Sweet Heat Relief: 5 Destinations Keeping Temperatures Cool

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It’s easy to pine for warm weather in the dead of winter — but it becomes much harder to appreciate the heat once your thermometer tops 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Every summer, unforgiving humidity descends upon many cities in the U.S., leaving millions of bad hair days in its wake. We can’t change the weather, unfortunately — but we can escape it. These five destinations have milder summer climates to offer, and are all just a flight or a road trip away.

1. San Francisco, California

With its consistently mild year-round temperatures, San Francisco is an excellent choice for a vacation destination, regardless of season. This bay city’s weather can be an especially welcoming environment for those people suffering from sweltering and humid summer temperatures. By this measure, San Francisco is a paradise. According to Smarter Travel, the average temperature in San Francisco through July and August is 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

While you’re in the city, take advantage of the ideal outdoor conditions by visiting several of its celebrated parks. Golden Gate Park was once a famous hippie destination and continues to be a favorite for picnickers. Nearby, Alamo Square is host to the gorgeous Painted Ladies — a row of elegant and colorful row houses, including one of Full House fame.

This famously hilly city will give your glutes a workout, but it is well worth exploring on foot. Be sure to head to the piers for an impressive view of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Don’t forget to wave hello to the sea lions at Pier 39 — but skip the tourist traps dotting the area!

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Aspen, Colorado

Aspen may be most well-known as a prime destination for skiers, but this mountain resort city still has much to offer as temperatures rise. According to U.S. News and World Report, the city’s high temperatures average in the mid to high 70s throughout the summer. This perfectly mild balance and low humidity index, coupled with the city’s unique terrain, lends itself well to all kinds of outdoor activities.

Aspen is nestled among the picturesque Rocky Mountains, making it a hugely popular destination for hikers, bikers, runners, and walkers. While you’re in town, take a hike on the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail. Rated the number one attraction in Aspen by TripAdvisor users, this 1.3-mile stroll through some of Mother Nature’s finest work. The panoramic landscape will leave hikers feeling both appreciative and accomplished.

The town also offers many cultural events and fairs throughout the summer. Try checking out popular ones such as the Aspen Food and Wine Classic (June) and the Aspen Arts Festival (July.) Check out the Aspen Chamber of Commerce website for all the information and guides necessary to plan a perfect trip.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. Acadia National Park, Maine

While the east coast is certainly a hotbed for summer humidity, it still has its fair share of respites from unbearable heat. Acadia, Maine is one of those spots. Situated on the scenic coastline of Maine, Acadia has summer temperatures ranging from 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Smarter Travel.

Acadia National Park is a 47,000-acre hiking and wildlife area with jaw-dropping views, forested vistas over the Atlantic coast. Try hiking the popular Cadillac Mountain — it’s may be just a short 0.3-mile loop, but the trail offers panoramic views of Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay, and other outlying islands. If you’re looking to bone up on your nature trivia, take a guided tour or chat with one of the many helpful park representatives. Rest your feet at the end of the day with a scenic cruise around Frenchman Bay. Learn more about what this area has to offer from the National Park Service website.

While you’re in the area, you won’t want to miss out on the nearby town of Bar Harbor for its old-fashioned New England charm — not to mention the famously delicious and freshly caught lobster!

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

4. Portland, Oregon

Smarter Travel writes that typical Portland summer temperatures range from the low 50s to the high 70s. Portland has the scenery to match its ideal summer temperatures in addition to a thriving arts and culture scene.

Unwind from your travels with a stop at Forest Park — the largest wooded urban park in the U.S., according to Time – which is located just ten minutes outside of the downtown district. This park is a local favorite for outdoor activities and is an excellent spot from which to view the broad Willamette River. Spend some more time outside by taking a bike ride around the city — with Portland being one of the most bikeable cities in the country, there’s no need to bring your own wheels — there are plenty of rental kiosks around town.

Check out a few of its many cultural hotspots, such as Powell’s Books or the Living Room Theater — a combination cinema, restaurant, music venue, and bar. Reward yourself for all that biking with a stop at Distillery Row, the beermakers’ haven. Time describes this area as a spot “where the city’s passion for entrepreneurship, culinary excellence, and getting sloshed come together with great results.”

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Stowe, Vermont

Here’s another mountain resort that isn’t just for skiers. Summer temperatures in Stowe range from the 40s to the 70s, according to Smarter Travel. This picturesque village is right out of a storybook and is rife with outdoor activities suited towards the mild summer weather. Try taking in the charming small town feel of Stowe on the scenic and acclaimed Recreation Path.

Next visit the 2,500-acre Trapp Family Lodge, a European-style mountain resort by the von Trapp family, who inspired The Sound of Music. The resort has an old fashioned atmosphere and plenty of activities to keep you busy: yoga, biking, arts, fitness, and wine tasting — for those who truly know how to treat themselves on a vacation.

If you’re looking to see more of Vermont’s wild side, hike through the trails in Smuggler’s Notch, a narrow pass through the Green Mountains. Feeling hungry after a long day outdoors? Sneak over to the Ben and Jerry’s factory for a tour — it’s just a 20-minute drive outside Stowe.

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