25 Amazing Summer Weekend Getaways In USA (2023)


Last Updated on September 15, 2023 by Nicole

There are many wonderful summer destinations in the United States for a short holiday. Whether you are seeking somewhere on the east coast or west coast, or focusing on city breaks, beach vacations, or other outdoor adventures, you won’t be disappointed with the amazing opportunities in America for a quick summer trip. June, July, August and September offer some of the best weather of the year and ideal road conditions to reach your ultimate destination quickly whether you initially hop on a plane, or decide to take a road trip. Here are 25 of the best summer weekend getaways in the USA.

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Other Destinations

Here are a few more summer destinations to consider in the USA for the indecisive!

If you would prefer summer beach destinations in USA, please review 21 Beautiful US Islands To Visit In Summer.

For those looking for fantastic destinations in US with cooler summer temperatures, check out 28 Best US Destinations To Escape The Sizzling Summer Heat.

If you are looking for an inexpensive summer vacation, please see 25 Best Cheap Places In USA For A Summer Holiday.

If you are looking for recommended spots for a particular summer month, please see:

Best US Weekend Trips In Summer

Here are 25 of the best quick vacation getaways in summer in the United States. They are all within a 2 hours drive of a significant airport, although most are much more closer. For each destination, the best things to do are highlighted as well as what kind of summer weather you can expect in June, July, August and September.

best summer weekend getaway in the USA
Boulder, Colorado (Photo courtesy of Amber from Amber Everywhere)

Boulder, Colorado

By Amber from Amber Everywhere

Nestled at the edge of the Rocky Mountains is the small city of Boulder, Colorado, a perfect place to spend an adventurous weekend summer retreat in the US. Boulder attracts outdoor enthusiasts from around the world, offering the chance to hike, rock climb, cycle, and even float down the Boulder Creek in an inner tube. 

Summertime is peak tourist season in Boulder, with plenty to do for independent travelers, couples, and families.

Don’t miss the Boulder Farmers Market that takes place every Saturday, where you can find local produce, food vendors, and other types of artisans. 

No visit to Boulder is complete without a stroll up and down Pearl Street, the central pedestrian mall in the city. Make sure to check out the Piece, Love and Chocolate and Liberty Puzzles. For a quick bite, try Mountain Sun, a local brewery with great burgers and hand painted murals in the dining room. 

You’ll also want to be sure to squeeze in at least a few hikes while you’re in Boulder. For an accessible starting hike, head to Chautauqua, the park at the base of the Flatirons, and roam the wide open trails.

The more moderate trail to Royal Arch is perfect for anyone with some hiking experience who’d like to stay close to Boulder. As the name suggests, the top of Royal Arch is a rock formation that overlooks the city of Boulder and the Colorado Plains.  

If you have time, or if you’d prefer something a bit more adventurous, try the Fourth of July Trail, which features alpine vistas in the Rocky Mountains. You’ll need to drive to the trailhead, and you’ll want to set off early because it’s important to summit before any afternoon thunderstorms may set in. 


Colorado has characteristically dry summer weather, with daytime highs in the high 80s/low 90s. At night, the temperature tends to drop into the 50s F.

Rainy days are uncommon (expect 4-6 days per month in the summer), but you may see summertime showers in the early afternoon. These bursts of rain are usually short lived, but can be dangerous if you’re hiking above tree line. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

Boulder is an easy 45 minute drive from Denver International Airport, or you can take the bus if you’d prefer.


Amber says, “Choose a hotel near Pearl Street, the home of most of the action in Boulder. The Hotel Boulderado is always a great hotel option in Boulder. Its’ historical charm and central location make it perfect for a weekend trip.”

best beach destination on west coast of America for short vacation
Malibu, California (Photo courtesy of Catrina from 24 Hours Layover)

Malibu, California

By Catrina from 24 Hours Layover

Located along the Pacific Coast Highway in California, Malibu is a lovely coastal city on the west coast of the USA and makes for the ideal weekend getaway in summer. There are many things to do in Malibu, and with the beach and mountains so close, it has the best of both worlds and something for everyone.

Head up to The Malibu Hills for fantastic hikes and glorious views overlooking the city, ocean and mountains. When you’re ready to relax, hit up a vineyard or visit one of the many beautiful beaches.

Malibu has some of the best beaches in California, including Zuma Beach and El Matador Beach – a small and secluded beach known for its stunning rock formations. For a lesser known spot, head to the Leo Carrillo Sea Cave, one of the best photo spots in Malibu.

Visit Malibu Lagoon Beach and Malibu Pier at sunset – you definitely don’t want to miss that. All of the beaches in Malibu are great for surfing and swimming too.

If it’s mountain views you’re after, set off for the Malibu Hills and visit Malibu Creek State Park. Go for a swim in the rock pools and check out the stunning views of the Santa Monica Mountains. Nearby Malibu Lake and Solstice Canyon are also a must visit and the views are spectacular.

Afterwards go for a wine tasting session at one of the vineyards. Malibu is home to several wineries that offer tastings, with Malibu Family Wines being a popular one.

Malibu is also home to several summer festivals such as the Malibu Fine Arts Festival and the Malibu Annual Summer Block Party. This is a free event with DJs, face painting and caricature drawing which would be fun for the whole family.


The weather in Malibu is perfect in the summer, with average highs of 75°F (but consistent ocean breezes so it never feels too hot) and no rain. It is almost guaranteed great weather!

Best Way To Reach Destination

Malibu is located 30 miles (48km) west of Los Angeles and is incredibly convenient to get to. Fly into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and drive to Malibu from LAX (which should take just under an hour and is the most convenient way), or take 2 buses (which will take under 2 hours).


Catrina says, “For accommodation, stay in Malibu Beach Inn. Located right on the ocean strip nicknamed ‘Billionaires Beach’ next to Malibu Pier, this is a wonderful place to spend a summer getaway.”

best city break for short holiday on east coast of united states
Boston, Massachusetts (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Boston, Massachusetts

By Ella from Many More Maps

If you’re looking to spend a summer long weekend on the east coast of the USA checking out some of the country’s best historical attractions, look no further than Boston.

