July is undoubtedly the most popular month to travel throughout the United States. School is out for the summer, kids are on break, skies are bright and sunny, locals are celebrating the Fourth of July, and families are itching to get out and explore the adventurous national parks, stunning landscapes, and epic road trips that the U.S. is known for around the world. 

If you’re looking for somewhere to plan a July vacation this year — we’ve got you covered. Below is a list of all the best places to visit in the USA in July, including beach getaways, small towns, national parks, bucket list road trips, big cities, and more. Regardless of your travel style, you’re sure to find a memorable July vacation from this detailed guide! 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links, meaning that I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. This helps me keep the content on my website free for you to enjoy!

Top Places to Visit in the USA in July for Summer Vacation

1. 30A, Florida 

July is a fantastic time to visit the beaches of 30A. Nestled between Destin and Panama City Beach, 30A is a county road with unique and beautiful beach communities. In July, guests will enjoy the best of the stunning white sandy beaches. The turquoise waters are warm for swimming, searching for shells, or paddleboarding.  

During your trip, check out nearby state parks such as Grayton Beach State Park and other natural beauties such as dune lakes — an environmental feature unique to this region, Oregon, and only a few other countries in the world. Biking along 30A is a popular activity since there are several wide bike paths parallel to the road. Many vacation homes come with bikes, or you can easily rent them once you arrive.  

Spend a day exploring Seaside — a beautifully planned community known for its town center, great shopping, ice cream, and delicious restaurants with fresh seafood, such as Great Southern Cafe. Don’t forget to check out Rosemary Beach, a town with beautiful architecture, where you can stay at The Pearl Hotel right on the beach!

If you are visiting for the Fourth of July, several communities offer fun activities. You can find fireworks in Alys Beach and Rosemary Beach. Grayton Beach and Seaside host Fourth of July parades.  

Two tanned legs on a orange and white beach towel on a sandy beach with turquoise waves lapping onto the shore
  • Where to Stay: The Pearl Hotel 
  • Nearest Major Airport: Northwest Florida Beaches (ECP) International Airport 
  • Average Temperatures: 90°F // 76°F 

Recommended by Rebecca of Fab 5 Family Travel 

2. Oregon Coast, Oregon 

The Oregon Coast is one of the best places to visit in the USA in July for a road trip thanks to great weather and even better views. Start at the north or south end of the state and drive along the coast, stopping at the many beaches and overlooks along the way. 

Cannon Beach is a must-visit for Haystack Rock, but nearby Hug Point State Park is a must-see at low tide when you can explore the sea caves. As you head south, don’t miss a meal at the Tillamook Cheese Factory or at least some ice cream as you drive by. You can tour the facility for free to see how they make their cheese. 

Further south, you’ll find Thor’s Well and the Spouting Horn, the Heceta Head Lighthouse, and Bandon Beach. Don’t miss a sunset among the stretch of beach between Coquille Point Trail and Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. 

At the south end of the state, you’ll find the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. Hike to Secret Beach and enjoy the view at Natural Bridges Viewpoint, but there are many more stops along the way if you have time. 

Several rocks with trees on them sitting in the ocean on a beach on the Oregon Coast, one of the best places to visit in the USA in July
Photo Courtesy of Christine of Live Love Run Travel
  • Where to Stay: Headlands Coastal Lodge 
  • Nearest Major Airport: Portland International Airport 
  • Average Temperatures: 79°F // 59°F 

Recommended by Christine of Live Love Run Travel 

3. Traverse City, Michigan 

Traverse City — the “Cherry Capital of the World” — is an adorable city located on the northeast shore of Lake Michigan. With an ideal location between two peninsulas on the north end of Michigan, Traverse City is one of the best places to visit in the USA in July for families, couples, and friends looking to escape the heat. 

Each year, the National Cherry Festival takes place during the beginning of July in Traverse City — and it’s a must-do while there! The festival hosts an outstanding fireworks competition that happens on July 4th every year, with impressive fireworks displays over Lake Michigan. It’s stunning! 

Speaking of Lake Michigan, one of the best things to do while in Traverse City is to see the lake and scenery from the water. Rent a boat for the day or book a guided tour around Lake Michigan for a relaxing day.  

Traverse City is also home to some of the best wineries in Michigan. Spend a day wine tasting at several of the wineries in Old Mission Peninsula, and be sure to try the rare ice wine if it is available!

Finally, no trip to Traverse City is complete without visiting Trattoria Stella, one of the best Italian restaurants in the area. For dessert, stop by Moomers Homemade Ice Cream! 

Several sailboats docked in a harbor in Traverse City, Michigan, one of the best places to visit in the USA in July.

