If you are planning your summer vacation this post will help you find the best places to visit in the USA in July for a great and well-deserved time off and away from the daily routine. ¿
From natural parks and spectacular natural wonders to fascinating vibrant cities, to enjoy local cuisine, and connecting with the cultural heritage, there are so many places to see in July in the USA that choosing one can become a job in itself.
That is why I have curated this great guide where US-based travel writers and experts of the country will tell us all about the best places to visit in July in the USA.
I hope you will find some inspiration for your summer trip.
Whether you are more up for a city vacation or an outdoor itinerary, a romantic getaway, or a family retreat, in this post you will find a lot of inspiring ideas for your USA summer holiday!
Planning a trip soon? Here are My Recommended
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – Safety Wing or TRAVEL INSURANCE MASTER
- BOOK FLIGHTS – Expedia, Scott’s Cheap Flights, and always remember to compare
- BOOK TOURS – GetYourGuide or Viator. Some of their tours are refundable up to 24h in advance.
- HOTELS & HOMES – Booking.com – Expedia – VRBO
- CAR RENTALS: Discover Car Rentals
So, without further ado, here are the top places to visit in the US in July.
The 31 best places to visit in the USA in July
1. Carmel-by-the-Sea California
First thing first, Carmel-by-the-sea is one of the prettiest towns in the USA that deserve special attention. It’s also one of the best places to visit in July.
Famous for its unique architecture, it gained popularity among the American Artists who found a safe and inspiring nest for their creative process here, when they had to escape San Francisco after the great earthquake.
From then on the cultural and artsy circle in Carmel by the sea continued to grow to attract artists of all sorts and style-sensitive travelers who come to enjoy the quirky town boasting almost 100 art galleries and bursting with culture, and gastronomic delights galore.
But let’s not forget that Carmel by the sea is also an upscale beach town and home to some of the best nature in the world.
Whether you’re looking for a beach getaway, an adventure in nature, a foodie’s trip, or a couples weekend, a trip to Carmel-by-the-sea will not disappoint.
I have also selected some of the most amazing Airbnb in Carmel by the Sea to help you find the perfect place for your stay.
Oh! And let’s not forget that its strategic position and warm temperatures all year round make it a timeless tourist destination.
Check out my in-depth guide on all the things to do in Carmel-by-the-sea written by a local writer.
TOP-RATED TOUR OPTIONS IN CARMEL BY THE SEA
2. Orange County California
If a summer on the beach is what you are looking for, but you are also attracted by historical places, great shopping, and quaint cities, Orange County in California is the perfect choice for you.
Located in Southern California only 2 hours from Los Angeles and 1 hour from San Diego, Orange County is a spectacular high-end and multiethnic region in California where you can find amazing weather all year round, although summer is the best time to go if you love the beach life.
Among the 34 cities in Orange County, Huntington Beach and Lagoon beach would be the perfect choice for a summer vacation, with their spectacular hotels, inspiring coastline, and unbeatable beaches.
There are so many things to do in Orange County that you could spend there the entire summer without getting bored. However, if you are staying for a short time, do not miss the following activities:
✔ Explore the beautiful Tide Pools throughout the coast
✔ Enjoy the views at 1000 steps beach
✔ Stroll down Newport Beach Pier and Balboa Pier, some of the best beaches in Orange County.
✔ Catch a sunset at San Clemente Pier
✔ Enjoy some culture in Old Town Orange
✔ Learn some history at the Mission San Juan Capistrano
Also if you are planning a visit for a week or more renting a home instead of staying in a hotel may be more convenient.
If that’s the case, you will find incredible Airbnb in Orange County for different budgets and in the most popular locations.
TOP-RATED TOUR OPTIONS IN ORANGE COUNTRY
3. Monterey – California
At only 30 minutes from Carmel-by-the sea nestled in the protected area of Monteray bay, lays the pretty city of Monterey.
With an array of spectacular oceanside hiking trails, breathtaking beaches, restaurants, and shopping choices, you have plenty of things to do in Monterey California.
Probably less unique than the nearby popular town of Carmel, Monterey knows how to keep you entertained whether you are looking for a relaxing vacation on the beach or an adventurous trip full of outdoor activities.
Among the amazing things to do in Monterey do not forget shopping or window shopping in Cannery Row, whale watching, or visiting Punta Lobo Natural Reserve.
You can also find amazing Airbnbs in Monterey for a comfortable stay in luxury home with exquisite and stylish decor for your luxury vacation in California.
TOP-RATED TOUR OPTIONS IN ORANGE COUNTRY
4. Oregon Coast
Contributed by Debbie Fettback @ World Adventurists
Summer is a fantastic time to explore the Oregon Coast. With a wide variety of stunning Pacific Northwest beaches, there is no better way to spend a hot July afternoon than with the sand between your toes! In fact, it may top the list for the best place to vacation in July.
Tide pooling, swimming, surfing, sandcastle building are all popular on Oregon’s beaches or putting a towel down to relax in the sun and enjoy the ocean breeze.
