Top US Summer Vacation Destinations for 2017, Ranked

Struggling with summer FOMO? Fear not, because we’re letting you in on a pretty big secret: 2017’s most popular summer vacation spots.

We’ve included the list of our top 20 US summer vacation destinations for 2017, ranked by total bookings (stay dates between June 1 and August 31, 2017). Some are by the beach, some are full of history, and others offer one heck of a party.

Take a cue from your fellow travelers and book a rental on FlipKey in one of our top US summer vacation destinations for 2017.

#20 | Williamsburg, Virginia

A colonial town square in Williamsburg, VA

A blend of historical sites and family-friendly attractions make Williamsburg, Virginia a popular spot for FlipKey travelers this summer. Colonial era re-enactments offer a glimpse into times gone by, while major theme park Busch Gardens offers plenty of fun.

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#19 | Nashville, Tennessee

Downtown Nashville at night.

The country music capital of the world lives up to its reputation by day and by night. From the historic music venues to the world-class BBQ joints and never-ending nightlife, it’s no surprise Nashville appears on our list. Fans will be flocking to Nashville in June for the annual Country Music Awards, too.

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#18 | North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

A girl on horseback riding on North Myrtle Beach oceanfront.

North Myrtle Beach hugs the South Carolina coast at the northern end of its famous Grand Strand strip. Property bookings are high in this specific section (Myrtle Beach proper ranks on our list at #5) thanks to miles of clean, uncrowded beachfront and thousands of available rentals to suit any need.

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#17 | Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

A rustic cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Southern hospitality, beautiful terrain, and a lively, upbeat charm make Pigeon Forge a top summer destination. This Tennessee town stands as a gateway to 500,000 acres of Appalachian wilderness. If hiking over 800 miles of mountain trails and camping in dense ancient forests isn’t your thing, head over to Dollywood Amusement Park for a different sort of thrill.

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#16 | Orange Beach, Alabama

Gateway to the sand in Orange Beach, AL

A great family beach vacation spot, Orange Beach, Alabama, offers miles of pristine sand, dolphin-sighting cruises, championship golf courses, fishing charters and nature hikes. Kids love coming face-to-face with gators at nearby Alligator Alley or take a trip to the arcade at Adventure Island.

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#15 | South Lake Tahoe, California

A couple hiking, overlooking a vista in South Lake Tahoe.

South Lake Tahoe is full of seriously jaw-dropping scenery. Popular in all four seasons, this area has endless activities for the outdoorsy type. Enjoy paddle boarding and kayaking on the lake, then hike or bike to the Mount Tallac summit. FlipKey has amazing properties circling this massive lake.

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#14 | Las Vegas, Nevada

The iconic Las Vegas sign welcomes visitors to the city.

What else needs to be said about a summer trip to Sin City? Pool parties by day make way for the twinkling casino lights and electronic soundtrack of the slot machines at night. For an extra treat, see David Copperfield or Britney Spears in concert, two of the Las Vegas’ most famous resident entertainers.

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#13 | Gatlinburg, Tennessee

The gorgeous Smoky Mountains outside Gatlinburg, TN.

Near Pigeon Forge (#17 on our list), Gatlinburg sits alongside Smoky Mountain National Park. Miles of trails complete with stunning views, unique attractions, and a friendly, atmosphere make Gatlinburg a popular summertime destination for all ages. If you’re looking for an authentic log cabin escape in Tennessee, FlipKey has hundreds of options, no matter what you’re looking for.

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#12 | Hilton Head, South Carolina

A boardwalk leading to the beach in Hilton Head, SC

There’s plenty to see and do in Hilton Head, including six distinct marina shopping and dining villages. Get outdoors at the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, which offers a close-up look at a swamp without having to get dirty (thanks to raised boardwalks!). Sports enthusiasts keep coming back due to the world-class golf courses and pristine bike trails. And with views this pretty, who can blame them?

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#11 | Gulf Shores, Alabama

Relax on a deck chair next to the beach in Gulf Shores, AL.

The breathtaking white beaches and clear waters are just a few of the many luxuries at the Gulf Shores. Set sail on a chartered sunset dolphin dinner cruise, or jump into the Gulf and see the ocean like never before while snorkeling aboard a glass-bottom catamaran. Bring your fishing pole, too. The Orange Beach Red Snapper World Championships are held annually between June 1st and August 4th.

