Summer’s here! And that means it’s time to plan your next unforgettable summer road trip.
Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong no matter where you set your sights this summer. From the mountaintops to the seasides, America is chock full of amazing things to see, eat, discover, and do. And when you’re road tripping in a motorhome or travel trailer, you always have your very own private place to relax and recover after a long day’s adventures. It really is the best of both worlds.
That said, if you’re looking for some quick summer vacation ideas to help get the brainstorm ball rolling, well, we can’t think of too many things we love more than listing dreamy destinations. (Seriously, can you believe one of our writers actually gets paid for this?)
Without further ado, here are some of our favorite places to go in the summer, whether you’re looking for an epic cross-country road trip or a quick, cheap getaway.
Best Summer Vacations
Some trips are tried and true classics — for a reason. Here are a few indulgent destinations to consider if you’re looking to knock some serious must-dos off your bucket list.
America’s Last Frontier is also the first item on our summer road trip list. And to be sure, this one’s a commitment; it’ll take your entire summer to do it right.
The road from Seattle to Alaska is a long one; you’ll spend 24 hours of actual drive time just getting to the state. And since it’s impassable in all but the summer months, now’s the time to tackle the task if it’s an idea you’re into. Then, you’ll have three long, luxurious months to enjoy the nigh-endless sunshine until it’s time to turn around and come back home. (Seriously, the midnight sun is a real thing up there.)
Make no mistake about it: the trek to Alaska is a serious venture and one you’ll want to plan well for. This isn’t a spur-of-the-moment, just-pack-up-and-go jaunt! Fortunately, we’ve got a great PDF guide to help you jump-start your research. Click here and look for “RVing to Alaska” to download it now. (The other guides are pretty awesome, too!)
Literally Any of the U.S. National Parks
Another classic summer road trip: a national park or five. With more than 60 in the United States to choose from (and each one more special and scenic than the last), it’s no surprise that tackling the national parks is one of the most popular summer adventures.
Big names like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon are famous for a reason, but there are plenty of lesser-known alternatives, too — and what’s more, they’ll likely be quieter, less crowded, and possibly even cheaper to enter. And although you might associate the national parks primarily with the wide-open west, there are plenty of federal recreation sites east of the Mississippi, too – especially if you count National Monuments and Battlefields.
No matter which destination has caught your eye this summer, be sure to check out our in-depth national park guides so you’ll know all about the best hiking, restaurants, and campgrounds in each area. And you also might want to pick up a National Parks Passport; that way, you can be sure to collect stamps from each location to make for a fun, affordable memento later on down the line.
Psst — we’ve also written some general national park content to help you create an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Check out these RVshare blog posts:
- Entrance Fee-Free Days at the National Parks in 2019
- All You Need to Know About Traveling to Our National Parks
- Don’t Panic: It Is Possible to Find Last Minute Campsites at National Parks!
- Getting the Kids Excited About Nature: National Parks Junior Ranger Program
- Add This to your Road Trip Bucket List: The Grand Circle
Cheap Summer Vacations
Epic cross-country treks are great and all, but sometimes, you just need a quick, cheap getaway — or even a longer stay that still won’t break the budget. Here are some affordable summer vacations to consider if you’re looking for fun in the sun.
Take all the excitement and flash of the Santa Monica pier and pair it with some down-home Texas charm — and shave a zero or so off your total vacation budget. Ta-da: you’ve got Galveston, a classic gulf coast summer destination. Along with its Historic Pleasure Pier, complete with a full-sized amusement park that rivals anything you’ll find in California, the town also boasts Bishop’s Place, Moody Gardens, and, of course, Galveston Island State Park, which does indeed offer RV camping. Hookup sites start as low as $20 nightly and many come with a waterfront view, so it’s safe to say you’ll want to make your reservations early.
Okay, just one last thing Galveston has that southern California doesn’t: a classic Glen Campbell country song. Just saying!
Want a beachside adventure that’s not quite as hot and sticky? Coastal Oregon offers all the beauty and serenity of the crashing waves without quite the same level of heat and humidity you’d see in a beach town in, say, Florida — not to mention the breathtaking, bolder-studded coastline and agate-filled tide pools to explore.
What’s more, if you’re looking for Pacific shore summer rentals, you’ll do a lot better price-wise in Oregon than you would just a few hundred miles south in California. Even private, resort-style campgrounds are affordable; for instance, Fogarty Creek RV Park, located on a prime stretch of sand between Lincoln City and Depoe Bay, is only $45 per night, even in the summer. They also offer $600 monthly rates. Insane!
Family Summer Vacation Ideas
When you’re bringing the kids along, you have to make sure you choose a fitting destination. It’s not always easy to keep those little faces smiling for a days-long trip! But at the following summer vacation spots, you’ll have no trouble satisfying everyone’s craving for relaxation and adventure in equal measure.
Hey, midwesterners — think you have to schlep the family all the way to Florida to enjoy a theme park vacation? Think again! Instead, you can set your GPS toward Sandusky, Ohio and enjoy an equally-fun (but way cheaper) set of spills and thrills at Cedar Point.
Need more convincing? Well, let’s put it this way. Daily admission tickets to Cedar Point start at less than $50, and you can upgrade to a seasonal pass for just a hundred dollars more. Disney World tickets, on the other hand, start at more than $100… and that’s just for a single park for a single day. See our point?
A Jellystone Park Near You
If you’re a faithful reader of the RVshare blog, chances are you’ve heard us sing the praises of Jellystone Parks before. But what can we say? Those people seriously know how to create a perfect family summer getaway.
For starters, the parks are located in highly-sought-after destinations you probably already had on your list, and they have so many fun features and activities, you wouldn’t even have to leave the campground to have a memorable vacation. With jumping pillows, splash zones, themed events and more, your kids are sure to tucker themselves out — which means you’re sure to get a good night’s sleep. It’s a win all around! Click here to find a Jellystone Park near your favorite summer vacation destination.
Ready to Take Your Summer Vacation to the Next Level?
No matter where you’re headed this summer, if you’re planning on getting there via road trip, we have to say: taking an RV is a serious upgrade. You’ll get all the freedom and flexibility of the highway coupled with the comfort of knowing exactly where you’ll lay your head each night, and you won’t have to rely on so-so gas station snacks or use a single public restroom if you don’t want to.
When you rent on the peer-to-peer market at RVshare, you save a bundle on your per-night rental fees… but you also put your travel funds directly back into the camping community, funding others’ adventures and discoveries and augmenting the friendly campfire vibe you feel when you pull into your favorite park. After all, where you go doesn’t matter nearly as much as the people you meet when you get there, so check out the RVshare rental listings available in your area today!
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