July 24, 2024

Adventure Destinations League

Navigating Travel Wonders

Travel inspiration for summer 2024

Summer is around the corner in the northern hemisphere, and the team at Lonely Planet is already making (or has made) their travel plans.

If you’re wondering where to go and what to do this summer, why not follow one of our leads and discover a new destination or rediscover an old favorite? I, unlike my colleagues, have yet to make plans, so finding out where everyone else is going has lit a fire under me. Likewise, I hope these trip plans inspire you to make some of your own – and that you’ll turn to Lonely Planet for help when plotting your next getaway.

Here are just some of the places the staff at Lonely Planet traveling this summer.


“I’m going to a backcountry lodge in Banff. It’s only accessible by hiking in. I’ve wanted to do one of these for ages, so this is how I’m celebrating my 40th!” – Jessica Lockhart, Senior Editor, Oceania

Banff and Jasper National Parks have several rustic backcountry lodges surrounded by unparalleled scenery. Each lodge has its own unique setting, hosts and history, but all have simple amenities, minimal (or no) electricity and running water, and welcoming common spaces where travelers can gather to read, play cards or recount the day’s adventures. Advance bookings are key – prices may seem steep, but factor in the included home-cooked meals and freedom from setting up camp or worrying about weather and wildlife, and the cost suddenly becomes worth it. 

Keen to go hiking in Canada? Here’s our guide to the best trekking routes

Be dazzled by the sparkling waters of the Adriatic on a visit to Croatia © iStockphoto / Getty Images


“I will be visiting Makarska Riviera, including Brela, Makarska, Tucepi and the island of Korčula. The trip is all about promoting Croatia’s great outdoors, so the itinerary includes kayaking, rafting, buggying and lots of hiking!” – Aoife Breslin, Publicity and Marketing Coordinator

Croatia’s tourism peaks between June and August, when the Adriatic’s warm waters charm countless visitors. It’s great fun, though afternoons are roasting hot, the lines at attractions are at their longest, and accommodation costs rise. Inland, temperatures are higher, but crowds are less noticeable. June is the quietest month of high season, but with clear skies, music festivals and the promise of early summer, it’s a strong contender for Croatia’s best month. 

Ready to plan your trip to Croatia? Choose the right time for your visit with our seasonal guide


“I’m going island hopping in Greece for four weeks in June. I’ll be spending most of my time on Serifos (to start) as it’s where the local Greeks holiday – doing a pottery class, vineyard tour, taking boats to secluded coves, going to cooking school and generally trying to be as fabulous as possible – with additional stays on Santorini and Paros. – Chris Zeiher, Senior Director of Trade Sales and Marketing

Greece is ancient sun-bleached ruins piercing blue skies, the balmy Aegean lapping an endless coastline and a culture alive with passionate music, wonderful cuisine and thrill-seeking activities. Summer is when most travelers choose to explore its countless islands, and June affords the longest days of sunshine, peaking in the second fortnight. It’s also an opportune time for your first, refreshing dip of the summer. 

Going to Greece for the first time? Here our our top tips on things to know before you go

Savor the beautiful countryside and Mediterranean coastline on a summer trip to Tuscany © Umomos / Shutterstock


“I’m heading to Tuscany and the island of Elba.” – Annie Greenberg, Creative Director 
“We are doing a girls’ trip to Tuscany.” – Aly Yee, Senior Director

Tuscany escapes easy definition. The Apennines – Italy’s mountainous spine – slope into vineyard-covered rolling hills, which in turn fade into the Mediterranean coast. Late spring to early autumn is when most people visit Tuscany. It’s easy to understand why – days get longer and warmer, the countryside comes to life, outdoor dining opportunities abound, and festivals happen all around.  The island of Elba comes to life during summer, and it’s worth booking accommodation well in advance if you plan to visit in the high season. Elba offers both great beaches and hiking opportunities along its Grande Traversata Elbana (GTE, Elba’s Great Crossing) trail.

