10 Vintage Summer Vacation Pictures That Will Make You Miss Summer Camp

Remember summer vacation as a kid? Camping, summer camp, long days getting up to no good in the yard — or, if you were very unlucky, summer school. Either way, as an adult, summer just doesn’t have quite the same magic about it. Most of us spend our days indoors, dreamily gazing at the windows, hoping we can take at least a few days off to soak up some rays and maybe even sit around a campfire.

To soothe our summer-missing grown-up hearts, we dug through the archives for some vintage vacation photos of simpler times.

summer vacation photos
Camping, as it looked in the summer of 1960 in Norway, via the National Library of Norway.

vintage photos
…Ten years later, camping in Norway looked like this.

vintage summer photos
Ah, roadtrips. Between your siblings poking you and your dad’s terrible taste in music, this American pastime is a fond/horrible memory for many of us. Courtesy Florida Memory.

summer camp photos
The Center for Jewish History has little information about this photo of a group of teenagers in a rowboat at summer camp, though they appear to be having a pretty good time.

vintage camping photos
“Mrs Dudley Courtman in her Chesney caravan, 1952” reads the caption for this photo from the State Library of Queensland.

vintage beach photos
Another great one from the State Library of Queensland — look at these young people having fun!

The photo comes from the George Eastman House, which “includes more than 400,000 photographs and negatives dating from the invention of photography to the present day. The collection embraces numerous landmark processes, objects of great rarity, and monuments of art history that trace the evolution of the medium as a technology, as a means of scientific and historical documentation, and as one of the most potent and accessible means of personal expression of the modern era.”

The image was taken by William M. Vander Weyde in Atlantic City in 1905.

summer photos vintage

“This photograph is part of a set that has been created to celebrate the opening of South Tyneside Council’s new leisure centre, Haven Point,” writes the Tynan & Wear Archives and Museum of this image. “It focuses in particular on life along the foreshore at South Shields during the 1950s but also includes a few images from further down the coast.”

“South Shields has long been a popular seaside resort and also has a proud industrial heritage. Times have changed, though, and many of the old industries such as shipbuilding and coal mining have disappeared. Rather than stand still and accept this change in fortunes, South Tyneside Council is pressing ahead with an ambitious vision to transform the Foreshore, Town Centre and Riverside areas into vibrant destinations. Haven Point is a key part of this change.”

soap box derby
Is there anything more classically summer than a soapbox derby? In this image from the Missouri State Archives, one young racer is seen wearing a football helmet for protection.

vintage boating photos
The color in this photo from Florida Memory is really interesting. Here, Lois Duncan Steinmetz (left) and Polly Gaines are shown in a motorboat in 1950.

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Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.