Summer is almost upon us, and there’s no better time to begin planning your trips than now, when flight deals and hotel stays abound. Whether you’re interested in a gondola ride upon the canals of Venice or a horseback ride on the Rocky Mountains, we’ve got you covered with the best vacation spots to visit this summer. From culturally immersive travel in Europe and Australia to tequila tasting in Mexico, our list covers the globe — while still highlighting the best places to visit in the U.S., of course. Read on and get ready to start planning your next summer trip. Summer may not begin for a few weeks, but emotionally, we say it starts the second you book your trip. Cheers and happy travels!
1. Jalisco, Mexico
Cathedral in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico (Adobe Stock)
Guadalajara & Tequila: Tequila tasting is the new wine tasting.
Sure, you may be familiar with Cabo and Cancun, but have you considered exploring Mexico beyond the coasts? Jalisco, Mexico, is the perfect place to explore, as it's the home not only of mariachi music, but also, tequila! Check out the gorgeous downtown of Guadalajara before paying a visit to Tequila, Mexico, to witness the gorgeous agave fields, and sample the local flavors. Plus, considering Mexico lacks entry requirements for travelers, it’s the perfect last-minute trip to book, without worrying about COVID complications. Salud!
2. Kennebunkport, Maine
The Harbor in Kennebunkport, Maine (Adobe Stock)
New England bliss: Set sail in Maine!
There’s more to New England than leaf-peeping, and summer is one of the most beautiful times of year to visit Vacationland, a.k.a. Maine. The state’s slogan is “The Way Life Should Be” and we find that hard to disagree with, especially when the weather gets warmer. Whether it’s blueberry pie or lobster bakes, hiking the rocky coast or setting sail upon its waters, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities for the seaside-loving traveler. We suggest a visit to Kennebunkport to experience the perfect blend of bustling downtown and rural New England coastline. Plus, summertime is the only time of year when taking a swim in the Atlantic is a not-entirely-freezing experience. So go ahead, and dive in.
Canal in Venice, Italy (Adobe Stock)
Gondolas, artwork, & more: Check out the Biennale.
Italy is always top-of-mind for travelers, and after so many years in which travel to Europe has been infinitely complicated, why not schedule a revenge travel trip to Italy this summer? We suggest paying a visit to Venice, and while usually summertime is not the best season to visit, as the city becomes too crowded, 2022 is a great year to spend the hotter months along the canals. Why? A couple of reasons — first off, since the pandemic has thwarted many people’s summertime plans, you can expect there to be less American travelers in Europe this summer. Secondly, the city has had a major opportunity to breathe after being free of the throngs of tourists that visit year-round, and Venice is even more beautiful than ever. Lastly, you will have an opportunity to check out this year’s Biennale, which showcases spectacular art from around the world — don’t miss the U.S., Denmark, or Australia exhibits. International art and delectable Italian cuisine? That’s "amore."
4. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe (Adobe Stock)
This summer, head out west to discover one of the most gorgeous spots in the U.S.A.: Lake Tahoe, of course. Fly into Reno, and spend a few days exploring this underrated Nevada city. Often overshadowed by Las Vegas, Reno is home to a spectacular culinary scene and fantastic street art, and is the perfect place to begin your trip. Next, rent a car for the gorgeous 45-minute drive out to Incline Village, and make reservations for dinner at Lone Eagle Grill, where you can watch the sunset over the lake and order the famous Blooming Tahoe dessert. Also on the itinerary? A drive around the perimeter of the lake, boating out on the water, and a hike to Monkey Rock for gorgeous panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Happy travels!
Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia (Adobe Stock)
A road trip Down Under! Why not book the ultimate bucket list trip?
Now that Australia has officially reopened, why not cross an item off your bucket list with a trip Down Under this summer? Australia is the perfect destination for the adventurous traveler, with plentiful opportunities for activities in the great outdoors — whether it’s road-tripping through the Outback or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, there’s something for everyone, by land or by sea. Another plus to traveling now is the opportunity to take advantage of the wonderful last-minute flights that provide the opportunity of making your dream vacation a reality. So, what are you waiting for? Happy travels!
Moose in Maroon Lake near Aspen, Colorado (Adobe Stock)
Rocky Mountain High: There’s no off-season Out West.
We’ve already covered how Aspen is a tremendous place to visit during the wintertime, but what about summertime, too? The hotter months are perfect for lovers of hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and rafting in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, and this summer, why not consider making a trip out west yourself? Sometimes the wide-open spaces are the most-needed landscape of all (thank you, Dixie Chicks), so prepare to book those flights, and get back in the saddle this summer season. Giddy-up!