Each gorgeous stretch of beach on the Oregon coast has its own unique attractions and is a great place for some relaxation and fun.
The iconic beach along the Oregon coast is Cannon Beach, also home to the famous Haystack Rock.
You’ll find a gem at the beautiful Indian Beach, hidden within Ecola State Park. At Clatsop Beach in Fort Stevens State Park lies the most iconic shipwreck on the Oregon coast, the wreck of the Peter Iredale.
At low tide, you can walk right up to the shipwreck. If you’d like to avoid a crowded beach, Rockaway Beach has more than enough space with seven miles of sandy shore and twenty different public access points.
With so many options along the Oregon Coast, you’ll want to make sure you plan adequate time to take it all in, at least a week, minimum.
So if you like the beach and jaw-dropping landscapes, Oregon would be one of the best states to visit in July.
CHECK OUT SOME OF THE TOP-RATED TOURS ON THE OREGON COAST
5. Orlando – Florida
by Alice @ Adventures of Alice
The start of the summer vacation makes the theme park capital of the world one of the best places to visit in the USA in July for virtually anyone.
Families, couples, adrenaline seekers, shopaholics, and also animal-lovers, water babies, golfers, and even birdwatchers can find something fun to do in this diverse and varied city.
Of course, when you think of Orlando, your mind instantly jumps to Mickey Mouse and Space Mountain, much the way cities in Europe conjure up images of cobbled streets and pastries.
And there are certainly plenty of theme parks to explore. Water parks like Volcano Bay or Aquatica are much better in the warmer months because you’re able to get your tan on whilst whizzing down slides.
Theme parks like Universal and Busch Gardens over in Tampa are also well worth a visit.
But if you’re not a theme park fan, or just want to see something in the city besides a rollercoaster, there are many things to do in Orlando besides theme parks.
Visit The Escape Game, Orlando’s number one escape room, Topgolf or Hollywood Golf are both great fun and the iconic Wheel at ICON Park is Orlando’s spin among London’s most famous landmarks.
For astrology fans, the Kennedy Space Center is an educational option, while for nature-lovers, glide through a natural paradise of swamps, and marshes and view incredible wildlife on the Kissimmee swamp tours, airboat rides, or a drive-through safari.
You can also go on an hour cruise through the waterways of Winter Park or head to Florida’s west coast for SCUBA diving and the chance to see countless sea creatures in their natural habitats.
So if you love theme parks or you would like to discover all the other amazing things to do in Orlando, this eclectic city is one of the best places to go in July for a fun vacation!
Also keep in mind that for its mild climate all year round, Orlando is one of the best warm places to visit in December in the USA, for a great winter escape to summer weather.
CHECK OUT SOME OF THE TOP-RATED TOURS IN ORLANDO
6. New Braunfels – Texas
New Braunfels, Texas is a must-visit this July. This charming town is nestled along the Guadalupe River and boasts a variety of activities and attractions for the solo traveler.
Located just 30 minutes from the big city of San Antonio and 45 minutes from Austin. This is the perfect place to retreat for a weekend of relaxation or a longer vacation exploring all that the area has to offer.
Over the years this has become a hot spot for summer vacations with its proximity to the Comal and Guadalupe rivers, spending days floating down the river on an inner tube, and the nights enjoying the German food and culture that New Braunfels has to offer.
For those who want to stay active, there are plenty of options for hiking and biking in the area as well. The New Braunfels Conservation Society offers several hiking trails that wind through the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
New Braunfels is also home to several special events throughout the year, including Wurstfest, a ten-day celebration of German culture and cuisine, and Schlitterbahn’s Waterpark Resort, which features the world’s longest water coaster.
There are plenty of reasons to visit New Braunfels, Texas- from the charming German culture and cuisine to the beautiful Texas Hill Country. So if you’re looking for a fun-filled trip this summer, consider visiting New Braunfels!
7. Fredericksburg – Texas
If you’re looking for a city with a small-town feel, Fredericksburg is the perfect place for you this July. The historic district is full of charming Victorian homes and there are plenty of green spaces to enjoy.
Plus, the food scene is excellent with a variety of restaurants serving up local specialties.
The summer is a great time to visit Fredericksburg because there are so many fun things to do.
From the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, you can enjoy the great outdoors and learn about Texas history.
Plus, there are plenty of shops and restaurants in town for when you need a break from the heat.
Fredericksburg is also known for the juiciest peaches in the United States and they are in full ripeness in July.
You can find them at farmers’ markets and roadside stands, or you can pick your own at one of the many peach farms in the area.
Of course, no trip to Fredericksburg is complete without a taste of their famous peach cobbler.
Whether you’re looking for a place to escape the heat or want to learn about Texas history, Fredericksburg is a great destination.
There’s something for everyone in this vibrant german town.
8. Chicago, Illinois
by Brittany Stretchbery @ Family on Standby
I may be biased, but Chicago is one of the best places to visit in the U.S. in July. And I say that because, well, I live here.
