By Wendy Perrin
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.
Winterlake Lodge, Anchorage, Alaska
“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.” – Michelle Glass, Trusted Travel Expert for Alaska
Read Michelle’s Insider’s Guide to Alaska.
Summer nights in the Arctic (Photo: Getty Images)
“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
Read Ashton’s Insider’s Guide to The Arctic, By Land & Sea.
Melk, Austria. (Courtesy: Austrian Tourist 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).” –Gwen Kozlowski, Trusted Travel Expert for Austria
“The days are 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
Read Marc’s Insider’s Guide to British Columbia.
Zebras at Maasai Mara parkland (Photo: Getty Images)
Masai Mara National Reserve, 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
The ‘little Venice’ section of Mykonos (Photo: Getty Images)
“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
Read Christos’ Insider’s Guide to Mykonos.
Sénanque Abbey in Provence
“July is the best month for the lavender fields in Haute Provence: The countryside is covered in lush, vibrant swaths of color. The fields are perfumed with the smell, and the gentle breezes of Provence fan the air (lavender grows at altitudes of 2,000 feet or higher). There are plenty of spots where you can stop your car to admire the panorama. Along the country lanes, you can even leave your car and wander to the side of a field for a picnic of paté, cheese, and wine. The plant is harvested in early August.” –Anthony Bay, Trusted Travel Expert for France
Read Anthony’s Insider’s Guide to Provence.
(Photo: Getty Images)
“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.” –Paul Irvine, Trusted Travel Expert for Brazil
Read Paul’s Insider’s Guide to Trancoso.
Wildflowers grow along the river’s edge (Photo: Getty Images)
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
“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….” –Caroline Bach Wood, Trusted Travel Expert for The American West
Read Caroline’s Insider’s Guides to Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons.
Black dragon pool (Photo: Getty Images)
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
Read Mei’s Insider’s Guide to Yunnan Province.