Best East Coast Vacation spots

20 Best East Coast Summer Vacation Spots and Getaways for 2023

Last Updated on August 29, 2022

Planning a summer vacation on the East Coast USA and wondering where to go? Discover some of the best places to visit in summer on the East Coast, from beach getaways to mountain towns to fun cities. You’ll find the perfect summer destination for your next getaway.

Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, your partner, or by yourself, find out all the best summer vacation spots and weekend getaways on the East Coast. There are plenty of amazing destinations in the Eastern USA that will fit any budget and you’re sure to find something that’s great for you and your group.

Keep in reading to discover all the best East Coast summer destinations for an epic vacation!

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Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park

By James Ian from Parks Collecting 

Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor in Maine are a perfect East Coast vacation spot. The national park is spread over most of Mount Desert Island (reached by a short bridge from the mainland), the Schoodic Peninsula, and the tiny Isle au Haut.  

The park’s wooded hills are perfect for hiking, and Acadia has a wide range of trails, from easy (the Ocean Path with a stop off at Thunder Hole is a highlight) to very challenging (including the park’s most famous trail, the Beehive).

A fun choice is the walk out to Bar Island, which you can only reach at low tide by crossing along an exposed sand bar. 

However, there is much more to do. There are miles of historic carriage roads that are ideal for walking and cycling. Or take a dip in the very chilly Atlantic at the beautiful Sand Beach or the less chilly and equally beautiful Echo Lake.  

There are also plenty of ways to get out on the water in summer. There are kayak trips that let you explore the pink granite coastline in more detail; boat trips that will take you past lighthouses and more distant islands; and sailing trips with champagne that are the perfect way to see the sunset. 

The gateway town of Bar Harbor is also fun to explore. It’s a quintessential New England town with a storied history and is filled with great restaurants and places to stay.

A highlight is The Reading Room Restaurant, which offers fine dining with amazing ocean views. It’s located in the Bar Harbor Inn, which is also a wonderful place to stay. You can also plan to camp in Acadia National Park or book a vacation rental nearby.

Sutton, New Hampshire

New Hampshire in Summer

Sutton, New Hampshire, is a great summer family vacation spot on the East Coast, couples will also find it to be filled with romantic things to do, especially outdoors lovers.

You’ll find many state parks and lakes nearby that are perfect for hiking, biking, swimming, and kayaking or boating. There, you shouldn’t miss Kezar Lake, Wadleigh State Park, Gile Pond, and Shadow Hill State Forest.

You should rent kayaks and head out to Loon Island where you can hike through the surrounding forest.

If you like hiking, walk all or part of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway, a 75-mile hiking loop that can be started at Wadleigh State Park heading to Winslow State Park, then down to Rollins State Park and over to Mount Sunapee State Park before heading back to Wadleigh. You can also bike along that trail.

In town, visit Bayberry Barn Christmas Shop because Christmas there is also a summer thing.

For a place to stay, you can rent a cottage in town or in the nearby woods for something more secluded. If you’d rather stay at a hotel, the well-rated Follansbee Inn, located right on Lake Kezar, will be a perfect pick.

If you are looking for more New Hampshire summer weekend getaways or vacation spots, check out the town of Wolfeboro (water activities, hiking, and many summer events), Conway or Lincoln on the White Mountains (hiking and water activities), or Portsmouth or Rye for a beach vacation.

Boston, Massachusets

Boston in Summer

By Terry from Female Solo Trek

Boston, Massachusetts, is nicknamed “The Cradle of Liberty.” And certainly, there is no better city to understand the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence than visiting this historic city.

Summer is an ideal time to visit New England because you won’t need snow boots or parkas. The roses bloom profusely in the James P. Kelleher Rose Garden. But the first stop for any history buff in the Boston Commons is to buy a ticket for the Freedom Trail tour.