I’m quite familiar with the changing seasons and what you can do here at different times throughout the year.
But I also do a lot of traveling so I’ve experienced many cities across the country in the summer months for great day trips from Chicago.
What makes Chicago one of the best places to travel in July is the weather, which is ideal in the summer. In fact, if you asked whether you should drop by for a visit in winter, I would not recommend it.
But Chicago in the summer has great weather! The average high in July is 82°F and the average low is 70°F. Many locations throughout the U.S. are sweltering in July, but Chicago is warm without being uncomfortable.
There are constant food and live music festivals throughout the month.
The architecture in Chicago is also top-notch. Take your picture in front of the famous Bean in Millennium Park or check out Buckingham Fountain. You can even take an architectural boat tour (perfect for the nice weather).
Also, when it comes to food, Chicago has some of the world’s best restaurants. It’s a foodie paradise. You can dine outside on rooftops and patios, which is lovely in July.
One item that should make your food list: deep-dish pizza. It’s a hotly contested debate among locals who makes it best. Lou Malnati’s – you won’t regret it.
CHECK OUT SOME OF THE TOP-RATED TOURS IN CHICAGO
by Luke, from Wild About BC
Oahu feels like the definition of an island paradise. Beautiful beaches, surfing, epic scenery, delicious food, and friendly local people all make a trip to this Hawaiian island incredible.
We fell in love with the charm and beauty of Oahu instantly and it is easily our favorite island in Hawaii.
While Oahu has pleasant temperatures year-round, it is also one of the best places to go in July in the USA.
July is one of the best months to visit as you’ll get warm, sunny weather, and this month sees some of the least rainfall all year so that you can enjoy all the amazing things to do in Oahu.
A visit to Hawaii isn’t complete without spending some time on the beach and there is no better choice than Lanikai Beach.
This palm-tree-lined beach has soft white sand and crystal-clear blue water and, in our opinion, is the best beach on the island.
It is well protected making the water perfect for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking plus you get cool views out to the Mokalua Islands.
One of the other best things to do on the island is visiting Kualoa Regional Park which you may recognize from the original Jurassic Park films.
The unique, deep ridged mountains are the main attraction here and you can even take a quad tour through the park.
You can also go surfing in multiple places around the island, snorkel with turtles or see them enjoying the sun on the aptly named Turtle Beach, plus so much more.
Oahu is such an amazing island and you’ll have no shortage of things to do on a trip here.
I am sure this 5-day Oahu Itinerary will help you plan your trip to Hawaii.
10. Portland – Oregon
by Matt @ Wheatless Wanderlust
If you enjoy the city life, Portland, Oregon, is the best place to visit in July for you, then. While it might be known for gray, drizzly days during the rest of the year, summer in the Pacific Northwest is truly spectacular.
Warm weather, long days, and blue skies make it a perfect time to spend a weekend in Portland, which is full of food carts, amazing coffee shops, and waterfall hikes.
Fly into Portland International Airport (PDX), which is famous for its retro carpet, and is just 15 minutes outside of downtown Portland.
Portland has a thriving small business economy and is packed full of countless restaurants, food carts, bars, breweries, and coffee shops.
While you’re visiting Portland, you’re definitely going to want to try the selection of artisanal donuts.
Most people point to Voodoo Donuts, which is definitely the most Instagram-friendly spot thanks to their novelty donuts. But the best donuts in Portland can be found at either Blue Star Donuts or Pip’s Original Donuts & Chai. You’ll have to try both to decide for yourself.
The PSU Saturday Farmers Market is a spectacle worth seeing, with hundreds of vendors from Oregon gathering to bring the best produce, handcrafted food products, and more to the city.
For a perfect Saturday, start there and walk downtown, stopping at Powell’s Books to explore the best independent bookstore in the city (and maybe the country) before heading to the Portland Saturday Market, which is more focused on art rather than food.
Finish the day by heading up to Pittock Mansion, which has amazing views over the city, and the International Rose Test Garden, which is home to almost 7,000 different varieties of roses.
Drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway, stopping at the Vista House and Latourell Falls on the way out, which will mean you’ll do two of the best waterfall hikes near Portland.
CHECK OUT SOME OF THE TOP-RATED TOURS IN PORTLAND
11. Yellowstone National Park
by Adriana Plotzerová from Svatbeni.cz
Yellowstone belongs among the most fascinating national parks in the USA. There are over 60 % of all the world’s geysers and about 10,000 other geothermal features. No wonder park is one of the best vacation places in the United States!
With an area of nearly 4000 square miles (8980 km²) of wilderness, it is home to bison herds, bears, wolves, coyotes, deers, and elks.
July is (together with August) the most popular month to visit Yellowstone because the weather is perfect, all of the park’s facilities are open and surrounding towns host an array of events.
You will be amazed to see all these colorful hot springs, erupting geysers, bubbling mud pots, fumaroles, and steam coming out of the earth.