The city of Boston, Massachusetts is the perfect destination for a summer city break. In summer, the dreary weather the city is famous for is long gone, and you’ll instead get to enjoy long, sunny days. That means more time for sightseeing, and relaxing in Boston Common, the city’s prettiest park.

Obviously, though, you aren’t going to visit Boston just to sit in the park. Instead, kick off your weekend Boston itinerary by walking the Freedom Trail. This 2.5 mile walking route takes you to the city’s most important historical landmarks, including Paul Revere’s House, the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument. 

As well as the historical attractions, there are plenty of foodie attractions in Boston. From lobster rolls at the world-famous Quincy Market to heaping plates of pasta in Boston’s North End, a weekend getaway in Boston is all about sampling as much of the city’s wonderful cuisine as you can.


Temperatures in Boston in summer reach average highs of 82°F and average lows of 59°F with around 7 days of rain per month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Boston has its own airport, Boston Logan International. It’s easy to reach the city centre by taking the airport’s free shuttle bus to the airport’s very own subway station. From there, catch the Blue Line into the city. 


Ella says, “The best place to stay in Boston is Moxy Boston Downtown, which has a perfect location within walking distance to all of the city’s main attractions. If you’re a budget traveller, check out the top-rated HI Boston Hostel near Boston Common.”

best short trip in summer on west coast in usa
Seattle, Washington (Photo by Thom Milkovic of Unsplash)

Seattle, Washington

By Elaina from Mind Over Matter Travel

Seattle is one of the best city getaways in summer on the west coast of America. With its mild climate, stunning natural beauty, and plethora of activities, it’s no wonder people flock to this city in the warmer months. Comfortable weather gives the perfect opportunity to explore Seattle’s cityscape along with the water and mountains that surround it. 

Whether it’s taking a walk along the waterfront, checking out the city’s renowned music and art scene, or relaxing in one of Seattle’s many parks, there’s something for everyone in the city. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on three of the city’s most famous attractions.

Firstly, the Space Needle is the major icon of Seattle and offers the best views of the city from its observation deck. 

Secondly, the Museum of Pop Culture is home to the world’s most immersive pop culture experiences and ranks as one of the best places to visit in Washington.

Lastly, Pike Place Market is considered by many to be the soul of Seattle and is the city’s largest market of small, independent businesses. You can lose yourself for hours in the stalls looking at beautiful handicrafts or eating delicious cuisine locally sourced.

In addition to the city attractions, visitors will likely encounter exciting events like outdoor concerts or festivals in the summer months. If you time your trip right, you may even catch one of Seattle’s famous events like the Capitol Hill Block Party, PrideFest, and Seafair!


Summer offers relief from Seattle’s typical cold, rainy weather. Instead, summer temperatures average between 57 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and it only rains a few days per month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Home to one of the west coast’s best connected international airports, Seattle is easily accessible from many cities across the U.S. The airport is also well-situated so visitors travel less than twenty minutes by car to major city attractions. 


Elaina says, “For visitors wanting to explore the major sights of Seattle, the two best areas to stay are Downtown Seattle (near Pike Place Market and the waterfront) or Lower Queen Anne (near the Space Needle and Museum of Pop Culture). Either neighborhood will give several accommodation options ranging from the Holiday Inn to the Four Seasons.”

best quick vacations in summer in united states
Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Chincoteague, Virginia

By Megan from Virginia Travel Tips

Chincoteague Island is a perfect summer getaway: peaceful, relaxing, and fun. Located on the coast of Virginia close to the Maryland border, Chincoteague feels far away when you’re there, but is easily accessible to a number of airports.

Gorgeous beaches and acres of wildlife refuges invite one to relax, stroll, and enjoy the slow life. There are tons of trails that circle the island giving you ample room to hike and bike. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one in town for your stay.

Check out the stunning white and red Assateague Lighthouse, which has great views from the top. Make sure to spend some time at the beautiful beach, relaxing in the sand, splashing in the water, and enjoying gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

Lastly, don’t miss out on the opportunity to kayak around the island. You’ll get a chance to spot what Chincoteague is most famous for – its ponies! Wild ponies wander the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague, and you can see them on a boat or kayak tour.

If you’re there in late July, don’t miss the Chincoteague Pony Swim. This event, held on the last Wednesday in July, sees the ponies swim the Assateague Channel, and has exciting festivities all week long.


Summer temperatures on Chincoteague are pleasantly in the mid-80s for highs and high 60s for lows. However, be prepared for it to be muggy.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To get to Chincoteague Island, you’ll need to fly into an airport, rent a car, and drive. The closest airport is Salisbury, Maryland about 30 miles away and Norfolk International Airport is 100 miles. Bigger airports within a few hours’ drive include Washington Reagan and Baltimore.


Megan says, “There are lots of hotels, B&Bs, and rental cabins on Chincoteague, but camping is also a popular accommodation choice. Several campgrounds border the beach, so you can wake up to the ponies and a beautiful sunrise.”

best quick summer holidays in america
Chicago, Illnois (Photo courtesy of Chelsea from Adventures Of Chels)

Chicago, Illnois

By Chelsea from Adventures Of Chels

Located in Midwest, USA is the sometimes overlooked gem of beautiful Chicago. With its bustling downtown, world renowned architecture, superb museums, numerous sports teams, and great weather, the Windy City makes for one of the best city escapes on a summer weekend getaway.

Head to a Cubs baseball game even if you have never watched a game in your life. The Cubs can not be called “the lovable losers” no more when they won the World Series in 2016. Go to a game at iconic Wrigley Field and see them in action. Win or lose, experiencing a baseball game at the second oldest ballpark in America is well worth it.

