15 Summer Island Design Ideas For Animal Crossing: New HorizonsThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
What’s the next best thing to taking a summer trip?
Creating your own vacation right on your Animal Crossing island!
You can avoid pesky tourists, lost luggage, and sand in your shoes, while still enjoying all of the beauty that the warmest months have to offer.
And if you need a little inspiration to get started, we’ve gathered up a bunch of summer island-themed design projects to help your residents enjoy the sunshine.
15. Tropical Island Getaway
New Horizons already has the right setting for you to recreate vacation destinations like Hawaii or Bali.
Palm trees, salty seas, and an island breeze… It’s the perfect recipe for turning your island into a tropical resort!
To really create the tropical vibe, you can start out by planting coconut trees, hydrangea, hyacinth, and hibiscus.
Use your creativity to build botanical gardens, surf shops, and food trucks, then invite all your friends to come to enjoy a little time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
14. Cozy Campsite
Give visiting island villagers the complete camping experience by taking a simple area and turning it into the epitome of outdoors living.
A barbecue grill, picnic table, and ice chest are necessities to create the full camping experience… Just be sure to keep it out of reach of bears.
Unless the bears happen to be Stitches, Judy, or Maple!
Maybe set up a few log chairs around the fire pit to create a place for your villagers to hang out and enjoy the flashes of fireflies and chirp of crickets at sunset.
13. Fragrant Flower Market
Even though you won’t be able to actually stop and smell the roses, you can create a flower market realistic enough to make you feel like you’re actually there!
Build stalls overflowing with your favorite flowers. Anything like sunflowers, poppies, and lilies.
Bonus points if you’re able to offer all eight of the floral options available in-game!
Best of all, you can don your favorite flower crown and spend some time selling gorgeous blooms to your villagers and friends.
12. Forest Picnic Grounds
Pack a basket and head out into the forest for a lovely picnic lunch.
Of course, no picnic is complete without a checkered blanket spread over the grass.
Use your own decor to add in sweet little details, like cushions to sit on, a radio for impromptu dance parties, and a playground for villagers to enjoy when they’re done eating.
Just be sure that Flick is around in case ants get any ideas about crashing the party!
11. Artisan Honey Farm
Sweet and sticky honey is a summer staple!
If you’ve always had dreams of being a beekeeper, but didn’t want to deal with getting stung, you can give it a try in Animal Crossing.
Set up honey-filled hives, bee houses, and plenty of flowers. Your bees will need lots of pollen to keep your farm buzzing.
You could even set up a stall close to your farm, complete with bee-themed decor.
All your villagers will agree that it’s the bee’s knees!
10. Summer Pool Party
Animal Crossing’s item inventory already includes a few pool options, but they’re pretty small.
Can we work around that?
Well with the creative use of custom-tiling, you can build your dream in-ground pool area where all of your villagers can splash around, get some sun, or just relax!
Fill your pool with inner tubes, floaties, and colorful balls. You just may catch your favorite villager lounging around, and I’m sure they’ll compliment you on the job well done.
If you want the ultimate in luxury, you can mimic this idea of an infinity pool by building right next to the beach.
Build a wrap-around deck close enough to shore, and you’ll be able to take a dip in your pool, then dive right into the ocean.
9. Basketball Court
If you’re looking for other ways for your villagers to stay active, invite them to a pickup game on your custom basketball court.
Using ground tiles, you can create a full-court or half-court, depending on how large you want the area to be.
It could even be the centerpiece of your playground zone. Definitely perfect for summer.
Keep your villagers hydrated in the summer heat with water fountains stationed nearby, or give them a spot to watch the game with bleachers and lawn chairs.
8. Zen Spa and Sauna
Take a break from all of that relaxing by spending some time in your indoor sauna.
Sahara’s river stone flooring (with water splash effects built right in!) is a fantastic complement to your steam room, along with other soothing accessories like oil diffusers and candles.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for clothes from the Able Sisters that are ideal for a spa day, like wrap dresses, terry hair bands, and cucumber slices to complete the look.
7. Lovely Lemonade Stand
Crisp and citrusy lemonade is irresistible when the temperature starts rising.
So set up a sweet little lemonade stand for your villagers to stop by for a drink.
Set up your area with lots of themed decor, plus a few small tables for your friends to sit and sip.
Better yet, set your stand up close to your picnic area or pool and offer refreshments. Ka-ching!
Once your lemonade stall is complete, you might even feel inspired to create a whole outdoor dining experience with an array of delicious treats.
Ever wanted to run your own summer seaside BBQ joint?
6. Relaxing Lazy River
For your villagers who want to chill out in the water without worrying about being splashed, you can create a lounge-worthy lazy river.
Craft your entire perimeter into this soothing water feature, or place it around a small section of land that you’ve turned into a tiki bar.
There are tons of options for expressing your creativity here.
You could even nestle a private stream in your own backyard and give your character their own little slice of paradise, just to reward them for their hard work as the island’s resident representative.
5. Outdoor Cinema
Keep the summer festivities going after dark with a large projector screen and outdoor theater seats.
Yes my friends, it’s time to build your own summertime outdoor movie space.
Use custom tiles to lay down blankets for residents to rest on, or soft cushions to stay comfy during movie marathons.
You could even place out a few stuffed animals around to cuddle with during spooky summer flicks!
Of course, you’ll also need to setup up a snack stand for popcorn, candy, and drinks. This may be Animal Crossing, but we want the full movie theater experience.
4. Retro Arcade
Throwback to the easy days of summer spent basking in the glow of arcade cabinet lights.
You can create your own retro arcade in ACNH and invite your friends to play pinball, battle it out in a fighting game, or speed to the finish line with a racing game.
When decorating for this idea, focus on neon colors and dark backdrops to build an immersive atmosphere.
Maybe set up a record player that bumps fast-paced beats like K.K. Groove, K.K. Disco, or K.K. Technopop.
The in-game lava lamps and starry sky paneling are a great starting point if you’re looking for design inspiration!
3. Luau Party
Still not sure what to do with those tiki heads taking up space in your home storage?
Why not use them to welcome visitors to your Hawaiian luau party? Design it complete with coconut shell drinks and plenty of delicious food.
Put straw mats on the ground to give your residents a spot to sit or grab your ukulele for an impromptu jam session that even K.K. Slider would be proud of.
Just make sure that you’ve put on your favorite lei before you head out to the party!
2. Beach Cafe
Hanging out in the water all day can really work up an appetite.
So keep your residents from bringing the sand and surf indoors by setting up an outdoors beach-front cafe.
Go for the expected tropical aesthetic, or mix it up with Parisian-style tables and chairs.
There’s so much you can build on top of this idea. Really the sky’s the limit with your creativity.
But of course, no cafe is complete without a name to match. Something like “The Salty Mermaid,” “Pascal’s Pastries,” or “Summer Sips, Chips, and Dips.”
That last one has a nice ring to it…
1. Twinkling Fairy Light Patio
After all the work you’ve put into building an ideal summer island getaway, you deserve to indulge in a small home renovation.
Maybe build yourself a summer patio as addition to your home, complete with twinkling fairy lights, soothing tunes, and your favorite blanket for cool evening breezes.
Drop some white furniture here for your cozy beach cottage, or opt for wicker to stay with the tropical theme.
With this inspo in mind, you can create the perfect place to put your feet up and watch the sun go down over your beautiful island.