While there are excellent destinations in the northern hemisphere to visit in the month of July for a summer vacation, the southern hemisphere promises a great July-winter if you are looking for a relatively quiet holiday and wish to avoid the teeming European beaches, peak- season ticket & accommodation prices.
We have made an attempt here to pick the best from both halves of the world for you to choose from as your holiday destination this July. So here we go!
Queenstown, New Zealand – Fantastic Skiing and Great Winter Festival
A picturesque town in New Zealand’s South Island, Queenstown is located on the banks of Lake Wakatipu with snow-capped peaks of the Remarkables rising sharply on the opposite side of the lake from the town, creating an awe-inspiring backdrop for the calm waters of Wakatipu.
The ski season starts in late June and coincides with the 10-day Queenstown Winter Festival full of fun activities brought to you from the best of Queenstown’s community –music, comedy, family activities, spectacular night-time fireworks against the starry skies and street parties galore.
The ski fields in the Remarkables and Coronet Peak are not too far away and you can either drive or take a transit bus ride for the short trip. If you are planning an extended stay, you can also head over to Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone near Wanaka.
California, USA – Celebrate 4th of July by the Beach
Although American independence is celebrated on the 4th of July across the length and breadth of the United States, there is no place better than the California coast to kill two birds with a single stone – join in the fun and celebrations and get some beach action going at the same time.
Virtually every coastal town and city in the Golden State offers some kind of festivity in celebration of the nation’s birthday and, of course, the great Californian weather is the icing on this Independence Day cake.
Most of the beaches in Los Angeles have their own fireworks together with a plethora of fun activities, for grownups and kids alike – all through the day – with grownups continuing the celebrations well into the night at bars and nightclubs.
San Diego is another great place in California to enjoy the 4th of July celebrations with a spectacular pyrotechnic show in the bay area which can be viewed from several vantage points in the city.
For those looking for some peace and quiet, there are hundreds of tranquil stretches of beaches in California to enjoy a picnic and witness the natural and colorful fireworks of the setting sun.
Alaska, USA – The Salmon Run
There is no better time than summer to enjoy the natural, rugged beauty of Alaska in all its glory. It is the ideal time to explore the breathtaking wilderness of this remote American state with its lofty peaks, gigantic glaciers, and all-encompassing lush forests with abundant wildlife thriving all around.
Alaska, the largest U.S. State by area, is home to over 98% of America’s brown bear population and a great destination for wildlife aficionados.
July not only attracts the sockeye salmons to the Katmai National Park – where they come to spawn and die – but also huge numbers of brown bears that come to feast on them and fatten up for the long winter months ahead. The viewing platforms at the Brooks Falls are excellent vantage points to witness the hungry bears fighting for space to intercept the leaping salmons swimming upstream.
Tanzania & Kenya – The Mara Crossing
In May every year, about 1.5 million wildebeest, and hundreds of thousands of zebras, antelope, Thompson’s gazelles and other grazing animals of Africa begin their annual migration in search of greener pastures – literally – from the scorching, arid plains of the southern Serengeti in Tanzania to the lush open grasslands of the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.
The 800-kilometer journey across raging rivers, deadly lakes, and open land is fraught with danger all along. Predatory animals on land and hungry crocodiles in the waters are instinctively tuned-in to this migration and wait for this time of the year along the migratory routes in anticipation of the feast about to come their way.
July offers the most spectacular moments for wildlife photographers and enthusiasts when the moving multitudes have to cross the Mara River to get to the other side which promises abundance.
Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and other animals fall prey to the crocodiles and land predators, mostly lions, in this mass exodus, which is noted as a wonder of the world. However, the populations do not deplete as the animals breed in the hundreds of thousands after the cross overcrossing.
This great city in the southern hemisphere can get really chilly in July as it falls in the middle of the Australian winter. However, Melbourne is made for winter as the city comes alive with food festivals, theater and art shows, cozy pubs and mulled wine, markets and what not.
Here’s a list of all the spots in Melbourne that are excellent places to check out in winter.
River Rink in Fed Square – Ice skating comes back to Fed Square for a month this winter. Running from 10 am-10 pm daily
Southbank – The Common Man restaurant and bar on Dukes Walks are back with their riverside ice rink and toboggan slide from June 1 to August 31 this year. Dubbed Slide, Skate, and Chill, the winter park by the river is on every day of the week all winter.
Queen Victoria Winter Night Market – The annual Queen Victoria Winter Night Market is back this winter, making Melbourne’s cold months more bearable with a killer line-up of food, design stalls, and performances.
Finders Keepers Market – What started as a cute 25-stall operation is now a three-day extravaganza with over 250 handpicked design and art stalls. It’s Melbourne’s original emerging designer market.
Batman Night Market – Check out the great line-up of food trucks, arts and crafts stalls, live performers and street food vendors
Other markets worth a visit are the Arts Centre Melbourne Sunday Market, Boroondara Farmers’ Market, Carlton Farmers’ Market, Slow Food Melbourne Farmers’ Market, Veg Out Farmers’ Market and others.
Cape Town, South Africa
July is the best time to get fantastic value for your money in Cape Town — July is off season, and there are tons of ways to enjoy the city on a budget. The crowds are thin this time of the year and you’ll feel like you have the entire city to yourself. Take your time dining at all the best new restaurants, visiting the markets, and touring the avant-garde galleries.
In this Croatian island town, there are gorgeous fortresses and ancient theaters to explore, beautiful beaches for picnics and relaxation, and family-run wineries to visit.
European heirs and heiresses make a beeline for this scenic island in summer, arriving on their well-appointed yachts and partying in the trendy bars around town.