Ready to plan a trip to Tuscany? Check out our regional guide 


“I’m off to car-free Isla Holbox, Mexico for a relaxing beach getaway. I’m planning on horseback riding and wataflow therapy, which I’ve never done, but should be interesting.”  – Serina Patel, Marketing Manager

Isla Holbox (hol-bosh), meaning “black hole” in Mayan, lives up to its name – it’s like a portal to one of Mexico’s last unspoiled tropical islands. Golf carts and bicycles serve as the main forms of transportation, and visitors will discover sandy streets, colorful Caribbean buildings, lazing, sun-drunk dogs, and sand so fine its texture is nearly clay. The greenish waters are a unique color from the mixing of ocean currents, and on land there’s a mixing too: of locals and tourists, the latter hoping to escape the hubbub of Cancún.

Using Cancún as a base? Here are the best day trips into the wider area

Many columns with intricate carvings at the edge of a beautiful courtyard
The Alhambra palace complex is an unmissable stop on a visit to Granada in Spain © iStockphoto / Getty Images


“I’m heading to Granada, Spain for a week or so, maybe getting in Málaga too. This will be my second visit, so I’m hoping to take a more relaxed approach this time and also catch up with friends.” – Alison Killilea, Production Support Editor

With serene Islamic architecture, monumental churches, old-school tapas bars and counterculture graffiti art, Granada is Spain’s cultured, creative southern city; a place with a storied past centering on the Alhambra, one of the world’s great human-made wonders. While Granada can be scorching in summer, the city of Málaga is deemed to have the best climate in the country, with about 3000 hours of sun a year – the most in all of Spain. 

Seen the Alhambra? Here are Granada’s other top experiences


“I’m also going to Zürich, Lucerne, Grindelwald and Zermatt. I will mostly be hiking and doing lots of outdoorsy activities. My number one priority while I am in Switzerland is to do the highest hiking trail in Europe, the Barrhorn.”  – Aoife Breslin, Publicity and Marketing Coordinator

Nowhere is perfect, but let’s face it, Switzerland gets pretty darned close. With its supermodel looks, fine weather, easy-peasy public transport, multilingual mindset and penchant for cheese and wine, this is a country where it’s easy to get comfortable – even if it is a bit on the pricey side. Peak summer in Switzerland is tip-top, to borrow the Swiss German phrase. Barring the odd storm, it’s nearly always hot and sunny – oppressively so, sometimes, meaning the best place to be is in the cooler air of the high mountains.

Ready to experience the best of Switzerland? Here’s our guide to the top things to do

A palm tree-lined beach with windsurfing boards on white sand
The Bahamas is a top year-round beach destination © Hisham Ibrahim / Getty Images

The Bahamas

“I’m heading to Eleuthera in the Bahamas for our annual family trip – there are 16 of us so it’s always an exciting week! With age ranges of 7–70, I can report that we are all excited to do a beach bonfire and barbecue, and go sailing to swim with some piggies.” – Amy Nichols, Senior Marketing Manager

The sapphire waters and sun-soaked sands of the Bahamas beckon travelers with warm weather that never fades. Just a short flight from the east coast of the US, this island nation is a magnet for repeat visitors and last-minute bookers alike. Eleuthera, however, is a bit tougher to get to, but is well worth the expense and effort if you’re looking for vacation bliss. With its pink-sand beaches, Atlantic-battered reefs, weather-warped rock and dense subtropical scrub, this incredibly narrow 109-mile (175km-long) crescent also offers boutique hotels, revered surf breaks and some fabulous restaurants. 

