Between summer vacation time and built-in holidays, the urge to escape on a great summer holiday is greater than ever. So why not go all out and switch things up from your normal beach vacation?
You could spend this July hiking through Greenland, trekking gorillas in Rwanda, or celebrating another nation’s national holiday. Or, at least, if you need a beach vacation, why not venture somewhere like Mozambique? July is all about seizing the moment and making a splash.
When you’re starting to talk through your July vacation ideas, don’t be afraid to step out of the timeworn paths. These eight unexpected destinations will get you out into the world this July, while everybody else on vacation just dreams about their adventures.
When you’re going on safari, the time of year makes a gigantic difference in your plans. If you’re hoping to go gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, opt for July. At this time, there’s a minimal chance of rain and the hiking trails throughout the park will be in their best condition.
While you can celebrate Bastille Day (July 14) anywhere in France, why not choose somewhere with a view? Antibes is renowned for having one of the best bits of coast in the French Riviera. More than 10,000 people gather to watch the fireworks on the seaside promenade.
There is, arguably, no more musical place to spend Independence Day than in Nashville. Music City kicks off the holiday weekend with a hot chicken festival and keeps things going with a stable of high-class performers at the Grand Ole Opry. At the end of the day, head downtown to watch fireworks explode over the ever-growing city skyline.
Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the nation, but it’s got some of the biggest spirit come every July. Famous acts gather in Newport every year for the Newport Folk Fest. Up in Providence, several fireworks displays take over the waterfront. Rhode Island is one of those states that really commit to the season.
To see Mongolian nomadic culture at its most expressive, visit during July for the Naadam festival. The festival (which UNESCO includes on its world heritage list) is composed of three “games”: Mongolian wrestling, horseracing, and archery. But it’s not all heavy-lifting. Mongolians are famous for their parties and there is plenty of time to relax and celebrate after the games.
July marks the onset of winter in Mozambique—but it’s still one of the best times to visit the island country. The weather is about the coolest it will be all year: breezy and about 78°F. It’s also got the lowest chance of rain (although locals insist you’ll need a duvet at night).
July is a hectic month in Sicily, jammed full of festivals and events. In Palermo, the feast of Santa Rosalia takes over in mid-July. Parades cover the street in a shower of roses, fireworks alight from everywhere and food, drink and music are to be found all over until the late hours of the night.
Consider July the perfect month for Greenland initiation. The tourist regions are at their most active around this time and the weather is at its friendliest. Whales, long hikes and the promise of kayaking under the midnight sun make this one of the most popular times to visit the land way up north.