Although summer vacation is what many of us look forward to all winter, when spring finally comes, it can be difficult to figure out exactly where to go. Some destinations can quickly get expensive, while others may be overcrowded. Others still are simply too hot for some people, sweltering and miserable in the July heat. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternative summer destinations in North America that are sunny, summery, and full of plenty to do.
In order to figure out just where to go, who better than to call upon the locals? They’re the ones who know the best (and worst) of their hometown, after all. Travel app Stay.com offers guides created by local experts—baristas, musicians, and street artists—natives who know their city like the back of their hand—to share their favorite spots with users.
Alternative Summer Destinations in North America
When we think of sunny summer destinations, rarely do we turn our attention northward. However, there are some true summer gems in America’s North. In the Pacific Northwest, Seattle and its surroundings offers lovely seaside breezes or hikes in the mountains. Hikes and thrill-seekers seem to gravitate to PNW for this very reason, including local adventurer Jason Horstman, who seems to climb a new peak every weekend.
It’s surrounding are simply breathtaking, and Monterey maybe one of California’s not-so-hidden gems. It is easily reachable from San Jose in the north, and even San Francisco is worthy of a day trip if you’ve never been. Monterey is fantastic for nature lovers, as it is surrounded by forests, parks, reserves, and of course, beaches. The best part about Monterey and its area in my mind, is that it is in vineyard country. Need I say more?
Ever been to Toronto? No? A travesty in the mind of Canadian native Seattle (yes, that’s her real name). Her enthusiasm for Toronto is contagious in her guide to Toronto for first-timers. I particularly like the views up for grabs from CN Tower and liveliness at Kensington market! Toronto is without a doubt, one of the most underestimated destinations in all of North America–but not for much longer.
We all know Chicago is the Windy City, and home to long winters, but it is absolutely FULL of life come summer. This is proven if nothing else by Lollapalooza, which celebrates its 25th year in 2016. If you’re not interested in or can’t afford Lollapalooza, there are festivals of all types and sizes, from the Hot Dog Festival and the Windy City Lake Shake. Thanks to it being a big airport hub, it is easily accessible from all corners of the continent. And what’s better than a beer along the waterfront?
Kansas City perhaps doesn’t seem so exciting at first, but makes for a great (extended) road trip stop while cruising through the country (on your way to Chicago, for instance!). There is an endless amount independent design shops, BBQ restaurants, and cafes. The real charm to Kansas City, however, lies in its proud residents. Locals are eager to show off this city they call their own. Its diversity caters easily to families, couples, and solo travelers alike.
These alternative summer destinations in North America may be a little bit off the beaten path, but there is something for everyone out there, you just have to know where to look, what looks interesting, and what best fits your schedule and wallet.