Treat yourself to one of these great drives, islands, beach towns, lakes, or wilderness escapes
This a real-deal ranching town at the confluence of the Colorado, Blue, and Muddy Rivers serves up splashy outdoor adventures
for summer, from rafting to dips in hot springs.
More: Splash around in Kremmling, CO
Palm Springs in summer? Yep, we said it. Zero crowds, killer deals, and a pool around every corner make this the place to be.
More: Unwind by the pool in Palm Springs, CA
Dip into Lander, Wyoming, a cool town of climbers, killer coffee, and cowboys. Epic hiking trails also await you there.
More: Get sporty in Lander, WY
In Scottsdale, expect summer temps of triple digits with a chance of more triple digits. But hotels and resorts—even the ultraposh
ones—drop their room rates by as much as two-thirds in summer.
More: Score summer deals in Scottsdale, AZ
Grab your cowboy hat and hit the rodeo in this wild west town. Mountain trail horseback rides and whitewater rafting are just
a few of the adventures that await you.
More: Spend the day in Cody, WY
Sip some poolside vino in low-key Northern California.
More: Explore Geyserville, CA
Visit artsy, cool shops, munch on good eats, or catch some waves at picturesque Solana Beach.
More: Get to know San Diego's Solana Beach
Explore this old mining town and you'll find an up-and-coming art scene, handmade pottery, and a refreshing cooler temperature
than nearby Phoenix.
More: Discover Jerome, Ariz.
Explore nature's very own water world in Cascade, Idaho. Sparkling lakes, flowing rivers, and natural hot springs boast fun
activities for the whole family.
More: Visit Cascade, Idaho
See a world-class play, hear live music, wander galleries, and beat the heat in woodsy 93-acre Lithia Park.
Here's what to do, where to eat, and where to stay on a bargain weekend in Southern Oregon's famous culture town.
Bargain Ashland getaway
Whether you're carving up the waves or watching the pros from the sand, this classic beach-town will work its charms on you.
Here's where to stay, get lobster tacos, watch the surfers, and learn to catch a wave.
More: Huntington Beach weekend escape
Summer brings out the all-American spirit in this small waterfront ferry port town. Grab some gourmet picnic grub and head
to the beach, or hop a ferry for a scenic tour of the nearby Kitsap Peninsula.
More: Escape to Edmonds, WA
In summertime, a cool pine forest laced with bracing-cold streams sounds just right. Take a dip in ice-cold swimming holes,
hike through fields of wildflowers, then jump back into the crisp alpine waters to cool off again.
More: Cool off in Sierra City
Imagine a national park-level wilderness without national park-level crowds. No bus tours. No traffic. No entrance fees. Just
drop-to-your-knees gorgeous land full of hiking trails, hot springs, trout-filled streams, and some of the best lemonade we've
More: Escape to the Sawtooth Mountains
Set sail—or just watch the boats glide by—in this mile-long harbor town. Rent a boat, watch one being made, or count them
up in the harbor, then feast on the catch of the day at a local tavern.
More: A day in Gig Harbor
Maui’s got all the essentials for the ultimate tropical vacation. Snorkel, shop, head out on a horseback ride, and enjoy the
island's immense beauty.
More: Insider's guide to Maui
See the sun rise over glistening meadows, trek to three waterfalls, eat lunch beneath El Capitan—and still have time for
an ice cream break. Here's our hour-by-hour breakdown of the perfect day in Yosemite.
More: A scenic day in yosemite
A long summer weekend in Washington's San Juan Islands is just enough time to savor the area’s patented pleasures: orcas and
eagles, kayaking and hiking, and a food scene that shows the influence of a burgeoning slow-food movement.
More: An explorer’s long weekend on the San Juan Islands
Clear, blue, and still a classic: Summer in Tahoe is the same as it ever was. Go for a sunset sail, take a shot at paddleboarding,
or find a slice of beach and take in the to-die-for beauty.
More: Lake Tahoe summer
This achingly beautiful wine country is in full-throttle discovery mode, with new wineries and different kinds of grapes going
in all the time ― nearly 60 varietals, planted all over the benchlands, hillsides, and valley floor.
Add to this the Okanagan's pristine lakes, orchards, and wide range of non-wine-related things for the whole family to do (from riding the century-old Kettle Valley steam train to biking and hiking), and you have a wine-country experience like no other.
