NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- There are people who can't stop crowing about how much they love the heat and wish it could be summer all year long. Then there are the people who want to strangle them.As summer vacation season nears its midpoint, there's a certain segment of the population that would rather not sweat it out with the rest of the sun-soaked masses on the nation's beaches and boardwalk. This falls just short of blasphemy among the 86% of Americans who told Expedia ( EXPE - Get Report) travel site TripAdvisor that they planned on traveling this summer. Of that number, 40% say they'll be spending their summer by the ocean, another 16% will be hanging out by a lake and 50% will strap on the tourist socks and sandals and go sauntering through the nation's cities. They'll be sweltering in just about each destination. Vacation rental site HomeAway ( AWAY) found that the average summer traveler will spend more than $3,200 on a summer vacation this year, but will do so in hazy and humid spots such as Provincetown, Mass., Ocean City, Md., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Miami, and Gulf Shores, Ala. Those locales make up HomeAway's Top 5 summer vacation destinations and share space in the Top 10 with other literal hot spots including Bethany Beach, Del., Destin, Fla., New York City and Las Vegas. That's fine for those who work all year just to slather themselves in sunblock and stick their toes in the sand for a few weeks, but it means little to vacationing workers who wilt once the temperature tops 80 degrees. With some help from the seasonally sensitive folks at SmarterTravel and HomeAway, TheStreet came up with 10 summer destinations for travelers looking to beat the heat:
Average July temperature: 75 degrees
It's not always cool during the summer in temperate Seattle, but it's close enough. Seattle's temperature is pretty moderate and is only helped by its position along Lake Union and Lake Washington and the Puget Sound and between the Cascade and Olympic mountains. The rain cools things down a bit as well, but July and August tend to the most reliably sunny months on the calendar and a great time to be outdoors. It's one of the few times out-of-towners can get across to Seattle's Alki neighborhood -- the site of the city's first incarnation of New New York -- and walk along its rugged beaches combing for crabs and snails in the sand, trying to spot killer whales in the sound or just sipping on a frozen latte from Tully's and strolling along. It's also a great opportunity to fly a kite over the water amid the industrial relics of Gas Works Park, take a long ride out of town and past the Microsoft ( MSFT - Get Report) campus on the Burke-Gilman Trail or head out on the water in one of the city's ferries. "If you fly into Seattle, you can go out to Bainbridge Island on a quick ferry ride," says Anne Banas, editor of SmarterTravel. "That whole area near Puget Sound has access to islands that you can hop to or evergreen forests and mountains that you can hike through." More intrepid explorers can take a ride through the Cascades and stop for some trout fishing, canoeing or just a view of the silty emerald waters of Ross and Diabo lakes and their respective dams, take a hike around the base of Mount Rainier or head west to the Olympics and scale hurricane ridge for views of Mount Baker, Rainier and Olympus. The one sage bit of advice for the temperature-sensitive traveler is not to head too far west or east. Parts of Washington devolve into dense, humid rainforest closer to the Pacific, while the lush Cascades yield to desert steppes and buttes near the Grand Coulee Dam and punishingly hot vineyards and wheat fields as travelers press into Eastern Washington.
Average July temperature: 71
A little tough luck by the NHL's Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final and a lot of self-destructive behavior by "fans" after their Game 7 loss hasn't tarnished Vancouver Island as a vacation destination. If anything, it's made Vancouver's neighbor Victoria look better by comparison. "Vancouver has been so popular, especially after the Winter Olympics last year," Banas says. "Even if you stay on Vancouver Island, there are a lot of great things to do in Victoria and on the ocean." An oft-overlooked Pacific Northwest destination that's accessible by discount carriers including Frontier and JetBlue ( JBLU - Get Report) via Seattle and a $25 round-trip ferry ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Victoria, is teeming with architecture dating back to the 1800s and strong floral scents emanating from Beacon Hill Park, Butchart Gardens and other plots in the "City of Gardens." The inner harbor has sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains and great people-watching thanks to the boatloads of tourists and travelers unloading there, but the best street scenes belong to the city's Chinatown, the second oldest in North America behind San Francisco's. The cost of staying in town is much less than San Francisco's, though, with a three-bedroom, five-person Victorian home a block from the water and six blocks from Beacon Hill Park going for $339 a night. The cool climate also makes it a lot easier to get out of town and go exploring in the sprawling nearby Okanagan Valley wine region. Roughly 10,000 acres of vineyards ring Okanagan Lake and form a Canadian Napa complete with cozy bed and breakfasts and wine country-quality restaurants in the nearby city of Kelowna.