The 2.5-mile red brick sidewalk is where History happened. Boston was the epicenter of the American revolutionaries’ fight with the British Crown. The major stops include the Boston Common (America’s oldest public park), the Massachusetts State House, the Park Street House (church), the Old Corner Book Store, the Old South Meeting House, and the Old State House.

And if you like to communicate with the dead, you’ll delight in visiting the Granary Burying Grounds. Highlights include Paul Revere’s tomb. Built in 1660, the cemetery is the final resting home of America’s most famous Revolutionary heroes.

If you are a fan of Boston Cream Pie or the Parker Ross, book a room at the Omni Parker House. You can also easily find a vacation rental near the city’s top sights.

And no visit is complete without an Italian meal in the North End, which is Boston’s Little Italy.

Afterward, walk off the calories by visiting Boston’s Public Gardens and taking a ride on the famous Swan boats. Or book a literary walking tour of Beacon Hill, home to Boston’s most illustrious writers, including Louisa May Alcott.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Siasconset town

By Linn Haglund from Brainy Backpackers

One of the most breathtaking summer destinations on the US East Coast is without a doubt the charming island of Nantucket. While many people go on a day trip to Nantucket, the island offers so much to do, so it is recommended to stay at least 4-5 days.

Featuring breathtaking sand-blown beaches like the ones in Siasconset or Surfside, Nantucket is an ideal beach vacation destination.

Siasconset is a must-visit to explore some of the oldest cottages on the island and have a tasty lunch at the enchanting Sconset Cafe. Take the picturesque Sconset Bluff Walk to see the sunset at Sankatay Head Lighthouse before taking the bus or driving back Downtown.

There you will find all of Nantucket’s museums like the Nantucket Whaling Museum, the Museum of African American History, and the Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum.

If you do not drive, a great way to explore the island is by bike. There are plenty of bike rentals on Nantucket and the bike trails take you all around the island which makes it a safe biking destination.

The Nantucket Periwinkle is an ideal place to stay for couples and families alike. This charming inn is conveniently located near the beach and the downtown area and breakfast is included.

However, if you want to rent a holiday home, there are endless places to stay all over the island with breathtaking gardens and stunning views.

There is a national airport on Nantucket island, but you can also easily take the ferry from Hyannis, New Bedford, or Cape Cod.

Block Island, Rhode Island

 Block Island National Wildlife Refuge

By Jenifer from The Evolista

Looking for a summer getaway that’s a little off the beaten path? There are so many fun things to do on a Block Island. From pristine beaches to great restaurants, you’ll fall in love with this relaxed east coast gem off the coast of Rhode Island, and want to stay for your whole summer vacation. 

Fly into Providence, Rhode Island, and head to Pt. Judith to take the 30-minute Block Island high-speed ferry. If you are planning to take a car with you, there is a 1-hour traditional ferry. A car is not necessary as you can easily rent a bike or moped to get around.

First up is a visit to Crescent beach, one of the most popular sandy beaches on the island. Close by, the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge is a protected coastal wetland where you can take a picturesque walk to the iconic North Lighthouse.

In the middle of the island, the Great Salt Pond is a popular spot for sailing, kayaking, and fishing. Have lunch with a Great Salt Pond view along with a famous Mudslide at The Oar. It’s one of the island’s most popular eateries.

Finally, don’t miss the stunning Mohegan Bluffs on the south side of the island that sit almost 200 feet above the water. You can take a tour of the Southeast Lighthouse, the highest lighthouse on the East Coast with amazing views. On a clear day, you can see Montauk, New York.

If you decide to stay overnight, the Block Island Beach House has cute decor and a swimming pool that’s sure to keep everyone happy. You’ll also find plenty of vacation rentals on the island.

New York City, New York

Central Park, NYC in summer

By Yessenia and Sierra from The Sisters Who Voyage

New York City is one of the best summer destinations on the East Coast. This staggering City is full of life at night and is touted as the city that never sleeps; from dawn to sunset, New York City has something for everyone to stay busy and entertained at all times.

