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Top Summer Escapes to Stay Cool

After the scorching heat of last summer, which set records, many travelers are now seeking cooler destinations for the upcoming summer travel season. It is evident that climate change is reshaping seasonal weather patterns globally, influencing our travel choices.

While tropical locations typically steal the spotlight from June to August, those opting for cooler climates can enjoy a more serene experience with fewer crowds and unique adventures.

Destinations such as Greenland captivate travelers with their mythical [scenery], while Garzon, Uruguay, surprises visitors with one of the world’s finest restaurants nestled in a quaint village of fewer than 200 residents. Explore the picturesque fishing villages of Canada’s Maritime Provinces or carve through the slopes of southern Australia.

Curious about the top cool destinations for 2024? Let’s delve into the list.

North Cascades National Park, Washington

Washington’s North Cascades National Park presents a dramatic, enchanting landscape of unspoiled wilderness and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Imagine towering mountain peaks emerging from lush forests, accompanied by the symphony of cascading waterfalls. With an average summer temperature of 51 degrees Fahrenheit, it offers an ideal setting for a refreshing summer retreat.

Summer in the North Cascades, though cooler compared to other national parks, is the prime season for exploring the park’s extensive trail network. Traverse alpine meadows adorned with wildflowers and crystal-clear alpine lakes while soaking in panoramic views of snow-capped mountains. Wildlife enthusiasts can seize the opportunity to observe black bears, bald eagles, and charming marmots in their natural habitat.

The park’s rivers beckon outdoor enthusiasts in the summer, inviting kayaks and canoes to glide through alpine waters or across the serene Diablo Lake.

South Island, New Zealand

Unsure about where to spend a cool-weather summer vacation? Why not head to the Southern Hemisphere during its winter season for a refreshing change of pace. New Zealand’s South Island, with an average temperature of 42 degrees Fahrenheit, offers a blend of breathtaking landscapes and thrilling adventures, making it a perfect coolcation destination.

The first glimpse of New Zealand’s wintry panorama reveals snow-dusted mountains punctuated by alpine settlements. Ski enthusiasts can relish a year-round ski season by exploring the slopes of the Southern Alps on the South Island. Winter transforms the region’s iconic fjords into scenes reminiscent of fairy tales, cloaked in snow and enveloped in serene tranquility.

For a more laid-back experience, towns like Queenstown, Wanaka, and Arrowtown exude cozy vibes, boasting warm taverns, soothing hot springs, and charming boutiques.

White Mountains, New Hampshire

Hikers make their way up the Piper Trail on Mount Chocorua in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s White Mountains offer an alpine experience on the East Coast, featuring rugged peaks, verdant forests, and pristine lakes that create an idyllic backdrop for a refreshing summer escape. With an average summer temperature of about 63 degrees Fahrenheit, this region in New Hampshire promises a cool respite.

Summer is the perfect season to explore the quaint mountain towns of North Conway and Lincoln, serving as ideal bases for embarking on mountain adventures. Experienced hikers can conquer Mount Washington, which rewards with sweeping vistas of New England’s rolling hills and valleys.

Adventure seekers can test their skills in rock climbing or mountain biking across the rugged granite cliffs and winding trails of the mountain range.

As night falls, unwind at North Conway’s snug Chef’s Bistro, savoring a delectable dinner sourced from local ingredients and complemented by a potent cocktail.

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Our northern neighbor never fails to captivate, regardless of the season, but summer in Newfoundland and Labrador unveils its true beauty. This eastern Canadian province enchants with its rugged coastal charm, from cliffs plunging into the tumultuous Atlantic to charming villages steeped in centuries-old heritage.

The vast expanse of Newfoundland and Labrador offers varying summer temperatures, ranging from 40 degrees Fahrenheit in northern Labrador to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in Newfoundland and the interior. These mild temperatures ensure a pleasant experience even during the peak of summer. Longer daylight hours provide ample opportunities for immersive adventures.

Exploring coastal villages stands out as a highlight of a summer visit to this region, especially during vibrant summer festivities. Immerse yourself in the colorful architecture of St. John’s or the laid-back ambiance of Bonavista. Delve into the region’s history by visiting the remnants of a Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows, followed by a cozy evening at a local pub with live music and fresh seafood.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s stunning landscapes, from the rugged East Coast Trail to kayaking routes through fjords and bays, offer endless exploration. The province boasts several national parks, including the UNESCO-listed Gros Morne National Park.

Falls Creek, Australia

Another captivating Southern Hemisphere gem, Falls Creek in Victoria, Australia, beckons with its enchanting scenery and an average temperature of just 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nestled in the Australian Alps’ southernmost state, Falls Creek treats visitors to breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, babbling streams, and towering eucalyptus trees. The village exudes a cozy atmosphere, boasting ski lodges, chalets, and charming cafes.

