Credit: The Wigwam Arizona

Here Comes the Sun! 14 Amazing Vacation Destinations for Summer 2024

From Stunning Resorts on the California Coast to Boutique Hotels in the Tropics, These Getaways Offer a Little Slice of Paradise

Summer is all about having some fun in the sun. Whether you’re looking to stay local on the California coast or jet set to a tropical destination, it’s time to celebrate better weather, longer days and laid-back living. We’ve rounded up 11 of the best summer vacation destinations that couples, families and solo travelers will love. From tanning by the pool in Palm Springs to snorkeling along the shores of Hawaii, here are our top picks. P.S. Don’t skip the sunblock!

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Margaritaville Hotel San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Best Summer Destinations
Credit: Gabriel Halvor Media @gabehalvor

For a taste of the tropics in the heart of San Diego’s vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, check in to Margaritaville Hotel San Diego Gaslamp Quarter! This urban oasis is surrounded by numerous attractionsthink Petco Park, Seaport Village and more—and boasts its very on-site restaurants and rooftop pool. Unpack your bags this summer in one of the property’s coastal-chic guest rooms or suites, and be sure to take advantage of seasonal offers like the Ballpark & Landsharks package, which gets you 20% off your room, a bucket of five LandShark Lager bottles and chips and dip at either 5 o’Clock Somewhere Rooftop Bar or LandShark Bar & Grill when you book two or more nights! Margaritaville Hotel San Diego also has a Summerzcool offer that includes dining credits and discounts on rooms when you book a three- or four-night stay. 

The ideal summer weekend at this San Diego hotel starts with brunch at the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Rooftop Bar (served on Saturdays and Sundays), where you can indulge in their famous one-pound shrimp cocktail and classics like avocado toast, lobster rolls, breakfast burritos and champagne flights. After you’ve had your fill, catch some rays by the pool. Then, head to Petco Park for a thrilling San Diego Padres game! 

Location: San Diego

 

The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa

Best Summer Destinations
Credit: Smith x Union

For parents with kids in tow, The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa is the perfect place to call home base this summer. Situated minutes from some of San Diego’s biggest attractions, including LEGOLAND, The Crossings at Carlsbad and the Carlsbad Lagoon, this family-friendly San Diego hotel is a hub for some fun in the sun! Check into one of the property’s coastal-chic suites, which offer plenty of living space and balconies with coastal views. Then, head down to the palm-tree-lined pool (which is open 24 hours!) and let the kiddos make a splash.

You can grab a bite together at 20|TWENTY, the resort’s signature restaurant serving California coastal cuisine, or enjoy some “you” time at the luxury Ocean Pearl Spa. Spa guests have complimentary access to the fitness center, heated pool and jacuzzi, so you can sneak in a workout before indulging in some R&R. 

Local Insight: The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa is also one the best dog-friendly hotels in San Diego, so feel free to bring your furry friend along on your summer vacation!

Location: Carlsbad

 

The Wigwam

Credit: Sarah Hoag Photography / The Wigwam Arizona

Outfitted with a white-washed adobe exterior and set on 440 acres of lush desert landscaping, The Wigwam is a historic oasis that caters to all types of travelers. Situated in the West Valley of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, this Phoenix resort was formerly a lodge during the rise of the cotton-ranching industry. As of recently, The Wigwam has taken “spring cleaning” to a whole new level with a multi-million dollar renovation of its rooms and suites. Today, the resort features three sparkling pools, lush golf courses, tennis and pickleball courts, bespoke dining concepts and a luxurious on-site spa

Credit: Sarah Hoag Photography / The Wigwam Arizona

Possibly one of the most notable of the renovations was the refresh of the rooms and suites. Stylish Southwestern-style casitas welcome guests. Each one now features a medley of warm adobe tones and tasteful denim accents, along with vinyl flooring, luxe wood furnishings, Spanish tiling and more. Private balconies overlook gardens, tennis courts, golf courses, or the stunning pool deck, which boasts a swanky collection of cabanas, a pool bar and a dual waterslide. 

Sip cocktails this summer at the adults-only Oasis Pool, or let the kids splash and play at the Tower Pool. You’ll also want to make time for some pampering at LeMonds Aveda Salon-Spa, where you can indulge in a Desert Aloe Body Wrap or a hydrating Himanadi Facial. And when dusk settles in, dance to the beat of live music at the Wigwam Bar over dinner and drinks. Oh, and you don’t have to venture far before stumbling upon several nearby regional parks, museums and stunning botanical gardens. 

