The record-high temperatures recorded so far this summer have led to a record-breaking number of complaints about the heat. So MyWeather.com came up with a list of the coolest places for a family vacation. While the website was looking for the coolest places, literally, the list includes some of my personal favorite spots for a (figuratively) cool family vacation.
The following locations were chosen based on consistent and appealing summer weather, awesome attractions and an array of other appeals that offer something for all types of travelers:
Breckenridge, Colorado – Average July High: 73°F
Colorado rocks in the summer, especially for those of us who aren’t big fans of snow. For an action adventure family vacation, you can’t beat the hiking, biking, swimming, whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities. And, of course, you can still take a gondola or ski lift ride. MyWeather.com says the town has 300 days of sunshine annually.
Upper Peninsula, Michigan – Average July High: 73°F
What’s cool about it: With more than 150 waterfalls, 40 lighthouses, and a terrain that’s perfect for camping, boating, fishing and other outdoor activities, Upper Peninsula boasts 1,700 miles of shoreline along three of the nation’s five Great Lakes. Want to be adventurous? Try taking a glass-bottom shipwreck boat tour. Or you can take a ferry ride across to Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw) for a taste of life as it used to be in the days before cars clogged our streets. On the island, you bike, walk or take a horse-drawn carriage. No cars allowed.
San Francisco, California – Average July High: 68°F
COol summer temperatures are a shock to first-time visitors to this city by the bay. Friends who used to live there admitted that it was a making fun of shivering tourists is a favorite pastime for locals. Besides being home to Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Ghirardelli Chocolate Co., San Francisco has the coolest daily summer temperatures among major U.S. cities, MyWeather.com says. In fact, a popular quote (incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain) notes: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” While wine country and Fisherman’s Wharf are popular tourist destinations, the Monterey peninsula is a less traveled side trip. Though it may be summer, be sure to bring plenty of layers–or plan to buy a new sweatshirt from of the many vendors ready to serve you.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Average July High: 81°F
Another one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park make Jackson Hole a great family vacation destination. It’s also a mecca for whitewater rafting fans–and people who prefer a slow float down the river. Or you can stay dry and hike, bike or climb. Wyoming’s daytime temperatures run in the 70s and 80s in the summer, but the air cools quickly after sundown and humidity is low year-round.
Portland, Maine – Average July High: 79°F
What’s cool about it: With the Atlantic coast and Appalachian Mountains only a 45-minute drive apart, Portland has the best of both worlds. There’s also fine cuisine in between as Bon Appétit recently dubbed Portland the “Foodiest Small Town in America.” With tours to help you sample culinary delights by foot or by trolley, Maine’s seaside climate creates cool breezes and temperatures which are comfortable and with low humidity all summer long.
Olympic National Park, Washington – Average July High: 73°F
What’s cool about it: Located on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, this million-acre national park encompasses three major ecosystems ranging from rain forest to snow-topped mountain peaks. Here you can walk, backpack, camp, or fish, as well as participate in one of the many ranger-led programs. Summers are fair and warm with highs between 65-75 degrees. Little rain falls during the summer months, although the low valleys are foggy in the morning.
Chena Hot Springs Resort, Alaska – Average July High: 73°
What’s cool about it: Located 60 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska, Chena Hot Springs features legendary healing mineral waters, a renewable energy tour, and a working dog mushing kennel. To keep cool you can also visit the Aurora Ice Museum. Maintained by world ice art champions Steve and Heather Brice, the museum began as the only ice hotel in the Americas. Summer days are breezy, dry and warm – perfect for boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities. The area has less than 12 inches of annual rainfall.
MyWeather.com delivers personalized weather reports online and on the go. MyWeather launched its flagship website in May 2011 along with free apps for the iPhone and Android devices. MyWeather is a new consumer brand from Weather Central, which provides interactive weather graphics and data services for television, Web, and mobile.