Summer is coming up quickly, and with the possibility of different states opening up for travel and summer activities, a well-deserved Fourth of July getaway could be in order. Since many of us have been in hibernation mode for the past year, it’s reasonable to expect a considerable surge of travel in the coming months. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to plan your summer vacation as soon as possible, so don’t wait!

July Fourth is often a celebratory time for us, presenting an opportunity to gather with friends and family for a dip in the lake, bonfires, hikes, road trips and our favorite summer foods. Here are a few places that fulfill our Fourth of July checklists and will hopefully inspire you to make your own!

Hampton Inn Traverse City

True beach bums know the value of the Michigan coast in summertime, which features an impressive collection of some of the world’s most celebrated freshwater lakes. If you’re itching for a spot right on the water, book in with the Hampton Inn Traverse City.

This property is located adjacent to Traverse City State Park Beach, a perfect place to catch some rays and splash in the waves of East Arm Grand Traverse Bay.

While there, don’t forget to head up to the West Arm side of town and take advantage of the many microbreweries, wineries and boutiques that downtown Traverse City has to offer. Also, be sure to plan a jaunt to The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, a decommissioned asylum that now serves as a community and education center.

A night at Hampton Inn Traverse City starts at 50,000 Honors Points.

Hampton Inn Traverse City

Hampton Inn Traverse City | Photo Credit from Hilton

Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort

If you need a little more salt in your water, head to the Florida Keys instead. The Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort is a waterfront property located right on Blackwater Sound, and adjacent to John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park. The neat thing about this property is not only its proximity to the water (which, to be fair, is a given in the Keys) but its location with respect to other Florida favorites.

Take a day trip down the US1 to Key West in time to catch the sunset over the southernmost point in the continental U.S. or head the other way and grab a bite to eat in Miami. Miami also lends access to Biscayne National Park, a predominantly underwater park that features shipwrecks, islands, and vibrant reef systems that you are welcome to explore via charter or private watercraft.

Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort is a Category 6 property, which costs between 40,000 and 60,000 Marriott Rewards points per night.

Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort

Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort | Photo Credit from Marriott

Hyatt Place Moab

Keeping in mind that the U.S. National Parks are likely to be incredibly busy this summer, it is usually possible to find some wide-open spaces in the Utah parks; once you get away from the Visitor’s Center, that is.

One of Utah’s hubs for rafters, hikers, climbers and adventurers is Moab, a tiny town on the Colorado Plateau that is located between Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. It is also home to the Hyatt Place Moab, a property surrounded by Navajo Sandstone formations colored with the most pleasant burnt-orange hue.

Note that if Arches National Park is too jam-packed, head south to Canyonlands National Park while you wait it out. There are two access points in Canyonlands that make it even easier to avoid the crowds. The north Island in the Sky area is often more populated than the eastern Needles area, but both regions have ample parking and plenty of space to hike and explore.

Hyatt Place Moab is a Category 2 property and costs 8,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

Hyatt Place Moab

Hyatt Place Moab | Photo Credit from Hyatt

Best Western Plains Motel

If you’re looking for a slightly less-visited park than Arches, head to Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Not too far from the Badlands is the city of Wall, which is a landmark in and of itself. Travelers can’t miss the dozens of signs along I-90 inviting them to experience Wall Drug, an old-timey frontier town complete with a general store, souvenir shops, rock shops and the best donuts on the prairie.

While in Wall, book in with the Best Western Plains Motel for direct access to Wall Drug and an easy drive to the Badlands or neighboring Rapid City. This area is especially neat because, with a simple drive west, you can watch the landscape change from crumbling sandstone buttes and expansive prairie to the forested, granite Black Hills.

Best Western Plains Motel is a Category 4 property that costs 20,000 Best Western Rewards points per night.

Best Western Plains Motel

Best Western Plains Motel | Photo Credit from Best Western

Hotel Indigo: Asheville Downtown

Asheville is one of those places that can truly suit a wide variety of travelers, from high-brow history buffs to outdoorsy outsiders. Never short of things to do, head to Asheville and book in with the Hotel Indigo: Asheville Downtown. This vibrant, trendy property fits in perfectly with Asheville’s artsy vibe, and its downtown location gives great access to the many cafes, craft supply shops and boutiques scattered across the grid.

Don’t miss a trip to French Broad Chocolate Lounge for one of their decadent drinking chocolates, gigantic cuts of cake or a handful of their uniquely crafted truffles. Asheville is a great home base because you can easily take a quick day trip to the Biltmore Estate on the south side of town or head west for a walk in the Carolina hills. The town of Cherokee and its entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just a pleasant drive away.

A night at Hotel Indigo: Asheville Downtown is available from 37,000 IHG Rewards points per night.

Hotel Indigo Asheville Downtown

Hotel Indigo Asheville Downtown | Photo Credit from IHG

Travelodge by Wyndham Fort Bragg

The California Coast is a true gem in the United States, and summer is an ideal time to go exploring.

California’s Fort Bragg (not to be confused with Fort Bragg, North Carolina) is a small coastal community famous for its beautiful, colorful glass beach. Tuck into this cozy town for a fun family getaway and book in with the Travelodge Fort Bragg.

This property is located just a few blocks from the access point to the glass beach, and a sunset walk along the coastal trail is a perfect way to end your day. Even though there isn’t a ton to do in Fort Bragg proper, its location along US1 makes it a great stop during a coastal road trip or a home base for other US1 exploration points. The highway winds its way through several California State Parks, perfect for checking out NorCal’s coastlands.

A night at Travelodge Fort Bragg costs 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points.

Travelodge by Wyndham Fort Bragg

Travelodge by Wyndham Fort Bragg | Photo Credit from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Credit Card Rewards

Even if you don’t have currency-specific points stashed up, it’s still possible to book each of the aforementioned properties with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

If you have a Chase account and have been stashing Ultimate Rewards Points, you can redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards Portal in order to finance your vacation at these or thousands of other properties.

If you don’t yet have an account open with Chase, consider applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The sign-up bonus alone would be enough to finance a July Fourth getaway!

Whether you’re funding your trip with hotel-specific rewards or credit card rewards, there are plenty of ways to spend your points this summer. What are your Fourth of July plans?