Take an Architecture boat tour. Of all the tourist activities Chicago has to offer, this architectural tour might just be the favorite of Chicagoans. Opt for the “River and Lake Tour” and enjoy your time relaxing on the boat as you check out views of the city. Your guide will tell you everything you need to know about Chicago’s history and architecture.

Chicago has numerous world class museums that are worth visiting. A few of the most popular include the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and the ever exciting interactive Museum of Science and industry. In addition, the Art Institute of Chicago has impressive masters’ collections that would make any European gallery jealous.

If you’d like to time your visit around a popular festival or event in Chicago, note that the Taste of Chicago is typically scheduled in July and Lollapalooza is typically scheduled in August.

The Taste of Chicago is a large outdoor event where restaurants from all over the city set up tents in designated areas and give samples of their menu items. Lollapalooza is a crazy outdoor music festival featuring numerous well known and up and coming artists on various stages all day and evening long.


Summer temperatures range from 72°– 84° F with about 3.3″ of rain per month. You can expect around half of July and August to be humid, but only a few muggy days in each of June and September.

Best Way To Reach Destination

As for logistics, the airports in Chicago are O’Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW). Both are connected to public transportation. Getting to downtown Chicago from either airport takes about 45 minutes to an hour. 


Chelsea says, “For a competitively priced hotel in a great location, consider staying at Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop – Theatre District. It’s easily accessible to public transportation and the best place from which to explore Chicago.”

best quick summer trips in usa
Park City, Utah (Photo courtesy of Nausheen from Globe Gazers)

Park City, Utah

By Nausheen from Globe Gazers

Although it’s generally known as a ski town, Park City, Utah is also the perfect destination for a summer weekend getaway. Summertime in Park City means pleasant weather, stunning mountain views set against clear blue skies and plenty of outdoor activities.

Some amazing activities to enjoy in Park City, Utah in summer include exploring the Park Silly Sunday Market. This outdoor market only takes place during the summer. Food stalls and shops line historic Main Street and there’s often live music to accompany the buzz. In addition to exploring the market itself, take some time to pop into the various boutique shops and cafes all along this charming street.

Spend a day at Adventure Park on the Alpine Coaster, Ziplining and more. It’s the perfect way to let loose and enjoy the fun atmosphere of an amusement park without feeling too overwhelmed.

Participate in Savor the Summit. One big perk of visiting Park City in the summer is having the opportunity to join the city’s large, outdoor dinner party.

Savor the Summit is an incredible experience, where restaurants set up picnic tables side by side along Main Street in downtown. You can make reservations for the event at the restaurant of your choice, and join other attendees for one big outdoor dinner party. Park City has quite the foodie scene, so this event is a great way to get a taste of the city while meeting people from all over the world. 


Summer temperatures in Park City range from 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the evening on the low end, up to the 80s F on the high end. It will only rain a couple days each month and there won’t be any humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Getting to Park City, Utah is quite convenient. The closest airport is Salt Lake City International Airport. From there, you can take a shuttle or an Uber and arrive in Park City in approximately half an hour. 

best summer weekend getaways in usa
Kansas City, Missouri (Photo courtesy of Vicky from Buddy The Traveling Monkey)

Kansas City, Missouri

By Vicky from Buddy The Traveling Monkey

One of the best cities for a quick summer trip in the USA is Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City is a great destination because it’s a big city with a lot of attractions but still has a small-town feel.

If you want to spend time outdoors, visit the Kansas City Zoo. It has won multiple awards for its exhibits and has been ranked one of the top zoos in the US. At over 200 acres, the zoo has hundreds of animals.

Country Club Plaza is another great place to enjoy some fresh air. It’s right next to the river, where there are walking paths and bridges to go back and forth. If you’d like to do some shopping or snacking, there are plenty of stores and restaurants too.

Kansas City also has many museums, a lot of which are free. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has modern art, photography, and sculptures. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures has over 51,000 toys in its collection.

Finally, the National WW1 Museum and Memorial is the only museum in the USA dedicated solely to the Great War. If you can, return to the National WW1 Museum at night. You can get some great views of Kansas City from the top of the hill.

There are also a lot of unique places to eat in Kansas City. Barbecue lovers should head to Q39. It’s considered one of the top restaurants in Kansas City.

Coffee lovers should visit Messenger Coffee Company. This multi-floor space serves quality coffee and pastries, all made in front of customers. You can even see the staff roasting the coffee in huge machines!


The weather is nice. Average rainfall is around 4″ each month. Average highs are in the upper 80s Fahrenheit and lows are in the mid 60s F. June through August sees a fair bit of humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Kansas City International Airport is just 15 miles northwest of Downtown Kansas City.


Vicky says, “Consider staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites Country Club Plaza for your weekend getaway. It’s close to many attractions and restaurants. It also has an indoor pool, gym, and free breakfast.”

best long weekend destinations in america in summer
Mystic, Connecticut (Photo courtesy of Lyndsay from The Purposely Lost)

Mystic, Connecticut

By Lyndsay from The Purposely Lost

The beautiful coastal New England city of Mystic, Connecticut, is one of the best US east coast weekend getaways in summer. Located on the Mystic River and Long Island Sound, Mystic offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its quaint shops, historic sites, and stunning harbor views, Mystic is an ideal destination for a short vacation.

Whether you can only spend one day in Mystic or a whole long weekend, the first stop on your adventure should be the Mystic Seaport Museum. This living museum is a great way to learn about the history of Mystic and its maritime past. The museum features interactive exhibits, historic ships, and a variety of educational programs. 

Next, head to Olde Mistick Village for some shopping and dining. This outdoor shopping center is home to various unique stores and restaurants. From antiques to clothing, you’ll find something for everyone. After shopping, take a break at one of the many cafes or restaurants in the village.

Across the street from the colonial-inspired shopping center, you’ll find the Mystic Aquarium. This world-class aquarium features a variety of exhibits where visitors can also explore the touch tanks and interactive displays. The aquarium also offers educational programs and activities for children and adults.

