Summer and travel: The two more or less go hand in hand. Something about the warm weather, summer nights, and longer days have us all wishing for a chance to take a vacation. For most of us, our days of a two to three month break from school for the summer are long gone, and our vacation opportunities are significantly shorter.
Regardless of the amount of time you have or the budget you’re working with, these five destinations will please just about any traveler this summer.
A summer break in Europe is pretty much the dream, right? Unfortunately, high costs and the fact that just about everyone wants to vacation in Europe over the summer make many European destinations unattainable. Luckily, there are still pockets of Europe that you can visit during the summer without breaking the bank—Lisbon is a favorite.
Located on the coast of Portugal, the city boasts an amazing food scene that stands its own ground even when put up against its neighbor and culinary giant, Spain. Seafood, wine, and coffee are all mainstays so get ready to consume a lot of each! Historic castles, museums, and cathedrals mean that you’ll have no shortage of sights to visit during the day. Though the city is very walking friendly, the tram makes getting around a breeze. Wondering where to stay? The city has an endless number of affordable yet well-appointed hotels for you to choose from.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Brazil practically speaks for itself as a summer vacation spot. Sprawling beaches, one of the most famous nightlife scenes in the world, and vibrant culture make the country and, more specifically, Rio De Janeiro, a great stop on any traveller’s itinerary.
Home to some of the most famous beaches in the world, including Ipanema and Copacabana, those looking for a summer vacation spent on the sand will feel right at home. Since Rio De Janeiro is located in the southern hemisphere, the summer rush takes place in December through March. This means that you’ll experience smaller crowds and a more relaxed vibe during June, July, and August. Those looking for more action have plenty of options as well. Corcovado, home of one of the most famous sights in Brazil, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, has a reputation for a reason; it’s an absolute must-see for all travelers. But know—visitors heading to the city during this time of year will miss one of the most famed events in Brazil, the Carnival; but a great nightlife scene exists year round.
The Outer Banks, North Carolina
Located a bit closer to home than some of our other picks (and actaully a larger region rather than a specific city), The Outer Banks will provide you with an accessible summer respite. The area is an especially easy location to access for those of you living on the east coast. Off the coast of North Carolina, the region boasts some of the best beaches the east coast has to offer. A perfect spot for those of us just looking to curl up in the sun with a good book, The Outer Banks has a quiet, relaxed vibe that will have you in a Zen state of mind from the moment you arrive.
Aside from the obvious activity of heading to the beach, you can sail, visit the Wright Brothers Memorial, or visit Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, a regional icon.
Doesn’t it feel like just about everyone is talking about Nashville these days? Well, they are and there is good reason why. An ever-evolving music scene, great food, and friendly locals make it a perfect spot to spend a few summer days.
Whatever you do, be sure to visit a concert while in Nashville. There’s a reason it’s known as music city! The Musicians Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, and Ryman Auditorium are just some of the many sights waiting for music lovers to experience. If sightseeing has caused you to work up an appetite, Husk, Loveless Cafe, and Pinewood Social (that place you see on Instagram at least once a week) are all musts!
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
If your vacation dream involves not doing too much at all, Punta Cana might be the perfect spot for you. A place that truly looks like the textbook definition of “tropical paradise,” Punta Cana is one of those places you have to see to believe. Located in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a nation with no shortage of pristine beaches but Punta Cana is a favorite on our list of summer picks.
Though resorts can be expensive in Punta Cana throughout most of the year, the high temperatures and threat of storms make this time of year more affordable than others. If you don’t mind risking a day of rain (we recommend heading to the resort spa to make the best of summer storms!) or hot temperatures, summer is the perfect opportunity for you to experience the famed beaches of the Dominican Republic at discounted rates. Spend your mornings relaxing on the beach, sprinkle in a bit of kayaking in the afternoons, and end your days with a tropical cocktail!