Summer is easily my favorite time of year, even with the insane heat you’ve been getting lately in NYC.

Everyone seems more relaxed, and there’s a certain magic about it that makes you feel like a new adventure is right around the corner.

But it’s also peak time for vacations and socializing, meaning you’re so busy that it flies by before you know it!

That’s why I love making a summer bucket list every year.

Having it as inspiration means I’m actively living my best life while prioritizing my goals and keeping up my busy summer social life.

Because I’m a travel addict, I also create a travel bucket list of a few spots I’m dying to cross off during my annual European summer.

And since I had so much fun creating my personal one, I thought I’d also create one for you.

I’ve included a mix of places I’ve traveled to and loved, as well as a few suggested by friends, and a couple that I’m hoping to cross off my list later this summer.

So keep reading to hear my picks to help you build your own ultimate summer travel bucket list.

Global Spotlight: Top Destinations for Summer Travel 2024

Ally in Malta Europe during summer

Your summer vacation in 2024 calls for a dive into the world’s most coveted destinations.

There’s so many countries to choose from, each offering unique experiences, food, and cultures.

In Europe, the South of France is always my summer go-to, especially charming little Antibes.

Greece also beckons with its endless coastlines and iconic sunsets, especially in idyllic places like Santorini.

And everyone loves Spain and Italy, especially the coast during the summer.

Hungary emerges as a strong contender too, whether you’re exploring cultural hubs or seeking vibrant festivals, like Sziget in Budapest.

Asia is an option that presents a tapestry of experiences, including cultural Turkey, with popular spots like Istanbul and Cappadocia.

Plus, havens like the stunning Sri Lanka, and dynamic than Bangkok, Thailand.

Meanwhile, Bali offers a serene retreat with its lush landscapes and peaceful spirituality.

For an eclectic mix of history, culture, and entertainment, Tokyo has ascended as a prime spot, with its blend of the futuristic and the historic drawing travelers in droves.

And let’s not forget the stunning beaches and wildlife Australia offers. While I haven’t been there yet, it’s absolutely on my bucket list for next year.

From the hustle of urban escapes to the tranquility of island paradises, these destinations offer landscapes that are sure to enrich your travel experiences.

Just keep in mind that not every country has the same summer season as where you live.

So for example at the time of writing, Europe and North America are experiencing summer, while places like Africa and Australia are in their winter.

An Iconic European Summer Cities

Paris, France

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In Paris, France, you’ll immerse yourself in the chaos of the 2024 Summer Olympics, plus all the architectural gems like The Louvre, and the iconic Eiffel Tower.

And you won’t want to miss sitting outdoors at a charming cafe terrace sipping coffee or a glass of rose while people-watching.

Your visit won’t be complete without walking along the Seine (well the parts accessible during the Olympics) or indulging in French pastries.

One of my favorite things to do in Paris during the summer is picnicking along the Seine.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit tough this year because most of the walkways are blocked for the Olympics.

So instead, plan to enjoy a leisurely picnic with baguettes, cheese, and wine at the iconic Luxembourg Gardens.

Oh and don’t miss out on Rivoli 59. It’s a multi-level art studio that’s one of my favorite free things I’ve done in Paris.

Rome, Italy

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Venture south to Rome, Italy, to enjoy pasta and apertivo where the Colosseum and Roman Forum whisper tales of ancient times amidst the bustle of modern life.

You’ll spend your afternoons strolling through the cobblestone streets of Trastevere, while popping into artisan shops and trendy bars.

Oh and don’t forget all the iconic art. There’s tons of amazing museums and galleries in Rome depending on your interests.

My absolute favorite was the Villa Borghese.

It’s an absolutely stunning art gallery. When I was there in summer of 2021 there was an amazing Damien Hirst exhibition happening.

For pasta, head to Trattoria Vecchia Roma. I’ll admit I ate their multiple times during the roughly two weeks I was in Rome. It’s next level delicious!

Then, after you’ve indulged in all the amazing food, head for an evening walking tour to marvel at illuminated monuments like the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.

Bruges, Belgium

Ally in Bruge Belgium

I’ll admit, I hadn’t really heard much about Bruges until watching In Bruges with my grandmother a few years ago.