The highlights of Yellowstone National Park are the Old Faithful geyser – a predictable geyser, which erupts about every 90 minutes, the Grand Prismatic – the 3rd largest hot spring in the world, and last but not least the monumental Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Yellowstone is also a great place for hiking because there are more than 900 miles of hiking trails. If you plan to some hiking or camping, always remember that you are in the bear country and follow bear-safety rules!
The easiest way to get there and explore the whole park is by your own or rented car. The closest airport is in Bozeman, Montana.
12. Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Pamela @ The Directionally Challenged Traveler
One of the best beach towns in the US is Virginia’s Chincoteague Island. Located about two hours north of Virginia Beach, Chincoteague is a more affordable (and less crowded) beach destination, making it a relaxing beach vacation in July.
You don’t have to worry about massive crowds of families or expensive bars along a boardwalk.
Chincoteague and its neighbor Assateague are a great mixture of nature and relaxing beaches. One of the best things to do in Chincoteague is to attend the annual Pony Swim Festival in July.
The Assateague Island Ponies are wild ponies that became famous due to the children’s book “Misty of Chincoteague.”
The Annual Pony Swim is a huge festival where these beautiful and peaceful animals are celebrated. The funds of the event are used to take care of the herd throughout the year.
There is plenty of nature to explore if you get tired of the beach. The Wildlife Loop Trail is a paved path for bikers or walkers where you can spot a variety of birds, plants, and even ponies.
You can also see a breathtaking sunrise above the water.
Due to its great location and distance away from the crowds, Chincoteague makes it one of the best places to visit in the USA in July.
13. Acadia National Park
by James Ian @ Parks Collecting
Acadia National Park is one of the best places to visit in the USA in July.
The park is centered on islands and peninsulas and is surrounded by water, so in the short Maine summer, it really comes into its own.
The main part of the island is on Mount Desert Island (reached over a short bridge from the mainland), with the cute town of Bar Harbor just outside the park entrance.
There is another lovely section on the nearby Schoodic Peninsula as well as several small islands that can only be reached by boat.
One of the most popular (and one of my favorite) things to do is to have popovers (a local delicacy, kind of like an eggy muffin) al fresco at Jordan Boathouse. You eat at tables on the lawn overlooking Jordan Pond and surrounding hills.
When the sun is shining, life just doesn’t get much better. This is also a major lobster fishing area, and having cheap and super fresh lobster at a lobster shack on the water’s edge is pretty perfect too!
For more active pursuits, there are amazing hikes and miles and miles of former carriage road to explore on foot or by bicycle.
You can also get out on the water on a kayaking trip, on a sailing boat, or on the ferry to the nearby Cranberry Islands. Sunsets here are especially stunning!
14. Dauphin Island, Alabama
Kiersten @ Hiking In My Flip Flops
Dauphin Island Alabama, is the perfect setting for a classic beach vacation, though somewhat unexpected and under the radar.
It’s one of our favorite places to be any time of year, but July on Dauphin Island is a little more epic.
Between the 4th of July fireworks, watching movies on the beach, and the world’s largest fishing tournament, the island is full of activity and adventure.
Spend the week relaxing on the beach in the Gulf of Mexico, touring historic sites like Fort Gaines, and paddling in the bay on the north side of the island that marks the southernmost point of Alabama.
There is plenty of fresh seafood to feast on too. Stop by one of the island’s restaurants for crab claws and fresh-caught shrimp (we like the Sunset Grill).
Or stop by Skinner’s to get some right from the fishermen.
Mid-month, the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo draws huge crowds and fishermen vying for the top prize.
The island-wide fireworks display is the most spectacular way to celebrate the 4th of July.
And after you catch Dauphin Island’s famous sunsets, there’s no better way to end the day than relaxing on the beach for a family movie after the sun goes down.
15. Sequoia National Park
by Ale @ Sea Salt & Fog
Sequoia National Park is one of the hidden gems of the California National Parks. The park often gets lost in Yosemite’s shadow, but it shouldn’t!
Not only is Sequoia home to some of the largest trees in the world, but it also does so with way smaller crowds than Yosemite, especially in the summer months.
The most famous of the sequoias in the park is General Sherman, which is estimated to be over 2,000 years old. A short, paved hike will take you to the tree – it’s the one with a line of people in front of it!
Right off the General Sherman trail, you’ll also find a trailhead for the Congress of Giants.
This is an easy, two-mile hike that will have you walking through a forest of giant sequoias.
For dramatic views, do the hike up Moro Rock. You’ll be literally climbing up a set of stairs the entire way, but the views of the valley below are worth it.
After Moro Rock, drive through Auto Log, a giant sequoia log with a big hole in the middle you can drive through. This is a perfect spot for Instagram photos!
July is a great time to visit Sequoia. After the winter and spring rains, the rivers are full, the meadows lush, and the park has great weather to boot!
Make sure you include Sequoia park in your California road trip.
Read also: Best Glamping sites in California
Nichola @ Family Hotel Expert
There’s really no bad time to visit Philadelphia but the City of Brotherly Love seems to buzz in the summer months.
Philadelphia is perfect for wandering. There’s so much to do here.
