Summer has officially arrived, and vacation season is in full swing.
The sun is blazing hot, the days are long, and you’re looking for the perfect destination to cross off your travel bucket list.
And if you’re like most smart travelers, you want to get the most out of your vacation time this summer.
After all, you don’t get enough vacation days anyway, and the last thing you want to do is waste your hard-earned time off on a sleazy tourist trap.
And let’s face it, while a trip to the local pool or a “staycation” typically suffices, sometimes it just doesn’t make the cut.
We get it, you want to get out and experience something new and different.
So for the adrenaline junkies who crave an outdoor excursion marathon such as rock climbing a monstrous cliff, hiking a blazing trail, or kayaking down the waterfront, we’ve got you covered.
And for the beach bum who would rather sleep till noon, sample the local food fare, then go back to sleep on the beach—no worries we’ve got your back too.
So check out these five summer vacation spots, which are sure to satisfy every wanderlust desire.
Head over to the West Coast and check out this quaint little town full of oceanside adventures.
You can walk the Promenade (better known as the Prom) and get a killer view of the Pacific Ocean.
And if you want to hit the waves and surf, Seaside has some of the best surfing opportunities in the country – and don’t worry if you’ve never surfed before – you can rent equipment and take lessons from the pros.
If you’re looking to stroll, shop, and eat there are plenty of options, from wine tasting rooms, to eclectic boutiques.
And don’t forget, Seaside is known for its street food and boasts over 180 flavors of saltwater taffy, including flavors like root beer float and Pina colada.
If you’re craving local grub straight out of the ocean, you can check out Bull Buoy of Seaside, a family owned operation known for their vast selection of fresh seafood.
Seafood. Surf. And sand.
Seaside, Oregon is a must attend summer spot.
If you’re looking to leave the States, Norway should be at the top of your list.
The days are long, the nights are short, and if you head up north, the sun never sets.
During the summer months, the temperature is nearly perfect, with warm days and cool and breezy nights.
And if you make it up north, you can witness the incredible “midnight sun”, which means you’ll get to watch the sun paint the sky gorgeous shades of orange, red, and yellow, and then burst back up a few hours later and illuminate the sky again at nighttime!
Yes, during the summer months in northern Norway, the sky stays bright, even in the evening.
Imagine going for a late-night swim, with the midnight sun lighting up the sky.
And for the adrenaline junkies, having a midnight sun means more daylight hours to jump off a cliff, explore the Norwegian glaciers, or take a hike through the Lyngenfjord region.
Norway is a must see for travel adventurers.
Beaches. Lots of them. Crystal clear water. Sparkling white sand.
Nothing else really needs to be said.
What could be better than playing in the sand and laying in a hammock?
If heading to Thailand this summer, check out Koh Samui (Samui Island).
Here you can do everything from ride an elephant to island hop.
Or, just lounge around the beach and score one of the famous Thai massages while you sip frozen drinks in the sand.
While travel rookies think Thailand is the worst place to visit in the summer due to rainstorms – in Koh Samui, the rainy season doesn’t start until September/October.
So if you’re looking to experience paradise on earth, Koh Samui is a must see destination.
If you’re looking to experience “The Pearl of New England” and check out breathtaking scenery, summer is the best time to visit.
The temperature lingers at a comfortable high 70s, and the sites look almost too perfect to be real.
From the stunning rugged coastline, to the legendary Portland Lighthouse, there is no shortage of photo ops in this town.
And if you’re looking for a beach, you have several options to choose from, which are only a quick ride from Portland.
But the real reason everyone comes to Portland is the food.
And oh, let me tell you about the food!
Maine has the best lobster on the East coast. Hands down.
Fresh lobster. Steamed lobster. Baked lobster. Lobster rolls.
You can even watch as they catch your lobster fresh, and then cook it up for you just the way you like it.
True foodies wait hours in line to sink their teeth in Maine’s famous lobster rolls, dripping with butter and pounds of fresh lobster all stuffed into a bun.
You haven’t had lobster until you’ve experienced it in Portland.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Located between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas, Mackinac Island, otherwise known as the “Jewel of the Great Lakes”, holds its own.
Since cars were banned from the island in the late 1890s, Mackinac Island is only accessible by pedestrian ferry.
Entering the island is like traveling back in time, and you’ll even see people getting around the island by horse and carriage.
But don’t let the old time feel fool ya.
The nightlife is booming, with your choice of live music featuring everything from bluegrass to jazz.
Grabbing a drink at a local pub with the sound of waves crashing in the background as you listen to sweet summer tunes is the perfect way to relax and unwind.
Travel Advisor even voted Mackinac Island the #1 hottest summer travel pick for 2018.
And if you’re looking to soak in the sites during the day, you have countless options.
Since 80% of the island is covered by Mackinac State Park, you can spend all day hiking gorgeous trails or kayaking in Lake Huron.
Don’t knock this Midwest Island until you’ve tried it.
This summer, take a break from the daily grind and check out any one of these awesome travel spots, and you’re sure to feel recharged.
You work hard. So play even harder.
From islands only accessible by ferry, to white sandy beaches, you can customize your trip any way you want.
So soak in the sun. Sleep on the beach. Chow down on some fresh seafood. Or jump off a cliff.
Do whatever you want, but make sure to check out one of our recommended summer destination spots.
We guarantee you’ll have a summer to remember!
(h/t Proud American Traveler)