It really stood out in the film as being charming, despite the plot, so naturally I had to check it out.

Bruges more than lived up to the hype. It was the perfect relaxing week away, and is great if you’re traveling solo or with a group.

You’ll love getting lost wandering around the small streets and canals. I really loved taking a leisurely boat tour through the canals.

It’s the perfect way to relax and admire the medieval architecture of this “Venice of the North.”

And don’t miss out on indulging in Belgian delicacies like waffles, frites (fries), chocolates, and locally brewed beers at one of the inviting cafés and restaurants throughout the city.

Then, walk it off, by heading to Markt Square and climbing to the top of the iconic Belfry Tower for panoramic views over the city’s historic center.

Florence, Italy

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Florence is one of those places I thought would be over touristy, given how popular it is.

But wow did this city blow me away. Even during a very intense heat wave, it was easy to fall in love with the old world charms of Firenze.

I highly suggest visiting either at the beginning or very end of summer for the least crowded experiences.

While you’re in town, take time to marvel at the incredible Renaissance art and architecture by visiting iconic places like the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and Ponte Vecchio.

And speaking of architecture, don’t miss the iconic wine windows. There’s even a few still open, where you can ring a bell and get a drink to enjoy on the street.

If you feel like a day trip, I highly recommend taking one to Tuscany to indulge in a wine tasting or two.

You also need to take time to watch the sunset over the Arno River while sipping an Aperol spritz at a scenic riverside cafe or bar.

Trust me, there’s amazing people watching and views.

If you’re in the mood for shopping, don’t miss the Mercato Centrale. It’s a great spot to pick up local produce, meats, cheeses and leather goods.

And don’t forget to find a few wine windows, while searching for the perfect Florentine steak.

If you’re a foodie and want a good time, sign up for Devour’s evening food tour through the old neighborhood of Santo Spirito below. I went and had an absolute blast!

Devour Tours

I was shocked by how many hidden gems I was introduced to while on Devour Tour's food tour. I can't recommend this enough for tourists and even locals!

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Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam Netherlands Oct. 2021

One of my good friends, Kelsey, who’s an amazing fashion blogger, used to live in Amsterdam and she swears to me that there’s no more magical a time to visit than during the summer.

After my first visit in October of 2021, I’m certainly looking forward to be there with warmer weather.

I’m taking her advice and heading there in a few weeks, so keep an eye out for a full report in the next month.

These are the things she’s told me have to be on my to-do list when I’m in Amsterdam this summer.

Budapest, Hungary

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Budapest truly comes alive during the summer months.

I had so much fun hitting up the Sziget music festival there a few years ago.

Wandering around this city when we weren’t at the music festival quickly became one of my favorite things to do.

The warm sunshine bathes the city’s iconic architecture and the Danube River sparkles.

The city is renowned for its many thermal baths. Their healing mineral-rich waters, and the historic outdoor pools at Széchenyi Bath and Gellért Bath provide the perfect respite from the summer heat.

As the sun sets, Budapest’s nightlife awakens, with numerous rooftop bars and terraces offering stunning panoramic views of the city’s iconic landmarks, including the Buda Castle and the Parliament Building.

Oh, and don’t miss out on sipping a refreshing cocktail or local wine while admiring the twinkling lights of the city at night.

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappodoccia. Turkey

During my first summer of full-time solo travel, back in 2021, I knew I had to get to Cappadocia to fly in one of the iconic hot air balloons at sunrise.

It had been on my bucket list for ages, and was something I promised myself I’d cross off the second international travel opened up.

I’m happy to report that the experiance, and the location lives up to all the online hype you’ve seen.

It’s really breathtaking seeing the landscape of fairy chimneys and unique rock formations from above.

Besides the iconic hot air balloon rides, Cappadocia also has a vast history to explore.

You’ll also want to check out underground cities like Derinkuyu or Kaymakli.

And don’t miss seeing the Open-Air Museum of Göreme to see well-preserved cave dwellings, churches, and frescoes from the Byzantine era.

If you’re planning on buying souvenirs, you also need to check out the traditional pottery craft of the area.

