9 Places to Visit in the U.S. This Summer If You Hate the Heat


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While the general feeling is that summer is the best season of all because — fun in the sun — there are plenty of people who are just miserable in the heat and would rather escape it. If you’re one of those people, we hear you, you’re not alone, and we’ve got you covered.

When everyone else is flocking to the beaches to soak up the rays, the U.S. offers a number of cool escapes where you can enjoy mild weather and have fun without sweating buckets.

Here are nine places across the U.S. that offer a refreshing breeze and an oasis from the heat of the summer.  

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1. North Cascades National Park, Washington

Average Summer Temperature: 50–70°F (10–21°C)

Dubbed the “American Alps,” North Cascades National Park makes for a perfect getaway to cool off. Just a 2-hour drive from Seattle, the park offers rugged mountain peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and more than 300 glaciers. 

By mid-July, the snow melts on the highest trails, making for a perfect chill hike at around 68 degrees. The west side of the park is cooler than the east, where summer temperatures can reach 90 degrees, according to the National Park Service

To enjoy the park’s cooler temperatures, stick to the hiking trails on the western slopes, like those in the Mount Baker Wilderness or Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest.

Image Credit: SoisudaS / istockphoto.

2. Anchorage, Alaska

Average Summer Temperature: 55–65°F (12–18°C)

Alaska is the perfect getaway for fans of mild temperatures and long daylight hours. Around mid-June, there are up to 20 hours of daylight, and with average temperatures hovering between 55 and 65°F, this northern destination is perfect for hiking, cycling, and exploring the great outdoors. 

One downside is that summer in Anchorage is also cruising season, meaning that while temperatures are mild, prices can soar. It’s wise to book in advance so you don’t end up paying more than you’d like.

Image Credit: Chilkoot/istockphoto.

3. San Francisco, California

Average Summer Temperature: 54–65°F (12–18°C)

San Francisco residents are so used to the city’s fog that they’ve named it Karl — it even has its own Instagram account. Thanks to Karl and the low-lying clouds, The Golden City rarely sees the scorching heat of summer, making it a perfect summer escape for the city mouse who hates the heat.

Pro Tip: Bring a windbreaker, comfy shoes to explore the colorful metropolis on foot, and a picnic blanket.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

4. Mackinac Island, Michigan

  • Average Summer Temperature: 60–70°F (15.5–21°C)
  • Those tired of sweating it out in a chaotic city can escape not only the heat but also the hustle and bustle of the 21st century on Mackinac Island, where 80 percent of the area is a car-free, laid-back oasis.
  • Located in Lake Huron, Mackinac Island enjoys mild summers with average temperatures in the comfortable 60s. Cars have been banned on the island since 1898 to protect the “health of the horses and the people,” and the only modes of transport are horse-drawn carriages and bicycles.
  • You can explore the island’s scenic 8-mile perimeter by bike, enjoy stunning sunsets at Sunset Rock, and explore unique geological formations. Take in the views from Fort Mackinac, and enjoy the quaint shops, Victorian architecture, and laid-back vibe of the island.
  • Image Credit: Michael Deemer / istockphoto.

    5. Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, Idaho

    Average Summer Temperature: 50-75°F (10–24°C)

    The starry-eyed traveler will appreciate some proper star-gazing in America’s first International Dark Sky Reserve in Idaho. Located in the remote Sawtooth Mountains, the reserve offers not only cooler temperatures but also some of the most remarkable night skies in the country, making it a haven for stargazers and nature enthusiasts alike.

    There are numerous campgrounds, cabins, and lodges in the area. Sun Valley and Ketchum are great nearby cities with a range of dining options from casual cafes to upscale restaurants.  There are also plenty of daytime activities, including hiking, biking, and exploring the scenic beauty of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. 

    Pro Tip: Bring a comfortable seat or blanket, a flashlight with a red light option, and warm clothing for nighttime stargazing. 

    Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

    6. White Mountains, New Hampshire

    Average Summer Temperature: 55-75°F (13–24°C)

    New Hampshire’s White Mountains offer a cool and refreshing escape from the summer heat. While lower elevations can still experience temperatures rising to 75 degrees, the higher you go, the chillier it will be. The highest points of the mountains stay covered in snow even until the peak of the summer.

    Nature lovers can enjoy the mountains’ great beauty on one of the many extensive hiking trails, including parts of the Appalachian Trail, Mount Washington, Franconia Ridge, and the Flume Gorge.

    Adventure seekers can enjoy activities like zip-lining, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

    You can also cool off with water activities like kayaking, canoeing, or swimming in the many lakes and rivers. Echo Lake, in Franconia Notch State Park, is a great spot for a refreshing swim or a paddle.

    Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

    7. Hamilton Pool, Texas

    Average Summer Temperature: 50–70°F (10–21°C)

    It may seem odd to see America’s fourth-hottest state on this list, but Texas is home to Hamilton Pool, a breezy, refreshing oasis from the sweltering heat. Located about 30 miles west of Austin, this natural pool is known for its refreshing 50°F waters and stunning 50-foot waterfall, making it ideal for cooling off in the Texas heat. Enjoy swimming in the cool waters, marvel at the grotto’s limestone formations, and hike the surrounding trails like Pedernales Falls or Wolf Mountain Trail. The park has picnic areas, so pack a lunch and enjoy a day surrounded by nature.

    Tip: Reservations are required, so plan ahead. Also, don’t forget to bring water shoes, as the rocky bottom can be slippery.

    Image Credit: wisanuboonrawd / istockphoto.

    8. Thor’s Well, Oregon

    Average Summer Temperature: 60–70°F  (15.5–21°C)

    Located on the edge of the Oregon Coast near Cape Perpetua, Thor’s Well is a spectacular natural saltwater fountain and a refreshing escape from the summer inferno.

    Thor’s Well is best viewed at high tide or during stormy weather, when waves crash into the hole, creating dramatic water spouts. For the best experience, plan your visit around the tidal schedule and always check weather conditions.

    Tip: Safety is crucial here — stay on the marked trails and keep a safe distance from the edge, as the area can be slippery and waves unpredictable. 

    Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

    9. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

    Average Summer Temperature: 50–79°F (10–26°C)

    With cool mountain air and breathtaking scenery, Jackson Hole in Wyoming is a refreshing getaway for heat haters, nature lovers, and adventure seekers. 

    Explore the numerous hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park, such as Cascade Canyon and Jenny Lake Loop, or enjoy wildlife watching, with opportunities to see elk, bison, and moose. Scenic drives, river rafting on the Snake River, and biking on the Jackson Hole Community Pathways system are also popular activities. After a day of adventure, relax in Jackson Town Square, where you can find local shops, galleries, and excellent dining options.

    This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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