With the appetite for travel back in full force, we thought it was high time to revisit some great destinations for leisure travelers. From time to time, we like to share what destinations are on our radar, so you can put them on yours! This year, we’re offering inspiration pulled directly from the travel trends we’re seeing.

And because summer travel is shaping up to be a bit more expensive than in previous years, we’re going to give you some budget options as well. From the “bleisure” trend of mixing business with travel, to less crowded destinations and National Parks, along with some road trips and beyond. Let’s dig in.

Awesomely affordable beach destinations

22 Summer Destinations to Visit in 2022

We love a summer beach vacation – but let’s be real. A beachfront hotel can really put a dent in the wallet. Here’s some of our favorite bargain beach vacations – you can have an affordable beach hang with a little creativity.

#1 Point Mugu State Park, Malibu, California

When people dream about a California beach vacation, many imagine Malibu, which has been immortalized in countless television shows and movies. Point Mugu offers an affordable way to stay in Malibu, with more than 5 miles of coastline and 70 miles of hiking trails. Campgrounds: Thornhill Broome and Sycamore Canyon Campgrounds. To make a reservation, visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com or call 800-444-7275.

#2 Hither Hills State Park, Montauk New York

On the eastern tip of Long Island’s tony Hamptons lies this family-friendly destination with resort vibes that’s popular with locals. The Montauk campground has movie nights, magic shows, line dancing, basketball and volleyball courts, sand castle contests and even a freshwater lake for fishing! Campsites start at $35/night (New York residents) or $70/night (non-residents).

#3 Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain

Barceloneta just a 20-minute walk from La Rambla (in the city center) and you’re never far from the action. Delicious tapas make their way all the way out to the beaches in Barcelona, and Barceloneta has some of the best. People watching is top-notch and the waters are warm from late May to October.

#4 Maui, Hawaii

It’s hard to have a post on the best beaches and not include Hawaii, so we aren’t even going to try. Maui has some of the best beaches for a multi-generational family vacation. Whether you’re grandpa and grandma looking for a week away, or you’re bringing the grandkids and kids along for the ride, Maui is a perennial favorite for a reason. It’s so easy. And beautiful. And laid back,

Give me an international vacation, but make it close to home

22 Summer Destinations to Visit in 2022

Even though a lot of us are venturing out into international waters this year, we’re a little out of practice. How about you? If you’re looking to give an international trip a try without a huge commitment, let’s look at some vacations close to home!

#5 Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico

Did you know one of the coolest little boho wine regions in Mexico is just a short drive across the San Diego/Mexico border, south of Tijuana? Get yourself to the Valle de Guadalupe for a Baja California experience like no other. Loads of little vineyards and delicious restaurants are making the Valle a destination for hipsters and wine lovers alike.

#6 Barbados

You get 70 miles of pristine white sandy beaches when you visit Barbados, which is why its beaches are considered some of the best in the Caribbean. Another great reason to visit the country is the plethora of water sports, including deep sea diving. The best beaches can be found on the island’s west and south coasts, while the best beaches for surfing and body boarding are off the east coast. Keep this in mind when booking accommodation!

#7 Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

If you pride yourself on knowing the latest “insider” beach vacation, you might want to get yourself down to Sayulita Beach, which is helping to turn the 200-mile coast of the Riviera Nayarit into Mexico’s next big thing. There are great waves, cozy and hip hotels, loads of bohemian flair and some of the best fish tacos in the region.

#8 Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

The relaxed pace, natural beauty and laid back vibe of places like Lake Atitlan in the south of the country make Guatemala an off-the-beaten path mecca for outdoorsy types looking to get away. Guest house rooms can be booked for just a few bucks, or you can go more high end for $50-60/night. Dining is cheap and the produce is plentiful. Finally, it’s a bargain to fly to Guatemala – at just $200 round trip from Los Angeles!

#9 Belize

Belize is one of the great under-the-radar destinations in Central America and as a bonus is the only official English-speaking country. This makes it a great spot to test out the Central American waters while not stressing about language difficulties. Close to 1,000 Mayan ruins cover the country, and it has a decidedly uncommercial vibe -there’s no McDonald’s, Starbucks, KFC, or Burger King in the entire country!

Best Bleisure (Business + Leisure) Destinations

22 Summer Destinations to Visit in 2022

Now that a lot of us are working 100% remote, we can work anywhere! Let’s check out some destinations where you can easily bring your family or significant other. They’ll have fun exploring during the day, and you join them at night!

#10 Hilton Head, South Carolina

Known for its beautiful “sugar” beaches and world class golf resorts, Hilton Head is a great spot for families and couples. There are seven beaches on Hilton Head island, but by far the most popular is Coligny Beach, which has a ton of shopping and dining options. Aside from the beaches you can rent bicycles or visit one of the island’s wildlife.