We signed up for a pottery workshop, which was really cool. Or you can plan on visiting the charming village of Avanos and wandering around the shops.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Ally-in-Edinburgh-Scotland

Edinburgh truly comes to life during the summer months, offering visitors a vibrant array of cultural experiences and outdoor adventures.

The undisputed highlight of summer in Edinburgh is the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

As a massive theater nerd, you know I had to cross this iconic festival off my summer travel bucket list during one of my first summers abroad.

Basically, if you haven’t heard of Fringe, here’s what you need to know: it’s a massive celebration of the arts takes over the city’s theaters, pubs, and even streets, with thousands of performers showcasing their talents in everything from comedy and drama to dance and music.

Though fair warning, hotels and Airbnbs are super expensive during August because everyone wants to come for the festival and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (a military parade with fireworks at the castle).

Beyond the festival, Edinburgh’s summer months are perfect for exploring the city’s rich history and stunning architecture.

Don’t miss out on strolling down the iconic Royal Mile, and seeing castles, like iconic Edinburgh Castle, perched atop an imposing volcanic rock, offering breathtaking views over the city.

Also, don’t miss taking a hike up Arthur’s Seat, an ancient volcanic hill offering panoramic vistas over the city and the Firth of Forth.

It’s the perfect spot for a little picnic, assuming it isn’t super windy when you visit.

As the sun sets, Edinburgh’s vibrant nightlife awakens, with a plethora of cozy pubs, trendy cocktail bars, and lively music venues to explore.

Tbilisi, Georgia

Ally in Tbilisi Georgia

Tblisi is one of those spots I’ve seen many people traveling to yet, but I’m predicting in the next decade it’s going to become much more popular thanks to it’s amazing history, affordability, delicious food, and lovely locals.

I spent about three weeks in Georgia last year with a good friend and we had the best time exploring.

It’s a wonderful city to base yourself out of, because there’s so many great day trips leaving from Tbilisi to places like Azerbaijan, Kazbegi and the Georgian Military Highway, Armenia, and Gori.

You’ll also want to give yourself plenty of time to wander around Old Town Tbilisi.

Its winding cobblestone streets, ancient churches, and the iconic Narikala Fortress all must-sees.

And, if you’re into sulfur baths, you can also plan to hit up one of the many famous bath houses.

Of course, you’ll also want to explore the rest of the city as well. It’s got amazing architecture, and some incredible murals.

In fact, one surprising thing that really blew me away about this city was the amount of amazing art being created.

I loved wandering around galleries, and even the streets, as there’s a ton of amazing street art all over.

You’ll also want to check out the lively nightlife scene at one of the many trendy bars, clubs, and outdoor terraces along Shardeni and Perovskaya Streets.

Georgian food is also really amazing. You’ll want to try khinkali, which is basically a mini dumpling. As well as, khachapuri, which is like a cheesy bread with lots of butter and an egg.

And, of course, Georgia, being the oldest wine making country, is known for their vino.

Don’t miss eating at The King and the Bird.

We ate here like twice a week, and honestly, I would’ve eaten here almost every day. My mouth is watering just thinking about their amazing tomato and walnut salad, khinkali, and warming soups.

In fact, if I find a good flight deal this summer, I would absolutely book a flight back just eat there again.

San Gimignano, Italy

Ally in San Giminiano. Italy

A road trip through Tuscany should be on everyone’s summer bucket list.

I did one with a friend a few years ago from Bergamo to Siena, then to San Gimignano, and Chianti.

It’s truly an iconic way to see Italy, well, as long as you can drive a manual and aren’t too intimidated by how fast Italians like to drive.

Don’t worry though, if driving isn’t your thing, it’s easy to hop on the train.

Out of all the destinations, San Gimignano, a charming medieval hilltop town, was one of my favorites.

Spend your day exploring the little streets, and seeing the famous towers (Torre Grossa and the Palazzo del Popolo).

With all that walking, you’ll also want to carb up at one of the delicious local restaurants, including my top choice, Gelateria Dondoli.

And of course, no trip to Tuscany would be complete without a wine tasting.

