All Ages

9 Cool-Weather Summer Destinations for Families

See recent posts by Hilarey Wojtowicz

If you don’t think hot summer temperatures are cool, a vacation to the Caribbean or Florida won”t result in much family fun. Believe it or not, beach vacations aren’t for every family. Beat the heat with a weekend trip or family getaway with the kids to one of these cities across the United States and Europe and enjoy weather that is sunny and under 75 degrees.

Written by Hilarey Wojtowicz



Average Summer Temperature: 63 degrees (F)

Stroll tree-lined waterfront areas in Zurich and take in refreshing air that isn"t humid or hot. On average, the summer months see daily temperatures around 63 degrees and evening temperatures in the mid 40"s. But the sunny weather often rises just enough for families to jump into lakes or enjoy boating along the rivers. Pack long-sleeved shirts for windy boat rides on Lake Zurich and shorts and T-shirts for days indoors, when exploring attractions like the Technorama Science Center.

Find Zurich Family Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: Hotel Schweizerhof

San Francisco

Average Summer Temperature: 67 degrees (F)

San Francisco may be in sunny California, but the city doesn"t have the same consistent 75-degree weather of Orange County in the summer. Summer temperatures in San Francisco can be anywhere from 58 to 98 degrees, though it is often on the chilly side, especially by the water. It often gets so cold in San Francisco that sourdough soup bowls are served at Fisherman"s Wharf!

When the weather is cool and moist, enjoy a few indoor activities with the family. Check out the Cable Car Museum and the Walt Disney Family Museum on a rainy day. When the weather is sunny and bearable, hop on the ferry to Alcatraz for a tour of the island and its “haunted” prison cells -- but be sure to bring a sweater or sweatshirt (or buy one as a souvenir!) as the boat ride can be windy and cold.

Find San Francisco Family Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Fisherman"s Wharf


Average Summer Temperature: 60 degrees (F)

With consistently grey weather year-round, Dublin sees lots of rain. If your family is used to blue skies and sunny days 80 percent of the year, this could be a great new experience during the summer. Escape the heat -- but not the humidity -- in Dublin and enjoy temperatures in the low 60"s. Pack umbrellas and ponchos for misty mornings when on your way to Dublin Castle, and when the weather clears for the afternoon, enjoy the Dublin Zoo.

Find Dublin Family Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: The Merrion Hotel

Sugarloaf, Maine

Average Summer Temperature: 72 degrees (F)

Known for its massive -- and very popular -- ski resort area, Sugarloaf, Maine has the perfect temperatures for racing through the snow in the winter. And for those who are fans of the colder weather, Sugarloaf also has comfortable summer temperatures. Families will want to pack long-sleeved layers for summer mornings and evenings as the temperatures can start in the 60"s early in the day and can peak at 90 by the afternoon, before dropping low again. A great activity for the not-so-hot weather is a Zipline Tour or a trip to the Antigravity Complex, which also has an indoor skating park.

Find Sugarloaf, ME Family Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: Nestlewood Inn


Average Summer Temperature: 65 degrees (F)

The beginning of the summer is dry in Anchorage, but by August expect cool, damp temperatures -- which might be just what locals of 100-degree heat need for summer fun. Expect the average daily temperature to be in the mid 60"s and morning and evening temperatures in the mid 40"s.

If visiting in June, when the weather is sunny and dry, check out the Alaska Zoo or the Botanical Garden. And for those who find themselves in the midst of an early-fall storm, check out the Anchorage Museum or the H2Oasis Water Park (it"s indoors!).

Find Anchorage Family Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: Dimond Center Hotel


Average Summer Temperature: 72 degrees (F)

Spread across 14 islands, Stockholm is a cool and breezy 72 degrees on average in the summer. Enjoy swimming in the fresh water if your family finds it warm enough, or sail on a ferry boat between islands and explore the many indoor and outdoor activities. Pack a little of everything for your trip, from pants and sweaters to shorts and T-shirts, and then visit the Skansen Open-Air Museum. Enjoy the various kid-friendly exhibits and characters dressed in period clothing, and be sure to see the zoo area.

Recommended Hotel: Sheraton Stockholm Hotel

Bretton Woods, N.H.

Average Summer Temperature: 72 degrees (F)

Known as a great winter destination, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire offers cool temperatures in the summer that make outdoor activities less sweaty and more fun. Temperatures dip into the low 60"s in the evenings, so pack a sweatshirt or enjoy wearing pants while you can. The Bretton Woods Canopy Tour is perfect for families looking for adventure. The three-hour, guided tour takes guests along 10 zip lines. Soar through the cool air up in the mountains and enjoy the view from up to 3,100-feet above sea level. Or ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway and take in the scenery on your way to the top of New England"s highest peak -- and wear layers -- it will be cold at the summit!

Find Bretton Woods, NH Family Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: Omni Mount Washington Resort


Average Summer Temperature: 59 degrees (F)

Looking for some summer vacation ideas that are a bit off the beaten path and not so hot? Look no further -- Edinburgh in Scotland is the place for you and your family.

Here, you can expect highs in the low 60"s and lows in the mid 40"s year-round. This Scottish city sees a decent amount of rain, but sunny days are sure to please families looking to enjoy one of the many outdoor festivals, such as the Book Festival, complete with outdoor readings and programs just for children, or the Mela Festival, which celebrates Edinburgh"s diverse culture through arts, crafts, food and performances.

Pack sweaters and lightweight scarves for chilly mornings and evenings and T-shirts for afternoons. An umbrella and rain boots might be helpful for little ones walking through puddles, too. But no matter the weather, be sure to visit Edinburgh Castle and Arthur"s Seat.

Find Edinburgh Family Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: The Scotsman Hotel


Average Summer Temperature: 72 degrees (F)

Summer in Seattle sees long days, with up to 16 hours of sunlight, but the weather is a perfect 72 degrees on average, making it a great destination for families looking to escape the heat of the south. Enjoy time outdoors (without sweating) -- climb the various playgrounds with the kids or walk along Discovery Park. And if your family wants to enjoy the coast in the evening, stay warm by one of the beach fire pits at Golden Gardens Park.

Pack a little bit of everything for your trip to this Pacific Northwest city. Sweatshirts and lightweight, waterproof jackets will be helpful for overcast days, though you"ll be thankful for shorts and tank tops on sunny afternoons.

Find Seattle Family Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: Edgewater Hotel

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