Fun Vacation Spots for Young Adults in the U.S.

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Fun Vacation Spots for Young Adults in the U.S.

When planning a memorable getaway, young adults seek destinations offering adventure, nightlife, and unique experiences. From lively cities to scenic outdoor escapes, the U.S. is packed with fun vacation spots that promise endless excitement. 

As you plan your travels, consider using credit card rewards to book flights or accommodations, helping you save money while maximizing your travel experience. 

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Now, it’s time for a list of the best vacation destinations, from the mountains to the coast and everywhere in between. 

25 Exciting holiday destinations for young adults in the U.S.

It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in amusement parks, outdoor recreation, or something entirely outside the box, there’s a destination for you. Here are 25 options to consider when planning your next trip. 

1. Miami Beach, Florida 

Miami Beach provides a perfect mix of beach relaxation and thrilling nightlife. During the day, sunbathe at South Beach or explore the Art Deco district before dining at a trendy café. Shopping enthusiasts will find plenty of options at the outdoor Lincoln Road Mall.

In the evening, head to clubs like LIV or Story for world-class DJs, or unwind at a chic rooftop bar. March through May is ideal for warm weather without peak tourist crowds.

2. Portland, Oregon  

Portland is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and food lovers alike. Spend your days exploring the lush Forest Park trails or strolling through the International Rose Test Garden. Portland’s famed food trucks and breweries also offer delicious flavors unique to the region.

In the evening, embrace the city’s creative spirit by catching a live music show or browsing quirky boutiques on Alberta Street. Visiting in summer ensures pleasant weather, vibrant markets, and fun local festivals.

3. San Diego, California 

San Diego draws young adults with its beach culture and endless activities. Relax on the golden sands of La Jolla Shores or surf the waves at Pacific Beach. For a change of pace, visit the famous San Diego Zoo or the bustling Gaslamp Quarter.

After sunset, enjoy waterfront dining in Seaport Village or check out live music and dancing at trendy downtown clubs. Late spring to early fall is perfect for soaking in San Diego’s coastal lifestyle.

4. New Orleans, Louisiana 

New Orleans blends rich history with vibrant nightlife. By day, tour the French Quarter and immerse yourself in jazz culture on Bourbon Street. Take a steamboat ride along the Mississippi River or sample beignets at Café du Monde.

At night, discover the unique Creole cuisine or experience live music at historic clubs like Preservation Hall. Visit during spring or fall to enjoy mild temperatures and partake in iconic events like Mardi Gras or the Jazz Festival.

5. Savannah, Georgia 

Savannah offers young adults a taste of Southern charm. Wander beneath moss-draped oaks in Forsyth Park or explore the cobblestone River Street for boutique shopping and riverfront dining. Take a ghost tour for a spooky twist on the city’s rich history.

The nightlife scene is lively, with rooftop bars and historic pubs keeping the atmosphere fun. Spring is the best time to visit, with blooming flowers and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival.

6. Asheville, North Carolina 

Asheville attracts young adults with its eclectic arts scene and the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visit the River Arts District to watch artisans at work, or hike the scenic trails to enjoy stunning mountain views. The city’s craft beer scene is a must-experience, with many breweries offering unique flavors.

Evenings are filled with live music and creative dining options downtown. Fall is ideal for vibrant foliage, while summer brings outdoor festivals and mild weather.

7. Santa Fe, New Mexico 

Santa Fe is a hub for culture and adventure. Wander through art galleries on Canyon Road or explore ancient Native American history at Bandelier National Monument. The city’s vibrant culinary scene features distinctive Southwestern flavors.

For nightlife, enjoy local live music or attend a summer festival at the Santa Fe Opera. Visit in the fall to experience the magic of the International Balloon Fiesta and milder temperatures for hiking.

8. Las Vegas, Nevada 

Las Vegas is known for its nightlife and entertainment. Try your luck at the world-famous casinos, or catch one of the many live shows. During the day, visit unique attractions like The Neon Museum or take a ride on the High Roller.

Beyond the Strip, discover the natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon or the Hoover Dam. Spring and fall offer the best weather for exploring, while summer nights pulse with energy.

