The Best Places to Travel in July
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School’s out, summer is officially here and you’re probably daydreaming about your next getaway. Do you want to spend it sunning on a beach or sipping margaritas on a rooftop with friends? Will you take the kids on that well-deserved family vacation or seek out seasonal festivals and rare astronomical phenomena? We scoured the globe for unmissable events, hot hotel openings and new airline routes to determine the absolute best places to travel this July. And although it may be the ideal time to hop on a long-haul flight to Singapore or head south to Chile, you can also find amazing things to do this summer much closer to home, including Canada, Wyoming and Wisconsin.
Ready to plan the rest of your 2019 travels? Check out our guide to the 12 best places to visit every month of 2019.
Arguably the most talked-about destination of the year, astronomy buffs from around the world will be flocking to South America in July to witness the total solar eclipse (and yes, you can do it on points and miles). One of the best places on Earth to view the phenomenon is the Elqui Valley north of Santiago, which will be in the path of totality July 2, 2019. Watch the sun disappear from the astrotourism hotspot (there are observatories all over the region) and then spend the rest of your trip exploring the expansive Atacama desert and salt flats. During the day you can search for wildlife such as flamingos, hummingbirds and vicunas, and then stargaze in the evening.
Chile is a vast nation, and a spate of new hotel openings are another great reason to venture beyond Santiago and the Elqui Valley during your stay. The Lakes District is home to andBeyond’s very first property outside of Africa, the andBeyond Vira Vira, complete with an on-site farm and excursions such as horseback riding and whitewater rafting.
On the Pacific coast of northern Patagonia, travelers can bed down at Mari Mari, a new eco-resort with private standalone villas that offers whale watching and kayaking. And although the Grand Hyatt Santiago’s significant restoration and redesign as a luxe Mandarin Oriental won’t be complete until later this year, the hotel remains open for stays during the so-called “restyling.”
Those in search of quirkier accommodations can stay at the colorful WineBox hotel in Valparaiso. The sustainable property was created from wine-shipping containers. You can sip wine on the hotel’s terraces and check out in the attached Urban Winery, located in the parking garage of the hotel.
Our neighbor to the north is easier to reach than ever, thanks to a flurry of new flights. Air Canada recently became the only airline to fly nonstop between Montreal (YUL) and Raleigh-Durham (RDU), once daily. Travelers can now also fly between San Francisco (SFO) and Toronto (YYZ) on United twice daily on a 737-800. Because of the Boeing 737-MAX groundings, travelers flying Air Canada between gateways like Montreal and Toronto to either San Francisco or Los Angeles can expect a seat on a Boeing 777, 787 or the A330 until further notice.
Whatever flight you take, try to arrive on Canada Day (July 1) to participate in the nationwide celebration that includes festivals, parades, concerts and fireworks.
It wouldn’t be a summer visit to Canada without a stop at the country’s largest outdoor music festival, Quebec City Summer Festival (July 4 to 14). This year’s lineup features artists including Mariah Carey, Offspring, Imagine Dragons, Slipknot, Blink-182 and others. Over on the West Coast is the Vancouver Island Music Fest (July 12 to 14), featuring country, Latin and jazz artists, among others.
If comedy is more your thing, Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival (July 10 to 28) will keep you giggling throughout the month of July with acts from comedians like Adam Sandler, Aziz Ansari and Wanda Sykes. For theater, Toronto’s Fringe Festival (July 3 to 14) features the best of theater, dance and even more comedy.
A trip out west in July is the ideal vacation, thanks to warm, sunny days and cool, starry nights (sure beats the inescapable humidity on the eastern seaboard). Outdoor enthusiasts should spend time at the stunning national monuments and parks scattered across the Cowboy State. Some of the popular ones are Devils Tower, Bighorn Canyon Fort Laramie, Fossil Butte, Grand Teton and — of course — Yellowstone, which the state shares with Idaho and Montana.
Wyoming is also celebrating 150 years of women’s suffrage in 2019. The first woman cast her vote in Laramie in 1869, when women were granted the right to vote and hold office, 50 years before the 19th Amendment enshrined it nationwide. Although events celebrating the landmark law are planned for the entire year, there are some especially interesting retreats and trips designed for women in the month of July, such as the Strong-Willed Women’s Retreat (July 25 to 28).
Families can head to the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days (July 19 to 28). In addition to the typical rodeo events (roping, barrel racing, bareback riding and steer wrestling), the event features an art show, carnival and musical acts including Rascal Flatts, Post Malone, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw and more. AvGeeks will love the aerial acrobatics performed by the US Air Force Thunderbirds on July 24 at 9:30am.
