No swimming pool? Broken air conditioner? Just tired of sweating? Angie Orth from travel and lifestyle blog AngieAway.com takes us to some of her favorite North American destinations to cool down in the hottest summer months.
The U.S. is facing one of the hottest summers on record, so if you’ve been sweating and in search of relief, fear not! I’ve put together some of my favorite destinations that are perfect for escaping the dog days of summer. Here we go!
Rocky Mountaineer in Canada
All aboard! I just returned from my second journey on the world famous Rocky Mountaineer train, and it’s becoming an annual mid-summer tradition.
This year, I took the Journey through the Clouds route from Vancouver, B.C., over to Jasper, Alberta.
The view of Banff National Park as seen from the Rocky Mountaineer train
Once in Alberta, I explored Jasper National Park including glacier-fed Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake and mysterious Spirit Island. With the wind blowing down off the icy glaciers, the weather was crisp and fresh every day. I have to say, it was nice being able to wear jeans and a sweater in July!
Denali/Mt. McKinley, Alaska
With 20 or more hours a day of sunlight during the summer months, you’d think Alaska would heat up. In reality, whether you’re on a cruise, a rail journey or just road tripping around the largest state, summer in Alaska is a refreshing experience, often much cooler than you’ll find anywhere in the lower 48. Bundle up for a whale-watching boat tour near Kenai Fjords, hike in search of wildlife in massive Denali National Park or take a helicopter flightseeing tour that lands on a glacier.
With a pleasant average of 50-75 degrees, Iceland is one of the most popular destinations to beat the summer heat. This geologically active island offers unparalleled natural beauty, from geysers to waterfalls to volcanoes to the world famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. You can also scuba dive in a drysuit or get out on the water in search of whales.
In southern Wyoming you’ll find the Medicine Bow Mountains, an arm of the Rockies that consists of 100 miles of snow-covered peaks – even in the summertime! Take the Snowy Range Scenic Byway to wind through the stunning mountains, and don’t forget to make a snowman or have a snowball fight along the way.
The high altitude makes for cooler weather year-round, though the byway is only open seasonally. As you can imagine, it gets much too snowy in the winter!
Let’s head back to Canada for the 5th destination on my list – Manitoba! Not only is the weather temperate during the summer months, but you can dive into icy Hudson Bay to snorkel with some of the 50,000 Beluga whales who take their summer vacations here. The water doesn’t get much warmer than about 50 degrees, so pack a wetsuit or a drysuit for any sea creature encounters.
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