Some of the best places to travel in the summer don’t involve catching rays on the beach. Here are some options for those seeking something more than just sand and suntan lotion.
Jackson Hole, WY
Warm and sunny during the day, cool and clear in the evening – Jackson Hole offers beautiful summer days to pair with the postcard-worthy scenery, making it the perfect setting for outdoor adventuring in Grand Teton National Park, fishing or rafting on the Snake River, or strolling through the two scenic cowboy-esque towns of Teton Village and Jackson.
Activity to do: The jumping rock at Phelps Lake
Best Mouth-Watering Burger: MacPhail’s Burgers
Stay at: Hotel Terra and Teton Mountain Lodge
You can’t miss the massive red rock canyons in Gateway – the rock formations, in all shades of orange, can make visitors think they’re on another planet. While the town is indeed remote – it’s folded away in Colorado’s southwest corner, an hour south of Grand Junction by car – there’s no shortage of things to do in the summer, thanks to Gateway Canyons Resort, offering Curiosity Retreats, hiking in Unaweep Canyon, luxury car rentals, air tours, fly fishing, tours of Colorado wine country, and more.
Activity to do: Horseback riding at Palisades Ranch
Best Way to Treat Yourself & Relax: Ancient River Stone Massage at The Spa at Gateway Canyons
Stay at: Gateway Canyons Resort
Best known as a skiing destination, British Columbia’s Rossland flies under the radar as a summer destination and adventure mecca. Unofficially, the area is known as the mountain biking capital of Canada – and with over 200 kilometers of mountain biking trails, ranging from beginner to expert, it’s easy to see why. If that doesn’t float your boat, the road biking, hiking, golfing, whitewater rafting, standup paddleboarding, and kayaking may do the trick.
Activity to do: Mountain biking on Seven Summits Trail
Best New Sport to Try: Thin Air Disc Golf
Stay at: The Josie
Seattle is a little cooler than most of the country during the summer, so it can be a reprieve from the sweltering heat that envelopes much of the rest of the country. Seattle is unique in that it offers the cultural richness of a metropolitan city with all the outdoor activities – standup paddleboarding, kayaking, boat tours, hiking, seaplane cruises, etc. – typically afforded by a more rural one.
Activity to Do: Ride the Seattle Great Wheel
Best Cold Brew Coffee: Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Stay at: The Edgewater Hotel
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco keeps it cool (and dry!) in the summer, with the average day in July topping out at about 66 degrees. That makes it a comfortable time to explore the city’s eclectic and acclaimed mix of restaurants and breweries (and because of their status as a tech hub, there’s infinite content online sorting and ranking the best), representing and blending tastes of all kinds. On the other end of the spectrum, the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf is worth a day’s visit for the activities (like an aquarium, a “7D” movie theater, and Madame Tussauds), shopping, and food and drink.
Activity to Do: Kayak in the shadow of a baseball stadium at McCovey Cove
Best Place to Shop & Stroll: Ghirardelli Square
Stay at: Argonaut Hotel or Hotel Zoe Fisherman’s Wharf