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13 Best Relaxing Vacation Spots in the USA

December 16, 2023

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Summer means vacations to use, whether your ideal trip involves a big city, an all-American national park, a relaxing beach or a small town. To decide the best summer vacations in the United States, US News considers a variety of factors, including affordability, weather and things to do.

1. Glacier National Park

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Montana's Glacier National Park is known for its stunning geological features, including more than 700 lakes, nearly 200 waterfalls, and two major mountain ranges covering more than 1 million acres.

2. Yellowstone National Park

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Nature lovers flock to Yellowstone every summer to witness the spectacular eruption of Old Faithful, hike through Yellowstone's vast Grand Canyon, gaze at the mesmerizing colors of Grand Prismatic Spring, and see wildlife.

3. Grand Canyon National Park

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Summer is the busiest time to visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but don't let that stop you from booking a trip.

4. San Diego

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San Diego's abundance of coastline (including Coronado, Mission and Pacific beaches), museum-filled Balboa Park and world-renowned zoo make it an attractive summer vacation destination for families and relaxation seekers.

5. Grand Teton National Park

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Spellbinding beauty, challenging rock climbing routes, relaxing float trips and numerous trails attract summer vacationers to this Wyoming national park.

6. San Francisco

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Summers in the Bay Area tend to be foggier and cooler than the rest of the country: highs don't get out of the 60s, while lows rarely reach the mid-50s.

7. Bar Harbor

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Bar Harbor, Maine, is a quiet paradise admired for its coastal beauty, and it comes alive in the summer with pleasant highs in the 70s.

8. Adirondacks

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With activities like hiking, camping and canoeing, the Adirondacks is like a 6 million acre summer camp. And with the long summer days

9. Seattle

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Seattle sees its best weather this time of year, with low rainfall and warm temperatures (average in the high 70s), but summer is also the most popular time to visit.

10. Outer Banks

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A great family vacation spot, the Outer Banks fills to the brim in the summer with beachgoers looking to relax.

11. Hilton Head

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Hilton Head has everything from resorts to vacation rentals, along with amenities like golf courses, tennis courts, spas and beaches โ€“ making it an attractive getaway for all types of travelers.

12. Cannon Beach

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Although summer โ€” especially July and August โ€” is high season for this Oregon locale, you can splash out on a number of beaches that are ideal for surfing, from tide pools to massive rock formations.

13. Zion National Park

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Utah's first national park welcomes a variety of outdoorsmen each summer, and for good reason: It's the best time of year for park iconic water hikes like The Narrows.

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