Discover the best places to travel in July, including top destinations for a summer holiday, beach trips, and wildlife adventures around the world 🌍🌏🌎
July brings warm sunny days and peak travel season in many parts of the world. From must-visit beaches to epic outdoor adventures, cultural festivals, and charming cities – there is no shortage of incredible places vying to be the best vacation spots in July. Depending on your interests and ideal climate, the following hotspots should top your summer bucket list this year.
Best Beach Destinations to Soak up the Sun in July
When it comes to beach vacations, July delivers ultimate sunshine, minimal rain, and warm ocean waters at some of the world’s most beautiful stretches of sand.
The Seychelles archipelago is home to some of the world’s best beaches, like Anse Source d’Argent and Anse Lazio. With an average high of 84°F in July, the weather is perfect for relaxing on powdery white sand beaches tucked between giant granite boulders and crystal blue waters. The 115-island nation is an ideal spot for beach-hopping, snorkeling colorful reefs, jungle hikes through lush rainforest, and world-class resorts and dining.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
On the East Coast, Cape Cod comes alive in July as a top summer beach destination. Towns like Provincetown, Hyannis, Chatham, and Falmouth offer quintessential New England seaside charm with charming cottages, lobster shacks, lighthouses, and miles of sandy Atlantic coastline. July afternoon highs in the mid-70s make beach days and water sports perfect, especially with lots of Fourth of July celebrations and few summer crowds.
Best Outdoor Adventure Destinations in July
For those who want an active escape to the great outdoors this July, the following spots promise epic scenery and adventure.
Glacier National Park, Montana
In Glacier National Park, July offers pleasant 70°F average temps for exploring over 700 miles of hiking trails past alpine lakes, wildflower meadows and stunning peak vistas. Spot moose, mountain goats and grizzlies along the way. The famous Going-to-the-Sun Road also opens in July to scenic vistas of glaciers and waterfalls. Beat summer crowds by camping or backpacking into the backcountry.
Whistler, British Columbia
In western Canada, Whistler is a dream July destination for mountain bikers. Ride down epic single track on Whistler Mountain, cruise the lush Vallea Lumina trails or master North America’s largest bike park. At just 65°F on average, you can enjoy outdoor adventures without intense heat or humidity. Cap off perfect summer days by relaxing in village patios, restaurants and spas.
Best City Destinations and Cultural Festivals in July
Of course, July also offers vibrant urban destinations, whether you want to soak up arts, culture, music or foodie scenes.
Montreal sizzles in July, especially during the world-famous Montreal Jazz Festival. For almost two weeks, over 3,000 artists put on hundreds of free outdoor shows across 30 venues. Beyond the jazz fest, Montreal shines in summer with cafes spilling onto cobblestone streets, Parisian architecture, lively nightlife and a cosmopolitan dining scene spanning French bistros to trendy food halls.
In Northern California, San Francisco enjoys peak weather in July with highs around 72°F and famously brisk winds keeping things refreshingly cool. It’s the perfect weather for strolling hilly streets, people watching in Union Square, admiring Victorian homes, exploring diverse neighborhoods and enjoying San Francisco’s famed culinary scene, whether you crave cutting-edge California cuisine or classic cioppino stew and sourdough bread.
Best European Destinations for Summer Sun and Festivals
Europe shines as a top destination for July visitors looking to soak up history, art, culture and cuisine amid picture-perfect weather and lively festivals.
In Iceland, experience the otherworldly Landmannalaugar region with its colorful rhyolite mountains, hot springs, rivers and hiking trails before crowds arrive later in summer. Or stroll through Reykjavik’s all-night summer festival as Icelanders party under the midnight sun.
Norway and Estonia
Further north, the fjords of Norway and northern lights of Finland and Sweden shine in July without intense heat. And Estonia’s medieval Tallinn comes alive with its Old Town Days festival amidst preserved architecture that looks straight out of a fairy tale.
