Best Summer Vacation Movies


Summer is well and truly upon us now. My favourite season! And while sipping a cold drink by the sea is one of the best ways to spend a hot day, sometimes you just need a lazy summer afternoon at home. A great way to pass the time is by watching a classic summer movie to inspire a sense of nostalgia for a time where we had barely any responsibilities. Who could forget those three-month vacations we had from school?

Even if you don’t make it out of the house today, our top 10 summer vacation movies will give you a licence to daydream. Happy viewing!

Weekend at Bernie’s

If you’re looking for a lively summer comedy, Weekend at Bernie’s is a classic you can’t go past. Released in 1989, the story follows two employees who spend a weekend at their bosses house with his dead body, pretending he’s alive so that they don’t get assassinated. Sounds a little crazy, which is why we love this flick!

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Beware: Once you watch The Talented Mr. Ripley, dreams of summers spent by the Italian seaside with wine, vespas, sailboats and long lavish hours at the beach will be all you think about. No wonder the film’s titular character, Ripley, does all he can to snatch a rich holidaymakers identity. If you think about it, his motivations aren’t so far-fetched. What man wouldn’t want sun, sand, money and a gorgeous girlfriend? This is a film for summer enthusiasts with a soft spot for psychological thrillers.

The Graduate

This classic flick from the 1960s follows the story of a college graduate who spends his summer after graduation procrastinating in his parent’s pool. Instead of getting a job, he is seduced by a family friend – Mrs. Robinson. However, the plot thickens considerably when he falls in love with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter. With a soundtrack by Simon & Garfunkel, this movie is one to watch if you love classic films.

Wet Hot American Summer

This summer camp film pokes fun at all the usual camp stereotypes, but still induces a solid sense of nostalgia for summers past. No wonder this film has earned cult status. Set in the summer of 1981, this movie is for you if you like the idea of eccentric camp counsellors making wacky jokes that somehow manage to be absurdly hilarious. Once you’re done, check out the Netflix original series remake – you won’t be disappointed!

Little Darlings

Little Darlings, a summer camp movie from 1980, has a deceptively inaccurate title. It follows two young girls who decide to see who can lose their virginity the fastest. The content is fairly tame by today’s standards, but will give you a sweet hit of nostalgia for summers gone by. A great way to daydream a hot afternoon away.

Stand by Me

Based on a novel by Stephen King, this is sweet nostalgia at its finest. Childhood friends who spend their summer on a meaningful quest together? Tick! In this film, a writer recounts a journey he had as a child to find a missing boy’s body with his group of friends. This is a dear story with a heart of gold, perfect for a sleepy summer afternoon next to the fan.

Friday the 13th

If you like a bit more bite with your summer movie choices, look no further than Friday the 13th. Everyone knows the story: Camp Crystal Lake, where a child was drowned years before, has been reopened by new camp counsellors. What could go wrong? Friday the 13th was everyone’s favourite slasher flick from the 80s, and has since established itself as a hugely popular franchise with a slew of sequels and spin-offs. But nothing beats the original – am I right, horror movie fans?

Dazed and Confused

Remember when the last bell rang out in high school on the day before summer vacation? There’s no feeling I can think of these days that is quite as euphoric. This is what makes watching Dazed and Confused such a joy. This film follows a bunch of degenerate kids in the 70s who engage in an array of post-school celebrations. Ah, life without responsibilities – we barely remember it!


Nothing screams summer vacation like a giant bloodthirsty Great White Shark terrorising a small island community… Right? If you’re in the mood for wading in the cool ocean waves, it’s best not to watch this action-packed flick beforehand. But for those who love a good old-fashioned scare, go right ahead. There’s a reason this movie was the highest-grossing film at the time – it’s a summer blockbuster classic!

Almost Famous

A must-see for lovers of 1970s style and rock and roll, Almost Famous is one of the best coming-of-age movies available on Netflix. In this semi-autobiographical film by Cameron Crowe, a high school wannabe music journalist has the summer vacation of a lifetime when he tours around America with a band. If you’re a sucker for 70s fashion and music – like I am – you’ll love this.

Tell me – what’s your favourite summer movie?

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