Even in the peak summer travel month of July, there are still plenty of places in the world where you can escape the heat, crowds, and beach-bound traffic jams. Here are ideas for you, culled from our Insider’s Guides to destinations worldwide.
(If you prefer to know which destinations are ideal for booking in any given month, see our Where to Book Now series, and don’t miss our comprehensive guide to the benefits of booking early.)
“Until mid-July the mountains are still covered in snow, the flowers are emerging, and the animals have just given birth, so you might see moose out with their calves, as well as just-born fur-seal pups. Plus, the locals are happy that winter is over and that visitors have returned. Temperatures are typically in the mid-60s during the day.” –Judith Root, Trusted Travel Expert for Alaska
“The early summer months not only bring reasonably warm weather but also have the advantage of the midnight sun, when the near 24-hour daylight conditions make for superb photo opportunities.” –Ashton Palmer, Trusted Travel Expert for Small-Ship Expedition Cruises
“Sure, it’s crowded in July, but the days are long and the weather is great, and there are music festivals—especially opera—all over Austria. And you can usually find good hotel deals, except in Salzburg from mid-July on, when the city hosts its six-week classical music festival (one of the biggest in Europe).” –Gwen Kozlowski, Trusted Travel Expert for Austria
Read Gwen’s Insider’s Guide to Austria, Including Vienna and the Danube, and reach out to Gwen to get the best possible trip.
Bora Bora, Tahiti, and French Polynesia
The “Heiva” festival falls during July, with local contests on outer islands early in the month and a culmination of ceremonies in Papeete, Tahiti around the 20th. July also falls during the “Trade Wind” season, when the breezes keep temperatures in the low 80s and the humidity is down as well. It still rains, but in 30- to 40-minute bursts, and then the sun comes out again (a cycle that can repeat a few times through each afternoon and evening). The lagoons can be a bit choppy, but are still great for kite surfing, catamarans, or outrigger canoes with a sail rigged and, of course, sailing.” —Kleon Howe, Trusted Travel Expert for French Polynesia and the Cook Islands
Read Kleon’s Insider’s Guide to Bora Bora, Tahiti, and French Polynesia, and reach out to Kleon to get the best possible trip to the American West.
“The days are usually clear and sunny (ideal for seaplane and helicopter flights) and the seasonal wilderness lodges, which typically open in mid-May, have been operating long enough to work out any kinks. The summer months are also prime time for kayaking, hiking, fishing, and river rafting, not to mention bear- and whale-watching.” —Marc Telio, Trusted Travel Expert for Western Canada
Kenya and Tanzania
“The best time to see the Great Migration—one of the grandest wildlife spectacles on Earth, with more than 2 million wildebeest and zebra on the move and predators lurking nearby—is the dry season, since the animals come out looking for water sources. The best place to be is in the Masai Mara National Reserve: There are more than 15 different river crossings—bottlenecks along the migration route where the animals must avoid hungry crocodiles and lions.” —Linda Friedman, Trusted Travel Expert for African Safaris
Read Linda’s Insider’s Safari Guide: The Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania, and reach out to Linda to get the best possible safari.
“Until mid-July, you get the best of both shoulder and peak seasons: It’s lively but not crowded and warm but not scorching, and hotel rates aren’t sky-high. Mykonos is always windy, so bring a light sweater for evenings.” —Christos Stergiou, Trusted Travel Expert for Greece
“July and August are prime whale-watching time in Newfoundland: During these months, the world’s largest population of feeding humpback whales (an estimated 5,000 to 10,000) make their way into our fish-rich waters from the Caribbean. In addition to humpbacks, 21 other species of whales and dolphins that join them, as well as an astonishing 35 million seabirds.” —Jill Curran, Trusted Travel Expert for Canada: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and the Maritime Provinces
“July has the best weather. The days are endless, with almost no night, the nature is at its peak, the waterfalls are still large, and you still have some snowcapped mountains in the fjord area.” —Jan Sortland, Trusted Travel Expert for Norway
Queenstown, New Zealand
“In the southern-hemisphere winter, Queenstown is a snow-capped beauty, and there are not many people around; it is cold but heavenly, and a great time for snowshoeing and touring Fiordland by helicopter.” —Jean-Michel Jefferson, Trusted Travel Expert for New Zealand
“If you are after a taste of the international party scene that put Trancoso on the map, you need to go from January through March, but if you are after peace and quiet, July is pure bliss: Temperatures are still in the high 70s to 80s, and you will often have mile upon mile of palm-tree-backed beaches all to yourself—just weeks before the crowds descend on the country for the Olympics. Don’t be put off by the media reports on Zika (unless you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, the virus is not a major concern; here’s how to protect yourself). July is one of the months with the lowest mosquito numbers anyway.” —Paul Irvine, Trusted Travel Expert for Brazil
Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons
You’ll find warm days and cool nights, wildflowers in bloom, and hiking trails mostly free of snow. In the Tetons, rivers should be clear of spring runoff, making for perfect fly-fishing conditions. And it’s prime time for a huge variety of activities—biking, rock climbing, rafting, horseback riding. Summer can be busy, but I have some creative ways to beat the crowds.
Contact Wendy to find the right Trusted Travel Expert for your trip.
Yunnan Province, China
“If you’re traveling in China in July, this is the best place for escaping the heat. There can be rain, but there’s a silver lining: The rain brings wild mushrooms of every variety, but most notably the prized matsutake. Served stir-fried, deep-fried, or au naturel, they’re delicious!” —Mei Zhang, Trusted Travel Expert for China