Believe it or not, but summer is nearly here and if you haven’t already started planning your vacation, now is the time to start. While generally lumped together, each month throughout the summer is very different from one another and there are special places to visit during each one. Today I want to share where I think you should go for every month of summer, highlighting special events and seasonal experiences that are truly memorable.
The weather up north can still be a little touch and go, so head south where the sun is warm and the humidity hasn’t yet kicked into high gear. On the Overseas Highway, hitting the open road also means hitting the open seas. This picturesque stretch of highway connects the Florida Keys to the mainland USA. You won’t find any twisting turning roads here, just clear turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. A highlight is the Seven Mile Bridge that anchors the keys together. This is the kind of drive where you’ll want to take your time exploring the sights along the way. This is a world of secluded islands, historic shipwrecks and some of the best fishing holes anywhere. And if you’re looking for wildlife, you’ll enjoy the turtles, dolphins and North America’s smallest species of deer standing just about 30 inches tall. Worth a stop is the Turtle Hospital in Marathon—the world’s first licensed veterinarian hospital for sea turtles. Most of the residents are temporary but Bubble Butt is a permanent resident and he’ll be ready for you to feed him any snacks on hand before you head on down to the end of the road in Key West.
This is a great time to visit Iceland because the winter winds have (hopefully) disappeared and the landscape has turned bright green. Due to the quirky jet stream, Iceland never gets too hot, and rainy weather can happen at any time of year. However, in June you won’t have any headaches driving and when you do visit, a road trip along the south coast is mandatory. This is a country of elves and legends, glaciers and black sand beaches and, most notably, waterfalls. Iceland has no shortage of waterfalls, of that there can be no doubt. Almost everywhere you drive around the country you’ll find them in all sizes and shapes, each one with its own legends and mythologies surrounding it. But some are something special, something different and several of these must-visit waterfalls are found along the Ring Road. Seljalandsfoss is popular in large part because you can see it from the road, making a stop a foregone conclusion.
Independence Day is a great excuse for a trip, so why not head to one of the country’s nicest cities, San Diego? San Diego is all about the Navy with bases on Coronado Island as well as in the city proper. It would stand to reason that a city with a big military presence would need to do July 4th in a big way – and San Diego does not disappoint. Coronado hosts events throughout the day including a two-hour parade, a concert in Spreckels Park and fireworks over Glorietta Bay. The sky lights up even more at the epic 20-minute Big Bay Boom fireworks display over San Diego Bay. The largest display of its kind in the region, Big Bay Boom attracts more than 850,000 visitors to San Diego’s waterfront. Fireworks are launched simultaneously from four barges placed around the bay and choreographed to music broadcast live on the local radio station. The Big Bay Boom fireworks display is so large that it can be seen throughout downtown San Diego, neighboring Coronado, Point Loma, and many communities throughout the city. Great viewing spots are all along the bay front or aboard a harbor cruise.
Cruising in Alaska has come into its own recently, giving passengers unique opportunities to hike glaciers and spot whales in the distance. August is also one of the best times to visit to enjoy the best weather. Cruising to Alaska can be a great way to explore America’s "last frontier." Most major cruise lines these days offer Alaska sailings in the summer, taking passengers to the capital of Alaska, Juneau (which can only be reached by boat or plane), small coastal towns like Skagway and Ketchikan, and up the Inside Passage to see mountains and glaciers. Some itineraries even go as far north as Anchorage, or include a stop on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
What are your summer travel plans?
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A luxury adventure traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his experiences with thousands of readers every day through his travel blog, LandLopers.com. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Matt is a Washington, DC based travel writer/photographer and has been featured on many other web sites and publications including BBC Travel, CNN GO, Huffington Post, AFAR Magazine and National Geographic Intelligent Travel. His work is also syndicated on the Flipboard and Pulse apps. Follow Matt on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus.
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