From relaxing on the beach to hiking in the mountains, July is one of the most popular months for a longer vacation. Couples can choose from romantic inns, relaxing spas and golf resorts. Families often put lakeside or beach destinations like Hawaii on their dream list in the summer, where kids can splash in the water and parents can enjoy some time to themselves. Trips to Europe should not be overlooked as well - you can enjoy warm weather and long days. Our list includes great options in the U.S. and around the world.
»Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island, located at the intersection of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, is a popular summer tourist destination. The entire 3.8-square-mile island is a National Historic Landmark. Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island offers families a diverse selection of activities, accommodations and restaurants where kids under 12 eat free with a paying adult. The Kids Club, open to children 4 - 12 years old, is the place to learn to play croquet, go swimming in the pool, build a kite, hike and play miniature golf. Resort activities include golf, spa treatments, ghost tours, tennis, bocce ball and biking. Family travelers have access to spacious two-bedroom suites, some with private hot tubs.
There are several great dining options at the resort. Round Island Bar & Grill offers all day family dining, Chianti serves Italian food and Bistro at The Greens serves a Tapas style menu with a view of the Straits of Mackinac. If you are in a hurry to get going in the morning, grab some take-out at Lakeside Marketplace, including pizza, sandwiches and ice cream. Family suites start at $169 per night, rooms from $99. The resort is open from May through October (800-833-7711, website).
If you are planning a trip to the Adirondacks in New York, The Sagamore, a luxury resort on Lake George, offers golf, spa services and a program for kids. Children under 4 may attend with a hired babysitter. The Teepee, the children's program, offers a variety of supervised activities, including an authentic 18-foot teepee, outdoor playground, beach, clown shows, nature walks, Olympic games, sand sculptures and tennis. The Teepee Club is available seven days a week from July 1 through Labor Day and during Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and President's Week. You can choose from a half-day program ($25 per child), a full-day program ($45) or the evening program ($45). For reservations, contact the hotel concierge at 800-358-3585 Ext. 5100.
»Tyler Place Family Resort in Vermont
Tyler Place Family Resort is an all-inclusive summer getaway located on a scenic lake in Vermont. About four hours from Boston, the resort is a playground for kids and adults. Children participate in age-specific programs and activities, including swimming, fishing, rock climbing, tennis and kayaking. Parents can take yoga classes, archery, go biking, practice golf on the driving range, or relax in a hammock. Families are accommodated in 70 cottages and suites featuring family-friendly design with separate parents' and kids' bedrooms, screened porches and plenty of privacy.
In the evening, there is a cocktail party where you get to meet other guests. Families often return during the same week each year so that children form lasting friendships. You will get to enjoy fresh farm-to-table cuisine, vegetarian options and amazing chocolate desserts. Throughout it all, you won't have to worry about charges for activities and dining because everything is included. All-inclusive 7-night rates start at $3,563 per week for a family of four, including three meals daily, snacks and activities (802-868-4000, website).
»Golf at Cranwell in the Berkshires
Get away for a weekend of relaxing treatments at the spa, championship golf in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter at Cranwell Resort in the Berkshires. Measuring 35,000 square feet in size, wellness center is one of the largest in the Northeast. In the winter, book one of the 58 rooms which are linked to the wellness complex via heated glass corridors. There are 16 treatment rooms, fitness center, a 60-foot indoor pool and 20 foot high glass windows with views of the Berkshire Mountains. In addition to its beautiful 18-hole golf course (greens fees from $94 on summer weekends), there is also the Golf Digest School. The golf school offers a great selection of practice facilities, including target greens, bunkers, putting areas, driving fairways, chipping/pitching stations and three practice holes, giving you a chance to improve your game. In the winter, the property offers 6 miles of scenic cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails. The Ski Center offers Rossignol Ski Touring rental equipment and Tubbs Snowshoes.