For those looking for some outdoor fun, Mystic has plenty to offer. Spend an afternoon kayaking or paddle boarding on the Mystic River or take a boat tour of the harbor.

If you’re feeling adventurous, take a hike along the nearby trails or enjoy one of the local beaches and explore the area’s natural beauty.


Mystic offers lovely summer weather most days. Average highs range from 74 °F to 78 °F with around 3″ of rain each month and some humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Mystic is each to reach, as it’s just under a 2-hour drive from Boston’s Logan International Airport.


Lyndsay says, “Mystic has several cute historic hotels and bed and breakfasts in its downtown.”

best getaways in june, july, august and september on west coast of united states
Napa Valley, California (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Napa Valley, California

By Anu from Destination Checkoff

Napa Valley is a world-famous wine country destination in Northern California known for its vineyards, wineries, and small-town charm.  

Summer is a great time for this west coast quick getaway with pleasant temperatures and longer daylight hours allowing for more exploration.

In summer, there are several concerts held in downtown Napa. If you are visiting in July, don’t miss the ‘Festival Napa Valley’, a 10-day music and dance festival. 

The most popular thing to do in Napa Valley is to visit the many wineries and vineyards. Take a tour of Castillo di Amorosa, a great castle-like winery surrounded by picturesque vineyards.

Summer is a also great time to visit downtown Napa and dine at the many restaurants, explore the tasting rooms or just stroll through the vibrant streets. 

Taking a hot air balloon ride over the rolling hills and landscape of Napa is a popular summer activity in Napa. In addition, riding on the Napa Valley Wine Train is a wonderful way to enjoy the countryside views while sipping some delicious wine varieties. 


The average temperature in the summer months is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the night. There is basically no rain or humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Napa Valley is only an hour’s drive from San Francisco International airport, making it one of the best weekend getaways from San Francisco. You can rent a car from San Francisco airport or book an airport transfer. 


Anu says, “Calistoga Spa Hot Springs is a great place to stay and relax in their natural hot springs pool and rejuvenate with some spa time.

best US cities to visit for a summer weekend getaway
New York City, New York (Photo courtesy of Christian Ladewig of Unsplash)

New York City, New York

By Melissa from My Beautiful Passport

One of the best places in the US for a summer long weekend is classic New York City. With warmer temperatures, longer days, and plenty of concerts and festivals, NYC makes a great quick city break.

One of the best things to do on a summer morning in NYC is to visit Brooklyn. Unlike the cold of winter, it will be much more pleasant to wander outside exploring this picturesque area.

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, visit the neighbourhood of DUMBO, take photos of the NYC skyline from Pebble Beach, and eat at Time Out Market. 

Nothing beats visiting Central Park in summer when ponds aren’t frozen, the trees are lively, and all around, people are out enjoying a beautiful day. Walk through Central Park and either pack a picnic or dine at one of the famous New York Hotdog carts.

Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the largest collection of art in the US. With everyone outside enjoying the sunshine, the museum will be less busy and easier to visit, especially in the morning. 

And if that isn’t enough to do, check out one of the many summer events in the city. From jazz to dance to food and film festivals, you will find it here in the city that never sleeps. Noteworthy summer events include the Bryant Park Film Festival and the Governors Park Music Festival.

If you are looking for helpful travel tips to make your trip to New York City less expensive, easier and safer, please see 50 Best New York City Tips For First Time Visitors.


Summers in NYC are hot and humid, with daytime temperatures averaging in the low to mid-80s. There is some rain on an average of 7 days through each summer month, making for plenty of sunny days.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach New York City, you have a few different airports, including John F Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA), and Newark (EWR). Any of these airports will work for your short summer holiday and are one hour by public transport to the island of Manhattan by bus or metro.


Melissa says, “Plan to stay in the Midtown neighbourhood to be close to the best of what New York City has to offer. Drop off your luggage and get ready to explore.

best destinations in america for summer beach getaway
Outer Banks, North Carolina (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Outer Banks, North California

By Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler

One of the best weekend getaways on a beach in summer on the east coast of the United States is the breathtaking Outer Banks, North Carolina. It features a bit of history, plenty of outdoor activities, and miles of beautiful beaches.

The Outer Banks is over 100 miles long so you won’t be able to see everything in only a few days. There are plenty of things to do in Corolla at the north end of the islands that give you a taste of everything the islands have to offer. Explore Historic Corolla Park and learn about the history and culture of the Outer Banks.

Get a bird’s eye view at the top of Currituck Beach Lighthouse. Learn about the area’s relationship with the water over the years at the new Maritime Museum. In the evening, visit the shops at Tim Buck II for a delicious meal, ice cream, and souvenir shopping.

Nature lovers can see the famous wild ponies that may be playing in the water in the warm summer months. The beaches in Corolla are less crowded than other areas as well, giving you plenty of space to spread out. If you prefer to be on the water, you can take a jet ski tour of the area, go kayaking or fishing, or even parasailing!


With an average temperature of the mid-80s throughout summer, with around 3″ of rain each month. It’s often humid so it offers a tropical beach experience.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Most people get to the Outer Banks by flying into Norfolk International Airport. It’s a scenic 90-minute drive down the coast to the barrier islands. 


Pamela says, “The Inn at Corolla is a beachfront hotel that makes it easy to explore the area.”

best city destination for a midweek break in usa
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Photo courtesy of Lisa from Waves and Cobblestones)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

By Lisa from Waves and Cobblestones

Milwaukee is located in the southeastern portion of Wisconsin, right on the shore of Lake Michigan. It features amazing architecture, great museums, and the natural beauty of the lake and the rivers crisscrossing the city.

Spend some time exploring downtown Milwaukee on your quick summer holiday in the USA. Old World 3rd Street reflects Milwaukee’s Germanic heritage with half-timbered buildings. It’s a great place to enjoy local favorites like brats, fried cheese curds, and a local beer. 

