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Summer is closer than ever. And for sure, all of us can’t wait to get out and visit the best places to travel in July.
What’s even more exciting is how a lot of vacation destinations in the US are opening up. This makes the experience of traveling a fresh way of reconnecting with places that have become overfamiliar.
So, wondering what are the best places to visit in July? Here’s a quick list of the 18 best places to visit in July in the US.
There’s no shortage of destinations to choose from in the US. Whether you’re planning a coastal summer getaway or an exploration of the urban jungles, there’s something perfect for you. Ready to pack your bags and book that flight? Let’s go!
Monterey County, California
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A visit to Monterey County brings you both seaside charm from places like Carmel by-the-Sea and beautiful views from long drives on roads like Highway 1 or 17-Mile Drive. Hiking trails and dramatic views at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve for those looking for a workout deep into nature are also available too.
Monterey also has plenty of beaches you can enjoy the surf and sand in. If you’re wondering, “Where should I go for a beach vacation in July?”, Monterey has more than enough supply. You can soak up some sun at beaches like Del Monte, San Carlos, or Monterey State Beach.
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If you have kids, you can take them along to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and marvel at mysterious sea creatures they wouldn’t see anywhere else. You can also relax and play golf at the Pebble Beach Resorts whose golf courses offer scenic views too.
There’s simply a lot to do at Monterey, that’s why it’s one of the best places to travel in July. Consider coming over to get reenergized and take a break from the city.
San Diego, California
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California has another beautiful coastline up for you this summer in San Diego. 70 miles of inspiring sights and more. Explore the city life, culinary cuisine, and beautiful beaches in San Diego — one of the best places to travel in July.
Once you’re in the city, take a tour of La Jolla on an electric bike to take in the views of the ocean to the highest point in the city. Take a trip to the San Diego Zoo and say hello to your favorite animals while also enjoying unique exhibits.
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While you’re in the area, heading on over to any of the beaches along San Diego’s 70-mile coastline. You can catch a wave at Mission Beach, Blacks, Cardiff By the Sea, or Coronado. San Diego is a great place to go on a beach vacation too with this many locations to choose from.
San Diego is also one of the best places to visit for July 4th. You’re in for an exciting fireworks show with San Diego’s Big Bay Boom if you happen to be there this year. Enjoy the show while relaxing with friends and family from places like Shelter Island, Harbor Island, or the Marina District.
Sonoma County, California
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The best July vacation is a combination of food, culture, and a beautiful location. Sonoma County just might be all of that and more this summer.
Fall in love with Sonoma’s wine in wineries like Bartholomew Park Winery or the Pangloss Cellars Tasting Lounge. Dive deeper into its culinary delights like caviar, duck confit, and Portuguese tapas.
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City of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
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Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach is another good answer to the question, “Where should I go for a beach vacation in July?” It’s a city that’s filled with delicious seafood and plenty of outdoor activities you can fill your summer with.
Swim at Rehoboth Beach where there’s also a quaint boardwalk that’s as long as a mile. It’s lined with restaurants and shops you can dine in and shop at. Take an idyllic walk or bike at the boardwalk for a relaxed weekend.
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If you’re traveling with your family, head on over to Funland for hours of family-friendly fun. Or spend time at Jungle Jim’s, a complex that has a water park and mini-golf course the kids can enjoy.
Lastly, stop by Cape Henlopen State Park for swimming in a less crowded and quieter atmosphere. You can also go hiking or fishing for more outdoor activities at the park.
It’s no wonder Rehoboth Beach is one of the best places to visit in July in the USA. With its beaches, parks, and family-friendly attractions, Rehoboth Beach is simply the place to be.
Delray Beach, Florida
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The best places to travel in July aren’t just the ones the locals flock to, it’s the ones that are nationally recognized too. Did you know viewers of USA Today and Rand McNally voted Delray Beach, Florida as the “Most Fun Small Town in America”? And it’s easy to see why.
