(CNN) — Summer travel can be so inviting. There are fewer clothes to pack. Days are long for outdoor play. Outdoor dining abounds. And you can’t overstate the simple joy of basking in the sun’s soothing rays.
Whether you’re playing it safe or simply prefer relatively cooler temps over hot spots, here are nine places that usually make for cool travel escapes in summer. Keep in mind all the cautionary guidance about travel — especially if you’re not fully vaccinated or you’re crossing international borders.
Mountainous Switzerland always provides a cool spot somwhere. Dent Blanche, left, is next to the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps.
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Should the major cities such as Geneva, Zurich and Bern become too hot for you (which is unlikely, especially at night), escape to the higher altitudes for an Alpine hike. Even in early July, temperatures on the 5 Lakes Walk near the Matterhorn can stay below 10 C (50 F) for the high.
If you want something less strenuous, take a boat tour of idyllic Lake Brienz.
2. San Francisco
Alcatraz Island can be seen from the Russian Hill neighborhood in San Francisco.
Brontë Wittpenn/The San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images
“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
The quote oft-attributed to Mark Twain is nice summation of the weather there. Summer isn’t even its warmest season — that honor goes to fall. While much of the Northwest has been baking this year, the city’s microclimate has…