Recommended by Jess of Travel + Tannins 

4. Breckenridge, Colorado 

Breckenridge, Colorado, is a beautiful place to visit in all seasons, but it is definitely one of the best places to visit in the USA in July. With just about perfect weather, green hills, and wildflowers blooming everywhere — Breckenridge makes for a great summer vacation spot for outdoor activities! 

Breckenridge has the most charming, historic Main Street with plenty of places to shop and eat. The Crepes a la Carte is a fun, casual lunch spot, and the views are beautiful at Ollie’s Pub & Grill. Blue River Plaza is the perfect place to play in the water and munch on your treats from Mountain Top Cookie Shop. You can often hear live music here, too. 

Please don’t visit Breckenridge without heading to the base of Peak 8 to take the gondola up the mountain — it’s free! Enjoy the scenic vistas, and then hop off at the last stop to ride the alpine slide, mine for gems, and ride the coaster. 

Take advantage of the beautiful, cool weather and enjoy some of the hikes that leave from downtown. The Breckenridge Troll trail is a fun, easy stroll and makes for fun photos. The Iowa Hill Trail shows off the wildflowers and some interesting mining history. A quick drive to Dillon will take you to the stunning Sapphire Point Overlook. 

Round out your summer activities in Breckenridge with a yoga paddleboard session on Maggie Lake or a ride on the downtown trolley. No need for a car around Breckenridge — everything is walkable or reachable by the free shuttle. You’ll love the extra time outdoors soaking up the incredible mountain views! 

Several green trees lining the perimeter of a blue lake in Colorado with some mountains in the background.
Photo Courtesy of Sierra of Island + Alpine

Recommended by Sierra of Island + Alpine 

5. Seattle, Washington 

The Pacific Northwest is the place to be in the USA in July — and there isn’t a better place to start and end a Pacific Northwest road trip than in Seattle. Seattle enjoys gorgeous, dry, sunny weather starting in July, making it the perfect time to explore all the city has to offer! 

Whether you spend one day in Seattle or an entire week, you’ll find plenty to do in this vibrant city. You absolutely can’t miss Pike Place Market — an open-air market filled with food stalls, restaurants, bars, and other attractions. You can book a food tour of Pike Place Market to explore the culinary scene or make reservations at a popular restaurant, like The Pink Door, for a sample of all Pike Place Market has to offer. This is also where you’ll find the Original Starbucks (though visiting the Starbucks Reserve Roastery instead is the way to go!). 

Seattle is also home to plenty of cultural attractions, like the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, both located in the Seattle Center. If you are craving a break from the city, take the ferry to Bainbridge Island to explore the eateries, shops, wineries, and gorgeous natural scenery on this quaint and quiet island. 

And, of course, Washington’s three famous national parks — Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Olympic National Park are just a short drive away from Seattle, so be sure to visit at least one national park (or all three!) while you’re visiting the city. 

The neon red Pike Place Public Market sign and tops of the buildings in Seattle, Washington – one of the best places to visit in the USA in July.
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Theodore 
  • Nearest Major Airport: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport 
  • Average Temperatures: 72°F // 57°F 

Recommended by Brittany of Travel by Brit 

6. Portland, Maine 

Between its perfect blend of coastal charm, vibrant cultural scenes, and culinary delights — Portland, Maine, is one of the best places to visit in the USA in July. Located on the upper East Coast of the U.S., the cool coastal town of Portland is the perfect stop on a New England road trip and a welcome respite from the heat experienced in most of the country this time of year. 

In the summer, Portland is a scenic beauty from the lighthouses on the coast to the cobblestone streets lining the waterfront downtown. But beyond its aesthetics, Portland offers a plethora of summer activities. The city is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and features tons of scenic trails for hiking and biking, two of the best things to do in Portland, Maine. Casco Bay is a playground for water activities, including kayaking and boat tours.  

For those who prefer shopping over outdoor activities, Portland has you covered there, too. The Downtown Portland area is filled with eclectic boutiques that are fun for window shopping or finding a unique souvenir. Meanwhile, cultural enthusiasts can explore the city’s museums, galleries, and historic sites like the historic Victoria Mansion or the Portland Museum of Art. 

For foodies, Portland is a culinary haven. And not just for those who love seafood, though their seafood is renowned. Known as one of the best culinary towns in the U.S., Portland’s restaurants offer a diverse culinary scene featuring cuisines from all over the world. And if you’re looking for something refreshing to drink, be sure to check out one of the best local breweries in Portland, ME, for a craft beer after your meal. 

A white lighthouse surrounded by orange-red buildings on a rocky coastline in Maine, with greenery in the foreground.

Recommended by Sckylar Rayne of Adventuring Dreamers 

7. Yellowstone National Park 

National parks are always one of the best places to visit in the USA in July — and Yellowstone National Park is the best of the best! This is when the park — located mostly in Wyoming but also in Montana and Idaho — has some of the best temperatures.  