Average July temperature: 63 degrees in the Upper Negro River Valley to 35 degrees on Tierra Del Fuego
July in both Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia is like January in much of North America. For fans of January and the weather it brings, it's a godsend. While one of the more common ways to see Patagonia is to take a cruise, stop in some select spots and call it a day, the die-hards who were backpacking the region before Luicano Bennetton and Sylvester Stallone bought land there know the most effective way of seeing the best sites is on foot. It's worth strapping on the crampons and braving the cold to get an up-close look at the 240-feet-tall, 3-miles-wide Perito Moreno Glacier or the similarly vast, but shrinking, Upsala Glacier in Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park. The Valdes Peninsula on the Atlantic Coast, meanwhile, is a Unesco World Heritage Site thanks to the scores of sea lions, elephant seals, fur seals, giant armadillos and Magellanic penguins that call it home. While the glaciers, rivers and rock formations of Chile's Torres de Paine National Park and the soaring peak of Mount Fitz Roy are cool in both the literal and figurative senses, the best Patagonian cold-weather vacation spot has to be Tierra Del Fuego. Its capital of Ushuala, Argentina, is the southernmost city in the world, is home to the iconic "Lighthouse at the End of the World," has a harbor dotted with tiny primary-colored buildings and is just across the Beagle Channel from islands dotted with seals, sheep and penguins.
Average July temperature: 79
It's not exactly the Great White North in mid-July, but Montreal is all the pleasant European city you can ask for without the often unpleasant midsummer heat. While the temperatures can occasionally creep into the mid-80s and even low 90s and make a tourist want to swear off warm poutine for the rest of his or her natural life, the normally mild climate allows for prime people-watching from the Parisian-style outdoor restaurant seats and car-free thoroughfare of Place Jacque-Cartier and breezy strolls along the city's Old Port. Visitors can still run for the air-conditioned safety of Bonsecours Market should their brows start beading, but there's no reason to waste a perfectly good 79-degree day inside when the cool breezes from beneath the cross at Mount Royal park offer a better view of the city. The temperatures also drop considerably at night, which does wonders for summer events such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which brings more than 3,000 artists from nearly three dozen countries in for more than 650 shows -- most free and held outdoors -- in late June and early July and the Montreal World Film Festival in mid-August. It's also worth staying outside not only for the diverse architecture and vibrant neighborhoods, including the city's Chinatown, Latin Quarter and Shaughnessy Village, but for an annual Fireworks Festival that pits teams from various countries against each other and keeps the city popping with pyrotechnics from June until the end of July.
Average July temperature: 66 degrees
It's definitely cool in Anchorage during the summer months, but that doesn't mean it's less crowded than its sweltering neighbors in the southern 48 states. "Alaska's vacation season pretty much goes from May through September and that's it," Banas says. "That's where you're going to go whether it's a cruise or a land vacation." Sorry, temperature-shy traveler, but you're far from the only one who thought it would be a great idea to go check out the glaciers, fjords, waterfalls, orcas and eagles of Prince William Sound or grab a beer at Glacier Brewhouse during the beautiful summer months. Anchorage's ports are just loaded with cruise ships full of folks like yourself who'll be booking horseback trips through the mountains, trying to catch a peek at caribou, lynx and grizzlies during various trail hikes and packing the Alaska Native Heritage Center and the Anchorage Museum. So what can you do to keep from missing out on the last table at the WildRide Sled Dog Rodeo dinner theater or the kite flying at Delaney Park Strip? Grab an Alaska Tour Saver coupon booklet, book early and get half-price deals on Mount McKinley sightseeing, glacier cruises, remote wilderness lodges, Denali National Park train rides and glacier/wildlife/sightseeing packages. A fairly remote spot such as Anchorage is going to be an expensive ticket for most of the continental U.S., but travelers shouldn't have to part with that much cold cash to escape the heat.
Average July temperature: 70 degrees
It's not an American summer hot spot by any means, but Copenhagen gets packed with Europeans on summer holiday. As a party town, it's loaded with perks. Wall-to-wall festivals mark the summer months, kicking off with the huge Roskilde Festival in June headlined by M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes and Iron Maiden. The Copenhagen Jazz Festival took over on July 1, spanning 10 days with performances from Keith Jarrett, Sonny Rollins and Bobby McFerrin. The party really ramps up when the Copenhagen Pride gay pride festival starts in August and ends with a large parade through the city. Not that Copenhagen needs an excuse to let loose. The city is home to museums, jazz clubs, street performers along the Stroget and more than a dozen Michelin Guide restaurants, but what do the Europeans come here for? Beer, weed and amusement parks. Copenhagen's been home to the Carlsberg brewery since 1847, and visitors get a free beer with the price of a tour. Dozens of craft brewers and brewpubs also call the city home, but the hippie population has shown a preference for the open-air cannabis sales in the autonomous neighborhood of Freetown Christiana built by squatters in a former military barracks. Whatever your poison, Copenhagen's antique amusement parks make fine chasers. The twinkling lights of Tivoli Gardens have lit Copenhagen since 1843 and include the world's oldest operating roller coaster and ferris wheel among its treasures. The Deer Park Hill amusement park, however, has operated in one form or another since 1583.
