Non beach summer vacations are going to be your savior this season! While everyone flocks to crowded beaches on the coast, you can explore iconic cities all around the world and still secure that perfect tan. Here are our 12 favorite non beach summer vacations that you should plan!
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
Home to the French Quarter and the Garden District, NOLA is a must-visit summer vacation spot! Equipped with a vibrant night-life, legendary art museums, historic cemetery tours, and plenty of live music, New Orleans has something for everyone! Remember to pack an umbrella because rain can be unexpected and frequent in this festive city. And while it’s also notorious for warm weather, bring along a sweater or light jacket because indoor venues will have their A/C cranked up.
2. Brooklyn, New York
Want to visit New York City but not break the bank? Brooklyn provides the Instagram-worthy scenery of The Big Apple, but with wider streets and less noise than Manhattan. While you’re there, walk the Brooklyn Bridge, wander around Coney Island, or visit the Brooklyn Botanical Garden for a trip to remember! Extra time? Stop in at a local thrift shop or take the subway into one of the other boroughs–Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island–to see Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and more!
3. Montreal, Quebec
For #3 on our list, we are headed up to Montreal, Quebec in Canada. Spend a day hiking Mont-Royal, a night walking around Old Town, or ride the La Grand Roue de Montreal Ferris Wheel for the best view of the city! If that’s not enough amusement park fun, La Ronde Six Flags features Goliath, Tourbillon, and many more roller coasters perfect for adults or the whole family.
4. Chicago, Illinois
As far as non beach summer vacations go, Chicago, Illinois is about as far as you can get from the ocean coast! The Windy City is home to Millenium Park, Willis Tower, Navy Pier, and the Art Institute of Chicago, all great urban vacation spots. Schedule your trip for early August and spend a few days jamming out at the Lollapalooza music festival!
5. Berlin, Germany
Full of night-life, art, and culture, Berlin is the perfect summer stop! Take pictures in front of the Brandenburg Gate, join a free walking tour around the city, enjoy the view from the top of the Berlin TV Tower, or admire the wall art of East Side Gallery Berlin! Stretching a mile-long, the East Side Gallery is one of the largest remaining portions of the former Berlin Wall that divided East and West Germany. Now, it’s home to some of the most striking and historical wall art in the world!
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Whether you’re a history buff, art fanatic, or just love urban scenes, Amsterdam is for you! Home to the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and Vondelpark, Amsterdam is known for its picturesque scenery, 17th-century architecture, and abundance of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Every street also has a bike lane, so if you want to experience the city like a local, rent a bike instead of walking! Not only is a faster way to maneuver the sites, but it also makes for some great pictures!
7. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston may be close to the ocean, but it’s best known for its bustling city life and rich history. Walk the Freedom Trail, grab a bite at Faneuil Hall, strike a pose on Acorn Street, visit the Museum of Fine Arts, or watch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Beantown is also famous for its food, so make sure to try a New England lobster roll, order from a food truck, and delve into dessert at Honeycomb Creamery. No matter what you’re looking for, Boston has it.
8. Tokyo, Japan
This modern and picturesque city is perfect for a summer trip! Catch a game at the Tokyo Dome, stroll the Imperial Palace, enjoy the view from the Tokyo Skytree, or grab a drink on Memory Lane–better known as Piss Alley. Looking for a place to have some wholesome fun? Stop by the Tokyo Disneyland and spot some of your favorite Disney characters! Fan of manga or anime? Akihabara is home to all things otaku and electronics!
9. Seattle, Washington
Seattle is another urban vacation spot perfect for the summer. Make sure the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the Gum Wall are all on your must-see list this season! Originating as a tradition that began in 1993, theater-goers stuck their gum to the wall with coins inside. Workers attempted to scrape the gum clean twice, but eventually turned the site into a tourist attraction!
10. Vancouver, British Columbia
Looking for a balance between urban life and natural scenery? Vancouver is the place for you! Granville Island, Chinatown, and the Richmond Night Market will satisfy foodies and city lovers alike, while Lynn Canyon, English Bay, and the Grouse Grind are great alternatives for when you want to enjoy Mother Nature’s greatest gift. Be sure to pack a bottle of water before heading out on nature hikes!
11. London, England
It wouldn’t be a proper list of non beach summer vacations without mentioning London. See iconic sites like Big Ben, the Tower of London, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, be sure to check out Baker Street and see if you can find the statue of the famous author! Harry Potter more up your alley? Take a picture next to the Platform 9 3/4 sign at King’s Cross!
12. Denver, Colorado
Rounding out our list, Denver is another great place featuring both vibrant city life and calming natural landscapes. Catch a show at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, picnic in Washington Park, take pictures outside Union Station, or visit the Denver Botanic Gardens. Still not enough wildlife? Go on a Geo Tours Whitewater Raft trip or visit a Colorado State Park.