#11 Boulder, Colorado

Boulder is a town where the great outdoors reigns supreme. You’ve got state-of-the-art cycling, hiking, and rock climbing to tempt you, and it’s the kind of town that people move to precisely because of its laid-back vibes. Boulder boasts an average 35-hour work week and 15 minute commute. Work-life balance? Why, yes. Boulder has it in spades. Add to that a less than 8% divorce rate and a bankruptcy rate under 1%? I’m feeling relaxed just thinking about it.

#12 Kanab, Utah

Kanab sits just over the border from Arizona on Kanab Creek and has some amazing natural scenery, including towering sandstone cliffs. The town is also just 45 minutes from the spectacular Bryce Canyon and is just outside the east entrance to Zion National Park. It’s a great base to explore places like Page, Arizona, the slot canyons of Antelope Canyon and even the Grand Canyon if you want to head a bit further south.

#13 Key West, Florida

Romantic Key West is a colorful, whimsical little town at the tip of the southernmost point of the continental United States (technically Hawaii gets the award for the most southern point). Key West is inhabited by a cast of characters straight out of a novel – everyone is a little wild and a little weird. We love Key West for just these reasons – it’s fun, it’s a little off kilter and you can’t beat the views. Take your honey there for a romantic vacation away!

#14 Las Vegas, Nevada

The best part about Las Vegas, is the overwhelming buffet of things to do. Hotels and resorts are state-of-the-art and insanely comfortable (for your business needs) and full of every kind of diversion imaginable for the evenings.The weather in Las Vegas is sunny and the Strip has some of the most fabulous resorts and pools in the country. If you want to avoid the tables completely, you can have a beachy vacation right in the middle of the desert!

Small Towns for Everyone

22 Summer Destinations to Visit in 2022

The pandemic ushered in an era of travel that prioritizes a lack of crowds. This has meant small town America is having a bit of a Renaissance. Here are a few of our favorite spots.

#15 Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff, is an intriguing mix of laid-back liberal and cowboy culture. The hiking is spectacular year round, and the elevation (7,000 feet) has made it a major draw for elite athletes. A small but vibrant historic downtown offers unpretentious, inexpensive restaurants, watering holes, and charming accommodation.

#16 Cannon Beach, Oregon

Rugged, natural beauty is the reason to visit Cannon Beach. It’s a bit out of the way, but we promise you won’t be let down. In fact, it’s so beautiful that Hollywood regularly uses Cannon Beach for some of its films. The Twilight movies, the Goonies and Point Break were all filmed on the sandy shores of Cannon Beach with the iconic Haystack Rock as background.

#17 Santa Barbara, California

We dare you to not relax in Santa Barbara. There are many inexpensive outdoor water activities to recommend it and the downtown is walkable, tiny, and full of relaxing dining establishments to while away the hours. Have a leisurely lounge on the beach, a bike ride along the boardwalk, and some sushi downtown. It’s the perfect romantic getaway.

#18 Asheville, North Carolina

With every passing year it gets harder and harder to put Asheville in the small town category. Asheville has become quite a popular destination in recent years due to its beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge mountains and thriving arts and microbrew scene.

National Parks are the Best!

22 Summer Destinations to Visit in 2022

Always a family crowd-pleaser in the summer months, we couldn’t do a round-up of family destinations without offering some of our favorite National Parks.

#19 Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

We can wholeheartedly recommend the Grand Canyon – even in the high-season it’s simply spectacular. Flying into Phoenix in the summer months is a bargain, and you can bookend your trip with a stay at one of Scottsdale’s fabulous resorts (which you can book for pennies on the dollar in the hot summer months).

#20 Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The only reason more people aren’t clamoring to visit Grand Teton National Park is that it’s right in Yellowstone’s backyard. The Grand Tetons are some of the most breathtaking mountains in the country. Whether your national park jam is hiking, boating or just long, leisurely drives, there is something for every type of nature lover here to adore.

#21 Big Bend National Park, Texas

Big Bend tops the list of CheapAir’s list of underrated national parks every year. You’ve got more than 80,000 acres to explore – taking in lakes and rivers, mountains and deserts alike. Backpacking through the Chisos Mountains (completely enclosed by the park – the only mountain range in the country that is so situated), you might be tempted to do some serious stargazing. The inky black night sky in Big Bend is perfect for viewing celestial bodies.

#22 Yellowstone National Park, Montana and Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is another fantastic, must-see National Park. When visiting Yellowstone, keep in mind that the park is massive, and you’re going to be doing a lot of driving to visit all of the sights. You can stay in either Montana or Wyoming, so make sure you do some pre-planning to make the trip everything you hope.

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