Top Destinations for Summer Trips for Teens

Remi Zimmerman18 Feb, 2023

A group of hikers stand in front of a mountain range with arms lifted upwards

Travel is one of the most exciting parts of being young. With youth comes the energy to explore the world and the advantage of how new every setting is. The planet offers infinite possibilities to explore and learn, and the time to plan for teens is now. Summer trips for teens are a vital rite of passage.

But for summer adventure trips, the question is where do you go and what do you do? There are so many destinations that it can be overwhelming to find the right one, especially finding places and activities ideal for your personal interests. Here are five destination spots that provide perfect summer trips for teens.

The French Alps

teens hiking in the alps mountains

Few mountain journeys can compare to the majesty of the French Alps. One of our top teen hiking trips involves exploring this lush, scenic region. For the adventurous teen hiker, the fabled tour du Mont Blanc provides a unique trip through Europe. The trail begins and ends in France but takes travelers through Switzerland and Italy along the way.

All three countries offer astonishing mountain climbing views, but that’s far from the only thing they offer. Italy hosts some of the finest spots for canyoneering, a combination of rock climbing, ziplining, and rappelling on Earth. Switzerland has some of the best food from local villages. And finally, France offers rock climbing and white water rafting. There are few better teen hiking trips than a journey through the French Alps.


A tree on the beach in Hawaii

Summer adventure trips to Hawaii take travelers from scaling volcanoes to exploring life on the seafloor, making it a diverse and unique location to visit. Hawaii offers abundant activities on and below the surface for those drawn to the water. Surfing is deeply embedded in the culture’s traditions, and the waves are some of the finest. There are also chances to snorkel, explore the island’s coral reefs, and see aquatic life like manta rays and sea turtles.

Hawaii offers multiple hiking opportunities for teens seeking an experience on land, including the rims of active volcanoes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. If its views you’re seeking, try ziplining through ‘Akaka Falls State Park. But one of the most enriching experiences a teen can have is simply immersing themselves in the native Hawaiian culture through visiting the towns and farms. Hawaii offers more than just tourist attractions but an entire world to broaden horizons.

Costa Rica

teens hiking in costa rica

Few summer adventure trips offer as many wide-ranging experiences as Costa Rica presents. Take a trip to Rincón de la Vieja National Park for hiking and tubing you won’t forget. Natural pools, hot springs, and even a waterfall are found at Arenal Volcano National Park. For aquatic fun, snorkel and surf at locations such as Playa Tamarindo. The country even offers abundant ziplining opportunities over forest canopies. 

What sets Costa Rica apart from other tropical destinations is the chance to explore the culture. Spend time in the country, and you’ll immerse yourself in the Spanish language and tico way of life. There are many towns and villages to explore art, cooking, and entertainment. There are also multiple opportunities to see the country’s legendary farming industry.


A girl swinging on a rope in Phang Nga Bay in Thailand

Few countries offer as thrilling a chance for cultural exploration as Thailand, making it a fantastic educational summer trip for teens. Thailand has some of the finest cooking in the world and a class on the country’s cuisine is a must for any visit. Thailand also has many interesting religious traditions, including Buddhism, and many temples to visit with reverence. There are also villages to explore, traditional farming practices, and animal husbandry.

What sets a visit to Thailand apart is the chance to get up close and personal with animals, particularly with rescued wildlife. At Elephant Nature Park, a visitor communes with buffalo, cats, dogs, and of course, elephants at a rehabilitation center for the animals. Snorkeling at Koh Kood puts travelers in contact with moray eels, stingrays, and turtles, while the beaches of the site are home to the dugong, a manatee relative. If it’s monkeys you’re hoping to spot, the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center gives visitors a chance to volunteer and assist the tree-dwelling apes. For an animal-loving teen, few summer adventure trips compare to a visit to Thailand.


A boy gives the shaka sign while walking across the beach with his surfboard

Not all adventures require leaving the mainland of the United States. With a broad spectrum of natural tourist locations, California is a world within a single state on a summer trip for teens. For hiking, visit Big Sur for miles of trails along the coast. Monterey Bay offers kayaking, while the American River is an option for rafting. Visit Sequoia National Park to see the famed ancient trees and bask in their redwood splendor.

But an urban adventure has its merits too. A visit to San Francisco takes teens to a variety of landmarks. One of those is Fisherman’s Wharf, a tourist attraction that began its life as a fishing village. At Pier 39, visitors can see world famous California Sea Lions. Finally, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge grants visitors a 1.7-mile trek on a peaceful afternoon. California offers a bit of everything.

Bold Earth Adventures

A group of teens stands holding a Bold Earth flag at a campground in the forest in front of a picnic table

Travel is an essential part of exploring the world for teens and can be an important part of their independent development, learning, and growth. These five destinations and many more allow teens to explore some of the world’s most exotic locations. They also offer opportunities to get immersed in the cultures and participate in volunteer projects.

With over 45 years of experience, Bold Earth Adventures is proud to offer travel for teens 13-18 that will broaden their horizons safely while giving them unforgettable experiences that will endure. For more information about the many destinations we offer, visit our website today to see why we’re a leader in summer trips for teens.


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