Lonely Planet Writer

The top summer vacation spots in the US – even if you’re on a budget

With the weather getting warming, travellers around the US are dreaming of the perfect way to enjoy their summer holiday. Luckily, US News & World Report, a consumer advice company, has released its list of the top summer vacation spots around the US, including options for those on a budget. More than 700 destinations were analysed based on factors like sights, culture, food, nightlife and more, combing travellers and expert analysis to help travellers decide where to go.

Get out into nature in Portland, Oregon. Image by ©Erik Isakson/Getty Images

Best summer vacations in the USA

The top spot for a vacation in the US is Boston, thanks to its warm weather, plentiful history, festivals and the perfect stop for baseball fans at Fenway Park. The eastern city is followed by a decidedly west coast spot: Seaside, Oregon. The resort town offers up hiking, kayaking and hanging out on the beach. In third place is Steamboat Springs, Colorado. While typically thought of as a ski resort, in summertime visitors can hike and bike through the mountainous terrain. It’s followed by Nashville, Tennessee, where you can indulge in some country music and barbecue. In fifth place, it’s back to the west coast city of Portland, Oregon, which offers a perfect mix of books, beer, culture and the outdoors.

Grand Canyon National Park provides US travellers with a budget getaway. Image by ©Alexey Suloev/Shutterstock

Best cheap summer vacations

If your summer travels will come with a strict budget, there is still hope for an epic trip. The top spot for a thrifty summer vacation is the Grand Canyon in Arizona, a stunning natural wonder that has the added bonus of allowing people to camp and save a bit of money. It’s followed by Williamsburg, Virginia, where guests can step back into colonial times. For a nice beach vacation, Fort Myers, Florida offers up sunny strands and nearby parks. For anyone who doesn’t mind sweltering heat, Albuquerque, New Mexico will see great deals as a result, followed, finally, by Fort Lauderdale in Florida.

Bodie Island Lighthouse in North Carolina. Image by ©MarkVanDykePhotography/Shutterstock

Best family beach vacations in the US

North Carolina’s Outer Banks rank as the top beach spot for families in the US, according to the report. It’s followed by the family-friendly Destin, Florida and the incomparable Maui, Hawaii. The fourth and fifth places are held by fellow North Carolinian stretches of Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach.