The Best Places in the World to Visit in July

The 15 Best Places to Travel in July

Traveling in July comes with a set of both rewards and challenges. The biggest reward is that many places throughout the world are experiencing some of the best weather they’ll have all year. It’s prime time for beach vacations, which is why so many people flock to the coasts to spend their days in the sun and sand.

But the biggest challenge comes from all those other travelers. Many places worldwide are celebrating their summer break, which means more families are hitting the road. It’s difficult to find places to go in July that don’t have large crowds. 

But especially if you’re visiting major cities or top family destinations, like theme parks, you’ll find that it’s tough to avoid contending with a lot of people. If you’re traveling in July, crowds just kind of come with the territory, so be prepared and make plans for accommodations, restaurants, and other things to do that require reservations far in advance. 

Looking for July travel destinations? We’ve compiled a list of the best places to travel in July, from island retreats to unbelievable festivals to stunning fjords. Stick to this list, and you’re bound to have an incredible time on your July vacation!

The 15 Best Places to Travel in July

1. Naantali, Finland

Best Cities to Visit in July: Naantali, Finland

Finland is filled with beautiful places to visit, but one of the best places to travel in July is the seaside town of Naantali. July is one of the warmest times to travel to this scenic getaway, which means you will have to contend with some crowds, but that should generally be expected when you choose to travel during this month.

Spend your days by the crystal-clear waters, your toes in the sand as you enjoy the cool breeze with the sun overhead. Explore the many museums and historical landmarks, or enjoy the beautiful architecture of Old Town. Shop and dine your way around the waterfront, as the town is filled with tons of fine dining and handmade goods crafted by local artisans.

One of the biggest attractions in the area is Moomin World, created in honor of Tove Jansson’s famous Moomin characters, which are a staple throughout Finland. This adorable children’s park transports your little ones to the world of the Moomins, where they can hang out with their favorite characters and even go on adventures with them!


2. Menorca, Spain

What Places Have Shoulder Season in July: Menorca, Spain

You’ve likely heard of Mallorca, but how about Menorca? Well, Menorca is like Mallorca’s little sibling island, and it’s one of the top places to go in July. Mallorca is often very crowded, filled with superyachts and partygoers, especially in July. Meanwhile, the much quieter Menorca is never so crowded, not even during a busy month for travel like July.

If you’re looking for calm beaches with clear blue waters and sea caves for optimal snorkeling, you’ll love Menorca. Instead of busy beaches with tons of watersports, you’ll find sandy coves offering tranquil seclusion, where you can be at peace.

The towns themselves are also much quieter. You’ll find few clubs or bars, though the ones that do exist offer incredible sunset and harbor views, like the stunning Cova d’en Xoroi. When you travel here, you’ll find yourself understanding the meaning of “island time.” You’ll just want to spend your days wandering the vineyards and cobblestone streets, taking in the architecture and ocean breezes.


3. Provence, France

Best Cities to Visit in July: Provence, France

One of the biggest reasons to head to Provence for a vacation in July is to see the breathtaking fields of lavender. You’re going to want to head to Plateau de Valensole to see the expanse of purple, as well as its scenic hillside village with remarkable architecture and places to buy lavender souvenirs.

Another excellent place for lavender spotting is the Senanque Abbey. The bright purple creates a perfect contrast against the pale gray walls of this enchanting Romanesque building. The abbey itself is still a place of worship, and it’s worth a visit, though you must be mindful and respectful of the worshippers.

Also, on the first Sunday in July, you’ll find a festival you won’t want to miss. The village of Mornas transforms into a Medieval Market. From food and drink tents serving up medieval meals to historical reenactments, it’s sure to be a fun way to spend a day on your July vacation.

One note about traveling to France in July: Aim to visit early in the month. Not only will the lavender fields mainly be in peak bloom from the beginning to the middle parts of July, but the middle of July is also when France tends to shut down for its holiday period. 

Most of France takes a holiday from mid-July to the end of August, and French residents also tend to vacation within their own country. While the tourism industry will remain open, popular attractions will be packed.