Join others by running up the steps, Rocky style, of the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Museum is full of amazing art and spectacular architecture in and outdoor.
There’s plenty of great food to indulge in while you’re in Philly from hoagies to cheesesteaks and Reading Terminal Market is the perfect place to sample a few of them.
Stay at one of the great family hotels in Philadelphia, many of them in the center so ideal for wandering through the city.
If there’s one thing it would be great to do in the summer it’s to see all the artwork scattered around the city, from great sculptures like the ‘LOVE’ one to amazing street art on the sides of buildings.
Take a walk, take it all in and you won’t be able to stop falling in love with this great city.
by Emily Dalton @ Dalton’s Destinations
Boston is one of the best places in the US to visit in July, if not for the pleasantly warm temperatures.
The vibe in Boston during the summertime is buzzing and fast-paced. Spend the day walking down the streets checking out all the busy shops and restaurants.
If you need to find a place to relax, try one of the many parks in Boston.
Best Time to Go to Boston
Boston is a great city to explore any time of year! In the summer it can get warm, the temperatures start rising from June to August.
Reaching a peak in the mid to high 80s (29 C). Take advantage of the lingering sunlight and explore Boston Harbor at night!
July is a perfect month to visit Boston. It is rich in American history! And what better way to explore the USA history in Boston than walking the Freedom Trail!
As you follow the 2.5-mile red brick line, discover 16 historical sites marking the story of the American Revolution and more!
Step back in time and experience the Boston Tea Party firsthand! Even throw your own tea into Boston Harbor!
Another great way to spend the day is taking a tour of the oldest MLB stadium! Sit in the oldest seats in the house, snap pictures from the famous Green Monster, and even sit in the media room!
Of course, when you visit Boston, you must experience their special cuisine! Some of the must-try foods in Boston include lobster rolls, Boston cream pie, Boston baked beans, and cannoli! Take advantage of the summertime weather and choose outside seating!
Luke’s Lobster – Grab a trio combo and taste the delicious lobster, crab, and shrimp roll! Order a clam chowder to complete the meal.
Mike’s Pastries – One-of-a-kind pastry shop, you will spend hours trying to decide on the many different yummy options! (Cash only).
Amorino – A perfect ending to a summer evening? A stop at a delicious Gelato shop!
CHECK OUT SOME OF THE TOP-RATED TOURS IN BOSTON
18. Grand Teton National Park
by Jessica @ Unearth The Voyage
One of the best places to visit in the USA in July is Grand Tetons National Park.
The Grand Tetons are absolutely gorgeous in July and it is one of the best months weather-wise to enjoy this national park.
There are so many different things to do in the Tetons in July, and some of people’s favorite things, such as swimming in the alpine lakes, can only happen in the summer months.
Other fun things to do at Grand Teton National Park in July include hiking, renting a kayak or boat, visiting the different viewpoints, fly-fishing in the world-class rivers, biking along the bikeway, and white-water-rafting.
One of the best hikes to do in the Grand Tetons is to Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls in the Jenny Lake area.
How to get to Grand Tetons National Park
Getting to Grand Tetons National Park is semi-easy and you can fly into Jackson Hole which is the town right next to the park.
If flying into Jackson Hole is too expensive, you can fly into Denver, Salt Lake City, or Missoula and rent a car and drive from there.
It is useful to have your own car or to rent a car because there is no public transportation around the Grand Tetons.
by Agnes @ The Van Escape
Alaska is a state for wildlife lovers and outdoor and hiking enthusiasts. In fact, you find some of the best whale watching cruises in Alaska.
The sightseeing season is short, so if you plan an Alaska road trip, July is a perfect month for your visit. The weather is the most pleasant, and it allows all kinds of activities such as hiking, kayaking, fishing trips, cruises, or bear viewing. It’s definitely one of the best vacations in the United States – one you’ll never forget!
There you can admire the highest peak of North America and hike in the wilderness. In July, it is also possible to fly over Denali with landing and glacier walk.
Kenai Fjords National Park is a place where mountains, ice, and the ocean meet. So, it’s possible to take a fishing boat trip and catch a halibut. Or taking a cruise where you observe whales and other water wildlife.
If you dream of watching bears, you can go on a trip to Katmai National Park.
In July, bears catching salmon gather at the Brooks Falls.
You will find more tips and recommendations on preparing and planning an Alaska trip in the detailed 10 Days Alaska Itinerary.
TOP-RATED TOURS IN ALASKA
20. Lake Tahoe, California
by Patricia Pagenel @ Ze Wandering Frogs
Lake Tahoe is the place to go for those looking for great outdoor adventures come summertime.
High in the Sierra Nevada mountain range shared by California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe or Tahoe as the locals call the area, offers the perfect mix of mountain thrills and water sports fun.
Do you like hiking or mountain biking? With hundreds of trails of all distances and difficulties, the national forests and wildernesses offer fantastic hiking and biking opportunities.
Among the most popular tracks, like the Rubicon Trail or bike to Old Echo Summit.
