Best places to visit in July in the USA

Top 20 Amazing Places To Visit In July In The USA

31 mins read

Summer crowds can be an issue anywhere, but if you are savvy enough, you will find some amazing places to explore this month. From my time traveling around this month, here are my favorite places to get you started…

1. Finger Lakes, New York State

The Finger Lakes, NY

Finger Lakes in the summer

This area is filled with beautiful watery landscapes punctuated by hundreds of stunning waterfalls. Some tumble between forested cliffs from upwards of 150 ft.

The awe-inspiring Taughannock Falls, which plunges from 215ft, is one of the few you can swim in. I personally love the whole of the Fingerlakes area; it’s a tranquil and scenic gem, and summer is the perfect time to visit.

Much of the waterfall action is centered around Lake Cayuga’s shores and Ithaca’s picturesque town, home of Cornell University. Ithaca is everything you’d expect from an Ivy League Town, full of stunning historic brownstone buildings and leafy avenues.

I recommend exploring all the beautiful parks and gardens which are in full bloom in July and the weather is very warm too! 

  • Visitor’s Centre Address: 35 Lake Front Dr, Geneva, NY 14456
  • Average temperature – 28 degrees

My favorite highlights…

  • Exploring Watkins Glen State Park, which features 18 stunning waterfalls.
  • Enjoying an afternoon out on the waters on a Wine Tasting Boat Tour!
  • Taking a Sea Plane Tour which was a very memorable experience flying over Watkins Glen, Seneca Lake, and Canandaigua Lake.

2. Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine summer

Bar Harbor in the Summer

Bar Harbour is a picturesque town on Mount Desert Island. Its shoreline sits along Frenchman’s Bay which is the gateway to the beautiful Acadia National Park.

I’m a real foodie, and I loved their top-class dining spots and being able to eat al fresco at the harbourside restaurants. 

For Nature Lovers, I highly recommend going on a Nature Cruises trip, which sails regularly from Bar Harbour. They offer an opportunity to spot porpoises, seals, eagles, and other marine life, as well as elegant mansions and the scenic lighthouse at Egg Rock.

I suggest exploring the nearby magnificent Acadia National Park, which spans 47,000 acres of rugged Atlantic coastline interspersed by dense woodland, rocky beaches, and granite peaks such as Cadillac Mountain, the East Coast’s highest point. The scenery is just extraordinary here! 

  • Visitor’s Centre Address: 2 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
  • Average temperature– 27 degrees

My highlights…

  • Strolling along the gorgeous Shore Path coastal trail, where I could view the surrounding small islands.
  • Admiring the wonderful New England Historic Architecture filled with character and quirky features.
  • Hopping on a boat over to Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park and lots of outdoor activities like hiking and cycling.

Book A Trip!

We can book your trip hopping around the USA’s beautiful places through our free, top-rated travel planning service!

3. Olympic National Park, Washington

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park in the summer

Olympic National Park lies within the Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest. Stretching northwards towards the Canadian border, the park is unique as it encompasses over 900,000 acres and three specific ecosystems: temperate rainforests, glaciated mountains, and wild Pacific coastline.

In July, you are (almost!) guaranteed pleasant temperatures (although not too hot), making it an excellent time of year for wildlife spotting, hiking, and water sports. In the summer, there is also the opportunity to bike and stargaze on Hurricane Ridge.

If you only have a short time here, I’d recommend staying at the characterful Lake Quinault Lodge. This rustic lodge, built in the 1920s, is on the lake’s shores on the edge of the excellent Olympic National Forest.

  • Visitor’s Centre Address: 3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362
  • Average temperature – 17 degrees

My personal highlights…

  • Hiking the Obstruction Point Trail and seeing the gorgeous scenery.
  • Visiting the incredible Hoh Rain Forest, the trees there are very unique!
  • Spending a night at Hoh Rainforest Campground surrounded by stunning scenery.

4. Yachats, Oregon

Yachats - best places to visit in July

Yachats in the summer

The minute I set foot in Yachats, I loved it. Perched alongside Cape Perpetua on an unspoiled stretch of rugged Oregon Coastline, Yachats is remarkable and still a relatively hidden gem.

It’s home to tide pools, black basalt cliffs, fern gullies, and beautiful lighthouses amid crashing ocean waves. It’s a great place to kick back, relax, and take in the wonderful scenery.

There’s a good handful of charming resturants and shops and all the shop owners we chatted with were keen to tell us about all the fantastic community events, from ClamBakes on the beach to the weekly summer farmers market.