Yellowstone National Park is mostly known for its incredible hiking trails. There are more than 900 miles of trails to explore, all varying in degree of difficulty. If you’re not much of a hiker, one of the best easy Yellowstone hikes to do is Midway Geyser Basin Trail. 

One thing that is unique about Yellowstone is that it has so many thermal features. Grand Prismatic Springs and Old Faithful Geyser are among the most popular. Yellowstone also has a ton of wildlife. You will see the famous American Buffalo throughout the park. Other possible wildlife sightings include elk, coyotes, bears, wolves, and tons of birds.  

July is particularly great for camping in Yellowstone as the weather is comfortable. There are 12 campgrounds in the park that operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. And if you’re hungry, be sure to check out Grant Village Lake House Restaurant for breathtaking views and great food! 

A bison crossing the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, USA
  • Where to Stay: Crosswinds Inn
  • Nearest Major Airport: West Yellowstone Airport (WYS) 
  • Average Temperatures: 85°F // 95°F 

Recommended by Samantha of Find Love and Travel 

8. Santa Barbara, California 

Santa Barbara, referred to as the “American Riviera,” is one of the best places to visit in the USA in July for outdoor activities and events. It’s located less than two hours from Los Angeles, making it a great stop on a Southern California road trip, and it’s known for its stunning coastline, rich history, and fun events in July, like the Santa Barbara French Festival and the Santa Barbara County Fair. 

Whether you spend one day in Santa Barbara or a full week, spending time at one of the stunning beaches of Santa Barbara is a must-do in July in Santa Barbara. East Beach is perfect for volleyball and people-watching, Leadbetter Beach is great for windsurfing and picnicking, and Butterfly Beach is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. 

If you love water sports, try kayaking, paddle boarding, or a sailing lesson in the Pacific Ocean. And if you’re looking for a challenge, strap on your hiking boots and hike the Inspiration Point Trail for breathtaking views of the city and ocean. 

If you prefer to explore the history and culture of Santa Barbara, a visit to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse and Santa Barbara Mission is a must. In the evening, take a stroll along State Street and dine al fresco at one of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara. 

Several Spanish-style orange and white buildings surrounding a lush green courtyard in Santa Barbara, California.
Photo Courtesy of Aswani of A Charming Escape

Recommended by Aswani of A Charming Escape 

9. Burlington, Vermont 

Burlington — a vibrant city on Lake Champlain in Vermont — is the perfect place to visit in the USA in July. The weather is pleasant for enjoying the outdoor activities Burlington is known for. You can rent a bike on the waterfront and pedal the Burlington Greenway bike path or explore one of the many day hikes within the city limits. 

The views of the Adirondack Mountains from Waterfront Park are spectacular. There are also two public beaches on the waterfront for swimming and relaxing. On the Fourth of July, bring a picnic to North Beach for an incredible fireworks show over the lake. You can get out on Lake Champlain in a sailboat, motorboat, or kayak with local rentals. You also can enjoy an outing on the Spirit of Ethan Allen boat. The whole family will enjoy the scenic narrated cruise. 

Make sure to visit the iconic open-air pedestrian mall of Church Street. With its unique boutiques, restaurants with outdoor seating, and street performers, you can easily spend a whole afternoon there. Burlington is a fun foodie town with spectacular craft breweries and restaurants. Honey Road is a restaurant on the mall that serves scrumptious Eastern Mediterranean small plates, and Zero Gravity is a great spot to stop for a brew.

Burlington, Vermont, USA, at Church Street Marketplace with a church, red brick streets, and historic shops.

Recommended by Karen of Outdoor Adventure Sampler 

10. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

July is one of the best months to visit Mount Rainier National Park in Washington, as the snow has mostly melted away at lower elevations, and the wildflowers are beginning to bloom. There is a wonderful range of things to do on this fantastic day trip from Seattle, including hiking, wildlife viewing, and taking in spectacular views. 

The Skyline Trail, though somewhat difficult, is the most popular trail in Mount Rainier National Park, with an epic view from Panorama Point, while Myrtle Falls is a must-do for nearly anyone. For a more relaxed experience, the scenic drives around the mountain provide unbelievable views with minimal effort and endless opportunities to capture the beauty of the landscapes and wildlife. Reservations are now required to enter the park between 7 AM and 3 PM, in addition to the park entrance fee. Timed entry tickets are available online. 

The small towns around Mount Rainier offer a variety of options for dining. In Ashford, local eateries such as the Copper Creek Inn serve hearty, home-cooked meals, perfect after a day of hiking or exploring. Accommodations range from rustic to luxurious, with prices increasing as you near the mountain. National Park Inn at Longmire provides a cozy stay conveniently within the park, or travel into Ashford for charming cabin rentals. 

Mount Rainier in July is an unrivaled destination for adventure and natural beauty. Whether an avid hiker, a nature lover, or simply someone looking to escape the hustle of city life — Mount Rainier has something to offer everyone. 