St Tropez, France
The French Riviera sparkles in July as sunny beach weather arrives without intense summer heat. Places like glitzy St Tropez beckon jet-setters with yacht-lined harbors, designer shops and see-and-be-seen people watching. Beyond luxury, enjoy seafood bistros, Provençal market stalls, scenic coastal trails and a vibrant nightlife scene. Don’t miss Bastille Day fireworks on July 14!
Dubrovnik’s ancient alleyways and Baroque buildings come alive in July against sparkling Adriatic backdrops. As Croatia’s tourism peak hits, medieval walls encircle crowds flocking to al fresco restaurants, trendy beach bars and open-air concerts. With highs near 85°F, explore marble-paved squares or take a boat to Lokrum Island’s beaches and botanical gardens between sightseeing.
Charming and Historic Asian Destinations in July
For cultural immersion amid ancient sites and fascination traditions, Asia dazzles in July. Summer weather brings opportunities to experience these destinations at their travel peak.
Kyoto comes alive in July, especially during the lively Gion Matsuri festival celebrating the city’s Yasaka Shrine through elaborate floats, costumes and events over a full month. With average highs of 85°F, stroll between Shinto shrines and zen gardens, relax in teahouses, sample kaiseki cuisine and soak up geisha culture in the Gion district. Don’t miss night illuminations and summer firework displays!
In Northern India’s Rajasthan region, Udaipur was ruled by Mewar maharajas for centuries, leaving a rich legacy of palaces, temples and gardens surrounding picturesque Lake Pichola. July continues the dry heat before monsoons arrive, making it an ideal time to explore City Palace’s museums and architecture, take boat rides to the iconic Lake Palace Hotel and experience regional dances, textiles and cuisine.
Best Wildlife Safaris and Eco-Adventures in July
For travelers passionate about animals and ecosystems, July delivers prime wildlife viewing and thrilling eco-experiences across the globe.
The Serengeti, Tanzania
On Tanzania’s northern Serengeti Plains, the Great Migration sees over a million wildebeests join zebras and gazelles on a circular route for fresh grass and water sources in July. Witness river crossings and predators like lions and cheetahs along the way. With highs around 75°F, early July light rains give way to ideal safari weather on 4×4 game drives and hot air balloon rides.
The Amazon Rainforest
Spanning across nine South American countries, July falls in the Amazon’s drier winter season, making Amazon cruises and rainforest lodges more accessible and wildlife more visible along waterways and oxbow lakes. Spot colorful birds, elusive jaguars, endangered giant river otters amid lush jungle teeming with biodiversity. Just don’t forget rain gear!
Best American Small Towns and Outdoor Escapes in July
Beyond big cities and mass tourism hotspots, July invites travelers to enjoy quintessential Americana in charming rural villages or find peaceful escapes immersed in nature.
Bar Harbor, Maine
On Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is a beloved New England retreat amid Acadia National Park’s forests, mountains and rocky Atlantic coastline. July serves up warm 70°F days, cool nights and minimal crowds, perfect for kayaking, whale watching tours, hiking trails like Ocean Path and basking in small-town charm. Don’t miss lobster right off the boat!
Cody makes an ideal basecamp for Yellowstone National Park without intense crowds. The town founded by Buffalo Bill Cody offers Old West appeal, restaurants and shops catering to visitors. Nearby Shoshone National Forest and Absaroka Mountains offer hiking, fishing and peaceful escapes less than an hour from Yellowstone’s iconic geysers, wildlife and canyon landscapes.
The Best Beach Towns for Relaxation and Watersports
What’s better than sun-drenched days by the ocean, feet in the sand and the sound of lapping waves? These beach destinations promise ultimate seaside relaxation or watersports action.
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May exudes barefoot charm on the Jersey Shore’s southern tip, dubbed New Jersey’s first seaside resort. Explore one of America’s largest collections of preserved 19th-century homes, climb the Cape May Lighthouse, embark on whale watching cruises and soak up sweeping beachfront views. Temps reach just 80°F for pleasant July beach days.