When flying to New York, the best airport to arrive at is JFK, and then hop on the LIRR train or an airport shuttle to get to New York City.

A great place to stay that is relatively close to Time Square and Central Park is The Time New York Hotel; this hotel has spacious rooms, is near a variety of food joints, and is situated nearby a metro station, so transportation is more accessible. 

If you love sightseeing, New York City is home to some of the USA’s most significant landmarks and monuments. Take a ferry across Manhattan to Liberty Island to witness the french gifted Statue of Liberty, tours typically run from 8:30 am- 6 pm most days, and it will cost around $24 for adults, $12 for children aged 4-12, children under four are granted free admission, and seniors get a discounted rate at $18.

Another note-worthy activity during the summer is strolling through Central Park; this massive park is over 840 acres. Things to do at Central Park include listening to music performances, taking a bike tour of the park, having a picnic, renting a boat and rowing across a 20-acre lake, and other activities.

Finally, when you have had your fair share of outdoor activities, make your way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is located near the park. This famous museum is where the Met Gala is held, but more importantly, features historical artifacts from various time periods worldwide. When planning a trip to the museum, make sure to reserve tickets beforehand as it’s a tourist hotspot. 

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Little Round Top, Sykes Avenue, Gettysburg, PA, USA

By Sky from Sky vs World

While Gettysburg is a beautiful destination year-round, the summer months are the absolute best. Pennsylvania has hot summers but not overly so, so getting outside to wander is no problem.

The biggest draws to Gettysburg are historical in nature, as the town was the city of the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest battle and turning point of the Civil War. History buff or no, don’t pass up the chance to visit the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and drive at least part of the battlefield.

You can see places like Little Roundtop that you likely learned about in your US history classes as a child. Other significant and interesting historical sites are the Shriver House Museum, the Farnsworth House (said to be one of the most haunted places in the US), and the Jennie Wade House, home of the only civilian who died in the battle.

If history isn’t your thing, don’t worry! Gettysburg is beautiful beyond the battlefield as well. There are many hikes in the areas, as well as fruit farms where you can pick your own berries, apples, and more, and there’s quite a big craft beverage scene. (The Mason Dixon Distillery is fantastic!)

To get to Gettysburg, you’ll want to fly into either Harrisburg, PA, or Baltimore, MD, and rent a car. There is no public transport in the area so a car is a must.

Stay at the historic Inn at Lincoln Square for something centrally located that’s not haunted (or so they say). You’ll also find a couple of nice houses available as vacation rentals.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach is a perfect beach vacation destination on the East Coast. Featuring plenty of fun water activities and entertainment options, you’re sure to have a blast while on a vacation there. Relax on the beach, go for a swim, sample some local food, and take the time to unwind.

When you’re feeling adventurous, go on a guided kayak excursion or learn windsurfing. You can also go for a hike at Gordon’s Bond Recreation Area, or walk through marshes and ponds at the Thompson Island Trail.

In the evening stroll through Rehoboth Beach’s boardwalk, known for its many restaurants, shops, hotels, and amusements. There are also many free concerts during summer and kids will enjoy playing arcades at Funland.

The Jungle’s Jim Waterpark is great to visit if you’re traveling with kids. It’s the largest waterpark in Delaware and you’ll find several different areas and slides for kids and teens.

To explore the area a bit further you can take a day trip to Cape May, known for its Victorian houses such as the Emlen Physick Estate that you can tour.

If you have the time and want to explore the coast further, you can plan a fun summer road trip, starting in Rehoboth Beach and ending in Virginia Beach, stopping by Bethany Beach, Ocean City, Chincoteague Island and Assateague Island National Seashores, Cape Charles, and then Virginia Beach.

You’ll find plenty of nice and affordable vacation rentals near the beach. Or if you prefer a hotel, the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel is right by the beach and offers family rooms, a restaurant, and free parking. For something more budget-friendly that’s still near the beach and city center, check out the High Seas Motel.

Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg governors palace

By Melissa from Parenthood and Passports

The Historic Triangle is one of the most fascinating places on the east coast. The triangle, located on the Virginia Peninsula, is made up of the towns of Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg. These three colonial communities all played a significant role in US history.

Jamestown was the first English settlement, Yorktown is where the American Revolution ended, and Williamsburg is often referred to as the place the nation was born. 

Colonial Williamsburg is home to the world’s largest open-air museum. The historic area of the town, including dozens of preserved buildings, is a living history lesson, where historical interpreters dressed in colonial costumes remain in character and interact with guests.

You can tour the original colonial governor’s palace, watch live reenactments of historical events, and see how trades workers made silver pieces, shoes, wigs, and furnishings. It is one of the most fun and educational experiences in Williamsburg for kids as well as adults.

Aside from the fascinating history in the area, Williamsburg is home to Busch Gardens Theme Park and Water Country USA, both of which are popular East Coast attractions during the summer months.

Book a hotel, like the Williamsburg Lodge, near Colonial Williamsburg so you’ll be situated in the heart of the beautiful historic town. You can also book a vacation rental for added comfort.

Davis, West Virginia

Blackwater Falls, Davis, WV

By Anna from Stuck on the Go

If you love outdoor adventures then Davis, WV should be on your bucket list for summer destinations on the East Coast. Hiking, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking are just a few of the fun things to do in Davis.

Davis is actually the highest incorporated town in the state of West Virginia so the weather is much cooler than in surrounding areas.

People come here from all over to hike and backpack in the Dolly Sods Wilderness area because of the mild weather and stunning views.

Don’t miss the most photographed waterfall in West Virginia – Blackwater Falls – at Blackwater Falls State Park. There are lots of great hiking opportunities here too.

Go whitewater rafting on the Cheat River with Blackwater Outdoor Adventures or mountain bike in Canaan Valley State Park.

The town of Davis is small but there are many great restaurants, cute shops, and a brewery called Stumptown Ales.

Davis and the surrounding Canaan Valley are pretty remote so cell phone service is spotty. Make sure to bring a paper map with you to navigate!

The nearest major airport is Dulles International (Washington D.C.) and it’s two hours and 40 minutes away. A car is definitely needed to get here and get around once you’ve arrived.

There are some really unique places to stay in the area – you won’t find any chain hotels here. The Bright Morning Inn in town is a great bed & breakfast or there are cabins at Blackwater Falls State Park if you’re okay with roughing it a bit. You’ll also find plenty of cabins for rent if you want something a bit more secluded.

Asheville, North Carolina

Craggy Gardens Asheville

By Anna from Stuck on the Go

Asheville, North Carolina, really comes alive during the summer with great weather, a vibrant city, and lots of outdoor opportunities.

Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway and admire the gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Check out a few of the hikes along the parkway like Devil’s Courthouse, Craggy Gardens, or Crabtree Falls.

The French Broad River is also popular for kayaking, SUP, or tubing and you can even go whitewater rafting on some sections.

The Biltmore House is popular in all seasons but summer is a great time to visit their gardens, go hiking on the grounds, and make a visit to their winery. Definitely should be on your list even if you’re just spending a weekend in Asheville.

Asheville is known to be a foodie city and has been named Beer City USA for multiple years in the past. You’ll find lots of art galleries and boutique shops downtown to walk through and don’t miss White Duck Taco or Chestnut for great meals.

There is no shortage of breweries but Bhramari, Wicked Weed, Hi-Wire, and New Belgium are favorites. Many of them have outdoor spaces so summer is the perfect time to get out and enjoy those.

This is a very dog-friendly city so if you have a furry friend you like to bring along then this is a great place to do that.

The Asheville Regional Airport is just outside of town in Fletcher, NC. You’ll want a car if you plan on hiking or driving the parkway. If you plan on sticking to downtown then a car isn’t necessary.

