How to Pack for These Top Summer Destinations

How to Pack for These Top Summer Destinations

Summer is here and it is time to travel! Join us in exploring nine USA destinations, from the mountains to the beaches, and read expert insights from our local retailers in each spot. They will dish out advice on what to do, what to pack, and what to expect while visiting.

Portland, ME

“Summer is a great time to visit Maine! When packing for a trip to Portland we recommend bringing a variety of layers because even in summer the weather is quite variable here on Casco Bay. Maine offers a lot from the rugged coastline to the mountains with lots of great food options in between!

A full summer day in Portland might look like: paddling on the ocean in the morning, brunch at a local diner, a shopping stop at Nomads, a ferry ride to a nearby island for an afternoon bike ride, eating a lobster roll with a lighthouse view, and top it all off with a sunset sail slurping local oysters and sipping bubbly! The next day head inland or north for some amazing hiking or catch your breath with a relaxing beach day!”

Photo courtesy of Nomad's Adventure and Activewear

Photo courtesy of The Local Gentry

Lāna‘i City, HI

“Get ready to slow down and recharge on an island with no stop lights, 30 miles of paved road, and a community that always waves as you pass each other in the car.”

Lāna‘i City is one of the quieter destinations in Hawaii. There are few crowds here, granting ample space and quiet to feel totally unplugged. Some claim that a stay here even feels like a private beach vacation! The town itself is historic (the old home of the Dole Pineapple Plantation) and features a very walkable town filled with quaint shops and restaurants. Outside of the city, the island boasts over 18 miles of beaches, plus excellent hiking and offroading.

“When you pack for a summer vacay on Lāna'i, be sure to include: swimsuits for swimming and snorkeling in the beautiful Hulopo'e Bay, hiking wear for the amazing Koloiki Ridge hike, and summer dresses for dining in town at Lāna'i City Grill or at The Four Seasons Hotel. But don’t forget about activewear for a pickleball match, shorts and a tank top for strolling and shopping in Lāna‘i City, and anything but white clothing to off-road in a jeep around the island. The evenings can be cooler, so be sure to pack a light sweater, too.”

Estes Park, CO

“Estes Park, Colorado is known worldwide as the Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, the nation's 3rd most visited park. Situated at 7,600’ above sea level, Estes Park gets almost every type of weather imaginable. Beautiful 85° summer days can be followed by rain, possibly snow, and evenings in the mid-40s.”

“The key to comfort in Estes Park is to dress in layers. A comfortable, thin base layer under a medium weight mid layer topped off by either a “puffy” outer layer or rain shell provides maximum versatility for any weather condition you’re likely to encounter. Hyk, in downtown Estes Park, is the premier outfitter for active trips to Rocky Mountain National Park and allows you to ‘explore the outdoors in style.’”

Photo courtesy of HYK Mountain Lifestyle

Photo courtesy of Toggery Shop

Whitefish, MT

“Thousands flock to the area every summer to visit Glacier National Park, go whitewater rafting on the Flathead River, and hike and ride mountain bikes in the surrounding forests.

“Whether you're big on adventure or just taking in the views, it's important to come prepared. A solid pair of trail shoes or boots is a must. And even in the warmer months, the weather in the mountains can change on a dime, so we recommend dressing in comfortable layers that you won't mind taking on and off throughout the day. Look for items you might wear on a brisk hike followed by lunch or a beer in town!

“Some other Northwest Montana must-haves include bear spray — grizzlies and black bears roam the area — as well as a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. Hikers should bring a comfortable backpack sized for their trip, whether it's a multi-day expedition or a leisurely jaunt along the Whitefish Trail.”

Manzanita, OR

“The Oregon coast has cooler temps than most summer destinations which is why savvy travelers flock here. Expect it to be breezy in the afternoon if you're near the water, a lightweight windbreaker is a handy item to pack. Manzanita has several stunning hikes within 5 miles of the city limits so don't forget some sneakers or hiking sandals. Cute restaurants and wine bars mean you'll want a casual dress or light sweater and flowy pants. The local farmers market on Friday nights is the perfect way to blend with the locals and pick up delicacies like locally smoked salmon, goat milk gelato, berries, and pottery.

“If you forget anything, Unfurl has got you covered! The store is built like a ship and jam-packed with goodies.”

Photo courtesy of Unfurl Manzanita

Photo courtesy of Ride the Wind Surf Shop

Ocracoke, NC

“Ocracoke has so much to offer for everyone. It’s unlike anything you will find on the North Carolina Coast. On our island, you’ll find miles of undeveloped beaches for you to enjoy. The only way to and from Ocracoke is via ferry. After arriving at one of our two ferry ports, you will either embark on a quick drive through our village or drive through miles of protected beaches to eventually arrive at our quaint village. Be prepared to slow down and take it all in.

