Escape to the Mountains: Top 8 Hill Stations to Visit in India This Summer 2024

Nainital Hill Stations

As the summer season arrives, signs of perspiration on your forehead, clothes clinging to your body, fan blades spinning faster every day, and the sun setting late into the evening indicate that it’s time to plan a summer vacation to the hill stations of India. With so many options available, the challenge isn’t finding a hill station, but rather selecting the best one. India boasts numerous destinations where you can escape the scorching heat and revel in the beauty of nature. If you’re seeking a refreshing retreat, here are the top 8 summer hill stations in India that you simply must explore with your loved ones.

List of 8 Best Hill Stations to Visit for a Relaxing Summer Vacation in 2024

  • Shillong
  • Manali
  • Gangtok
  • Srinagar
  • Leh Ladakh
  • Gulmarg
  • Nainital
  • Munnar

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Shillong, Meghalaya

Umiam Lake Shillong Meghalaya

Fondly called the Scotland of the East, Shillong is located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. It gets that name from its graciously sloping hills, meditative lakes, waterfalls and pine trees that seem to greet you everywhere. It is also famous for being home to two of the wettest places in India: Cherrapunji and Mawsynram.

Best Places to Visit in Shillong

  • Shillong Peak
  • Ward’s Lake
  • Umiam Lake
  • Lady Hydari Park
  • Don Bosco Museum
  • Phan Nonglait Park
  • Meghalaya State Museum
  • Butterfly Museum

Top Things to Do in Shillong

  • Camping
  • Exploring the caves
  • Angling
  • Horse Riding
  • Rock Climbing
  • Shopping at Police Bazar

Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Solang Valley Himachal

Manali is one of the best destinations for summer holidays in India. Rich cultural heritage, age old traditions, plenty of things to do for families, adventure seekers & honeymooners, spectacular views, all these go into making it a most visited hill station in India. It is also the base for several famous treks in Himachal, including Hampta Pass.

Best Places to Visit in Manali

  • Hadimba Temple
  • Vashisht Hot Springs
  • Solang Valley
  • Van Vihar National Park
  • Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Bhrigu Lake
  • Rohtang Pass

Top Things to Do in Manali

  • Hangout at The Mall
  • Explore Old Manali
  • Enjoy rafting on Grade II & III rapids on River Beas
  • Take a hot spring bath
  • Enjoy a yak ride at Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Buy Tiebtan jewellery at Manu Market

Gangtok, Sikkim

Gangtok Sikkim

Visit Gangtok in Sikkim if you are wondering where to go for vacation with family as it is counted among the most famous hill stations in India in northeast India. It’s got everything you need for an exciting summer vacation: adventure, sightseeing and spectacular views of Mt. Khangchendzonga. There are also several monasteries in Gangtok which you can visit including Enchey Monastery and Rumtek Monastery.

Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

  • MG Road
  • Ganesh Tok
  • Nathu La Pass
  • Lake Tsomgo
  • Himalayan Zoological Park
  • Reshi Hot Springs
  • Seven Sisters Waterfalls
  • Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary

Top Things to Do in Gangtok

  • Paragliding
  • Mountain biking
  • Cable car ride
  • Cycle through the Silk Route
  • Take a yak safari at Lake Tsomgo
  • Admire the spellbinding views at Tashi Viewpoint

Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir

Dal Lake Srinagar

You really cannot have a list of best destinations for summer holidays in India without mentioning Srinagar. It is that beautiful, exciting, happening and gives you the feeling of having been transported to another world. The largest city & summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir, it lies in Kashmir Valley on the banks of the River Jhelum. Because of the presence of fabulous lakes & gardens, it’s also called the land of lakes and gardens.

Best Places to Visit in Srinagar

  • Dal Lake
  • Pari Mahal
  • Tulip Garden
  • Mughal Gardens
  • Lake Manasbal
  • Lake Nagin
  • Hari Parbat Fort
  • Dachigam National Park

Top Things to Do in Srinagar

  • Enjoy a Shikara ride on Dal Lake
  • Go birdwatching at Manasbal Lake
  • Enjoy a walk in the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
  • Visit the famous Jamia Masjid
  • Seek blessings at Shankaracharya Temple
  • Taste Kashmiri Pulao, Rogan Josh and other dishes

Leh Ladakh

Pangong Lake Ladakh

Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, is counted among the most popular tourist attractions in India, not just during summers, but anytime of the year. Spending a summer vacation here means exploring the rugged landscape, staring at the cerulean lakes, visiting the monasteries & gompas, learning about Buddhist culture, tasting the authentic cuisine & spotting the exotic Himalayan wildlife.

