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6 U.S. Summer Vacation Spots on the Rise

By Jersey Griggs
Read time: 5 minutes

With summer on the horizon, it’s time to put those saved vacation days to good use. Whether you prefer a mountain getaway, a cabin in the forest, or a sandy beach, you don’t need to pack your passport — America has you covered. There are plenty of tried-and-true U.S. vacation spots, such as Orlando and Las Vegas, but data compiled from travel companies such as Airbnb and Google Flights shows that the following destinations are growing in popularity, and for good reason. If you’re in search of a new place to vacay, here are six up-and-coming U.S. destinations that should be on your travel list this summer.

Ouray, Colorado

Aerial view of mountain town of Ouray, Colorado
Credit: Starcevic/ iStock via Getty Images 

With the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado providing a stunning backdrop, the town of Ouray bills itself as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Colorado.” Although the mountain town provides access to outdoor activities year-round, Ouray is particularly magical in the summertime. During the season, visitors can enjoy easy access to hiking trails, such as the nearby Box Cañon Falls Park with its 285-foot waterfall, plus other adventures such as horseback riding and mountain biking. 

Home to art galleries, restaurants, boutique shops, and breweries, Ouray’s downtown also has plenty of Rocky Mountain charm to capture your heart. And if you need some downtime, Ouray Hot Springs is home to multiple heated pools and views of the mountains, making it the perfect place to unwind during your summer getaway.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Narrow street lined with brightly painted homes in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Credit: benedek/ iStock via Getty Images 

New to the list of top summer destinations according to Google Flights, San Juan is quickly rising in popularity for U.S. travelers. With access to sandy beaches, a vibrant culture, and an abundance of sunshine, the waterfront city has all the makings of a relaxed summer vacation. And since Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, no passport is required — although you’ll probably feel worlds away when you land on its shores.

Before beelining it to the beach, make sure to explore Old San Juan, with its colorful architecture, plentiful restaurants, live music, and fascinating history. (It’s where you’ll find the oldest church in America, built in 1521, among other historic sites.) You can also easily rent a car and explore the island on your own. Home to bioluminescent bays, the only tropical rainforest in the national forest system, and big surfing waves, Puerto Rico promises a memorable time for any type of traveler.

Marquette, Michigan

Shores of Marquette, Michigan
Credit: James Pintar/ iStock via Getty Images 

The usually quiet town of Marquette, Michigan, is experiencing an increased flux of summertime visitors, according to Airbnb. Located on the shores of Lake Superior with direct access to Presque Isle Park, it’s the perfect home base for exploring all that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan has to offer. Visitors won’t want to miss the dramatic sandstone cliffs, picturesque coves, and rocky outcroppings that define Lake Superior’s shoreline.

Water sports such as fishing, kayaking, and paddling are also popular here in the Great Lakes region, as is hiking in the nearby Porcupine Mountains. Foodies will appreciate Marquette’s bustling restaurant scene, while history buffs should seek out the Maritime Museum and Harbor Lighthouse to learn more about Marquette’s maritime past.

Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Winding river in Broken Bow, Oklahoma
Credit: RAphoto77/ Shutterstock 

Surrounded by acres of forest wilderness, Broken Bow is an ideal destination for the outdoorsy set. As one of the trending destinations for vacation rentals this summer, Broken Bow is the gateway to Beavers Bend State Park, home to mountains, deciduous trees, and the Mountain Fork River, which draws hardcore trout anglers and laid-back tube floaters in equal measure.

Besides the plentiful hiking and fishing opportunities, Broken Bow’s high trees are a draw for thrill seekers, thanks to zip-lining tours available at Rugaru Adventures. If an adrenaline-pumping journey through the forest canopy isn’t your thing, the same facility offers state park tours on “swincars,” which are electric all-terrain vehicles with off-roading capabilities.

Burlington, Vermont

Brick road with church tower in Burlington, Vermont
Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock 

This small city in Vermont’s Green Mountains has New England charm in spades, from the pedestrian-only Church Avenue — filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, and a thriving art scene — to the plethora of summer festivals, including Vermont Jazz Fest, Vermont Brewers Festival, and Burlington Food and Wine Festival.

If you want to get out onto the water, book a sunset sailing cruise or check out Nauti Paddle for a paddleboat tour of nearby Lake Champlain. For ice cream lovers, the nearby town of Waterbury is home to the Ben and Jerry’s factory, which offers tours and all the free ice cream samples you could ever want.

Miramar Beach, Florida

Path leading to sandy shore in Miramar Beach, Florida
Credit: Kristi Blokhin/ Shutterstock 

Miramar Beach ranks as one of the most popular waterfront Airbnb destinations, so expect travelers to soon flock to this stretch of the Florida Panhandle. Located just east of Destin, this small beach town is ideal for families, with calm, turquoise waters, stunning white beaches, and a quieter vibe than some of the more traditional Florida destinations. 

Popular water activities include parasailing, snorkeling near Crab Island, and boat excursions for deep-sea fishing. Depending on your vacation vibe, you can spend the day on the links at the area’s numerous golf clubs or go cruising in search of dolphins. While there are no giant themed amusement parks, there are family-friendly attractions to keep kids happy, including a water park and a marine adventure park.

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