Breckenridge, Colo. from 8 "Cool" Summer Destinations Slideshow

8 "Cool" Summer Destinations Slideshow

Breckenridge, Colo.

Flickr/Aaron In Denver

Breckenridge boasts over 40 miles of biking and hiking trails fit for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors sans humidity. Cooler temperatures at higher elevations means you can skip the sticky summer feeling and enjoy mountain views over a dinner of pan-seared scallops at Relish. Go local at the Breckenridge Brewery with fine Colorado ales like Agave Wheat and Summerbright, their seasonal special. Don’t miss Rocky Mountain Cupcakes, where flavors like chocolate marshmallow and banana cream pie are made fresh, daily. 

Southern Maine Coast


Only an hour and a half drive from Boston, the sleepy seaside villages of the Southern Main Coast — Cape Neddick, Ogunquit, Wells — are a perfect alternative to vacationing in overcrowded Nantucket or Cape Cod. Soak up the sun at the breezy Ogunquit Beach, sightsee along the New England coast, or book a boat cruise to learn what it takes to catch a delicious Maine lobster. Secure a reservation at the Clay Hill Farm Restaurant, where the fresh cuisine trumps the idyllic sprawling acres around you.  

Prince Edward Island, Canada


Take solace in the summer breezes of Prince Edward Island, where the only thing you’ll be sweating is your forthcoming return to the heat. Get whipped into shape at Culinary Boot Camp at The Culinary Institute of Canada, where you can learn how to cook like a PEI local. Attend the 47th annual Tyne Valley Oyster Festival, featuring the Canadian oyster-shucking championships, not to mention the famous fried oyster and scallop suppers. 

Reykjavik, Iceland

Flickr/Cdr Aitch

Contrary to what you might expect, Reykjavik stays a cool 60 degrees in the summer. 24-hour daylight promises a full day of adventures amidst volcanoes and glaciers and you can cool off at night with a swim in one of the city’s public geothermal heated spas. For rest and relaxation, look no further than Blue Lagoon, where you can experience in-water treatments and sip signature cocktails poolside. For an eccentric dining experience, hit up Laundromat Café for their delicious Sunday brunch.

Auckland, New Zealand


We may be feeling the heat in the Northern Hemisphere, but down under in Auckland, it’s a crisp 50 degrees. That’s because from June to August it’s winter in New Zealand, which makes it a perfect summer destination for us. Auckland is home to some of the country’s oldest vineyards and we’d suggest getting a good taste at the Villa Maria Estate, home to New Zealand’s most lauded wines. Score the catch of the day at the Auckland Fish Market, where behind-the-scenes tours are offered every Tuesday, and gorge on impeccably prepared meat and seafood dishes at Clooney

San Francisco, Calif.


Look no further that San Francisco for an indelible combination of culinary delights and crisp daytime temperatures. Food and music lovers should hit the Outside Lands Festival as well as the 2011 Taste of the Bay and Wine Lands festivals. (They’re all in the same place!) Then, street food aficionados should flock to the 3rd Annual San Francisco Street Food Festival in the Mission district, where you can find local favorites Kung Fu Tacos, Wise Sons, and The Crème Brûlée Cart all on the same block. 

Cape Town, South Africa


The cool winter of Cape Town (during our summer) is akin to weather in the Mediterranean. It’s also a food-lover’s dream. First stop? Breakfast at the Mount Nelson Hotel in time to take in the breathtaking views at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Book ahead for delicious dinner and drinks at 95 Keerom before spending the day wine tasting at vineyards in nearby Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. 

Gstaad, Switzerland

Flickr/Peri Apex

Gstaad is perfect for visitors looking for cultural enticements, an unbeatable social scene, and cooler temperatures — all of which abound, even in the off-season. Attend the Suufsunntiga, a drinking festival held on Sundays in July and August, or watch locals bid at cattle auctions, a traditional alpine festivity. For some cheesy goodness, head to Saagi Stübli for the best fondue this side of the mountain.