The Aloft Asheville Downtown is a great hotel option at a reasonable price and it’s within walking distance of many popular restaurants, breweries, and other points of interest. You’ll also find plenty of great vacation rentals in the downtown area.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Outer Banks

The Outer Banks is one of the best East Coast summer destinations for anyone looking to spend some time outdoors. Made up of over 200 barrier islands alongside the Atlantic Ocean, from the calm waters of Corolla Beach to Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills Beach, you’ll find plenty of places to visit.

Don’t miss the Wright Brothers National Memorial where the first flight took place, the area’s many lighthouses, and the quaint towns full of history.

For something fun, visit Jockey’s Ridge State Park where you can slide down the super tall sand dunes. Head to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge or take a 4×4 tour in Corolla, for a chance to spot wild horses, or kayak through the mangrove in Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

The Outer Banks is filled with beaches, state parks, wildlife refuges, and quaint towns, so you’re sure to find plenty of places to visit whether you want to relax or go on an adventure. The best would be to plan a summer road trip from Virginia Beach to Ocracoke Island.

You’ll find plenty of beach cottages along the shore as well as hotels, inns, and beach resorts for all budgets.

Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina

Lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park

By Candice from CS Ginger

If you’re looking for a relaxing destination with beautiful beaches, Hunting Island State Park is a great East Coast summer destination to consider. It has a beautiful lighthouse, great hiking trails, and pristine beaches.

While exploring Hunting Island, be sure to visit the Hunting Island State Park Lighthouse. It is the only lighthouse in South Carolina that is open to the public. Anyone over 44” tall can climb to the top of the lighthouse during operating hours. The views from the top are stunning.

Another highlight of the park is the Hunting Island lagoon. It is a really fun place to enjoy paddleboarding or kayaking. This is also a great place to look for seabirds and other wildlife.

The closest airport to Hunting Island State Park is the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport (SAV). It is 90 minutes south of the park. Another great option is the Charleston International Airport (CHS). The airport is about two hours north of Hunting Island.

There is a campground in the state park which is just steps away from the beach. This is a great campground to stay at if you have camping gear or an RV. Staying on the island is the best way to experience all of the fun things to do there.

There is also one cabin for rent in the state park next to the lighthouse. The cabin does book out well in advance so it will take some planning if you want to stay there.

There are not any hotels in Hunting Island State Park. The closest hotels are on Fripp Island or Harbor Island. Beaufort, South Carolina is also a short drive if you want a bigger city. If you’re looking for oceanfront lodging, take a look at the Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort.

You’ll also find plenty of vacation rentals on both sides of the island.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston

Filled with Southern charm, history, entertainment, and great food, Charleston is an ideal summer destination for families and couples alike. From enjoying the beach and hiking to summer festivals and events, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do during your vacation there!

Summer is the best season to spend some time at the beach, take a day trip to Folly Beach, Edisto Island, Sullivan’s Island, or Isle of Palms. There you can go on a dolphin-watching boat cruise, try stand-up paddle, or go kayaking.

Take a day trip to Kiawah Island where you can enjoy 30 miles of biking and hiking trails and 10 miles of beach, as well as stunning scenery. The Francis Marion Forest is also a must-see if you like spending time outdoors.

In town take a walking tour of the historic district, visiting centuries-old buildings, strolling through parks, and learning more about the city’s history. If you like to get spooked, take a ghost tour instead – while foodies can go on a food tour.

Don’t miss the farmers market at Marion Square in downtown Charleston where you can buy some fresh produce and sample some local food (every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m during summer). And make sure to visit a plantation or two – Boone Hall Plantation and Magnolia Plantation are among the most popular in the area.

You can book a vacation rental near the historic district or in Folly Beach if you want to be near the beach. If you’d rather stay at a hotel, Zero George Street probably is the most famous inn in town and you’ll be in for a treat if you decide to stay there.

Cloudland Canyon State Park, Georgia

Cloudland Canyon State Park

By Jillian Michelle from Adventure Dragon

You can find one of the best summer destinations on the East Coast at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia. With 3,538 total acres to explore and over 64 miles of hiking trails, it’s one of the largest parks in Georgia.

