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Best Summer Destinations in the U.S.A.

Joelle Mentis

Fudge Shop Nantucket

You’re all set for Italy. You have your beach club reservations in France. You even got the coveted invite on the boat in the Med, so Sardinia and Corsica are in your sights. But you know you’re not going to sit on the sidelines between trips. So, these are the best summer destinations in the U.S. to get your quintessential American summer started.

the hamptons

The Destination: The Hamptons

Why to go:

There’s a reason why of all the destinations, the Hamptons has the greatest concentration of celebrities. It could be the beaches, or the scene-y restaurants, or the baller houses where you can stay for the summer. Or the Hamptons with its proximity to New York is naturally the place for the finance and celeb set to gather for the summer. Whatever the reason, it’s a scene, which is why it makes the list for one of the best summer destinations in the U.S.

Where to stay:

To level set, if you’re going to stay in a hotel, it’s going to be exorbitantly expensive without the same value as other luxury destinations. However, with this in mind, we have the best places to stay in the Hamptons list here. Of note, Shou Sugi Ban House is a favorite of the accommodations if you want to be in Southampton.

Travel Maine
The Destination: Maine

Why to go:

For a place so beautiful, it’s surprising that Maine is not overrun, even during the summer months. Maine epitomizes all that’s laid-back, low-key and charming for what you want out of summer. In lieu of White Parties, nature takes front row as the reason Maine is one of the best summer destinations in the U.S. Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful on the Atlantic Coast to get your summer hiking on. The towns in Maine have top restaurants, where this may just be where to get the best lobster roll on the East Coast.

Where to stay:

White Barn Inn is one of the top accommodations in the state. Also check out our Galavante list for the 5 Best Inns in Maine.

Families Martha's Vineyard

The Destination: Martha’s Vineyard

Why to go:

In between Maine and the Hamptons on the spectrum of scene and natural beauty is Martha’s Vineyard. The real locals will tell you that the food on the Vineyard is just ok if you’re measuring it by true foodie standards. One of the best experiences is just bringing out a cooler on the beach and creating your own sunset dinner. The beauty of the Vineyard is that there’s also low-car traffic, where more people explore the island by bike. The Vineyard is like a slice of Americana as one of the best summer destinations in the U.S.

Where to stay:

Renting a house is the way to go on Martha’s Vineyard, otherwise Harbor View Hotel is the luxury option on isle.

TopLeft_Nantucket

The Destination: Nantucket

Why to go:

Where the Hamptons is to NYC, Nantucket is to Boston. Nantucket though takes  the perfect white picket shingle sided house to the next level. It’s almost as if every house has an American flag over the 4th of July, so just by that virtue, it makes the best summer destinations in the U.S. list. Just don’t forget to wear your Vineyard Vines and brightly colored shirts and pants, which are the Nantucket uniform.

Where to stay:

Unlike Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket has beautiful places to stay. The White Elephant and Wauwinet are classic choices, but also a slew of new boutique hotels are on isle.

Nobu malibu

The Destination: Malibu

Why to go:

If Jay Z and Beyonce just dropped $200 million on a house in the area, you know that Malibu is something special. California is known for its beaches, and Malibu is where some of the best are in the state. For all its multi-gazillion dollar mansions on the beach, Malibu still retains its laid-back California vibe as one of the best summer destinations in the U.S.

Where to stay:

Nobu is not just for eating; they have a boutique hotel as well. The Malibu Beach Inn is also a top option in the area.

Maroon Bells

The Destination: Aspen

Why to go:

As the saying goes, you come for the winter, and you stay for the summer. There is just something special about Aspen. It bridges both the glamour of the celebrities, many of whom have homes in the area, and yet has an authentic town feel. Maroon Bells should be on every itinerary in Aspen for the summer, whether you mountain bike, hike or leisurely stroll the lake. Aspen is as pretty as  can be during the summer.

Where to stay:

The Little Nell, of course. There’s also the Limelight and St. Regis in town.

jackson-hole-feature

The Destination: Jackson Hole

Why to go:

If there’s a part of the United States where the authentic cowboy still exists, it’s in Wyoming. Jackson Hole is one of the most pure, unspoiled and authentic places in the U.S. Summertime is high season in Jackson Hole for a reason. In fact, those reasons are why this area is one of the best summer destinations in the U.S. The Grand Tetons are in a word, the definition of majestic. You haven’t seen mountains until you’ve experienced the Tetons. Though this is one of the wealthiest parts of the U.S., you’re not going to see outwardly displays of glitz. Instead, it’s low-key, no scene and a real country western town vibe.

Where to stay:

Amangani has the best views in Jackson Hole, and is still a quick 8 minute ride down the mountain into town. If you want to be near the ski slopes, Caldera House and Four Seasons are the way to go.

The Destination: Hudson Valley

Why to go:

The Hudson Valley made our list of the top destinations to visit in 2023, and part of that is because it’s one of the best summer destinations in the U.S. It’s the opposite of the Hamptons with the White Part and Page Six covering all the debauchery. Instead, the Hudson Valley is a place that inspires you to eat a big stack of pancakes with maple syrup. That’s not to say though that in recent years, things have developed for the better, with farm-to-table restaurants and beautiful inns that blend into the countryside. Lately it’s been the optimal combination of development while staying true to the quaintness that make the Hudson Valley so special.

Where to stay:

The Maker gets you right in the center of town, or for those who want to be more immersed in nature, Habitas on Hudson recently opened. There’s also a branch of The Ranch Malibu and Soho House set to open.

Other Articles You’ll Like

The Guide to Jackson Hole
The Best Luxury Ranches in the West
The Ranch Malibu

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