Where to Find the Coolest Summer Vacation Spots in the U.S.

coolest summer vacation spots

Escape the heat!

As the August temperature climbs, so does our desire for a vacation that’s easy, breezy, and oh-so-cool. Sound impossible? Not at all! This summer, instead of slathering on the sunscreen at your favorite tropical beach, try something new. Escape the scorching heat with a trip to one of the coolest summer vacation spots in the U.S.

Ready to have an amazing time without breaking a sweat? Check out our favorite cities for a cool(er) summer getaway.

  • Bar Harbor, ME

    Big on charm. Low on heat. Bar Harbor provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures… and temps low enough so you can actually enjoy them!

    Enjoy a vacation filled with kayaking, canoeing, and biking along the city’s many waterfront paths. Or check off a bucket list item on one of the immensely popular whale-watching tours, where you can see these majestic marine creatures swimming freely.

    Bar Harbor is also the perfect home base if you want to visit Acadia National Park. Set your alarm and head over to Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the Eastern seaboard and the first place in the U.S. to see the sunrise.

    If you prefer a more urban vacation, check out Bar Harbor’s pretty downtown area. The lively streets are lined with boutiques, shops, art galleries, and delicious seafood restaurants.

  • Ketchikan, Ak

    It’s no surprise that one of the coolest summer vacation spots in the country is located in Alaska!

    With its rugged coastline, stunning landscapes, and diverse wildlife, Ketchikan is a photographer’s dream. And its pristine waters make it a fisherman’s dream: Ketchikan is known as “The Salmon Capital of the World.”

    Ketchikan’s laid-back downtown is friendly and completely walkable. Visit galleries filled with Native American art and dine on the freshest catch of the day.

    You can also explore Alaska’s rich Native American heritage. Visit the fascinating Saxman Native Village or take a tour of the more than 80 totem poles found all over Ketchikan.

    Pro Tip: Make sure you rub the bear’s belly at the Chief Kyan totem pole to secure your good fortune!

  • Portland, OR

    Beer. Doughnuts. Cool weather. What more do we need to say?

    We’re kidding… kind of. Portland is home to the original doughnuts, where every bite is an absolute sensation of flavors. And the brew culture is one of the best in the country, with breweries winning international awards for their locally-made craft beers.

    But Portland is also home to one of the largest urban forests in the world, Forest Park. You can rent a bike or go hiking through its miles of trails, surrounded by lush greenery and stunning scenery.

    Portland is also known for the many bridges, parks, and rivers just waiting to be explored… with or without a doughnut (or beer!) in hand.

  • San Francisco, CA

    Oh, that San Fran weather! The same fog that’s ruined so many pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge is also responsible for keeping the city’s temperatures mild and pleasant, even in the summertime.

    And the truth is, with so much to do in San Francisco, you won’t even notice the fog. Hang out with the seals at Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular waterfront destination with restaurants, shops, and attractions.

    Or enjoy the city’s diverse cultures, in the Little Italy section or its famous Chinatown neighborhood. The bustling streets and authentic cuisine make for an amazing experience.

    San Francisco is also a great starting point for some pretty awesome day trips. Explore Muir Woods, home of the redwoods; visit the infamous Alcatraz Prison; or spend a day sipping your way through nearby Napa and Sonoma Valley.

  • Seattle, WA

    One of the coolest summer vacation spots in the U.S. thanks to its coastal location, Seattle’s Pacific Northwest location and proximity to the ocean keep its summer temperatures incredibly mild and enjoyable.

    Locals and visitors alike flock to Pike Place Market. The oldest public farmer’s market in the U.S. is the ideal place to stock up on fresh produce, shop for artisan crafts, and take in the famous “flying fish” market stalls.

    Seattle is also a prime spot for aquatic adventures. You can rent a kayak or paddle board to explore Puget Sound, take a cruise to enjoy Seattle’s skyline and marine life, or ferry over to nearby Bainbridge Island. If you time it right, you may even be able to observe the annual salmon migration.

    Rather stay dry? Ride to the top of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle for a stunning panoramic view or enjoy outdoor living in the city’s many “green” spaces.

Summer vacation doesn’t have to be intolerably hot! Visit one of the coolest summer vacation spots in the U.S., where you can escape the heat for a non-traditional but still amazing trip.

And to make your summer vacation even more enjoyable, ship your bags to your final destination with LugLess. Skip the hassles at the airport and walk right by baggage claim. We’ll take care of your stuff so you can just fly in and out, cool as the weather.