Average July temperature: 56 degrees
The ice is all in Iceland's name around this time of year, as even areas around the inland glaciers get nice and green from the abundant daylight. During July, Reykjavik gets about 20 hours of sun a day. The sun comes up around 3:30 a.m. and sets at around 11:30 p.m., giving summer visitors lots of time to check out the city's beaches surrounding former U.S. and British military installations unused since World War II, stroll the city's harbor or pop into one of the coffee houses or bars along the city's Laugavegur main drag. If visitors stop in on the weekend, they're free to stay until closing time -- which doesn't come until 6 a.m. "It's exotic, but it's going to be much cooler up there," Banas says. "It used to just be Icelandair going there, but now there's Iceland Express, Delta and a JetBlue codeshare agreement with Icelandair that makes for some great deals." Those deals are usually packages including rooms in the hotel that was once the nation's main airport -- and still serves as a stop for domestic flights -- and tours of Iceland's "Golden Circle" of waterfalls, geysers, glaciers, tectonic plate divides, volcanoes and the Thingvellier valley, which became the site of the world's first parliament in 930 A.D. Be prepared for just about every cabbie, bartender and hotel concierge to ask you if you've been to the Blue Lagoon natural hot springs and spa just outside Iceland's Keflavik Airport and be further prepared to look at fellow tourists who say they've gone and have an image of them in hot-tub attire seared into your head for the rest of the trip. The safer and equally recommended stop is Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, a hot dog stand near the harbor that serves a spicy red frank topped with sweet mustard, fried onion and a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish. In a town that serves whale as a dinner entree, a pylsa is easily one of the best things a tourist will eat during his or her trip.
Average July temperature: 58
Tango? Hot. You? Not so much. Buenos Aires began July with low temperatures in the upper 30s but still warms to tourists in its cold winter months. Those looking to trace the footsteps of Eva Peron, Jorge Luis Borges or even the thousands of tango dancers who came before can do so at a discount as the temperatures drop. "Long-haul flights are still going to be a little more pricey than they would be domestically, but it's the offseason there, so you might get some deals," Banas says. "In many cases, it's much less expensive than going to Europe." It's every bit as interesting, though, and visitors will need extra memory cards when shooting the pastel-painted buildings along the Caminito, the museums and gardens along Avenida del Libertador and the cafes and street performers in San Telmo. Come hungry, however, as all that cold weather makes the hot asado barbecue and bottles of malbec nice options for keeping warm.
Average July temperature: 82
It's already hit 82 and 88 degrees in Burlington, but its position amid the Green Mountains and on the shores of Lake Champlain help minimize the heat. The town that gave America Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream knows a little something about beating the heat. Events along the lake, an abundance of outdoor spaces such as the Church Street Marketplace and Battery Park and a full slate of free outdoor concerts and events including the Festival of Fools -- which brings street performers from around the globe to Church Street Marketplace for a three-day run of performances in August -- give visitors a chance to catch some of those cool mountain breezes. It also gives summer visitors a chance to drink in the best of what its home state has to offer during its mid-July Vermont Brewer's Festival. Burlington's own Magic Hat joins Vermont brewers including the Long Trail, Otter Creek, Harpoon and Rock Art breweries and out-of-state guests such as Brooklyn Brewery, California's Stone Brewing, New Hampshire's Smuttynose and Cooperstown, N.Y.,-based Brewery Ommegang in doling out pints to beer lovers in need of a cold one.
Average July temperature: Varies
No list of cold-weather summer escapes would be complete without a ski destination, and there are few better places to hit the slopes during a North American summer than the resorts in Chile's Central Andes. While resorts in Colorado try luring tourists with mountain biking and other eco-tourist adventures, Chile's El Colorado ski center near Santiago has packages starting at $580 and hotels such as the Aspen Apart that are comfortable and close to the lifts. Travelers looking to take in the ruins at Machu Picchu without missing too much time on the slopes can stay just as close to Santiago at resorts such as the French-inspired Valle Nevado, with its 23,000 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain and somewhat more extreme heli-skiing elevations. Somewhat less challenging and more luxurious, but still within striking distance of Santiago, is the La Parva resort and the smattering of condos, restaurants, bars, clubs and ski schools in the namesake village below. Those seeking the greatest challenge Chile has to offer, however, should make their way to Portillio for both the tough runs and the gorgeous Inca lagoons. A midsummer ski may be a relatively new concept to most travelers, but for Olympic and World Championship skiiers, Chile is a mandatory offseason stop. -- Written by Jason Notte in Boston. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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