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These far-flung places are sunny, but they're refreshingly far from sweltering
Escape the Summer Heat
Can’t Take the Summer Heat? Escape to These 9 Cool and Delicious Destinations
While summer is an amazing time, filled with cookouts and barbecues, sometimes it’s nice to escape the sweltering heat that makes you laconic all season long. You don’t necessarily have to go to the Tropic of Capricorn to do so, though that part of the world does provide a good number of tempting vacation options. Say goodbye to your handheld fan for a few days (or weeks) and head to these nine cool-weather destinations, where the sun is more pleasant than overwhelming.
You don’t have to travel all the way to Russia for white nights. At this time of the year, not only are the average highs in Anchorage in the mid-60s, but days include 18 hours of sunlight. Get some cupcakes at Midnight Sun Cakery, which we voted as a place to find the best cupcakes in America, and enjoy them outdoors. Try one of seven different kinds of eggs Benedicts at Snow City Café, eat pizza at Moose’s Tooth Pub (one of our best pizzas in America), get your coffee fix at SteamDot, and you should probably go salmon fishing, as this is the season for it.
The festivals alone, including the world-famous Fringe festival, is enough reason to go to the Scottish city at this time of the year. While summer is the most popular season for tourists, the inexpensiveness of food, drink, and other activities in Edinburgh make up for it. Get a taste of the local food movement at the Edinburgh Larder, feast on Scottish hog roast at Oink, and drink one of 200 whiskies at The Devil’s Advocate.
When you think of beaches, Finland probably doesn’t spring to mind, but there are many ferries that can pick you up in Helsinki and take you to a beach on one of the neighboring islands. The weather won’t be too hot, and you can witness the midnight sun, when the sun can be seen at midnight in areas near the Arctic or Antarctic Circle. Better yet, indulge in muikku, pan-fried Finnish vendace (a freshwater whitefish) that you eat whole; they are sold all over Market Square at Helsinki’s South Harbor. Enjoy classic Finnish cuisine at Konstan Möljä, a nautical-themed restaurant, and cardamom-laced blueberry pie at Vanha Kauppahalli, the old market hall. Feeling fancy? Eat at Grotesk, which we voted one of the best restaurants in Europe.
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Winter in Rio means 75 degree weather at the most, and though it is not peak season, fewer rain showers and less fog mean this is still a popular time to visit. You can eat much of the city’s best street food outdoors, or enjoy fulfilling meals at Esplanada Grill and Bar do Mineiro, which made our list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean. Botequins are casual restaurants that originated in Brazil in the late nineteenth century as a place where Portuguese immigrants could unwind, meet, and share petiscos (tapas-style plates). Make sure to eat at one of the 10 Best Botequins in Rio. You also want to see this magical city before Olympics madness hits it in 2016.
Sunny California? Not so much in temperate San Francisco. While there is definitely sun, the summer is characterized by fog, which some call the city’s “natural air conditioner.” But that shouldn’t stop you from sampling all the amazing food available in one of America’s best culinary destinations. Get something to-go at one of San Francisco’s 12 Best Food Trucks and take it to Mission Dolores Park, which happens to be one of the best parks in the world for picnicking.
The Tanzanian winter, or dry season, is not only the best time to go on safaris in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater — when you can follow the wildebeest migration — but also one of the best times to visit the beaches in Zanzibar. Expect clear skies and sun, but don’t worry about sunburns, as the weather is mild, with highs of 75 degrees. Eat in the middle of a pristine sea at the Rock Restaurant, which has exceptional architecture, and make sure to try a few of Zanzibar’s beloved coconut dishes. While no major attack has taken place in Tanzania since 1998, please exercise caution and obey safety procedures as suggested by the U.S. government.