Where should I go this summer (that won't be excrutiatingly hot)?

I know, I asked you guys to tell me where I should go for my winter break and then I didn’t take any of y’alls advice, but I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me and consider my question anyway.

The Man is freeing me from my bondage in Bulgaria on July 1, and I want to go somewhere, for probably two or three weeks. At first I wanted to go to India, but then I looked at the weather prospects. 45 degrees and then the monsoon comes? Maybe another time. Tell me, Doper Oracle, where should I go?

Some limits:

  • Although I don’t mind dropping a few hundred dollars on the plane fare (and I could depart from Bulgaria or from California), once I get to my destination I’d like it to be quite cheap.

  • I like trips with cities and museums and meeting new people and interesting historical things.

  • I don’t want to go somewhere excrutiatingly, painfully hot. Ordinary heat is okay, but once we’re over 40 degrees (103 F, I think), it’s no longer fun.

  • I’d like to go to a part of the world I’ve never been to. I’ve travelled quite a bit in Europe and the Middle East, so…some other place.

I’m kind of thinking South America, but I’m not sure where would be best.


Australia – it’s winter there in July, and the southern parts are reasonably cool. You can even go skiing in some of the mountains.

I’ve been to Chile, it’s very nice. If you might be in California-why not British Columbia, and the North Western US? I have heard it is very pretty.

How about Mexico? Not the beaches. I’m a Texan; if I want heat, I’ll stay home.

But there are interesting small cities in the highlands. History, art, architecture, etc. Easy flying distance from California & not very expensive.

I’ve only spent much time in Guadalajara–a large city with a colonial heart. Consider the Hotel Frances; at least, stop by for a drink. (Warning–click on the link & hear the mariachis!)

The weather is famously temperate, with mild summers & winters.

In July Alaska would be my choice.

The big plus there is that the sun is up near 24 hours a day at that time of year.

I also came by to say Alaska. I’ve never been myself, but I know someone who regularly takes summer trips there and she always comes back raving about how beautiful it is.

Isn’t Alaska in the summertime full of blackflies and whatnot? Part of the reason I love Seattle is there’s NO bugs compared to Texas. :smiley:

Okay, thanks for the suggestions! I’ve been to Mexico a bunch of times (I have family there), so it’s not very high on my list, and Alaska is…you know, part of the US. I’m know it’s very beautiful, I just want to try someplace a little more exotic. Not to mention, I think being in the US or Canada would be a lot more expensive than I had in mind.

Keep them coming! bannerrefugee, where did you go in Chile?

Nags Head, N.C., is one of my favorite places on the planet. Beautiful weather most of the summer, lovely beaches, seagulls and pelicans and dolphins, etc.

First off, Chile ain’t all that cheap compared to most other countries in South America. I’ve been to Santiago; It’s a pretty and modern cosmopolitan city and feels very European. I didn’t make it to Valpariso, and regret it, as it seems like a very cool seaside town to visit and home to Pablo Neruda. I’ve been to Chillan, a major city in the south which I think i took the train from Santiago to. I took the train because I read The Patagonia Express. The train tracks had been largely wiped out in some gnarley storms and that was the furthest it went. I don’t know what the status of it is these days, as this was 2002. Chillan was not notable in any way other than being the birthplace of Bernardo O’Higgins, liberator of Chile.

Pucón is a pretty little ski resort next to Villarrica volcano. It’s got skiing and white water rafting (which I did) and guided ascents of the active volcano (which I didn’t).

I’ve done the NaviMag boat trip from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales. This was not as great as I had been led to believe. The scenery is not all that terrific and there aren’t glaciers or anything. There is, however, some serious drinking going on. The docking in Puerto Natales was a nightmare that took like 12 hours in gale force winds. I damn near got blown off the deck. Both Puerto Montt and Puerto Natales were kind of interesting. There’s killer seafood in Puerto Montt at the funky harbor. There’s a stunning bird refuge next to the brewpub in Puerto Natales. Generally, Puerto Natales is just a byway on the way to Torres del Paine.

Torres del Paine in Patagonia is a must see, but is probably pretty nasty during the winter. The hike is pretty much de rigueur for any trip to Patagonia.

Since it’s winter, it might be more pleasant in Ecuador and Peru. Check the weather before you make a decision. Quito, Arequipa, Cuzco and Machu Picchu are all pretty awesome. The Galapagos are unbelievable, but very spendy to get to.

Have you thought about doing the tour of coast of Brazil? I’ve only been to the Amazon in Brazil, but I’ve heard wonderful things about the beach towns there.

I wouldn’t call it cheap. It’s an industrialised country with a strong currency a very long way away. Even when the AUD was only worth fifty US cents, people were complaining about the prices here. It’s getting close to parity now, so I can’t imagine it’d be pretty for a tourist. The locals are feeling the pinch with the cost of living higher than I can ever remember it. I don’t ever go to the tourist places.

Well, Kyla, it’s too bad Mexico is out…or is it? Since I’ve only traveled in North America, it’s all I got.
The Pacific Coast of Mexico has great weather, year 'round, and is not bad for bugs either. Many cities are developed for the Tourist Trade, i.e., expensive. Think Acapulco or Puerto Vallarta or Ixtapa. But if you go north…
My favorite was Guaymas. It’s a big city with all the amenities, great countryside, and you can live for cheap 'cause there’s nothing there that tourists like.

Michigan is actually quite pleasant in the summer. (It’s only 14F this morning, though)

Kuala Lumpur.

