Here’s to July! It’s a month that truly embraces the peak of summer with balmy weather, lots of cold beer, skimpy bikinis, juicy watermelon and of course, fireworks. But it doesn’t stop there- get out and discover all the goodness July has to offer all around the world! Here are 6 prime places to consider when traveling this month.
Pamplona, Spain is the place to be July 6-14. The festival of San Fermin is in full swing, and be prepared to run your little heart out- because the bulls are coming out for el encierro, or as many know it: running with the bulls. The mad dash starts at 8 am each morning, and if you aren’t quick enough, well, lets just say you might be one of the unfortunate ones to get the bull by the horns (see what I did there?). Afterwards, the party is just getting started. The alcohol and tasty foods are overflowing with bars pouring rounds by 9am! Bull fights start at 6:30 pm, so make sure you are ready to go hard all day!
King Salmon, Alaska
Consider walking on the wild side this month, because July is prime time for wildlife at Alaska’s Katmai National Park. The world’s largest sockeye salmon run takes place here, and you don’t want to miss out. Not interested in watching salmon swim by for hours? Yea, neither am I. But hold your horses- the best is yet to come. The grizzlies gather, and they’re hankerin’ for some fresh salmon. Watch as these majestic brown beasts frolic and feed in the crisp cold water. It’s an all American must-see, and come on, who wouldn’t want to hang with some bears?
Bears not your style? Then head over to the colorful caribbean island, Barbados for some old school tropical jubilation! The Crop Over Festival, which stretches from July to August, celebrates the end of the sugar cane harvest. Get ready for loads of drinking, parades, concerts, markets and did I mention drinking?
While Americans wrap up their Independence day on July 4, continue to party on in the name of freedom by traveling to Paris for Bastille Day on July 14. This fateful day marks the start of the French Revolution when the Bastille prison was stormed in 1789. Indulge yourself in all things Independence- French style. Dances, fireworks, concerts and parades will be in abundance. Don’t miss out on Bal du 14 juillet- A massive dance party held where the Bastille prison once stood.
I you are looking for exceptional hiking and outdoor excellence, then Iceland is the place to be in July. The weather is perfect- not too hot, not too cold, and the days are longer with the sun setting around 11PM and rising around 3:20 AM. Don’t worry about obnoxiously large crowds, though July is the time to travel, Iceland never gets jam packed with tourists. There is so much room (and time) for activities! Enjoy horseback riding, snorkeling and whale watching. Explore areas like Hornstrandir and the barren interior, which are usually difficult to access during the year.
Missouri River Breaks, Montana
Experience American beauty at its finest during the month of July, traveling along the 149 mile stretch of the upper Missouri River in Montana. Explore the land that Lewis and Clark once trekked, and lose yourself in the rolling golden prairies and rugged sandy canyons that define this monumental preserve. Inaccessible by road, plan to travel by canoe and enjoy the serenity. There is plenty of wildlife bustling about during this time, such as elk, prairie dogs, coyotes and bison to name a few. You can even camp along the river at one of the genuine sites used by Lewis and Clark.
Courtney is a full-time writer covering soccer, travel and the outdoors. You can find her scouting out hole in the wall joints for the perfect carnitas taco, jumping in the ocean under the light of a full moon or exploring the beautiful Florida wilderness and documenting her adventures in her blog, www.localtravelgal.wordpress.com.