Want kayaking, paddle boarding, or sailing adventures? Emerald Bay should be on top of your kayaking plans!
July is a great month to visit Lake Tahoe, thanks to the warmer temperatures, perfect for enjoying outdoor activities.
For the 4th of July, old-fashioned parades and celebrations are usually held in the main cities like South Lake Tahoe, Historic Downtown Truckee, and Tahoe City.
The annual Lights on the Lake Fireworks is one of the most unique ways to celebrate Independence Day.
Lake Tahoe is about three hours from San Francisco, either reaching Truckee on the North Shore of the Lake or South Lake Tahoe.
An outdoor paradise both in summer and winter, visiting Lake Tahoe is one of the best destinations for adventurous things to do in California.
21. Ocean City – Maryland
by Derek and Mike @ Robe Trotting
America is blessed with extensive coastlines along two massive oceans.
This means it’s a nation with incredible beaches in some of the most amazing beach towns.
There’s nothing like a July trip to the beaches of America, and among the top destinations is Ocean City, Maryland.
The boardwalk-lined beach town is packed with visitors during the month of July, but it adds to the fun of a July trip to Ocean City, Maryland.
During the month of July, the waters of the Atlantic are warm and perfect for swimming before laying out on the warm golden sand.
The fun of the boardwalk is ideal in July when all vendors, amusement parks, and restaurants are open and ready to handle the peak of the season.
During the summer months, Ocean City, Maryland hosts free movies on the beach. You can also enjoy the elaborate Independence Day fireworks on the beach and in Northside Park.
The weather in July is hot, sunny, and generally the best of the year.
If you happen to have a cloudy or rainy day, the Ocean City Maryland Lifesaving Museum is a perfect indoor activity to wait out the weather.
Of course, many Ocean City Maryland Airbnb homes are full of indoor activities to keep travel groups occupied. There’s no better time than July to visit this gem of an American beach destination.
SOME TOP-RATED TOURS IN OCEAN CITY MARYLAND
22. San Diego
by Katie Dillon @ La Jolla Mom
July is one of the most popular months to visit San Diego. Part of the reason is that activities in San Diego for families are plentiful, and schools are out for summer vacation.
July weather is usually consistently sunny without humidity, especially toward the end of the month. We’re talking about the famous Southern California weather that you see on TV that is perfect for a quintessential beach day.
The ocean temperatures are such that one can swim, surf, and boogie board without wetsuits — and there are plenty of surfing schools that will get beginners up on a board in the same lesson.
And, it’s a dream to walk around major sights like Balboa Park, bouncing between museums, gardens, and even hiking trails under consistently blue skies.
Most restaurants have outdoor patios that are perfect for fish tacos, craft beer, and other local eats in the sunshine.
Getting to San Diego
Getting to San Diego is easy thanks to an airport located in the heart of downtown, which means that people staying in our urban core can reach their hotels in a 10-minute taxi ride.
If you do plan on hitting the major theme parks like LEGOLAND California in addition to the multiple museums and tours, you may save money with the Go San Diego sightseeing pass.
SEE MORE TOP RATED TOURS IN SAN DIEGO
23. Naples, Florida
by Disha Smith @ Disha Discovers
There are so many incredible destinations to visit in the USA in July and Naples, Florida is one of them. Located on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida, Naples is known for its pristine beaches, world-class restaurants, and relaxing ocean vibes.
You can easily reach this coastal gem by flying into Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) or you can do a road trip from anywhere in the country.
Alternatively, you can fly to Miami International Airport.
Naples is a great place to visit in July because the crowds are fewer so it’ll feel like you have the city to yourself.
July can get pretty hot sometimes, but the mornings and evenings are mild making it the perfect time to enjoy a coffee or cocktail outside.
One of the best things to do in Naples is to take a stroll along the infamous Naples Pier. Be sure to look for dolphins and other marine life.
Also, Naples Botanical Garden is a great place to be surrounded by nature. If you’re looking for quirky arts and crafts, head to Tin City.
Don’t forget to enjoy dinner at one of the amazing restaurants on Fifth Ave.
Lastly, the best beaches in Naples are Vanderbilt Beach, Clam Pass Beach Park, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Lovers Key State Park, and Barefoot Beach.
TOP-RATED TOURS IN NAPLES CALIFORNIA
24. Rocky Mountain National Park
by Meg Atteberry @ Fox in the Forest
Rocky Mountain National Park is a paradise for those who love the outdoors. There are so many amazing things to do in Rocky Mountain that you could easily spend an entire lifetime here and never get bored.
Think crystal-clear alpine lakes, rugged ridgelines, and unbelievable wildlife viewings.
Moreover, it boasts two of the most scenic drives in the United States (Peak-to-Peak Highway and the Trail Ridge Road) and over one hundred hiking trails for seasoned hikers and newbies alike.
If you’re feeling up for an adventure, you can even rock climb here or peak a few mountains like Flattop Mountain and Lone Eagle’s Peak.
