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15 Summer Destinations With the Worst Crowds

Miami Beach, Florida

More than 13 million people flock to Miami Beach every year. Fortunately, they’re not sharing the same section of sand. If elbow room is what you’re after, pass up famous (and congested) South Beach for another one of the 16 beaches, like Sunny Isles or Surfside. 

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Jones Beach, New York

A popular waterfront destination on Long Island, Jones Beach can resemble a tightly packed can of sardines in summer. Nearly six million people a year visit the several miles of white sand, pristine waters, outdoor amphitheater, and impressively long boardwalk.

(image via Flickr)

Venice Beach, California

Los Angeles is home to America’s most crowded shorefront. Iconic and colorful Venice Beach hosts 16 million people each year. Jam-packed with characters telling fortunes and peddling wares, Venice is the ultimate choice for people-watching.

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South Padre Island, Texas

Near the southern Texas town of Brownsville is the popular resort island of South Padre. While March brings tons of spring breakers—the summer months can get busy, too. Notoriously hot, with temps in the upper 80s, folks find cool relief in the surf and at Schlitterbahn Water Park.

(image via Instagram

Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City is a resort town in eastern Maryland. Year-round, OC is home to approximately seven thousand people, but in the summer that number can jump to more than 300,000. This coastal destination’s hot spots include the boardwalk and Trimper’s Rides amusement park—home to a famous 1920s-era carousel.

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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

14 million vacationers make their way to Myrtle Beach annually. They travel from all over with a variety of agendas. The boardwalk, with its 200-foot skywheel, is a top attraction. Gambling, golfing, shopping and an aquarium are also big draws to this section of South Carolina’s coast.

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The beaches of Hawaii can see up to 200,000 visitors a day, with Hanuama Bay being one of the most popular. Despite the crowds, solitude is within reach on this island state’s more secluded sores, such as Oahu’s Halona Cove and Maui’s Secret Beach.

(image via Instagram

Anaheim, California

Disneyland draws major summer crowds to Anaheim, but Mickey Mouse isn’t the only game in town. Conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Diego, this city has two major sports teams—Angels baseball and Ducks ice hockey—as well as a thriving restaurant and craft brewery scene.

(image via Flickr

Chicago, Illinois

Summer is perfect festival season for the Windy City. This means crowds and inflated hotel prices, but it may be worth it to catch magnificent music, phenomenal food, and amazing art. The Chicago Blues Festival, Gourmet Millennium Park, and Old Town Art Fair all happen during the sunniest time of year. 

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Dallas, Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the crowds. June brings Taste of Dallas, a popular foodie event. Addison Kaboom Town’s fireworks display is in July, and the North Texas Fair and Rodeo delights in August. 

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Virginia Beach, Virginia

Situated at the juncture of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the Guinness-proclaimed longest pleasure beach in the world is home to fun summer events like May’s Beach Music Weekend, July’s Mid-Atlantic Hermit Crab Challenge, and August’s East Coast Surfing Championship.

(image via Flickr)

Atlanta, Georgia

Late May through August is the most popular time to visit Atlanta. The city's major attractions draw more than 35 million tourists every year. Whether young or young at heart, people of all ages enjoy the Georgia Aquarium, Six Flags Over Georgia, and the World of Coca-Cola.

(image via Flickr)

Destin, Florida

One of the loveliest beaches on the Florida panhandle, Destin is packed with people seeking summer fun from June through August. The bright white sand and emerald green waters are two reasons the peak-season population of the “world’s luckiest fishing village” climbs from 13,000 to 40,000 people. 

(image via Instagram

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital hosts throngs of history buffs and sightseers throughout the year. On any given day, the metro and city streets can fill up fast. Pinpoint the lulls, and you’ll be a happier camper. For unobstructed views of presidential monuments, plan to visit between September and November instead. 

(image via Flickr)

Las Vegas, NV

The Sunset Strip sees its heaviest traffic in June, July and August. These sweltering months make it a challenge to be outside, so you’ll find the thickest crowds close to the A/C. Family friendly alternatives to the casinos include Mandalay Bay and the Adventuredome.

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