I am amazed that this is not a more popular choice.

It’s easy to get to, and an easy place to enjoy. English is one of the two official languages (we Brits didn’t hand over until 1956), everyone speaks it and all the signs are dual language. The money is a simple decimal system and easy to understand.

If you want the wonders of a modern metropolis, with great architecture, huge malls and all the shopping you can stand, you’ve got it. If you want to see one of the greatest structures on earth, you’ve got it (the Petronas Twin Towers). If you want genuine jungle and rainforest to explore in a relatively safe way, you’ve got it. If you like wildlife and the chance to see some amazing creatures you probably won’t see anywhere else, you’ve got it. If you want idyllic beaches and the hedonistic, beach/party life, it’s all just an hour or so away from the city itself. If you want amazing landscape and natural formations, you’ve got it (the Batu Caves are an amazing natural feature). If you like buying fake Rolex watches and other counterfeit goods, this is your dream location (but you can ignore all that and steadfastly refuse to sponsor such brand name piracy if you wish, and of course this is what you should do).

It’s a safe, clean city. Friendly people. There are three major faiths and they all get along just fine, following the principle of “I’ll choose my way of life, you choose yours, now let’s just get on with things”. You can walk around the city at night without much of a problem. If you want to drink, you can. If you want to party, you can.

You will instantly feel like a millionnaire. Your spending power is dramatically increased as soon as you set foot in Malaysia. Just to give you one example, it’s perfectly feasible to hire a cab driver for the entire day if you want to! The driver will quite happily switch off the meter and drive you around to all of the main sights and attractions, wherever you want, all day, for less than $100. The kind of ‘luxury’ hotel that would cost an arm and a leg anywhere in the Western world is actually very affordable in Kuala Lumpur.

The weather is generally on the pleasant side of warm and dry, without it being too deadly tropical or intense. The ‘monsoon’ season is neither as focused nor as intense as it was a couple of decades ago. When I was there we had some of the early monsoon rain, and it didn’t stop any of the fun.

Lots of good food, from very safe, Western cuisine to traditional dishes served in the traditional way (such as veg and lamb curry on banana leaf, eaten Hindu style with your hands) (hands washed before and after).

It’s a really great place and more people should go there. Whatever sort of holiday experience you want, it can provide (except skiing, which admittedly is not their strong suit). And it’s all very, very cheap and affordable. In a smiling, safe, welcoming, warm, friendly country full of delights, wonders, beauty and good food. What are you waiting for?

ianzin, thanks for the recommendation! I had never even thought of going in that direction, but the food descriptions alone now make me want to go. I will read up.

Darryl Lict, I had actually thought of making a trek along the coast from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires, but I know absolutely nothing about this route…cost, feasability, etc.

Estonia is lovely in the summer, so are the other Baltic states. Vienna is nice in the summer and has a film festival. You could also get to Montenegro, and Slovenia pretty easily from Bulgaria. Not all really cheap, but doable on a budget. All of these are easy plane flights from Bulgaria.

Missed the edit window, but Budapest is one of my favorite cities in the world and is amazing in the summer months.

I second ianzin’s recommendation. Peninsular Malaysia is great - really well developed and modern - a sort of “South-East Asia lite”, and a good intro to the region.

You can fly direct into KL, or into Singapore, and there’s a good luxury coach service, or very comfortable train service if you can get a ticket, up the Malaysian peninsula to KL - it takes about 6 or 7 hours on Asia’s best motorway. If you do this, you could break your journey in Malacca, a former Portuguese colony, which is well worth a visit.

A half-day’s travel from KL will get you to Penang, which is a really pleasant holiday resort island (Batu Ferringi is the place to head to, though Georgetown, the capital, is also historically interesting). Or you can head across the spine of the peninsula to Mersing, which is the jumping-off point for Tioman island, which is stunningly, breathtakingly lovely.

Since I’m always self-promoting, and you want to do some reading-up, here’s the start page of about 11 entries from my travelogue that deal with my travels in peninsular Malaysia - travelling from Penang to KL, Mersing, Tioman, then Singapore to see a dentist! Lots of useful info there, and sensationally well written. :wink:

Yes it is, and it’s a perfectly good choice. I just want to mention one thing. If you think you’re only going to visit Vienna once (at least for the foreseeable future), then go there to celebrate christmas and New Year. Vienna is the number one place in all of Europe to celebrate New Year. If I listed all the reasons, I’d have to type for hours and I can’t do that right now!

In brief… they turn the whole city into one massive street party, with live (free) entertainment spread throughout. It’s a glorious city anyway, perfect for tourism (all the touristy bits are within one area that can comfortably be covered on foot), the people are great, the city is great, lots to see and do and enjoy, but the NY Eve street party is once-in-a-lifetime brilliant. It’s not too crowded, there’s lots of food and drink, the fireworks are spectacular, the music (spanning everything from opera to heavy rock) is great, the atmosphere is like a happy, upbeat version of the end of the world, the Hofburg Palace looks magnificent, all the main buildings are beautifully lit for the occasion, there’s barely any trace of any bad behaviour or loutish trouble (as there would be, say, here in London, where almost every public event is going to be marred by drunks)… it’s just fantastic.

Every year I talk to lots of people who have travelled around Europe and I invite them to suggest somewhere that offers a better New Year’s Eve experience… and so far no-one has managed to come up with anything.

The weather in San Diego is perfect no matter when you visit.