Best U.S. Summer Destinations
The weather is heating up, which means it's time to start thinking about where you'll spend your summer vacation. Whether you prefer a beach trip, a mountain hideaway or a cabin by the lake, the United States is full of places to have one of the best summer vacations.
Grandview Aviation takes you to the best places for vacation via private jet. No matter where you end up vacationing, you'll arrive at your destination in luxury and style.
1. Grand Canyon
Everyone should see the breathtaking, awe-inspiring beauty of the Grand Canyon at least once in their lives. It's a special place to visit in the summer, particularly if you want to visit the North Rim, which is only open through October. The North Rim is also less crowded than the South Rim, making it a good pick if you want to avoid the crowds.
Be sure to book early if you plan on visiting the Grand Canyon in the summer — hotels fill up fast, as do activities such as rafting and helicopter tours.
2. Cape Cod
If your ideal summer vacation is quaint and beachy, Cape Cod is a must. The Cape is split into four sections, each of which has its own unique flavor and style. For the ultimate luxury experience, head to Martha's Vineyard. The island of Nantucket is another ideal spot on Cape Cod, known for cobblestone streets and beautiful coastlines. For bustling nightlife and creativity, plan a trip to Provincetown.
As one of the best places to spend the summer in New England, Cape Cod tends to fill up quickly. It's best to book your stay months, if not a full year, in advance. A private jet is often the best way to get to the individual islands off of the Cape.
3. San Francisco
The weather is practically perfect in San Francisco in the summer, making it an ideal destination. A few must-dos in the city include a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge and a ride in a cable car up and down the hilly streets. If you want to get your culture fix, spend a day or two visiting the city's many museums, including the de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
You can also enjoy strolling the city's streets, taking in the lively atmosphere, including musical acts, festivals and art exhibits.
4. New York City
New York City can be hot and humid in the summer, but it's easy to find a way to cool off. Take in a Broadway matinee to beat the heat or visit one of the Big Apple's renowned art museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art or the Whitney.
If it's not too hot, head out for a stroll and some people watching along the High Line, a former railroad track that's been converted into miles of lush greenspace.
5. The Berkshires
Tucked away in a corner of western Massachusetts, the Berkshires offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of life. As a wooded area, it's home to several cultural attractions, such as Tanglewood, where world-class musicians spend their summers, and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. If you want to explore nature, you can explore many hiking and biking trails.
Places to stay in the Berkshires range from quaint bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts. Book early for the best selection.
Like New York City, Chicago can get pretty hot in the summer, but it has plenty of options for keeping cool. The shores of Lake Michigan offer miles of beaches, where you can relax in luxury in a cabana or enjoy people watching. Outdoor dining is also a big deal in the Windy City. Cool off with a cocktail at a beachfront restaurant or take in sweeping views of the city at a rooftop bar.
If you love festivals and performances, Chicago is the place to be. Major events include Lollapalooza, the Chicago Blues Festival and Grant Park Music Festival.
You might think of Aspen, Colorado, as the perfect winter getaway spot. It's great for skiing, of course, but there's so much more to the resort town. Aspen is just as bustling and lively in the summer as it is in the winter.
If you love hiking, the miles of trails in Aspen are worth checking out during the summer. You can ride on a gondola to enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains or take a hot air balloon ride to enjoy those views. If you're a thrill-seeker, a tandem paragliding session will have you soaring over the heights.
Closer to the ground, Aspen is home to several major arts and cultural festivals in the summer. Dance companies and orchestras from across the U.S. head to the area to put on performances.
8. Hilton Head
If golf is your game, a summer getaway to Hilton Head Island off of South Carolina should be in the cards for you. The island has more than 30 golf courses, giving you plenty of opportunities to participate as a player or spectator. If golf isn't your thing, Hilton Head still has lots to offer. Visit its family-friendly beaches, relax in a spa or take in the nightlife.
9. Washington, D.C.
The nation's capital comes alive in the summer months. Head to Washington, D.C., to visit the many free museums, such as the National Gallery of Art and the Air and Space Museum. If you happen to visit around the Fourth of July, enjoy fireworks displays and a celebration of U.S. independence.
If you're into wining and dining, the capital city has plenty of options for brunch, rooftop drinks or dinner al fresco.
10. Zion National Park
Zion National Park is one of five national parks in Utah. It's a magnificent canyon that offers miles of trails and jaw-dropping views. Since it can get incredibly hot in the park in the middle of summer, the best time to visit is at the beginning and end of the season. If you plan on hiking, bring along waterproof clothing and plan on layering, as the weather can change in a flash.
11. Glacier National Park
In Montana, Glacier National Park has hundreds of miles of trails and gives you a chance to see glaciers up close. Since it can get cold fast in the park, the best time to visit is in the summer before temperatures have a chance to drop.
Boston is another ideal destination in the summer, especially for history buffs. There are plenty of activities to do, from taking in a Red Sox game to relaxing on a sightseeing or whale-watching cruise. Don't forget to check out Harvard University, Paul Revere's house and the Freedom Trail to expand your knowledge of U.S. history.
13. Acadia National Park
You don't have to head west to visit a major national park and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Nestled along Bar Harbor on the coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is one of the best places to hike and watch the sunrise in the U.S. The water along the park's coast is chilly even in the midst of summer, so you can enjoy a refreshing dip, too.
Start Planning Your Summer Getaway
Whether you want to visit a national park, a major city or a beachside resort, flying by private jet is the safest and most luxurious way to get to your summer vacation destination. GrandView Aviation offers private jet charters nationwide from our bases in several major U.S. cities. Contact us today for a quote and to book your private flight.