Can’t decide where to go in the Bahamas? We can help with this guide to the best places to visit 



“I’m heading to Naples, Florida on a family vacation for 2 weeks. I’m planning to relax mostly, with lots of trips to the beach and eating good food! But I’m hoping to take a trip to the Everglades, too.” – Aoife Breslin, Publicity and Marketing Coordinator

For upscale romance and the prettiest, most serene city beach in southwest Florida, come to Naples, the Gulf Coast’s answer to Palm Beach. The soft white sand is backed only by narrow dunes and half-hidden mansions. More than that, though, Naples is a cultured, sophisticated town, unabashedly stylish and privileged but also welcoming and fun-loving. With spectacular year-round sunshine, there’s certainly no bad time to visit Florida. Summers can be pretty hot, but you’ll probably spend less on lodging than the winter or summer months.

Traveling to Florida on a budget? We’ve got some money-saving tips for you

A row of large pastel-colored wooden houses faces the waterfront
Martha’s Vineyard is incredibly popular in the summer months, so book your accommodations in advance © Guido Cozzi / Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images


“My friends and I are going to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts in July. We’re planning a Midsommar-esque garden dinner one night and will spend the rest of our time beach hopping and strolling through Edgartown.” – Ann Douglas Lott, Associate Editor

Martha’s Vineyard remains untouched by the kind of rampant commercialism found on the mainland – there’s not a single chain restaurant or cookie-cutter motel in sight. Sunny skies and consistently hot weather make July and August the best time for a traditional beach holiday with sunning, swimming and sand-digging. The tradeoff, of course, is that July and August are the months everyone goes to the Vineyard and it’s likely to be jam-packed, so plan ahead.

Want to see more of Massachusetts? Here are the best road-trip routes


“My family is headed to Northern Michigan this summer. We’re excited to paddleboard to a shipwreck, relax on the beach and sail on Lake Michigan. We’ll hike and run down all the sand dunes, explore cute artsy towns full of galleries and good eats.” – Sarah Stocking, Digital Editor

Summertime buzzes with travelers when draws like the Great Lakes, charming islands and unspoiled wilderness are at their most accessible. Michigan’s high season kicks off on Memorial Day (the last Monday in May). Ferries start to depart more regularly to popular spots and while summer-only establishments lift their shutters. The weather is mostly sunny and warm, with temperatures ranging from 76°F (24°C) to 85°F (29°C). This means lots of summer-only outdoor activities begin.

There are loads of great beaches in Michigan. Here’s our guide to the very best

A wooden fishing pier stretches out into the ocean as the sun rises turning the sky orange
Enjoy beautiful summer sunrises from Kure Beach in North Carolina © Chad_Talton / Getty Images

North Carolina

“My wife and I are going to Kure Beach, North Carolina for the 4th of July for five days — my favorite things to do there are take a yoga class on the beach with Kure Beach Yoga (no need to bring a mat, bring a towel!), watch the sunrise from our hotel (The Lighthouse Inn, a very laid-back and recently revamped spot right by the water so you don’t have to stress about parking, which is awful every summer), and see if we can find the boardwalk cat, Bibi.” – Rachel Lewis, Senior Social Media Manager

The height of summer in North Carolina is beach time, and with 322 miles (518km) of ocean shoreline reaching from the Outer Banks in the north to the South Carolina border in the south (and 12,000 miles/19,000km of estuarine coastline along the way), North Carolina has plenty of beaches to choose from. Kure Beach has 6 miles (10km) of protected shoreline as well as lagoons teeming with wildlife that you can explore by renting a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard.

Explore some of North Carolina’s epic landscapes by foot with our guide to the best hiking routes

Rhode Island

“I’m off to Newport, Rhode Island for Memorial Day Weekend and planning on going to restaurants, wineries, mansion tours, walking and hiking.” – Serina Patel, Marketing Manager

It may be the yachting capital of the world, but you don’t need nautical stripes – or a summer cottage – to enjoy the seaside retreat of Newport, Rhode Island. With its fresh briny air, expansive sea views and stunning bays, it’s obvious why cityfolk continue to follow in the footsteps of the American industrialists here. Enjoy a taste of the good life by touring Newport’s Gilded Age mansions built in the late 1800s, taking sailing lessons, or going wine tasting.