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Start planning for these best places to travel in the summer.

The Hottest Places to Visit in the U.S. This Summer

BY SUZANNE DAVIS
Hot girl (and guy, and everyone) summer is coming up fast. And, now that travel is feeling imminently more doable than the past couple of years,
we’re hitting the road
with some of the best places to travel in the summer. Here are the U.S. destinations on the top of our summer bucket list, thanks to seasonal activities like checking out the art scene in Denver, trying a new speakeasy in San Diego, and discovering “the next Aspen” before everyone else on your Insta feed does.
Ready to explore? Let’s go.

AUSTIN, TEXAS

Head to Austin for summer activities that will remind you of the good ‘ol days.
Don’t mess with Texas summers, y’all…especially in Austin. The new hometown of Tesla is full of throwback summertime lures. Our first summer travel stop? The
Blue Starlite
, an urban drive-in movie theater where you can catch anything from Ghostbusters to Die Hard while binging on cinema-inspired fare like “You’re Killin’ Me! S’mores” or the jalapeno-topped “Good, Rad, and Spicy Burger.” Two other must-see summer extracurriculars in Austin? Taking a dip in the spring-fed, 70-degree
Barton Springs Pool
— where a young Robert Redford learned to swim — and watching more than a million Mexican free-tailed bats fly out from the
Congress Avenue Bridge
at sunset from late March through early fall. (See even more of
what to do in Austin here
.)
Where to stay with Sentral:
Sentral East Austin at 1614 E. Sixth
and
Sentral East Austin at 1630 E. Sixth

BEND, OREGON

Explore hiking trails around Mount Bachelor or the beer trail around town in Bend.
It’s not Portlandia…and that’s a good thing. Here, where snow-capped mountains meet the high desert plains, both outdoorsy and indoorsy pursuits beckon. Book a stay at the new
Pronghorn
resort, which has Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, and where spa treatments include Himalayan salt stone massages and platinum facials. Hike up to the top of
Smith Rock
, keeping an eye out for prairie falcons and mule deer as you ascend the basalt caldera. And, because any Oregonian will tell you that Bend is a brewery boomtown, be sure to stop in at the soon-to-open
Van Henion Brewing Company
taproom or the truly iconic
Deschutes Brewery
, where you can tuck into an elk burger while tipping back a Black Butte porter.

DENVER, COLORADO

Get cultured at reimagined museums in Denver.
The Mile High City is a veritable mecca in the summer months when the elevation and dry Rocky Mountain air keeps Denver’s 5,280-feet-high streets comparatively cool. This summer, art and culture obsessives are flocking here from across the globe to see the new and improved Gio Ponti-designed
Denver Art Museum
which just emerged from a $175 million renovation. (You won’t want to miss a meal at James Beard Award-winning chef Jennifer Jasinski’s new restaurant, The Ponti, tucked inside the museum and offers dishes like smoked Colorado trout ravigote.) While you’re there, stop by the Santa Fe icon
Meow Wolf
, which opened a new “immersive art experience” in Denver last year. Within the four-story structure, you’ll find more than 70 glowing art installations, each trippier than the last. Still want more art and culture? Check out our insider
guide to Denver’s LoDo district
Where to stay with Sentral:
Sentral Union Station

MIAMI, FLORIDA

Sun bathe and art hop in Miami.
True snowbirds know that Florida is a year-round destination — especially if you’re as interested in art and culture as splaying out on the sand with a rum runner. Opened in 2021,
Superblue Miami
is the place to wander light fields by James Turrell and mirrored labyrinths by Es Devlin. Just next door, the
Rubell Museum
is a jaw-dropping private family art collection that’s been made available to the public. Included in their 7,200 artworks are pieces by Cindy Sherman, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and so many more. Of course, there are other culture hotspots, plus plenty of shopping, drinking, and dining, too — find our
go-to spots here
.
Where to stay with Sentral:
Sentral Wynwood

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

Get your music festival fill in Milwaukee.
Coachella who? Every summer since 1968, the Midwest’s ultimate college town has hosted the aptly named
Summerfest
, reportedly the world’s largest music festival, with three weekends of music in June and July. Held at Henry Maier Festival Park on Lake Michigan, this year’s lineup features a litany of must-see names, including Wiz Khalifa, Rod Stewart, Avril Lavigne, Modest Mouse, Wu-Tang Clan, Lil Wayne, and Justin Bieber. While you’re in town, stop in at some of Milwaukee’s newest breweries to sip like a local. Our top pick:
Amorphic Beer
, where Nerd Bingo is offered every Thursday night, and brews include a fruity Cosmic Logic IPA.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

Check out San Diego’s new bar and restaurant openings.
SoCal’s southernmost city is rapidly becoming its answer to Paris, thanks to cocktail bars and buzzing restaurants that are so fabulous they’re making its more highbrow sister to the north, L.A., totally jealous. Among the brand new openings you’ll want to add to your list:
Youngblood
, a dimly lit speakeasy hidden behind a refrigerator door that feels like a respite for James Bond himself. (Recently on the ever-changing cocktail menu: the “Cosmic Dancer” with Pasubio Amaro, gin, lemon, and berries, then topped with flowers). Within an Art Deco-era building near the frothy beach in Encinitas,
Herb & Sea
is the place to grab an outdoor table and tuck into only-in-San-Diego dishes like steamed clams with preserved lemon butter.

WHITEFISH, MONTANA

Discover the new ‘it’ mountain destination, responsibly. Photo by Brian Schott courtesy of Explore Whitefish.
When Aspen and Telluride feel overrun each summer — and they often do — alpine insiders head to this comparatively sleepy retreat. Just a 40-minute drive from the 1,583-square-miles of untouched natural wonderland at
Glacier National Park
, Whitefish is practically a Norman Rockwell painting sprung to life. Stopping by
Sweet Peaks Ice Cream
is required for a scoop of River Float, made with Dutch oven-cooked cornbread, honey, and blackberry jam. Stay at
The Lodge at Whitefish Lake
, where you can dip in a waterfall-fed indoor pool or a hot tub set out over the crystalline waters, and pop in for cardamom orange morning buns at
Fleur Bake Shop
(not to mention perfect espresso). While Whitefish is still (relatively) under the radar, it’s best to visit in June or September, versus the peak of summer travel in July and August, to not overwhelm this small piece of mountain heaven. And, while you’re there, make sure to follow the town’s
Be a Friend of the Fish
initiative, guiding guests on how to visit responsibly and sustainably.   

SEE WHERE YOU CAN STAY AT SENTRAL THIS SUMMER.
Stay at Sentral

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