Best Places to Visit in Leh Ladakh

  • Stok Palace
  • Pangong Lake
  • Alchi Monastery
  • Hemis Monastery
  • Shanti Stupa
  • Hall of Fame
  • Markha Valley
  • Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
  • Hemis National Park

Top Things to Do in Leh Ladakh

  • Homestays
  • Motor biking
  • Cycling
  • White water rafting
  • Exploring the monasteries
  • Spot the snow leopard in Hemis National Park

Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

Gulmarg Snow Winter

Looking for a thrilling and nature-filled summer vacation spot for your family? Look no further than Gulmarg, one of the best hill stations in India. Tucked away in the Pir Panjal Range of the Western Himalayas, Gulmarg boasts an elevation of 8,690 feet above sea level and is the most popular hill station in Kashmir, ranking among the top 5 most visited places in Jammu and Kashmir. But Gulmarg’s beauty and adventure offerings don’t stop there; it’s also considered one of the world’s best ski destinations. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a family in search of the perfect getaway, Gulmarg has something to offer. Its stunning natural sights and variety of adventure activities make it a must-visit hill destination for any kind of traveler. Whether you visit in summer or winter, Gulmarg’s breathtaking beauty will leave you speechless. So why wait? Come and experience the thrill of skiing and soak in the sights at Gulmarg!

Must Visit Places in Gulmarg

  • Khilanmarg
  • Alpather Lake
  • Alpather Lake
  • Ningli Nalla
  • Baba Reshi Shrine
  • Ningle Nallah
  • Mary’s Church

Top Things to Do in Gulmarg

  • Gondola Ride
  • Golfing
  • Skiing
  • Nature Walk
  • Spiritual Walk

Nainital, Uttarakhand

Boating in Nainital Lake

Nainital, a picturesque hill station nestled in the state of Uttarakhand, offers a tranquil escape with its serene lake, enchanting temples, and breathtaking natural beauty. Known as the “Lake District of India,” Nainital is the perfect summer getaway to beat the scorching heat of metro cities, with its cool and pleasant climate all year round. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including a boat ride on the scenic Naini Lake, a spiritual visit to Naina Devi Temple, or an adventurous trek in the stunning mountainous terrain.

Perched at an altitude of 7,000 feet above sea level, Nainital is surrounded by magnificent snow-capped peaks, providing a magnificent view of the Himalayas. The town boasts several mystique pristine lakes, and visitors can explore the beautiful neighboring areas, such as Bhimtal, Sattal, and Kainchi Dham.

One must-visit place nearby Nainital is the tranquil Naukuchiatal, known as the ‘lake of nine corners.’ It is the deepest lake in Nainital and is a treat for nature lovers. Here, visitors can indulge in a variety of activities like paragliding, paddling, and yachting while enjoying the beautiful flora and fauna surrounding the lake.

With its unique blend of natural beauty and spiritual significance, Nainital is truly a gem waiting to be explored. So, if you’re looking for a much-needed break from the daily hustle and bustle, pack your bags and plan a trip to this charming hill station to unwind and rejuvenate.

Must Visit Places in Nainital

  • Nainital Lake
  • Tiffin Top
  • Nainital Devi Temple
  • Snow View Point
  • Cave Garden
  • GB Panth High Altitude Zoo
  • Naina Peak

Munnar, Kerala

Munnar Kerala

Looking for a tranquil and scenic summer getaway? Look no further than Munnar – one of the most breathtaking hill stations in India. Nestled in the Western Ghats in Kerala, Munnar is renowned for its rolling hills, tea plantations, and cool climate. A paradise for nature lovers, Munnar offers a range of activities to suit every taste. Trekking, camping, wildlife spotting, tea tasting – you name it, Munnar has it!

Visit the Eravikulam National Park, home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, or stroll around the lush green tea gardens at Mattupetty. Take in the stunning view from the Top Station or catch a glimpse of the gushing Chinnakanal Waterfalls. The Tewa Museum is a must-visit for history buffs, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Munnar is also a popular destination for honeymooners, who flock to this “Kashmir of South India” for its serene landscapes and romantic vibes. With its year-round pleasant weather, Munnar is a haven for those seeking a respite from the sweltering summer heat. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and head to Munnar for an unforgettable summer vacation!

Must Visit Places in Munnar

  • Pothamedu View Point
  • Kundala Lake
  • Eravikulam National Park
  • Mathupetty Dam
  • Eco Point
  • Attukad Waterfalls
  • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Meesapulimala
  • Indo Swiss Dairy Farm
  • TATA Tea Museum
  • Eco Point
  • Lakkam Waterfalls
  • Blossom Park

These are some of the best destinations for summer holidays in India which are also great family destinations. Do you like the list? How many of these hill stations in India have you visited? Is there anything you want to tell us regarding the places mentioned here? Let us know!

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