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What Do Americans Do in the Summer? Posted by on Jul 10, 2018 in Culture

Summer is in full swing in the US. Students are enjoying their nice extended holiday from school, while many adults are taking time off work to travel. With all that free time, what do Americans do in the summer? Let’s take a look at some popular summer activities in the United States.

Family Vacations

Since kids have a long holiday, it’s very common to take a family vacation in the summer. In a country as big and diverse as the United States, the options are endless for a family trip. Some families like to rent an RV and visit the country’s beautiful national parks, such as the Grand Canyon. Others like to spend time on and in the water, so they visit the beach or a lake. Summer is also a great time for international travel. Many Americans like to visit Europe in the summer, especially famous cities like Rome, London, and Paris.

5 Amazing American National Parks

The amazing Grand Canyon.

Growing up, my family always went “up north.” This is what people from Michigan say about visiting the northern part of the state. It doesn’t matter which town you’re going to – just say “I’m going up north” and people will understand. We would always rent a condo for a week and do things like play mini-golf or walk along a nature trail.

Summer Camp

Many children attend at least one summer camp between June and September. Some of these summer camps take place at a local school or park and only happen during the day. There are other summer camps where children travel there and stay for a week or so. They might camp in a tent, or perhaps stay in a cottage. At one summer camp I went to as a kid, you could even sleep in an old train or an airplane!

There are summer camps for just about every activity you can imagine. Some summer camps are focused on one thing. For example, I used to go to basketball camp and music camp. Each day, we’d spend 4-5 hours playing basketball or practicing the cello. I much preferred basketball camp!

Other summer camps are very general, with kids taking part in a variety of activities. There might be some horseback riding, some arts & crafts, and of course plenty of classic games such as capture the flag. Summer camp is a great chance to make new friends and have a lot of fun.

Theme/Amusement Parks

Cedar Pointe in Ohio

Americans love going to theme parks and amusement parks. You may be wondering what the difference is. Well, a theme park has some sort of theme. Disney World is a great example, as it’s probably the most famous theme park in the world. When you visit, you’ll see characters from many different Disney movies.

An amusement park, on the other hand, is just a big park with rides and games. There are relaxing rides like a Ferris wheel, and very exciting rides like a roller coaster. You can also play different games and maybe win a prize like a stuffed animal. Of course, amusement parks also have plenty of snacks such as popcorn and ice cream.

One of my favorite amusement parks is Cedar Pointe in Ohio. It’s only about a 2-hour drive from my hometown in Michigan, so we used to go there just about every year. Unfortunately, I haven’t been there since 2011! Growing up is lame, isn’t it?


I love music festivals.

There are so many different kinds of festivals going on in the summer months that it’s impossible to keep track of them all. All across the US, people enjoy going to food festivals, music festivals, beer festivals, and so on. Festivals range in size from a few hundred people to tens of thousands. There are festivals in the city and there are festivals out in the country. Basically, no matter where you are in the United States, you can find a festival around on a summer weekend.

Going to music festivals is my favorite thing to do in the summer. When I was in college, I would go to 4-5 different music festivals every summer. I even met my wife at a music festival ten years ago! These days, we go to one or two each summer.

Get Outside

For many Americans, summer is the best time to get outside. Local parks are usually packed on the weekends with people who come to swim, have a picnic, or just hang out with friends. There are also basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts at many parks. In my hometown, I love going to the park on a nice summer day.


My hometown!

Summer is also a great time to go for a walk, a bike ride, or a swim. People who live by a lake or the ocean love getting out in the water during the hot summer months. My hometown is on a lake, so many people there have boats. They like to take their boat out for the day and enjoy activities such as fishing, wake boarding, or tubing.

Another popular thing to do in the summer is to go hiking. Of course, not every state has mountains. Some of the best states to visit for good hiking include Colorado, Utah, Oregon, and North Carolina.  Very serious hikers try to go on a long hiking trip. The Appalachian Trail starts in Maine and ends in Georgia, and it is 2,200 miles (3,500 km) long. Can you imagine hiking all that way?!


These are just a few of the things that keep Americans busy in the summer. With so much going on, summer always flies by. I remember summer vacations seeming to go by in the blink of an eye when I was younger. I may not get two months off anymore, but summer is still my favorite season. I love getting outside, going to festivals, and spending time with my friends and family. How about you??

Where are you from? What do people like to do in the summer in your country? Leave a comment and lets us know!

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


  1. Sridevi:

    Article is Good and interesting. It gives knowledge about Americans summer vacation.