Then, take a stroll along the Riverwalk, one of Milwaukee’s top attractions, and enjoy seeing the public artworks including the life-sized ‘Bronz Fonz’.

Milwaukee is home to many excellent museums. The Milwaukee Art Museum boasts a collection of over 32,000 artworks including art by Georgia O’Keeffe. You should definitely visit the museum, if only to admire its unique architecture and the Burke Brise Soleil ‘wings’ which are able to open and close. 

Other unique Milwaukee museums include the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum and the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, the world’s largest collection of bobbleheads.

The best reason to visit Milwaukee in summertime is to attend Summerfest. Summerfest is the largest music festival in the world, and it’s held annually in Milwaukee over the course of three weekends at the end of June and early July. Hundreds of bands and musical acts of all musical genres perform during the course of Summerfest.


Summertime high temperatures are in the 70s, with lows in the upper 50s to mid-60s. Summer months generally have 7-10 days of rain, so pack a light jacket and you’ll be prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Visitors arrive in Milwaukee via the General Mitchell International Airport. The airport is only 10 miles from downtown Milwaukee, so it’s less than a 20-minute drive (or under an hour, if you want to take public transportation).


Lisa says, “Plan to stay at the Plaza Hotel. It’s centrally located between Lake Michigan and the downtown Riverwalk. It is an easy walk to many of Milwaukee’s top attractions. Plus, the rooms feature fully equipped kitchens.”

best weekend break in summer on west coast of united states
Point Reyes, California (Photo courtesy of Patricia from Ze Wandering Frogs)

Point Reyes National Seashore, California

By Patricia from Ze Wandering Frogs

Point Reyes National Seashore is located about one hour north of San Francisco and makes for a fantastic west coast beach destination for a weekend vacation in the US. The Park, part of the US National Park Service, is known for its stunning and long Pacific Ocean coastline. Indeed, the three main seashores form a 10-mile-long stretch, including Great Beach, South Beach, and North Beach.

With 150 miles of trails, one of the top activities in Point Reyes is hiking. There are trails for all fitness levels, from the short 0.6-mile Earthquake Trail along the San Andreas Fault Zone to the 10-mile Tomales Point Trail through the Tule Elk Reserve, where you can admire the stunning Tule Elk in their natural habitat.

Kayaking is another great thing to do in Point Reyes, with three main locations. You can kayak in the calm Tomales Bay, Drakes Estero / Estero de Limantour, and the challenging Pacific Ocean.

Visiting the 1870 Point Reyes Lighthouse is perfect for excellent views of the whole park and beautiful sunsets.


Summer days can be foggy, but the afternoon temperatures make it perfect for exploring the Park. Temperatures in summer range from 54°F to 80°F, usually with little rain.

Best Way To Reach Destination

There are two international airports within easy driving distance to Point Reyes National Seashore. The drive from San Francisco International Airport or Oakland International Airport takes about one hour and a half. Renting a car is the best option as public transportation to Point Reyes Station is limited.


Patricia says, “Accommodation within the Park is scarce, but hike-in or boat-in backcountry campsites are available with a permit.

Staying at the youth hostel on Limantour Spit Road is also possible. Other lodgings, such as cottages and bungalows, exist outside the park.”

best summer destinations for a few days away in the us
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia (Photo courtesy of Alyssa from An Apple a Plane)

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

By Alyssa from An Apple a Plane

Shenandoah National Park is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Northern Virginia. It is a perfect summer east coast weekend trip in America due to its close proximity to two international airports, scenic views, and treasured hiking adventures for all ages.  

Drive from the airport to Skyline Drive. This is the one narrow, winding, road that leads you through the entire National Park. The entire scenic drive is an experience in and of itself and one that you should leave enough time for stops at the beautiful outlooks. Most hiking trails are also accessed from this road.

Old Rag is the most popular and iconic hike at the park. Visitors tend to begin the hike early in order to have ample time to complete it. 

Permits are now required to hike this trail in order to protect the environment. You can purchase them online in advance through the National Park Service. Be sure to plan accordingly as limited passes are available per day.  

Other popular hikes include Mary’s Rock and Limberlost.  


Temperatures range from an average high of 87 Degrees F and to an evening low of 56 degrees F. There is around 3″ of rain each summer month with about 10-15 days of humidity each month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Most visitors fly into Dulles International Airport or Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, DC. Both airports are less than a two hour drive to Shenandoah National Park. You should rent a car because it is quick and provides the most flexibility.


Alyssa says, “Summer, without a doubt, is high season at Shenandoah National Park so be sure to make advance reservations. Consider a cozy, rustic stay at Lewis Mountain Cabins or Big Meadow Lodge both located off Skyline Drive.”

best weekend jaunt on west coast of usa in summer
Cannon Beach, Oregon (Photo courtesy of Jessica from The Uprooted Traveler)

Cannon Beach, Oregon

By Jessica from The Uprooted Traveler

Cannon Beach, a charming coastal town located along the northern Oregon Coast, perfectly combines adventure and relaxation for your next short summer trip on the west coast of the United States.

Despite its small size, there’s tons of things to do in Cannon Beach. For example, on the beach itself, you can watch for tufted puffins on its famed sea stack, Haystack Rock or explore colorful sea life in its tide pools. In the evening, you can have a campfire, right in the sand.

For a real showstopper, try to schedule your visit to the beach at sunset. You get to watch as the sun sinks beneath the Pacific Ocean and turns the sky jaw-dropping colors. 

There’s also plenty of incredible parks nearby, with endless hiking trails to be explored. For example, the nearby Ecola State Park has trails leading through coastal forests to secluded beaches. Oswald West State Park has hikes that overlook Short Sands Beach, renowned as one of the best beaches in the state for surfing.

Finally, be sure to carve out time to stroll around the charming downtown, with coastal cottages that house ice cream parlors, eclectic boutiques, and old-fashioned candy shops.