A snow-dusted mountain in a green meadow in Mount Rainier National Park
Photo Courtesy of Tammi of Wander Healthy 
  • Where to Stay: National Park Inn 
  • Nearest Major Airport: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport 
  • Average Temperature: 63°F // 43°F 

Recommended by Tammi of Wander Healthy 

11. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is one of the best places to visit in the USA in July. In addition to Milwaukee’s great museums and attractions, summertime brings awesome festivals, Brewers baseball games, patio dining, and outdoor fun on the rivers and Lake Michigan. 

One of the biggest reasons to visit Milwaukee in July is to attend SummerFest. This massive music festival is held annually in Milwaukee for three weekends, spanning the end of June and the beginning of July. With hundreds of performances across multiple stages, you’re sure to find something you’ll love! 

Stay cool with a visit to one of Milwaukee’s museums. The Milwaukee Art Museum is famous for both its fine arts collection and its unique architecture featuring the Burke Brise Soleil ‘wings’. Check out the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum or visit the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. 

Enjoy a meal at a local favorite, Mader’s Restaurant. Savor the flavors of Milwaukee’s German heritage with a hearty helping of wiener schnitzel and spaetzle, accompanied by a beer served in a large glass shaped like a boot! 

After dinner, take a stroll along Milwaukee’s downtown RiverWalk. You can admire public art, including the life-sized statue, the ‘Bronz Fonz.’ You can also rent kayaks and explore the RiverWalk from a new perspective. 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA – downtown city skyline with city lights on Lake Michigan at twilight.
  • Where to Stay: The Pfister Hotel 
  • Nearest Major Airport: Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport 
  • Average Temperatures: 77°F // 65°F 

Recommended by Lisa Garrett of Travel to Lyon 

12. San Diego, California 

There really isn’t a bad month to visit sunny San Diego — however, the warm mornings and evenings in July make this month the perfect time to enjoy all the beautiful outdoor activities that San Diego has to offer, including beaches, hiking trails, and more! 

During a summer trip to San Diego, take your pick of one of the popular beach towns nearby — Coronado Island or La Jolla — to spend a day on the beach. 

In Coronado Island, walk up and down Orange Avenue for your pick of shopping and dining, explore the historic Hotel del Coronado, and spend some time on Coronado Beach. In La Jolla, watch the sea lions bask in the sun at La Jolla Cove, go kayaking or snorkeling, or head up to Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve to go on a hike. 

Though the beaches are beautiful, San Diego is a buzzy city with plenty to do. Say hello to the animals at the San Diego Zoo, grab a coffee from Better Buzz, explore the hundreds of food vendors at the Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market (or go on a food tour in Little Italy!), explore the museums and architecture at Balboa Park, or sit down for a fun cocktail and experience at Wolfie’s Carousel Bar.

For dinner, get reservations in Little Italy, or head over to Liberty Station to choose from one of the several dining options! 

Three sea lions sitting on rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean at La Jolla Cove

Recommended by Brittany of Travel by Brit 

13. Niagara Falls, New York 

One of the best places to visit in July in the USA is Niagara Falls, New York. During this month, the weather is perfect, and you will be able to enjoy all the outdoor activities this region offers! 

Niagara Falls consists of Bridal Vail Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and American Falls. Though the views are supposedly better from the Canadian side — the views are spectacular from the U.S. side, too! One of the best things to do in Niagara Falls is take the Maid of Mist Boat Tour. Waterproof clothing or ponchos are often provided on these tours. This must-do activity is only available during the summer months! If you are feeling adventurous, you can also opt in for a spectacular helicopter ride over the falls to get panoramic views. 

After taking the tours, head over to Goat Island. Terrapin Point and Prospect Point give the best views of Horseshoe Falls. Also, visit the Niagara Falls observation tower, which gives you stunning views of the falls and the surrounding area from above. If you want to visit the Canadian side of the falls, cross Rainbow International Bridge, but be sure to bring a passport! You can also visit Toronto, located a short 80 miles from Niagara Falls, to explore the best places to see in Toronto!

During the night, do not forget to see Niagara Falls illuminated — the colors change every day. And since July is Independence Day in the USA, on the Fourth of July, you can see fireworks over Niagara Falls on the U.S. side. There will be special events on the day to keep you busy! 

However, keep in mind that July is the peak season for Niagara Falls. You can expect crowds at viewpoints and attractions. Also, accommodation prices will be high, so make sure to plan your trip early! 

Niagara Falls on America side in the morning with clear sky surrounded by lush green foliage with a few onlookers

Recommended by Mayuri of Fernwehrahee 

14. Lake Tahoe, California 

Nestled high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Lake Tahoe straddles the border between California and Nevada. About 100 miles east of Sacramento and a similar distance southwest of Reno, it’s located in a high alpine valley surrounded by pine forest peaks. 