There’s lots of day trip options to vineyards, or you can ask at some restaurants for them to walk you through a few local favorites.

Vibrant American Adventures

New York City, USA

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NYC will forever be one of my favorite cities in the world.

Even though as a local I’ll admit it doesn’t feel as magical as it did before Covid, the city still holds a certain allure, especially for tourists.

And don’t worry, the pizza and bagels are still the best in the world and an absolute must while you’re in town!

Summer is such a fun time in the city, thanks to all the events that take place.

Plan right and you can check out Governor’s Ball, jazz fests, street fairs, and fundraising events, like my favorite, Broadway Barks.

If the city gets too hot, don’t worry, you can always beat the heat by visiting world-class museums like one of my favorites, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of the City of New York, and the Museum of Broadway.

Then in evening, plan on hitting up New York’s iconic theater scene for a Broadway or Off-Broadway show.

If you need any suggestions, give me a shout. I’ve seen pretty much everything playing and love talking theater.

Or spend the night laughing at a comedy club, or vibing out to jazz music at one of the city’s many famous haunts.

If you’re looking for a cheap and chic evening in town, don’t miss catching a free outdoor movie screening in iconic parks like Bryant Park or Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

It’s one of my favorite date night or girls night activities during the summer. Especially with a picnic in tow!

Chicago, USA

Ally on the boat tour during summer in chicago

Head to Chicago this summer to hang out on the boardwalk, indulge in deep-dish pizza, and views of the city’s skylines as one of their many rooftop bars.

This popular “Second City” is famous for it’s improv theater, so don’t miss laughing at Second City Comedy Club.

Or, enjoy festivals galore like Lollapalooza, great lakefront beaches, sports teams, amazing restaurants and summer beer gardens.

No visit to Chicago would be complete without walking the loop and a visit to the iconic Jeff Koons sculpture, The Bean, in Millennium Park.

And don’t miss my favorite thing, the architecture tour via boat. If you want to check it out virtually, you can catch my experiance on YouTube.

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh PA USA Skyline

“The Steel City” is quickly becoming a popular stop for travelers thanks to it’s affordability, sports scene, and growing foodie scene.

There’s seriously so much to do in Pittsburgh.

You can catch a baseball game at PNC Park, or take in the stunning views of the Pittsburgh skyline and rivers via the famous include on Mt. Washington.

If you’re feeling athletic, you can even rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards to cruise along the three rivers converging in downtown.

There’s also tons of museums to check out if you need to cool off, including my favorites, The Andy Warhol Museum, and The Carnegie Museum.

Oh and don’t forget about all the summer festivals, concerts, and athletic events being held this summer.

The National Parks

Zion national park z

Places like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion, and Glacier National Parks are all part of the “Great American Road Trip”.

No matter which you pick, you’ll find incredible natural scenery and outdoor adventures.

Bonus point if you do a cross country road trip to get there!

If you’re really outdoorsy, and planning on camping, make plans early, as sites fill up quickly over the summer.

For everything you need to know, check out the National Parks’ handy visiting guide that breaks everything down per specific park.

Austin, Texas

Austin TX El Arroyo sign

“Keep it Weird” in Austin this summer.

This self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” hosts some amazing outdoor concerts, including famous Austin City Limits.

I went a few years ago for my sister’s bachlorette party and had a fabulous time.

While you’re in town, don’t miss out on Austin’s many parks, museums, and refreshing swimming holes.

They’ve also go amazing food. Don’t miss out on that classic Texas BBQ.

My local friends say paddle boarding at Lady Bird Lake or the rooftop pool at The Congress Hotel is a must for cooling off on those hot summer days.

Just don’t forget your cowboy boots for a rocking good time.

Caribbean Escapes

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Ally in Provo Turks and Caicos

I can still remember my spontaneous trip to Turks and Caicos’ Providenciales.

Also known as Provo, this little island in the Atlantic Ocean has tons of sandy beaches, beach side restaurants, and lots of high end resorts.

My ex and I spontaneously booked a trip here a few summers ago and had a marvelous and romantic weekend away from the chaos of the city.

