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With the kids out of school and summer weather at its sunny peak, July is one of the most popular months for travel. Top spots include coastal beach towns, mountain resorts and big cities celebrating the Fourth of July with parades and fireworks shows.
So, where are the best places to travel in July? Here are 10 fantastic options from all corners of the globe to put on your summer vacation wish list.
1. Orange County, California
Southern California is known for its world-class beaches. But the beach is just one of the amazing things you can do in Orange County! From theme parks to museums to baseball games to water sports, the OC is the place to be in July.
July is peak season in Orange County, and the weather is perfect for enjoying the outdoors and the many family-friendly attractions. June Gloom – Southern California’s infamous cool, cloudy weather that arrives every year in late spring/early summer – is gone, replaced by sunshine, warm temperatures and cool ocean breezes.
There are more than 40 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline in Orange County, boasting a number of boardwalks, piers and endless white sand. Popular beaches include Newport Beach, San Clemente, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar.
Fun Things to Do in Orange County in July
- Spend a day at the beach
- Visit the Balboa Fun Zone in Newport Beach, one of Orange County’s oldest great coastal amusement areas
- Take in the views onboard the Great Park Balloon in the Orange County Great Park in Irvine
- Ride the coasters at Knotts Berry Farm
- Go to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
- Take a hike in the Santa Ana Mountains
- Explore the many cafes and art galleries in Laguna Beach
- Go boating, snorkeling or kayaking
- Take a day trip to Catalina Island
2. Santorini, Greece
If Santorini, Greece is on your bucket list, July is the quintessential time to visit this stunning Greek Island. Spend time relaxing on the beach and swimming in the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Santorini is one of the most popular destinations in Europe in July.
Santorini comes alive during the summer months. The weather is warm, the beaches are hopping and the highlight of each day is the stunning sunset sinking into the water. Book a sunset cruise or dinner reservation in Oia overlooking the sea for the best views.
Fun Things to Do in Greece in July
- Tour the ancient city of Akrotiri
- Visit the Santorini Wine Museum
- Spend time shopping and dining in Oia
- Take a sunset cruise
3. New York City
July is a great time of year to check out the biggest city in America. NYC heats up during the month of July, so spend time on the water cruising to the Statue of Liberty or head to the Bronx Zoo or a ballgame at Yankee Stadium. If it gets too hot, beat the heat with a visit to one of New York City’s many world-class museums or theaters.
Perhaps the best thing to do in New York in July is catch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show. This annual event features multiple musical performances and of course a spectacular fireworks show over the East River!
SheBuysTravel Tip: Save money on your NYC visit with a CityPASS. Even better: It allows you to skip the long admission lines!
Fun Things to Do in New York in July
- Have a picnic in Central Park
- Catch a ballgame at Yankee Stadium – or Citi Field!
- Visit the Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Gardens
- See a Broadway show
- Kayak on the Hudson from Pier 26
- Visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
- Take a Hop On, Hop Off bus tour of the city
- View the city from the water on a Circle Line NYC Landmark Cruise
- Cruise to the Statue of Liberty
4. Long Island, New York
Adjacent to New York City but worthy of a mention of its own for best places to visit in July is Long Island.
With some of the best beaches on the Atlantic coast, July is the perfect time to visit Long Island for a relaxing getaway. Stretching more than 100 miles from New York City to Montauk Point, Long Island’s south shore is lined with white sand beaches, quaint small towns, marinas and great restaurants.
On the east end of Long Island, the Hamptons are known as the premier beach getaway destination. It is a hotspot for New Yorkers looking to get away from the city in the summertime. The Hamptons are famous for beautiful beaches, upscale hotels and restaurants, nightlife and shopping.
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If you are visiting Long Island over Independence Day, you’ll find many parades and fireworks shows happening in various towns. Two of the most popular fireworks displays take place at Jones Beach in Nassau County, and further east in Southampton.
Fun Things to Do on Long Island in July
- Climb to the top of the Montauk Lighthouse in Montauk Point State Park
- Spend a day at Cooper’s Beach in the Hamptons
- Go wine tasting at one of the many wineries on the east end
- Visit the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum
- See a concert at the Jones Beach Amphitheater
- Watch a fireworks show at the beach
- Take the kids to Splish Splash Water Park
5. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the USA, and July is the most popular time of year to visit Yellowstone. Although it may be busy, the weather is at its warmest, ideal for hiking, biking, spotting wildlife and checking out Old Faithful and the many other geysers throughout the park.
The park covers more than 3,400 square miles, spread across northwestern Wyoming and parts of southern Montana and eastern Idaho. If you plan on camping or staying at one of the lodges inside the park, be sure to make reservations way in advance!