At over 6,200 feet in elevation, Lake Tahoe is one of the largest lakes in the United States. The towering granite cliffs and clear blue waters have earned it the nickname “Gem of the Sierra.” Several alpine lakes and streams feed Lake Tahoe’s waters, which gather behind a natural dam created by the lake’s unique geologic history of faulting and volcanic activity. 

Today, visitors revel in both Lake Tahoe’s beauty and abundant recreational opportunities. Whether skimming the lake’s surface by boat or gazing down at its unparalleled clarity from hiking trails above, Lake Tahoe offers a cool, refreshing, and breathtaking mountain lake experience. 

Lake Tahoe is a magnificent destination in July when sunny skies prevail over the crystal-clear turquoise waters. It’s an ideal time to fully enjoy the many outdoor activities the lake and its surroundings offer. With highs in the pleasant 70s to 80s, swimming and boating on the lake is refreshing, and beautiful vistas are easily explored by hiking the surrounding nature trails. 

The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival also takes place at Sand Harbor Beach in July, with the lake and mountains as a picturesque backdrop for classical theater. Whether taking in a play, swimming amid mountain-fed waters, paddling by tall pines along the shore, or camping under the stars, Lake Tahoe is a sparkling gem perfect for summer visitors. 

A deep blue lake with several green pine trees and granite rocks surrounding it with a small green island in the center
Photo Courtesy by Coco of Coco Tran

Recommended by Coco of Coco Tran 

15. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon 

The Columbia River Gorge is a 90-mile canyon that runs along the Columbia River, which divides Oregon and Washington. Within the gorge, there are waterfalls, vineyards, mountains, and miles of hiking trails. While you can visit The Columbia River Gorge all year, July offers the best weather for enjoying the area’s outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, and swimming. 

While you’re visiting the Columbia River Gorge, be sure to hike at one of the many waterfalls. One of the most popular waterfalls in the area is Multnomah Falls, which is known for being the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon. If you want to skip the crowds, Wahclella Falls, Falls Creek Falls, or Latourell Falls are great alternatives. If hanging out by the water is more your thing, head to the basin of Punchbowl Falls to go for a swim. 

Once you’ve spent the day exploring outside, head to the charming town of Hood River. Here, you can browse the shops in the historic downtown and grab a bite to eat. Solstice Wood Fire Pizza is one of the best places to eat in Hood River. Be sure to grab a table outside facing the Columbia River. In July, you will get to see many people out on the water kiteboarding and windsurfing in this area. 

A waterfall cascading off a mossy, rocky cliff into a pool of bluish-green water.
  • Where to Stay: Kimpton Riverplace Hotel
  • Nearest Major Airport: Portland International Airport (PDX) 
  • Average Temperatures: 89°F // 59°F 

Recommended by Maddie of Maddie Deer 

16. Duluth, Minnesota 

Just a two-hour drive from Minneapolis, Duluth, nestled on the shores of Lake Superior, is a quintessential summer getaway for Midwesterners. In July, Lake Superior’s famously frigid waters become a refreshing reprieve from the humid summer heat. 

Drive up the shore to hike around Gooseberry Falls and visit Split Rock Lighthouse. Or stay in Duluth for agate hunting in Canal Park and explore the Lincoln Park Craft District, filled with cute boutiques and Love Creamery, home to the best ice cream in the city. If you’re looking for something more active, rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard for a day out on the water. 

Visit over the Fourth of July for Duluth’s Fourth Fest — a lakeside celebration with the largest fireworks show in the Midwest, accompanied by the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. 

When you’re ready for a bite, head up the North Shore All-American Scenic Drive, one of the most beautiful routes in the state. Eventually, you’ll arrive at New Scenic Cafe — one of the best restaurants in Duluth. It’s a humble spot with lake views serving elegant New American cuisine influenced by Minnesota’s Nordic roots. In the city, Hungry Hippie Tacos serves unique frybread tacos, while Fitger’s Brewhouse grills some of the state’s top wild rice burgers. 

Book your hotel well in advance — only a few hotels in Duluth have lake views, and they fill up quickly during the summer months. 

A flat, rocky outcropping overlooking a peaceful expanse of blue ocean in Duluth, Minnesota – one of the best places to visit in the USA in July.
Photo Courtesy of Eva of Eva Darling
  • Where to Stay: Fitger’s Inn 
  • Nearest Major Airport: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport 
  • Average Temperatures: 73°F // 58°F 

Recommended by Eva of Eva Darling 

17. Rocky Mountain National Park 

There is no better national park in the USA to visit in July than Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado! 

By July, most of the snow has melted, which opens up one of the most scenic highways in the country — Trail Ridge Road. Trail Ridge Road is called the “Highway to The Sky” for good reason — you will find the mountain views stunning! As you drive Trail Ridge Road, you will also see a plethora of wildflowers in full bloom.  

