Tips for Thought

June – the month of sunshine, school’s out, and that irresistible itch to explore somewhere new. But with so many amazing places in the US, picking a destination can feel like picking a winning lottery number. Fear not, fellow adventurer! This guide will dish on some of the hottest (literally and figuratively) spots to visit in June, catering to all kinds of travel vibes.

Beach Bums and Sun Seekers

California Coastline

California dreaming? June is prime time to hit the Golden State’s iconic beaches. From the surfer havens of Malibu and Huntington Beach to the laid-back charm of Santa Monica and Coronado, soak up the sun, build sandcastles, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a celebrity (no promises!).

To make the most of your California coastline adventure, consider renting a bike and cruising along the picturesque paths of Venice Beach, where street performers and eclectic shops offer endless entertainment. For a more serene experience, explore the tide pools at Laguna Beach or embark on a whale-watching tour in Monterey Bay. Don’t forget to savor the local cuisine: indulge in fresh seafood at a beachside shack or enjoy a farm-to-table meal at one of the many acclaimed restaurants. To capture stunning sunset views, head to the cliffs of Big Sur or take a leisurely drive along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, where each turn reveals breathtaking vistas.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Craving a dose of East Coast charm? The Outer Banks string of barrier islands offers stunning beaches, charming towns like Duck and Hatteras, and endless opportunities for kayaking, fishing, and exploring historic lighthouses. Pack your swimsuit, a good book, and your sense of adventure!

To make the most of your Outer Banks experience, consider renting a bike to explore the scenic paths that wind through the islands, offering picturesque views and a relaxing way to travel between attractions. Don’t miss the chance to try some local seafood at the numerous beachside eateries—freshly caught fish and shellfish are a highlight. For a unique adventure, take a guided tour to see the wild horses that roam the beaches of Corolla or embark on a sunset cruise to capture the stunning coastal scenery. Remember to check out the various festivals and events that often take place, showcasing local culture and community spirit.

Hawaii

Need a tropical escape? Hawaii is a no-brainer. Each island boasts its own unique personality, from the volcanic wonders of the Big Island to the lush rainforests of Kauai. Hike dormant volcanoes, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, or simply relax on a beach with a mai tai in hand. Aloha!

For a truly immersive Hawaiian experience, consider exploring the local culture and traditions. Attend a luau to witness traditional Hawaiian dance and music, or visit historical sites like Pearl Harbor and the Iolani Palace. Take the time to learn a few Hawaiian phrases to enhance your interactions with locals, and don’t miss the opportunity to savor regional cuisine, from poke bowls to loco moco. For adventure seekers, kayaking along the Na Pali Coast or taking a helicopter tour over the islands can provide breathtaking views and unforgettable memories. Whether you’re into outdoor activities, cultural exploration, or simply soaking up the sun, Hawaii offers endless possibilities to tailor your perfect getaway.

Mountain Mavens and Nature Nuts

Glacier National Park, Montana

Feeling the call of the wild? Glacier National Park is a hiker’s paradise. June offers comfortable temperatures and stunning scenery, with snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes, and abundant wildlife like bears, elk, and bighorn sheep. Don’t forget your camera and your sense of wonder!

To make the most of your Glacier National Park adventure, plan your hikes early in the day to avoid crowds and afternoon thunderstorms. Opt for well-known trails like the Highline Trail for breathtaking views or the Hidden Lake Overlook for a serene experience. Stay hydrated and pack layers, as weather can change rapidly. Also, consider guided ranger programs to learn about the park’s ecology and history. Remember to carry bear spray and know how to use it; wildlife encounters are thrilling but safety is paramount. Lastly, leave no trace and respect the pristine environment to preserve its beauty for future visitors.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina

Craving a taste of Southern charm with a side of adventure? The Great Smokies offer breathtaking mountain vistas, lush forests teeming with waterfalls and wildflowers, and a plethora of hiking trails for all skill levels. Don’t forget to sample some classic Southern comfort food after your adventures!

To make the most of your visit, consider exploring the lesser-known trails to avoid the crowds and discover hidden gems like secluded waterfalls and serene meadows. Pack a picnic and spend a leisurely afternoon by one of the park’s many streams, or embark on a guided tour to learn about the area’s rich history and diverse wildlife. If you’re visiting in the fall, the vibrant foliage is a must-see, offering a stunning backdrop for photos and a tranquil atmosphere for reflection.

City Slickers and Culture Vultures

Portland, Oregon

Calling all hipsters and foodies! Portland is a haven for independent coffee shops, quirky boutiques, and a world-class food scene with food carts galore. Explore the Saturday Market for unique finds, catch a show at a historic theater, or simply wander the city and soak up the alternative vibes.

Austin, Texas

Live music lovers, this one’s for you! Austin, the “Live Music Capital of the World,” is a vibrant city with a thriving music scene. Catch up-and-coming artists at intimate venues, grab some delicious barbecue, and stroll along the iconic Sixth Street. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

New Orleans, Louisiana

History buffs and party animals unite! New Orleans is a city steeped in history, culture, and a whole lot of fun. Explore the French Quarter’s charming architecture, indulge in some mouthwatering beignets, and experience the legendary nightlife with its lively jazz scene. Just remember, Mardi Gras might be over, but the party in New Orleans never truly ends.

Remember: No matter where your June travels take you, be sure to research and book accommodations and activities in advance, especially for popular destinations. Pack for the weather, embrace the local culture, and most importantly, have fun! After all, that’s what summer adventures are all about.