As the weather is starting to warm up it’s time to start planning your summer getaways. If you want to escape without running into crowds, there is an endless supply of lesser-known summer destinations that won’t disappoint you. We’ve created a list of a few of the best summer travel destinations in the U.S. that are off the beaten path, and may be cheaper to get to and enjoy.

Madison, Wisconsin

Summer Travel - Madison, Wisconsin


Once Jack Frost has been banished for the year, this lakefront city is the place to truly enjoy the outdoors. There are two large lakes on either side of the city and 13 beaches, so your water activities are endless. Outdoor concerts by the capitol and the Dane County Farmer’s Market will be sure to put you in the summer mood.

Santa Barbara, California

Summer Travel - Santa Barbara, California


This smaller neighbor of LA has the same warm temperatures and laid back atmosphere. There are beaches galore, a walk-able downtown, and tons of hiking trails for you to explore. Don’t forget to go to Butterfly Beach for the most beautiful sunset views in town.

Ithaca, New York

Summer Travel - Ithaca, New York


As the cold months come to an end and the sun starts to shine, places like Ithaca truly come alive in the summer. The Finger Lakes region offers great outdoor activities and a growing wine industry. Ithaca in particular has a great college town with tons of shops and restaurants that are easy to explore on foot. Make sure you hike along Ithaca’s famous gorges to witness some of the most beautiful views around.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Summer Travel - Glacier National Park, Montana


Recent warming trends have found that the size and number of glaciers in this national park are decreasing, so pack your bags and go enjoy one of the nation’s most beautiful places before it’s too late. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation to get away from your busy lifestyle, but aren’t much for sandy beaches, then this may be just the place for you this summer.

Providence, Rhode Island

Summer Travel - Providence, Rhode Island


During the summer months Providence is known for WaterFire, an art installation that features more than 80 bonfires down the river. After a day of exploring shops or local universities enjoy dinner along the river with a beautiful view. Providence has also become a “foodie” town so make sure to sign up for a culinary walking tour.

Charleston, South Carolina

Summer Travel - Charleston, South Carolina


Charleston may just be one of the quaintest southern towns and is still only 30 minutes from a beach. This city is extremely pedestrian friendly and is filled with endless boutiques and restaurants. From fresh local seafood to good ol’ southern cooking, you could even take your taste buds on an adventure! There is also a lot of history, so make sure to sign up for a tour around the city to see some historical landmarks.

What’s your favorite lesser-known summer destination?