Yosemite National Park, USA, California, Yosemite Valley, Tunnel View

Ten US states you need to visit this summer

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By Zora O'Neill
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No matter how you like to spend your summer vacation, you’re bound to find a satisfying spot in the vast and diverse United States. Here are a few of our favourite summer states in the USA.

Get back to nature in California

Nature lovers can celebrate Yosemite’s 150th anniversary as a national park this year, and the rough and wild northern coastline is more accessible now, with the designation of the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands, which extends the California Coastal Trail. City slickers should head for downtown Los Angeles, booming with new restaurants, a cool Ace Hotel and the monthly outdoor Art Walk, the second Tuesday of the month.

Seek the sun in Michigan

Places with the hardest winters also make great summer destinations – residents know how to maximise the sun. After more than fifteen feet of snow in 2013-2014, plucky small cities like Grand Rapids are ready to party, and the beautiful Gold Coast, the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, make an atypical beach holiday.

Lake Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Get arty in Colorado

The Aspen Art Museum has opened a new building by ecology-minded Japanese designer Shigeru Ban, who won the Pritzker Prize for architecture this year. And stunning Rocky Mountain National Park, straddling the Continental Divide, turns 100 years old.

Get hot and historical Georgia

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights opened in Atlanta in May, and a new streetcar loops around the centre of this notoriously sprawling city, linking many major attractions. Sure, it’s be hot and humid  – but attractions are air-conditioned for a refreshing experience.

Cycle through New York

In the city centre, hop on a shared Citi Bike for the day to explore the full extent of Manhattan south of Central Park. The system has been running for a year now, so they’ve worked out all the kinks for a smooth ride. One World Trade Centre is open for stunning views and the city is teeming with free festivals.

USA, Hawaii Islands, Molokai, overall view of Halawa Valley

Get a bargain in Hawaii

The fiftieth state is considered America’s winter getaway, a place for a break from snow. But in fact, Hawaii’s climate is such that it’s even nicer in summer – there’s virtually no rain. If you can go in late May or June, before school vacations, you’ll avoid crowds and score some off-season deals, but even throughout August and September Hawaii is a gem.

Discover New Jersey again

It’s safe to go to the Jersey shore again: damage from Hurricane Sandy (in 2012) has been all cleared up, and the unfortunate associations with a certain reality TV show are also fading from memory. Go for saltwater taffy, surfing and Skee-ball, and don’t miss the Garden State’s legendary sweet corn and tomatoes.

Enjoy late-night sunsets in Oregon

The rain lets up slightly in the Pacific Northwest in summer, and a clear day is a glorious thing in Oregon, as sunset creeps close to 10pm. Enjoy the fresh air at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, all summer long.

Woodburn, Oregon, United States Of America, A Field Of Tulips And A Windmill At Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

Party hard in Nevada

Yes, the desert in summer is record-setting hot. But the world’s highest Ferris wheel opened in Las Vegas in March. If you need another excuse to brave the heat, in the northern part of the state Burning Man sets up camp over Labor Day. Party till you melt.

Get on the water in Maine

With several thousand miles of coastline, on the mainland and scores of little islands, Maine offers solitude on the water. If you want to explore further, hop on the ferry out of the country – boat services from Portland to Nova Scotia, Canada, are restarting this summer.

Explore more of the USA with the Rough Guide to the USA. Book hostels for your trip, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go.