4. Tuscany, Italy

Must Visit Places in July: Tuscany, July

For more flower-related fun, Tuscany is one of the best places to visit in July, as the sunflowers will be in bloom. Sunflower season typically begins in early June, but by July, they’re in full bloom. You’ll find many golden fields throughout Tuscany, and it’s worth simply spending a day cruising around to find the flowers. 

From Mugello to Pienza to Montepulciano, you’ll find plenty of these yellow beauties. Over by San Gimignano, you’ll even find fields of lavender against the golden carpets of sunflowers. Don’t forget to go truffle tasting while you’re there!

If you arrive in early July, you’ll want to head to Siena for one of Tuscany’s most famous events, the Palio. The Palio is a celebrated horse race, but it’s much more than that. The Sienese prepare for this race all year long, with families taking great pride in supporting their “Contrada.” The race is on July 2, but the event itself actually takes place over four days, so you’ll feel the anticipation leading up to the big day.


5. Kenai Fjords National Park

Best Cities to Visit in July: Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska

Alaska is another one of the best places to travel in July, with Kenai Fjords National Park being one of the coolest locations to visit in the state. You don’t imagine that you’ll travel in July and see snow, but this national park does you one better. Here is where you’ll see 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, creating an incredible juxtaposition between a vast whiteness and lush green forests.

There are many trails you can hike along to see scenic views you can’t see anywhere else. But if you’re looking for a real challenge and a one-of-a-kind adventure, you can join a tour company on an ice climbing excursion. Or you can take a glacier kayaking tour to see the park from the water.

For a less active way to see the park, you can cruise the fjords on a wildlife cruise. In addition to seeing unbelievable views, you may also see some amazing creatures, like humpback whales. If you’d rather see the national park from the air than the water, you can even take a ride on a helicopter tour.


6. Crete, Greece

What Places Have Shoulder Season in July: Crete, Greece

When it comes to Greece, Santorini or Mykonos tend to get the most attention. And that’s a good thing for your July vacation. Crete is the largest Greek island, and though it does get busy in the summer, it never gets quite as packed as Santorini or Mykonos. 

But the weather is just right for days lounging about on the island’s pristine beaches. From the turquoise waters of Balos Beach to the pink sand of Elafonisi Beach, Crete is packed with sandy shores and crystal-clear water.

Crete is also a perfect choice for a vacation in July if you like stepping back in time. There’s a great deal of history to explore here, with many notable landmarks, like the Minoan Palace of Knossos, one of the biggest archaeological ruins in Europe. 

Inside, you’ll get a glimpse at the lives of the Minoan people, who lived on the island over 3,000 years ago. From unique architecture to advanced engineering techniques, it’s a history lesson you won’t soon forget.


7. Sumatra, Indonesia

Best Places to Visit in July: Sumatra, Indonesia

Though Sumatra’s busiest season tends to be around July, there’s a good reason for that. The weather tends to be warm and sunny throughout July, which is ideal for the region. You’re going right in the middle of the dry season, as the wet season falls between November and March and creates heavy monsoons. July is when you’ll find optimal weather for your travels. 

Sumatra is Indonesia’s third-largest island, and it’s a natural wonderland. From tropical rainforests to active volcanos, Sumatra makes for one of the most incredible places to visit in July if you’re looking to spend your days outdoors. 

Over at Gunung Leuser National Park, you’ll find a jungle that’s home to everything from elephants to sun bears to orangutans. Here is where you’ll find the beautiful village of Bukit Lawang, renowned for its orangutan sanctuary. While taking a tour through the park and sanctuary is one of the best things to do in Sumatra, you’ll also find other activities at Bukit Lawang, like whitewater rafting.


8. Chicago, Illinois

Must Visit Places in July: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is busy in July in more ways than one. Yes, it’ll be a bit crowded, but it’s worth it for all the events that happen in the city in the summer, which is what makes Chicago one of the best places to travel in July. 

Taste of Chicago is one of the best food festivals in the US and a Chicago tradition for over 40 years. This huge food and music festival moves around the city (from Humboldt Park to Pullman Park to Marquette Park) before landing in Grant Park for the final three days. 

Expect all sorts of food vendors and local restaurants to be dishing up a range of diverse and amazing foods. There will also be a whole lineup of concerts and entertainment throughout the Taste of Chicago event.

