6 All-American Summer Vacations

Embrace amazing scenery and classic attractions on a road trip this summer

Summer on Siesta Key, roller coasters at Disney World, or a road trip on Historic Route 66—what could better describe Americana?

There are few things as iconic as an all-American summer vacation. The sun comes out, school lets out, and numerous destinations become ripe for exploration.

If you want a classic American getaway this summer, check out the following six road trips and destinations.

Route 66 Road Trip

Route 66 in Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As one of America’s first highways and its most important route west during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, Route 66 became an American icon. Built in 1926, “The Main Street of America” was designed to be the country’s first year-round intercontinental highway, connecting Chicago to Los Angeles via eight states. Though it met its downfall with the establishment of the Interstate Highway System in 1956, Route 66 still remains an American tradition and one of its most popular travel destinations.

Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Famous stops along Route 66 include Rock Fountain Court in Springfield, Missouri; 66 Drive In in Carthage, Missouri; Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas; and Wigwam Village Motel in Holbrook, Arizona.

Camp in America’s National Parks

Camping in Arches National Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are 61 National Parks in U.S. National Park System, each showcasing a unique corner of America’s natural beauty. If you want a seriously epic trip, take some time this summer to hike, bike, and camp your way through a few national parks. Maybe you’ll stick to the parks of Utah and hit up Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands.

Camping in Badlands National Park, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Or maybe you’ll set across the Midwest exploring Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt. The choice is yours.

Reach for the Stars in Disney World and the Space Coast

Disney World © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A summer trip to Disney World is the dream of many American children. Whether you choose Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, or Magic Kingdom, you won’t be disappointed. One of Disney’s main rivals, Universal Studios, is just a few miles away and home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter if you want more thrills.

John F. Kennedy Space Center © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Join Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo Program. This year the commemoration continues with a series of on-site and community events honoring the historic Moon landing of Apollo 11, and giveaways on all milestone dates. Plus, new and redesigned exhibits will continuously be added to the Apollo/Saturn V Center, showcased in a big ceremony this July.

Travel Back to the Wild West in Tombstone, Arizona

Tombstone, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Arguably America’s most infamous Old West town, Tombstone, is the perfect place to see what life was like during the days of the Wild West. Home of the O.K. Corral, location of one of the most notorious gunfights, Tombstone was dubbed “The Town Too Tough to Die” and with good reason.

OK Corral © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Live reenactments of the shootout are still a main attraction. The possibly haunted and always fascinating Bird Cage Theater is also still standing in Tombstone and is the location of the world’s longest poker game. Check out the bullet holes in the walls—shootouts in saloons were common.

Sunbathe on America’s Best Beaches

Daytona Beach, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

America has some of the world’s greatest beaches and no matter where you live, you’re sure to find one that will give you the summer vacation of your dreams. The New York tri-state area alone has Cape May, the Jersey Shore, and Coney Island; but Florida and California top the list with the best of the best. In Florida, Siesta Key, Cocoa Beach, Panama City Beach, Pensacola, and St. Augustine are among the top 25 beaches.

Alabama Gulf Coast © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re feeling the West Coast, Coronado, Laguna, and Malibu offer gorgeous spots to kick up your feet and enjoy the sun. And, along the Gulf Coast there’s Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama white sand beaches.

Kick Back and Relax in California’s Wine Country

Ironside Vineyards in Calaveras County © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nothing says relaxation like a sunset and a glass of wine. There are over 450 wineries in Sonoma Valley alone on more than one million acres. Sonoma and Napa are known for their tasting rooms and are among California’s most popular vineyard locations. Take a trip on the Wine Train for a unique experience that takes you through 36 miles of Napa Valley in style.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards in Temecula Valley © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For a more relaxing and less expensive wine experience consider Amador County, Paso Robles, or Temecula Valley.

Worth Pondering…

Because the greatest part of a road trip isn’t arriving at your destination. It’s all the wild stuff that happens along the way.

—Emma Chase