Places You Need To Visit This Summer

As summer is closing in, many of you are still trying to sort out how you're going to use your precious vacation time. [slideshow:1365]

Should you visit family again or maybe take another trip to your go-to spot—or should you instead branch out and explore some place completely new? A big part of the excitement of travel is going somewhere you've never been, so consider branching out this summer with one of our top destinations.

As the weather heats up, it's time to make a decision. Many of the destinations on our list are just now gaining popularity, while others are classic summer hotspots, either way these destinations are top-notch.

We've outlined 15 top destinations, from Seattle, Wash. to The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia; these are the spots you should consider for your summer travel plans.

Nice, France

Just a short plane ride from the tourism epicenter of Paris, the charming city of Nice (pronounced "Nis") is lined with palm trees and set on the Mediterranean Sea. Though it might seem like a traveler's dream, it wasn't always a top destination. Flashy nearby destinations like Saint-Tropez drew tourists, while Nice was left with an underwhelming reputation. That is, until recently—among the most notable improvements are the thriving food scene and public works improvements. Nice has managed to keep its historic edge, though, maintaining its old quarter, classic architecture and some of the best museums in the area.

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, U.S.

The year-round population has been slowly climbing on the island of Martha's Vineyard, which has always been rather quiet after Labor Day, but even with more full-time residents, the change that comes just before June remains as explosive as ever. The rich and famous head to summer homes via plane and yacht and most others come by ferry to enjoy the temperate weather, undeveloped beaches and various towns, each with its own personality. Visit Edgartown for a look at historic estates and shopping in high-end boutiques or enjoy the laid back beach vibe in Oak Bluffs, where you'll find a carousel, ice cream shops and an incredible campground, complete with cottages left by settlers.

13 other Places You Need to Visit this Summer