Beginners, weekend golfers, and advanced players can all improve with practice and a little help from professionals. Hone your skills at the 60-acre learning complex. Facilities include a driving range, three video viewing rooms equipped with the state-of-the-art computerized analysis systems, an indoor filming studio, and an 18 hole course originally built by Wayne Styles and John Van Kleek in 1926. Clinics are offered in one, two and three day courses. Rates range from $399 for a 1-day commuter only class to $1,299 for a 3-day course. Contact the resort for more information on the school. The property is located 150 miles from New York and 135 miles from Boston, which makes it a great weekend getaway from both cities. The resort is especially popular with couples in the summer. Weekend rates start at $225 per room in the winter; from $325 in the summer. If you can get away during the week, rates are much lower, starting at $165 in the winter; from $265 in the summer (800-272-6935, 413-637-1364, website).
»The Royal Scotsman: The Ultimate Train & Cruise Tour
The Royal Scotsman and Hebridean Island Cruises team up to offer the ultimate Scottish adventure. Visit the Highlands on the historic train, touring historic sites such as Ballindalloch Castle, Rothiemurchus and Glamis. Then enjoy a five- or seven-night cruise of the remote Scottish Isles. Different itineraries will be offered throughout the year, including stops in Tobermory (Mull), Stornoway (Lewis), and the Isles of Harris, Barra and Skye. The train winds through the wild and romantic Scottish countryside, featuring deep-green forests of pine, remote castles, small villages and meadows dotted with sheep. Guests disembark to visit handpicked attractions and receive personal tours by a local laird. Hebridean Princess accommodates 50 guests and has a feel of a private yacht. A staff of 38 provides luxury service that has been so well received that 65% of all guests are repeat bookings (+49 (0) 221 33 80 300, website).
»Hotel Captain Cook in Alaska
Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, Alaska, has three restaurants, a fitness club and meeting facilities. Explore the stunning beauty of Alaska from this comfortable base in Downtown Anchorage on your adventure. There are 547 rooms, including 96 suites overlooking the Cook Inlet, Chugach Mountains, the city and Mt. McKinley. Treat yourself to an in-room massage offered by the hotel's massage therapists. Choices include Swedish, deep tissue and sports massage that has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve circulation. The Captain's Deck on 16th and 17th levels of Tower II offers its guests extra perks, including full breakfast, nightly hors d'oeuvres, and a well-stocked juice and soft drink bar in the lounge. Rooms start from $265 per night (907-276-6000, 800-843-1950, website).
»Hotellerie De Mascognaz in Valle d'Aosta
Hotellerie De Mascognaz is a unique mountain getaway in Valle d'Aosta, surrounded by mountain peaks and meadows. Plan a unique adventure to Italy. The chalet has a relaxation center with a Jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath. Massages and Shiatsu treatments can be booked in advance. Activities in the area include skiing in the winter, and hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking in the summer. The inn has seven double rooms furnished in a cozy rustic style with handmade beds and warm fabrics. Guests looking for more space can reserve the Monte Rosa Suite, a transformed antique barn with a fireplace and stone and wood decor. Restaurant Lo Peyo serves regional dishes in rustic surroundings (+39-0125-308734, website).
»Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge in Alaska
Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge in Alaska is an adventure getaway where eco-counscious travelers can relax surrounded by nature. The hotel is located on a privately owned, remote beach inside Alaska's Kachemak Bay State Park, 10 miles by boat from Homer, Alaska, the "Bear Viewing Capital of the World." The property was built from driftwood that was milled by hand into lumber. The property is run entirely on wind and hydro power. The property consistently receives rave reviews for its ambiance and service. Rates start at $450 per guest per night, including meals and activities (888-238-7234, website).
»The Lodge at Stillwater
The Lodge at Stillwater is an outdoor adventure getaway in Heber City, Utah, featuring an outdoor heated pool, three jacuzzis, and fitness facilities. The Heber Valley Railroad offers a tour of the area aboard a steam-powered train. There are 174 rooms, studios, one-, two- and three bedroom suites. Travelers can prepare their own meals in the fully equipped kitchens. Guest accommodations have a fireplace and internet access, so you don't exactly have to rough it on your adventure. Room rates start at $169 per night (435-940-3800, thestillwaterlodge.com).
