The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

Summertime brings longer days, warmer weather and, for many, an itch to get away. The ideal summer vacation isn't the same for every traveler, and that's why U.S. News takes into account a wide variety of destinations when compiling its list of the top getaways. Our editors weighed factors like weather, activities and festivals, affordability, accessibility, lodging options and more, coupled with expert insight and reader votes, to determine the Best Summer Vacations for 2015. Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

5. MykonosSummer in Mykonos is somewhat expensive and especially busy - but that's because the temperatures (in the 70s and 80s) are ideal, the festivals are lively and the parties are hot. Many of the festivals include open-air concerts, theater productions and art exhibits, along with feasts celebrating the villages' saints. This cosmopolitan Greek isle is also home to some of the world's best clubs, so bring your dancing shoes and be prepared to party through the night . and into the next morning: nightclubs like Cavo Paradiso and Paradise Club don't get going until 4 a.m. Find out more about: The Best Things to Do in Mykonos Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

4. FijiDry and sunny is the sort of weather you can expect in Fiji come summertime. So, it's practically perfect for enjoying the calm waters and white sands along the Coral Coast and snorkeling and scuba diving around the coral reefs of Mamanucas. You'll have to shell out a pretty penny for airfare and accommodations since it's such a popular summer haunt, but if you aim for a June getaway (part of Fiji's short May to June shoulder season) you may save some cash. Find out more about: The Best Things to Do in Fiji Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

3. NiceNestled along France's southeastern coast, Nice is the French Riviera's largest city. As such, there's plenty to do on a summer trip here. You could shop the quaint boutiques, lounge along world-famous beaches or enjoy the authentic restaurants and vibrant Cours Saleya flower and fruit market that call the Old Town neighborhood home. Plus, an abundance of summer festivals (like the Nice Jazz Festival) and high temps in the mid-70s to low 80s don't hurt, either. Find out more about: The Best Things to Do in Nice Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

2. ParisThe summer weather in Paris summed up in one word? Pleasant. Average temperatures from June to August hover in the 60s and 70s and the longer days mean more time to spend outside wandering along the Seine or snacking on a croissant at an outdoor cafe. Granted, the city's top attractions will be full of other tourists, but if you plan excursions first thing in the morning to iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, you'll beat the crowds. Find out more about: The Best Things to Do in Paris Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

1. MauiThe quintessential beach getaway, Maui boasts pristine shorelines, turquoise waves and warm weather with rare rain showers. That means you can spend all day, every day soaking up the sun with a good book on Wailea Beach or Kaanapali Beach, trying your hand at water sports like windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding or hitting the greens at one of 14 golf courses. Airfare isn't as cheap as Hawaii's shoulder seasons but it's also not as expensive as its winter high season, so you may be able to score a deal if you monitor flights closely. And since many of Maui's top hotels offer children's activities, the second-largest Hawaiian Island also makes for a great family getaway. Find out more about: The Best Hotels in Maui The Best Things to Do in Maui Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

13. MunichHome to ancient churches, expansive gardens and delicious beer (plus animated biergartens), Munich is one of the top European cities for a summer vacation. Average temps hover in the mid-60s, so you should be comfortable meandering around town to see the city's top attractions. And with the euro nearly equivalent to the U.S. dollar, now is a prime time to capitalize on a trip to - and spend money in - Europe. Find out more about: The Best Things to Do in Munich Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

12. ChicagoNew to the U.S. News ranking of the Best Summer Vacations, Chicago joins the list thanks to its abundance of outdoor attractions and warm summer weather (think 70s to mid-80s). June through August is a great time to catch a ballgame at Wrigley Field, walk through Millennium Park and get your photo taken with "The Bean," or hop on a Chicago Architecture Cruise and make your way through the city by boat. What's more, if your perfect summer vacation includes time spent on the beach, you'll find 26 miles of public beaches to enjoy. However, this is the peak tourist season for Chi-town, so book your accommodations and flights several weeks in advance. Find out more about: The Best Hotels in Chicago The Best Things to Do in Chicago Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

11. AmsterdamAmsterdam's shops, streets and canals emerge from winter's thaw in the spring and fully come back to life in the summer. The climate is mostly dry and sunny, with temps hovering in the high 60s to low 70s, which makes the city perfect for bike riding or canal boat touring by day and bar hopping by night. Save some cash on transportation by packing your walking shoes and traversing this small city on foot. Find out more about: The Best Things to Do in Amsterdam Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

10. YellowstoneOutdoorsy travelers love Yellowstone's picturesque scenery and ample hiking trails, and the area's summertime high temperatures in the mid- to upper 70s (with minimal precipitation) draw visitors in droves. This sprawling national park is home to some of Mother Nature's most impressive features, including the kaleidoscopic Grand Prismatic Spring, the ever-famous Old Faithful geyser and the diverse Hayden Valley (home to some of the park's most fascinating wildlife). Avoid the hordes of tourists on the hiking trails by getting an early start (around sunrise), and try camping rather than staying in a hotel to save money. Find out more about: The Best Hotels in Yellowstone The Best Things to Do in Yellowstone Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

9. MontrealMontreal hosts a laundry list of festivals and events in the summer: Formula One Grand Prix, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Montreal Pride and Montreal International Tango Festival, just to name a few. If you're not traveling for one of these events, you're heading to this Canadian city because the weather's just right. Embrace the temperatures in the 60s and 70s with a stroll along the river bank to Old Montreal or the Montreal Botanical Gardens, where more than 26,000 species of flora bloom. Find out more about: The Best Hotels in Montreal The Best Things to Do in Montreal Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

8. CuscoIt's technically winter in South America this time of year, but the months of June through August are not your typical winter wonderland. Minimal rain and warm, clear weather abound in Cusco, making it a prime time to hike to Machu Picchu, wander the lively city streets of Cusco and soak up the South American culture. An added bonus? The U.S. dollar goes further in Cusco: Peru's currency is the Peruvian nuevo sol and $1 USD equals about $3 PEN. Keep in mind, though, this is the most popular time to visit the area, so you'll have to deal with some crowds. Find out more about: The Best Things to Do in Cusco Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

7. BarcelonaJumping up two spots to the No. 7 slot this year, Barcelona is an ideal summer destination for travelers who want to do it all. It's got the traditional cosmopolitan feel in its city center, relaxing vibes along its beach and plenty of nature to explore in the mountains and parks. Barcelona is also home to multiple museums, stunning architecture and a very popular fútbol (soccer) team and stadium. Weather-wise, you can expect temperatures ranging from the 60s to low 80s, though it can get humid - all the more reason to cool off with a glass of sangria. Find out more about: The Best Things to Do in Barcelona Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals



The Best Summer Vacation Spots for 2015

6. San FranciscoWith an abundance of outdoor activities, it's no surprise San Francisco is such a popular summer vacation destination. You can explore Alcatraz, stroll through Golden Gate Park, ride a cable car with the wind in your hair and, of course, walk (or bike) across the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Hotel rates climb this time of year because of the influx of visitors, but you can save money by staying in Oakland or Sausalito and by purchasing a San Francisco CityPASS if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing. Find out more about: The Best Hotels in San Francisco The Best Things to Do in San Francisco Read More: 6 Secrets for Scoring Summer Travel Deals
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