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#10 | Destin, Florida

Destin can be seen from above along Florida Panhandle.

Destin is a world-class beach and fishing resort community located in the Florida panhandle. A classic Florida beach destination, Destin welcomes millions of families every year for summer vacation. Looking for an oceanfront rental in Destin? FlipKey has a property for every budget and taste.

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#9  | Ocean City, Maryland

The boardwalk in Ocean City has a number of family-friendly attractions.

A beach party, an iconic boardwalk, and thousands of available rentals combine to make Ocean City one of the top US summer vacation destinations in 2017. Stroll the three-mile Boardwalk along the seafront while sampling salt water taffy and other old-fashioned treats. Here, the summer season explodes with special concerts, beach bonfires, and kids activities.

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#8 | Port Aransas, Texas

A jetty heads out into the ocean in Port Aransas, TX.

Port Aransas has become a fishing, beach, and resort destination, with summer populations swelling to 60,000. Come to Port Aransas for the warm Gulf waters, and stay for the incredible bird watching. The Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center has several viewing scopes, including one at the top of an observation tower for sweeping vistas of whooping cranes and other rare birds.

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#7 | South Padre Island, Texas

A family plays on the beach while the sun sets in South Padre Island.

Situated at the tip of Texas, South Padre Island is known for its pristine coastlines. With 24 miles of uninterrupted beaches, it’s a firm favorite among summer travelers who like to hit the beach and be outdoors. Go horseback riding on the beach, swim in the clear, turquoise waters, or go birdwatching from one of the boardwalks along the coast.

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#6 | Galveston, Texas

A beautiful sunset over the beach in Galveston, Texas.

A wealth of cultural and historic institutions, paired with more than 30 miles of beaches make Galveston an ideal vacation destination. If you go, don’t forget your walking shoes. With several historic homes and mansions, plus14 museums and 20 art galleries, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Families will enjoy the many child-friendly attractions, including Moody Gardens, with its replica of a tropical rain forest.

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#5 | Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

View of Myrtle Beach and the ferris wheel from the ocean.

After its stint as a spring break hot spot in March, Myrtle Beach transforms into the ultimate family getaway for summertime. Bring the kids to the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk for a spin on the SkyWheel, classic carnival games, and sugary treats. Another must-see attraction is Broadway at the Beach — a shopping, dining, and entertainment venue in the heart of Myrtle Beach. For those who prefer sand and sea, try your hand at parasailing or jet skiing. Hey, you only live once, right?

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#4 | Davenport, Florida

Award-winning golf courses are everywhere in Davenport, FL.

Here begins a run of Disney-related popular destinations. Davenport ranks at #4, with the theme parks being the major reason families flock here every summer. Just 35 miles south of Orlando, Davenport offers easy access to the parks in a more affordable setting. Take advantage of the area’s other family theme parks, including Universal Studios and Busch Gardens.

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#3 | Orlando, Florida

Families flock to Orlando, FL to experience the wide world of Disney.

The theme park capital of the world, Orlando is home to Walt Disney World, Discovery Cove, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Universal Studios. Impressive, huh? For a less adrenaline-pumping afternoon, enjoy the quiet natural beauty of the Harry P. Leu Gardens, or enjoy a seaweed scrub at a luxury day spa.

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#2 | Kissimmee, Florida

A lone fisherman searches for supper in the waters outside Kissimmee.

Just a quick drive south of Orlando, Kissimmee, Florida is a popular place for families looking to experience the magic of Walt Disney World. Seeking more solitude? Retreat to the headwaters of the Everglades, where you’ll discover an ecosystem alive with birds, alligators, and exotic flora.

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#1 | Panama City Beach, Florida

PCB is the #1 US summer vacation destination in 2017.

Ranking at #1 on our list of top US summer vacation destinations in 2017 is Panama City Beach, FL. With its trademark white sand and warm Gulf waters, our top summer hot spot attracts everyone from spring breakers to retirees, singles to families. As a result, Panama City offers a range of activities for all ages and interests. From deep sea fishing excursions to a day out on Shell Island, there’s something for all tastes here which is why so many FlipKey travelers are heading to PCB this summer.

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