The Breithorn Hotel is located in northern Italy in the town of Champoluc in the famous Valle d'Aosta. Summer activities include mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing, and paragliding. There are 31 guest accommodations. The Double Deluxe Rooms are located in the historic section and are filled with antique wooded furniture. The Prestige Rooms are ideal for a family or a group trip. They are located on the fourth floor and have a spacious layout that can accommodate four people.The Junior Suite has a fireplace, wood paneling, DVD player and hydromassage. The restaurant serves a homemade buffet breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner, along with over 150 different choices of wine. The easiest way to get there is by car which you can rent at the airport in Milan, Venice or Triest. A Classic Room with breakfast is €75 in the summer season. Prestige Rooms start at €110, including breakfast (+39-0125-308734, website).
»Franz Klammer Lodge in Telluride
Stay at the stylish Franz Klammer Lodge in one of the luxury two- or three-bedroom residence. Telluride in Colorado is famous for its winter and summer festivals, great skiing and many other outdoor adventures. The property is near the ski lifts, golf course, shopping and dining. The two-bedroom residences measure 1,400 square feet in size and the three-bedrooms measure 1,800 square feet. You will have your own living and dining area with a natural gas stone fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen, two master baths with jetted spa tubs and a private balcony. While the lodge does not have its own restaurant, you will be near many cafes and restaurants in Mountain Village. There is pre-arrival grocery shopping service which lets you stock your kitchen with your favorite items. Packages at the lodge start at $475, including lift tickets, complimentary airport transfers and other perks.
»Unreal UFO Guesthouse at Treehotel in Sweden
When you set your eyes on this cleverly-designed guesthouse at Treehotel in Sweden you will think that aliens really have landed. A miniature version of the spaceship that picked up ET, the UFO guesthouse has two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living area. This is a fun getaway for families as well as couples looking for something different. The property is located in Lule River valley in Sweden, surrounded by beautiful forests and a scenic river. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, sauna and relaxation area, TV, and internet.
There are several uniquely designed guesthouses, all elevated 4-6 meters above ground. The buildings are sustainably built in harmony with the surrounding nature by the leading Scandinavian architects. There are a total of 24 guest rooms to choose from, each more imaginative that the other. All of the furniture and lighting is custom designed. Guest accommodations have environmentally-friendly combustion toilets and water-efficient sinks. Depending on which room you book, it will be accessible via a ramp, bridge or electric stairs. This is a year-round adventure destination with seasonal activities that range from hiking, fishing and moutainbiking in the summer to dog sledding and northern lights in the winter. If you time your visit right, you can experience the spectacular fall foliage display around the historic Lule River. The tree sauna and the healing steam baths offer an experience not to be missed. Rates start from about US $575 per night. Look for seasonal offers for families and couples on the hotel web site (+46 (0)928-104 03, website).
More July Vacation Ideas
If you are looking for a quick weekend getaway from an East Coast city, head to The White Elephant Hotel on Nantucket which has rooms with harbor views and a relaxing spa. The Basin Harbor Club on Lake Champlain in Vermont offers 700 acres of outdoor fun, including golf, tennis, kayaking, fishing and many other activities.
Take in the cultural sights in Edmonton, Canada while staying at the stylish Fairmont Hotel Macdonald which has a spa, pool and a separate children's pool. A summer getaway at Canyon Ranch Berkshires will let you stay active, relax and learn about healthy cooking. This destination spa offers all-inclusive specials with daily activities, workshops, accommodations and meals included in the cost of the stay.
Caribbean resorts offer off-season summer deals in July, which may include free nights, spa discounts and flight packages. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman offers the Ambassadors of the Environment by Jean-Michel Cousteau, a spa, golf and stylish guest rooms.
July is a great time to reconnect with your partner by planning a romantic summer getaway. Post Ranch Inn offers incredible ocean views, romantic guest accommodations and a spa. The Lodge at CordeValle in Northern California features golf, a spa and spacious bungalows.