There are hundreds of wonderful destinations to visit throughout the year, but these are 7 of the very best for the month of July for a variety of reasons.
1. Sonkajarvi, Finland
Sonkajarvi, Finland is the site of one of the world’s craziest celebrations each July, which is known as the Wife Carrying World Championships. Male competitors are required to carry a woman who weighs a minimum of 110 lbs.
Over an obstacle course that’s about 300 yards long. There’s also a pool along the way that’s just over three feet deep. The man can carry the woman in any one of three different ways such as fireman style, piggyback, or Estonian-style.
2. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
The nation’s national holiday takes place between July 11 and 13 and the Naadam festival is featured in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. It takes place at the National Sports Stadium and it sees men participating in three different events. These are archery, Mongolian wrestling, and horseracing. Women participate in the archery and horse racing events.
3. Siena, Italy
The historic streets of Siena host the Palio Horse Race each July 2nd and August 16th. The race features 10 horses and their bareback riders who gallop through the city’s Piazza del Campo. There’s a colorful parade before the race known as the Corteo Storico, which features plenty of interesting medieval costumes.
The race only lasts about 90 seconds and there aren’t too many rules. This means you’ll see quite a bit shoving and pushing as competitors try to make sure their rivals don’t win.
4. Alaska, USA
July is the best time to take a trip to America’s northernmost state for several reasons. The weather’s definitely a lot warmer and the days are quite long. You’ll also find the colorful flowers are in full bloom. But one of the best reasons to visit in July is because you’ll have a great chance to get close-up views of some of the state’s wildlife such as Alaskan grizzly bears.
The best place to see them is Katmai National Park. There are several tour operators there and you’ll be able to witness the bears fish for their salmon suppers.
Other popular destinations include the Kenai Fords and camping in Denali National Park.
5. Mendoza, Argentina
When you visit Mendoza in July, remember that it is the middle of winter down in Argentina. This means you’ll be able to enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the Andes. There are several excellent resorts such as Penitentes and Las Lenas. The best spot is Mount Aconcagua, which is the highest summit on earth after Mount Everest.
As an added bonus, Mendoza’s also one of the top wine destinations in the world. You’ll be able to tour the local vineyards and taste the fine samples. In addition, there are natural hot springs at Termas de Cacheuta and numerous spas.
6. Calgary, Alberta, Canada
One of the top Canadian destinations in July is Calgary, Alberta, which is the home of the famous Calgary Stampede. The event takes place downtown at Stampede Park. It features the top cowgirls and cowboys in the world as they take part in several rodeo events such as tie-down roping and bull riding.
There are plenty of midway rides, grandstand shows, agricultural events, animals, and events for people of all ages. The 2012 edition of the Calgary Stampede will be held between July 6th and 15th.
7. Pamplona, Spain
Each July 6th to 14th, the Spanish city of Pamplona hosts the famous Running of the Bulls festival. Thousands of participants get up early and at 8 am they try to outrun a number of bulls without getting trampled on or gored by the heavy, angry beasts.
Thankfully, the runners are given a head start. The bulls are then released and rush through the city’s narrow streets toward the bullring. In addition, the festival also holds bullfights and gallons of wine are consumed by the happy revelers. The Bull Run is known as the Festival of San Fermin.