With summer right around the corner, families and friends are busy making travel plans to enjoy all the U.S. offers. From national parks to bustling cities—and every small town in between—the U.S. has a diverse array of travel destinations perfect for any adventure. Here are the top 10 spots to explore this summer.

Jackson Hole

Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon are always popular destinations during the summer, but the crowds and long wait times can be obstacles. Head to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for an alternative that’s just as beautiful and fun. There, you can explore the Grand Teton National Park wilderness. The mountain formations and wildlife are equally breathtaking, and you’ll encounter only a fraction of the tourists. Jackson Hole itself is an excellent summer destination, offering unique shops downtown, festivals, and plenty of guided adventure tours in the surrounding areas.

Chicago

Head to Chicago for a fun city destination. The summer temperatures are milder than many other U.S. spots, and the abundant festivals and events in the area are worth the trip. You’ll have a unique mix of beachfront activities along Lake Michigan, art and theatre exhibitions throughout the galleries and parks in the city, and access to fine dining and shopping suitable for the poshest travellers.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Outdoor enthusiasts will rejoice with a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park this summer. This Appalachian destination is a hidden gem and one of the few parks without an entrance fee. With plenty of lodging options, including campgrounds, you can easily spend several days exploring the area’s historic buildings and abundant wildlife.

Sedona

Head out west to enjoy the red rocks of the high desert in Sedona, Arizona. Sedona is a summer refuge for those wishing to escape the heat of lower elevations throughout the Southwest. It’s a perfect place to relax and unwind in nature—go out for a hike or swim to enjoy the breathtaking view! You’ll find many new-age shops and events, as well as celebrated restaurants and galleries in the area.

San Francisco

Another excellent city destination for summer travel, San Francisco has mild weather this time of year that’s perfect for exploring the area on foot. Visit celebrated sites like the Golden Gate Bridge, or spend time at Fisherman’s Wharf sampling delicious seafood. Hike down to the surrounding rocky cliffs (home to sea lions!) and look out towards Alcatraz and the famed seascape of the Bay Area. The diversity in San Francisco offers opportunities for discoveries around every corner.

Photo: martin-dm via gettyimages.com

Cape Cod

The New England area is a popular summer destination for its beaches, quaint towns, and famous art and food festivals. Cape Cod is perfect for your trip to the Northeast this year. With lodging options from cozy cottages to luxurious resorts, every group will feel comfortable. There are plenty of activities beyond the beach—golf, a drive-in theatre, spas, and plenty of breweries and wineries make this town a top summer recommendation.

Manitou Island

One of the best places to enjoy pristine waters, forests, and beaches in the U.S., Manitou Islands in Michigan offer family adventures for nature-loving travellers. Visit the South Manitou Lighthouse or hike among the 15,000 acres of natural land. Beach camping is especially popular here, especially since the ferry to the mainland offers easy access to dining, art, and fun available in nearby towns.

Stowe

This lovely town in Vermont is known for its stellar leaf-peeping in the fall and world-class skiing in the winter, but the summer season offers just as many opportunities for outdoor fun and beautiful scenery. The town hosts multiple music, art, and food festivals throughout the season, and local venues plan weekly specials and events. You’ll find numerous outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to swimming and zip-lining, making this area perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

Golden Isles

Rather than head to the crowded beaches along the Florida coast this summer, book a trip to Georgia’s Golden Isles. You’ll experience the same Gulf Coast waters and beaches with fewer people and a diverse array of adventures. The Golden Isles are a collection of five islands and home to world-class restaurants, pristine golf courses, natural animal habitats, and miles of beach-ready for exploration. This visitor’s guide is your gateway to the splendours of summer on these islands!

Steamboat Springs

A vibrant Colorado town, Steamboat Springs offers summer visitors a range of adventures, from indoor art workshops to outdoor extreme mountain biking. You’ll easily relax breathing the fresh mountain air while fishing for trout or walking along the road towards your next brewery stop.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or historical sights, these top travel destinations are sure to make your summer a memorable one!