Top Last-Minute Summer Getaway Destinations

For those who haven’t booked a summer vacation just yet, there’s still time! Vacasa—the nation’s leading vacation home management company—has some stateside recommendations for where to go for a late-summer getaway.

According to a new Vacasa survey, half of Americans are planning to travel this summer, and 89% of those people are staying within the US.

Below are the best beach, lake, and mountain U.S. destinations for the remainder of the summer. For 81% of summer travelers, budget-friendly destinations are ideal, along with destinations with an average daily rate of below $250/night.

BEACH DESTINATIONS
In true summer fashion, water-focused destinations remain on top this season (63%) with most heading to the beach (50%).

  • Anna Maria Island, Florida – Budget friendly! Located between Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay. It’s known for its pristine beaches, laid beach atmosphere, and a charming small-town vibe.
  • Hilton Head, South Carolina – Budget friendly! Great spot for families. Voted Best Island in the Continental US (Travel + Leisure).
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia – Soft, sandy beaches, family friendly attractions, and a great food scene!

LAKESIDE LOCALES
A perfect option for multi-generational travel, consider a lakefront vacation rental where the whole family can stay and reconnect under one roof. More than 2 in 5 travelers are leaning into vacation rentals for their summer vacation (42%) – even more so than in previous years (38% 2023).

  • The Finger Lakes of Upstate New York – Great road trip from NYC, about 4 hours! This laid-back region is home to 11 tranquil lakes and amazing wine. It’s been an under-the-radar summer vacation spot for decades.
  • Lake Anna, Virginia – Great road trip from DC, under 2 hours! Nature lovers and water sports fanatics love Lake Anna—perfect for boating and jet skiing. The lake even has a Boardwalk with minigolf, an arcade, and beach volleyball.
  • Lake Michigan – Road trip destination from many Midwestern cities. Lake Michigan is one of the great lakes, and it’s easy to forget you’re not standing in front of an ocean. With hundreds of miles of shoreline, Lake Michigan offers lakeside bliss, light houses, and low-key attractions like Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

MOUNTAIN MUST-SEES
Road trips are popular this summer, with more than three-quarters of summer travelers indicating they’ll be driving a car, RV, or camper van to their destination (77%). National Parks & mountain regions are great options for road trippers + budget travelers.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. There are 150 official hiking trails + misty mountain panoramas.
  • Olympic Peninsula – Budget-friendly! This is a mountainous stretch of Western Washington that lies across Puget Sound from Seattle and contains Olympic National Park.
  • The Island of Hawai’i – Budget-friendly! Beaches AND mountains! The Island of Hawai’i is home to Mauna Kea, the highest peak in the state of Hawaii, and Volcanoes National Park. Staying on this island is surprisingly budget friendly this summer!

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