4 Outdoor Summer Destinations That Let You Escape The Heat


Okay. Yes. Summer 2018 has been a hot and fiery disaster for much of the Northern Hemisphere (I’m looking at you, California). Heat waves intermixed with flooding before the sweltering misery kicks back in has been par for the course in the eastern U.S. So what to do to keep cool(er) and comfortable on your NEXT summer vacation...and avoid being trampled by crowds?

While the much of the United States was cursing the summer heat this past July , these four high elevation spots kept their cool… and their composure! Since each summer seems to be hotter than the last, maybe now is a good time to consider a new type of summer vacation!

Need a little inspiration? These four destinations will make you fall in love with summer all over again.

 Woman Hiking a Colorado Mountain    

Breckenridge, Colorado. The highest temperature recorded in July was only 78°F, perfect for exploring Breck’s outdoors- just bring some warm clothes because nighttime temps can dip into the high 30’s. Sitting 9600 feet (2926 meters) above sea level, you’ll never have to keep the kids indoors for fear of heat stroke!

  • Go dog-sledding to help keep the sled dogs in shape in the off-season.
  • Get even higher with a hot air balloon ride.
  • Spend the day paddling at the Kayak Park in the Blue River.
  • Take the family on a tour of Country Boy Gold Mine, a real, restored mine!
  • Go horseback riding, whitewater rafting, or learn about the area on a guided hiking tour.

Denali National Park

Denali National Park, Alaska. Denali’s high temp in July was 74°F...most days didn’t even reach  70°F- perfect weather for all the outdoor fun you’ll be having. Just bring a sweater!

  • Go camping, hiking, or wildlife watching with the whole family.
  • Send the kids off to one of Denali’s summer camps and have some much-deserved grown-up time. 

View from Deer Park, Olympic National Park in Washington

Olympic National Park, Washington. Explore a *literal* million acres of rainforest inside the continental US...and never break a sweat!

  • Explore the tidepools all along the coast...have a great time
  • Stargaze at Hurricane Ridge- you can even go on a full moon guided hike
  • Experience the Hoh River by whitewater rafting through old growth rainforest


White Mountains, New Hampshire. The mercury rose all the way to 84°F (29°C) for a few days in early July, but most summer days barely hit 75°F (24°C).

Basically, if this summer has you hating life and sweating through your clothes, remember there is hope! You can stay cool and have great summer adventures in the US, provided you stick to high elevations or head north...or both! If you get creative and find some wide-open spaces, you can keep enjoying the outdoors on your summer vacations.