Great adventures are all around us, and there’s no better time than summer to discover them. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway with friends or a summer beach vacation with family, Southwest wants to take you there to help make this a summer to remember.
Figuring out where to go on your summer escape can be a bit overwhelming. You may even be tempted to go back to the same place that you went last summer—or where “everyone else is going”. This year challenge yourself and step out of your travel comfort zone and explore somewhere new.
While some places have been popular with summer travelers for years, others have just recently started to gain attention. From the white sand beaches of Cabo San Lucas to strolling down the National Mall in Washington D.C., no two cities are the same. Here are a few of our favorite Southwest cities for your summer getaway.
Seattle, WashingtonSpace NeedleNo city embraces summer like Seattle. With over 50 different summer festivals, outdoor movies and countless hiking trails, there’s no better place to be outside. If it’s your first time in Seattle, don’t miss taking a trip up to the Space Needle or strolling through Pike’s Place Market. Stop in Market Grill for lunch, and take a seat at their counter for their famous blackened salmon sandwich and a hot cup of chowder.
Market Grill inside Pike's Place Market
Check out nearby outdoor adventures including kayaking Puget Sound or hiking the North Cascades for breathtaking views. Did you know that the best time to spot the majestic orca killer whales falls between mid-April through mid-September? Hop on one of the many whale watching excursions that leave from downtown Seattle for a quick day trip around the San Juan Islands. It is known to be one of the best spots to catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures.
Cabo San Lucas, MexicoEl Arco
What’s summer without a visit to a beach and a little sun? If you are looking to grab a great deal, look no further than Cabo San Lucas between May-June for off-peak season deals.
The beauty of the Baja California Peninsula surrounded by desert landscapes and beaches is one-of-a-kind. Cabo San Lucas is the ideal destination to have a balance of beach time incorporated with adventurous day trips. While its sport fishing and golfing are renowned around the world, don’t pass up an opportunity to go scuba diving, snorkeling, take an ATV tour, or kayak.
You’ve come to the right place for not just great Mexican food, but fantastic seafood that was likely caught only miles from your table. Don’t miss the shrimp and fish tacos at Los Tres Gallos, a quaint Mexican restaurant decorated with rustic wooden tables, vibrant colors, handmade pottery, and hanging vintage lights.
Orange County, CaliforniaDisneyland Resort
Step out of the John Wayne Orange County Airport and immediately feel the warm California sun and ocean breeze. Here you’ll find some of California’s best beaches-ideal for relaxing or catching the perfect wave. Head over to Huntington Beach to see why it’s known as the true Surf City USA. Don’t forget to take advantage of one of their 500 free fire rings available on the beach designed to be the perfect excuse to roast s’mores for dinner.
This is a summer not to miss at the nearby Disneyland Resort as Disneyland celebrates the debut of Pixar Fest from April 13th to September 3rd. You’ll enjoy a new nighttime fireworks show guaranteed to light up the night sky. Look for Pixar themed inspired treats, and have the chance snap a photo with some of your favorite Pixar characters!
If you are looking for a lunch or dinner with an eclectic vibe with over 20 artisan eateries proven to please even the pickiest of eaters, pay a visit to the Anaheim Packing District. Sunlight beams down from the top of the atrium, making this large market-style space warm and inviting. For a new spin on the popular boba tea, check out Mini Monster, and for everyone’s favorite summertime sweet, don’t pass up Popbar for a new spin on popsicles.
The City of Brotherly Love is alive and full of life in the summertime. The Spruce Street Harbor Park on the Delaware River Waterfront is the spot to enjoy a summer night relaxing in one of the many colorful hammocks along the waterfront. While you’re here, treat yourself to a local favorite—crabfries and cheesesteaks from Chickie and Pete’s sold along the waterfront. After a visit to Independence Hall, stop in a new place making its own mark in history—the Independence Beer Garden. Take a seat at one of their picnic tables, or settle into an Adirondack chair and sip on local beer, a house made cocktail, and enjoy the ultimate summer escape.
Spruce Street Harbor Park
Don't leave Philadelphia without visiting a true art experience. The Magic Gardens is a collection of mosaics that cover around half of a city block and are made up of elements that you can touch and feel including cement, bicycle spokes, bottles, ceramics tiles, and everything in between. It’s beautiful example of imagination, creativity, and expression coming to life.
Chicago, IllinoisWrigley Field
A city with some pretty chilly winters certainly knows how to enjoy the summertime. Stroll along gorgeous Lake Michigan with the skyline of Chicago behind you, or catch a free concert in Millennium Park. Street festivals are happening almost every weekend in Chicago in the summer time. Come with an appetite to the Taste of Chicago in Grant Park July 11-15, 2018 when local restaurants and food vendors set up booths for samples of their most popular dishes.
Not only are pizza and hot dogs known in this city, but its home of the Original Rainbow Cone. Take a break to cool off and check out this Chicago family run ice cream shop that has been in business since 1926 with a kiosk on the walkway of Navy Pier. A Rainbow Cone consists of the colorful combination of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with walnuts and cherries), and pistachio ice creams topped with orange sherbet, as a palate cleanser.
Original Rainbow Cone
Washington, D.C.The National Mall
The Nation’s Capital is the place to be during the summer to take advantage of the free and affordable outdoor concerts and festivals. If you are looking to celebrate the Fourth of July here, make sure you scope out a spot on the National Mall early in the afternoon for the best view of this spectacular show.
If you think DC’s National Mall is beautiful during the day, just wait until you experience it on a summer night. The Lincoln Memorial in particular casts a beautiful glow at night as the reflecting pool shines back at you against the Washington Monument and the Capitol.
Enjoy a Friday night with the local Washingtonians and kick back at Jazz in the Garden held inside the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Gardens every Friday during the summer beginning May 18th to August 24th. Sip on sangria and snap your fingers to smooth jazz in the background.
Is one of these cities on your summer travel list? What summer vacation on Southwest Airlines are you most looking forward to this year? And head to Southwest.com to book your next summer getaway!