Falls Creek is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts, offering over 90 runs catering to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Visitors can also engage in cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling amidst the pristine white landscape.

The après-ski scene in Falls Creek is equally vibrant, with lively bars hosting live music, top-notch restaurants, and crackling fires warming the atmosphere.

Garzon, Uruguay

Uruguay stands out as a delightful year-round destination, boasting fewer crowds compared to its neighboring countries like Argentina and Brazil. Despite its small size, Uruguay offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from delectable cuisine to stunning landscapes and coastal allure.

Journeying to Garzon in winter unveils lush countryside vistas, rural charm, and a tranquil ambiance, complemented by an average temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

Garzon resembles a scene from a fairy tale, featuring rolling vineyards, olive groves, hiking trails, and rustic taverns. The region is home to acclaimed restaurants led by world-class chefs, establishing it as a gastronomic hotspot. Restaurant Garzon, envisioned by the internationally renowned chef Francis Mallmann, stands out as one of the country’s premier dining establishments exuding a romantic ambiance. The menu showcases rustic yet refined dishes, from clay oven-baked empanadas to homemade spinach ravioli, bricklayer steak, and impeccably smoked chicken, paired with a selection of wines from Uruguay and Argentina.

Cape Town

Let’s explore another Southern Hemisphere gem. Cape Town, South Africa, ranks among the world’s top destinations, with its winter season offering fewer crowds, reduced hotel rates, and an average daily temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Upon arrival in Cape Town, the majestic Table Mountain, cloaked in lush greenery during the winter rainy season, greets visitors. The Cape Peninsula, renowned for its ecological diversity, bursts to life with vibrant flora, inviting hikers to explore Table Mountain or navigate the picturesque Chapman’s Peak Drive.

Cape Town’s culinary scene is a delight, featuring bustling restaurants, cafes, and markets, along with a thriving wine culture. The city also boasts captivating museums, galleries, and historical sites. The District Six Museum sheds light on South Africa and Cape Town’s poignant history, while the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa showcases the region’s exquisite art and culture.


Europe offers its share of cool summer experiences, and Amsterdam, Netherlands, stands out as a charming destination where summer temperatures rarely exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Visiting Amsterdam during the summer promises an enchanting experience, with the city adorned in colorful blooms and the canals bustling with activity.

Amsterdam’s summer highlights include abundant outdoor opportunities, with parks and gardens inviting locals and visitors alike to picnic and revel in the convivial atmosphere. Vondelpark, the city’s largest park, hosts outdoor concerts, while the Hortus Botanicus garden provides a serene retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Cultural events thrive in Amsterdam during the summer, featuring open-air concerts, outdoor film screenings, and art exhibitions. The Holland Festival, Amsterdam Dance Event, and Open Garden Days are among the must-visit events during the summer season.

Amsterdam’s legendary culinary scene beckons with local markets and international cuisine served at top restaurants and eateries. Indulge in traditional treats like stroopwafels, herring, and bitterballen while savoring cocktails on rooftop terraces before embarking on a canal cruise under the starlit sky.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc may attract most visitors during the ski season, but summer unveils an equally spectacular side of this French Alps gem. With an average summer temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc offers a balmy escape amidst towering peaks, sprawling meadows, and crystalline lakes.

Exploring the network of hiking trails in the summer reveals flower-strewn meadows and rugged peaks, with the hike to Lac Blanc standing out for its panoramic views of the Mont Blanc range. Mountain biking enthusiasts can tackle the region’s world-class trails and downhill tracks, while leisure seekers can opt for the Aiguille du Midi cable car for a more relaxed experience.

After immersing in the pristine natural surroundings, return to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc to relish its rich culinary scene, featuring hearty specialties like raclette and fondue, delectable pastries, and local wines.


Greenland, one of the planet’s last frontiers for intrepid travelers, boasts towering icebergs, majestic fjords, and expansive tundra, offering ample opportunities for adventure. The world’s largest island sets the stage for an Arctic summer, with temperatures ranging between 32 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit during this fleeting season.

The Arctic wilderness of Greenland, with its glaciers, rivers, and mountains, presents a unique landscape for exploration. One of the summer highlights in Greenland is the midnight sun phenomenon, where the sun casts a soft glow over the Arctic Circle, illuminating the landscape deep into the night.

Summer in Greenland also marks the peak of wildlife activity, allowing visitors to encounter seals, Arctic foxes, polar bears, and even whales. Boat tours, kayaking expeditions, and guided hikes offer immersive experiences in Greenland’s pristine environment.

Greenland’s rich Inuit culture adds a fascinating dimension to the journey, providing insights into ancient traditions and practices. Travelers can savor Greenlandic cuisine, participate in local events and festivals, and explore the National Day celebrations on June 21, a festive occasion filled with music, folk dances, and national pride.