The Best Places to Travel in July
Located on the Italian island’s northwest coast, Palermo is the capital of Sicily. Founded by the Phoenicians and dominated through the centuries by the Greeks, Arabs, Normans, and Italians, the city was one of Europe’s most prosperous centers. Its diverse history is apparent today in its art, architecture, cathedrals, customs, language, and even its cuisine. Outdoor markets, crowded alleys, and street food such as arancine and panelle make strolling the city the perfect way to explore. Each July, Palermo celebrates the Festa di Santa Rosalia, the city’s biggest festival, honoring the saint for having saved the city from the 17th-century plague. This year’s 394th celebration begins on July 14 with a procession led by Palermo’s mayor with St. Rosalia’s relics carried in a decorated chariot. Fireworks, music, dance, food, and thousands of celebrants create an exciting event that should be on your travel wish list.
Cool summer temperatures, just reaching the low 70s, make this mountain community a great place for escaping the summer heat to enjoy hiking, biking, and exploring. The gondola from Telluride to Mountain Village provides spectacular views of the San Juan Mountains along with a free ride to the quaint town, with its cobblestone streets, shops, and restaurants. Summer festivals also attract guests to the ski town during the off-season, and July’s event calendar is full, beginning with Independence Day fireworks and parade, and continuing with a Plein Air Art Festival, RIDE and Americana Music Festivals, a yoga festival, baseball camps, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Ah Haa School for the Arts offers classes in a range of subjects including painting, ceramics, jewelry making, and short story writing for those who seek a bit of enrichment along with a vacation. A stay at the charming Dunton Town House, with its clever, comfortable décor and convenient location will enhance a visit to Telluride at any time of year.
Most of the royal wedding excitement will have settled down, and warmer weather will arrive in July. It’s the perfect time to take an open-top bus tour or stroll through Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens. Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence, opens its staterooms for tours on July 21, the beginning of only 10 weeks when visitors are permitted inside. The Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Palace should be on every visitor’s agenda as well. Wimbledon, London’s prestigious tennis tournament, begins on July 2 for two weeks of world class tennis and tradition, including the time-honored strawberries and cream. July events also include the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, the largest annual flower show in the world. Music fans will enjoy Lovebox at Gunnersbury Park, British Summertime in Hyde Park, All Points East in Victoria Park, and more.
Lovely any time of year, Fiji’s more than 300 islands are at their absolute best in July through September. This is the dry season when temperatures are cooler, humidity is lower, waters are clearer, and rainstorms are fewer. Divers revel in one of the world’s best underwater environments, with coral reefs, whales, manta rays, and an array of colorful tropical fish. Warm water, white sand beaches, friendly people, and spectacular scenery attract families, couples, and honeymooners. The annual Bula Festival (Bula means welcome or hello), a week-long celebration of Fiji’s culture, food, and history, will be held this year from July 14-21 in Nadi. Guests will feel welcomed — as well as pampered and renewed — at Fiji’s Kokomo Private Island, a luxurious resort featuring diving, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, tennis, spa treatments, children’s activities, and more.
Archipelago Sea, Finland
More than 50,000 islands and 25,000 miles of shoreline in the Archipelago Sea (part of the Baltic) southwest of Finland make this a unique destination for a July trip. Summer days are long at this northern latitude with sunset around 11 p.m. and sunrise about five hours later. Temperatures are moderate, typically in the 60s or 70s. Visitors can explore the islands via the Archipelago Trail, beginning in Turku, Finland’s medieval capital, where the sights include an ancient castle, the River Aura, and a grand cathedral. From there, touring continues by boat, car, or bicycle, taking advantage of bridges and ferries for island-hopping. Kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, swimming, camping, and fishing opportunities abound, but simply enjoying the scenery and seclusion are popular activities as well.
The largest island in the world, Greenland is the perfect escape from summer heat, with temperatures reaching only into the 50s. The days are long in July, and the area above the Arctic Circle experiences perpetual daylight during two months of summer. Guided boat tours out of Nuuk let visitors cruise the fjords, sail between icebergs, and encounter whales, seals, walrus, and other wildlife. Hiking, backpacking, kayaking, climbing, and biking are also popular. Summer is whale watching season, and humpbacks, finbacks, and minke whales can be seen feeding in the waters around Greenland. Dog sledding is available during summer on Disko Island, giving visitors a chance to experience this traditional (and adorable) means of transportation.
Newport, Rhode Island
Lovers of history, architecture, music, sailing, and the sea will all find something to enjoy in summertime Newport. July begins with Independence Day fireworks and the opening of the Newport Music Festival’s 50th Anniversary Season. The Boston Brass will stage a free Fourth of July Extravaganza opening with the National Anthem and continuing with works from composers whose music reflects their American experiences, including Gershwin’s Summertime, Bernstein’s America, and Copland’s Simple Gifts. Concerts throughout the month include classical music, show tunes, opera, and free family events. The Newport Folk Festival, Candy Store Cup Superyacht Regatta, and Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open Tennis Tournament will bring music and sports fans to Newport. Others will be there to enjoy the seafood, classic mansions, and casual summer ambience of the historic city.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Warm July weather with temperatures in the 70s makes it an ideal time to visit St. Petersburg, and travelers from around the world gather to enjoy the art, palaces, historic monuments, and the annual White Nights Festival. Beginning in late May through most of July, the long days and midnight sun are the backdrop for late evenings of cultural events, concerts, ballet, opera, and celebrations. During the day, there are museums to explore, including the Hermitage Museum, home to prized works of classic Western artists, including Rembrandt, VanGogh, Picasso, and Michelangelo. The Russian Museum houses the largest collection of Russian art in the world, and the Faberge Museum has a collection of paintings and sculpture in addition to 15 of the famous jeweled Faberge eggs. Sumptuous palaces and gardens also attract tourists, and many visitors enjoy seeing the city from a boat along the Neva River.
Vancouver Island, Canada
The month begins with Canada Day, a national holiday, and continues with festivals, outdoor activities, and the best weather of the year. It’s a popular destination in summer, so be ready for crowds and consider your fellow visitors to be part of the fun. Outdoor activities include hiking, kayaking, golf, boating, and much more. One of the finest city parks in the world, Stanley Park, should be on every visitor’s must-see list. There are beaches, a huge pool, nature trails, paths for biking and walking, all with spectacular views. For scenery, it’s hard to beat a ride to the top of Grouse Mountain on the Skyride, or for the more daring, several zip line routes take riders over valleys and lakes with views of the ocean, mountains, and forests. This year’s Vancouver Island Music Fest, July 13-15, features names like Ry Cooder, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie, and Walk off the Earth.
The Hawaiian Islands are a perfect vacation destination year round, and with summer being a time for family vacations, Oahu, home of Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, has something for everyone. Surfing, snorkeling, and swimming are just the beginning. Hiking, deep-sea fishing, paddle boarding, and golf also attract travelers. A visit to Pearl Harbor is a history lesson and a reminder of our country’s past. Visitors can learn about the island culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center or experience the local cuisine. From sampling popular street foods like poke and shave ice to dining at sophisticated restaurants, food is always a key element of a Hawaiian vacation. At the Four Seasons Resort at Ko Olina, a short distance from Waikiki, Chef Michael Mina has opened Mina’s Fish House, a beachside spot serving fresh seafood caught in Hawaii’s clear waters.
Mammoth Lakes, California
Located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, Mammoth is a popular ski area in winter and an ideal summer destination. Hiking, from easy to challenging, attracts visitors who seek out waterfalls and scenic views. Mountain biking is another way to experience the peaks, from beginner-friendly to more rugged routes. This year, pedal assist e-bikes will be permitted in Mammoth Bike Park, making the trails accessible to even more riders. Or just relax and take in the views from the gondola as you ride to the summit at 11,000 feet. As a spectator or participant, the June Lake Triathlon on July 7 will be a memorable event. Camping, fly fishing, boating, playing golf at Sierra Star Golf Course, at a full mile and a half above sea level, or just breathing in clean, cool mountain air make a visit to Mammoth Lakes a great summer trip. Consider a stay at the Westin Monache Resort with a heated pool and plenty of activities for the kids.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Summery daytime temperatures in the mid-80s and cool nights make July a lovely time to visit Santa Fe. The city’s well-known creative culture is in full bloom, with the four-day Art Santa Fe show set for July 12-15, this year presenting contemporary art from around the world. The Traditional Spanish Market to be held in downtown Santa Fe on July 28-29 will feature the work of around 250 Spanish colonial artists with woodcarving, tinwork, weaving, jewelry, pottery, ironwork and more. Music lovers come for the month-long Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival beginning July 15. For opera fans, the annual festival will include performances of Madame Butterfly and Candide. Hiking, horseback riding, biking, and simply taking in the views of the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains will keep visitors busy when they’re not enjoying the art and music. The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado would make a perfect home base no matter what your other plans are.
While summer is in full swing in the northern hemisphere, it’s winter south of the equator. For travelers who can’t wait to get onto their snowboards or skis, a trip to Chile could be just the thing, especially if they’d like to brag about skiing down the side of a volcano. Several popular resorts, Portillo, El Colorado, and Valle Nevado are just hours away from Santiago, and there’s more to Chile in July than snow. Excellent wine is produced in Chile, waiting to be sampled along with their outstanding meat and seafood cuisine. Hiking and mountain biking attract visitors for outdoor adventures, and with clear skies and little light pollution, many stargazing sites are popular with tourists as well. Admirers of art, architecture, history, and shopping will find lots to enjoy in Santiago.