But that’s not the only thing happening in Chicago in July. The blissfully warm month is also when you’ll find the Millennium Park Summer Film Series, Millennium Park Music Series, Windy City Smokeout, Pitchfork Music Festival, Grant Park Music Festival, Wicker Park Fest, Millennium Art Festival, and so much more. Rest assured, when you visit Chicago on your July vacation, you’ll never be bored.


9. Portland, Oregon

What Places to Visit in July: Portland, Oregon

With long, warm days with little rain, it’s easy to see why Portland is one of the top places to visit in July. Although it’s a busy time of year for the city, you’ll still want to go during this time for the great weather and activities. 

Tuscany may have sunflowers, and Provence may have lavender, but Portland is where to go in July to see roses. Over in Washington Park, more than 10,000 rose bushes bloom between late May and October at the International Rose Test Garden, making July a prime time to see them in full bloom. However, as the City of Roses, you’ll also see plenty more around the Portland neighborhoods during your July vacation.

Like Chicago, there are also many events happening in Portland that will surely keep you busy. Sip your way around the Portland Craft Beer Festival, enjoy the sweet sounds of the blues at the Waterfront Blues Festival, enjoy the tunes and scenery at the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, celebrate along at the Portland Pride Festival, have a uniquely Scottish time at the Portland Highland Games, cheer on your favorite racer at the Rose Cup Races, or enjoy an outdoor movie at Flicks on the Bricks at the Pioneer Courthouse Square.


10. Cape Ann, Massachusetts

What Places Have Shoulder Season in July: Cape Ann, Massachusetts

Although you may have only heard of one cape in Massachusetts, Cape Cod, there are actually two. While Cape Cod is in the south, Cape Ann can be found in the north. It’s the cape that tends to get much less traffic in the summer, but it deserves just as much attention as its southern partner. 

Cape Ann is comprised of Gloucester, Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport, which are all very different from Cape Cod’s cities. In Cape Cod, you tend to find more attractions for visitors, like boutique shopping and more upscale accommodations. But Cape Ann is more of a working area. For instance, Gloucester is the US’s oldest working seaport, and you can still see the fishermen hard at work here. 

For this reason, Cape Ann is a bit less polished than Cape Cod, which also makes it less busy and less expensive. But there’s plenty to do here that’s worth the trip. Cape Ann is a prime place for whale watching and other boat cruises, like the famous Schooner Lannon over in Gloucester.

Cape Ann also has several beach destinations, each with its own personality, as well as historic downtown areas and unique landmarks. And although Cape Cod may be known for its fine dining, the cuisine here should not be missed. 

Cape Ann is home to many restaurants, like Roy Moore Lobster Company, that serve up famous Massachusetts staples, like lobster rolls. Don’t forget to stop by Woodman’s of Essex as well, which is known as the birthplace of the fried clam!


11. Québec, Canada

What Places to Visit in July: Quebec, Canada

One of the biggest reasons why Québec is one of the best July vacation destinations, other than the fact that it’s one of the area’s warmest months, is that there’s always something to do. From boat tours down the St. Lawrence River to scenic hiking trails, you’ll be able to uncover the natural beauty of the region during your vacation in July.

However, there are also some things in Québec that you can only do in July, like the Festival d’été, a massive 10-day festival that’s one of Canada’s most popular outdoor music events. Throughout three main stages, you’ll watch as famous and emerging artists, both local and international, delight the festival goers in Québec City.

Best Cities to Visit in July: Quebec, Canada

And if you’ve never experienced a Québec winter but aren’t too big of a fan of the cold, you can still get in on the winter festivities without having to actually visit in winter, thanks to Blizz. This pop-up at Montmorency Falls Park brings the magic of the Québec Winter Carnival to the summertime. From massive slides to immersive experiences to snowing photobooths, it’s a rather chill way to spend a day.


12. Montreux, Switzerland

Must Visit Places in July: Montreux, Switzerland

Montreux is a beautiful place to take a July vacation. Though you should expect some rain, the weather is typically warm and temperate, making for great conditions for exploring this historic city. You’ll awaken each morning to steep hills off in the distance and the breeze blowing from Lake Geneva.

