10 Best Places to Beat the Heat

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Denali National Park, AK, offers jaw-dropping mountain vistas, wildlife—and elbow room. Oh, and temperatures average about 66 during the day and 44 at night!


Beautiful Horseshoe Lake, in Denali, is just one of the beautiful sights in Alaska's big, inviting—and extremely cool!—national park.

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Enjoy easy hikes—or get more adventurous on backcountry trails—in Denali. The crisp mountain air will remind you of spring all summer long!

San Francisco is perfectly positioned between the chilly Pacific Ocean and the immense San Francisco Bay, guaranteeing year-round moderate temperatures. In summer, ocean breezes and the city's famous fog deliver daytime temps around 67 and lows around 54.


Don't let photos like this iconic sunny shot of San Francisco's Alamo Square fool you: Summertime visitors to the City by the Bay are always pleasantly surprised at how many layers the cool temps require.

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Being surrounded by cold water on three sides has other perks besides cool weather: SF has gorgeous views just about anywhere you look.

Courtesy San Francisco Travel

For a lush, forest vacation, Olympic National Park, WA, delivers not only lovely surroundings and a relaxed pace, but it's also one of the chilliest spots in America in summer: Temperatures hover around 67 during the day and plummet to 51 at night.

Hurricane Ridge, in Olympic National Park, is one of the park's many dramatic sights. But you won't experience hurricanes here on summer vacation—just cool temps and a chance of rain.

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We love Nova Scotia, Canada, for so many reasons—the seafood, the friendly locals, and the summertime temperatures (highs around 71, lows around 55).

Nova Scotia is home to charming fishing villages and inviting beaches. The water up here is refreshingly chilly even on the warmest days.

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Hungry? Nova Scotia's seafood is renowned—and what's beautifully presented on your plate in the evening was probably hauled out of the cold waters of the North Atlantic that morning!


Hiking to a lovely waterfall may sound like a sweaty endeavour. But in Yellowstone National Park (in Wyoming and Montana), daytime summer temps average about 72—and in the evenings that mountain air drops to a snuggle-inspiring 42!

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With high elevations and plenty of mountain lakes and rivers, Wyoming is one of the coldest states in America. In summer, Yellowstone offers an endless variety of terrain to explore on ranger-guided tours or at your own pace.

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Just because Yellowstone is famous for its hot springs doesn't mean the place is uncomfortable in summer. Do check out the springs, though, for a one-of-a-kind experience.

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Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a heartland getaway that quickly transports you out of the everyday urban and suburban life and into deep, refreshing woods. Daytime highs may be around 75, and at night the firepit will call your name when temps go down to around 54.

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The Upper Peninsula is the kind of vacation spot that draws families who return summer after summer for the lakes, forests, and heatwave-beating chill.

Courtesy Pure Michigan

Seattle, WA, is one of the chilliest cities in America this time of year! Enjoy exploring this coastal metropolis in comfy highs of around 75, and pack a jacket for the evenings, when temps go down to around 56.

Some people love Seattle's cool maritime vibe so much, they live on the water in these charming houseboats.


Sparkling nighttime views of Seattle are even more memorable than the city's comfy summertime "sleeping weather."

Lonely Planet

The Pacific Ocean stays chilly all year long—that makes California beach towns like Santa Cruz, CA, absolutely heaven in summer. Enjoy the city's Beach Boardwalk on a sunny day and the temperatures will stay around 75, with evening temps going down to around 54 as the lovely fog rolls in.

Santa Cruz's beaches offer prime spots for getting out on the water in a kayak to explore the Monterey Bay and Pacific Ocean.

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Temperatures may be cool, but your blood pressure may rise alarmingly on one of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk's many thrill rides.

Courtesy Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Acadia National Park, ME, is a beautiful meeting of mountains and sea, and its northern locale guarantees a comfortable summer: Highs around 79, lows around 59.

Acadia offers families the chance to hike mountain trails and drop down on lovely Atlantic beaches.

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The Atlantic Ocean may be a bit warmer than the Pacific, thanks to the Gulf Stream, but way up here in Maine, cliffside vacationers will find the air very invigorating.

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Celebrate America's great presidents, enjoy dramatic mountain views, and beat the summer heat at the same time? Point us in the direction of Mount Rushmore, SD, where daytime temperatures average about 79 and nights drop to a comfy 59.

Highs in the 60s and 70s? Lows in the 40s and 50s? When the summer heat soars, those temperatures may sound too good to be true. But when the mercury climbs, these 10 beautiful destinations stay refreshingly cool all summer.

From Maine to Alaska, from California to Atlantic Canada, there are places not too far away that stay relatively cool all summer long. Here, our photo gallery (above) of 10 destinations to head for when you can't take the heat.


Get to know one of America's most beautiful national parks, Denali National Park, in Alaska, and the charming coastal communities in Nova Scotia, Canada. Both are cool summer getaways largely because they are so far north.


It's no secret that Northern California and the Pacific Northwest can be pleasantly "chill" even in July. Head to San Francisco or Santa Cruz, California, for a dose of ocean breeze and fog, or to Seattle or Olympic National Park, in Washington, for moderate temperatures and more summer rain than most area.


Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Acadia National Park, Maine, Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula are decidedly wild, and their northern locales tend to moderate summer heat as well.

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