Summertime is hot — that is, depending on where you live. If your hometown is known for turning up the heat during the summer months, here are five great places in the United States to escape the heat this year.
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Summer temperatures in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan find their sweet spot between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Participating in outdoor water-based activities such as wader fishing or whitewater rafting helps keep you cool if it’s a slightly warmer day. Other fun ways to enjoy the pleasant weather: visit the family-friendly Oswald’s Bear Ranch where you can see rescued bears, go ziplining at the St. Ignace Mystery Spot and kayak around Mackinac Island. If you still need an extra cool down, head for Chet & Pat’s Olde Fashion Ice Cream Parlour in Curtis, MI.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Portland for this Central Oregon gem. Bend is an outdoor mecca, packed to the brim with activities like hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking and fishing. Spend time in this diverse landscape, exploring volcanic terrain, high plateau deserts and dense forests cut by rushing rivers. By night, grab a brew from one of the craft breweries along Bend’s Ale Trail and relax in the cool summer air.
Glacier National Park, Montana
The breathtakingly beautiful Glacier National Park has a high of 61 degrees Fahrenheit in June. Stay in the Lake McDonald Lodge, a classic Swiss chalet that was built in 1913 and recently renovated; from there, you can take advantage of the cool weather to explore the alpine lakes, jagged mountain peaks and grassy valleys to your heart’s content. There are over 700 miles of hiking trails in the park; there is also a beach along Lake McDonald, although the water will probably be too cold to do anything except look at it. And of course, Going-to-the-Sun Road is well-known for its lovely views and exciting pull-offs (such as the Weeping Wall, where a waterfall splashes onto the road).
Juneau, Alaska averages 60-degree days during the summer months and is far enough north to make you feel as if you’re truly getting away from the heat. Ride the tramway to the top of Mount Robertsand you’ll feel that even more — up top is a rainforest-like environment that’s even cooler in temperature, with a gift shop, restaurant and nature center. Down below on the city streets, there’s plenty of shopping to do. Whale watching tours are also popular; stand on the deck of a boat and see if you can spot a humpback’s tail fluke as it dives down into the water. If you feel like taking a cruise for your escape-the-heat vacation, many Alaskan cruises dock in Juneau for a day in addition to hitting several other enjoyable Alaskan towns.
Not the big city retreat you were looking for? Milwaukee will surprise you if you give it the chance. With average summer temperatures rarely hitting 80 degrees Fahrenheit, this city has plenty to offer. Rent bikes and explore the Oak Leaf Trail, then sip one of Wisconsin’s iconic local beers while listening to jazz music in Cathedral Square Park. Wander farmer’s markets, explore boutique and vintage shops and make time for a trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Plus, the city offers easy access to some beautiful spots like Morgan Falls and Mirror Lake.