July is one of the busiest months for travel, with most of the Northern Hemisphere entering full summer vacation mode. And this year packs an extra special punch, with many destinations opening up for the first time since the start of the pandemic. We know you’re probably itching for a sun-filled holiday either close to home or far away, so we’ve gathered up a list of places that cover the geographical gamut. Whether you want to see wildflowers in Glacier National Park or go on safari in Botswana, here are 9 of the best places to travel in July.

  • Iceland
    GettyIcelandThere really is no wrong time to visit Iceland, but we’re particularly fond of chasing the midnight sun during July—the more daylight hours for exploring, the better. (It’s been open to vaccinated travelers since April 6.) The summer months also make certain parts of the country accessible that might not be in the winter, including the 34-mile Laugavegurinn hiking trail in the Central Highlands. The mountain huts and campsites along the trail are only open between late June and early September, giving you a small time window to experience the hot springs, black lava fields, and multicolored mountains along the path. If you prefer someone else to do the planning for you, take advantage of Hotel Rangá‘s new “Seven Days of Fun Under the Midnight Sun” package, which includes includes accommodations for two (plus a seventh night for free) and outdoor excursions across the island. Whether you want to go horseback riding or snowmobiling on top of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, one of the hotel’s guides will help you out.
  • Botswana
    GettyBotswanaJune through August mark the dry, winter season in Botswana, which many consider to be the perfect time to visit. Not only are weather conditions at their best (no rain, and lower risk of malaria), but these months offer prime wildlife viewing opportunities as animals tend to stick around watering holes. The country also happens to be one of our favorite safari spots in Africa. While you’re sure to spot wildlife in Kenya’s Maasai Mara or in South Africa’s Kruger, you’ll also be in the company of a couple dozen other jeeps filled with tourists; in Botswana, it feels like it’s only you and nature. 
  • Glacier National Park
    GettyGlacier National Park, MontanaGlacier National Park is one of the best places in travel in July for one big reason: wildflowers. While you might consider spring to be the best time to see colorful flowers, the park’s northern location in Montana means the blooms reach their peak in July and August. Hike along the Garden Wall Trail to see fields of white beargrass, pink fireweed, and yellow glacier lilies as far as the eye can see. When you’ve had your fill of hiking (and your phone has had its fill of photos), head back to The Resort at Paws Up, a sprawling, 37,000-acre working cattle ranch in western Montana. Their safari-style canvas tents will make you feel like you’re in the Wild West, while locally sourced meals and spa treatments are worthy of a five-star hotel.
  • The Vanderbilt Newport Rhode Island
    Courtesy The VanderbiltNewport, Rhode IslandNewport comes alive in July, with a trio of big-name festivals keeping locals and tourists busy all month long: The Newport Regatta (July 10-11), Newport Folk Festival (July 23-28), and the Newport Jazz Festival (July 30-August 1). The city is no stranger to luxe hotels, but we’re particularly excited about the top-to-bottom transformation of The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection, which will be unveiled this summer. The 33-room resort, housed in a former mansion, will get even more glamorous with revived public spaces, including the lobby area and restaurants. Or book a stay at Brenton Hotel, which has a new “Pick Your Pastime” summer package series that allows guests to experience Newport-esque activities like private cruises, a round of golf, attending a polo match, and mansion tours.
  • Chicago
    • GettyChicagoMayor Lori Lightfoot recently announced that Chicago will be fully reopened by July 4, and the city is taking baby steps to ensure that happens. One of Lightfoot’s biggest moves has been reinstating summer festivities in Chicago, including such big names as Lollapalooza (July 29-August 1). Also on the lineup are Taste of Chicago, a summer-long event promoting the city’s amazing restaurants, the Southport Art Fair (July 10-11), and the Chinatown Summer Fair (July 17-18). Summertime tourists can also take advantage of seasonal offering like the farmers market at Daley Plaza and art installations along the RiverWalk.
  • Oaxaca Mexico
    • GettyOaxaca, MexicoFar from the coastal spring break hotspots of Cancún and Cabo San Lucas, Oaxaca, in south-central Mexico, is one of the most important cultural hubs in the Americas. The state and its resort towns are currently in the green phase, with most businesses open but social distancing and masking requirements still in place, and we can think of few other places where we’d rather spend our tourist dollars. Explore the region’s craft revolution led by female entrepreneurs, secure a table at Alejandro Ruiz’s Casa Oaxaca for traditional dishes and cocktails, then head to the streets for delicious tacos and moles served from food trucks. An extra special reason to visit in July is the vibrant Guelaguetza Festival, which takes place on the last two Mondays of the month. The festival celebrates the 16 different ethnolinguistic groups of Oaxaca with folk dancing, traditional clothing, mezcal fairs, and concerts.

Source: cntraveler.com