7 Summer Vacation Movies That Are Better Than Your Camp Stories

Saturday, October 6 by Jason Cuthbert


Summer vacations always seem to take forever to begin and a split second to end. With that fateful reality being said, the beauty of these seven summer vacation movies is that they can continue as long as you want, whenever you want–summer, autumn, winter and spring. Instead of telling those outdated campfire stories, camp out around the nearest flat screen television and crank up these cinematic summer vacations.


"National Lampoon's Vacation"


Chevy Chase played Clark Griswold, the All-American Family Man, in the most recognizable summer vacation movie ever. This wacky road trip from Chicago to California includes a raggedy rented station wagon, babysitting Aunt Edna and a dog named Dinky, and getting stranded in the desert. Don't worry; they do actually have some fun as well.




The only outdoor activity more summer savvy than a swimming pool is an aqua blue beach–minus the shark attacks of course. But this particular Steven Spielberg-directed vacation not only brought a pre-computer animation shark to the movie theater experience, but "Jaws" also instantly made the open water a brand new location for fear.  


"Little Miss Sunshine"


If anyone needs a summer vacation it is this unhinged family, consisting of an unpopular motivational speaker, a grandfather on illegal drugs, a silent son who hates everyone, a suicidal uncle, a wife struggling to keep everyone sane, and the sweetest most innocent dancing daughter. A long distance drive to a beauty pageant may not exactly be a cruise to the Cayman Islands, but it is still quality time.


"The Graduate"


This classic comedy allowed Dustin Hoffman to graduate to leading actor status and graduate literally from college girls to their married mothers all in one summer. But his character, Benjamin Braddock's, steamy vacation exploits turn to a suffocating boil when the younger Miss Robinson becomes a hotter prospect than Mrs. Robinson.  


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Summer vacation is the key season to hit the greens for some 18-hole action–just ask actors Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, and Ted Knight. Golf becomes a hilarious war of the pretentious versus the modest. Aside from the adult egos and the "Muppet" gofers, the adolescent summer staff are trying to either work their way up the social ladder or work their way down into the bedroom. 


"Bonjour Tristesse"


The French Riviera is the ideal locale for summer vacation if you are a young teen as lucky as Cécile (Jean Seberg) and her wealthy dad Raymond (David Niven). Cecile's lack of firm parental guidance includes heavy drinking, smoking, and gambling with her father, who is more of a carefree social sidekick than a moral disciplinarian.   


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This sunny-weather, teen film may have been released in 2009, but the fictional summer vacation setting actually has a calendar date of 1987. Before Jesse Eisenberg captivated critics as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network" and after Kristen Stewart first showed a little vampire love in "Twilight," they played something a little bit more conventional–amusement park workers. What says June-July-August more than roller coasters, cotton candy, and a crush on a hot girl to get you through the summer heat?         


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