It was so relaxing laying on the stunning Grace Bay Beach, which fun fact, consistently ranks as one of the best beaches in the world with its soft white sand and turquoise waters.

We had so much fun parasailing, tubing, and exploring the island together.

There’s also some fantastic restaurants, like our favorite, Coco Bistro.

If you’re looking for a similar relaxing weekend, I can’t recommend Provo enough.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan pr

Looking for sunshine, gorgeous beaches, and colorful architecture?

This is the destination for you this summer.

San Juan has several excellent beaches like Isla Verde, Condado, and Ocean Park that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

There’s also some really fantastic museums to explore if you need a break from the sunshine.

Plus, while still busy, summer can offer slightly lower hotel rates than the most popular winter months.

While you’re there, don’t miss sights like the El Morro fort and colorful Spanish colonial buildings are open and less crowded in summer.

Sunny Mediterranean Delights

The French Riviera

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The Cote d’Azur is easily one of my all-time favorite destinations in the world, especially during the summer.

With it’s many pristine beaches, and the stunning blue waters of the Mediterranean, the South of France is simply heavenly.

Don’t miss out on trips to some of my favorite spots along the coast, including Antibes, which is always where I base myself out of.

If you want to stay in a larger city, Nice and Cannes are also great options.

Both cities have lots of day trips available, including to iconic St. Tropez via an amazing scenic ferry ride.

The French Riviera is one summer bucket list location you won’t regret booking with it’s stunning beaches, amazing locals, and delicious food.

I’ve been summering here for almost a decade now and am still so in love with this area!

Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia Italy

Sardinia, the stunning Italian island in the Mediterranean, is a paradise I’m dying to explore this summer.

While you’re there, plan on exploring the island’s incredible beaches like La Pelosa and Cala Brandinchi with their white sands and crystal waters.

If you’re feeling super outdoorsy, head out hiking along the rugged coastal trails or explore the inner mountains and forests for incredible natural scenery.

And you won’t want to miss out on exploring charming towns like Alghero and Castelsardo to wander through their picturesque old quarters filled with vibrant piazzas.

If you’re timing is right, you can also check out some of the vibrant summer festivals showcasing Sardinian folklore through music, dance, and traditions passed down for generations.

Oh and you’d be crazy not to try some of the local cuisines and wines the region is famous for.

Pula, Croatia

Pula Croatia

Skip Dubrovnik this year, and instead, head to the tip of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula, where you’ll find Pula.

You can’t miss strolling through its’ charming Old Town.

It’s easy to spend all day admiring the Roman ruins, medieval churches, and lively cafés lining the cobblestone streets.

You also won’t want to miss visiting the Brijuni National Park.

It’s a breathtaking archipelago of 14 islands just off the coast of Pula, that’s perfect for swimming, hiking, and discovering historical sites.

And, if you’re into hiking, you can’t miss taking a day trip to the nearby Kamenjak National Park.

The park is known for its striking cliffs, secluded coves, and excellent hiking trails with stunning sea views you’ll never forget.

And don’t worry, there’s also plenty of amazing museums if you’re not a nature person.

I’m particularly excited to check out the Olive Oil Museum, that comes complete with an olive oil tasting!

The Cyclades

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The Greek Islands are always a stunning choice during the summer.

If you have the budget, sail between the stunning islands of Santorini, Mykonos, and Delos on a scenic island-hopping cruise.

Don’t worry though, if you’re tight on cash, the ferry is an easy and cheaper alternative way to island hop.

You’ll want to visit popular hot spots like Mykonos and Santorini on the shoulder season for the best hotel deals and slightly less tourists packing the streets.

Though, fair warning, if you’re a solo traveler, I didn’t love Santorini solo.

Even though it was fun exploring the whitewashed villages, blue-domed churches, and winding streets of Oia and Fira, it felt like all I saw were couples everywhere.

If you’re visiting mid-summer plan to hit up less popular spots like Milos, Hydra, and Corfu, and Rhodes.

Either way, all these islands are known for their beauty and nature, so plan a bit of time to go hiking along scenic trails taking in breathtaking coastal views.

Oh, and obviously, you’ll also want to indulge in delicious Greek cuisine like fresh seafood, tzatziki, and amazing Greek wines.

