Summer always seems to slip away before we know it, leaving us wistful about the things we didn’t squeeze in to make the warm and sunny days feel complete.
One remedy for that: Hilton’s Ultimate Summer Bucket List, designed to help travelers (and homebodies) make the most of the season by setting a plan before it begins.
1. Catch an outdoor concert
Summer is not complete without time outdoors underneath a sun-filled or moonlit sky. Add some favorite live music to the mix and it becomes a blissful experience with friends, family or a plus one.
(Psst: For just 10,000 Points, members of Hilton’s free-to-join Hilton Honors loyalty program can snag two tickets from a lineup of great musicians. All they have to do is go to the Hilton Honors Experiences platform and check out the Lawn Days concert lineup at more than 30 cities across the U.S.)
2. Enjoy a beach bonfire
Millions of people hit the beach at some point during summer, but far fewer get to experience a beach bonfire. You can make the experience even sweeter by bringing the fixings for a family favorite – s’mores – along with you. Or find a place that provides the ingredients or serves the snack on site.
Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton near San Diego, California, for example, offers “Roasts” – a fireside experience gone gourmet where guests can choose from an a la carte menu of s’mores and other fireside favorites.
3. Sip a summer cocktail outdoors
There’s no better way to beat the heat than an ice-cold cocktail – or mocktail – on a beach, at a rooftop bar, or in any other scenic outdoor space.
If you prefer to stay close to home, search for rooftop bars in your area. If you’re traveling, consider a hotel where you can ride up to the rooftop from your room. Hilton has more than 70 rooftop bars around the world, including the Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar at Conrad New York Downtown, where you can get creative and sip on a popsicle cocktail.
A beachside bar is also refreshing. Head out of town to someplace like Puerto Rico, where you can stay at the Caribe Hilton and try the original Pina Colada at the hotel where it was invented. If you can’t get there, try making the drink at home for yourself or guests using this recipe from the hotel.
4. Take a road trip
Summer isn’t truly summer without a road trip somewhere – even if it’s just a short hop out of town.
The options are endless. You could explore one nearby town, discover multiple places in your state, or even journey cross-country to take in the beauty and excitement of several states at once.
And don’t overlook national parks as an option and the cozy places near them where you can stay. Try Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Springdale/Zion National Park near the Zion National Park in Utah, for example, or Homewood Suites by Hilton Jackson near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
More of a city explorer and history buff? Consider staying at The Graham Washington DC Georgetown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton to explore the nation’s capital, or stay at The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton to delve into the rich history in the City of Brotherly Love.
For drivers taking their Electric Vehicle on the road, Hilton’s expanding EV charging station program will ensure you never run out of juice when traveling long distances. Check out this map to find an EV charging station – and a Hilton hotel – along your route.
5. Resort – as if it’s a verb
Summering is one thing. Resorting is another. Do yourself a favor and do both. It’s the ultimate relaxation and a perfect trip for couples or families that’s fun, easy and offers something for everyone – from the little ones to teens and grandparents.
Many resorts will suffice, but consider adding an all-inclusive to your options for extra ease. If traveling with children, consider Hilton La Romana All-Inclusive Family Resort in the Dominican Republic. Couples and other adults-only groups can try the nearby, newly opened Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Adults Only Resort.
6. Go off-the-beaten-path
Looking to really shake up summer? Try something new and check out an off-the-beaten-path location for a glimpse of the road less traveled.
To experience a different kind of sand this summer, head to Cairo, Egypt for an authentic desert landscape and activities unique to the area. Hilton Honors members looking for an adventure of a lifetime can redeem their Honors Points for a camel ride through the Cairo desert followed by a stay at the Conrad Cairo, where guests can experience spectacular River Nile views from every room.
For a sand-filled stateside destination that’s off the beaten path, try Island House Hotel Orange Beach – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Orange Beach, Alabama, where you can relax on sugar white sand, enjoy a dolphin-watching cruise at sunset, and take in breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico
7. Go on a weekend getaway
You know those people who say a vacation has to be at least a week? Ignore them.
Don’t underestimate the power of a weekend getaway to help you sail through summer, whether you plan a string of them in advance or take a spontaneous trip because you can.
If you go with a group of friends or family, you can pool your Hilton Honors points to get a free or discounted stay, an especially useful tactic for last-minute jaunts.
For a tropical feel in the U.S., check out the newly opened The Gabriel Miami, Curio Collection by Hilton, a sophisticated escape with unparalleled ocean views of Biscayne Bay. It features two pools where guests can sip signature cocktails and indulge in Mediterranean cuisine.
8. Escape the heat
We’ve all sought relief in an air-conditioned space when the summer heat gets too blistering. Why not seek relief in another climate all together? Escape the heat with a “winter in summer” getaway to the southern hemisphere.
A thought starter: Get in some summer skiing in Queenstown, New Zealand. Then, after a long day exploring the Alps, take in stunning views of Lake Wakatipu during your stay at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, conveniently located near major ski areas.
Credit: Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
9. Protect the environment while you summer
There’s a reason the scenic places we visit during summer manage to stay that way: People take care of them. This summer, do your part to protect the environment while traveling or at home, in solidarity with Hilton, which has pledged to cut its environmental footprint in half by 2030.
A few suggestions: find a local beach cleanup to participate in, eliminate your use of plastic straws, or switch to reusable water bottles. You can even turn off the lights when you leave your hotel room – an easy energy saver.