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Summer Travel Suggestions

I travel full time and I am at a loss as to where to go this summer.

I am looking for a place that fits the following:

--in North America
--not too hot (I'm not a big fan of the heat.)
--not too crowded (with tourists)
--not too expensive
--preferably not in a huge city

I need a place to hunker down for a few weeks to recuperate from my current travels and plan my next international adventures. I prefer extended stay type hotels because then I won't have to eat out every meal.

Any ideas?

Posted by
6876 posts
  • Portland, Oregon (or elsewhere in Oregon)
  • Montana
  • Washington
  • Northern CA/ Eastern Sierras (way north of San Francisco)
  • Northern Utah (Logan area north of SLC)
  • British Columbia
Posted by
8293 posts

Maybe the Laurentian mountains north of Montreal. Usually coolish in the summer and an hour or two to drive to the city, should you need a city fix. Also your U.S. dollar will go further considering how stinky our Canadian dollar is at present. Plus there are excellent restaurants all over the place .... Quebecers know their food.

Posted by
11432 posts

One idea I had was to start in Montreal and slowly make my way up through the Maritime Provinces. I just wasn't sure how crowded they would be in the summer.

Posted by
6774 posts

Frank I would think that just about any place nice will be crowded. Also hard to predict where it will be "not too hot".
Here's some ideas: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Door County Wisconsin, Great Lakes around Duluth, Glacier Nat'l Park. Coast of Maine. Train ride across Canada. Vancouver/Victoria. Quebec. Good Luck.

Posted by
3936 posts

Well, I'll stump for Nova Scotia - tho we do get hot from about July til first week of August (I have been known to crank out the ac for about 4 weeks a year), we do have the lovely ocean breezes. Lots of beaches. Amazing little towns dot the coast - Lunenburg, Chester, Peggy's Cove, Mahone Bay on the south coast; Digby, Annapolis Royal (if you are interested in Acadian history), Wolfville on the north. Parrsboro for fossils if you like that kinda thing. Halifax of course. Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail is absolutely breathtaking - lots of hiking, Fortress Louisburg, one of Nat Geos Drives of a Lifetime a few years back (Oct is a better time for leaf peeping, but summer is great).

You could also visit New Brunswick - Hopewell Rocks, (uh - I'm horrible at NB suggestions as we only ever drive thru on our way to Take a drive across the Confederation Bridge and spend a few days travelling PEI - some much great stuff there.

Accoms may be a little hard in Cape Breton in the summer as it is popular, but not sure.

Plus - the exchange rate is killing it right now for Americans. Our dollar is worth about .78 US (tho the cc company charged us 1.32 exchange for our just finished visit to the US - groan - it was a bit of sticker shock to see that meal at Cheesecake Factory cost us $95 in our money - ouch!). So your money will go a lot further here!

Posted by
1677 posts

Another plug for the Pacific Northwest, in particular Oregon. Though it's recently been 100 degrees, summer is usually mild, especially at the coast where it can be 60 degrees when the rest of Oregon is hot. "Crowds" in Oregon are not epic compared to other places though if you really want to be away from people you can do that too. Car travel required - alas, our public transit sucks other than the Portland metro area.

You could fly into Portland (PDX) and head to a coastal city to set up camp. Astoria (2 hour drive) or Newport (3 hour drive) would be my picks. You could also set up a base in a city just outside Portland (e.g., Gresham, Wilsonville, Newberg or McMinnville). You'd be an hour or less from plenty to do - Portland city activities, food, wine country, breweries, state capitol, historic areas like Champoeg, plenty of state parks, Mt. Hood.

Or you could fly into Bend/Redmond area - it's high desert so it's "hot" but the heat is dry and it cools off at night. Plenty of outdoor activities, breweries, and our only national park about 1.5 hours away (Crater Lake). Within an hour are fun towns like Sisters (which is pretty crowded in summer, but still worth a stop).

There are plenty of ideas on the Travel Oregon website, including itineraries. Good luck!

Posted by
920 posts

I'll chime in for the Laurentian mountains. We went to Mont Tremblant between Christmas and New Year's. Beautiful country and the exchange rate is in your favor! The only negative thing I have heard about that area - bring lots of bug spray!

