14 Last-Minute Trips to Take Before Summer Ends
From splashing in water parks in Texas to stargazing in Nebraska and riding horse and buggies in northern Michigan, these last-minute trips will help you celebrate the last gasp of summer.
Shelburne Farms Burlington, Vermont
This National Historic Landmark is a nonprofit, 1,400-acre working farm on picturesque Lake Champlain near Burlington, Vermont. It offers special educational programs, like letting kids get face to face with an owl or hawk, and family farm fun is available every day from spring to autumn. Kids ages 5 and under will be giddy watching the daily chicken parade and delight in the chance to milk a cow or groom a donkey. After hands are washed, check out a cheese-making demonstration before sitting down together for an alfresco lunch from the resident food truck. Building a foundation of sustainable farm-to-table eating in your youngest children may sow seeds that will grow fruit for the rest of their lives, and that alone is a worthy reason for a last-minute summer trip before proper book-learning resumes.
In a city where auto racing rules, young children can also zoom around in the largest children’s museum in the world and interact with orangutans at the zoo’s award-winning research and conservation center. Indiana’s capital city is also home to Conner Prairie, a sprawling 100-acre outdoor and indoor living history museum that meticulously recreates 19th-century life, with views of the past, present, and future from a tethered helium balloon rising 370 feet.
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz/shutterstock
It is the birthplace of our nation and it’s littered with the landmarks, sights, and museums to prove it. Philadelphia is a unique city that mixes both the legitimately historic with the unquestionably modern, making it perfect for a last-minute summer trip. Stay at the extraordinary Lyric Suite and enjoy a fully stocked kitchen, record player with curated local music scene vinyl collection, smart TV, local contemporary artist’s work hanging on the walls, and comfy Casper mattresses. This unique accommodation choice is situated in one of the most vibrant sections of Philly, a central location to the best Philly cheesesteak (Jim’s on South Street), best new music venue (The Met on Broad Street, which hosts Lenny Kravitz, Kasey Musgraves, Ringo Starr, and Social Distortion among others between now and early September), the best new museum in the city (the stunning Museum of the American Revolution), and Vedge, widely regarded as the best vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the country. Good thing it doesn’t take much to plan a trip to Philly or any of these other 20 last-minute summer vacations.
SummerFest at Gaylord Rockies Resort
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Make it a mile-high good-bye to summer in the Denver area with SummerFest at the Gaylord Rockies Resort. Through Labor Day, experience a uniquely Colorado take on Lewis Carroll’s storybook classic with an immersive “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” themed celebration. You’ll see costumed characters strolling the property, and you can rock out with live music, play Queen of Hearts Mini Golf, go on an adventure with the Cheshire Cat, and try to solve the puzzle of the Mad Hatter’s Escape Room. Hit the Arapahoe Springs Resort Pool & Lazy River for a water balloon toss, noodle races, and basketball shootout competitions—or just float your cares away down the Lazy River. If you want to experience some of the Denver area, check out the nearby Wild Animal Sanctuary, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, and Colorado Rockies baseball at Coors Field with home games against the Red Sox and Pirates at the end of August.
Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.