I didn’t want to leave, and if you go, I am pretty sure you won’t either! 

  • Visitor’s Centre Address: 241 Oregon Coast Hwy Box 728, Yachats, OR 97498
  • Average temperature – 17 degrees

My highlights…

  • Checking out the eclectic variety of shops in the downtown area.
  • Tasting locally crafted award-winning beer at Yachats Brewing + Farm Store.
  • Wandering along the beach to see the dramatic shoreline filled with magnificent rock formations and sea views.

5. Geneva-on-the-lake, Ohio

Geneva On The Lake Ohio

Established in 1869, I’m a big fan of this family-friendly vacation destination. Situated in Geneva State Park on the shores of Lake Erie, I love how quaint and old-fashioned this place is.

You can bask in the summer sunshine on one of the beautiful lakeside beaches, charter a boat, or experiment with any water sports from the marina.

I also recommend trying the canopy tours, including sky bridges, zip lines, and adventure rope courses, for a real thrill. One of my favorite experiences was a laid-back tour of local breweries and vineyards and alternatively you can also play golf or eat al fresco while watching a beautiful sunset.

Explore some of the cute little local shops, swim in the crystal lake waters, or hike on the trails trying to spot birds. Mini-golf and amusement arcades galore keep the kids happy, too. 

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 5540 Lake Rd E, Geneva, OH 44041
  • Average temperature – 28 degrees

My highlights…

  • Renting a jet ski!
  • Take a trip to Madsen Donuts, filled with deliciously flavored donuts and friendly customer service!
  • Eating a hearty American breakfast while gazing at the lake at Horizons Restaurant & Lounge.

6. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Voyageurs National Park in July

Voyageurs National Park summer

This is a fantastic park to stay in the summer. It straddles the border between Northern Minnesota and Canada, consisting of acres of interconnecting lakes and waterways. The biggest landmass in the park is the Kabetogama Peninsula, which lies entirely within its borders.

Here, it’s all about the water, with many of the most beautiful parts only accessible by boat. To the east of the park is Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness, a stunning collection of forests, glacier lakes, and streams that draw millions of outdoor-loving visitors annually.

There are many accommodation options here, ranging from cute houseboats to lodges. I highly recommend exploring as many 50 miles of trails on the peninsula as possible. Amazing overlooks punctuate them, so don’t forget to bring your camera!

  • Visitor’s Center Address: Voyageurs National Park- Rainy Lake Visitor Center, 1797 Township Rd 342, International Falls, MN 56649
  • Average temperature – 25 degrees

My highlights…

  • Traveling around the lakes by canoe!
  • Seeing the Northern Lights (they can be seen all year round here).
  • Admiring the beautiful Ellsworth Rock Gardens, built in the 1940s they took 20 years to complete.

7. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston - best places to visit in July

Boston in the summer

I personally think Boston is an extra special travel spot in July as it hosts the fabulous Summer Pops Concerts and breathtaking Fourth of July fireworks over the River Charles.

These are connected to Harborfest, a week-long celebration of the city’s unique maritime history that kicks off on Independence Day.

When here, I recommend chilling out on one of the fantastic city beaches, grabbing a picnic and a bottle of wine, enjoying Shakespeare on the common, or watching an outdoor movie under the stars. 

Boston has beautiful parks, fantastic architecture (both old and new) and a splendid esplanade, perfect for romantic summer strolls and plenty of picnics.

I also love the excellent food and craft beer scene, the al fresco dining options, harbor cruises, and the incredible whale-watching opportunities (May to October).

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 139 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02111
  • Average temperature in Boston in July – 28 degrees

My highlights…

  • Hopping on a boat tour, sailing around Boston, and viewing the spectacular city differently.
  • Sunbathing along the Boston Beach at the main waterfront.
  • Watching the Red Sox at Fenway Park!

8. Half Moon Bay, California

Half Moon Bay California

Half Moon Bay in the summer

This is a gorgeous coastal spot to spend a summer weekend or use as a base to explore the northern Californian coastline.

Its compact downtown area is filled with quaint eateries and attractive shops selling boutique products, from unique arts and crafts to delicious wine. 

There are many seafood restaurants here, but for a quirky dining experience, I’d recommend Daddy’Os, housed in an old rail car and serving delicious comfort food. 

Half Moon Bay is surrounded by protected parks and beaches, including the Mavericks, a famous stretch of coastline that hosts a world-famous annual surf competition. Other protected beaches, such as Poplars, are great spots for a sunset picnic, and the beautiful beaches here don’t get crowded like some neighbouring stretches.

