Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Summer Vacations

For many, the desire to travel peaks when summer rolls around. Of course, the ideal trip depends on the type of traveler you are and the type of experience you seek. To help narrow down your scope of potential vacation spots, U.S. News ranked some of the best summer vacations out there based on factors like activities and entertainment options, lodging and dining venues, summer weather conditions, overall accessibility and more. We relied on user votes and expert insight to form our list of the best summer trips below. Weigh in by selecting which destinations are among your favorite summertime spots. See photos of the Best Summer Vacation Spots »

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Why go: Maui has multicolored beaches, jaw-dropping scenery and five-star resorts. Adventure-seekers can hike through Haleakala National Park or drive the Road to Hana. Or if you're craving a bit of sun, spend your summer lounging on Wailea's shores. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Maui

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Why go: Visiting "The City of Love" in the summer certainly has its cons — particularly the heavy crowds and high prices. But the excellent weather more than makes up for it. Plus, Paris is a great base of operations for those doing an extended tour of Europe. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Paris

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Why go: Nice makes an ideal home base for a Riviera getaway — Cannes, Antibes and Monaco are just a short train ride away. Just make sure to bring your credit card; if you're going to roll with celebs in the French Riviera this summer, you'll rack up quite a bill. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Nice

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Why Go: There really isn't a bad time to visit Fiji, but many consider the summertime — with its constant sunshine — to be the best season. If you're able to get away in early June, you might be lucky enough to score an over-water bungalow without busting your budget. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Fiji

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Why go: Summer turns this Mediterranean isle into a late-night party spot. Drawing travelers from around the world, Mykonos and its famous beach parties stay alive into the wee hours of the morning. But the island also offers more relaxing pursuits along its beaches, like snorkeling. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Mykonos

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Why go: While it has year-round appeal, San Francisco really shines in summer. Thick crowds cluster around top sites, but most travelers are satisfied by the excellent weather. If you're looking for a beach experience, though, head to southern California. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in San Francisco

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Why go: Venture to this Spanish metropolis in early June to beat the summer humidity, yet still revel in Barcelona's beach setting. Summer is an especially popular time for tourists to visit museums and historical sites, so expect to find plenty of crowds at most of the city's attractions. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Barcelona

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Why go: This Inca capital is worth visiting year-round, but summertime's pleasant 60-degree temperatures are ideal for adventurous pursuits, such as hiking to Machu Picchu. Just remember: You won't be the only one in Cusco. Plan your trip several months in advance. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cusco

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Why go: Now that the chilly winter breezes have passed, Montreal is a great choice for travelers looking for a taste of European culture without the transatlantic flight. Historic sites, shopping venues, world-class eateries and a pulsating nightlife scene will keep you busy. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Montreal

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Why go: Summer means Yellowstone is up and running; you won't face service closures as you would during the park's winter season. An affordable vacation spot, the national park offers couples and families a close-up look at the awe-inspiring Old Faithful. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Yellowstone

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Why go: Like that of most northern European cities, Amsterdam's summer weather means sun and temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s — perfect for perusing the city's iconic canals. But beware that hotel rooms book up fast during this season, so reserve early. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Amsterdam

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Why go: The Windy City offers famous architecture along with outdoor spaces like Millenium Park, which plays host to a variety of street festivals and outdoor concerts come summertime. Plus, the breeze coming off Lake Michigan means temps typically hover in the 70s to mid-80s. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Chicago

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Why go: In Munich, you can spend your days touring medieval palaces, wandering through art galleries, biking historic streets and lounging in beer gardens. Munich also makes a great jumping-off point for trips to Zurich, Prague and Vienna. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Munich

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