The cool mountain air makes this park a great place to beat the heat of summer. The park has perfect hiking weather in July, and the park delivers some of the best trails for families or solo hikers. The most popular hikes are in the Bear Lake area, where you can hike to waterfalls like Avalanche Falls or around mountain lakes like Sprague Lake.  

Summer also means wildlife is active in the park. It’s rare to go a day without elk and moose sightings as you hike or drive through the park. And, of course, the marmots, chipmunks, and other little critters are always ready to entertain along the trail or in picnic areas. 

The gateway community of Estes Park provides lodging ranging from rustic camping to adorable cabins to luxury hotels. Here, you can experience the true west when the rodeo comes to town for a week in July. Or join in for the Cowboy Sing-A-Long in Bond Park every Sunday night. 

Rocky Mountain National Park requires advance timed-entry reservations to enter the park during most summer hours in addition to the regular entrance fee. However, it is one of the best destinations to include on a summer Colorado road trip!

Views from the rainbow curve on the trail ridge road in Rocky Mountain National Park, including mountains, trees, and a blue cloudy sky.
  • Where to Stay: The Stanley Hotel 
  • Nearest Major Airport: Denver International Airport (DEN) 
  • Average Temperatures: 69°F // 45°F 

Recommended by Ladonna of Walking The Parks 

18. Cape Cod, Massachusetts 

One of the best places to visit in the USA in July is Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Just about a one-hour drive south of Boston, Cape Cod is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, including some that are part of the U.S. National Seashore. It also includes quaint and picturesque New England towns and fascinating history, and it is an ideal place for classic American summer celebrations — especially in July!  

Celebrating the Fourth of July on Cape Cod is one of the most festive things to do in July, but any time during the summer, you will find a variety of activities for an idyllic New England summer vacation.  

From spending the day on one of the Cape’s unspoiled beaches or stunning hiking trails to enjoying old-fashioned activities like mini-golf, go-karts, bike riding on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, and drive-in movie theaters — Cape Cod is fantastic for families and couples. You can also enjoy surfing, fishing, whale watching, kayaking, golfing, boating, tidepooling, and a variety of other water activities. The Cape is home to a large seal population, who are often seen bobbing up and down from shore. 

You can’t visit Cape Cod without enjoying the outstanding seafood restaurants, which range from beachside shanties to higher-end restaurants. Some are located right at the beach, and no trip to the Cape is complete without some local ice cream! 

For more unique activities in Cape Cod, you can take tours of the nearby cranberry bogs near Plymouth or visit the Cape Cod Potato Chip Company. Cape Cod beaches often have limited parking, which makes them less crowded, but getting there early helps ensure you get a spot. 

Many of the quaint small seaside towns, like Chatham and Provincetown, are great for walking around, shopping, dining, and finding great art. If you happen to be in one of these sweet spots over the Fourth of July, you will likely see a parade, décor, and fireworks. Also, catching one of the minor league baseball games is one of the best things to do with kids on Cape Cod

There are plenty of accommodations to suit every style and budget, from cottage and home rentals to hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts. Each area of the Cape has its own style and feel. But no matter where you stay on Cape Cod, it is one of the best places to visit in July in the USA. 

A wooden fence along Marconi Beach in Cape Cod, one of the best places to visit in the USA in July
  • Where to Stay: Chatham Bars Inn 
  • Nearest Major Airport: Boston Logan International Airport 
  • Average Temperatures: 80°F // 65°F 

Recommended by Keri at Bon Voyage With Kids 

19. Bozeman, Montana 

When you’re planning a summer getaway in July, Bozeman, Montana, should be at the top of your list. During July, the weather is perfect in Bozeman, with the high temperature around 80°F — perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and casual explorers alike. As a result of its location in the Rocky Mountains, the city offers an unparalleled blend of natural beauty, as well as a vibrant culture and a relaxed vibe that’s hard to find elsewhere. 

What sets July in Bozeman apart are the unique events and activities you can’t experience at any other time of the year. For instance, the renowned Sweet Pea Festival, a celebration of arts and community, is an absolute must. It features live music, theater performances, and a parade, all set against the backdrop of Bozeman’s picturesque landscapes.  

If you’re a fan of the outdoors — you’re in luck. July is the prime time for fly fishing in Bozeman’s crystal-clear rivers, and the hiking trails in the surrounding mountains are at their best — lush, green, and bursting with life. Plus, the Bozeman Stampede Rodeo in late July offers an authentic taste of Montana’s cowboy culture. 

While in Bozeman, you must make your way to Main Street, which is full of local restaurants, shops, and boutiques. If you enjoy eating meat, then you must try bison in Montana. Ted’s Montana Grill offers bison in various forms — including meatloaf, short rib, and brisket. Plus, it’s located in The Baxter Hotel, a historic hotel that’s been in existence since 1929.  

