Culture / Travel

Summer’s Coolest Destinations — 6 Great Escapes From the Brutal Texas Heat

BY // 06.23.18

With Texas temperatures teetering right around the 100-degree mark (and likely to stay this way for a long while), it’s time to flock to cooler temperature destinations for a summer reprieve. We’ve rounded up five of the best places in America to enjoy summer  temperatures hovering around 80 degrees or cooler.

These are your best summer escapes from Texas. Even if it’s only for a brief weekend respite.

We’ve also included an array of activities that can be enjoyed outdoors, without breaking a sweat. From mountain trail running clinics to nature-inspired facials, there is something for everyone amidst cooler temps.

Sounds refreshing right about now, right?

Beaver Creek, Colorado

Nestled in this Colorado town is Beaver Creek’s quaint village – endless mountain range views, shopping and restaurants. And all can be enjoyed outside.

The patio days of Texas are short-lived in the summer, so this is a chance to escape and relax outside, any time of day. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is the ideal getaway to unpack, and become immersed in the epicenter of outdoor activities at the base of the mountain.

Whether hiking mountain trails through Vail Valley or riding the lifts up the mountain to venture back down atop a mountain bike, cool mountain air comes complementary with every activity. Horseback riding is also an ideal way to explore the terrain, or go on a 4×4 mountain tours adventure via 4×4 jeeps that simulate a wildlife safari.

Colorado mountain towns are a popular destination for Texans, as the flights are short to Denver, and more than one mountain town can be enjoyed in a long weekend.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Although traditionally a ski town destination, Jackson Hole is bursting with non-winter activities to beat the heat. From whitewater rafting, zip lining, hiking and fly-fishing, this is another adventure seeker’s paradise outdoors. Nestled in-between Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, this part of the country is home to some of America’s most beautiful landscapes.

Putting Texas running trails to shame, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole offers running clinics with Born to Run’s Eric Orton. With average summer high temps ranging between 74 to 83 degrees, miles on end is no problem for the running enthusiasts in Wyoming.

The form and technique clinics involve a 90-minute training session performed at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Rendezvous Mountain. In addition, private guided trail runs can range from 60 to 90 minutes, showcasing the trail opportunities of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

For those looking to slow it down and not count miles on foot, there are opportunities to renew and recharge. SpaTerre at Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa offers a selection of spa services incorporating elements found in nature – herbs, salts, mud and spring water. All nature-focused spa treatments soothe the soul and enliven the spirit.

Hotel Terra Exterior with Tram Jackson Hole

The award-winning, eco-luxe Chill Spa at Hotel Terra Jackson Hole welcomes vacationeers with leading-edge therapies featuring organic products along with lush amenities, including a rooftop hot tub offering spectacular views.

Half Moon Bay, California

Nestled upon a rugged ocean-side bluff in Northern California, just 30 minutes from San Francisco and Silicon Valley, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay delivers a five-star, luxury resort experience complete with s’mores over an open fire on the hotel terrace. Half Moon Bay is known for its mild weather and long coastline, so surfing is one of the city’s main attractions, as well as various other aquatic activities and fresh seafood.

Half Moon Bay is home to the world-renowned Titans of Mavericks surf competition, that unites big wave surfers and surf fanatics, to witness some of the most massive waves in the world. For the craft distillery enthusiasts, Half Moon Bay Distillery offers small batch handcrafted distilled spirits, complete with tours and tastings.

Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay brings picturesque scenes.

Park City, Utah

The Waldorf Astoria Park City is situated at the base of the largest ski resort in the country – Park City Mountain Resort. The higher elevation brings lower summer temperatures. The mountainside hotel has 160 rooms and suites and a 16,000 square-foot spa offering guests a holistic approach to balancing mind, body and spirit through the latest customized therapies and treatments.

Plus, the hotel has its very own craft beer, called Pow Day, in partnership with Park Cities Brewery. Although named after a winter tradition, the craft beer is offered in the hotel’s beer garden, alongside hot dogs, in true summer style.

With more than 400 miles of trails throughout the Park City area, summer offers a plethora of outdoor adventure for visitors to the area. Park City is one of the few International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) designated Gold-Ride center in North America, meaning the town offers the some of the most variety and easily accessible mountain biking terrain available anywhere.

The trails and amenities for biking are primed for beginners, too, so no better place to get on the saddle and try something new than in Park City. Additionally, Waldorf Astoria Park City is located directly adjacent to the Canyons Golf Course, one of the newest courses in the area. Other activities include fly-fishing on the famous Provo River, hot-air ballooning and SUPing (stand-up paddleboarding) on local lakes/reservoirs or in the Homestead Crater.

Portland, Maine

Far from Texas, this Northeastern escape comes complete with coastal views and New England charm. Portland’s Old Port waterfront features working fishing wharves and transformed warehouses with restaurants and shops, and no need to fret about toasty temperatures to dine outside.

In close vicinity to the Old Port is the Western Promenade, which is a public park on top of a bluff, offering river and mountain views. Portland visitors may experience the city via land and sea.

Both vantage points offer a glimpse into the urban and seafaring culture. The Portland Harbor Hotel in the historic Old Port District sits in close proximity to the waterfront, boutique shops, art galleries and historic treasures.

After exploring the mainland, travel aboard a ferry for a short sail across Casco Bay to the tranquility of Great Diamond Island to discover the Inn at Diamond Cove, a luxurious inn housed within Fort McKinley’s former army barracks. This island getaway offers an outdoor pool with cabana, miles of hiking and biking and kayaking.

Western Montana’s Glacier Country

From Lone Star State to Glacier Country, fresh mountain air beckons northward. More than 75 charming tiny towns of Western Montana makes up Glacier Country and offers boundless discovery surrounded by sweeping valleys, towering peeks and blue-ribbon trout streams.

An outdoors lover’s delight, Western Montana boasts summer splendor featuring long days of sunshine and outstretched skies. And did we mention the humidity is sparse?

Local breweries, distilleries and wineries, fishing, mountain biking, hiking and river surfing can all be found right in the middle of town. And with more than one million acres of towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, wild meadows and sparkling waters, a trip to Glacier National Park is sure to reset and encourage relaxation.

To catch a wink after a long day of adventure, Montana offers luxury guest ranches close to Missoula, Paws Up and The Ranch at Rock Creek. Or perhaps an evening of historic luxury at the Gibson Mansion Bed and Breakfast is in order. Built in 1903, the Gibson Mansion combines Victorian elegance of the past with contemporary amenities of today.

Now, that’s a summer escape.

Lynn Zarr, JR - Martha Turner Sotheby's

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