In many parts of the globe, summer is the hottest season of the year. However, the summer heat does not stop a wide range of holidays from happening. One of the most notable is the 4th of July annual celebrations that sweep the United States. Heading a bit north, Canada Day occurs on the 1st of July, similarly filled with parades, fireworks, and barbecues. Many people decide to travel during the summer season due to the wide range of seasonal activities offered across the globe. Water sports, coastal retreats, and hiking trips are a few fun activities to partake in and destinations to hit during summer. The only question is which are the best places to visit in the summer heat?
1) Copenhagen, Denmark
The city of Copenhagen truly comes alive during the summer months. Street festivals and blooming flowers cause the city to become a vibrant, bustling metropolis. There are many cultural and recreational activities to take part in when exploring Copenhagen, such as Tivoli Gardens. This amusement park offers fun for the whole family with Ferris wheels and roller coasters designed for all ages to enjoy. There are more exhilarating rides if you are brave, such as Aquila or the ride ominously named The Demon.
In addition to the rides, Tivoli is home to several garden arrangements such as the hanging gardens, an orangery, and even a bamboo forest. As you will likely be outdoors for most of the time at this park, you will want to make sure you have a good sun hat for travel between the various attractions. Copenhagen is also home to a national museum, known as the Nationalmuseet. This impressive museum is home to many artifacts from Denmark’s past and you can find out a lot about the Vikings here. With theme parks, gardens, and an extensive historical landscape, Copenhagen makes for one of the best places to visit in the summer.
2) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is one of the most important sites in American history. The city is widely considered the birthplace of the United States. Philly is where the Declaration of Independence was signed, formalizing the split between the United States and Great Britain. You can even visit the very building the nation was established in, Independence Hall. The building is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with good reason. The Founding Fathers established the Declaration of Independence and the framework for the US Constitution in this building. Tours of the hall are free, and this is not a place to miss if you are interested in US history.
Another historical landmark within the city is the famous Liberty Bell. While the crack in the bell may keep it from making any actual noise, the inscription on the bell, which reads “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” still echoes today in the United States.
A further place of interest is the statue of the fictional boxer, Rocky Balboa, played by renowned actor Sylvester Stallone. The city of Philadelphia is the main backdrop for many of the Rocky films, though especially the first and second ones. As the film series went on to become an international success, the locations in the film would become popular tourist attractions. For example, the stairs in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art that Rocky runs up as he trains to challenge Apollo Creed, the current heavyweight boxing champion in the film, attracts crowds throughout the year. The Philadelphia Museum of Art itself is a good cultural site to visit, with many exhibits and famous works of art housed within its halls. Grab a Philly cheesesteak sandwich while learning about the United States’ history at one of the best places to visit in the summer.
3) Devon, United Kingdom
The county of Devon is in southwest Britain and is home to many beautiful beaches and towns that are steeped in history. Beaches in the county offer several aquatic activities such as paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking, and boating. These all make for wonderful ways to beat the heat that tends to come with summertime.
Devon is also home to an expansive park known as Dartmoor National Park. The park offers more outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding. Several sections of the park allow visitors to pitch a tent and camp out overnight.
4) Florence, Italy
Italy is home to many beautiful cities such as Rome and Venice, though some might argue that Florence tops them both on the looks front. While Rome is a former cultural and political juggernaut, being the capital of one of the most influential empires in history, Florence is also steeped in culture. The Piazzale Michelangelo is one such cultural work, serving as a replica of Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of David. This large statue towers over the city and serves as an arresting spectacle for first-time visitors to the city.
Another locale to visit is the Piazza della Signoria, a bustling square considered the heart of the Tuscan city. Do not forget to try some of the local delicacies. Numerous restaurants offer authentic Tuscan and Italian food. Florence is sure not to disappoint as one of the best places to visit in summer.
5) Ghent, Belgium
Often known as the ‘Gem of Belgium,’ Ghent is a very scenic destination. This is especially so during the warmer months that drive off the frigid air that usually stalks Northern Europe. Historical sites are abundant in Ghent, such as at Gravensteen, a majestic castle built in 1180. Now it is home to the Arms Museum and the Museum of Judicial Objects. Rather than various specimens of biceps on display, the Arms Museum has several exhibits that feature medieval weaponry. Meanwhile, the Museum of Judicial Objects houses several torture devices.
Another place of note is St. Bavo’s Cathedral, as this is where Charles V, an emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, was officially baptized. At the altar is a beautiful piece known as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. Unfortunately, a piece of the altar was stolen in 1934. Despite its currently unknown whereabouts, it has survived numerous other perils during its long lifespan. Ghent is a beautiful city with many cultural landmarks. It’s certainly worthy of being one of the best places to visit in the summer.
Traveling in the summer is a common occurrence. Make sure to plan and book your hotels and flights in advance. Practice common sense while traveling abroad. As some of the sites on this list are religious, make sure to be respectful during your visit. Wherever you choose to go, stay cool and travel safely!
by Catalin Geangos