And if you’re interested in visiting Yellowstone National Park, you’ll be happy to learn that Bozeman is a quick 90-minute drive to Yellowstone! 

Several trees and grassy plains overlook the city and mountainous terrain in Bozeman, Montana.

Recommended by Marquita of The Traveling Twin Mama 

20. Chincoteague, Virginia 

One of the best places to visit in the USA in July is the quaint seaside town of Chincoteague, Virginia. It has a charming coastal allure, inviting you to immerse yourself in a delightful blend of nature and tradition, and is one of the best unknown vacation spots in the US!

Nature enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Begin your journey at the iconic Assateague Lighthouse — a historic beacon that offers panoramic views of the island and the shimmering waters beyond. As you ascend the 142-foot-tall lighthouse, feel the gentle sea breeze, creating a perfect atmosphere for capturing breathtaking photos.

Alongside the lighthouse, this haven for wildlife showcases the island’s ecological diversity, boasting salt marshes, dunes, and a mosaic of habitats. Birdwatchers will revel in the chance to spot migratory fowl, while hikers can traverse scenic trails surrounded by the beauty of untouched landscapes. Keep an eye out for the famous Chincoteague Ponies that can be seen here and near the miles of beach on the island. 

Cap off your July adventure with a visit to the world-famous Pony Penning event at the end of the month. Witness the timeless spectacle of wild Chincoteague ponies swimming across the channel, guided by skilled wranglers. This annual tradition, deeply rooted in the island’s history, captures the essence of Chincoteague’s unique charm. The event is a fundraiser to help take care of the herd throughout the year. 

End your day with fresh seafood at Don’s Seafood Restaurant – one of the best places to eat in Chincoteague

Four wild ponies on the beach in Assateague Island, known as Chincoteague Ponies.

Recommended by Pamela of The Directionally Challenged Traveler 

21. Denali National Park, Alaska 

When visiting Denali National Park in July, you are in for an unforgettable experience with unique opportunities. During this time, you will enjoy the extended daylight hours of the Midnight Sun. This natural wonder provides extra time for outdoor activities like hiking, photography, and wildlife viewing. Picture yourself capturing stunning sunset photos even at 11 PM! 

Denali transforms into a hiker’s paradise in July. You can explore the easy and scenic Horseshoe Lake Trail, which meanders 1.5 miles through lush forests and along the serene Horseshoe Lake. If you’re seeking a bit more thrill, the Savage River Loop Trail, spanning a moderate two miles, is an ideal choice. The Mount Healy Overlook Trail offers a rewarding challenge for the more daring hikers. This five-mile hike, with its steep ascent, rewards you with sweeping panoramic views. 

July is also the peak season for wildlife spotting in Denali. You might catch sight of grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep, more active and visible during this time. Keep an eye out for elusive wolves, too. Additionally, the park’s flora is at its most vibrant. Wildflowers like fireweed create picturesque landscapes. 

For adventure enthusiasts, July in Denali National Park is unparalleled. The rivers are ideal for exhilarating river rafting tours. And for an experience you’ll never forget, consider the famous Denali flightseeing tours with glacier landings. In July, these tours are at their prime, offering awe-inspiring aerial views of the park’s vast wilderness and the rare chance to land on ancient glaciers. Mountain weather can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to be prepared. Dress in layers and always bring a raincoat to adapt to sudden changes in conditions. 

After an intense day of activities in Denali, it’s time to enjoy a local dinner. Hit 229 Parks Restaurant and Tavern for a meal crafted from locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy the fresh Alaskan seafood and rustic ambiance at the Denali Park Salmon Bake, or savor the homemade Eastern European flavors at The Moose-AKa’s. 

Several snowcapped mountains and rolling hills against a blue, cloudy sky in Denali National Park, one of the best places to visit in the USA in July.
Photo Courtesy of Agnes of Alaska Itinerary
  • Where to Stay: McKinley Chalet Resort 
  • Nearest Major Airport: Fairbanks International Airport (FAI) 
  • Average Temperatures: 66°F // 44°F 

Recommended by Agnes of Alaska Itinerary 

22. New York City, New York 

New York City is a great place to visit any time of year, but especially in July when this city of lights shines brighter still with the Fourth of July fireworks. NYC is always humming in the summer with all the free activities around town, and the weather is great for sightseeing and soaking in the best of everything the city has to offer. 

In July, the city comes alive with street fairs, food festivals, live music and theater performances, and more, offering a diverse range of entertainment options for visitors of all ages and interests. The city’s Fourth of July celebrations are a dazzling display popular with New Yorkers and visitors alike and are amazing to view against the Manhattan skyline. 

