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Where to Go in July: The Best Places to Travel

by Brook Wilkinson | July 1, 2019

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.

(Don’t miss the rest of our “Where to Go” series on the best destinations for every month of the year. If you’re wondering when’s the best time to book your destination to get the best value for your dollar, see our “Where to Book Now” series.)

Alaska

Guests explore on Zodiac in Southeast Alaska, Tracy Arm, calving ice

Guests spot calving ice while exploring on Zodiac in Southeast Alaska. Photo: Lindblad Expeditions/Michael S. Nolan

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 days (which are the longest days of the year) and you’re likely to see active, calving glaciers.

Start an extraordinary trip to Alaska

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Alaska, our Insider’s Guide to small-ship Alaska expedition eruises, and our Insider’s Guide to Alaska Cruises on larger, more affordable ships.

Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons

Wildflowers blooming in Grand Teton National Park

Wildflowers blooming in Grand Teton National Park

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, kayaking, horseback riding. Summer can be busy, but there are creative ways to beat the crowds in national parks.

Start an extraordinary trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Yellowstone National Park.

Bora Bora, Tahiti, and French Polynesia

Heiva group dancing contest in Tahiti

Heiva group dancing contest. Photo: Tahiti Tourism

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.

Start an extraordinary trip to Bora Bora, Tahiti, and French Polynesia

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Bora Bora, Tahiti, and French Polynesia.

British Columbia

bear in river in British Columbia

Summer is a great time for bear viewing in British Columbia: grizzlies, black bears, and more. Photo: Phil Timpany

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.

Start an extraordinary trip to B.C.

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to British Columbia.

Newfoundland

Breaching humpback whale, Newfoundland

July and August are prime time for spotting humpback whales in Newfoundland. Photo: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

Ever since Wendy went there one summer several years ago, she’s been urging other East Coasters to flee to Newfoundland in summer, as an antidote to the crowds, heat, and beach traffic that choke the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. You get a foreign island with dramatic sweeping landscapes, lighthouses and fishing villages galore, roads to yourself (well, you plus a few moose), a distinct local culture, and incredibly friendly people, all without having to schlep too far from home. (You can fly there via Toronto or Halifax from many U.S. hubs.) A must on any Newfoundland itinerary is the Fogo Island Inn, a fascinating five-star philanthropic experiment that Wendy says has the most soul of any hotel she’s ever seen. Read why Wendy loved it there.  

Start an extraordinary trip to Newfoundland

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Newfoundland.

Austria

Wachau Austria view of village and green field

Summer in Austria is all about beautiful weather, long days, and festivals. Photo: Austria Tourism Board

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).

Start an extraordinary trip to Austria

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Austria, including Vienna and the Danube. 

Glacier National Park

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana. Photo: NPS/Tim Rains

High up on the Canadian border, Glacier has a very short season: The entire Going-to-the-Sun Road (the park’s star attraction, cut into an immense, craggy cliff with amazing vistas) is only open for a few months, typically from late June to October. In July, there will still be snow, but the weather is pleasant. These days, sadly, you’ll find only a few dozen glaciers left from the 150 that were here back in 1850. There are more than 700 miles of hiking trails to choose from, some of which skirt waterfalls and glacial lakes.

Start an extraordinary trip to Glacier National Park

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this.

Trancoso, Brazil

Private Villa, Transcoso, Brazil

Depending on when you go, Trancoso, Brazil, can be either a party scene or a peaceful getaway with private villas like this. Photo: Paul Irvine.

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.

Start an extraordinary trip to Brazil

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Trancoso.

Norway

Norway

Norway is even more scenic in the summer, when nature is at its peak. Photo: Visit Norway

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.

Start an extraordinary trip to Norway

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Norway.

Kenya and Tanzania

Great Migration, Mara River, Kenya

The Great Migration on the Mara River. Photo: James Friedman

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.

Start an extraordinary trip to Kenya and Tanzania

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Safari Guide: The Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Fiordland Lake, helicopter

See Fiordland Lake by helicopter. Photo: Jean-Michel Jefferson

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.

Start an extraordinary trip to New Zealand

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Queenstown.

Yunnan Province, China

Rapeseed field in Luoping Yunnan, China

Rapeseed field in Luoping Yunnan, China. Photo: WildChina

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!

Start an extraordinary trip to Yunnan Province

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Yunnan Province.

The Arctic

Polar Bear, cubs, Arctic

Summer in the Arctic means great photo opportunities. Photo: Ashton Palmer

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.

Start an extraordinary trip to the Arctic

You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to The Arctic, By Land & Sea.

 

Other Good Options This Month

Click on any of the destinations below to find out why July is a good time to go.

American West River Rafting

Australia: Great Barrier Reef

Bolivia

Botswana

Brazil: Rio, Pantanal Wetlands, and the southern Amazon region

Cambodia: green season

Caribbean Islands

Colombia: Bogota

Costa Rica: green-season deals

Ecuador: Galapagos Islands and Quito

England: London

European Canal Barge Cruises

European Luxury Cruises

Fiji

France: Paris

India: Agra and Ladakh

Madagascar

Malta

Nepal: Upper Mustang region

Netherlands: Amsterdam

Nicaragua: green-season deals

Papua New Guinea

Peru

Rwanda

Scotland

Seattle

Seychelles

Sicily: first half of the month

South Africa: Cape Town

St. Barts

Switzerland: hiking trips

Turkey: Istanbul and Aegean Coast

Be a smarter traveler: Use Wendy’s WOW List to plan your next trip. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter @wendyperrin, and Instagram @wendyperrin, and sign up for her weekly newsletter to stay in the know.

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1 Comment

  1. One way taxi from Agra

    What a beautiful list and places to travel. Loved your post. I will definitely adding this post in my bucket list. i would love to go these place. Your post really help me a lot to create my bucket list. Thank you! Keep posting.

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