There’s really never a bad time to wander the streets of Paris or taste wines in the Bordeaux region. But this July is especially exciting for Francophiles.
Start in Paris with the Jazz Festival, which runs on the weekends from July 6 to 28 in the Parc Floral. This year, in honor of its 50th anniversary, the festival will be featuring more new and emerging artists. For movie viewing under the stars, bring your blanket to the Paris Open-Air Cinema in the Parc de la Villette (July 17 through August 18). The famous Tour de France bike race will be weaving around the country throughout the month of July, ending in Paris on Saturday, July 28, on the Champs-Élysées. Snag a spot early if you want to cheer on the riders.
And on July 14, the whole country celebrates Bastille Day, marking the start of the French Revolution. All across France, people celebrate with festivals, parades and fireworks. You can also celebrate the national holiday by attending one of the Bal des Pompiers (“firefighter dances”) on July 13 and 14, which are held at firehouses around the country. Expect plenty of snacks, wine and, well, firemen.
And if the sandy beaches and stylish scene aren’t enough to lure you to the French Riviera, the area is putting on the Midi Festival (July 25 to 28) with acts like Hubert Lenoir and OR:LA. The festival is happening in Hyères, close to one of the TPG UK’s picks for the best beaches in Europe for summer this year: the Notre-Dame beach on the nearby island of Porquerolles.
If you’d rather stay inland, the medieval city of Carcassonne celebrates its namesake festival with around 100 performances (80 of which are free), including big acts like Moby and Elton John, as well as theater, opera and dance events throughout the city (July 2 to 31).
While Wisconsin isn’t anywhere near the Pacific or the Atlantic, it has over 1,000 miles of shoreline and more than 15,000 lakes, making July the perfect time to visit. Travelers can expect warm temperatures and long, sunny days.
Spending July 4 in the heart of America is always a good time, and Wisconsin has a number of different parades, fireworks displays and family-friendly festivals for serious revelers.
Milwaukee is actually known as the City of Festivals and many are held in July. One of the most famous is Milwaukee’s Summerfest (the second portion is held from July 2 through 7). This year’s event will have over 800 acts including Jennifer Lopez, Snoop Dogg, Steve Aoki, Jason Mraz, Counting Crows, Lionel Richie, Dispatch, T-Pain and Lil Wayne.
But the city also has festivals celebrating different cultures and ethnicities, like the Festa Italiana (July 19 and 20), with over 20 Italian food vendors, Italian music and opera, a carnival for kids and more. You can even celebrate Bastille Day from July 11 to 14. Expect culinary demos and tastings, live music and a 43-foot Eiffel Tower replica that has hourly light shows.
Meanwhile, in the state’s capital, Madison, the Dane County Fair (July 18 to 21) has animal exhibits, food stalls, a carnival, contests, stunt shows, shopping, giveaways and live music. Even AvGeeks are in luck. Come to Oshkosh, Wisconsin from July 22 to 28 for the EAA AirVenture Festival, which bills itself as one of the world’s greatest celebrations of aviation.
Although it’s hot (very hot), travelers visiting Singapore in July can look forward to dry weather and, as always, amazing food and shopping.
One serious sell for Singapore in July? The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) is in full swing. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill sale at the mall. This is a massive collection of events featuring discounted items in shops and street markets, as well as dining events, pop-up shops, late-night shopping and more. Head to Orchard Street or Kampong Glam to experience shopping the Singapore way (June 21 to July 28).
Singapore is already famous for its hawker stalls and street food, but the Singapore Food Festival takes everything to the next level from July 12 to 28. The festival has four themes: modernity, art, culture and tradition. Each of these will be expressed not only through culinary events, tastings, cooking classes and restaurant offerings, but also by way of food art, dance, theater and film. One of the most popular parts of the festival is STREAT, which kicks off the festival and features the best of local cuisine, events with famous chefs, live musical performances and more.
Totally unrelated to food or shopping, but something to see if you’re in Singapore this month, is the annual Singapore Cat Festival (July 27 and 28). You can bring your own feline or simply admire everyone else’s four-legged companions. The event includes an adoption drive, pedigree kitty meet-and-greets, educational talks and giveaways.
Plan to stay at the brand-new Outpost Hotel, once a colonial military base that now features exotic pools and even a lazy river. If your stay extends through August, the renovation of the famous Singapore landmark Raffles Hotel should finally be complete, so head on over for an authentic Singapore Sling.
For more information on getting (and staying) in Singapore, find out how to do the entire trip on points and miles.
Featured photo of the Garden by the Bay in Singapore by Thanan / Getty Images.
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