More: Your guide to the Okanagan Valley
Rock the South Platte River's rapids or simply relax on the banks of Confluence Park and sip a beer at notorious Beat Generation
hangout My Brother's Bar.
More: Denver by kayak
With luxe new inns and tons of tasting rooms, Willamette is ready for prime time.
You can get lost on the backcountry roads but always find a good glass of Pinot around the bend.
And now, with new hotels opening and tasting rooms mustering in towns like Carlton, you can experience the valley’s off-the-beaten-path vibe yet have the comforts of a soft bed close by.
More: Oregon's wine country
This is the granddaddy of national parks, full of waterfalls, bison, and geysers. From cabins to fishing to camping, here's
our tips on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay.
More: Unforgettable Yellowstone vacation
Hit the road this summer on an epic road trip through the Rocky Mountain Front to Glacier National Park.
You'll pass through Montana's Rockies through the plains and you can stop to explore tipi villages, hunt for dinosaur bones and Indian relics, stay at a guest ranch, and catch a small town rodeo.
More: Big Sky drive
If you like oysters ― we're talking just-harvested Willapa Bays ― you'll love the Long Beach Peninsula.
More: Washington's hidden coast
Adventure therapy? Paddling the pristine Prince William Sound ― alongside humpback whales, floating icebergs, and 350-pound
sea lions ― soothes Sunset's editor-in-chief.
More: Kayak adventure in Alaska
Deep, blue, and busy are three words that sum up three of the West's most beautiful lakes: Coeur d'Alene, Pend Oreille, and
Priest. Each has its own character -- Coeur d'Alene's got boats and golf and high-end resorts; Pend Oreille has the little
town of Sandpoint; and Priest has huckleberry pie.
More: Idaho's lake country
First-time family camping is best done by car. There's nowhere more fun than this boulder-strewn, hermit-crab-crawling stretch
of the Southern Oregon Coast.
More: Car camping on the Oregon coast
A national park to yourself? In prime summertime? Yup ― it's possible in superlush Olympic ― the greenest, wettest, wildest
of the bunch.
More: Explore Olympic National Park
Calling all locavores to this little land of blackberries, just-plucked salad greens, and sustainable salmon.
More: Great taste experiences on a Northwest isle
The Southern Gulf Islands is a paradise for paddlers ― and anyone who loves hidden beaches small farms, and seaside spas.
More: Quiet islands in British Columbia
Escape to the wild seaside on the south coast of Vancouver Island. You'll need a car to drive the pretty back roads, where
there is a meadery and honey farm, but you can also rent a bike and pedal the Galloping Goose Trail.
Cap it off with a stay at the artsy Sooke Harbour House. Berries seem to hang on every bush in the summer.
More: Take a seaweed tour on Vancouver Island
All the scenery of Yosemite, but without the crowds.
More: Lassen Peak: California's hidden treasure
An hour from San Francisco, you’ll find rolling hills, a placid bay, wild coastline ― and some of the most amazing food anywhere.
More: Savor Tomales Bay
Camping is the ultimate bargain getaway. From the rim of the Grand Canyon to the sweeping Arch Rock Campground in Nevada’s
Valley of Fire State Park, here are 90 great spots to roll out your sleeping bag.
More: The West's best places to camp
This is an island retreat only 40 minutes by ferry from the mainland. You can splash around on Avalon Beach, stroll through
the harbor town of Avalon, or take a jeep tour of the wild backcountry.
More: Island romance, Catalina-style
Tall palm trees, a great sweep of beach and wine country just over the San Marcos pass. This is the beach town off 101.
More: Head to Santa Barbara's waterfront
The high-altitude capital of New Mexico is an ideal summer escape. See a different side of it with our picks for 4 ways to
experience Japan without leaving the city.
More: Find Japan in Santa Fe
This tiny Route 66 town has been dubbed the gateway to the Grand Canyon, but it’s much more than a refueling stop along the
way. Take in Old West history at Wild West Junction, shop in the reinvigorated downtown, and explore the town’s own secret
― and dazzling ― canyon.
Williams: The town next door
What to do, where to stay, and where to eat in the city's three best neighborhoods for summer fun
More: San Diego getaway