7 Superlative Last-Minute Summer Flight Deals From SF
The Rockies for under $150 or a sub-$500 Aruba trip? Pick one.
Did you do a good job planning your Fourth of July vacation?
Maybe yes. Or maybe, at some point, your vacay transitioned into a stay-cay.
The good news: it’s not too late to make the most of the season (including this very weekend) with these seven trips to farflung destinations for very reasonable prices.
You’re going to: Missoula, MT
Round trip: $120 on Allegiant
Briefly: Let’s follow the rest of Silicon Valley to Montana
Stay: The Firebrand is ideal: a hip no-fuss boutique hotel vibe with just enough mountain-resort touches to remember you’re in western Montana
Must-dos: In one direction, we have kayaking and mountain biking around Whitefish Lake — and in another, the majesty of Glacier National Park. (Which, by the way, is where you’ll find one of our 10 superior National Park trails, the Grinnell Glacier Trail.)
You’re going to: Portland, OR
Round trip: $106 on Sun Country
Briefly: The Marin coastline without the crowds (and at half the price) — we’re going to Cannon Beach.
Stay: Book right on the beach at the Surfsand, within spitting distance of the iconic Haystack Rock.
Must-dos: Twenty minutes south is the spectacular Cape Falcon trail at Oswald West State Park, which overlooks one of this stretch of the coast’s prime surfing spots.
You’re going to: Aruba
Round trip: $445 on United/American, via Panama City
Briefly: A safe, diverse destination in the Caribbean
Stay: Aruba’s a family-friendly island — which makes the adults-only Bucuti & Tara a must if you’re traveling without kids.
Must-dos: Aruba is a Caribbean outlier — both geographically (it’s way closer to Venezuela than Miami) and vibe, with gorgeous beaches, world-class wind-surfing, and the region’s only actual desert, at Arikok National Park.
You’re going to: Chicago
Round trip: $127 on Spirit
Briefly: Chicago is a world-class destination … in the summer.
Stay: The very cool Robey, with a (summer-only) rooftop pool and cabana
Must-dos: Is Chicago actually America’s superior art destination? Just get there after August 1 to check out the Weaving Beyond the Bauhaus show at the Art Institute of Chicago — and then sample some of famed Chicago chef Sarah Grueneberg’s top 7 meals.
You’re going to: Tahiti
Round trip: $656 on French Bee
Briefly: We’ve already talked about the best things to do on Tahiti — so this time, we’ll take it one more step (read: puddle-jump flight) farther, and head on to Bora Bora.
Stay: An over-water villa at the Four Seasons should get the job done.
Must-dos: Paddle over to a private motu for dinner à deux, with Champagne at sunset.
You’re going to: Vancouver
Round trip: $261 on Delta/United
Briefly: Vancouver is … maybe actually the most beautiful city on the West Coast?
Stay: The Halo Suite at the Loden may in fact have better views (from the wraparound terrace)
Must-dos: Take to the hills surrounding the city — head up to Panorama Ridge before Labor Day and you’ll probably trek through alpine meadows full of wildflowers before the payoff at the end: views from above of Garibaldi Lake.
You’re going to: Honolulu
Round trip: $333 on Alaskan
Briefly: Hawaii, cheaper than usual
Stay: The Kahala has everything you want from your higher-end Hawaiian resort (spa, laidback beach, five different restaurants, stand-up paddleboarding) along with a Goldliocks-porridge just-right mix of privacy and access to the hubbub of Honolulu.
Must-dos: The location, in fact, is key — you can almost walk out the door and right up to the top of the Diamond Head volcanic crater, offering quite possibly the best views in the state.