During summer, the canyon is full of lush greenery, making it one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit. The best attractions to see in the entire park, however, are the waterfalls that lie hidden at the bottom of the canyon.

There are two that you will visit on the Waterfalls Trail. The first one is especially unique because of the turquoise blue pool that forms at the bottom of the 60-foot falls.

For the bluest water, try to visit when it has not rained recently. The gemstone water can sometimes turn a murky brown during the days following a storm because the waterfall’s increased volume and strength will stir up sediment from the canyon floor.

Also, be prepared to climb hundreds of steps. This is a strenuous hike but is well worth the effort!

Cloudland Canyon has fully furnished cottages for rent within the park, and this is the best place to stay during your visit. Your kitchen will be fully-furnished, so you can choose to cook your own meals if you like. If those are booked, check out the vacation rentals in Rising Fawn.

If you’d rather dine out, there are several restaurants just a quick drive away. The Canyon Grill serves a variety of American cuisine, including pasta and salads, and it’s a local favorite in Rising Fawn.

From major US cities located nearby, Cloudland Canyon is easy to reach by car. From Atlanta, it’s just a two-hour drive north along Interstate 75. From Chattanooga, it’s just a 30-minute drive southwest on Interstate 24 West and then Interstate 59 South. 

Jekyll Island, Georgia

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA, USA

By Natalie from Cosmos Mariners

Historic houses, a driftwood beach, and Gilded Age decadence: Jekyll Island, Georgia, has a bit of everything, making it one of the best East Coast summer destinations!

The island is a perfect place to visit in summer thanks to its wide beaches and water park, but that’s not all. It might be small, but you’ll be spoiled for choice on what to do on Jekyll Island!

Bask in the summer sunshine as you cruise along the island’s bike paths, and then stop for some ice cream in the historic district. The tram tours through the historic district are a great way to get off of your feet for a bit while soaking in the island’s history. 

Next, look for sea glass at Jekyll Island’s secluded driftwood beach. 

If you get too hot, take a break inside at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center where you’ll learn about conservation efforts underway to protect these incredible marine animals. 

End the day with a dip in your hotel’s pool and dinner at one of the many waterfront restaurants. 

Jekyll Island feels remote, but it’s less than 30 minutes from the closest interstate (I-95). You’ll need a car to get to the island as the nearest major airport is in Jacksonville, about 2 hours south by the interstate.

Once you’re on the island, settle into your hotel before heading into your first activities. If you love history, you’ll want to stay at the original Jekyll Island Club Resort, which was once the winter home of elite families like the Vanderbilts, Carnegies, and Astors. 

If you’d prefer to be on the ocean side of the island, opt for the Ocean Club, which shares amenities, dining reservations, and pool access with the Jekyll Island Club Resort.  

Tybee Island, Georgia

Tybee Island, Summer

Tybee Island in Georgia will make an awesome East Coast beach vacation spot for families, couples, and friends alike. With plenty of things to do during summer, you’re sure to have a blast.

Located next to Savannah, Tybee Island features many gorgeous beaches, historic buildings, and plenty of entertainment options. Don’t miss the Fort Pulaski National Monument and the lighthouse.

When you’re tired of the beach go on a kayak adventure, taking a tour to discover the surrounding coastal areas or the marshlands. Or, go on a cruise trying to spot dolphins or to watch the sunset.

If you like hiking, go for an easy stroll along the North Beach Birding Trail, the McQueen’s Trail, or the Sally Pearce Nature Trail. In summer, you might spot warblers, the Painted Bunting, and other vocal birds. You’ll also find plenty of biking trails on the island.

If you have more time, take a day trip to visit nearby Savannah, strolling around the historic district, visiting an art museum or two, and touring a plantation.