Cannon Beach is always bustling in the summertime, but one of the best times to visit is during its quirky Sandcastle Contest in early June. Closing in on its sixth decade, this annual contest brings together amateur and professional artists alike. They create beautiful pieces of art out of the sand and other materials found along the beach. 


While Cannon Beach is lovely in the summer, it’s unlikely you’ll really run into bikini weather, even then. Daily highs are typically in the high 60s, with a handful of rainy days scattered throughout the summer months. So be sure to pack along some warm layers, especially to wear at night and in the early mornings.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To get to Cannon Beach, fly into Portland and make the hour and 40 minute drive northwest to the city. While it’s possible to get to Cannon Beach by public transit, your best bet will be renting a car, given that the town’s attractions are spread out along the coastline.


Jessica says, “If you want to be close to the action, book your stay at the Hallmark Resort and Spa. There’s plenty of perks, like fresh-baked cookies at check-in and complimentary beach-cruiser rentals. In addition, it directly overlooks (and is actually the closest hotel to!) the iconic Haystack Rock.”

best cities to visit for a us weekend getaway in summer
Washington, DC (Photo courtesy of Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast)

Washington, District of Columbia

By Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast

Washington, DC is a great US destination for a short summer getaway. There is so much to see and do, and many things within walking distance of each other.

Located between Virginia and Maryland, Washington DC boasts world class museums, beautifully constructed memorials and monuments, tours of interesting government and historical buildings, some beautiful green spaces, great architecture, trendy neighborhoods to explore, and delicious restaurants for foodies to enjoy.

During your quick summer vacation, you should visit a few of the museums in Washington DC. Don’t miss the Spy Museum (one of the most fascinating museums you will ever see), the Air and Space Museum, or the Museum of Natural History. Also, stop by at the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. 

Of course, you must walk the mall in Washington DC! Admire all the monuments and memorials along this large green park, including the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Washington Monument.

Plan to stop by the Washington Monument first thing in the morning to get tickets to take the elevator to the top where the views over the city are incredible.

Touring some of the government buildings is a super interesting thing to do for American citizens. Tours of the Capitol are closed on weekends, but contact your representatives ahead of time if you want to get a tour of the White House. 

Summer in DC sees a ton of festivals! Don’t miss the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which celebrates international cultures, the DCBX – a Latin dance festival, the DC JazzFest, and for sure fireworks on the mall on the 4th of July. 


Weather in summer in Washington is hot and humid, with average highs in the upper 80’s. There is around 3″ of rain each month and lots of humidity in July.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Dulles International Airport is a 35 minute drive from downtown DC, and Ronald Reagan International Airport is just 12 minutes away. You can take the metro from Ronald Reagan, but a car or Uber will be faster. 


Stephanie says, “The JW Marriott is a great hotel that’s close to everything in Washington DC.”

best east coast destination for a summer weekend break in usa
Portland, Maine (Photo courtesy of Pafoua from Her Wanderful World)

Portland, Maine

By Pafoua from Her Wanderful World

For a short summer holiday to quaint US towns with picturesque coastline views, cobblestone streets, and delicious seafood, look no further than a weekend in Portland, Maine.

One of the most popular draws to Portland is the Old Port area. Visitors can explore cobblestone streets, old brick buildings, and a vibrant waterfront filled with boats and ferries. Old Port is also the place to go for New England souvenirs with many local boutique shops lining the streets.

Old Port also boasts dozens of restaurants and cafes. There are classic Maine dishes like lobster rolls at the Portland Lobster Company. If you prefer more eclectic finds such as potato-based donuts at the Holy Donut, Portland is filled with many delicious choices.

Spend an afternoon hanging out at Portland Head Light which is the oldest lighthouse in Maine and the most photographed in the United States. Here visitors can take pictures of the lighthouse, explore its history, and enjoy a scenic walk along the coastline.

There’s no better way to top off an east coast weekend holiday in Portland, Maine than to take part in the city’s burgeoning craft beer scene. Tour some of the local breweries such as Allagash Brewing Company or Liquid Riot Bottling Company for a unique and delicious experience.

One of the best summer events in Portland happens on the first weekend of June called the Summer Kickoff Event where the city celebrates the start of summer. From Friday to Sunday, there are various things to do from dancing in Monument Square to appreciating the arts.

Portland offers so much to explore in just a weekend, making it the perfect destination for those looking for a quick getaway. From its pretty coastline views to its historic past, Portland is sure to leave any traveler with unforgettable memories.


Average highs range from 69 °F to 78 °F with around 3″ of rain each month. There is very little humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach Portland, Maine, fly into Portland International Jetport and rent a car to drive about 20 minutes to the Old Port center.


Pafoua says, “Be sure to book your accommodations near Old Port for the most ideal stay. One of the best places to consider is Canopy by Hilton Portland Waterfront.”

best city break in summer in usa
San Francisco, California (Photo courtesy of Gabriel from Chef Travel Guide)

San Franciso, California

By Gabriel from Chef Travel Guide

San Francisco is the perfect summer destination for a fun-filled weekend holiday on the west coast of the USA.

The city is jam-packed with entertainment ranging from stunning city views from Twin Peaks to deeply rooted culture in places like Chinatown.

Any trip to San Francisco is incomplete without taking in the views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point or taking a walk across its expanse.

Take a moment to taste the best of San Francisco with a visit to the Ferry Building for delicious treats ranging from Hog Island Oysters to the famous Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream.

Another highlight for visitors is a trip to Little Italy in North Beach, where you can visit the Coit Tower, and follow it up with an espresso and tiramisu at the legendary Stella Bakery.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city with a visit to Golden Gate Park where you can relax at the Japanese Tea Garden or explore the California Academy of Sciences. 

Alternatively, go on a day trip to wine country. The Napa and Sonoma wine regions are both just a short drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and offer some of the highest rated wines in the world.


San Francisco offers a perfect reprieve from the oppressive heat that plagues most of the United States during the summer months. There is plenty of fog and chilly bay breezes. Daily temperatures average a high of 72°F with evening lows in the high 50s F. 