Theater enthusiasts can take in the free Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park, while venues like Lincoln Center and Bryant Park offer options such as free music, yoga, movies and other performances. Smorgasburg is a great venue for food enthusiasts, offering a multitude of options from leading eateries. 

July presents great weather to explore the city’s outdoor spaces, from Central Park, Bryant Park, High Line, and Prospect Park, along with beaches including Coney Island and Orchard Beach. Overall, July is a great time of year to experience New York celebrating summer at its best. 

A sunny day in grassy Central Park in New York City
  • Where to Stay: New York Hilton Midtown 
  • Nearest Major Airports: LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport 
  • Average Temperatures: 85°F // 69°F 

Recommended by Hanit of Gotta Love New York 

23. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina 

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in July is perfect. The weather is beautiful, and the sunsets are amazing. The parkway connects Shenandoah National Park in the north with Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south. The two states covered by the parkway are North Carolina and Virginia. 

The parkway is 469 miles in total and takes more than one day to complete — preferably three to five days —so that you can enjoy it to its fullest. There’s no entrance fee for the parkway, and it’s known as one of the most picturesque roads in the USA. 

This National Scenic Byway takes you through the Blue Ridge Mountains. You’ll have mesmerizing views of the mountains at every turn. Stop at the overlooks to admire the beautiful scenery. There are numerous hikes starting at the parkway — both short and longer ones. There are also several attractions close by, such as Grandfather Mountain, the Blowing Rock, and Natural Bridge State Park. 

Have lunch or dinner at the Mount Mitchell State Park Restaurant. It’s on top of Mount Mitchell and has perfect views. Alternatively, stop in Asheville, North Carolina, just outside the Blue Ridge Parkway, to enjoy some barbecue and to visit the Biltmore Estate

Pink flowery bushes in front of rolling green hills at sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

Recommended by Cosette from KarsTravels 

24. Nantucket, Massachusetts 

Nantucket Island is a wonderful July destination as the island brims with life and summer activities. It is easy to get to the island either by plane or by ferry from Hyannis. 

Nantucket boasts a vibrant downtown with plenty of restaurants and cafés. If you are looking for nightlife, you are spoiled for choices, including many live music venues. The rest of the island is best explored by bike. The bike trails are great and take you across the island. 

Siasconset is beautiful, with some of the oldest cottages in Nantucket. Besides the sand-swept beach, be sure to walk the Sconset Bluff Walk to the Sankaty Head Lighthouse. Time it with sunset, and you are up for a magical evening. Surfside offers long and beautiful beaches with lifeguards. July is also a great time of the year for whale watching. 

There are also several interesting museums on the island where you can learn more about its history, like the Whaling Museum, the Nantucket Shipwreck and Life Saving Museum, and the Museum of African American History. Nantucket is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Boston during summer, so be sure you book your hotel early. 

Several bikes along the water on a bridge in Nantucket, one of the best places to visit in the USA in July.
  • Where to Stay: Seven Sea Street Inn 
  • Nearest Major Airport: Nantucket Memorial Airport 
  • Average Temperatures: 75°F // 61°F 

Recommended by Linn of Brainy Backpackers 

FAQs – Best Places to Visit in the USA in July 

Which state is the best to visit in July?

If you’re looking for beautiful weather, New England (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont & Rhode Island) is gorgeous in July, as well as the Pacific Northwest (Washington & Oregon) and much of the Midwest (Michigan, Minnesota & Wisconsin). California and Florida are also popular states to visit in July for gorgeous beaches.

Is July a good time to visit the USA?

July is a great time to visit the USA for warm weather that is perfect for exploring national parks, hanging out at the beach, and exploring popular cities like New York and Chicago. However, July is the high season for travel in the U.S., so expect high prices for hotels and flights, as well as large crowds at the most popular tourist attractions.

Where in the United States is it cool in July?

You can enjoy cool temperatures in the United States in July in Alaska, the mountain towns in Colorado, and much of the Pacific Northwest, including WashingtonOregon, and Northern California. You will also find cooler temperatures in the coastal and mountainous regions of New England, like VermontNew Hampshire, and Maine.

Plan Your Next Summer Vacation with These Best Places to Visit in the USA in July 

There you have it — all the best places to visit in the USA in July! Even though you’ll have to contend with higher prices and crowds, there is no doubt July is one of the best months to travel in the U.S. — after all, it is popular for a reason! 

Which of these destinations would be at the top of your bucket list for a summer vacation? 

Save the Best Places to Visit in the USA in July for Summer Vacation Inspiration

Read More

Looking for more helpful month-by-month guides for traveling the United States? Check out these other related guides from Travel by Brit:

About the Author

Hi, I'm Brit! I'm a writer from Phoenix, AZ who loves coffee, golden retriever puppies, and obviously, travel! I help ordinary women (like me!) dream, plan, and do extraordinary travel experiences.