

Packing these items will ensure you’re well-equipped to enjoy all that Portland has to offer, from its eclectic neighborhoods and vibrant food scene to its beautiful parks and gardens.

19. Key West, Florida (Tropical Island Vibes)

Key West, Florida, is the southernmost point in the United States, offering a laid-back tropical atmosphere with beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, explore the historic Old Town, or take a snorkeling or diving trip to the nearby coral reefs. The city is also famous for its stunning sunsets, best viewed from Mallory Square.

Tip: To stay cool in Key West, take advantage of the island’s many water activities, such as snorkeling, swimming, or kayaking, and always wear sunscreen and a hat.

  • Where: Key West is located at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys, about 160 miles southwest of Miami.
  • Cost: Key West offers various accommodations and activities, catering to different budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Key West during the summer months ranges from 87°F (31°C) to 90°F (32°C).
Outfits/Packing

For a summer trip to Key West, Florida, you’ll want to pack for the tropical climate and laid-back island atmosphere. Here are some outfit and packing tips:

  • Light and Airy Fabrics: Choose lightweight, breathable materials such as cotton or linen for shirts, dresses, and shorts to stay comfortable in the heat and humidity.
  • Swimwear: Bring multiple swimsuits for lounging on the beaches or snorkeling in the clear waters.
  • Sun Protection: The sun can be intense, so pack a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin.
  • Evening Wear: Include a few casual yet nice outfits for evening dining or enjoying the nightlife, as Key West has a vibrant scene.
  • Footwear: Sandals are perfect for the beach and walking around town, but consider water shoes for activities like kayaking or exploring rocky shorelines.

With these essentials, you’ll be ready to enjoy everything Key West has to offer, from its beautiful sunsets and historic sites to its lively streets and water activities.

20. Lake Tahoe, California (Mountain Lake Paradise)

Lake Tahoe, straddling the border of California and Nevada, is a stunning alpine lake surrounded by majestic mountains. The area offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and water sports. Relax on the beautiful beaches, such as Sand Harbor or Kings Beach, or try your luck at the casinos on the Nevada side of the lake.

  • Where: Lake Tahoe is located on the border of California and Nevada, about 200 miles northeast of San Francisco.
  • Cost: Lake Tahoe offers a variety of accommodations and activities to suit different budgets.
  • Weather: The average high temperature in Lake Tahoe during the summer months ranges from 74°F (23°C) to 80°F (27°C).
Outfits/Packing

Check our guide for the summer:

Lake Tahoe in August (Weather, Outfits)

Save the 3 Best Activities