“Our family-owned surf shop is located in the heart of the Ocracoke village with a beautiful view of the Silver Lake Harbor. Ride The Wind has been “the surf shop” on Ocracoke since 1985 with over 300 brands and counting. If you’re looking to get out on the water, you can rent a kayak, surfboard, paddleboard, skimboard, or bodyboard. If you’re looking for a unique Ocracoke experience, you can book a kayak history eco-tour, surf lesson, or SUP yoga session.

“There’s plenty to do on your visit to the island. Visitor’s favorites usually include chartering fishing boats to go out to the Gulf Stream, sunset cruises out of Silver Lake Harbor into the Pamlico Sound, driving out onto the beach for a beach day or surf, attending yoga either at the studio or at a location around the village, and going out to dinner.

“Ocracoke visitors should come prepared with comfortable shoes since our village is very walkable, versatile sundresses and button-ups that can go beach to eat as we have many awesome, laidback local restaurants, a bathing suit suitable for playing in the surf, and bug spray! It is crucial to a good vacation to have the right gear. A good hat and sunglasses are always a good call. We recommend water shoes and UV-protective clothing for any outdoor excursion or activity. A getaway to Ocracoke Island is, at its core, about getting back to nature and experiencing a rich, unique culture.

“And be prepared to have sand everywhere…and we mean everywhere!”

Photo courtesy of Outdoor Gear Exchange

Burlington, VT

“The wonderful thing about Burlington is that if you like to do anything outside, we most likely have it nearby! Whether it's walking along Lake Champlain eating a cone of Ben and Jerry's, paddleboarding, mountain biking on trails in neighboring Richmond, hiking the tallest peak in Vermont (Mount Mansfield), or climbing at the Bolton Dome, we truly have it all within grasp. If a visitor is into good food, good activities, and beautiful views, we're biased, but we think our town is pretty awesome!”

With an average July temperature of 81º in Burlington, be sure to pack light summer clothing (think cotton t-shirts, shorts, and hats) along with comfortable athleisure for outdoor adventures. At night, temperatures can become quite cool, so be sure to bring along longer layers and pants as well.

Friday Harbor, WA

“Welcome to Friday Harbor! San Juan Island is full of great outdoor adventures from kayaking, whale watching, sailing, and enjoying the parks.”

San Juan County is made up of 172 named islands and reefs, and San Juan Island itself is one of only three serviced by ferry. Friday Harbor is the gateway to San Juan Island and is renowned for whale watching, with the peak season happening from June through September. Besides whale watching, the island boasts local art (and is considered an “Arts Hot Spot” by the Washington State Arts Commission), zero streetlights, and amazing seafood. Summer temperatures top out around the mid-70s, which makes this a delightful escape in the heat of summer.

"You will need to pack a good picnic and wear layers. The summer days start with some morning fog but transition to full sun in a matter of an hour or two. Town has many great shopping and dining options but Kings Marine Center is your best stop for all your needs to experience the beauty of the island.”

Photo courtesy of Kings Marine Market

Photo courtesy of Homer's Jeans

Homer, AK

In the stunning ​​Kachemak Bay, surrounded by views of jagged, glacier-covered mountains, Homer is a top destination in Alaska. Between the outdoor adventure and charming spirit of the town, Homer deserves at least three days to explore and enjoy. Kayaking, fishing, and wildlife tours are all very popular attractions, but one would be remiss without strolling through the town and enjoying the local flavor of staples like the Salty Dawg Saloon (bring a dollar to tack to the wall for this one!). Save at least one day to make the two-hour drive to visit Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Here you can hike around volcanoes and craggy mountains and also witness bears hunting at the annual salmon run.

“Here in Homer, you will find everything you need to enjoy your weekend exploring the wonderful world of coastal Alaska. Whether you’re having a picnic on the beach, meeting the locals at the farmers market, soaking up the beauty of the boreal forest, bird watching on The Spit, or casting your reels out on the water, you’ll find just what you’re looking for at Homer’s Jeans.

“Temperatures vary so be sure to pack some layers! Summertime can be everything from bright and sunny to cold and rainy. Forgot your raincoat or need a new pair of hiking boots? No problem, we’ve got you covered at Homer’s Jeans since we’ve been outfitting adventures for over 40 years.”

Wherever your summer vacation takes you, be sure to support local retails, restaurants, and artists. If you would like to find a retailer in the USA who carries Aventura Clothing, click here