50+ Summer Bucket List Ideas

Are you looking for some summer bucket list ideas for your next trip? You’re in the right place! This list has everything from incredible national parks and natural wonders to historic cities and pristine beaches. Keep reading to discover some of the best places to add to your summer bucket list.

USA Summer Bucket List Ideas

Grand Canyon

Located in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States. This vast canyon showcases millions of years of geological history with its layered bands of vibrant red rocks. If you have time to visit the Grand Canyon’s West Rim, the Skywalk is a must-do—this clear (glass-bottomed) bridge juts out 70 feet over the canyon, with a 4,000-foot drop below it.  You can even take a Las Vegas to Grand Canyon road trip, which includes driving on the next recommended summer bucket list item, Route 66.

Summer bucket list

Route 66

This long road connects Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California, so it’s a great way to see the western half of the USA. Stops along Route 66 include the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, and Cadillac Ranch in Texas. Along this road, you’ll encounter quirky motels, nostalgic highway stops, and plenty of old-school diners – you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time! 

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is one of the most gorgeous places in North America, with snow-capped mountains and glassy alpine lakes. Situated in northern Montana, this park encompasses nearly 1,600 miles of land. If you drive the Going-to-the-Sun road, which goes across the park, you’ll see much of its incredible mountain scenery.

Asia Summer Bucket List Ideas

Phuket, Thailand

This mountainous island showcases lush rainforests and some of the best beaches in Thailand. The most popular beaches are along the western shore, with crystal clear water and white sands. Be sure to explore Phuket City, which has plenty of shopping areas and local markets. The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is worth visiting if you’re an animal lover. Here are a few things to do in Phuket Old Town.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali has a little something for everyone – a vibrant culture, lush landscapes, incredible beaches, and warm hospitality. Explore lush rice terraces, lounge on one of the many beaches, visit a monkey sanctuary, or check out a Hindu temple. 

Africa Summer Bucket List Ideas

Victoria Falls

Located between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is one of the world’s largest waterfalls. These falls are over a mile wide and plunge 300 feet into a gorge below—during the rainy season, over 17 billion cubic feet of water per minute churns over the edge! While you’re here, you’ll likely see several unique plants and animals, like white rhinos and elephants.  Read about things to do in Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls Travel Guide: Things to do in Victoria Falls and Tips for Visiting Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

African Safari

Going on a safari should be at the top of your to-do list if you visit an African country! While there are several safari locations, Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is one of the best options. During the Great Migration, millions of zebras and wildebeest cross the Mara River. You can also spot other animals like elephants, rhinos, lions, gazelles, giraffes, and cheetahs.  If you’re short on time, you can visit Nairobi National Park for a quick safari. See what my visit was like to Nairobi National Park here.

Zanzibar

Situated off the coast of East Africa, Zanzibar boasts history, beautiful landscapes, and delicious food. Its beaches have white, powdery sands and bright blue waters, making it perfect for a beach vacation. The historic center of Zanzibar City, Stone Town, is ideal for history lovers—this UNESCO World Heritage Site has stunning architecture, colorful shops, winding streets, and carved doorways.  Read this Zanzibar guide on how to plan a trip to visit Zanzibar.

South America Summer Bucket List Ideas

Colombia

Colombia should be at the top of your travel bucket list if you’re visiting South America. You can start in Cartagena, a stunning port city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. This 16th-century city boasts colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and colorful buildings. Because it’s in the Caribbean, this city is also a tropical beach destination.

For travelers who love the mountains, Medellin is another fantastic destination in Colombia’s mountainous Antioquia province. This city has an abundance of parks and plazas, plus gorgeous botanical gardens and a lovely climate. Be sure to take a day trip to Guatape—this colorful village sits on the edge of a lake and is just two hours from the city.

More summer bucket list ideas

Europe Summer Bucket List Ideas

France

France is one of Europe’s most popular destinations. You can start in Paris, enjoying the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and plenty of chocolate croissants. Then, take a day trip to Versailles to see the palace and gardens where several French kings resided, from Louis XIV to Louis XVI. There are more train trips from Paris, including a Paris to Brussels day trip. If you want to relax on the beach and soak up the sun, spend a few days in Nice, France, on the southern coast.

Italy 

From incredible food and art to stunning landscapes and architecture, you could spend several months in Italy and still need to see everything! Rome, Italy, should be your first stop – you can marvel at several historical sites, like the Spanish Steps, the Vatican, the Pantheon, and the Colosseum. After you’ve gotten your dose of history, make your way to Tuscany, a region in central Italy. You can enjoy the fantastic art museums in Florence or head to the Tuscan countryside for gorgeous scenery, delicious food, and wine. 

Iceland

Iceland has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, including crater lakes, waterfalls, black sand beaches, and impressive volcanoes. Relax in one of the many hot springs or thermal baths, including the Blue Lagoon. Dolphin and whale watching are other must-do activities in Iceland, and they are common in the ports of Reykjavik and Akureyri.

Visit Diamond Beach to marvel at the black sand contrasting with the roaring surf’s icy blue and white colors. If you can catch the Northern Lights at this spot, it’s a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Australia Summer Bucket List Ideas

Great Barrier Reef

Spanning over 1,400 miles off the coast of Australia, this is easily one of the most impressive wonders in the world. Embark on a glass-bottomed boat tour or a snorkeling excursion to witness the stunning colors of the reef and the adorable marine animals that reside here, like sea turtles, clownfish, and even whales.

As you plan your summer adventures, let this summer bucket list guide you to unforgettable experiences across the globe. From the majestic canyons of the United States to the pristine beaches of Asia, the wild safaris of Africa, the historic charm of Europe, and the natural wonders of Australia, there’s a world of exploration waiting for you. Whether you seek adrenaline-pumping adventures or serene moments of relaxation, may this summer be filled with cherished memories and discoveries!

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50+ Summer Bucket List Ideas50+ Summer Bucket List Ideas

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