There is practically no rain or humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Getting to San Francisco is easy, with both San Francisco (SFO) and Oakland (OAK) airports offering direct connections to the heart of the city via the BART train in under 45 minutes.


Gabriel says, “The city’s skyline is majestic. The best way to take in the views is from a room at the Four Season Hotel at the Embarcadero.”

best outdoor destination for summer weekend getaways in america
Breckenridge, Colorado (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Breckenridge, Colorado

By Jordan from The Homebody Tourist

Although most people think of Breckinridge as the perfect ski destination, it should not be overlooked for an outdoor adventure summer getaway in the United States.

After arriving in this quaint little town, you will immediately fall in love with its mountain-town vibes, cute shops, and epic views.

Start your weekend with a morning hike to the old cabin ruins along Mayflower Gulch Trail. It’s a pretty easy 2-mile hike for some amazing views.

After your hike, you can rent a paddleboard in town and head towards Maggie Pond to check out the views from the water.

Once you are exhausted from your daytime activities, spend the evening strolling Main Street and grabbing a bite to eat. 

For the remainder of your weekend, you can spend it at Epic Discovery (ropes course, alpine slide, rock climbing), or check out more of the area’s hikes. If you are looking for more epic hikes, you can head into Frisco and check out Mount Royal or stay right in Breck and take on McCullough Gulch.

Make sure you don’t end your weekend without stopping by and saying hello to the famous Breckenridge Troll, Isaak! He’s located downtown along a very short paved trail. 


The summer temperatures usually fall between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. There is only a little rain which is ideal for outdoor adventures. However, make sure you pack layers and a rain jacket. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

At just under 2 hours from the Denver International airport, Breckenridge is the perfect holiday weekend trip. 

best city destination for a midweek break in summer in usa
Baltimore, Maryland (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Baltimore, Maryland

By Lola from Deyewa

Baltimore, Maryland is a vibrant city full of culture and history, making it the perfect city break for a weekend getaway in summer on the east coast of the USA. From its iconic Inner Harbor to its unique neighborhoods and exciting attractions, Baltimore offers something for everyone.

There are three top things to do when you come to Baltimore. Firstly, make a stop at the Baltimore National Aquarium which is home to thousands of aquatic animals from all around the world. From mesmerizing jellyfish and vibrant coral reefs to playful dolphins and majestic sea turtles, you can experience the wonders of the underwater world without ever getting wet!

The aquarium also features interactive exhibits and educational programs that will leave visitors with a greater appreciation for our oceans and their inhabitants.

Secondly, explore Maryland Science Center, a must-visit for anyone that loves to explore the fascinating world of science. From interactive exhibits that teach about astronomy and physics to live demonstrations of chemistry experiments, this center promises an immersive experience full of learning opportunities.

Not only does the Maryland Science Center offer educational programs for all ages, it also has the largest planetarium dome in Maryland that allows visitors to take in stunning views of the night sky. 

Lastly, if you are having a summer weekend getaway with kids, you have to stop at the Port Discovery Children’s Museum for an unforgettable experience. Home to more than 60,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, the museum provides a fun, hands-on way to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Kids can climb aboard a pirate ship, navigate a dinosaur fossil dig, travel back in time to 1920’s ancient Egypt, enjoy some climbing and heights in The Overlook and much more.

If you can time your visit, every fourth of July, the Inner Harbor holds an annual fireworks and offers lots of free performances, kids activities, food trucks and more to make summer time a great experience.


The average summer temperature in Baltimore, Maryland is 72.9°F (22.7°C). July is the hottest month with an average high of 85°F (29.4°C) and an average low of 69.8°F (21°C).

Best Way To Reach Destination

The best way to reach Baltimore is by booking a flight to arrive at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and then driving 20-30 minutes to the Inner Harbor.


Lola says, “One nice hotel is the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore. It is close to a lot of the sights, sounds and tastes of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.”

best US summer beach destination for weekend getaways
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (Photo courtesy of Kate from Yes, Massachusetts!)

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

By Kate from Yes, Massachusetts!

Martha’s Vineyard is the ultimate beach weekend break in the summer on the eastern coast of the United States. This little island off the coast of Cape Cod is home to beautiful sandy beaches, candy-colored gingerbread houses, stunning cliffs, delightful small towns, and lovely rolling farmland between it all.

The best way to spend an evening in Martha’s Vineyard is to head to the Aquinnah Cliffs for golden hour, just before sunset. These cliffs are many colors of orange, red, and yellow under normal circumstances, but in the golden light they’re magnificent! Nearby you can visit the Gay Head Light, one of the most unique Martha’s Vineyard lighthouses thanks to its red brick exterior.

Finish your evening at nearby Menemsha Beach, where Vineyard visitors gather to watch the sun sink into the sea.

Another great place to visit on the Vineyard is Chappaquiddick Island. You can take the tiny, three-vehicle “Chappy Ferry” on a one-minute journey to the island, then enjoy the Mytoi Japanese Gardens and the beach at Wasque Point. Be sure to bring lunch — there are no restaurants here.

As for summer festivals, Beach Road Weekend is the big music festival on Martha’s Vineyard, taking place in late August in the town of Vineyard Haven.


In summer, you can expect hot days perfect for beach-hopping and evenings cooled by the ocean breeze. It doesn’t get quite as hot as sweltering inland parts of New England.

You can expect high temperatures of 76-79 F, occasionally crawling into the 80s, with temperatures closer to 60-65 F at night.

There will be around 2.5″ of rain each summer month. It’s always smart to bring a light jacket with you.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Martha’s Vineyard has its own airport with direct flights from cities including Boston, New York, Washington, Philadelphia, and Chicago. You can also take the ferry from Woods Hole on Cape Cod, which takes less than an hour.


