Where to Cool Off in the US This Summer
As the whole East Coast continues to melt under a relentless heatwave and hot weather warnings have been issued for the West Coast, there are still a few places where you can escape the high temperatures.
While Colorado and Alaska boast the most famous cool-weather destinations, you can find momentary respite from the heat in almost every state. Our list will help you stay cool wherever you are during this scorching hot summer.
The Midwest: Upper Peninsula, MI
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a delightful mixture of unspoiled pine forests and sweeping coastal views. A refreshing breeze from Lake Superior keeps the temperatures low even in the height of summer.
Whether you have a two week holiday or just a weekend break at your disposal, the Upper Peninsula will not disappoint. From touring picturesque wineries to the rugged wilderness of Isle Royale, choose your own adventure!
The Northeast: Baxter State Park, ME
Five hours north of Boston, the Baxter State Park in Maine stays cool even in the hottest months of summer. It attracts visitors with 215 miles of scenic hiking trails and excellent camping facilities.
Baxter is a popular destination among outdoor sports enthusiasts who are drawn to the magnificent Mount Katahdin, a towering chunk of granite at the center of the park. It has been described as “the Northeast's best-kept secret” by Rock & Ice Magazine and is home to the official northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
The South: Ichetucknee Springs State Park, FL and Krause Springs, TX
Escaping the summer heat in the South is a tall order as both the temperature and humidity reach mind-bending levels. When the hum of air conditioning starts to drive you crazy, it is time to cool off in the crystal clear waters of Ichetucknee Springs State Park in Florida.
If you are in the West South Central, do not despair. Texas has a fair share of beautiful swimming holes and Krauze Springs are its crown jewel. Located some 30 miles west of Austin, it is a great city escape when the concrete starts to melt.
The West: Payette River, ID/OR
The Colorado Rockies and the snow-covered peaks of Alaska are undoubtedly the most popular cool weather destinations in the US but the West hides many more gems. Among them is Idaho’s Payette River, known as one of the best whitewater destinations in the world.
While the temperature might be scorching hot, the fast flowing waters will quickly cool you down! Kelly’s Park is a great fit for beginner and intermediate whitewater enthusiasts. You can then move on to the more challenging Gutter Playpark and once you become a real expert, the famed North Fork in Oregon will test your limits.