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15 Unforgettable Destinations for a Summer Vacation with Teens

Once your kids become teens, you enter a new era of traveling. Sure, teens can sometimes be tricky travel companions with their own specific wishlists for fun-filled vacations. The secret to a great summer vacation with teens is finding the best destinations and adventures. 

So, with warm weather approaching, now is the perfect time to plan the best summer vacation with teens. From the shorelines of San Diego to the scenic wonders of Iceland, we’ve got great ideas to make your summer vacation the best yet. 

15 Fabulous Destinations for Summer Vacations with Teens - Kids Are A Trip

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Where to Go on a Summer Vacation with Teens

1. Acadia National Park

We always encourage families to vacation at America’s National Parks. It’s your chance to enjoy the great outdoors, see incredible sights, and unwind – all while having a fun-filled adventure. 

Our favorite national park for a summer vacation with teens? Acadia National Park in Maine. Summers here are gorgeous with pleasant temperatures, vibrant wildflowers, and many different ways to enjoy the park. 

Acadia National Park Maine sustainable tourism

Bike along its many paved trails, take a carriage ride through the forests, or go tide pooling in the rocky shoreline. 

Your teen will love renting a kayak and paddling through the water, and you may be surprised how willingly they wake up to watch the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain.

Also, be sure to explore its nearby coastal towns. They’re worth visiting for at least a full day. Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor are great places to eat local seafood and see even more unique sights. 

2. Algarve, Portugal

Want to travel outside the United States this summer? The Algarve in Portugal is one of the best family vacation destinations with teens. 

Cape St Vincent things to do in Algarve

The cliff-lined beaches are incredibly beautiful, and you can eat some of the best seafood anywhere. Plus, there are many adrenaline-packed watersports that your kids can stay busy (and active!) for days. Enjoy jet skiing, surfing, and flyboarding. Or, slow down with a scenic kayak tour or snorkel excursion. 

If your teens like staying up late, they’ll love Algarve. Restaurants and bars radiate with live music, and many beachside snack bars are opened well past dark. 

3. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole is famous for its ski resort and winter activities, but a summer vacation here can’t be beaten. Active teens will love the outdoor adventures that await in this scenic Wyoming destination. 

Enjoy a classic Western getaway at the foot of the majestic Teton Mountains. For high-octane activities, consider going paragliding, whitewater rafting, or ziplining. We also love taking a scenic horseback ride through the mountains. 

Grand Teton National Park with teens

Be sure to check out the Jackson Hole Rodeo along with the Town Square Shootout, an hour-long program that’s free and open to the public. 

You are also minutes away from Grand Teton National Park, and about two hours from Yellowstone National Park, so you can see even more of America’s natural scenery while in the area. 

4. Fiji

Fiji is the best place to have a classic tropical vacation with your teens. This distant, scenic destination feels like a whole new world. Teens will love discovering the natural beauty and local culture while the salt breeze carries their worries away. 

Take a day cruise to the Mamanuka islands, or ride the longest zipline in the South Pacific. The tropical rainforests here are truly a sight to behold. 

Fiji summer vacation with teens

Back on the beach is where your teen can get active. They will love snorkeling, surfing, or jet skiing through the crystal-clear water. 

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Plus, planning your vacation to Fiji is easy thanks to its many all-inclusive resorts. Many of them have great kids’ clubs that can keep younger family members entertained while teens embark on their fast-paced adventures. 

5. San Diego

You may have been to San Diego before, but have you explored with teens? This is a great chance to explore this beautiful city since there’s so much for teens to love about Southern California. 

The entire family will enjoy their time at the famous San Diego Zoo, but you also want to save time for the city’s many gardens and museums. 

Have your teens pick out your dinner or lunch spots. There are many trendy restaurants in San Diego that they’ll love. Be sure to include a free day to simply explore the city. We always have a good time when we ditch the strict itinerary and see where the day takes us!

Unforgettable Things to do in San Diego with Kids

San Diego offers plenty of places where you can enjoy the sun-soaked shoreline. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a great place for hiking in San Diego.

Coronado Island has pristine beaches and a luxurious vibe. La Jolla is a popular spot for families with beautiful beaches, shopping, and restaurants. Teens can take a surf lesson while little kids build sand castles or run around at a nearby playground. 

6. Buenos Aires, Argentina 

Sure, we’re highlighting the best summer vacation with teens, but we’re still fans of wintertime in Buenos Aires. During North America’s summer, Argentina is in the midst of winter, complete with chilly temperatures and lots of fun things to do. 

So, if you want to escape the extreme heat and peak crowds, Buenos Aires could be your perfect destination. The weather is brisk but just fine for walking around and seeing the city’s many sights. You will love discovering these bustling streets with your teen. 

Buenos Aires Argentina

This is a great place to learn about different cultures. Eat at the delicious local restaurants, take a street art tour, and browse the museums. You’ve also got to check out Planetario Galileo Galilei, one of the best planetariums in the world. 

Looking for something unique to do? Watch a tango performance, or even take dance lessons to learn some moves yourself!

7. Ireland

Kids in their teenage years will especially love a trip to Ireland (though this is a great destination for the whole family). There’s lots of fun dining and culture in Dublin, but we recommend getting out of the city to see the historic, rugged beauty of the Emerald Isle.

10 Day Itinerary Ireland with Kids

Stay in an Irish castle, where you can have falconry experiences, horseback riding, and nature trails. Explore the coastline to see the Cliffs of Moher and drive the Wild Atlantic Way. 

Even if your teen doesn’t typically get too excited for a road trip, they’ll likely love driving around Ireland. Be sure to stop along the way and experience colorful cities, verdant farmland, and untamed beauty. Plus, they can try amazing food and see sites from famous movies. 

8. Italy

Most teens dream of an Italian vacation, so why not book an unforgettable family vacation to this stunning European country? 

Your teen will likely have the best time in Rome or Venice, where history, culture, and vibrant city life come together for a fun-filled getaway.

Trevi fountain Rome

Everyone can dine their way through the city, from authentic pasta to delicious gelato. And their social media feed will be full of their whimsical Italian adventures. 

Be sure to check out Italy’s many historic sites, like the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum in Rome, take a cooking class, or enjoy the canals of Venice

9. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs is a great summer destination for outdoor recreation and family-friendly fun. As the weather warms, Colorado comes to life with stunning natural beauty. 

Hike through the mountains, explore the fun vibes of downtown Colorado Springs, and discover some of the hidden beauty of the Rocky Mountains. 

Garden of the Gods Colorado-2

We love walking through the Garden of the Gods and riding the Manitou Incline for epic views. Colorado Springs also has great opportunities for horseback riding and rock climbing. Many half-day rock climbing excursions, like this one from Pikes Peak Alpine School, are great for beginners.

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10. Costa Rica

Whether your teen loves heart-pumping thrills or relaxed holidays, Costa Rica will be perfect for your summer vacation. It’s full of natural wonders, all-inclusive resorts, and fun adventures. 

White water rafting Costa Rica-2

Thrillseekers will love the jungle adventures, like ziplining, waterfall rappelling, whitewater rafting, and rugged hikes. But Costa Rica is also a great place for relaxed travelers. In the jungle, you can take a dip in hot springs and the expansive beaches are perfect for anyone who likes to soak up the sun. 

11. Croatia

Croatia is a stunning European country full of beautiful beaches, and it’s one of the best places to take your teen on a summer vacation. The waters here are perfect for swimming, boat tours, snorkeling, and kayaking. 

fall destinations in Europe Dubrovnik Croatia rooftops

Be sure to explore Croatia’s many off-beach attractions. The town of Dubrovnik is perfect for walking around. Take in the quaint cobbled streets, historic churches, and beautiful architecture. 

We also recommend you check out Plitvice National Park. Teens will be impressed by the 16 terraced lakes, complete with waterfalls, walking trails, and wooden bridges. 

12. Galapagos 

Galapagos is one of the best places in the world for wildlife viewing, and kids of all ages will be enriched and inspired by a summer vacation here. 

You can book a fully guided tour of the Galapagos, either on a cruise or a land tour. Or you can plan your land itinerary, complete with some of the area’s best adventures. 

Galapagos Islands sea lions

See giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Center, snorkel along its pristine waters, and explore the shops and restaurants on Santa Cruz Island. 

One of the best things about a Galapagos vacation is getting to enjoy nature’s unbeatable beauty while making once-in-a-lifetime memories with your teens. 

13. Alaska 

Families can have some of the best vacations in Alaska. It’s especially beautiful in the summer when you can go whale watching, explore Kenai Fjords National Park, and enjoy the natural scenery. 

Alaska glaciers

Many cruise lines offer great tours of Alaska. We recommend small boats like UnCruise, which can get into hard-to-reach areas and offer a more personalized service. 

Alaska is also great for multi-generational travel, as there are adventures for every age group. Teens will love kayaking and ziplining, while a scenic train ride is something everyone can enjoy. 

14. Iceland 

Escape the summer heat and have unforgettable adventures by heading to Iceland! There is so much here that your teens will love, from whale watching to ziplining. 

Iceland is the perfect place for a family trip since it has so many unique activities. Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon may be your teen’s favorite destination here. These hot springs are unbelievably beautiful, and something they will always remember. 

Snaefellsnes Peninsula black beach Iceland

Make time to explore the city of Reykjavik. Here, you will find colorful streets, lots of art museums, and a fun local culture. 

Iceland also offers the chance to go river rafting, horseback riding, and glacier hiking.

15. Prince Edward Island, Canada

Prince Edward Island is one of our favorite places to visit in Canada. This Atlantic coastal area is home to lots of great outdoor activities and unique sights – plus great seafood and a relaxed atmosphere. 

West Point Lighthouse PEI

Your summer vacation here should include lighthouse exploration and time on the beach. These laid-back adventures are when you may make some of your most treasured memories. 

You can also go on an old-fashioned clam dig, explore scenic national parks, and walk the beautiful streets of Charlottetown. Kensington’s Haunted Mansion is typically a hit with teens, and Shining Waters Family Fun Park is a small but fun theme park complete with water slides and roller coasters.