It can be hard deciding how to spend the all-too-brief days of a summer vacation. But here are five cities with enough excitement to tempt even the most jaded traveler. From cultural landmarks to stellar eateries, hidden-gem attractions to local fun, see why these cities make the list of top five places to visit in the summertime.
Where palm trees mingle with skyscrapers, Miami is the place to swoon over. Visiting the hottest restaurants, bars, and clubs for eating, drinking, and dancing the night away are just a few things you can add to your must-do list if you are heading to South Florida. More than sandy beaches and upscale shopping, Miami is also known for historic and cultural landmarks, plus summer vacation favorites like Zoo Miami. Checking out Ocean Drive’s art deco buildings are also worth your time when you’re done living the nightlife on South Beach. There is so much to do in Miami, but soaking up the sun on South Beach should be at the top of your list if you head that way.
Austin has become home to some of the most popular events and festivals in the US. Austin City Limits Music Festival, the world-renowned SXSW Conference, and the only Formula 1 race in America, the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) are a few reasons people flock to this lively city. Some of the best live music in the country comes from the Texas state capital; it won’t be hard to find a bar or restaurant with live rock-and-roll, blues, or country music along South Congress Avenue or just about anyplace else in Austin.
Take a tour the Texas State Capitol building, go exploring on the Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail, or swim the natural Barton Springs Pool. If Austin sounds like your kind of city, their accommodations want disappoint either. If historic hotels like the The Driskill, ultramodern rooms like those at the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, or eclectic boutique accommodations at places like the South Congress Hotel are your thing, Austin is your city.
There’s nothing like New York City in the summer. Central Park is a must-see urban oasis. Make a stop along Museum Mile and take your pick of museums for a little culture (and AC). Take a Circle Line ride around the island of Manhattan, or see the city from up high at the One World Observatory in downtown NYC. Round out your trip with a food tour for the best small bites and drinks around. For first-time visitors, the Empire State Building or a trip to The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island should top your list. If you want to visit all of New York City, spend a day visiting all five boroughs including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
It might be hot here but that doesn’t stop the party! The glitz and lights of Las Vegas are abundant in the casinos, bars, and restaurants, but don’t miss the sports, famous shows, and concerts here, too. Resorts and casinos have big name acts and well-known shows performing. With the addition of the T-Mobile arena, a new multi-purpose indoor arena on the Las Vegas Strip, the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights became the first professional sports team in Las Vegas giving the city more than just the UFC and boxing to enjoy.
Las Vegas has something for everyone when it comes to entertainment and accommodations. If shows and sports aren’t your thing, walk the Strip and people-watch or take a ride on the High Roller for a bird’s-eye view; ride a gondola on the Grand Canal; or visit Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. When your done enjoying all that Vegas offers, luxury digs await you at the The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, while the ARIA Las Vegas is the epitome of luxury casino resorts at CityCenter. If history and budget are your thing check out old favorites off the strip like the Fremont Hotel & Casino.
Vacationers to Martha’s Vineyard return generation after generation, and it’s easy to see why. The beaches, the boating, and the small-town feel deliver total relaxation. Don’t miss two of the island’s working lighthouses (Edgartown and East Chop). Feel like a kid again with a ride on the Flying Horse Carousel in Oak Bluffs, a landmark since 1884. Whether you opt to spend a day getting in touch with nature at Inkwell Beach or set sail on a pirate’s treasure hunt along the shores of the historic Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect place to spend a summer holiday taking in sights and landmarks.
No matter which of these five cities you visit on your next summer vacation, you’re sure to have one-of-a-kind experiences worth sharing once you get home.