2014 Summer Vacation Ideas

99 Summer Travel Quests

Memorable, meaningful, just-gotta-do-it experiences for every day of summer vacation
by MapQuest Staff Posted May 30th 2014 1:38p.m.

Some summer vacation ideas, however, are better than others.

For 2014, we scoured the United States to find the most interesting and compelling summer vacation ideas. We tapped the knowledge of the passionate, travel-loving MapQuest staff, as well as our network of local experts across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. We’ve emerged with 99 Summer Travel Quests, one to represent each day of the season.


We'll be tweeting and photographing our travel quests this summer, and we want you to join the fun. Use the hashtag #99SummerQuests to share your own travels, and follow along with us at @MapQuest and Instagram.

These quests cover a range of summer travel options. We understand the classic summer joys of lounging on a porch with a cocktail in hand or sinking your teeth into a ripe Georgia peach. And we know that no summer should pass without the adventure and freedom of an epic road trip, with or without kids in the back seat asking, “Are we there yet?”

But we also realize that what makes for a great summer vacation experience is constantly being reimagined, as it is this year in Kansas City with a mind-blowing 168-foot-7-inch tall waterslide whose name is the German word for insane. Riding it requires wearing a seatbelt.  

No matter what you like to do during these long, sunny days, we’re sure we’ve found some pilgrimages for you, your family and your friends to take on during your summer vacation. Watch this spot all summer as we reveal our quests and see how many you can accomplish this year.

99 Summer Travel Quests

 1) Watch Fireflies Flash in Sync in the Great Smoky Mountains

 2) Ride Shotgun Around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

 3) Get a World Cup-Style Soccer Experience in the U.S.

 4) Sail in Delaware's Separation Day Regatta

 5) Dance with the Hammer of Glory During Philly Beer Week

 6) See a Big Artist in a Small Nashville Club

 7) Zipline through Downtown Las Vegas

 8) Get an Ice Cream Headache at the National Ice Cream Festival

 9) Be Superman in Metropolis, Illinois

10) Play the Oldest Mini Golf Course in the U.S.

11) Sit in the Bleachers at Wrigley Field

12) Shop for the Holidays in July

13) Try to Spot Bigfoot

14) See Philip Johnson’s Glass House on a Self-Guided Tour

15) Sleep in a (Former) Brewery

16) Sleep in an Authentic Victorian Railroad Car

17) Walk the Longest Pier on the West Coast

18) Touch a Dinosaur Bone in the Wild

19) Find the Perfect Hawaiian Shirt

20) Drink in an Ice Vault

21) Take Home a Pennsylvania Dutch Quilt

22) Sail on an America's Cup Yacht

23) Get Patrick Henry to Take a Selfie

24) Lounge on the World's Longest Porch

25) Witness Astronomical Fireworks in New Mexico

26) Taste Tupelo Honey

27) Watch a Movie in a Cemetery

28) Take a (Night) Hike

29) Descend into a Billionaire’s Wine Cellar

30) See Chuck Berry Perform

31) Visit an Authentic Speakeasy

32) Ride the World's Tallest, Fastest, Steepest Wooden Roller Coaster

33) See the Golden Gate Bridge From Golden Gate Park

34) Kick a Field Goal on an NFL Field

35) Take the Perfect Family Travel Photo

36) Swim with a Manatee

37) Eat Maine’s Best Lobster Rolls on a Lobster Roll Crawl

38) Cast Up a Creek in Idaho

39) Fish in the Shadow of a Civil War Fort

40) Hit with a Baseball Legend's Bat

41) Eat a Bowl of Cream of Wheat in its Birthplace

42) Hold a Hummingbird in Your Hand

43) Eat Atlanta's Best Peach Dishes on a Peach Crawl

44) Salute the 200th Anniversary of the 'Star-Spangled Banner'

45) Peek Behind the Scenes of NASCAR

46) Sail Like a Pirate

47) Eat Something Wild at a State Fair

48) Run With the Bulls (in the U.S.)

49) Find a Great Bowl of Pho on Old Route 66

50) Go on a Doo Wop Hotel Photo Safari

51) Make a Cowboy do your Bidding

52) Become a Certified Barbecue Judge

53) Eat Nine of New York's Best Pizzas in One Day on a NYC Pizza Crawl

54) Ride the World's Tallest, Fastest Water Slide

55) Ride a 60-Foot Natural Water Slide

56) Catch Derek Jeter in NYC During his Last Season as a New York Yankee

57) Take a Good Long Look at the Grand Canyon

58) Eat Tastykake on Bastille Day

59) Watch the Blue Angels Soar Home into Pensacola

60) Eat a Comic Book-Themed Doughnut (Possibly in Costume) During Comic-Con

61) Do Something High on a Rooftop

62) Watch the Sun Rise atop Maine's Cadillac Mountain

63) Be the Last Person in the United States to Watch the Sun Set

64) Soak in America's Oldest Spa

65) Watch Wild Ponies Swim

66) Take an Epic Baseball Road Trip

67) Spot a Blue Whale

68) Tour a Desert Garden by Flashlight

69) Drink Baseball-themed Booze on a Cooperstown Booze Crawl

70) Tilt over Chicago

71) Celebrate “The Wizard of Oz” During the Film’s 75th Anniversary

72) Visit a Small Town

73) Chill Out with Ghosts at an Abandoned Lunatic Asylum

74) Watch Ghosts Emerge from the "Field of Dreams" Corn

75) Float Down a River in a Livestock Tank

76) Dress Up for White Linen Night

77) Drive Tioga Pass Road

78) Milk a Cow on a Farm in Vermont

79) Shop at the World's Longest Yard Sale

80) Shag in North Myrtle Beach

81) Swing Dance Outdoors in Seattle

82) Enter the Miss Crustacean Hermit Crab Beauty Pageant

83) Be Cool and Stay in a School

84) Have a Snowball Fight in August

85) Catch a Wave in the Desert

86) Visit Sites Related to all 43 Presidents—in Four Hours

87) Drive the Longest Stretch of Interstate Within Any State

88) Go Nightswimming in Las Vegas

89) Paddle in Bioluminescent Waters

90) Take a Twilight Wine Tasting Trip—by River Raft

91) See a Little League World Series Game

92) Eat Around the Disney Universe at One Stop

93) Cruise on the National Park Service’s Biggest Boat

94) Build a Fairy House in Maine

95) Learn from an Expert Chef at a Farmer's Market

96) Excavate a Piece of Presidential History

97) Spot the Alaskan Big Five in Denali National Park

98) Enjoy a Child-Free Visit to Your Hometown

99) Bring the Beach Home


Brought to you by the MapQuest editors and our network of expert travel contributors. Click here to contact the editors.