This summer destination has fun spots to visit like the Delray Municipal Beach for those who’d love sometime in the ocean and sands. You can swim, kayak, or work out with a stand-up paddleboard while enjoying the summer weather.
Next are the boutique stores that line Atlantic Avenue and stop for a break at the restaurants that are also along the way. When you’ve had your fill of shopping, admire the creativity on exhibit at Delray’s art galleries and art festivals too when you visit.
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In addition, luxury hotels make Delray Beach one of the best destinations for a honeymoon in July. Kara Franker in Visit Florida recommends The Seagate Hotel & Spa or Seagate’s Beach club as good accommodations at Delray.
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Did you know Tom Hanks’ movie, Forrest Gump, was filmed in Savannah, Georgia? Yup, that’s right! The iconic opening scene with a feather floating downward has its backdrop at Savannah’s Chippewa Square.
Other movies filmed here were Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth’s The Last Song and Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck’s Forces of Nature. This quaint city in Georgia’s charming character and historic places make it one of the US’ unique film locations and best places to travel in July.
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Will you be surprised to find out that Chicago is US News Travel‘s #1 destination in its list of best weekend getaways in the Midwest? This bustling Illinois city is one of the best places to visit in July because there’s so much to enjoy inside the city and along the coast.
Inside the city, you’ll get to visit places like the Wrigley Field and State Street whose atmospheres are simply electric with energy. Get into the adrenaline rush of competition as you watch a good baseball game. Or get a thrill from a unique shopping and dining experience in Chicago.
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Don’t forget to drop by the Field Museum too for one-of-a-kind exhibits on natural history, art, and culture among many. Dinosaur-loving kids will appreciate a visit as they get to interact with animatronic dinosaurs and dino fossils they can only find at the Field Museum.
You can visit Lake Michigan’s beaches too for your fill of watersports and golden shores. According to The Savvy Globe Trotter, Kathy Osterman Beach or Foster Avenue Beach are the ones to visit if you’re looking for a local vibe. The ones more popular with tourists are Oak Street Beach and North Avenue Beach.
Down East and Acadia, Maine
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Looking for places to visit in July that are not hot? Maine‘s got you covered as it only reaches 70°F in July. It’s comfortable enough to explore the region’s natural wonders like Frenchman Bay and the famous Acadia National Park without breaking a sweat.
Bar Harbor is also a notable place in Maine to consider for a summer vacation. It’s how you’ll be able to access Acadia National Park and the town’s relaxing scenery of waters, art galleries, and restaurants.
Maine is one of the best places to travel in July because of the endless things to do during your visit. Hike, dine, and rest at DownEast and Acadia.
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Three words immediately greet you when you visit Portland’s official website — lighthouses, lobster, and beaches. These three words perfectly establish Portland’s distinct place in America’s best places to travel in July.
Lighthouses abound in Portland because of their location beside the ocean. Locals and tourists can choose from any of the six lighthouses that dot the coast like the famous Portland Head Light.
Lobsters are central to the gastronomic experience in Maine. Don’t leave Maine without getting a taste of delicious lobster cooked in the classic steamed recipe or the trendy lobster roll.
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Beaches in Maine can rival California’s shores when it comes to beauty, number, and activities. Explore eight beaches that offer scenic views of the ocean accentuated by dunes near the shore or wetlands nearby.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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Craving for delectable seafood beyond lobsters? Cape Cod will make for the best July vacation for you this summer as this destination serves up fresh clams, scallops, lobsters, and oysters. Head on over to this seafood lover’s paradise if a food trip is what you’re aiming for this year.
Cape Cod is also one of the best places to travel in July in the USA because of its idyllic atmosphere and endless summer vibe coming from its beaches. Soak up the sun at Nauset Light Beach and take snapshots beside the lighthouse for a summer to remember.
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Outside the water, explore the area’s villages that have their distinct New England charm. Line up for ice cream at any of its shops or pop in its various clam shacks for an authentic taste of the sea. And finally, rest at a bed and break or boutique hotel to complete your nautical trip.
