The summer season is the perfect time to head off with your family or friends for a relaxing yet fun vacation. After all, you deserve it, whether you worked hard all year at your job or you struggled your way through a tough school year. And the good news is that there are a host of destinations all over the country that offer the perfect getaway to relax all of your cares away.
Continue reading for a list of six great locations where you can spend a relaxing and unforgettable summer vacation this year. Then book your vacation in advance to take advantage of great deals and to be sure you’re able to get great accommodations, despite the summer crowds.
- Niagara Falls
Whether you choose to visit Niagara Falls from the New York side or the Canadian side, this is definitely a great place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing place to be. Hop on the Maid of the Mist to get as close to the falls as possible, but get ready to get wet along the way, or head up to the top of the Skylon Tower for some breathtaking views of the waterfalls from up high instead. And in addition to all of the great dining and shopping in the area on both sides of the border, there’s also a lot of natural beauty that you can take in, so definitely bring your camera along. Plus, when you want to unwind, you can head over to the Niagara Brewing Company to sample a variety of delicious brews.
- Outer Banks
The Outer Banks in North Carolina are known for providing people of all ages with the ideal relaxing retreat. You won’t find a lot of parties there, but you will find a lot of natural beauty. Wild horses can be found on Corolla Beach, and you can hike up massive sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, where you’ll be able to enjoy some breathtaking views. Just be aware that the summer season is a really busy one, with tourists coming from all over the country, so be sure to book your trip as early as possible to ensure you’ll get the best room and rate possible. Then kick back and relax on one of the area’s many beautiful beaches to soak up the sun.
- Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara is located to the north of Los Angeles in California, and it’s known for its upscale yet laidback vibe. It boasts gorgeous temperatures throughout every season of the year, as well as amazing natural beauty, thanks to the fact that it’s found at the base of the gorgeous Santa Ynes Mountains. Enjoy the ocean breeze, stroll through downtown, and retreat back into nature by taking a hike at Seven Falls.
Vermont is a really relaxed and beautiful state, and you can spend quite a bit of time exploring all that it has to offer. If you’re in search of a more rural retreat for a relaxing vacation this summer, definitely check out northern Vermont, where the summer is a bit cooler and you can spend time in the great outdoors without sweating too much. Check out the famous Green Mountains, go biking and hiking, and then spend some time dining and shopping in Burlington.
- Glacier National Park
If you’re seeking snow in the middle of the summer, look no further than Glacier National Park in Montana. Even though this area’s summer season is a short one, it’s the ideal time to check it out because winter closures are often the result of inclement weather, making it impossible for tourists to pass through. Once there, you’ll find plenty of silence and solitude in the midst of natural beauty, including its beloved glaciers, which have decreased in both number and size over the last few years as a result of climate change.
Boulder, Colorado is definitely the ideal destination for getting away from it all and experiencing the great outdoors. The cool summer mountain air makes this the best place to be if you aren’t the type of person who likes to lie on the hot sand of a beach all day. But in addition to taking in some natural beauty, you can also find beauty at the Boulder Ballet, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Boulder Contemporary Art Museum.
With so many incredibly relaxing places to experience during the summer, without having to travel too far, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the getaway of a lifetime.
Lauren Topor is a lifestyle writer based in the Southwest who spends her days writing about food and health, fashion, fitness and entertainment.