One of Montreux’s best attractions is its Jazz Festival, which happens to come each July. Lasting a whopping 16 days, this festival has been going on for nearly 60 years and welcomes acts from all over the world. 

Best Places to Visit in July: Montreux, Switzerland

Though it is a jazz festival, it invites acts from all different genres of music to perform in over 40 concerts. The 2023 festival had performances by everyone from classic favorites like Bob Dylan, Lionel Richie, and Seal to today’s biggest musicians like Lil Nas X, Ava Max, and Sam Smith.


13. Kinsale, Ireland

Where to Vacation in July: Kinsale, Ireland

You’ll find that Ireland doesn’t tend to get as packed in July as many other places in Europe, though cities like Dublin do often get a bit more crowded during this time of year. However, Kinsale is bound to offer you a quiet retreat. 

This little town on the southern coast looks like it stepped out of a storybook. With colorful buildings lining the streets and historical landmarks, like the 17th-century fortresses Charles Fort and James Fort and the 16th-century courthouse housing the Kinsale Regional Museum, it’s a truly one-of-a-kind town.

You’ll likely want to take your time here to enjoy all there is to see. Spend a leisurely morning at a cafe and then wander the cobblestone streets as you admire the architecture. You may also want to just spend some time eating your way around the town. After all, it’s known as the “Gourmet Capital of Ireland” for a reason!

As a coastal town, there’s a rich maritime history here, so your visit wouldn’t be complete without getting out on the water. Take a boat tour, go sailing, or hop on a kayak or paddleboard! 


14. Ghent, Belgium

What Places to Visit in July: Ghent, Belgium

Filled with medieval architecture and one of Belgium’s greatest cultural hubs, Ghent is one of the best places to visit in July. There’s a great deal of history to explore in this unique city, from Saint Bavo’s Cathedral to the Gravensteen Castle.

For an incredible view, step inside the Ghent belfry, with a fiery dragon as its proud symbol. For a different view of the city, try taking a canal cruise.

With its historic and incredible architecture here, especially around Korenmarkt Square, you’ll want to spend your days exploring the streets, looking at all the monuments around you. You’ll also find that there’s an amazing street art scene in Ghent, which is a unique contrast to Ghent’s medieval buildings. 

July is also one of the best times for Ghent festivities… literally. For 10 days each July, you can see four festivals known as the Ghent Festivities, which turn the whole city into a performance square. You’ll see musical performances, puppetry, dance, comedians, and much more. 

Also in July is the Ghent Jazz Festival, which also lasts for 10 days. Both Belgian and international acts have graced the stage here before, including Sting and Norah Jones.


15. Spring Lake, New Jersey

What Places to Visit in July: Spring Lake, New Jersey

If you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation in July on the East Coast, check out Spring Lake. The Jersey Shore often has a reputation for being a place where young adults party or people take to the casinos, but you won’t find casinos or nightclubs in Spring Lake. Instead, you’ll find beautiful, clean beaches against stunning Victorian beach houses that line the streets with color. 

Though July is the busy season for the Jersey Shore, you’ll find that Spring Lake is still much quieter than other beach destinations here, like Seaside Heights. And instead of partygoers, you’ll find more families enjoying the white sand or out and about in the town’s downtown area. Plus, July is the ideal time to revel in the Jersey Shore’s weather.

The charming downtown is home to a number of boutiques and restaurants, often with homey, family-friendly atmospheres. On a warm summer night, there are few things better than grabbing a scoop of ice cream and taking a walk along the town’s spring-fed lake. 

There you have it! The 15 best places to travel in July. What are your favorite July vacation destinations? Let us know in the comments.


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Author

  • Jacqueline Gualtieri

    Jacqueline is a writer and editor pursuing the freelance life to explore the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, she spent her college years in Boston before settling down with her partner and puppy in Monterey, California.

    When she’s not writing, you can often find her planning her next trip. Road trips are her favorite, whether it’s driving across the country or simply exploring a new city in her own backyard. She loves uncovering the history of every new place she goes.

    Jacqueline has a restless passion for learning and makes it a goal to pick up a new skill every year. She’s picked up embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and cross-stitching, but she’s hoping to master more languages to help her in her travels. She’s also a published author, with short stories and poetry appearing in several anthologies.

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