Glacier National Park, Montana
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The best places to travel in July on a budget are those that bring the best of both worlds in terms of affordability and enjoyable travel experiences. And Glacier National Park hits the sweet spot.
Park tickets are just $20 for a 7-day access and the things you can do once inside are plenteous. Hike at any of its wild trails specifically for hiking. Go camping in the backcountry or in the park’s 1,009 camping sites. Or enjoy a long drive at the Going-to-the-Sun Road for a tour of the park from east to west.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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Did you know that one of the best places to travel in July is a beautiful blend of Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo cultures? That’s the experience you’ll step into in Santa Fe, New Mexico as you explore its restaurants, art galleries, and architecture.
Spanish-Pueblo architecture shapes the buildings that line the streets. Art galleries exhibit beautiful Native American work and world-famous artists like Georgia O’Keeffe. Restaurants serve menus influenced by a rich heritage. And performing arts like classical music concerts, cultural dances, and opera bring their rich history’s influences alive.
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It’s no wonder Santa Fe is called, “The City Different”. The unique mix of cultures truly makes it unlike any other summer destination. You’ll just be amazed at the many things you’ll experience in Santa Fe.
New York, New York
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New York, New York is a summer destination you can discover no matter how you want to explore the city — by wheels or by feet. No matter where you go in New York, you’ll realize it’s one of the country’s best places to visit in July. Here’s why.
There are a lot of interesting sights in New York. Some are best experienced by walking. And there are some that are best accessed by biking. Going on a ferry is a great way to see the city too.
For example, New York has trails for hiking at Pelham Bay Park. It’s easily reached by riding the No. 6 train. Or you can visit the one at the Bronx River Greenway that will take you to New York’s sole freshwater river where you can take a quick dip.
Riding a bike on 13 miles of West Side, Manhattan is also a great way to spend the summer and get some fresh air. The New York Times recommends visiting Governors Island for a less crowded and more leisurely ride.
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Back in the city, you can head on to Broadway to watch word-class musicals and plays. You can catch a free presentation of Shakespeare in the Park at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater if you can’t get enough of performing arts.
Make sure to stop by the art galleries and museums like the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) for an educational experience too. The AMNH has awe-inspiring dinosaur exhibits and fossil specimens that will pique your curiosity and delight your dino-loving kids if they’re traveling with you.
On the waters, take a cruise of New York Harbor or the East River for a different view of the city. Free boat rides are also available like the Staten Island Ferry if you’re eager to save a penny while still getting to enjoy a good view of the Statue of Liberty.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
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Looking for the best vacation spots in July in the USA that aren’t in the city? Consider going to Oregon’s Cannon Beach for a relaxing seaside getaway.
Relax and unwind by strolling on any of the many beaches, hiking in its parks, along the shoreline. Then marvel at the natural wonder that Haystack Rock is while walking at the beach.
It’s also where you’ll get to see tidepools filled with sea creatures like sea stars, crabs, and anemone. And most of all, Haystack Rock is where you’ll be treated to a sighting of the famous Tufted Puffins that make their nests on the rock.
You can unwind too by simply taking in the beautiful sights from the viewpoints at Ecola State Park. Admire the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and Haystack Rock from the park. It’s a good place to observe birds and whales as well.
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Hiking trails, walking paths, and picnic areas are also available at Ecola State Park if you’re looking for more outdoor activities you can do. With these many things going for Cannon Beach, it truly deserves a spot at any travel guide’s list of best places to travel in July.
Newport, Rhode Island
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Summer can get pretty busy and actually quite unrelaxing because of the crowds. But fortunately, you won’t run out of summer destinations to look for where you can relax. Rhode Island’s Newport is one of the best places to travel in July where you’ll really get to relax. In fact, it’s the U.S. News Travel’s #8 best relaxing getaways in the US.