I love that it’s a place that maintains a calm and relaxed coastal vibe even in the peak summer months.

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 235 Main Street Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
  • Average temperature – 18 degrees

My personal highlights…

  • Walking along the Coastside Trail, which stretches nearly 5 miles long and offers gorgeous views overlooking the ocean.
  • Wandering along Main Street and discovering an array of shopping boutiques and fun dining options.
  • Eating a hearty vegetarian lasagne at Half Moon Bay Joe’s.

9. St Michaels, Maryland

St Michaels, Maryland - best summer vacations

St Michaels, Maryland old house, USA

Once home to shipbuilding and oyster fishing, St Michaels is a small waterfront town in Talbot County, Maryland, home to around 1,000 people.

I love that it still has the look and feel of a 19th-century seaport and is home to a charming Old Town filled with historic houses; it’s a picture-postcard pretty spot!

Topping the list of beautiful, low-key summer vacation spots, it is known for its picturesque water bodies, which I think are needed during hot summer days (average temperatures are around 31°C).

It has fun, family-friendly attractions, attractive independent shops, quaint resturants, buzzing marinas, and the picturesque Chesapeake Bay.

Whether you want to sail on a yacht, swim to cool off on a hot afternoon or treat your taste buds to some mouth-watering local cuisines, I think St Michaels is a great option! 

  • Visitor’s Center Address: PO Box 1206, St. Michaels, MD 21663
  • Average temperature – 31 degrees

My favorite highlights…

  • Visiting the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and walking through 18 acres of interactive exhibitions!
  • Walking around Hollis Park for a quieter atmosphere after a busy day of sightseeing.
  • Enjoying an exceptional dining experience at 208 Talbot Restaurant.

10. Buffalo River, Arkansas

Buffalo National River Summer

This is an excellent option for outdoor enthusiasts, with many accommodation options. The river here is 153 miles long, and 100 miles of trails traverse its banks. Activities include canoeing, kayaking, rafting, tubing, rock climbing, swimming, and mountain biking (rentals are all available in the area).

The Hawksbill Crag trail is the only designated hiking trail through the wilderness area. When I hiked it, I saw incredible views of the steep bluffs formed by the winding river gorge.

I also loved the beautiful oak and hickory forests, ancient caves, waterfalls, and abundant wildlife spotting opportunities, including a herd of over 500 free-ranging elk.

There is plenty for history lovers, too; I would recommend visiting the eerie Rush Ghost Town and the even creepier Peppersauce Ghost Town at Calico Rock; both are designated historic districts with very chequered pasts! 

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 170 Ranger Rd, St Joe, AR 72675
  • Average temperature – 33 degrees

My highlights…

  • Taking a dip in the Steel Creek swimming hole, 
  • Soaring through the sky on a zipline on the Buffalo River Canopy Tour.
  • Discovering the magnificent caves in the upper area, the Mystic Caves and Crystal Dome Caverns.

11. Traverse City, Lake Michigan

Traverse City in July

Traverse City, Lake Michigan

With a shoreline spanning 307 miles, I found choosing where to stay on Lake Michigan a little overwhelming. Still, I loved the spot I eventually decided on – Traverse City in Northern Michigan.

It was an excellent base to explore some of the most beautiful beaches and nature reserves along the lakeshore. It’s also a fantastic and vibrant city in its own right.

I became a fan of the city because it offered fantastic boutique shopping, microbreweries, food carts, gastro pubs, and fine dining. It also has abundant public art, museums, galleries, and excellent urban walking, biking, and boating trails.

The Old Mission Peninsula, just a short drive from downtown, had some beautiful parks overlooking the water. Haserot Beach was an excellent relaxing place, and Bryant Park was the perfect picnic spot.

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 101 W Grandview Pkwy, Traverse City, MI 49684
  • Average temperature in Traverse City in July – 27 degrees

My favorite highlights…

  • Wandering downtown and discovering all the boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, and galleries.
  • Relaxing on the sandy Traverse City State Park Beach.
  • Biking the paved Boardman Lake Trail which took me through lovely scenery.

12. Beavers Bend Resort Park, Oklahoma

Beavers Bend - great summer destinations

I’m a big fan of this beautiful 1,300-acre resort park beside Broken Bow Lake in Southeastern Oklahoma, which is perfect for a summer vacation.

The park offers numerous activities, including a curated lineup of campfire programs, nature hikes, and arts and crafts classes. It also has 12 miles of hiking trails and roped-off swimming areas along the banks of the lake and river.