Location: Phoenix, AZ

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Rancho Bernardo Inn

Best Summer Destinations
Credit: Rancho Bernardo Inn

When you live where the rest of the world vacations, it’s only natural to want to stay local for a sweet summertime staycation. There’s no better place for California dreamin’ than San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo Innone of the best summer destinations. Situated on a sprawling 265-acre plot of land in Rancho Bernardo (about 30 minutes from Downtown San Diego), guests have the best of San Diego County at their fingertips. Lush manicured gardens, cobblestone pathways, a championship golf course and a luxury spa create an idyllic landscape for scenic strolls and plenty of relaxation.

Credit: Rancho Bernardo Inn

Leaving bronzed and glowy is sort of a requirement for summer vacations—an easy task to accomplish with this resort’s three on-site pools. Rent a poolside cabana, or keep it simple and kick back on a sunlounger. But what about the rooms? They call them suites; we call them sanctuaries marked by spacious living areas, private balconies and fireplaces. For foodies, the summer season is a time to both nourish and indulge, and the inn’s variety of dining venues are fully stocked with all your favorite summer cocktails, juices and good-for-you seasonal plates sourced straight from their Chef’s Garden. Make a reservation at AVANT, the property’s seasonally-driven signature restaurant, for a sophisticated farm-to-table meal, and don’t miss out on culinary events like the Vine-to-Table Series featuring Daou Vineyards on June 20!

Location: Rancho Bernardo, CA

 

La Quinta Resort & Club

Best Summer Destinations
Credit: Mary Costa

La Quinta Resort & Club is a desert oasis that boasts hacienda-style suites and guestrooms, five premier golf courses and more than 45 acres of lush landscaping. From casitas with private patios and hot tubs to spacious villas with full-size kitchens, there are plenty of accommodation options that will allow you to feel right at home during your summer vacation.

Credit: La Quinta Resort & Club

If you’re a fan of golf, the Stay and Play package includes a round of golf per night of your stay at one of the hotel’s five championship courses, while the Spa Getaway package lets you start each day of your summer vacay with a relaxing breakfast before enjoying unlimited fitness classes and a daily $200 spa credit.

Thanks to the resort’s tight-knit partnership with Aperol, you’ll find plenty of places to sip on an Aperol Spritz as you soak up the sun, including 41 climate-controlled pools on property.

When it comes to food, there are five different dining concepts on-site, ranging from authentic Mexican to farm-to-table American. Start your morning at the Marketplace for specialty coffee drinks and freshly baked pastries. Then, end your evening with a margarita in hand at Adobe Grill.

Local Insight: Check out this guide for more things to do in La Quinta!

Location: La Quinta, CA

 

VEA Newport Beach

Credit: Isaac Maiselman

If you’re an OC local hoping to book the ultimate staycation, look no further than the all-new VEA Newport Beach. This chic property sits in the center of it all, blending a cosmopolitan ambiance with elements of coastal charm, and the inviting rooms and suites are modern yet warm. The neutral color scheme features hints of blue, connecting even the interior of the hotel to the nearby ocean outside. Indulge in a fresh cocktail or crisp glass of white wine during sunset at VIEW Restaurant & Lounge before filling up on their signature crispy confit chicken wings and innovative sushi rolls. You’ll also want to reserve a cabana at the hotel’s stunning outdoor pool to stay shady as you sip your cocktail.

Location: Newport Beach, CA

 

The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua

Best Summer Destinations
Credit: The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua

Say aloha to The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua! The recently redesigned guest rooms and suites of this magnificent resort in Hawaii offer tropical garden and ocean views along with a homey and timeless feel (don’t be shocked when you want to extend your stay!). The Maui resort offers direct access to D.T. Fleming Beach, which is the ideal place for surfers and swimmers looking to catch some waves. After a long day of snorkeling and sunbathing, sit down for dinner at the Banyan Tree and take in the epic ocean views while snacking on fresh hamachi crudo and the local mushroom and macadamia nut salad. 