Newport is relaxing because of the elegant nautical atmosphere that exudes from its beaches like Easton’s Beach and bays like Narragansett bay. Scenic walks shake off weariness as paths like the famous Cliff Walk offer inspiring views of the coastline together with Gilded Age mansions.
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And who doesn’t love relaxing with a good plate of freshly-caught seafood? Indulge in New England cuisine like half-shelled oysters, lobsters, and shrimp at restaurants around the area. Don’t forget their trademark clam chowder too!
San Juan Islands, Washington
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The San Juan Islands are a dreamy summer destination for those looking for the US’ best places to visit in July where they can enjoy wildlife, lush mountains, and quiet beaches. The 160-kilometer trip from Seattle to the San Juans is worth the time as you enjoy its four ferry-serviced islands.
On Orcas Island, you can enjoy beautiful views from Moran State Park by climbing up Mount Constitution while you’re there. Or do it like the locals and watch the sunrise over the surrounding areas when the weather is clear.
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On Friday Harbor at San Juan Island, check out unique shops that offer antiques, wines, books, and chic clothes. Make sure to get your fill of fresh farm produce at the farmer’s market too. Head on over to Westcott Bay’s sea farm for a taste of fresh Pacific oysters.
And lastly, watch orcas rise from the waters through a whale watching tour. This is a must in any San Juan Island trip!
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On Lopez Island, outdoor recreational activities like hiking, kayaking, and walking abound. It’s a 15-mile long island that has peaceful farmlands, spacious parks, and quiet waters where you enjoy recreational summer activities. Lopez Island is most known for being a place to bike, so consider cycling around the island too when you’re there.
On Shaw Island, you can enjoy a simple picnic, bike ride, or overnight camp. It’s a quiet place where visitors can relax and simply appreciate the outdoors. You only need to be mindful of local residents’ privacy as it isn’t commercialized land.
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Summer in Seattle? Try spending a few days of summer at the Northwest’s Emerald City when the days are longest and the weather is driest. You can enjoy an interesting tour of the city in two ways, by land or by the lake. You’ll see why it’s one of the best places to travel in July.
By land, visit the iconic Space Needle where you’ll get a 360-degree view of the city. From there, you’ll see places like Mount Rainier, Elliott Bay, and the Cascade Mountains. Then drop by the famous Pike Place Market for a delicious morning brunch or afternoon snack sampling its famous seafood.
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By lake, meaning, on the waters, Travel Channel recommends taking a tour of Seattle using a stand-up paddle board (SUP). You’ll get to admire the city and shoreline from a different vantage point while getting a good workout at the same time.
If SUP isn’t your thing, you can ride boats of Washington State Ferries instead. Enjoy a more comfortable experience by cruising the waters and take in the incredible views of Seattle and nearby islands.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Another vacation spot that’s one of the best places to travel in July on a budget is Yellowstone National Park. It’s a breathtaking 3,000 miles and more of natural wonders such as mountains, waterfalls, geysers, and canyons.
Not to mention the wildlife you can observe like elk, wolves, and grizzly bears. All these for only $35 that’s going to give you access to the park for seven whole days.
Yellowstone National Park recommends coming by these places during a visit:
- Old Faith Inn – visit the world’s biggest log structure.
- Hayden Valley – say hello to the bears, elks, wolves, and bald eagles.
- Stroll Midway and the Lower Geyser Basins – check out Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest and deepest hot springs in the world.
- Old Faithful – witness an eruption from a world-famous geyser.
- Lamar Valley – observe wolves during sunrise.
An Inspired Summer by the Best Places to Travel in July
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Getting out and exploring new vacation spots are good ways to refresh ourselves and gain a new sense of inspiration. Experiencing the best places to visit in July will refresh your perspective and give you new inspiration as you unwind this summer.
We know that the inspiration will last beyond the season because of the memories you’ll make with friends and family. So let the places you visit inspire your life and draw you closer to the relationships that matter most.