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U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Best Summer Vacations

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

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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Maui

Gold Badge #1 in Best Summer Vacations

Why go: If you venture to Maui's multicolored beaches in the summer months, be prepared to share the sand with throngs of vacationing families. Though the island will be crowded, this season ushers in less forceful currents, making swimming conditions better for younger beach bums. Read More

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Santorini

Gold Badge #2 in Best Summer Vacations

Why go: Searching for the perfect beach vacation? Look no further. Though this is Santorini's peak season (plan to book your accommodations at least two months in advance), the summer months provide the best weather for swimming.  Read More

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Fiji

Gold Badge #3 in Best Summer Vacations

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 June, you might be lucky enough to score an overwater bungalow without busting your budget. Read More

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Barcelona

Gold Badge #4 in Best Summer Vacations

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

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Nice

#5 in Best Summer Vacations

Why go: Nice makes an ideal home base for a Riviera getaway  Cannes 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. Plan to book at least three months in advance. Read More

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Paris

#6 in Best Summer Vacations

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 convenient jumping off point for those doing an extended tour of Europe. Read More

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Mykonos

#7 in Best Summer Vacations

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

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Yellowstone

#8 in Best Summer Vacations

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

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Amsterdam

#9 in Best Summer Vacations

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

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San Francisco

#10 in Best Summer Vacations

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. And in July, the city hosts one of the country's largest Independence Day celebrations. Read More

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Montreal

#11 in Best Summer Vacations

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 trans-Atlantic flight. Historic sites, shopping venues, world-class eateries and a pulsating nightlife scene will keep you busy. Read More

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Chicago

#12 in Best Summer Vacations

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

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Munich

#13 in Best Summer Vacations

Why go: In Munich, you can spend your days touring medieval palaces, wandering through art galleries, biking historic streets and lounging in beer gardens. The city also hosts a number of outdoor festivals in August. Read More

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Portland, OR

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