Location: Maui, HI

 

Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort

Mexico is one of the most iconic summer destinations in the world, and for good reason. Between the pristine beaches and delicious cuisine, it doesn’t get better than summer in Cabo. One of the best hotels in Mexico, Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort sits on one of the only swimmable beaches in Cabo, allowing you to make the most of your tropical vacay. The views are simply magical, and couples seeking solace this season will find it quite easily here. Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, one of the top summer vacation destinations for couples, stands out with its Eforea Spa, which provides an array of signature treatments incorporating local ingredients and traditions for a deeply authentic and rejuvenating experience. The renowned dining and drinking options range from in-depth tequila tastings at La Biblioteca to fresh seafood at Leña.

Location: Cabo San Lucas, MX

 

Princess Andriana Resort & Spa

Best Summer Destinations
Credit: H Hotels Collection

Those looking to truly skip town this summer will fall in love with Princess Andriana Resort & Spa in Greece. Located on Rhodes island, this five-star hotel sits right on the coveted Kiotari Beach. This gives guests prime access to the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Though this is the perfect place for a romantic escape, it’s also family-friendly. It even features a Kid’s Club and plenty of activities for people of all ages. Allow yourself to melt away with a customized massage at Euphoria Spa before sitting down at one of the seven different on-site restaurants. This is easily one of the best family summer destinations for those who don’t mind catching a flight this season. With its stunning location and wealth of amenities, Princess Andriana Resort & Spa has become a favored choice among summer vacation destinations for families seeking a blend of adventure and relaxation.

Location: Rhodes, Greece

 

Arizona Biltmore

Looking to cross state lines this summer? The Arizona Biltmore is a historic desert jewel that is best known for its renowned Frank Lloyd Wright architectural style. Surrounded by towering palm trees and vibrant cacti, the property maintains the same sense of Hollywood glamor that made it a go-to for the Golden Age’s biggest stars back in the day. The cottages and suites offer an ample amount of privacy, and most rooms feature spacious patios, some of which even have cozy fireplaces. Spend your day lounging by the adults-only Saguaro pool or hit the Tierra Luna Spa for a Hydrafacial. 

Location: Phoenix, AZ

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Orli La Jolla

Credit: Orli La Jolla

Situated in the heart of La Jolla, Orli is a renovated landmark building that offers a design-forward space for summer travelers to call home. This elevated boutique accommodation places travelers in proximity to some of La Jolla’s most beloved beaches, coves, cafes and shopping. With only 13 guest rooms and suites, Orli boasts a sense of exclusivity and privacy, but the walkability of the hotel is hard to pass up. Though there is plenty to do in La Jolla, the rooms have everything you need for a cozy staycation, including Apple TV, luxury linens and Turkish cotton robes. Book a staycation and see why this is one of our favorite summer destinations.

Location: La Jolla, CA

 

The Steward Santa Barbara

Embark on a sustainably-focused getaway at The Steward Santa Barbara, a top choice among summer vacation destinations for families. This all-suites boutique accommodation sits on the historic grounds of the Sexton House. Its bright and airy suites boast a clean and elegant ambiance that encourages guests to unplug and unwind. The on-site restaurant Terra focuses on feel-good foods. They follow a socially-conscious program that uses locally-sourced fare paired with Mediterranean techniques and flavors. From sailing in the harbor to wine tasting in the Funk Zone, there are plenty of ways to spend a warm-weather vacation in Santa Barbara.

Location: Santa Barbara, CA

 

White Water Cambria

Credit: Jonny Valiant

Cambria is a charming seaside village on California’s central coast. It’s the perfect place for travelers craving a low-key vacation this summer. The design throughout the property blends midcentury and modern decor. You’ll find plenty of local artwork in both the rooms and the lobby. Some of the best activities here include hiking along the coastal trails and surfing at Moonstone Beach. Guests can also enjoy fresh oysters at the nautical-themed Sea Chest Oyster Bar. In addition, there are plenty of local wineries close to White Water if you’re in the mood for a spontaneous tasting. 

Location: Cambria, CA

 

Mi Amor Tulum

Best Summer Destinations
Credit: Colibri Boutique Hotels

Mi Amor Tulum is a romantic haven for couples seeking a tropical vacation. This boutique hotel sits just above the Caribbean Sea., making it one of the best summer destinations. The open layout and nature-inspired architecture ensure that guests enjoy the very best of indoor/outdoor living. The infinity pool is the ultimate place to sip on a crisp Modelo while catching some rays or lounging in one of the swaying hammocks. Though you can’t go wrong with a sea-view room, the jungle-view rooms are just as enticing and transportive. Be sure to book a couples massage for a sensual ending to your summer vacation. 

Location: Tulum, MX

Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.

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