10 Amazing Places To Visit In July According To Our Travel Experts

Summer means vacation! Looking for the perfect getaway in July? From spending Independence Day at the oldest Fourth of July celebration in the United States to heading north to Canada to avoid the heat and humidity, TravelAwaits Writers share their favorite places to visit in July.

Boats in the water in Kennebunkport, Maine
(Image source: SJ Morgensen)

1. Kennebunkport, Maine

Living in the Midwest where we have a lot of humidity all summer, I like to find cool weather during the summer months. One of my favorite places to visit in July is the Maine coast. The weather is fine! Mornings and evenings are cool while the day heats up to the temperature of summer. Perfect, no moisture! Plus there’s plenty of fun to have on the water.” – SJ Morgensen

Lime Killen Lighthouse in San Juan Islands, Washington
Lime Killen Lighthouse in Lime Killen Point State Park on the west side of San Juan Island
(Image source: Keshler Thibert)

2. San Juan Islands, Washington

“One of my favorite destinations in July is the San Juan Islands in Washington state. When the weather gets warm, I enjoy not being in the crowds, staying cool, and taking advantage of the long summer days. The San Juan Islands allow visitors to break away by different routes: Hiking trails Long walks, views of aquatic life, mom-and-pop restaurants, and most of all, nature without the crowds.” – Kechler Thibert

Two women wearing the American flag hold a banner at the Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, RI
Fourth of July 2021 Parade kicks off in Bristol, Rhode Island
(Image source: Nat Squatrito)

3. Bristol, Rhode Island

The city of Bristol, Rhode Island celebrates the oldest Fourth of July celebration in the United States, with 2022 marking its 237th anniversary. Bristol is a lovable little coastal city that has a lot to offer. In addition to fun local events, you’ll find historic sites, a beautiful coastline, and a variety of outdoor spaces. I love the 14.5-mile East Bay bike path, which begins in Bristol. You’ll also find Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, which has one of the best gardens in New England. Eating Bristol lives up to its reputation for serving great food sourced locally from farms and fishermen.” — Peggy Cleveland

The Missouri River overlooks the site of Chief Looking Village
The Missouri River overlooks the site of Chief Looking Village (Image Source: Roxy Yonky)

4. Bismarck Mandan, North Dakota

Because of their northern location, Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota, have long summer days. The metro area boasts many July events such as rodeos, championships, and foot and motor racing. These activities are very fun, but the longer evenings provide the perfect opportunity to stroll the area’s trails.

Explore the interactions between European Americans and Native Americans at Fort Abraham Lincoln and On-A-Slant Village. Lewis and Clark came as explorers and merchants. Visit the reconstructed village to see the culture that kept the explorers alive. Soldiers at Fort Lincoln came as enforcers and invaders. Lieutenant Colonel George Custer left the fort to his fate at the Battle of Little Bighorn.

When it’s time to eat, downtown Bismarck is walkable and full of restaurants serving diverse cuisines. I highly recommend Butterhorn Restaurant. Try verde gnudi (pronounced nudity). For breakfast, eat an American muffin at the Copper Dog Café in Mandan.” — Roxy Yonky

Wildflowers bloom along the shores of Lake Waterton in Alberta's Lake Waterton National Park
Wildflowers bloom along the shores of Lake Waterton in Alberta’s Lake Waterton National Park
(Image source: Cindy Parks)

5 – Lake Waterton National Park (Canada)

“One of my favorite excursions in July was the short trip I took several years ago from Glacier National Park in Montana to Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada. About 70 miles apart, the two parks are an easy day trip from each other.

Although July will undoubtedly be crowded at both parks, I found midsummer to be the perfect time to visit for a number of reasons. First, the weather is at its best, with both parks recording average highs in the low to medium 70 degrees Fahrenheit range. On the other hand, wildflowers seemed to be at their peak in mountain hikers. Everywhere I looked, there seemed to be stands of daisies, bear grass, and lupine. I found the white daisies that make up the azure surface of Lake Waterton particularly delightful.

I loved Glacier, too, but Waterton Lakes—described as where mountains meet prairie—turned out to be the high point of my trek, in large part because it was such a pleasant surprise.” — Cindy Parks

Red and White Owls in Columbus, Ohio
“Red, White, and Boom” in Columbus, Ohio is one of the largest July 4th fireworks displays in the country. (Image source: Experience Columbus)

6. Columbus, Ohio

“Three Cheers to Red, White, and Blue in Columbus, Ohio, where the party begins in late June and runs through July 4. It shows in the country. Head to the river on July 1 at 10 a.m. for live music, entertainment, kids’ activities, and food.”

