Nothing says summer like an epic road trip. The best van destinations during the summer of 2021 are yours for the taking, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. From Florida to Canada, there are dozens of national parks, campgrounds, scenic overlooks, cities and trails just itching to be explored. If you’re trying to find the best places to camp this summer (while not melting from the extreme heat) check out our list of top van destinations for summer 2021 below.
Looking for your next adventure van? Check out Rec Van to browse our inventory featuring the best vans on the market.
Destinations Include: Yosemite, San Francisco, Wine Country, Mendocino, Redwoods, Eureka, and Lake Tahoe
Why You Should Go: Northern California boasts art and culture, jaw-dropping nature, and many bucket-list activities and attractions. Traveling by van means you don’t have to choose one destination—you can experience it all. You can stay comfortably and flexibly wherever you like, for however long you like.
The Details: For Rec Vans guide to vanning Northern California, click here.
Destinations Include: Vancouver, Banff, Newfoundland and Labrador
Why You Should Go: Longing for new surroundings? Venture north of the border to Canada for a breath of fresh air and an experience abroad that doesn’t require you to travel by air or ship your rig. Spring and summer are the perfect seasons to visit our neighbors to the north. A camper van allows you to take in the country’s diverse and magnificent natural scenery with absolute freedom.
The Details: To learn everything you need to know about taking a van to Canada, click here.
Destinations Include: Crater Lake, Thor’s Well, Mt. Hood, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Cannon Beach, Olympic National Park, Sawtooth Mountain Range and Craters of the Moon.
Why You Should Go: The Pacific Northwest is known for its beautiful and diverse landscapes, including temperate rainforests, alpine tundra, and a stunning coastline. The region features plenty of pristine undeveloped land where you can unplug and experience nature to the fullest. Not to mention, the climate is great in the summertime.
The Details: For the best free campsites throughout the Pacific Northwest, click here.
Florida (Yes, the entire state)
Why You Should Go: Beyond killer beaches, warm climates and endless road to explore in your van, the Sunshine State is a uniquely diverse place that boasts everything from theme parks to unique animal life. Situated on a peninsula that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the state is a mix of tropical paradise and stunning swampland. It’s beautiful, it’s warm and it’s calling vanlifers from all walks of life.
Destinations Include: Gainesville, Caladesi Island, Florida Keys, and 30A.
The Details: For 8 hidden gems of Florida, click here.
USA National Parks
Why You Should Go: There is nothing like a classic summer road trip to a national park. We’re not talking about the Grand Canyon or Big Bend (those are great van destinations when the temperatures are so high you can fry an egg outside), we’re talking about those epic, luscious, breeze-friendly national parks that are best explored during the summer months. If you find yourself in the northern half of the country over the next few months (think Nevada, Colorado, Kentucky, Virginia or above) make your way to one of our nation’s stunning national parks.
Destinations Include: Acadia National Park, Glacier National Park, Denali National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
The Details: When exploring our national parks, make sure you practice the principles of Leave No Trace. Click here for details on how to be a champion for nature and preserve our natural spaces while you embark on vanlife.
Looking for the best summer reads? Check out our round up of the Top 10 Travel Novels and Memoirs to Enjoy this Summer.