Bucket List Worthy
Now that the dog days of summer are nearly upon us, many travelers will no doubt be planning trips to the beach, or a visit to a comfortable resort, where they can enjoy a cool drink while soaking up the sun beside a pool. And while most everyone enjoys the long days that come along with the season, the sweltering temperatures can be a bit overwhelming for many. For those who would prefer to escape to cooler climes, here are six destinations to help you beat the summer heat.
San Francisco, USA
While much of California can be quite warm during the summer months (We’re looking at you Los Angeles), San Francisco’s unique location by the bay keeps it surprisingly cool. Even during July and August, the hottest months of the year, the city averages a temperature of just 22.2°C/72°F during the day. At night, the fog rolls in, and it gets cooler still, but visitors will hardly notice considering all of the great restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that will keep them entertained. While there, be sure to ride the historic cable cars, visit one of the numerous museums, take in the Golden Gate Bridge, and catch a Giants game at AT&T Park.
Banff is of course an excellent winter destination, thanks in no small part to its great skiing. But the mountain town has plenty to offer travelers in the summer too, thanks in no small part to its location inside the national park from which it derives its name. Nestled in the Canadian Rockies, at an elevation of 1400 meters (4600 ft), Banff stays relatively cool all summer long, making it an excellent retreat for those looking to escape the heat. Its unique location means that it has plenty to offer active travelers, including wonderful trails to hike, excellent mountain biking, wildlife tours, and unbelievably stunning mountain views. And at the end of the day, visitors can soak in the local hot springs as the evening temperature drops, bringing a relaxing close to their adventures.
A popular escape just about anytime of the year, Reykjavik is a place that surprises visitors with its culture and charm. During the final weeks of June, and into late July, the city sees almost 24-hours of daylight, making it easy to take advantage of all the things it has to offer. For instance, summer is one of the best times to go whale watching, or rent a bike and explore Reykjavik on two wheels. Be sure to visit the Old Harbour for great food and an array of unique shops, before visiting one of the many local spas, most of which include geo-thermal hot springs for visitors to enjoy. Average temperatures hover around 14.2°C/58°F, even in July, so be sure to pack a jacket.
Looking for a bit of French charm, without the hustle and bustle of Paris in the summer? Then look no further than Chamonix, a mountain village located in the French Alps that is a world class ski destination in the winter, and a wonderful summer escape for those looking to escape the heat, but still enjoy a little European flair. Highlights include taking a cable car to the summit of Mt. Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe, and hiking the local numerous local trails. The quaint mountain village has plenty to offer in terms of wonderful French cuisine, and fine wine is plentiful as well of course. Whether you want to be very active, or simply relax in a breathtaking mountain setting, Chamonix has something to offer just about everyone.
Of course, while the mercury rises in the Northern Hemisphere, down south they’re enjoying the cooler weather of winter. If you’re willing to venture below the equator, there are plenty of wonderful places to beat the summer heat. Take for example, Santiago, Chile, a charming city that welcomes visitors warmly. Santiago has numerous excellent restaurants, a thriving nightlife, and an impressive art and music scene. Throw in some excellent shopping, and you begin to see why it is a popular destination. Skiers will love being able to hit the slopes during July and August, and be sure to visit Viña Aquitania for an unbelievable wine experience, then drop by Bar Nacional to sample some of the best local fare.
Gustavia, St. Barths
For those who absolutely must have a beach escape, but don’t want things to be too hot, the Caribbean can be a welcome respite. The cool ocean breezes allow visitors to enjoy some of the best beaches on the planet, without being overwhelmed by extreme temperatures. Gustavia, the capital of St. Barths, is one of the best places to go to experience the Caribbean vibe, and temperatures average just 27°C/81°F year round. The sleepy little town of just 2300 residents features a rich history, an up-scale shopping district, and access to the luxury resorts that dot the area. It also offers fine dining, with American, Italian, and French cuisine readily available. Visitors can go sailing on the ocean, snorkeling in the pristine waters just off shore, or choose to just relax seaside.