Beachview Inn and Spa is one of the top-rated bed and breakfasts on the island, right by the beach and not far from the city center, with breakfast included. You’ll also find plenty of vacation rentals on the island, perfect if you want more privacy and to cook your own meals.

Orlando, Florida

Wekiwa Springs State Park

By Candice from CS Ginger

One of the best summer destinations on the East Coast is Orlando, Florida. It is home to some of the best theme parks in the world and great outdoor recreational activities. There is a great downtown area with fun nightlife and other activities.

During the warm summer months, one of the best things to do in Orlando is to visit the natural springs in the area. There are lots of great springs within an hour of downtown Orlando. Wekiwa Springs State Park is about 25 minutes from downtown and is a great place to cool off during a hot day. You can also enjoy camping and hiking here.

There are lots of great water parks in Orlando, which feel especially refreshing during the summer. Universal’s Volcano Bay and CoCo Key Water Park are two of the best-rated waterparks in the area. These are great activities to enjoy time in the beautiful Florida sunshine.

A great area to enjoy downtown during the summer is Lake Eola. There is a beautiful walking path around the lake, and you can rent swan paddle boats. There is a great playground for kids, and it is the location of fun markets and festivals.

There are a bunch of great options for where to stay in Orlando. If you are looking for luxurious accommodations, consider the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World. If you are on more of a budget but still want a great pool and water area, check out the Grove Resort & Water Park.

St. Augustine, Florida

Flager College, St Augustine, Florida

By Natalie from Cosmos Mariners

St. Augustine, Florida, should be on your summer vacation destinations list thanks to its walkable historic district, riverfront location, and abundant activities. 

Hop on the Old Town Trolley on your first day to get the layout of the city and hear about the 500 years of Spanish, French, and British rule in this former colony. From there, explore the Colonial Quarter to get a hands-on look at what each historical period looked like here. 

St. George Street is pedestrian-only, so stroll along to find a souvenir, grab lunch, or listen to some live music. 

Other great summer activities include visiting the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park, kayaking and wildlife watching on the Matanzas River, and walking to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

If you’re visiting St. Augustine with kids, don’t miss out on the free Junior Ranger program at Castillo de San Marcos. They’ll also love the Pirate and Treasure Museum near the fort, and doing one of the creepy ghost tours through the historic district each night.

St. Augustine Beach is a short car ride away, and makes for an excellent day trip when the sun is blazing!

When you’re ready to relax, head back to your hotel. Embrace the history of St. Augustine with a stay at the St. Francis Inn, one of the oldest buildings in the city! Dating to 1791, the inn has the perfect blend of history and modernity.

Key West, Florida

Key West

If you are looking for a great tropical summer destination on the East Coast, then Key West will make the perfect vacation spot. Relax at the beach, stroll around town, and do some fun water activities.

Summer is a great time to visit as it tends to be less crowded and prices are lower, the downside being that it might rain.

During your trip, make sure to visit Dry Tortugas National Park and do some snorkeling over colorful reefs. The park is only 1% land on which you’ll find a couple of islets and a 19th-century fort. You can plan a day trip there (by seaplane or ferry) or spend a night camping.

History buffs can head to the Hemingway Home or Fort Zachary Taylor Historic Park.

If you are traveling with kids don’t miss the Key West Shipwreck Museum, set up in a re-created 19th-century warehouse with actors, films, and artifacts.

You’ll find plenty of beaches in the area, some pretty wild and some developed with lifeguards on duty and plenty of facilities. While at the beach you can try your hand at parasailing or any of the many water sports available.

When you get tired of the best take a kayak tour through the mangrove trying to spot wildlife.

For something romantic, don’t miss taking a champagne sunset cruise.

You’ll find plenty of vacation rentals for all budgets around Key West. If you’d rather stay at a hotel, check out the H2O Suites- Adults Only, a great pick for couples and groups of friends. Families will love the Capitana Key West on the Gulf Shore side of the key.

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Best summer destinations on the East Coast
Best summer destinations on the East Coast
Best summer destinations on the East Coast

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