9. Chicago, Illinois  

Chicago is a mix of culture, architecture, and lakefront fun. Take an architecture boat tour or explore Millennium Park, then visit world-class museums like the Art Institute of Chicago. Relax along Lake Michigan’s beaches or dive into deep-dish pizza.

Nights are for rooftop bars or blues clubs. Summer is prime for outdoor festivals, while fall brings the excitement of sports and cooler temperatures.

10. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg is a gateway to adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains. During the day, hike to cascading waterfalls or ride the Gatlinburg SkyLift for breathtaking mountain views. Explore quirky shops or Ripley’s Aquarium for unique experiences.

Evenings feature lively entertainment like the Smoky Mountain Opry. Spring and fall are the best times to visit, with blooming wildflowers or colorful foliage, and mild temperatures.

11. Park City, Utah

Park City draws young adults year-round with thrilling outdoor activities. Hit the ski slopes at Park City Mountain Resort in winter, or explore miles of hiking and biking trails during warmer months. Main Street is bustling with boutique shopping and eateries.

For nightlife, check out local breweries or enjoy live music venues. Visit in January for the Sundance Film Festival or in summer for hiking, festivals, and mountain biking.

12. Seattle, Washington 

Seattle blends urban excitement with natural beauty. Visit the iconic Space Needle or Pike Place Market, then wander through the quirky neighborhoods. Enjoy the thriving coffee culture or take a ferry to nearby islands.

Outdoor enthusiasts can hike Mount Rainier or kayak on Lake Union. Spring and summer are ideal for exploring parks, while fall brings the International Film Festival and mild weather.

13. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts 

Martha’s Vineyard offers quaint charm and scenic coastlines. Rent a bike to explore lighthouses, art galleries, and boutique shops in towns like Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. Enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants or relax on sandy beaches.

The island comes alive in summer with events like the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. Spring and fall are also ideal, with fewer tourists and pleasant weather.

14. Honolulu, Hawaii 

Honolulu is a paradise for beach lovers and adventurers. Relax on Waikiki Beach or surf the waves, then visit Pearl Harbor to learn about American history. Hike up Diamond Head for stunning views or explore the vibrant Chinatown nightlife.

In the evening, enjoy luaus and dine under the stars. Visit during spring for fewer crowds or in winter for whale-watching and surfing competitions.

15. Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica is a lively beach destination with a retro vibe. Enjoy the iconic pier’s carnival atmosphere or ride bikes along the beach. Explore Main Street’s shops and eateries, or venture to Venice Beach for eclectic street performances.

Evenings are perfect for rooftop dining or live music. Summer offers ideal beach weather, while fall provides a cooler and calmer ambiance for exploring.

16. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is a playground for young adults. Sunbathe on the golden sands or take a spin on the SkyWheel for panoramic views. Explore the bustling boardwalk with shops, restaurants, and arcades.

After sunset, the nightlife heats up with live music, bars, and dance clubs. Visit in spring or summer for warm weather and bustling activity, or in fall for a quieter, yet pleasant beach experience.

17. Aspen, Colorado

Aspen attracts thrill-seekers and culture enthusiasts alike. Hit the slopes for world-class skiing and snowboarding in winter, or hike and mountain bike through aspen groves in the summer. The lively downtown area features high-end boutiques, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants.

After an adventurous day, unwind at local breweries or live music venues. The X Games in January or the Aspen Music Festival in summer make for fantastic seasonal visits.

18. Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City blends charming lakeside vibes with outdoor adventure. Sunbathe at the beaches or rent a kayak to paddle in the clear waters of Lake Michigan. The downtown area is packed with boutiques, breweries, and farm-to-table restaurants.

Plan your visit in summer to catch the National Cherry Festival or in fall for gorgeous autumn colors and winery tours. The Sleeping Bear Dunes nearby offer stunning hiking trails all year round.

19. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is the ultimate destination for adventure. Hike along the South Rim for breathtaking views, or challenge yourself with the Bright Angel Trail down to the Colorado River. For a more thrilling experience, book a whitewater rafting trip or helicopter tour.

