Best Places to Visit in July
From national parks to quaint towns to beachfront destinations, the following locales are excellent spots for a vacation in July. Travelers can expect warm temperatures, little precipitation and a bevy of things to do, see and experience in the best places to visit in July. Cast your vote for the destinations you deem worthy to help compile next year's ranking. (Note: Some of the below destinations may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Check with the CDC and the U.S. Department of State before traveling.)
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Popular music and wine festivals and pleasant weather characterize the month of July in Porto, Portugal. With average highs in the mid-70s, travelers can enjoy sightseeing in the Ribeira district, strolling across famous bridges like the Dom Luís I Bridge and wine tasting (sampling Porto's namesake port wine is a must) without the stifling heat and humidity other European cities see in summer. For visitors who need a break from the sunshine, the city offers the ornate Livraria Lello bookstore and the art-filled National Museum Soares dos Reis.
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Summer is peak season in Stockholm, so visiting now can be pricey, but it's worth it. July is the warmest month in this Swedish city. Plus, Stockholm can see more than 18 hours of sunlight per day this time of year, making it a great time to wander up and down the cobblestone streets of Gamla Stan. This colorful medieval neighborhood is home to shops, cafes and attractions like the Royal Palace. Visiting Djurgården, an island in central Stockholm, to relax in its green spaces, tour its museums and play in its amusement park is also a must.
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Portugal's capital city is best seen on sunny summer days. Take advantage of July's warm weather (when daytime temperatures sit in the low 80s) as you soak up some rays on a nearby beach or admire the city's old-world architecture. When you're ready to rest your feet after walking around this hilly city, climb aboard Tram 28 to see some of Lisbon's most picturesque neighborhoods and attractions, including Alfama and St. George's Castle.
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Lanai may be Hawaii's smallest inhabited island, but it is also one of its most exclusive. A favorite among wealthy travelers, Lanai is home to luxurious five-star resorts and the highly regarded Manele Golf Course. Plus, the island is a haven for adventurous types, as many of its can't-miss attractions (think: the Garden of the Gods and Shipwreck Beach) require a four-wheel-drive vehicle to reach. Visit Lanai in July to take advantage of its warm, dry weather and prime swimming conditions at Hulopoe Bay.
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Destin is one of the Florida Panhandle's most popular vacation destinations. Although July is one of the town's hottest months of the year, this peak season month is an excellent time to enjoy outdoor activities. You can visit beaches like Henderson Beach State Park, where the white Appalachian quartz sand stays cool even in the summer heat, or put your angling skills to the test at the World's Luckiest Fishing Village's jetties and piers. If you prefer to eat your fish instead of catching it, you'll find plenty of restaurants around town serving fresh seafood.
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July is a fantastic time to visit Oaxaca and immerse yourself in this southern Mexican city's indigenous culture, especially during the annual Guelaguetza festival. Typically held on the last two Mondays of the month, this colorful celebration features locals from different communities wearing traditional clothing, performing regional folk dances and selling Oaxacan food and crafts throughout the city. When you're not taking part in the festivities, relax with a margarita in the Zócalo or check out cultural sites like the Templo de Santo Domingo and the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca.
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For a fun, family-friendly beach vacation, head to Ocean City. By July, this Maryland city's businesses and attractions are open for the season, so you'll find an array of options to keep the little ones entertained. Visit the boardwalk to enjoy many of Ocean City's top sights, including Ripley's Ocean City and Trimper's Rides and Amusement Park. And, of course, save some time for a trip to the beach. July's warm – albeit slightly humid – weather is ideal for sunbathing and swimming.
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Whether you're looking for a quick weekend getaway or a longer escape, Nantucket offers something for everyone. In July, average temperatures on this Massachusetts island sit in the mid-70s, meaning you can comfortably bike to Nantucket's various lighthouses or to Surfside Beach to hang 10. Keep in mind, summer is Nantucket's peak season, so you'll want to book your accommodations months in advance to ensure availability and secure lower rates.
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Bonaire is a diver's paradise. This Caribbean island and Klein Bonaire (a small, uninhabited island located next to Bonaire) feature 54 easily accessible dive sites dotted along the coast, plus crystal-clear water that allows divers and snorkelers to easily see the islands' coral reefs. With July daytime temperatures reaching into the high 80s, a dip in the Caribbean Sea is a great way to cool down here. Another bonus: July is part of Bonaire's low season, so vacationers will find cheaper room rates and fewer tourists while strolling through Kralendijk, the country's capital.
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Quito#10 in Best Places to Visit in July
Situated more than 9,000 feet above sea level in the Andes, Quito is built on the ruins of an Incan city and is the best-preserved historic center in Latin America. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town is packed with plazas, churches and historical buildings that show off Quito's amazing architecture. What's more, the Ecuadorean capital is home to beautiful parks and top-notch museums, including the Central Bank Museum (a traveler favorite). Arrive in July (one of Quito's winter months) to enjoy mild, comfortable weather as you explore the city.
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Utah's first national park is a great summer destination for adventurous travelers. Zion boasts several incredible hiking areas, including The Narrows (the slimmest section of Zion Canyon) and Observation Point (which provides a bird's-eye view of the park from its trail). Just remember to wear plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated, as July temperatures often soar into the triple digits during the day. Hike in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the intense midday heat, and take advantage of the free shuttle to get around the park.
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Bar Harbor#12 in Best Places to Visit in July
Located on Maine's Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is an excellent place to stay if you plan on exploring Acadia National Park. But there is more to this coastal town than its proximity to hiking trails and rock climbing areas. During a July visit to Bar Harbor, you can go kayaking, whale watching and golfing (among other activities) thanks to average daytime temperatures hovering between the high 70s and low 80s. The town also offers a multitude of shops and restaurants, so you'll have no trouble finding a place to try some fresh Maine lobster.
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Gros Morne National Park#13 in Best Places to Visit in July
Newfoundland and Labrador's Gros Morne National Park, one of Canada's largest national parks, is like no other place on Earth. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features a variety of landscapes and is one of the world's best places to see evidence of plate tectonics. Visit in July when the weather is warm and dry to walk along the Earth's mantle in the Tablelands, hike to the top of Gros Morne Mountain (which opens at the beginning of the month) and kayak in the park's fjord lakes and ponds.
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Although Sun Valley is a popular ski destination in winter, this Idaho town offers just as much fun in summer. Daytime temperatures sit in the high 70s and low 80s in July, so travelers can spend the bulk of their vacation outdoors. Sun Valley's five mountain ranges – Sawtooth, Smoky, Boulder, White Cloud and Pioneer – provide the perfect backdrop for activities like hiking, biking, fishing and boating. Plus, June visitors can enjoy a variety of fun festivals and events, including Sounds of Summer, the Ketchum Arts Festival and Sun Valley on Ice.
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Mauritius#15 in Best Places to Visit in July
Mark Twain was once told that "Mauritius was made first and then heaven," and it's easy to see why. Sitting about 500 miles east of Madagascar, Mauritius draws sun-seeking travelers looking for clear blue water and white sand beaches. Visitors can relax at one of the African island's luxurious resorts or get an adrenaline rush while exploring its mountains on foot, its rainforest by zip line and its surrounding water with snorkeling gear. Thanks to its location near the equator in the Southern Hemisphere, Mauritius offers sunny skies and temps in the 80s in winter months like July.
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