Summer is upon us and parts of the country are already baking under the summer sun. As temperatures and humidity rise, so do tempers, and if you fear the idea of roasting through a vacation while merely wishing for winter, have no fear.
There are a wide variety summer vacation destinations, near and far, to soothe the nerves and allow for the type of summer holiday you have been dreaming up. Here are five of our favorite summer vacation destinations to get out and about without breaking a sweat. All that is left is to book your private jet to whisk you to paradise.
South of the Equator
Remember, summer in the United States is winter south of the Equator. By heading to the southern hemisphere you will find comfortable temperatures and lots of availability. For the wine lover, our choice would be the unique wine valley at Garzon, Uruguay. More rustic and less crowded than neighboring Mendoza, Garzon still offers hot-air balloon rides, olive groves, traditional barbecues, and, of course, wine.
Perhaps a safari is on the agenda. South Africa beckons with its own extraordinary wine combined with dramatic beaches, the stunning views of Cape Town, and wildlife all around. In addition to the expected wildlife of an African safari, you will also find you can cave dive with Great White Sharks or admire the adorable penguins found at the Cape of Good Hope.
These summer vacation destinations give you the perfect summer holiday while allowing you to remain cool.
True explorers seeking cool summer vacation destinations should head to Greenland. This ice-covered island located between the Arctic and North Atlantic has summer temperatures ranging between 41- 45 degrees. There is a marvelous seven-day walking tour that explores secluded mountains, a variety of glaciers, and rivers in the east of the country with helicopter rides between each location. The more sedentary can still experience the majesty of it all by staying at an igloo hotel on the edge of a fjord.
Closer to home, check out the stunning wilderness of Alaska at Wrangell St. Elias National Park. This 24-million acre park is the largest internationally protected wilderness area, and Mount St. Elias is the continent’s second highest mountain peak. Summer isn’t long this far north but the mountains are covered in snow all year long and sea kayaking through pristine Icy Bay is an unforgettable experience. Nearby Masapina Glacier is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. The perfect holiday if you want to remember how small you are compared to the majesty of nature.
When seeking cool temperatures, head for elevation. Even in the worst heat of summer by going higher you will find the chill you’re looking for. For a taste of Latin culture head to Mexico City. This mile-high city is beautiful and endlessly intriguing. Explore one of the best archaeological museums in the world, admire the art of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, eat yourself silly at the dozens of spectacular markets, and enjoy this bustling, cosmopolitan city.
Breckenridge, Colorado is an outdoor paradise for summer vacation destinations. Best known as a winter playground, Breckenridge is also fantastic in summer. The hills are alive with wildflowers and activities abound. Hiking, camping, and mountain biking will get you up into the hills. You can also participate in horseback riding, white-water rafting, or golfing before ending the day at the spa.
If you are looking for a combination of culture, beauty, water sports, and amazing food head to Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada’s beautiful west coast city offers heavy cultural influences from a number of countries such as India, Japan, and China making for some of the best culinary gems you will find anywhere. The city’s numerous districts feature excellent shopping and nightlife and the year-round market on Granville Island thrills on several fronts. Out of town test your bravery by crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge swaying 230 feet above the Capilano River.
Mark Twain is oft quoted as saying “The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco”. Although it seems the famous author never actually uttered these words, the fact is summer in this spectacular city can prove to be moody, foggy, and chilly. Perfect for those wishing to escape the heat. The sightseeing opportunities are nearly limitless. Visitors can tour famous Alcatraz Island, stroll the wharf, eat their weight in goodies at Chinatown or Little Italy, and buy the best sourdough bread in the world, all surrounded by one gorgeous cityscape after another.
Hit the trail
Hitting the trails on an epic hike is one of the best ways to get in some great exercise all while avoiding the heat of summer. The Swiss Alps offer several famous multi-day treks. One of the most popular is the Haute Route between Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland. All you need is a day pack as you sleep in century-old inns, visit small villages en-route, and camp near lakes all while surrounded by some of the best scenery in the world.
Here in the United State exists another stunning display of nature at the Grand Teton National Park. This 6 day backcountry trail is for hearty backpackers but brings you along the interior of the Teton range passing alpine lakes and jagged summits. Summer is wildflower season so you can admire their colorful beauty. Enjoy mingling with elk, moose, bison, pronghorn sheep and mule deer that frequent the area. One precaution, this is also bear country so take the necessary precautions. It is well worth the effort after looking down on the sweeping views of Jackson Hole from above.
No matter which adventure you choose, know that keeping cool this summer is easier than ever. With so many options to pick from you can head off on one of the summer vacation destinations of your dreams while keeping your cool.
Forget sunburns, scorching temperatures, and harried beach scenes. By hitting elevation, heading to the southern hemisphere, or checking out cities that specialize in cool, you can appreciate sightseeing without sweltering.