Unlimited fun, activities, and attractions for families during the summer is always something to look forward to. School is out and vacations are on the agenda as the family takes to the highways or the sky to head for exciting destinations. From budget-friendly and moderately priced to expensive, across the U.S., there are more than a few destinations that guarantee a good time for everyone of all ages. When creating your travel plan, consider these top contenders for fun in the sun.
Affordable Vacation Destinations
When planning a trip to a city that has a long history, consider Philadelphia. Founded in 1682 by William Penn, Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love. It is also home to historical attractions that include the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. A fun way to spend the day is to take the guided Segway Philly Cheesesteak Tour and Tastings. For park excitement, visit the wildlife at the Philadelphia Zoo and the rides at Sesame Place. After a day of sightseeing, sit back and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage tour of the city’s historic area. For an interesting adventure, take a day or evening tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary.
For summer weather nearly year-round, Phoenix offers plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures, allowing those on vacation to enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions. Just a few of the many things to see and do include visits to museums, such as the Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, and the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting. Check out the Botanical Gardens or even see a comedy show in Downtown! Visit the 200-acre Wildlife World Zoo, take a boat tour of Canyon Lake on the Dolly Steamboat, head to the Superstition Mountains, and step back in time when strolling the streets of the 1920s Goldfield Ghost Town. If you are looking for a day trip, Grand Canyon National Park is a little over three hours away and Sedona is just two hours away. Vacation condos and homes here range from just $100-250/night.
Moderately Priced Vacation Destinations
A visit to Florida is quite complete without a trip to the oldest city in the United States. St. Augustine, founded in 1585, is known for its detailed Spanish architecture, miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline, the haunted Old Jail, and the 17th century Castillo de San Marcos fortress, which is a must-see piece of history. There are so many activities here, especially if you’re looking to teach the kiddos some history. Enjoy the scenery with one of the many walking and boating tours or go sightseeing with a trolley tour. Or, if you’re feeling like saying “ahoy!” and learning about Pirates, a visit to the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum must be in your itinerary. When it comes to food, there is no end to the amount of restaurants in this small town. Try the iconic Columbia Restaurant or Prohibition Kitchen. As one of the moderately priced destinations, vacation rentals here range from $100-300/night.
Palm Coast, Florida
About a half hour away from St. Augustine, Palm Coast is one of the most relaxing destinations in Florida. Popular as a place to retire, it boasts plenty of outdoor activities including golf, boating, fishing, and other recreational sports for all to enjoy. Just like St. Augustine, there is plenty of history here. A trip to the storybook-like Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is a must! Other family-friendly fun includes Marineland where you can swim with dolphins and a trip to European Village. This famous development will transport you to another country as you stroll through the colorful architecture.
Williamsburg, along with Yorktown and Jamestown make up the state’s Historic Triangle. A visit to Colonial Williamsburg is not only an educational experience, it is also entertaining for families who have an interest in learning about America’s early history. A visit means an up-close experience in what is considered to be the largest living history museum in the world. Throughout the visit, guests experience what it was like to live and work during this time in history. Tickets include access to tours, performances, gardens, historic sites, and more.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Situated along the Atlantic coast, Myrtle Beach is a favored destination for the summer. There is something for all ages with a variety of activities to enjoy. Beach lovers have 60 miles of sun-drenched shores along the Grand Strand to participate in water activities. From sailing and dolphin tours to jet skiing and ocean kayaking, they’ve got it all. Moreover, the boardwalk offers restaurants, souvenir shops, game arcades, the SkyWheel Ferris wheel, and the Family Kingdom Amusement Park with more than three dozen rides.
More Expensive Vacation Destinations
If theme parks are a top priority for your summer vacation, Orlando is the place to put at the top of your itinerary. The central Florida city is not only home to Mickey Mouse and company at Walt Disney World, but families also have multiple theme parks to provide fun, thrills, and excitement. Other parks in Orlando include SeaWorld, Universal’s Island of Adventures, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the Universal CityWalk. Enjoy a paddleboat adventure at Lake Eola Park! Or, be dazzled at Ripley’s Believe It or Not and Madame Tussauds wax museum. Further points of interest include the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando and the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament restaurant in nearby Kissimmee for a memorable dining experience.
A getaway to Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia consists of all the lake fun you’ve ever dreamt of! Known as SML by locals, it’s home to the largest freshwater lake within 500 miles of the shoreline. Additionally, you’ll be surrounded by the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. So, you’ll have incredible views at every turn. Homes here are bigger than average making for the perfect rentals for the whole family. The typical cost per night is around $350-400 for a home with 4 bedrooms. Some popular activities for this area include paddle-boarding, kayaking, boating, and even mini golf on the water. A trip here is just what you need for full relaxation by the water.
Kailua-Kona can be considered one of the hidden gems of Hawaii. While most rush to visit Maui or Honolulu, it would be a mistake to exclude Kona from consideration! Kailua-Kona is set on the West side of Hawaii’s Big Island. Getting there is pretty convenient because they have their own airport. However, flights can be a little pricey depending on the season. That’s why we’ve included them in the more expensive category. Instead of asking what there is to do in Kailua-Kona, the better question would be what can’t you do? There is a plethora of excursions, outdoor activities, water sports, and more to explore. In addition, the food is plentiful and tasty. Average vacation rentals for 2-3 bedrooms range from $150-350/night. We have plenty of condos and homes to choose from here, book directly with us for the best possible rates!
Situated along Lake Michigan, Chicago is considered one of America’s largest cities. The city is known for its impressive architecture, skyscrapers, historical sites, landmarks, museums, and art galleries. Additionally, they have assorted festivals throughout the year such as the Chicago Blues Festival and Lollapalooza. The Magnificent Mile is a major attraction with its many shopping and dining venues, upscale shops, and historic buildings. Chicago has so many places to go and things to do for summer entertainment. One of the best ways to see the sights is via boat, helicopter, bike, Segway, or walking tour. There’s also the Navy Pier and the giant 200-foot tall Centennial Wheel and cool beaches, such as Calumet Beach, Montrose Beach, and Humboldt Park Beach for sunning and swimming.
Known as one of the most opulent cities to visit in the U.S., Park City has got it all. Though they’re known primarily for their winter festivities and sports, Park City is a year-round destination. Summer is a particularly exciting time to visit due to their outdoor concerts, recreational activities, and vibrant restaurant/bar scene. Strolling along Main St. or biking through the lush mountains will create unforgettable memories for the whole family. Vacation rentals here range from anywhere between $100-700/night depending on the size and location of the home. Also, restaurants here tend to be moderately priced which is why this city makes the more expensive list for summer destinations. But, don’t let the averages scare you away from this incredible city. Park City is definitely a place where you can make a lot out of a little – especially because many of the summer activities are free and outdoors! Plus, every home has a kitchen so you looking to save on eating out and enjoy home-cooked meals together.
With summer vacations on the horizon, start planning now to make sure your destination is available. Your summer getaway awaits!