If you love the view from the water, I recommend hiring a Yakanoe, kayak, or paddleboat. There’s a steam train, golf course, visitor center, and numerous gorgeous wooden cabins to stay in, all nestled within the stunning mountainous terrain.

Don’t miss catching the sunset over the impressive Broken Bow Dam! 

  • Visitor’s Center Address: Broken Bow, OK 74728
  • Average temperature – 34 degrees

My highlights…

  • Hiking the scenic Cedar Bluff Nature Trail.
  • Renting a kayak.
  • Stopping by the visitor center and discovering all the activities going on.

13. Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island, Rhode Island beach in the summer

Block Island, Rhode Island, USA

If you’re looking for a relaxing beach summer getaway, I’d recommend Block Island. It is an incredible destination that houses the historic Southeast Lighthouse, the natural clay cliffs of the Mohegan Buffs, and many beautiful beaches. 

You can sunbathe in warm weather, dip in the sea on any of the island’s scenic beaches (notably Crescent Beach), sail, bicycle, or hike—there are plenty of things to do!

I recommend heading there for the famous annual Fourth of July parade, which includes a fabulous fireworks display! There are also plenty of accommodations on the island, ranging from cute Bed and Breakfasts and rental cottages to beachfront hotels.

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 4 Center Rd, New Shoreham, RI 02807
  • Average temperature – 25 degrees

My favorite highlights…

  • Hiking up Mohegan Bluffs and seeing spectacular ocean views before heading down 141 steps to the beautiful beach.
  • Visiting Ballard’s which had a lively vibe with live music, sunshine, and Tiki bars.
  • Hiring a bike and exploring the island to see the famous lighthouses, Great Salt Pond, and nature trails.

14. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming 

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park summer

Set amidst the spectacular Teton Mountain Range in Northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, I love the breathtaking scenery, alpine lakes, and hiking trails!

I recommend boat trips to Jenny Lake or the Massive Jackson Lake, and for more adventurous people, go rafting down the rapids. 

The 100-mile John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway is the perfect challenge for keen cyclists, taking in some of the park’s best wildlife and scenery.

Climbing enthusiasts can tackle Grand Teton, the tallest peak in the 40-mile Teton Range. My favorite highlight, though, was the spectacular sunsets! 

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 1 Teton Park Rd, Moose, WY 83012
  • Average temperature – 25 degrees

My personal highlights…

  • Soaking up the scenery on a 10-mile float trip down the Snake River in Jackson Hole.
  • Driving up to Signal Mountain and admiring the Instagrammable panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Hiking along the trail by Jenny Lake, which took me to Inspiration Point and the Insta-worthy Hidden Falls.

15. Lake Chelan, Washington

Lake Chelan Summer

Lake Chelan Summer

Beautiful Lake Chelan, between Seattle and Spokane, is a popular summer resort town with gorgeous scenery and a laid-back vibe!

Wenatchee National Forest, Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park, and Lake Chelan State Park are located along its shores and offer miles of scenic hiking trails.

At its Northernmost point, it provides a gateway to the breathtaking wilderness of Northern Cascades National Park.

During the summer, it is the perfect place to experiment with various water sports. I’d also recommend hanging out on beautiful beaches, hiking spectacular lakeside trails, and enjoying local produce at the Evening Farmers Market.

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 216 E Woodin Ave, Chelan, WA 98816
  • Average temperature – 30 degrees

My highlights…

  • Checking out the fun Slidewaters Waterpark, rated in the top 15 in the country!
  • Enjoying mouth-watering wines at Tuscan-inspired Tsillan Cellars & Sorrento’s Ristorante.
  • Going to the High Trek Chelan and trying out their fun ziplines and obstacle courses.

16. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park Summer

Glacier National Park Summer

In July, the stunning natural scenery at this spot is ablaze with color, and thrill-seekers will find the Middle Fork Whitewater at its best, with water levels perfect for an exhilarating raft ride!

I love that the flowers are in full bloom, and the huckleberries are at their sweetest from mid-July!

All the trails and roads are open in July, and I personally think it’s the perfect time for a drive along the scenic Going-To-The-Sun Road.

Miles of hiking trails traverse the park, and there is a vast collection of exciting wildlife, including rare wolverines, Canadian Lynx black bears, grizzlies, and mountain lions. 

Although July is usually warm and temperate, I recommend preparing for any eventuality as the weather can change on a whim, and parts of the park are incredibly remote!

