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Best Destinations In The U.S. To Escape The Summer Heat

Depending upon where you live, the summer temperatures can get brutal. Some regions of the country can experience consistent temperatures in the high 90s and often into the 100s. Though many welcome the summer temperatures after a long winter, the extreme highs can make someone want to escape to cooler temperatures. There are many regions in the U.S. that remain cool year round, including during the hot summer months.
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Denali National Park

Denali National Park offers beautiful views of vistas, is home to amazing wildlife and offers the perfect escape from the summer heat. Temperatures during the summer months tend to hover in the mid 60s during the day and dip down into the low 40s at night. During your visit you will be able to breathe in cool, fresh mountain air no matter what the time of the year.

With six million acres to explore and the delightfully cool temperatures, it is no wonder that Denali National Park is one of the best places to escape the summer heat. Summer visitors can enjoy various activities including hiking along back country trails, visiting the sled dog kennels, biking, flightseeing, sightseeing bus tours, backpacking, climbing Denali and hunting. Points of interest include Horseshoe Lake and Mt. McKinley.

Visitors wanting to stay within the Denali National Park will have to rough it, because there are no Park Service-run accommodations within this national park. However, there are six established campgrounds, some which accommodate RVs. Depending upon what you are looking for in lodging accommodations, you may want to look outside of the park. There are many local lodges and hotels that will still keep you close to all of the action that Denali National Park has to offer.

The hotels that are nearby the park entrance include:

If you are looking for a place to grab a bite to eat, you will find a few select restaurants, cafes and coffee houses in the area. Area places to eat include the Lynx Creek Pizza, Alaska Fish & Chip Co., Black Diamond Grill, Cabin Nite Dinner Theater, Denali Park Salmon Bake and McKinely Creekside Café.

Related: How To Rent An RV For A Family Vacation

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Olympic National Park

With summer temperatures hovering around the high 60s and dipping down into the low 50s at night, it is no wonder why so many love to escape the heat and visit Olympic National Park in the summer. There are so many things to do in the summer among the 922,000 acres at Olympic National Park, including picnicking, strolling along the beach, hiking Hurricane Ridge, birdwatching, fishing and various tide pool activities. You can also take an audio tour, go climbing or take a ranger-led program.

There are many different lodging options both at Olympic National Park and the surrounding areas. You can stay at the Lake Crescent Lodge within the park, which has lodging options, plus camping for both RVs and tents. The only campground within the park that takes reservations during the summer is Kalaloch. All of the others are first come, first served. Other area lodging options include Quileute Oceanside Resort, Lake Quinault Lodge, Quillayute River Resort and Red Lion Hotel.

While visiting Olympic National Park, you will find a variety of restaurants to enjoy a meal. Plus, many of the local restaurants offer carry-out services making it possible to take your favorite entrees with you for a nice picnic at the park. Popular restaurants near the Olympic National Park include Blondie's Plate and Toga's Soup House Deli & Gourmet.

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San Francisco

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, San Francisco offers beautiful year round weather, including cool summer temperatures perfect for escaping the heat. Because San Francisco is surrounded by the cold water of the ocean and the bay, the weather and temperatures are moderate throughout the year. Summertime in San Francisco brings daytime temperatures in the high 60s, however you will feel a cool, gentle ocean breeze all day long.

There are several summer festivals in San Francisco, including the North Beach Festival, San Francisco Pride and the Fillmore Street Jazz Festival. Other summertime activities in the area include exploring Golden Gate Park, visiting Paxton Gate, relaxing at Flora Grubb Gardens, crabbing, picnicking, kite flying, brewery tours with the San Francisco Brewers Guild or watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

San Francisco is home to many boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts and a variety of hotels. Some of the best places to stay while visiting San Francisco in the summer include:

In addition to the many places to spend the night in San Francisco, you will find a unique variety of dining venues, including everything from casual to fine dining. Top restaurants in San Francisco include:

Related: Have A Romantic Vacation In San Francisco

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Upper Peninsula

Get outside and enjoy the refreshing woods and beautiful landscapes found in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The daytime highs hover around the mid to low 70s and evening temperatures are in the low 50s. You are sure to see why this area draws families on vacation year after year. During your visit, enjoy the beautiful lakes and forests to explore as you beat the summer heat. While visiting the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you can also enjoy a variety of activities that include glass bottom shipwreck boat tours, visiting lighthouses, seeing historic sites, playing at a casino and much more.

While vacationing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan you will have a variety of accommodations available, including hotels, resorts, campgrounds and bed and breakfasts. Top places to stay in the area include:

With so many dining options in the Upper Peninsula area, you are sure to find something to enjoy. Even if you are a picky eater. Some of the top restaurants in this area of Michigan include The Driftwood Restaurant & Sports Bar, Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub, Sydney's Family Restaurant and the Threefold Vine Winery.

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Enjoy time in Seattle, where you will be surrounded by a coastal metropolis. Summer temperatures average during the day in the mid to low 70s and dip to the mid to low 50s at night. You are sure to enjoy your time in this charming area filled with houseboats and plenty of things to see and do. Things to do in Seattle include seeing the Space Needle, riding the Seattle Great Wheel, exploring the EMP Museum and getting the best view of the city from the Columbia Tower Observation Deck.

When planning a vacation to Seattle, you will find a variety of accommodations to fit all vacation and budget needs. Some of the area's top places to stay include:

When looking for a place to dine, you will find a nice variety of cuisine options, including seafood, Italian, pizza and just about anything you may have a craving for. Popular restaurants in the Seattle area include Anthony's HomePort, Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar, Bar Sajor, Cutter's Crabhouse, Dahlia Lounge, The Lucky Diner, The Pike Brewing Company and The Triple Door.

So the next time you are feeling overwhelmed by the hot summer sun, make plans to escape the heat and visit one of the top places in the country to cool down. You are sure to find plenty of things to do and will be happy to finally sit back, relax and cool off.

Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions - writing and travel - to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at
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