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Summer Travel: Best Places to Visit in July and August
From gorgeous beaches and exciting outdoor activities to delicious local food and inspiring cultural experiences, these five destinations offer everything you need for a memorable summer trip.
After a winter like the one most of us in the U.S. just had (freezing!), you may be itching to make the most of every warm-weather moment. Maximize your 100 days of summer by making plans to visit one of these incredible destinations in the US and abroad.
With World Cup fever in full swing from mid-June to mid-July, Brazil is at the forefront of every soccer fan’s mind—and the country could be on your vacation itinerary. A Carnival-like atmosphere is guaranteed, as people from around the world stream in to watch all of the action live. If high-energy sports competitions aren’t your thing, though, don’t fret; Brazil has plenty more to offer, including pristine beaches, wild rainforests and vibrant metropolises. So whether your idea of fun is an expedition through the Amazon or a samba club in Rio, this South American country is a great summertime destination—the weather is warm year round. Plus, there are sure to be some deals up for grabs once the Cup concludes on July 13th.
2. Nova Scotia, Canada
With moderate temperatures and more than 8,200 miles (13,197 km) of coastline, Nova Scotia is an ideal pick for your summer vacation travels. The province boasts three UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the picturesque port town of Lunenburg, which is home to colorful buildings, historic ships, and abundant seafood restaurants. The region is also very family friendly, with plenty of outdoor activities to keep the kids busy, such as whale watching trips, lighthouse visits and horseback riding excursions. There’s a lot for adults to enjoy on their own too: You’ll find eleven wineries, six craft breweries, and two craft distilleries to explore in Nova Scotia.
3. The West of Ireland
There’s never a guarantee about the weather in Ireland (so bring your travel umbrella!), but the summer months do come with the promise of very long days (there’s over 15 hours of daylight in the early summer months). A great place to take advantage of the extra light is the rugged west coast, which has a new long-distance driving route known as the Wild Atlantic Way. From Donegal in the north to West Cork in the south, the route travels along some spectacular shoreline and offers something for everyone, whether you want to surf famous waves, taste freshly caught oysters, or disconnect at a rural B&B.
4. Nashville, Tennessee
Music City has become more appealing than ever to travelers. The heart and soul of Nashville, of course, lies in its music culture and there are more than 100 venues locally where you can catch a live show. The Tennessee capital is also known for its vintage shops and a food scene that’s really starting to heat up, with diverse dining experiences and lots of special events. On July 19, catch the annual Music City Brewer’s Fest, or opt for the Music City Festival & BBQ Championship on August 22-23. Another highlight of the season is the city’s annual 4th of July celebration, which offers one of the best fireworks displays in the country.
5. Dubrovnik, Croatia
For most of July and August, the seaside city of Dubrovnik tempts culture buffs with its Summer Festival. The extensive program of music, dance, and theater is sure to keep you entertained; however, it’s not the only reason to visit. The walled medieval city, with its iconic terracotta roofs, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. In addition to its rich heritage and many historic buildings, it boasts a privileged location on the Adriatic Sea, meaning visitors can soak up the sun and get active on the water with boat rides, kayaking, waterskiing, windsurfing, and more.
Do you have another favorite summer travel destination? Are you spending your vacation somewhere else? If so, let us know below!
Briana Palma is a writer, editor and serial expat who has lived in Ireland, Spain, and Italy. For more on her work, visit www.brianapalma.com.