I’m sure you’ll also end up with at least a few glasses of Ouzo as well. It’s an anise flavored apertif, that seems to get served frequently (at least during my time in Greece) along with a bill.

And absolutely keep an eye out for summer festivals and celebrations showcasing Greek culture, music, and dancing.

Málaga, Spain

Malaga SPAIN

One of my best friends, Hailey, who’s a fabulous fashion YouTuber, just got back from Málaga and said it needs to be at the top of my travel bucket list this summer.

It’s got stunning beaches like Playa de la Malagueta or Playa de la Caleta, where you can enjoy the warm Mediterranean waters and sunshine.

The historic center, is also a popular spot, especially Calle Larios for shopping and dining.

She said seeing the Picasso Museum, housed in the artist’s birthplace, was amazing. It has an impressive collection of his early works and learn about his life.

And if you’re into hiking, she said she loved doing the Caminito Del Rey trail. It’s about an hour outside of Málaga and worth the trek.

For a less athletic day trip, check out picturesque white villages like Frigiliana or Mijas, both nestled in the mountains with narrow streets and stunning views.

Valletta, Malta

Ally in Valletta Malta

I ended up in Malta last year on a whim, and I’m so glad I did!

This island is the perfect place for a few days of fun in the sun, mixed with a modern time in the cities.

While I was in town, I stayed in Sleima to save money, but honestly, Valletta, the historic walled city from the 1500s, is where you want to be to make the most of your time.

It was so lovely getting lost in the maze of narrow streets in Valletta’s historic core. I spent all day admiring the iconic honey-colored limestone architecture.

During the summer the host the annual Isle of MTV Malta music festival, featuring top international acts.

Plus, they’ve also got outdoor opera and theater performances at beautiful venues like Pjazza Teatru Rjal.

And, if it’s hot, which it likely will be, don’t miss out on taking a dip at one of Malta’s renowned beach clubs like Pretty Bay or St Peter’s Pool.

Or, better yet, book a boat trip to the nearby Blue Lagoon, which is amazing, especially at sunset!

Algarve, Portugal

algarve portugal

Algarve, Portugal has been on my summer bucket list for a few years now after seeing my friend Steph began posting gorgeous photos from here last summer.

I can’t wait to soak up the sun on a few of the area’s breathtaking sandy beaches, including Praia da Marinha, and Praia da Rocha.

There’s so many things to do in Algarve.

Besides the beach, there’s also lots of hiking trails, ruins, caves, and castles to explore while in town.

I’ve read there’s also a lot of summer festivals featuring folk music, dancing, and mouthwatering Portuguese cuisine.

Oh, and if you’re into golf, apparently this is a world-class area for golf resorts, with the area being listed as one of the top golfing destination.

Krakow, Poland

Ally in Krakow Poland

I’ll admit Krakow wasn’t really on my radar until a friend insisted we go because she wanted to see an ex there.

By the end of my first day exploring Krakow (which ended at like 2am- watch my YouTube video for details), I was in love with the city.

While you’re in town, don’t miss out on wandering through Krakow’s Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Europe. 

You’ll also want to visit the dragon statue that breathes fire at the Wawel Royal Castle.

You should also check out Kazimierz. It’s Krakow’s historic Jewish quarter, known for its vibrant street art, trendy cafes, and vibrant nightlife.

There’s also some great day trips nearby like visiting the Wieliczka salt mines, or heading to pay your respects at Auschwitz.

Americas’ Sun-Kissed Shores

Nantucket, MA

NANTUCKET 2010

I spent the majority of my early 20s running around Nantucket with my ex every summer.

And while I cringe looking back at that relationship, I do treasure the time spent exploring every bit of the island.

I highly suggest taking the ferry from Hyannis Port, though you can also hop on a plane if you prefer.

Since the ferry takes over two hours, you’ll see a lot of younger people taking the ride as an opportunity to unwind with a drink.

You can buy them on board, or bring your own. I highly suggest trying a summer favorite, the Dark and Stormy. It’s the perfect beach drink since it’s a combo of rum and ginger beer.

While you’re on the island, don’t miss grabbing sandwiches at Claudette’s in Sconset before heading to the beach.

Spend the late afternoon cooling off at Cisco Brewery before grabbing dinner at Galley Beach.

At night, head to the Chicken Box for a wild night of dancing.

Or, for a more low key evening, check out Loines Observatory’s open nights. They even have astronomers on hand, so you’re sure to learn a few new facts.

Duck, North Carolina

DUCK NORTH CAROLINA POUT BANKS WILD HORSES

Ever since that Netflix Show Outer Banks premiered the real Outer Banks have been getting more and more crowded.

Head to Duck, the northernmost town on the Outer Banks for a relaxing week of fun in the sun with out all the crowds.

This family-friendly beach is perfect for group vacations, with it’s many beaches, the boardwalk, and famous wild horses on Carrituck Beach.

For a day of fun and sun, you can rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards to explore the calm soundside waters and scenic maritime forests.

Or take a guided kayak tour through the shallow Currituck Sound to spot wild horses on the nearby marshes.

For incredible views, head to the top of Currituck Beach Lighthouse for incredible panoramic views of the coastline.

The Hamptons

montauk hamptons ar sunset during summer

When you’ve got limited time, and you’re coming from NYC, there’s no better place to summer than the Hamptons.

For years, my girlfriends and I would take the train to Montauk for our annual weekend of trouble making and fun in the sun.

It’s so much fun lounging on the beach all day, before hitting up legendary spots like The Surf Lodge, Navy Beach, Gurney’s, Ruschmeyer’s, and the Montauket at night.

If you want a classier weekend, head to the more sophisticated nearby Southhampton.

Here, you’ll find lots of wineries, including Wölffer Estate Vineyard.

There’s also The Parrish Art Gallery which is a fantastic way to spend time cooling off indoors.

Plus, delicious restaurants like Claude’s, Shippy’s, and The Lobster Roll.

Iconic Summer Bucket List Experiences

ALLY HANG GLIDING IN RIO
  • Have cocktails overlooking the Mediterranean at sunset
  • Fall in love in a foreign country
  • Go to a music festival
  • Head out on a hike
  • Spend the night dancing and laughing
  • Going to a food or wine festival
  • Book a spontaneous trip or adventure
  • Try something new like skydiving, parasailing, or bungee jumping
  • Get lost at a new museum
  • Spending the day on a boat
  • Go on a road trip
  • Have a picnic
  • Plan the ultimate trip with close friends
  • Strike up a conversation with a stranger
  • Read in nature
  • Leap off a rope swing
  • Go swimming
  • Visit a new country or city
  • Take lots of photos and videos
  • Journal the whole summer
  • Have a pool day
  • Go on a bike ride
  • See an outdoor movie
  • Visit a historical site
  • Read 10 books
  • Learn to surf
  • Make a new friend
  • Take a self care day
  • Go stargazing
  • Scream at an amusement park
  • Volunteer
  • Enjoy a farmers market
  • Stand under a waterfall
  • Try white water rafting

FAQs

Which European destinations offer affordable summer vacations?

Ally in Budapest at a thermal bath

Eastern European cities like Kraków, Poland, and Budapest, Hungary are fantastic affordable options.

Krakow and Budapest have modern amenities and historical charm, all while providing a budget-friendly and immersive travel experience.

I really loved both places as cheap and chic options!

What are the top European beach destinations for summer?

Ally-at-the-beach-in-Cannes-French-Riviera-July-2018

The South of France seems to be the most popular beach destinations this summer.

After years of going there, I’ve never seen quite so many tourists running around the beaches and medieval towns of the Cote d’Azur.

You’ll also find stunning beaches in destinations like the Greek island of Corfu, where the turquoise waters invite you for a swim.

The Algarve in Portugal also is featuring heavy this year in social media, and with it’s breathtaking coastline and watersports galore, it’s easy to see why.

Final Thoughts

Ally in the South of France at sunset

I hope this list has inspired a fabulous one of your own.

Making it was so much fun, and has me next level excited for my own summer travels and adventures.

Let me know in the comments below what places and activities you put on your summer bucket list!

 

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