Summer and fall provide ideal weather, but spring offers a quieter experience with blooming wildflowers. Camp under the stars or stay in rustic lodges for a memorable trip.

20. New York City, New York 

New York City is a vibrant hub of activity. Visit iconic landmarks like Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and Central Park. Explore trendy neighborhoods such as SoHo and Williamsburg for unique shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Catch Broadway shows or stroll through museums like the Met and MoMA. Fall and spring offer mild temperatures for exploring the city, while winter adds festive magic with holiday displays.

21. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  

Philadelphia is a blend of history and vibrant city life. Tour the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall for a glimpse into America’s past. The city’s art scene is also unmissable, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its famous “Rocky Steps” leading to stunning collections.

In the evening, head to South Street for its eclectic bars, restaurants, and live music. Visit in spring or fall for pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

22. Williamsburg, Virginia 

Step back in time at Colonial Williamsburg, where you can interact with actors in period attire and witness historic reenactments. Nearby, Busch Gardens offers thrilling roller coasters, and the scenic York River provides opportunities for kayaking and fishing.

Summer is perfect for outdoor fun, while fall brings crisp air and colorful foliage. Don’t miss the local breweries and wineries for a taste of Virginia’s craft scene.

23. Branson, Missouri

Branson is packed with excitement. Explore Silver Dollar City amusement park for adrenaline-pumping rides, or watch live entertainment at iconic theaters. Hit the lakes for water sports, or trek the surrounding Ozark Mountains.

Evenings bring a bustling nightlife with bars and unique shows. Visit in summer for peak activity, or try fall for cooler weather and vivid foliage.

24. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 

Known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” Wisconsin Dells is ideal for fun-loving travelers. Choose from thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools, or explore the area’s natural beauty with hiking, boating, and zip-lining.

Beyond waterparks, visit the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory or check out the quirky Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum. The summer months are best for water fun, but winter brings skiing and indoor attractions.

25. Orlando, Florida

Orlando is synonymous with fun. Visit Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort for immersive theme parks and unforgettable rides. Explore lively districts like International Drive for restaurants, shopping, and entertainment.

Beyond the parks, visit downtown Orlando for art galleries, rooftop bars, and unique eateries. Travel in early spring or fall to avoid peak crowds while enjoying warm weather.

The United States: A young adults playground

As a young adult, there’s no shortage of fun vacation spots to visit in the U.S. While the 25 detailed above are a good starting point, there are hundreds of others to consider. So, keep an open mind as you compare your options and make a final decision. 


What are some budget-friendly vacation spots in the U.S.?

Budget-conscious travelers can enjoy destinations like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where affordable accommodations and a variety of free or low-cost activities abound. Cities like Austin, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona also offer vibrant culture and dining at wallet-friendly prices, making them great options for economical vacations.

What are some family-friendly vacation spots in the U.S. that cater to both kids and adults?

Orlando, Florida is a top choice for families, featuring world-renowned theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios. San Diego, California is another fantastic option, with attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and numerous beaches that offer fun for all ages.

Which vacation spots in the U.S. offer the best food and dining experiences?

New Orleans, Louisiana, and Charleston, South Carolina are renowned for their culinary scenes, featuring a mix of traditional and innovative cuisine that reflects their rich cultural heritage. San Francisco, California also stands out for its gourmet offerings and access to fresh, farm-to-table ingredients.

Are there any wellness retreat vacation spots in the U.S.?

Yes, the U.S. boasts several top-notch wellness retreats. Sedona, Arizona is known for its stunning landscapes and spiritual retreats, while Asheville, North Carolina offers wellness resorts that focus on rejuvenation through nature. California’s Napa Valley also provides luxurious spa treatments coupled with beautiful vineyard views.

Which vacation spots in the U.S. offer unique accommodation options like treehouses or glamping?

For unique stays, Big Sur, California, offers stunning treehouse accommodations amid redwoods, and Moab, Utah provides luxurious glamping options near national parks, such as Arches National Park. The Smoky Mountains in Tennessee also feature various treehouse rentals, combining comfort with breathtaking natural surroundings.

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