Fun Things to Do at Yellowstone National Park in July
- Go hiking
- Watch Old Faithful and other geysers erupt
- See giant, colorful hot springs
- Take a kayaking excursion on Yellowstone Lake
- Explore Yellowstone on horseback
- Go river rafting
- Go camping
6. Charleston, South Carolina
One of the most historic destinations in the south, Charleston, South Carolina is a big city with a charming small town feel. It is a wonderful destination to visit during the month of July! Experience great food, southern hospitality, and an array of interesting attractions on a getaway to South Carolina.
The weather in July is great for being outdoors. You can explore the old streets and historic buildings. There are a number of walking tours that will take you around to all the city’s highlights.
Fun Things to Do in Charleston in July
- Tour Charleston on foot or by horse-drawn carriage
- Visit Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
- Visit Drayton Hall, one of the oldest surviving plantation houses in the South
- Go on a ghost tour
- Take a photo of the iconic Pineapple Fountain
- Take the ferry to Fort Sumter National Monument
- Visit the South Carolina Aquarium
- Tour the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon
7. Telluride, Colorado
Once the snow has melted in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado becomes a summer oasis. One of the most beautiful places to visit in Colorado in July is Telluride.
Just eight blocks wide and twelve blocks long, Telluride sits at 8,750 feet above sea level and has been designated a National Historic Landmark District. A popular ski destination in the winter, Telluride in July offers 360-degree views of peaks and mountains.
The area is perfect for hiking, biking, fishing, camping and enjoying the natural hot springs.
From Telluride, you can easily take a quick road trip to spend a day at Arches National Park, located about two hours to the west just outside of Moab, Utah.
Fun Things to Do in Telluride in July
- Take a day trip to Arches National Park or Canyonlands National Park
- Ride the free gondola from Telluride to Mountain Village
- Go mountain biking
- Hike to Ajax Peak or choose from countless other hiking trails
- Go zip-lining or repelling at Telluride Canopy Adventure
- See Bridal Veil Falls, the highest waterfall in Colorado
- Visit Dunton Hot Springs, an 1800s ghost town
8. Nova Scotia, Canada
Though it is one of the coldest spots in North America during the winter months, Nova Scotia in the summertime is a delight, with warm weather and very little rain.
Warm temperatures are ideal for spending time near the ocean or enjoying outdoor activities inland.
Popular activities in July include hiking, biking, taking a boat tour and kayaking along the rugged Canadian coastline.
Fun Things to Do in Nova Scotia in July
- Eat lobster – Nova Scotia is famous for it!
- Take a boat tour with Salty Dog Tours
- Visit the Halifax Public Gardens
- Go hiking or camping at Cape Breton Highlands National Park
- Stroll along the Halifax waterfront
- Wander Old Town Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Take a whale watching cruise
- Visit the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
9. Lake Tahoe, California
Located on the border of California and Nevada in in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is a beautiful destination to visit in July. In the winter, it is a popular ski destination, but when the snow melts, it’s time to trade in your snowboards for paddleboards.
Temperatures range from the 60s to the 80s, making for warm days and cool, cozy nights. There are numerous activities to enjoy in Lake Tahoe, including hiking, golf, lounging on the beach and endless activities on the water.
Lake Tahoe is just 45 minutes south of Reno, so nightlife and gaming options are a short drive away.
Fun Things to Do in Lake Tahoe in July
- Take a tour of Vikingsholm Castle
- Spend long days in the sun at Baldwin Beach
- Take a hike at Eagle Falls and Lake
- Take a day trip to Yellowstone National Park
- Visit Tallac Historic Site
- Play a round at one of Lake Tahoe’s four golf courses
- Go hiking, fishing, boating or biking
- Take a sightseeing cruise
- Gamble at one of Lake Tahoe’s casinos
- Take a day trip to Reno
- Go zip-lining, summer tubing or ride the gondola at Heavenly Mountain Resort
10. Seattle, Washington
Though it is known for its rainy weather, July is typically dry and sunny in Seattle, making this the perfect time of year to visit.
Some of the must-visit attractions in Seattle include Pike’s Place Market and Pioneer Square, and of course the iconic Space Needle.
Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park are also within a half-day drive of this west coast city.
Fun Things to Do in Seattle in July
- Go to the top of the Space Needle
- Visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass
- Ride the ferry to Bainbridge Island
- Catch a Mariners game
- Take a day trip to Mount Rainier National Park
- Ride the Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57
- Have a beer at one of Seattle’s breweries
- Eat your way through Pike’s Place Market