Summer can mean long afternoons tanning by the pool, family hikes and backyard barbeques — but it can also mean sunburns and hiding in your air-conditioned house until the sun goes down.
Imagine crisp morning walks and sipping wine on a cool evening in the middle of July. Planning a trip to explore a new landscape this summer can be a great way to beat the heat.
Below are six top travel destinations where you can escape the heat of summer and cross some must-see destinations off the bucket list.
Cool (temperature averages between mid-50s and low-70s)
San Francisco, California
With year-round temperatures between the mid-50s and low-70s, San Francisco in the summer is a cool escape from the heat and humidity.
Snap pictures of the red arches of the Golden Gate Bridge, or stroll the shops and restaurants of Pier 39. Don’t forget to taste a slice of the signature San Francisco sourdough bread baked at Boudin’s Bakery on the Fisherman’s Wharf, and definitely pack your rain coat — the northern California city averages around 70 days of rainfall a year.
The hottest month in Vancouver is August — and even then, the average temperature is a mild 64 degrees Fahrenheit. The Canadian city is a mecca for of outdoor adventure, and the city itself has many walkable sites that you can enjoy without needing a cool-down in the shade every twenty minutes.
Characterized by the picturesque Vancouver Island Ranges and cool Pacific Ocean breeze, Vancouver is well-known for its gorgeous hiking, kayaking, and cliff-diving (if you’re an adrenaline junky). Cross the breathtaking Capilano suspension bridge, and then enjoy world-class French cuisine at Le Crocodile Restaurant.
This mountain resort town is just 70 minutes from Japan by shinkansen (train). Shaded by the active volcano Mount Asama, you can stay cool while hiking, golfing, and biking in the summer season. In the winter, Karuizawa is a winter escape for ice skating and skiing.
You can shop and dine in the central city of Kyu-Karuizawa, or hike to the Shiraito Waterfall in the lush green forest north of town. With average temperatures in the mid 60’s throughout the summer months, you can enjoy playing the in outdoors comfortably.
Cooler (temperature averages between 20–50 degrees)
Queenstown, New Zealand
If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder who isn’t ready to put away your gear until next winter, Queenstown — the ‘adventure capital of the world’ — is the place for you this summer.
Hit the slopes at one of the nearby ski resorts, Cardrona, Coronet and The Remarkables. Expect temperatures between 21–59 degrees Fahrenheit, as it’s the southern hemisphere’s winter months.
If you’d rather enjoy a glass of wine by the fire, Queenstown has plenty of cosmopolitan attractions like shopping, bars, eateries and fine dining. Or simply sit and soak up the views of Lake Wakatipu (and hop aboard a lake cruise, but bring your hat and gloves).
Too cold down in Queenstown? Jump over to the Northern Island of ‘the land of the long white cloud’ for some island-hopping via private jet in exclusive locations that commercial airlines can’t access.
Santiago is another excellent spot for snow-lovers to get their first tracks on the slopes when it’s summer back home. You can indulge on local paella to power yourself through a full powder day.
This ordinarily bustling city is much more serene in its winter months of July and August, allowing you to stroll the art galleries and cafés of the Bellavista neighborhood or explore the Plaza de Armas at your leisure.
With average winter temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you can exchange days sweating beneath your air conditioner for crisp morning walks through the city.
For a more remote and rugged experience, fly to the world’s largest island with the lowest population density.
Be prepared to fill your exceptionally long days (the sun rises at around 3 am and sets around midnight) with kayaking, fishing, snowshoeing, whale watching and dog sledding. Learn about the country’s interesting melding of Norse and indigenous culture through local music and food — along with a visit to the National Museum.
The average temperature in July stays around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning you can wear your favorite winter coat again while you explore the vast island. With a private plane, you can jet over to Uunartoq to relax in the natural hot springs after a (literally) long day.