With summer just a few months away, you might be thinking about booking a getaway. With so many beaches, booming cities and mountain towns across America, the choices can be daunting.
Not to worry: U.S. News & World Report announced its new ranking for the Best Summer Vacations in the U.S. on Thursday. The ranking is based on a variety of factors including affordability, weather and a variety of things to do, as well as traveler and expert sentiment.
Check out 10 of the magazine's top summer destinations, and get busy booking.
1. Boston, Massachusetts
Claiming the top spot on U.S. News & World Report's ranking for Best Summer Vacation Destinations is Boston, Massachusetts. This historical, coastal town features a little something to do for everyone, from catching a baseball game at Fenway Park to checking out the Freedom Trail, which consists of historic sites like the Paul Revere House and Old North Church.
2. Seaside, Oregon
Popular Pacific Northwest hot spot, Seaside, Oregon has scenic, outdoor trails, beaches and parks, and visitors can enjoy a range of activities like surfing and golfing. A walk along Seaside's 1.5-mile, oceanfront promenade is one of the most popular things to do.
3. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
While Steamboat Springs might be known as a ski town, it's ranked on U.S. News' list as the third best summer destination. One of the enclave's most popular attractions, the Yampa River Core Trail, provides beautiful views of mountains and hot springs, and there are a number of other outdoor activities to indulge in, from the Yampa River Botanic Park to the Strawberry Park Hot Springs.
4. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville offers everything from a delicious dining scene to live music. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as the iconic Grand Ole Opry, can also be found in "Music City." Musicians croon country music in bars lining the city's famous Broadway strip, making this a fun summer getaway for those who like to party.
5. Portland, Oregon
This Pacific Northwest city is known for being a hipster haven, and offers both nature (like Mount Hood and Forest Park) as well as culture (check out Powell's City of Books or its number of microbreweries). If you're heading to Portland, don't forget to bring your appetite — it's also ranked as the ninth Best Foodie City in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
6. Portland, Maine
On the opposite coast of the country is another Portland that makes U.S. News' ranking: Portland, Maine. This coastal city is dotted with beautiful lighthouses, and its local restaurants serve up top-notch seafood. Popular things to do in Portland include tastings at the area's numerous breweries and trips to the nearby Casco Bay Islands. There are also a number of cultural offerings, like the popular Portland Museum of Art.
7. Seattle, Washington
Seattle is known for its vibrant, waterfront Pike Place Market, where you can grab everything from delicious food to fresh flowers, and its iconic Space Needle is another must-see. The city also offers opportunities to immerse yourself in nature, whether it's at the Olympic Sculpture Park or Mount Si.
8. Bar Harbor, Maine
This affordable destination is perfect for outdoorsy types, especially with summer temperatures in the 60s and 70s.Things to do include kayaking, whale-watching and checking out nearby Acadia National Park. There are also wineries, breweries and golf courses. Bar Harbor also cracked U.S. News' Best Cheap Summer Vacations ranking, coming in at number 14.
9. Sonoma, California
A must-visit for wine aficionados, Sonoma boasts a bounty of wineries and vineyards and is described by U.S. News & World Report as "Napa's rustic, less-refined and more-relaxed sister." Sonoma is also ranked number one by U.S. News on its Best Small Towns to Visit in the U.S.A. ranking and second on its Best Places to Visit in July list.
10. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Amid the mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers, Grand Teton National Park teems with wildlife including black bears, grizzlies, moose, antelope and bison. In the summertime, wildflowers bloom too. And don't miss the Mormon Row Historic District homestead complex. The park also ranked as number one on U.S. News' Best National Parks in the World list.
Check out U.S. News & World Report's ranking for all top 20 Best Summer Vacations in the U.S., which also includes Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Surfside Beach, South Carolina; Hilton Head, South Carolina; the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee; Newport, Rhode Island; Outer Banks, North Carolina; the Golden Isles in Georgia; Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah; Glacier National Park in Montana; and Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.
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