Posted by
8293 posts

So Frank, I agree with Nicole about Nova Scotia and the other Maritime provinces. They are beautiful and the people are friendly. But come to Quebec first!

Posted by
6507 posts

I'll chime in for the Maritimes also. I loved driving around there and there's always a coast nearby if it gets too hot. The only place I thought was overcome by crowds was at Peggy's Cove NS. Most of the other places I stayed had many tourists but not inundated. Even the biggest city, Halifax, didn't seem at all like a big city to me. So many unique and scenic places.

With that being said I also need to put in a plug for Oregon (all of it), I love it here.

Posted by
3159 posts

All of the suggestions so far have sounded great but I would put in a vote for the central coast of California because I think it checks most of your boxes. Most of the homes right along the coast don't even have airconditioning but hot temperatures can be found over the mountains in our very extensive wine country. We've got a lot of nice moderately priced restaurants and there are farmer's markets 6 out of 7 days a week in the vicinity. It's biggest downfall however would be the cost of lodging. I think it's something worth exploring however.

Posted by
2250 posts

As has been said, the Central Coast of California. We just had a great weekend in Morro Bay, and have been there many times over the years. From Morro Bay there are nice day trips up the coast to Cambria, San Simeon and Hearst Castle, and venturing further up is nothing but pristine coastline-cool and calm. Catch the sea lions on the way. For more action there's San Luis Obispo a half hour away, for less action Baywood Park and Los Osos, Montana de Oro State Park-a fabulous, easy going area.

Posted by
11432 posts

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I spent nearly two decades in L.A. so I've been up and down the California coast more times than I can count.

My initial thoughts were northern New England but now I may add some of Eastern Canada as well. (And if I do, I want to get to Saint Pierre and Miquelon so I can spend Euros.)

This trip starts in a month. Nothing like leaving it for the last minute.

Posted by
3936 posts

Just a quickie on Peggy's Cove being crowded - like anywhere, if you can go earlier in the day or after supper (say, before 10am or after 7-8pm) it will be less crowded. I think as the sun is setting is absolutely beautiful. The rocks are crawling with people of course during the busiest part of the day. And weekends are worst. Don't forget to stop and see the Swiss Air memorial and for God's sake - DO NOT go on the black rocks by the edge around the main lighthouse area - we had two tourists swept to their deaths by waves last year and already one this year. I always tell people that, so for Frank or anyone who may come visit, please heed my advice. People - especially if they aren't around water much, really underestimate how quickly a big wave can come up and sweep you off your feet.

If you like nature, a new place on my to visit list is Miner's Marsh which I believe is near Kentville - it's in the Annapolis Valley somewhere - I see so many lovely pictures of wildlife coming from there!

And if you REALLY want peace and quiet and super friendly people - go to Newfoundland. I have only ever been in the airport on a short layover, but everyone says it's beautiful.

Posted by
9885 posts

It sounds like you have a direction but I will just add if you do decide to travel in the West you may want to avoid the big National Parks. This year is the 100th celebration of the National Park Service so there has been a huge publicity campaign. As of a couple of weeks ago the Yellowstone superintendent, Dan Wenk announced that visitation was up 60% over last year.

Nicole, so sorry to hear about the loss of life. It is so shocking when tourists don't heed warnings.

Posted by
3936 posts

Pam...they are trying to make it more obvious to people...putting up bigger warning signs, placing rocks along the parking areas to funnel people past the signs. I rem some years back, they had people on the rocks holler...'please keep off the black rocks' and you can't imagine how many times in an hour you'd hear that being yelled. It would make you shake your head how people just ignore the warnings for a photo op...but that goes for many places now in this day and age...I see some man fell into one of the hot springs in Yellowstone...or the tourists trying to selfie with bison with the expected bad results.

Posted by
184 posts

We spent the summer of 2014 in eastern Canada, and had a really great time. You want a smaller town, might I suggest one we enjoyed, Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec. It's along the St. Lawrence. I can't speak to hotels there, as we were at the municipal campground, but we did enjoy shopping at the Saturday morning farmers market.