The month of June is the official beginning of summer according to the calendar, and it’s also the time when our thoughts drift to getting away from work, school, or whatever it is we’ve been doing all winter and spring. In many places, sunshine and warmth are signaling the approach of summer, while cool breezes are still tempering the heat. In others, June is the time to get a trip in before the busy tourist months of July and August.
Some of these destinations will be familiar, while some are lesser known locales to consider for your June escape. The California coast is always inviting, and even if you’ve taken a road trip in the Golden State before, there’s always a new place to stop and admire the view from a fresh angle. Or if you’re in the mood for somewhere more exotic, Sri Lanka or Mauritius might fit the bill. Festivals in Edmonton, Portland, and Massachusetts will let you join the crowd to celebrate the coming of summer.
Food-centric trips are always a hit, and the Aspen Food and Wine Classic will be foodie heaven with top chefs in a spectacular locale. Celebrating food in Italy is always in fashion, and we suggest a quiet island and its humble but important ingredient. History and art lovers will always find something awe-inspiring in Malta, Ireland, and Croatia.
For those who simply look forward to warm air, a balmy breeze, and a comfy lounge chair, we have some ideas for you, too.
Koggala, Sri Lanka
This small coastal town on the southern coast of Sri Lanka is popular for snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as for exploring its history. Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built in 1588 by the Portuguese, fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century, and is now managed by the Sri Lanka Archaeology Department. Visitors also enjoy the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum, former home of a writer who studied the island’s culture and maintained a collection of historical artefacts. A visit to a tea plantation for Sri Lanka’s renowned tea is a must for many tourists. Luxury hotels in the area include the new Alila Koggala Hotel on Koggala Lake opening in June, and the Amangalla, a meticulously restored historic building on the grounds of the Galle Fort.
Capital of Canada’s Province of Alberta, Edmonton is North America’s northernmost large metropolis. June is a perfect time to visit, with the warming weather and lots of activities on the city’s agenda. The Freewill Shakespeare Festival begins on June 19 and continues through mid-July, presenting “Hamlet” and “Comedy of Errors.” Music, parades, beer gardens, art, food, and films mark the Edmonton Pride Festival from June 8 through June 17. Six weeks of concerts are presented through the Nuova Opera and Music Theater Festival beginning May 19. The West Edmonton Mall, with over 800 stores and 100 restaurants, also houses the unique Fantasyland Hotel with themed décor in many rooms for guests who want to pretend they’re sleeping in Polynesia, Africa, a Western log cabin, or an igloo.
Springlike weather arrives in June making this a great time to plan a visit. Enjoy the country’s “hygge” or comfortable atmosphere while exploring the city through walking, biking, or taking advantage of their modern public transportation. Copenhagen’s canals and waterways have established its reputation as “Venice of the North,” and in the Nyhavn (New Harbor) district, colorful 17th-century buildings line the canal providing picturesque settings. Torvehallerne, Copenhagen’s expansive indoor food market, offers an array of dishes including seafood, pizza, baked goods, coffee, and the Danish specialty smorrebrod, open-faced rye bread sandwiches with various toppings. Tivoli Gardens, with rides, entertainment, and food dates back to 1843, the second oldest amusement park in the world. The Nimb, a five-star Moorish-inspired boutique hotel, is located in the Tivoli Gardens.
Big Sur, California
The 90-mile stretch of California Highway 1 between Carmel and San Simeon is one of the state’s most famous drives for good reason. Rugged coastline, magnificent views, beaches, forests, and plenty of photo ops attract new and returning travelers to the Pacific Coast Highway every year.
Landslides have made this scenic road trip slightly more difficult, but also more rewarding. Repair crews are currently working on a section of the road about 15 miles north of San Simeon, so travelers will want to start from the north (cutting over to the coast from Salinas, toward Monterey) and know that at some point (around Gorda) they'll need to turn around. The dramatic Bixby Creek Bridge is best admired — and photographed — from the view point at its northern end. Visitors can tour the historic Point Sur Light Station and visit wineries along the central coast. While most of the Big Sur area is open, travelers will want to research accommodations beforehand. Campgrounds, inns, and luxury hotels are available in Big Sur and throughout the drive. Visitors can even book a luxury campsite near a creek at the newly renovated Ventana Big Sur for a camping experience that’s nothing like, well, camping.
Source: Travel Leisure