I’ve lived in Colorado for over twelve years and visited Rocky Mountain more times than I can count (I even got engaged here), and still, every time I visit, it’s like I’m seeing it with brand new eyes.
July is a wonderful time to visit because it is when the weather is the warmest – snow has melted and the scenic Trail Ridge Road, which is one of the best ways to get introduced to the beauty of Rocky Mountain, is typically open.
Moreover, July is when wildflowers are in bloom, which makes the scenery even more beautiful than it usually is.
25. Washington D.C.
by Antoine and Marielle @ Offbeat Escapades
July is a great time to visit Washington D.C. The mild weather and the array of activities, both for families and individuals, is endless.
It’s the perfect time to discover D.C.’s many free monuments, museums and memorials. The D.C. National Mall is a beautiful setting for a warm summer day, where you can beat the heat by discovering landmarks such as the Smithsonian Museums or by simply, sitting out by the National Mall’s lawn with your friends.
There are also many outdoor events to look forward to such as movie screenings, jazz festivals, live music at Yards Park, and musical performances in the various scenic neighborhoods of the city.
The biggest attraction of Washington D.C. in July is, of course, the yearly 4th of July celebration called “A Capitol Fourth.”
This celebration includes a grand music festival and an impressive fireworks display in front of the U.S. Capitol.
It’s very easy to reach D.C. by plane, car, bus or train. Whichever state or city you’re coming from, there are various connections to get to the capital.
TOP-RATED TOUR OPTIONS IN WASHINGTON DC
26. Denver – Colorado
by Kara Patterson @ Destination: Live Life
If you’re looking for a great place to visit in the USA in July – look no further than Denver.
And while there are many things to do in Denver, Colorado year-round, the city is especially abuzz in the summer month of July when the weather is hot and sunny (but NOT humid).
Denver has a plethora of incredible outdoor recreational activities that are perfect to enjoy in July. Catching a hike at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is a beloved local pastime and you can even see views of downtown Denver from the trails.
Or if you’d rather stay in the city but still get outside, you can walk, run or bike along the picturesque Cherry Creek Trail.
July in Denver also brings tons of outdoor music and arts to enjoy! Depending on when you visit you can catch the Cherry Creek Arts Festival – typically held the first weekend in July.
Hundreds of artists around the world come for this 3-day festival.
And if music is more your thing, be sure to catch Denver’s premiere summer jazz music series called City Park Jazz.
This concert series runs every Sunday in July and is popular for locals and travelers alike! It’s a fantastic, family-friendly (and did I mention FREE?) activity you’re sure to love.
27. Las Vegas
Moshe @ The Top Ten Traveler
Las Vegas is a great place to visit all year long and especially in the summertime. In one word – Las Vegas is all about FUN.
No other city provides similar experiences of lights, glam, shows, and great food, and in the summertime add to all that the amazing pool parties and you are all set.
Las Vegas is not just about the casinos and a visit to this city can be fun and full of attractions.
The strip is the main street of Las Vegas, with all the big and fancy hotels. Spending time inside the hotels is a great escape from the heat outside.
There are shopping malls, exhibitions and attractions, amazing restaurants and they are all in the chilled indoors of the hotels.
Other chilled experiences can be visiting the MOB museum in Downtown Vegas or taking a ride on the Grand Wheel behind the LINQ hotel, which is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas.
You get an amazing view of the strip with a cold beer or other drinks inside the cabin. Try to book a ticket for the late afternoon and enjoy the sunset!
28. Western North Carolina
by Annick @ The Common Traveler
Escape from the heat of summer with a visit to Bryson City in Western North Carolina. While temperatures soar everywhere else, this area remains at least ten degrees cooler, sometimes more, than surrounding areas.
Fly into Asheville, NC, and drive the scenic mountain roads, including the famous Blue Ridge Parkway.
Bryson City’s star attraction is a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.
For those looking for a more adventurous outing, white water rafting on the Nantahala River is also popular.
While you have the option of combining the train ride with white water rafting, we recommend doing these separately so that you can enjoy both experiences fully.
You can also zip line over the gorge here.
For those looking for a more relaxed outing, tubing down the river is a great activity for all ages. Trailblazers can hike portions of the Appalachian Trail which can be accessed at multiple points, including Clingmans Dome, where you can enjoy views of neighboring Tennessee.
Or try your hand at fly fishing in the area’s many rivers. Mountain biking on the area’s many trails is another great activity.
Daytrips to the nearby towns of Sylva, Highlands, and Cashiers are connected by Highway 64, well-known for the sheer number of waterfalls.
There’s something for everyone looking to get away from the heat of July in Bryson City and Western North Carolina!
29. Crested Butte
Katie Chavez @ The World on my Necklace
Crested Butte in Colorado is one of my favorite places in the world, and the summer is the best time to visit in my opinion, especially in July.
In the summer months, this vibrant and pretty mountain town in the heart of the Rocky Mountains is alive with colorful flowers and is luxuriant with green.
