Best Summer Travel Destinations in 2021

Vaccinated or not, Americans are traveling again! According to WalletHub, “the number of daily travelers passing through TSA checkpoints is over 10 times higher than last year.” After a year of social distancing and lockdowns, people are eager to get out of their homes. While we don’t plan to travel anywhere just yet, it was interesting to read about the best summer travel destinations in 2021. 

It’s hard because we’re not suggesting anyone travel right now. We may be on the more cautious side, but I’d like to see how these vaccines hold up against the variants before opening the floodgates. Still, it was interesting to read through this list. If you like this, it might also be worth checking out the Most Searched Travel Destinations per US State in 2021

Best Summer Travel Destinations in 2021

To come up with this list, WalletHub “compared 100 metro areas across 42 key indicators of budget- and fun-friendliness. The data set ranges from the cost of the cheapest flight to the number of attractions to COVID-19 cases.” Sounds like a good way to come up with this list (at least while international travel is off the table)! Let’s take a look at what they came up with.

Top 20 Summer Travel Destinations

1. Orlando, FL 11. Washington, DC
2. Honolulu, HI 12. Springfield, MO
3. New Orleans, LA 13. San Antonio, TX
4. Austin, TX 14. Wichita, KS
5. Atlanta, GA 15. Tampa, FL
6. Salt Lake City, UT 16. Tucson, AZ
7. Tulsa, OK 17. Miami, FL
8. Los Angeles, CA 18. Riverside, CA
9. Oklahoma City, OK 19. Albuquerque, NM
10. Little Rock, AR 20. Raleigh, NC

Best vs. Worst

  • The average flight from this list costs $293.73, lasts 3 hours and 44 minutes, and has 0.3 connections.
  • The Los Angeles metro area is the most attractive West Coast destination. 
  • The Atlanta metro area is the most attractive East Coast destination.
  • Three states — Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas — are home to the highest number of best U.S. summer travel destinations in 2021.   
  • The lowest nightly three-star hotel room rate, $32, is in the Orlando metro area

We’ve been to most of these places, and this looks like a solid list! Unfortunately, we don’t have blog posts written for even most of them, including Washington, D.C. despite having lived near there for almost five years. Let’s talk about the resources we do have. 

Orlando, FL

Despite the fact that Florida has been pretty lax with restrictions during the pandemic, people are still flocking to the Sunshine State. Why? There’s a lot to do, and most of it can be enjoyed outside! 

We’ve been to Orlando many, many, many times. I am not even sure I can count how many times we’ve visited that city both separately and together. While it’s on the list of the most delayed airports, we’ve never had a problem. 

Admittedly, we’ve only visited for the theme parks, which is true for most U.S. cities, if I’m honest. What can I say? We love roller coasters! Here are some links to our tips for Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. 

Voodoo Donuts Universal Orlando Resort\

Staying & Eating at Universal Orlando Resort

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Rides and Roller Coasters

Waterpark & Events

Star Wars Galaxy\'s Edge Millennium Falcon Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World\

Walt Disney World Resort

Salt Lake City, UT

We live just a couple hours from the Utah border now that we’re in Idaho. As such, we’ve spent a lot of times in that state. Again, it was mostly motivated by roller coasters, though! Here are a few quick articles to check out if you’re heading to the Salt Lake area. 


Los Angeles, CA

Like Orlando and Salt Lake City, we’ve been to Los Angeles a lot. It’s easy to see why this made it on the list of best summer travel destinations in 2021. We’ve done all of the touristy things (like the Hollywood Walk of Fame), and we were supposed to hit the Rose Bowl for the now-postponed BTS tour. At the end of the day, though, it’s all about the theme parks! 

Disneyland Castle Walt Disney Statue Hayley\

Best Summer Travel Tips

No matter where you’re planning to travel, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. If you haven’t been out of your home for a while, be sure to check out our spring cleaning for travelers tips to make sure you’re ready to hit the road! 

TSA Precheck Registration\

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