Normally when people think about taking a vacation, there’s a beach involved, a few margaritas and plenty of sunshine. Me? I hibernate until fall comes around and then get my jetsetter on. Walking around and exploring all day long isn’t the same when you’re sweating through your clothes and unbearably warm. Beach destinations are fantastic if your main plans include laying in the sand all day but when you have an itinerary, it’s much more enjoyable if you can walk around for more than ten minutes without wanting to strip down on the sidewalk. I seem to be of the rare breed that prefers cooler temperatures for comfort. If you want to do some traveling over these next few warmer months but prefer not to be sweltering (like me), these destinations are just the ticket.
When in doubt, go north. Summer in Alaska is much more tolerable than summer in any part of the continental states. Alaska offers a lot of different options too. From big city experiences to getting in touch with nature, Alaska has it all and with great weather too. Get an urban experience with plenty of culture and activities in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, or Juneau, the capital. Venture to Glacier Bay National Park for a rare glimpse at nature in all its wonder with humpback whales, sea lions, bald eagles and more. Get a taste of the Gold Rush with small historic towns like Sitka, also known for its moment of fame in The Proposal. Experience early settlements left behind from Native American and Russian cultures or venture to parts of Alaska that are still home to natives. Bethel in Southwest Alaska, is home to dozens of Native Alaskan villages making it an incredible experience for those who appreciate a cultural immersion.
On the opposite end of the planet for us living in the northern hemisphere, Argentina is experiencing winter during our summertime but don’t let that stop you from visiting! Winter in Argentina, unless you head up into the Andes, tends to average from the mid-50s to mid-60s. It’s beautiful weather for exploring and drinking in as much of the country as you can. An obvious destination to visit is Buenos Aires, also known as the “Paris of South America.” This city has everything you can think of from sidewalk cafes to historical and architectural sites. All you wine lovers, add Mendoza to your summer travel list. Boasting temperatures in the 60s, this city is known for its vineyards and wineries but more specifically, its Malbec. Think of it as the Sonoma of Argentina. Enough to keep busy but casual beyond belief.
Oh, New Zealand. The country I almost fled to after the last election with real life hobbit holes and gorgeous panoramas. While many of us are experiencing scorching summer heat, New Zealand is in the thick of their winter which has temperature highs ranging from the 50s to 60s. And if you haven’t caught on yet, this is perfect travel weather in my opinion. For all you nature lovers, New Zealand is a prime location to travel to being one of the best hiking destinations in the world. Wander along one of their beaches or tackle one of the many “Great Walks.” They have an option for every skill level, even the amateurs like me! Foodies can rejoice in the burgeoning culinary boom in Auckland, Wellington and Napier plus, the coffee scene is darn good as well. And let’s not forget the #1 reason to travel to New Zealand...the hobbit holes. For any of you Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy nerds (fellow fans of mine), you may be familiar with New Zealand as the filming location for these epic films. Visit The Shire, take a tour, or even stay in a Hobbit Hole! It’s the most amazing thing ever and 100% on my bucket list.
Known for having the best weather year-round, San Francisco is one of those places that’s good to visit any time of year. While it’s not particularly cool, average temperatures throughout the summertime range from the mid 60s to low 70s and you know it’s always breezy! San Francisco is actually the warmest in the late summer/early fall, perfect if you want to enter the warmth of sunny Napa Valley or Sonoma for a weekend wine tasting during harvest season. Don’t miss these favorite sights to see, grab a little soul food or great cappuccino, and prepare yourself for the insane hills. Not quite sure where to start? Check out our Quick Guide to San Francisco.
You don't have to worry about sweltering during the summertime in Scotland! With temperatures averaging in the 60s, Scotland has beautiful summer days with elongated sunsets. Scotland may be of the smaller countries in the United Kingdom but it is jam packed with natural habitats, historical sites, castles that are hundreds of years old, and tons of culture. It’s a place that will adopt you as a local rather fast because you’re immersed from the second you arrive to the second you leave. Visit a distillery for some of the best whiskey you’ll ever sip and don’t miss the chance for a real pub meal. Not only will it save you money, but you’ll get a feel for what the locals prefer to chow down on. Finally, if you’re not planning on staying in one place, consider taking a train ride as they’re known for exceptional rail routes and scenery. The West Highland Railway Line might be the most popular but there are others as well.
There are quite a few fantastic places to visit in the summer if you’re looking to avoid the heat. Heading to the southern hemisphere is a great option as long as you’re not close to the equator and heading north is also a pretty good bet. Scandinavian and Nordic countries are a pretty good option with average high temperatures for Finland, Greenland and Iceland ranging from the 50s to 70s.
So tell me in the comments below, do you prefer to cool off in the summer or embrace the heat?