Rory Gilmore's Summer Vacations Ranked From Least Awesome To Most
Gilmore Girls almost always picked up while summer was still in progress, and Rory's summer activities were generally touched on. So, even though we didn't always get to see as much of her vacations as we would have liked, there was ample opportunity for plenty of FOMO. From European jaunts to volunteering to hanging out with politicians, summer was an awesome adventure for the youngest Gilmore. Not all adventures are fun, though, and a couple of Rory's summers were downright depressing.
I always loved how Gilmore Girls focused on summer as a transitional time in Rory's life. The show never stopped following Rory through school, so each summer presented her with time to grow as a person, and decide how she wanted her life to be as she moved forward. Trips often occurred after major life moments like kissing Jess and losing her virginity, so, for Rory, summer was often a time to think.
Even though Gilmore Girls never focused more than one or two episodes on summer, Rory's vacations set up stories to come. They also made me super envious, because some of vacations were beyond amazing. I'm saving those for last, though. Let's take a look at all of Rory's vacations, from the worst to the very best.
Community Service Summer (Season 6)
The summer after Rory stole a yacht was by far the worst summer she ever had. Not only did it throw her entire future off course, but she ended up living in Richard and Emily's pool house, working for the DAR, and wearing an orange jumpsuit. It doesn't get more depressing than that.
The Fake Asia Vacation (Season 7)
When Rory couldn't join Logan in Asia, Lorelai threw Rory an Asia-themed party in Stars Hollow. I know that sounds like fun, but things took a turn for the tragic when Lorelai revealed that she slept with Christopher and was no longer with Luke. Christopher may be her father, but even Rory was crushed by the news.
The Volunteer Panic/Harvard Visit (Season 2)
I was always unclear on whether or not it was summer vacation when Lorelai whisked Rory away on the weekend Lorelai and Max were supposed to get married. Either way, the summer between Rory's sophomore and junior years of high school was crazy. Instead of relaxing, she realized she didn't have enough extracurricular activities and took up building houses with a bedazzled hammer. She did get to see Harvard, but that was only after Lorelai called off her wedding, so I'm not sure how much of a silver lining that is.
The Washington Internship (Season 3)
After kissing Jess for the first time, Rory and Paris spent their summer in Washington D.C., interning and rubbing elbows with the political elite. For someone like Rory, the internship was a dream come true, and she and Paris ended up closer than ever. Paris even let Rory help her get ready for her first date. BFF bonding time makes for the very best kind of summer.
Rory And Emily Tour Europe (Season 5)
Rory and Emily's European vacation was taken under difficult circumstances. Emily and Richard had split up, and Rory was barely talking to Lorelai after losing her virginity to Dean. However, Rory got to spend quality time with Emily while touring some of the most beautiful and historical places in the world. There is just no universe where that's a bad way to spend summer break.
Rory Goes On The Campaign Trail With Barack Obama (Season 7 Finale)
OK, so the show ended before Rory's first post-college job as a reporter on the campaign trail with future President Barack Obama began, but I don't need to see it to know how epic it was. Rory's dreams actually came true, so there's no way that summer wasn't one for the Gilmore history books.
Rory And Lorelai's European Vacation (Season 4)
Yes, backpacking through Europe with Lorelai definitely beats the campaign trail. Not only did both Lorelai and Rory's dream come true when their trip became a reality, but they made amazing memories. They followed a band, they hung out with strangers, they slept in hostels, and they did everything their way. Their summer was everything they wanted it to be that year, and, for that reason, Rory's best summer vacation is definitely the one she spent with her mom in Europe eating stinky cheese with her coffee.
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