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The Best Summer Vacation Ideas in the US

Experience the best of the US this summer with TRIPS by Culture Trip – from exploring national parks to city adventures.
Mandi Keighran
11 Dec 2021
Whether you live in the US or are planning a visit from overseas, there are plenty of reasons to make your summer vacay an all-American one. From New Orleans with its vibrant festival season to the lakeside luxury of Lake Tahoe, the US is full of awesome places to visit. Read on to discover the best spots – via TRIPS by Culture Trip – to catch outdoor music festivals, kayak through mangroves, explore vineyards, and find outdoor adventure.
1 . New Orleans for live jazz and Cajun culture
If you’re looking for some fun, New Orleans is a fine choice – and a great US city to visit in the summer too. The food culture is unique – a zingy blend of the deep American south and old French colonial – and if you aren’t caught up in the Juneteenth and Fourth of July celebrations, then there’s almost definitely a music festival or baseball game going on. Plus, you can cool down with a New Orleans-style snowball – a mound of fluffy shaved ice flavored with sweet syrup and adorned with delicious toppings.Culture Trip’s four-day group tour makes the most of the warm weather, with activities such as kayaking in the Louisiana bayous and voyaging down the Mississippi on an old steamboat dinner cruise. You’ll also catch a live jazz performance at the historic Preservation Hall.
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2 . The Hudson Valley for wellness and relaxation
Dotted with vineyards and farms, and gateway to the majestic Catskill mountains and riverside Hudson Highlands, Hudson Valley in New York is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the US this summer. It’s just over two hours’ drive from New York City, so easily reached if you’re looking for a quick escape.Book a spot on Culture Trip’s four-day Hudson Valley retreat to explore the region on long hikes through the High Falls Conservation Area, and stand-up paddleboarding sessions on the Hudson River. You’ll also learn the basics of meditation with an expert instructor.
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3 . California for beautiful hikes and wine on tap
Where else comes closer to meeting the brief if golden beaches, surfing, swimming, glorious national parks and world-class wines are key ingredients of your trip? California has it all, making it hands down one of the best US states to visit in the summer.To experience the best of California, sign up for Culture Trip’s seven-day California Dreamin’ group tour. It takes in natural wonders such as Yosemite National Park, the Pacific coast and the Napa Valley, plus there’s time to explore San Francisco. One of the highlights of the trip is lunch at chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery served with some of the region’s finest vino.
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4 . Utah and Colorado for boundless backcountry and craft beer
Utah and Colorado are two US states where adventure is virtually guaranteed, especially in summer. The dramatic backcountry sprawls through rugged mountains and red-rock deserts, offering no end of epic scenery.Culture Trip’s eight-day group tour has been designed with thrill-seekers in mind – think spotting black bears in the Colorado Rockies, biking through the Arches National Park, and rafting on the Colorado River. There’s also plenty of time to relax, whether with a beer at Denver’s craft or soaking in the geothermal Strawberry Hot Springs.
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5 . Lake Tahoe for outdoor therapy
California may already be on this list but Lake Tahoe deserves a special mention. From hiking and biking to boating on the lake, and soaking up the local culture in lively lakeside bars, there really isn’t a lot that can go wrong.It’s also one of the best places in the US to visit in the summer if mindfulness and relaxation matter to you more than adventure. Culture Trip’s Feed the Mind, Body and Soul in Lake Tahoe group trip includes meditation sessions, woodland hikes, nightly s’mores around the firepit, and even the chance to do a little stargazing from an outdoor hot tub.
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