- The best places to visit in July are already on savvy travellers’ lists.
- Business Insider looked at airfare trends, climate data, and peak travel times to find the best places to visit in July 2018.
- The destinations include tropical getaways, natural wonders, and America’s oldest Independence Day celebration.
July is peak travel season for Americans, and if you’re a savvy traveller, you’re already thinking about where you’ll escape.
Choosing the right destination isn’t always easy – the summer months bring unrelenting heat in some places, and the threat of monsoon season in others. On top of that, travellers must contend with the throngs of other people who picked the same place for their summer getaways.
We looked at airfare trends, climate data, and cultural calendars to select 13 vacation spots that are some of the best places to visit this July. They include spiritual temple sites in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the stunning Iguazu Falls in South America, and the charming town of Bristol, Rhode Island – the site of America’s longest-running Fourth of July celebration.
Read on to find the 13 best places to visit in July.
July is the hottest month of the year in Chicago, so if cold weather turns you off, now’s your chance to visit the Windy City.
Timeless tourist classics that are perfect for the warm weather include Millennium Park, Wrigley Field, and the shores of Lake Michigan, and you could spend hours and hours at renowned museums like the Chicago Institute of Art and the Field Museum.
Outdoor festivals abound in July, too, from the Irish American Heritage Festival to the Chinatown Summer Fair. And of course, it wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without a robust lineup of fireworks displays at several points throughout the city.
Portland, Oregon, is blessed with natural beauty – an “almost unfair abundance” of it, according to Lonely Planet – and summer is the perfect time to explore it.
Popular activities for visitors in July include bike tours through the scenic Willamette Valley wine region and hikes through the winding trails of Forest Park.
Beer lovers will appreciate the many, many breweries that call the City of Roses their home, and the area is well-established as a haven for local music, food, and art.
Bristol, Rhode Island
Don’t have plans for the Fourth of July? Take a trip to Bristol, Rhode Island, to witness America’s longest-running Independence Day celebration.
The Fourth of July festivities in this small seaside town date back to 1785. And one month isn’t enough to contain the party – it actually starts midway through June, and includes several nights of concerts, carnivals, dances, and other entertainment.
Apart from the patriotic celebration, there are plenty of other activities to do in Bristol, including boating, bicycling, and indulging in some delicious New England seafood.
Dominica is still in recovery mode after Hurricane Maria devastated the island nation and several of its Caribbean neighbours.
But despite the adversity, Dominica has re-opened for tourists, and it continues to make a great choice for a tropical getaway.
July is secretly one of the best times of the year to visit Dominica, as many tourists are discouraged by the start of tropical storm season. However, the more serious storms typically don’t begin until at least two months later, ensuring beachgoers will get plenty of sunny skies mixed in with some rain.
It’s worth noting that travelling to Dominica or anywhere else still recovering from tropical storms requires adaptability and understanding. You can even help with the rebuilding efforts if you choose to visit.
The small town of Boquete in western Panama is an adventurer’s paradise. Nestled in Panama’s green highlands, Boquete is a popular destination for hiking, mountain climbing, zip-lining, rafting, and plenty of other activities.
Bird lovers can try to spot the aptly named resplendent quetzal, considered “arguably the most stunning bird on Earth.” The region is also famous for its coffee, and many coffee plantations offer tours for visitors.
Expect a good amount of rain in July, like the other summer months, but not enough to deter you from the great outdoors.
Iguazu Falls, the spectacular collection of waterfalls on the border of Argentina and Brazil, has earned its place among the modern natural wonders of the world.
Comprising more than 250 falls, Iguazu is the largest waterfall system in the world. You could easily spend an entire day exploring the falls from both sides of the border: The Brazilian side offers the best panorama view of the falls, while on the Argentine side you can hop in a speedboat and drive directly under them. (Be warned, Americans and a few other nationalities will need to shell out for a visa if they want to cross over to the Brazilian side, even for just a few hours, assuming they don’t already have one.)
July marks the height of winter at Iguazu Falls, but if you’re not turned off by temperatures in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit, it’s worth avoiding the throngs of tourists that hold out for the warmer months.
Zurich may be more famous for being an international finance hub, but it’s also an underrated destination for a summer vacation.
As temperatures reach up into the high 70s, visitors can take a dip in Zurich’s swimmable canals and stroll through the city’s medieval-era Old Town. A staple of the tourism scene is the stretch of high-end stores on Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s main downtown road.
And even in July, outdoors lovers can get a taste of the winter in the Alps – Zurich makes a nice hub for glacier ski resorts that are open year-round.
July is when temperatures finally start to heat up in Stockholm, Sweden’s elegant capital. It’s the only month of the year when average temperatures exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit, giving visitors plenty of time to explore the city’s marvellous historic cathedrals and winding cobblestone streets.
The warm weather and clear skies are sure to provide picturesque backdrops for the bridges that span Stockholm’s canals. And according to Lonely Planet, Stockholm’s well-kept secret is the quality of its cuisine, attracting foodies from all over the world.
Bucharest often gets overlooked among other European summertime destinations. But Romania’s capital has plenty to offer travellers, between its formidable Communist architecture, lush parks, and cosy cafes.
The English-style Cișmigiu Park is a prime space for people-watching in the summer, and you’ll get a taste of the city’s alternative art scene by wandering through the city’s cobblestone streets and secret passages.
Athens in the summer is full of things to do for travellers: Its streets are bustling with energy, and its ancient sites provide visitors with a window into ancient civilisation.
The Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus are just a few of the must-see wonders. And if you’re discouraged by the throngs of tourists who descend on Athens each July, you can visit any of the numerous Greek islands that are within two hours of the capital.
There’s no bad time to visit Seychelles, a tropical archipelago off the coast of East Africa.
The summer months do offer below-average levels of rain across the islands, not to mention the best conditions for ocean activities like surfing, windsurfing, sailing, and scuba diving. For nature lovers, there is plenty of birdwatching to be done in Seychelles, too.
July does bring plenty of tourists to Seychelles, but with more than 100 islands to choose from, you are bound to find a peaceful vacation somewhere.
If you’re planning a trip to Southeast Asia in July, and you want to stay dry, your options are mostly limited – it’s monsoon season for much of the region.
That isn’t the case for more southerly destinations in the area, like Yogyakarta, the cultural haven on the island of Java.
The main draw is the majestic Borobudur, a stunning temple complex containing the largest Buddhist temple in the world. The UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the 9th century and features 72 statues of Buddha perched inside distinctively-patterned stupas.
In the same region as Borobudur you’ll find Prambanan, another heritage site and the largest Hindu temple compound in Indonesia.
When you’re done temple-hopping, you can explore Yogyakarta’s natural beauty, including caves, waterfalls, and volcanoes, and soak in the vibes of the city’s artistic and vibrant downtown.
Fiji is paradise on earth for all kinds of travellers: beachgoers, nature lovers, and those who love getting immersed in culture.
The crystal clear Pacific waters make for some of the most pristine beaches in the world, while the Yasawa island chain offers stunning volcanic landscapes and picturesque views. Meanwhile, you can soak in local traditions by taking part in a lovo feast or a kava ceremony – Fijians are known for their hospitality, and may welcome visitors who want to experience their customs.
Fiji’s annual Bula Festival, held every July, is full of music, dancing, and entertainment, and is a great glimpse into local culture.
Now tell us what you think.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.