  • Visitor’s Center Address: West Glacier, MT 59936
  • Average temperature – 21 degrees

My highlights…

  • Driving along the going-to-the-sun road is one of the most scenic journeys in the park, featuring an array of viewpoints.
  • Catching a sunrise at the hidden Two Medicine landmark was an unforgettable experience!
  • Dipping my feet in Lake McDonald to cool down on a hot day.

17. Ely, Minnesota

Ely, Minnesota - Places to go in the summer

Ely, Minnesota - Places to go in the summer

Ely is a historic city in Minnesota, with an estimated 3,500 residents and a summer temperature of 27°C in July.

Famous for housing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, it’s one of my favorite destinations for lakeside activities, including canoeing! 

It has a rustic, rugged feel, but the quaint town is filled with interesting independent shops, cozy eateries and a thriving art scene.

I recommend visiting the International Wolf Centre, which is dedicated to educating the public about wolves, and going on the family-friendly Kawishiwi Falls Trail, which will take you to 70-foot-drop Kawishiwi Falls and Fall Lake Dam. 

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 1600 E Sheridan St, Ely, MN 55731
  • Average temperature – 27 degrees

My highlights…

  • Renting a paddleboard and heading across the peaceful Bear Head Lake at the State Park.
  • Going for a hike along the Kawishiwi Falls Trail and admiring the impressive waterfalls.
  • Indulging in mouth-watering treats at Northern Expressions.

18. Monterey, California

Visiting Monterey in July

Monterey Summer dolphins

I was super keen to see Monterey and the historic Cannery Row Historic District, and when I visited, I knew it had to be included on this list!

Summer doesn’t get too hot here, but the weather is pleasant, and I loved its unique boutique hotels, cute independent shops, and relaxed seafood resturants where I could gaze at the waves and ocean views while dining.

I recommend walking through Monterey State Historic Park to see some of the area’s oldest and most significant buildings, including the cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo (the oldest in California).

Plenty of outdoor pursuits are available, with excellent surfing and wildlife spotting along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail and The Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary.

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 419 Webster St Suite 100, Monterey, CA 93940
  • Average temperature – 20 degrees

My favorite highlights…

  • Wandering around the setting for John Steinbeck’s novel, Cannery Row Downtown, which is filled with cool shops and restaurants.
  • Taking in the coastline views at Point Sur Lightstation, a historic landmark overlooking the ocean.
  • Checking out the Monterey Museum of Art, which is home to over 14,000 pieces.

19. Marquette, Michigan

Marquette, Michigan - summer resort

Marquette, Michigan summer resort

I think this is an excellent choice for a low-key, peaceful summer vacation far away from the kind of crowds you’ll find in the more popular summer resorts.

It’s a quaint, relaxed, small city surrounded by miles of breathtaking hiking and biking trails and beautiful inland lakes that give way to larger acres of water bodies and scenic shorelines. The water activities on offer here are endless and range from kayaking and canoeing to swimming and rafting.

History and art lovers will enjoy this place, as it is also home to several historic lighthouses and a thriving art scene. Head for Marquette Arts and Culture Centre for excellent art exhibits, thought-provoking lectures, and an extraordinary musical series.

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 2201 US 41 SouthMarquetteMI 49855
  • Average temperature – 24 degrees

My highlights…

  • Swimming out to the rock islands and lagoons at McCarty’s Cove before relaxing along the sandy shoreline.
  • Biking the scenic Iron Ore Heritage Trail.
  • Taking a sightseeing tour, which taught me all about the area’s history as well as enabled me to see all the best spots.

20. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park - best places to visit in July

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park spans 369 sq miles of incredible scenery around the imposing 14,411 ft stratovolcano at its center.

This place always enchants me, and I love that the foothills are a fantastic blend of subalpine meadows, valleys, and waterfalls cascading from rocky plateaus. The scenery is seriously spectacular here! 

From July through August, wildflowers transform the Paradise area of the park in an abundance of color, and the slightly warmer temperatures make it the perfect time for hiking (but you’ll still need to wrap up warm). 

Numerous trails are available to explore, depending on your preferences for wildlife spotting, uninterrupted views, or rushing falls.

  • Visitor’s Center Address: Sunrise Park Rd, Ashford, WA 98304
  • Average temperature – 11 degrees

My highlights…

  • Enjoying an evening of stargazing before watching a vibrant sunrise over the landscape.
  • Visiting the stunning Myrtle Falls, which offered the most gorgeous views of the park.
  • Crossing the suspension bridge located along Grove of the Patriarchs Trail which took me through the oldest trees in the park.

Source link


I love to share all cool things that matter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog