10 Best U.S. Vacation Destinations for Sun, Sand, and Adventure

The tropics are known for their year-round heat, making them a perfect summer holiday destination for those who don’t like long trips. The lush vegetation, smooth island beaches, dazzling seas, overgrown orchids, bougainvillea, and birds-of-paradise are just a few of the tropics’ enticing qualities. While the United States is too far north to be labeled a truly tropical zone, you’ll be surprised at how many places to visit that offer mild weather and sugar sand beaches.

US citizens can travel from Hawaii to Puerto Rico without having to renew their passports, albeit passports are necessary. Whether or not these locations are geographically classified as tropical, these US islands, beach towns, and resorts offer the ideal tropical-style vacation:

1. Maui, Hawaii

Maui, Hawaii’s tropical region, is famous for its magnificent scenic backdrop and charming beaches. Consider driving the picturesque road to Hana this summer to discover the area’s black sand beaches, upcountry farmland, and magnificent resorts. You can also go on a hiking expedition to see misty waterfalls and bright rainbows. The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua offers the ideal summer tropical vacation, replete with palm-shaded regions, rocky shorelines, and championship golf courses, with its golden coasts, large nature preserves, and beautiful cliffs in every direction.


2. Kauai, Hawaii

Another tropical getaway, Kauai, is not far from the Ritz-Carlton Maui in Kapalua. Kauai, which has some of the nicest islands in the world and turquoise lagoons, has brilliant jungles, waterfalls, and stunning hiking paths. The magnificent view from the beach is the ultimate of tropical relaxation.


3. Amelia Island, Florida

A trip to Amelia Island off the northeast coast of Florida is a fantastic vacation choice for beach enthusiasts wishing to stay closer to home. Begin your day by looking for turtle nests in the morning, collecting shark teeth and seashells on the flat beaches in the afternoon, and then heading to the quaint downtown area for a strawberry ice cream cone to beat the growing heat. Relax at The Ritz-Carlton with one of their trademark spa treatments.


4. South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island. Photo credit: Hotels.com

While Texas is synonymous with cowboys, South Padre Island, located off the state’s southern coast, provides a year-round refuge with its white-sand beaches, clear warm waters, temperate weather, and multitude of activities. Visit the Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary, go fishing or take a boat trip, or simply enjoy the island’s splendor while drinking a margarita and watching a gorgeous sunset at Isla Grand Beach Resort’s beachside cafe.


5. Catalina Island, California

Catalina Island offers numerous chances for adventure seekers to explore. This island’s hot and lush atmosphere provides sandy beaches, mountains, and several campgrounds. There’s no shortage of things to keep you busy on this tropical island hideaway, whether you’re snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, diving, boating, mountain biking, zip-lining, or hiking.


6. Tybee Island, Georgia

While the Sahara desert meets the sea in Namibia, Tybee Island combines grassy sand dunes and a historic black-and-white striped lighthouse to create a lovely coastal vibe with a dash of desert adventure. A basket of fresh shrimp and a cool Tropicál cocktail at a seaside restaurant while watching the sun set behind pink and orange clouds is as easy to find as a metro hotdog.


7. Molokai, Hawaii

Molokai is a secret island in remote Hawaii located behind a barrier reef, making it an excellent tropical vacation option for anyone looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience. It has the highest sea cliffs in the world and Hawaii’s tallest waterfall, providing infinite chances for outdoor adventure in a tropical setting. When it comes to lodging, Hotel Moloka’i provides Polynesian-style bungalows for a one-of-a-kind vacation.


8. Las Vegas, Nevada

While Sin City is known for its desert-like adventure, filled with multiple casinos and a thriving nightlife, Nevada’s desert is no illusion. The Palm, a famous landmark and resort, has a palm-shaped pool where you may indulge in a variety of cuisines to your heart’s content. Despite its location in the heart of the Nevada desert, The Palm offers a comfortable tropical haven at every turn. So, for a taste of the South Pacific on your next Las Vegas vacation, take a break from the frenetic nightlife and enjoy a tropical experience at Mandalay Bay.


9. San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo credit: sanjuanpuertorico.com

With palm palms, white-sand beaches, and the only tropical rainforest in the United States’ national forest system, Puerto Rico provides the Caribbean getaway of your dreams. A journey to this tropical island, just a few miles from Miami and visa-free for US citizens, promises trekking activities in the rainforest, sunning on the island’s steamy beaches, and touring the Old City of San Juan. The popular Condado Vanderbilt resort provides five-star comfort and seaside views.


10. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama

This summer, Alabama’s southern coastlines can be regarded a legitimate tropical holiday destination. Although most American beaches cannot compete with the Gulf Coast’s azure waters and silky sands, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in Alabama give the ideal backdrop for leisure. These destinations give a flavor of the tropics, whether you’re lying on the fluffy white beaches with a rum punch in hand, going on deep-sea fishing experiences, or simply getting some sun by your own private pool at Kiva Dunes Resort and Golf.

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