With Memorial Day Weekend marking the unofficial start of summer, the weather warming up and COVID-19 restrictions slowly lifting, many Americans are craving a holiday adventure and some much needed relaxation. What destinations come to mind when you visualize the perfect domestic retreat? There’s tropical Hawaii, the sparkling California coast and of course, The Hamptons is popular among affluent New Yorkers. But in recent years, there have been quite a few less traditional vacation spots making headlines. We’ve done some research and compiled a list of 7 of the most ideal places in the US to buy, rent or visit this summer.
Key West, FL
The southernmost point of the United States is located in Key West – an island among the tropical Florida Keys, only 90 miles north of Cuba. Key West is renowned for superb diving and snorkeling in its coral reefs, and its sunsets, which draw tourists from all over the US and beyond. Several famous writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Robert Frost, and Tennessee Williams have called Key West home and the island continues to attract artists today with its natural beauty and bohemian and tolerant atmosphere. Its proximity to the equator make Key West a pleasant place to visit year round – even experiencing more traffic in the winter months as Americans seek an escape from the cold.
Median sale price: $763,109
Average nightly rate: $527
Big Sky Montana
A charming community situated in the Rocky Mountains of southern Montana, Big Sky boasts breathtaking mountain views, wide open spaces, beautiful wildlife, hot springs, gushing geysers and a world class snow season – in other words – an outdoors person’s dream. The town is nestled high in the Gallatin National Forest just a few miles from Yellowstone Park, with a local ski resort offering ample activities for every season, from exhilarating skiing and snowboarding in the winter to scenic lift rides during the summer. If you’re looking for an escape from city life and a place to be one with nature, look no further than Big Sky.
Median sale price: $585,000
Average nightly rate: $453
With a slogan like “The West’s Most Western Town,” Scottsdale is easy to imagine scenically. Cacti, stunning desert landscape, warm air, antique buildings and western charms. But there is more to this desert town than tumbleweeds and ten gallon hats. The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach” with “plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene.” Scottsdale has an upscale reputation and is is internationally known for its fine resorts and spas, 5-star restaurants, designer shopping, golf courses, art galleries, extravagant night clubs and country club living. It’s a top destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties, business retreats and school holidays.
Median sale price: $513,301
Average nightly rate: $360
Cocoa Beach is known for two things – its historical artifacts and visiting centers, including the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and its picturesque beach featuring iconic surf breaks. Tourists can enjoy the eateries and shops on the Cocoa Beach Pier and admire the birdlife in the maritime forest at oceanfront Lori Wilson Park. The beach’s calm, consistent waves and unusually shallow waters make it an ideal place to learn to surf. Cocoa Beach it’s more family friendly than Daytona Beach, with plenty of activities for children, a shorter distance to Disney World and a more relaxed vibe in town.
Median sale price: $370,406
Average nightly rate: $298
Gulf Shores, Alabama
If Alabama does not strike you as a beachy state, Gulf Shores may be just the place to change your mind. This resort community located along Alabama’s Gulf Coast in the Gulf of Mexico is known for its bright white sand beaches, soothing warm water, scenic cruises and hiking trails. A great place for children, Gulf Shores has no shortage of family friendly activities, including bumper boats, the Gulf Coast Zoo, zip lining and plenty of wildlife to enjoy, such as sea turtles, dolphins and migratory birds.
Median sale price: $345,135
Average nightly rate: $268
Harbor Springs is a charming waterfront community that lies in a sheltered bay on the north shore of Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. An ideal place to purchase or rent a vacation home, Harbor Springs offers an abundance of natural beauty, a friendly community with weekly farmers markets and a walkable downtown, and four seasons of outdoor activity, from boating and jet skiing in the summer to snowboarding in the winter.
Median sale price: $256,303
Average nightly rate: $344
Myrtle Beach is a city and popular vacation spot on South Carolina’s Atlantic coast. It’s the hub of the Grand Strand, a 60 mile string of wide beaches that has developed a reputation as a place for families throughout the “golden era” of wholesome fun in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Along Myrtle Beach’s seaside boardwalk are classic arcades, souvenir stands and restaurants, as well as an old fashioned amusement park called Family Kingdom, featuring one of the country’s tallest Ferris wheels, the SkyWheel. Apart from its classic American charms, Myrtle beach offers a large selection of challenging golf courses, highly rated seafood restaurants and outlet-style shopping centers.
Median sale price: $213,950
Average nightly rate: $209
Let us know in the comments below which destination you’ll be headed to next!