Santa Cruz, California
In Central California, Santa Cruz serves up classic summer vibes, blending surf culture, beach boardwalks and eclectic vibes near redwood forests and coves. Learn to surf, explore cliffside hiking trails, ride the Giant Dipper rollercoaster and sample organic eats from farmers’ markets. With highs in the 70s, Santa Cruz is perfect for active yet laidback July vacations.
From beach vacations along the Carolina shores to urban retreats in Chicago and D.C., July serves up ideal weather to explore the USA. Small towns in Vermont and New Hampshire beckon with farmers markets, craft breweries and peaceful lakeside retreats as New England shines.
Out West, summertime adventures unfold in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park with its craggy peaks, trails and wildlife spotting. Cooler mountain towns like Telluride, Colorado also allow scenic escapes, hiking and outdoor concerts without intense lowland heat.
Wherever your American wanderlust leads, July 2023 invites travelers to experience the USA’s diverse cities, cultures and landscapes bathed in golden summer light minus peak crowds or prices.
Best Places to Visit for Whale Watching in July
July is prime whale watching season in many parts of the world. Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska sees humpback whales feasting on krill and herring before their fall migration south. The nutrient-rich cold waters attract dozens of whales to spectacular glacier-carved fjords. Whale-watching cruises often spot bubble net feeding as humpbacks work in groups to corral fish.
Further south along the Pacific Coast, destinations like Depoe Bay and Newport in Oregon allow visitors to spot gray whales with new calves. Or try San Juan and Gulf Islands off Washington and British Columbia where resident pods of orcas are actively fishing all summer long. Time it right to witness them spectacularly launch seal prey into the air.
Best European Destinations and Festivals in July
July invites travelers to soak up Old World charm, arts, culture and cuisine under long sunny days. Santorini, Greece is dreamy as hillside towns gaze over sea-filled calderas. Watch unforgettable sunsets while dining on fresh seafood. Or explore history in Dubrovnik’s marble lanes as Croatia’s Adriatic Coast shines.
Some of Europe’s biggest summer music festivals happen in July too. At Tomorrowland in Belgium, the world’s top DJs play for 400,000 dancing fans. Or groove to rock and alt bands at Spain’s Benicàssim Festival on the Mediterranean coastline. Even small towns in Italy and France host lively local music fests with plenty of wine under the stars.
Best Places to Visit National Parks in July
July is hands down one of the best months to explore American national parks. Warm sunny days and summer vacation schedules make it prime time for outdoor adventures amid spectacular wilderness.
Head to Montana’s Glacier National Park before wildfires hit. With over 700 miles of trails, take hike past alpine lakes and meadows filled with wildflowers under rugged peaks. Or drive Going-to-the-Sun Road revealing stunning vistas of glaciers and waterfalls.
Over in Utah’s Arches National Park, the fiery red slick rock landscape calls photographers and hikers to explore bizarre natural bridge formations. Then cool off tubing down the Colorado River near Moab after spotting desert bighorn sheep. July delivers perfect weather and epic sights.
July also promises vibrant cities and small towns, whether seeking urban culture or all-American charm. Summer weather invites patio dining, strolls through green spaces and lakefronts and lively festivals from Chicago to San Diego. Or discover hidden beaches along the Carolina coasts. Even America’s first National River beckons paddlers to natural Ozark bluffs and springs. Wherever wanderlust leads this July, ideal weather and endless adventures await.
July invites travelers to experience destinations at their cultural, weather and outdoor activity peaks. Whether that means world-class European festivals, all-American small town holidays or stunning beaches and landscapes bathed in golden summer light – there are endless epic adventures for crafting unforgettable vacations this month.
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No matter your ideal July vacation, there is certainly no shortage of incredible destinations catering to beach bums, outdoor adventurers, culture seekers or foodies alike. The key is booking ahead, researching travel tips during peak seasons and focusing itineraries around your personal interests. That way, you’re set up for an unforgettable summer trip this July.