More hometown fun includes Stars & Stripes Softball Games, Firecracker Trot 5K and Street Fests. Take a look at the city’s traditional Fourth of July Parade. Come hear the Columbus Symphony Orchestra play Patriot Pops with the Air Force’s Flying Band in honor of John Williams’ 90th birthday. Join the Doo-Dah Parade and Music Festival, a wacky tribute to “Liberty & Lunacy” in the Short North Arts District. Visit an Ohio village on Independence Day weekend (July 2-3) and see how the Buckeyes honored Independence Day in the 1890s with loads of old-fashioned fun. Play croquet, try your hand at rolling, and listen to the cannons firing.” — Mira Tamkeen

Fireworks are displayed above the night sky with the downtown Calgary skyline in the background during the annual scramble festivities.
Fireworks are displayed in downtown Calgary during the annual scramble celebrations.
(Image source: Ronnie Chua / shutterstock.com)

7. Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede has been dubbed ‘the largest outdoor show on Earth’. The event has been held every July – when Canadian temperatures are perfect – since 1886. Nearly 1.3 million were registered in 2019 before it was canceled in 2020. It reopened in 2021 but has been significantly scaled back this year. Back in full force!We’ll see again those wild west competitions in six rodeos: barrel racing, bull riding, tie ropes, steering wrestling, bronze saddle, and saddle.

The whole city explodes with parades and festivities, while at Stampede Grounds there are free nightly evening shows and cultural performances with great country music. Agricultural and Western events also return with animal fairs and games. Many companies sell their wares in markets while food courts offer Midway treats: sweets, snacks, and concoction drinks. I remember how much fun my Calgary family had in every scramble we attended! – Carol Colborne

Lake Jocassee in northern South Carolina
Lake Jocassee in the North Carolina region
(Image source: Simon Lock/MyEclecticImages)

8. Lake Jukkasi, South Carolina

Lake Jocassee is a 7,500-acre piece of summer paradise in northern South Carolina where you can relax amid breathtaking mountain views. This crystal clear lake was once the town of Jocassee until the gorges filled with water in the 1970s. The city is still far from the surface The lake is untouched.

You can get to Lake Jocassee via Devils Fork State Park in Salem. Bring or rent your own kayak, fishing gear, or paddle boat and take a short, leisurely ride along Jocassee Beach. Look out for the waterfalls that can only be seen from the water, and imbibe in their natural beauty all around. Or relax on the beach for a picnic with several dips in the cool, refreshing waters.

Arrive early to avoid crowds. There are accommodation options nearby, including cabin rentals and campgrounds. Families, fun, and happy times are what Lake Jocassee is all about.” — Benny Zebula

Kitch-Iti-Kipi (The Big Springs) at Palms Book State Park
Kitch-Iti-Kipi (The Big Springs) at Palms Book State Park
(Image source: Amy Piper)

9. Michigan Palm Boxes State Park

“July is the perfect time to visit Palms Book State Park in Michigan near Manistique. The weather will be warm this time of year on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, making outdoor adventures even more fun.

The park’s featured attraction is Kitch-Iti-Kipi (The Big Springs), Michigan’s largest freshwater spring. You’ll find a self-guided observation raft that takes visitors to lookout points with impressive underwater features. Spring is 45 feet deep and nearly 200 feet wide in stunning blue and green. You will be able to clearly count the lake trout in the water below. The water is kept clear by constantly agitating 10,000 gallons of water per minute.

The park creates an excellent picnic environment.

You will need a Michigan Entertainment Passport to enter the Michigan State Park by car. Indian Lake State Park is about seven miles away if you want to camp, and make Palms Book State Park an afternoon stop.” — Amy Piper

Panoramic view of the Alaskan mountain range and Mount Denali
Panoramic view of the Alaskan mountain range and Mount Denali
(Image source: Sandy Barrett)

10. Denali National Park and Preserve

A visit to Denali National Park and Preserve in the summer is an ideal time to explore the park and see North America’s highest peak. The average temperature is in the 60s, perfect for hiking the many trails, wandering the park, and spotting all the wildlife that calls Denali home.

Hop on a wilderness tundra ride, visit sledding kennels at Denali Park, or take a drive down Interstate 3 in Alaska and enjoy the mountain top panoramic views of the Alaskan Range. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see Mount Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley). You need to wake up and shine early in the morning to peek at this iconic top.

The Denali Visitor Center is the best place to get all the information you need about visiting Denali. In addition, they have an interesting interesting display of the park’s wildlife and its habitats. When you’re ready for a snack, pop into the Morino Grill.

A Denali adventure is perfect any time of year, but in the Land of the Midnight Sun, summer is especially special.” — Sandy Barrett

Related reading:

  1. 9 Great European Cities to Visit in July
  2. 13 Great Places to Celebrate the Fourth of July in an RV
  3. Best Summer Cities for 4th of July Weekend

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