School is out, the sun is shining and the pool is ready to swim in. With the first day of summer comes a renewed sense of freedom and adventure, and it’s time to make the most of it! Thanks to the U.S. airlines, a weekend exploring a new city has never been more accessible and is the perfect opportunity to escape those dog days of summer in your hometown.
Check out a few of our favorite summertime destinations below and hop onboard with our members this season for a trip you’ll never forget!
This summer, make your way into Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport with United Airlines for a breathtaking visit to the City by Nature. A premiere destination for nature lovers and art aficionados alike, this bustling city has something for everyone. Start your morning with a hike or bike ride through Minnehaha Falls and enjoy the peacefulness of the city’s gorgeous waterfall before grabbing a bite to eat at Sea Salt Eatery, the park’s very own restaurant, serving up oysters, calamari, crab cakes and beer on tap, all while sitting on the patio and listening to live music. Enjoy the afternoon with a stroll through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the largest urban sculpture park in the world, and stop for a photo with the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry installation. Finish the night at the Guthrie Theater to take in a performance, overlooking the mighty Mississippi River.
San Diego, California
After landing at San Diego International Airport with Hawaiian Airlines, you’ll find a city on the Pacific that is the perfect place for beachgoers looking to cool off from the summer heat. Spend the morning exploring Balboa Park, a huge outdoor destination that boasts 17 museums, gardens, fountains and the world renowned San Diego Zoo. When your afternoon hunger starts to set in, make your way to the Marina District to try one of the dozens of fish taco joints in the area. Find yourself a seat on the water and leisurely enjoy this SoCal specialty, topped with fresh cabbage, tomatoes, purple onions, avocados and lime crema sauce. Finish up your afternoon on Coronado, where you can watch the picturesque California sunset on one of the best beaches in the United States and sip on a pre-dinner cocktail at the famous Hotel del Coronado.
Hop onboard with JetBlue Airways for a trip to the Midwest you’ll never want to return from. Book your visit straight into Chicago O’Hare International Airport and head downtown to the SkyDeck in Willis Tower for incredible skyline views and a heart-racing glass ledge that extends over the city at 1,353 feet. Next, wander around Navy Pier while enjoying an afternoon of live music, authentic deep-dish pizza and the sparkling crystal blue waters of Lake Michigan. Stop by Millennium Park for a photo op with Cloud Gate (often referred to as ‘The Bean’). And no trip to Chicago would be complete without catching a game at Wrigley Field. Cheer on the defending champion Chicago Cubs and celebrate their win with a famous Chicago Chili Dog.
If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime arctic adventure, look no further than Anchorage! Reserve your flight with Alaska Airlines for an arrival into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and start your journey with a kayak trip around Eklutna Lake, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and Eklutna Glacier. A wildlife watching tour is a must for any trip to Alaska, so grab your binoculars and explore with one of Anchorage’s many tour companies, ready to catch a glimpse of moose, bears, eagles and whales. Finish up your trip with a local brewery tasting and a dinner, complete with local salmon and Alaskan king crab.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
For the perfect family-fun beach vacation this summer, fly into Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport on Southwest Airlines. Start your morning with a deep sea fishing trip, where you can catch kingfish, blackfin tunas or red groupers and a beautiful sunrise. Relax on Fort Lauderdale Beach with a good book or splash around in the turquoise water, but be careful where you step, since summertime is sea turtle nesting season. If you have a sense of adventure, take an evening Everglade boat tour and explore the untamed Florida swamps, filled with turtles, birds and alligators. For dinner, take your freshly caught fish to one of the many local restaurants that will prepare it for you, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
For a different take on a popular winter destination, add Colorado Springs to your summer travel itinerary. American Airlines will bring you to Colorado Springs Airport, where you can start your trip with a visit to Garden of the Gods. Drive through massive red rock formations, stopping at various parking areas along the road to take it all in. Next, take a tour of the U.S. Olympic Training Center, where the nation’s best athletes live and train for the Olympic Games. Here, you can find two Olympic-size swimming pools, practice facilities for gymnastics, fencing weightlifting and wrestling, and a Hall of Fame, highlighting the most decorated athletes of all-time. Finish up your trip with a white-water rafting adventure down the Arkansas River, where you’ll pass 1,000 feet below the famous Royal Gorge Bridge.