The 11 best and unique places to travel in July, according to experts (2023)

Sun’s out, school’s out — it’s time to head out on vacation and July could not be a more perfect time.

Even though the weather is most likely warm wherever you call home, July can be the perfect month to travel both domestically and internationally.

When the kids are out of school you have far more flexibility, plus, you can use things like the long Fourth of July weekend to your advantage for an extra day of vacation time from work —and you only have another six months to use up all your PTO, so pack your bags!

Since we want you to get away but also not send you into a summer tourist trap, we wanted to consult some travel experts from top travel companies and hotel chains to ask the hard hitting question: where should we travel to in July?

To answer that, plus offer bookable flights and hotels, read on for answers from our experts, including Brian Povinelli, the senior vice president, brand, loyalty and portfolio marketing at Marriott International, as well as Brian Sparacino, president, and chief executive officer ofRebel Hotel Company. Let the Brian’s take it away, before you getaway this July 2023.

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  • The most popular July travel destinations 2023
  • Under-the-radar July travel destinations 2023
  • When to book July travel and other tips for summer vacations

The most popular July travel destinations 2023

Deciding where to travel can be the hardest part, once you have dates and PTO approved, of course. Leave the destinations up to our experts for 2023 and you won’t be disappointed. We asked both Povinelli from Marriott and Sparacino from Rebel where they see popular trends in 2023, and then did the dirty work of finding top-rated hotels and lodging so you don’t have to.

Povinelli’s picks:

“Resort-side, small-town locales are becoming extremely appealing for travelers this summer,” said Povinelli. “They are quaint, seaside (or lakeside or bayside), slower-paced, and let travelers step into the simplicities of life. Sausalito, Montauk, Maui, Nantucket, Tahoe, and Chesapeake are just a few places that bring travelers the nostalgia they are craving.”

Sausalito, California: This northern town is right across from San Francisco, making it both a city vacation and a more laid back one on the water. We recommend staying at Cavallo Point, a 4.5-star property right in Sausalito with ocean views and a skip away from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Montauk, New York: The Hamptons are calling our name. For a break from city life, head to the edge of the Hamptons where you’ll find Montauk, a coastal paradise. We love Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa for its views and private beach, or you can opt for a rental home and get a private condo to yourself.

Maui, Hawaii: Who doesn’t like Hawaii? For a luxurious stay, the Wailea Beach Resort is a top tier pick, perfect for those that like to stay near the beach with all the best amenities on site. You could also check out this discounted resort, with 20% off your stay at the Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows.

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Nantucket, Massachusetts: Is there an elephant in the room? Not quite, but we do love the White Elephant Hotel as a top-rated pick for a quaint stay with water views.

Sparacino’s picks:

“Regarding international travel, the “sugar high” for destinations not subject to COVID mandates began to burn off in 2022,” said Sparacino. “Attention has shifted from accessible Southeast United States to international locations with penned up demand, such as London, Paris, and Italy. Surge in demand is reflective of the soaring airline prices and hotel rates.”

London, United Kingdom: You really can’t go wrong in London. For a pet-friendly, historic hotel, check out the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, which is also located in King’s Cross for easy access to top sites.

Paris, France: If you’re feeling like Emily in Paris, why not go all the way. The Hôtel de Crillon is a great starting point, as it is seconds from the Tuileries Garden, Champs-Elysées and the Louvre Museum.

Italy: We know this is an entire country, but each city in Italy is amazing in itself, so we think you should see it all. Check out travel packages from Great Value Vacations that include multiple destinations like Rome, Florence and Venice, with hotels and transport included.

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Under-the-radar July travel destinations 2023

If you want to travel somewhere less crowded or have a more unique story to tell your coworkers when you return, we also wanted to know some forecasts for under-the-radar or up-and-coming destinations for 2023.

Povinelli’s picks:

“Weare seeing travelers flock to the Mediterranean this summer, but in a different way,” Povinelli said.“This time around, travelers are exploring road trips to experience beachside vistas, charming Italian towns, and the French countryside. Beyond the typical — France, Italy, Spain— travelers are planning itineraries that take them through some lesser-explored southern European destinations such as Portugal, Turkey, and Croatia.”

Portugal: Portugal is a stunning destination for food, culture and the sea. You can go with Lisbon and stay at the Internacional Design Hotel, which boasts a lilac facade and historic charm right in the city center. Or, opt for Oporto, or Porto in English, and stay at the riverside Torel Avantgarde, with a pool, views of the Douro and free breakfast.

Turkey: We hope you’re hungry for travel. Turkey is great for adventurous travelers, first stopping in the capital city of Istanbul at the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus and then perhaps venturing to Cappadocia to stay at the Mithra Cave Hotel with a perfect view of the iconic hot air balloons.

Croatia:For another off the beaten path adventure, our expert chose Croatia as a great trip. Head to the Dalmatian Coast and stay at the Le Meridien Lav in the city of Split for beaches and a view of the surrounding islands.

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Sparacino’s pick:

“A very under-the-radar personal favorite domestic location is Cape May, New Jersey. A Victorian beach town and one of the best kept secrets since 1700’s. It has everything – wide, white sand beaches, independently owned shops, restaurateurs, and great history,” said Sparacino.

Cape May, New Jersey: For a domestic getaway that won’t be overrun by tourists but it just as stunning, check out Cape May. The town is just over 2.5 hours from New York City and you can either opt for a private condo rental for you and your crew, or a beachside hotel with a stay at the Grand Hotel Cape May.

When to book July travel and other tips for summer vacations

Both of the Brian’s are in agreement when they say to book early!

“I think we’ve all heard about how travelers are planning more and more in advance – possibly a response to the travel rush of summer 2022. Because of this, we are seeing travelers booking up to a year prior, diving into 2024 travel even before embarking on their summer 2023 plans,” said Povinelli.

However, he also noted that if you book now, there are still some great deals to be found, especially if you are monitoring travel sites for deals, or perhaps opt for a local trip or choose somewhere during it’s shoulder season where prices will be lower and less tourists frequent come July.

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