The main street that runs through town, Elk Avenue, is full of historic buildings that have been restored and painted in bright colors and that house eclectic boutiques, delicious restaurants, and bars that spill out onto sun-filled patios in the summer months.
Spring comes late to the high Rockies and mid-July through August is the peak of wildflower season here. It is easy to get out on a trail near town to experience them.
Crested Butte is on the doorstep of one of the most scenic natural areas in the country – Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, and there are lots of incredible hikes ranging from beginner to expert that take you over mountain passes, up mountains, and through fields of wildflowers.
You will need a car to reach Crested Butte and it is a four-hour drive from Denver. The best way to get there in summer is to drive scenic Cottonwood Pass from another beautiful mountain town in Colorado: Buena Vista.
30. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
By Keri @ Bon Voyage With Kids
One of our favorite places to visit in the USA in July is Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
About a one to two-hour drive south of Boston (depending on where on the Cape you stay), Cape Cod is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, picturesque New England towns, fascinating history, and a great deal of Americana!
Celebrating the Fourth of July on Cape Cod is one of the most festive activities to do, but any time during the summer you will find a variety of activities for an idyllic summer vacation.
From spending the day on one of the Cape’s famed beaches – many of which are part of the U.S. National Seashore (part of the U.S. National Park Service) – to enjoying old fashioned activities like mini-golf, go-karts, and drive-in movie theaters, or enjoying a more natural hiking experience, Cape Cod is fantastic for families and couples alike.
You can also enjoy surfing, fishing, whale watching, kayaking, 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.
Our family loves the outstanding seafood and family restaurants, often located right at the beach, and no trip to the Cape is complete without some of their famed local ice creams.
Many of the quaint small seaside towns are great for walking around, shopping, dining, and finding great art. Our favorite to visit in Provincetown.
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.
There are plenty of accommodations to suit every style and budget, from cottage rentals, home rentals, hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts.
Our favorite family hotel is the Red Jacket Inns, located in South Yarmouth. But, no matter where you stay in the Cape, it is definitely one of the best places to visit in the USA in July.
31. Outer Banks
By Neha @ Travelmelodies
Outer Banks, the barrier islands, located off the coast of North Carolina is one of the best destinations in the US to visit in July.
With warm weather, it is best to enjoy the soft sand and sun with a plethora of activities in the region. This is the place where history was created by the Wright brothers by flying an aircraft they developed. The Wright Brothers Memorial is a must-visit to get inspired and great views of the water from the memorial.
The evenings can be well spent in the Jockey Ridge State Park with the most massive natural sand dunes of the East coast. Flying kites is like a tradition at the state park and don’t miss watching the sunset.
Unlike beaches in other cities, Outer Banks provides the thrill to ride on the beach at the Corolla and Cape Hatteras beaches. A permit is required for driving at Cape Hatteras though.
Outer Banks is a 200-mile long island and the beauty can be best explored by riding the Outer Banks scenic byway all the way to Ocracoke. Do make stops at the beautiful lighthouses in the region.
There are many vacation rentals and great hotels in Outer Banks that are perfect to stay and enjoy the beaches. But July is one of the busiest months, it is better to book the accommodation well in advance.
32. New York City
by Carolin Klein @ Happy When Abroad
New York City, the inspiring metropolis with its unmistakable skyline, yellow taxis, and shining screens, is the ideal place to visit in July.
Even though it is a big and popular city, New York City is not necessarily expensive. In fact, there are plenty of cheap hostels, restaurants, and attractions for every kind of budget.
July is the perfect month to visit New York City for many reasons. First, the weather will be warm and sunny, and second, there are numerous activities and festivals to attend in July.
These include relaxing in Central Park, taking part in a Fourth of July cruise on the East River, enjoying a typical barbecue and dance party at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as well as gazing at several fireworks.
Whether you prefer wild party nights, sightseeing tours, or culinary tours, New York City is great for everyone. No matter how you want to create your stay, make sure to not miss some of the must-see attractions in New York City.
These include enjoying the view from the Top of the Rock, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, visiting the Museum of Modern Art and the Statue of Liberty as well as taking photos of the Flatiron Building.
If you are into photography you may be interested in reading my guide to the most instagrammable spots in NYC.
👉 Grab your New York City Pass and save on the entry fees to the most popular attractions
Best Places To Vacation in July FAQs
Still trying to decide where to go in July? These commonly asked questions might help guide you!
What are the best states to visit in July?
Almost all of the United States is great for July travel – it’s one of the busiest travel months of the year in the US – but a few states that stick out are California, Alaska, and Massachusetts.
What are the best places to visit in July in USA?
Any of the destinations on this list make wonderful July vacations. A few highlights would be Chicago, New York City, Acadia National Park, and Dauphin Island.
What are the best US cities to visit in July?
There are so many options. Chicago, New York, San Diego, and Boston are all beautiful in July but so are the smaller cities, like Cape Cod and the Outer Banks.
I hope this post inspired you to find the perfect place to spend your summer vacation. If you are planning a winter getaway, instead, check out this other post on the best places to visit in the US in December to find some ideas.