Kate says, “Nobnocket Boutique Inn is a fabulous bed and breakfast in Vineyard Haven, a design piece in the middle of the island’s most local town. While the rooms are fabulously comfortable, the creative breakfasts are what you’ll remember forever.”

best east coast weekend getaway in june, july, august, and september in america
Asheville, North Carolina (Photo courtesy of Alanna from Periodic Adventures)

Asheville, North Carolina

By Alanna from Periodic Adventures

Asheville, North Carolina is the perfect hidden gem in the Southern USA for a few days away in summer if you love nature, great food, craft breweries, and a little history.

In summertime, Asheville is brimming with activity. Each Friday, there is a local drum circle in Pritchard Park that’s free to attend. It’s a great introduction to this wonderfully weird city.

The best thing to do in Asheville is visit the Biltmore Estate, the largest home in America. It was owned by the Vanderbilts and is an all-day affair.

Tour the home with an audio guide, stroll the gardens and conservatory, enjoy a free wine tasting, visit the shops, and take a step back in time with farm and craft demonstrations.

Asheville is also the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway, an incredibly scenic drive that continues to Virginia. In the summer, there’s great hiking and overlooks on this drive to appreciate the stunning mountains.

Finally, Asheville is home to over 70+ local breweries so be sure to try a flight (or two). Some popular options include Hi-Wire, Wicked Weed, Green Man, and Eurisko. As an alternative to a beer flight, you can also try a pie flight at Baked Pie Company, perfect for those who prefer dessert!


While temperatures are warmest in the summer with averages in the mid-80s, there is around 9 days each month of rain (around 3.5″ each month) from June through August. There will also be lots of humidity in July and August.

Best Way To Reach Destination

This mountain town is located within a two-hour drive from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in North Carolina.


Alanna says, “Many of the top restaurants and activities are located in downtown Asheville, so stay nearby at the Cambria Hotel Downtown or AC Hotel by Marriott.

best beaches on west coast in united states for quick getaway
San Diego, California (Photo courtesy of Rasika from Bae Area And Beyond)

San Diego, California

By Rasika from Bae Area And Beyond

San Diego is located in the southwestern point of California and the USA. Filled with beaches and many family-friendly activities, San Diego is one of the safest cities in the country. In addition, the city has something for everyone in the summer — from relaxing on the beach to hiking in the mountains and everything in between. It is a fantastic destination for a west coast weekend away in the USA.

With so many things to do, it can be hard to narrow down a list of must-dos. But here are some of the top things to do in San Diego.

First, visit SeaWorld San Diego. It is a popular theme park with 16 rides including 5 roller coasters and 2 water rides that are sure to entertain everyone in your family. It’s easy to spend the whole day here.

Second, see the Padres Play at Petco Park. If you’re looking for some fun nightlife or live music, Petco Park is home to the San Diego Padres baseball team as well as concerts and other events throughout the year. You can catch a game or concert almost any time during the week or weekend! The stadium also has an incredible view overlooking downtown San Diego.

Third, head to Balboa Park, home to many museums. This includes The San Diego Zoo, Air & Space Museum, Natural History Museum, Museum of Art and The Automotive Museum, just to name a few!


Summer temperatures in San Diego are also why it’s the best place for a weekend jaunt in the summer. Average temperatures range between the 60s and 70s in Fahrenheit with little to no chance of rain.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The closest international airport is San Diego International Airport. Its central location in the city makes it easy for travellers to land and start exploring on the same day.


Rasika says, “The best place to stay in San Diego is Hotel del Coronado. Its grandness and Victorian architecture is what brings travelers to San Diego again and again.”

best destinations in usa in summer for a short getaway
Williamsburg, Virginia (Photo courtesy of Merry from Virginia Vacation Guide)

Williamsburg, Virginia

By Merry from Virginia Vacation Guide

Williamsburg, Virginia is a great summer destination for a midweek break. It is filled with history, world-class amusement parks, wineries, shopping, restaurants, and much more. 

The major attraction in town is Colonial Williamsburg, which features buildings, streets, homes, gardens, and stores as they existed back in the 18th century. You can take a horse-drawn carriage ride past the Governor’s Palace, watch period plays at the outside theaters, or learn how tools were made at the blacksmith shop. 

Jamestown Settlement is located nearby. It has an excellent museum about colonial life, plus replicas of a colonial fort and Native American villages. The settlement is located on the James River and even features replicas of colonial ships that you can explore. 

For thrill-seekers, Williamsburg is home to Busch Gardens, which has over 60 attractions and shows, 13 exhilarating roller coasters, and even a water park. This makes it a perfect summer destination. 

Williamsburg is also home to many fabulous restaurants and shops, particularly around Merchants Square. Make sure to check out The Cheese Shop, Blue Talon Bistro, and Amber Ox Public House. 

If you’re interested in exploring local wineries, you can pay a visit to nearby Williamsburg Winery, which also features live music performances and a restaurant onsite.


Summer weather in southern Virginia tends to be very hot and humid, with occasional thunderstorms. Temperatures generally range from the mid-80s to the 90s, only dropping down to the mid 60s F in the evening. Expect around 3.6″ of rain each month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Williamsburg is easily accessible by plane or car. There are three international airports located nearby. The nearest airport is Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF), which is only 17 miles away. Norfolk International Airport (ORF) and Richmond International Airport (RIC) are both 45 miles away. 

The city is also conveniently located off of I-95 and I-64 in southeastern Virginia.


Merry says, “When visiting Williamsburg, there are a number of hotels conveniently located next to many of the major attractions. Kingsmill Resort is a sprawling resort complex that is just steps away from Busch Gardens.

Club Wyndham Kingsgate is another great option, with plenty of amenities like two swimming pools, miniature golf, and tennis courts.”

Last Word

From the west coast to the east coast of the USA, there are many amazing places to visit for a summer weekend getaway. Whether you want to lounge on beaches, explore national or state parks, visit charming small towns, or experience the fast paced world of American cities, there is something for everyone in these fantastic summer weekend trips.

the authorNicole
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