Things to Do in July

Celebrate Independence Day in the capital, run with the bulls in Spain and see your favorite superheroes at the San Diego Comic-Con International. Here are our recommendations for things to do this month.

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Songkran Water Festival
Songkran Water Festival

Songkran Water Festival

Known as the Water Festival by visitors, this annual festival in Thailand falls shortly after the spring equinox. Songkran (based on a Sanskrit word for “astrological passage”) is celebrated in the country as the traditional New Year’s Day. Along with visiting elders and going to a Buddhist monastery, festivities include throwing of water – in this case, with a little help from an elephant! 960 1280

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White House Easter Egg Roll

White House Easter Egg Roll

President Obama gathers with schoolchildren on the White House lawn for the annual Easter Egg Roll. Held on Easter Monday, the yearly tradition is commonly believed to have started in 1814, organized by First Lady Dolley Madison. 960 1280

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Semana Santa

Semana Santa

An important holiday in largely Catholic countries like Mexico and Spain, Semana Santa (Holy Week) showcases colorful parades, Masses, fireworks and elaborate ceremonies, like these celebrants in Roman garb placing crosses on a stone overlook. Semana Santa also coincides with spring break; you may see a sand sculpture of the Last Supper on a Mexican beach during this time! 960 1280

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Holi

Holi

Spring wouldn’t be the same in northern India without this annual festival. Celebrated by Hindus, who throw colored powder at each other, this vibrant festival of colors celebrates the season’s many hues, as well as events from Hindu mythology, such as when a devotee of Lord Vishnu was saved from death. 960 1280

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Nowruz

Nowruz

Widely referred to as the Persian New Year, this annual festival also marks the first day of spring -- which is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward equinox (usually around March 21). Nowruz is celebrated throughout Central Asia and here, in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city of Bishek. 960 1280

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Passover

Passover

One of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, Passover commemorates the story of the ancient Israelites’ deliverance from slavery in Egypt – items on this “seder plate” showcase symbolic foods related to the story. The weeklong holiday always falls during the spring season, based on a biblical commandment: “Guard the month of spring, and make then the Passover offering.”  960 1280

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Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

Competitors race down a steep hill -- known as Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester, England -- as they vie for the day’s ultimate prize: a round of Double Gloucester cheese. This centuries-old tradition is held on the UK’s Spring Bank Holiday, attracting not only locals from the nearby village of Brockworth but also people from all over the world. 960 1280

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Holla Mohalla

Holla Mohalla

One day after the Hindu festival of Holi, another big spring celebration occurs: Holla Mohalla. During this 3-day Sikh festival, celebrants showcase their martial skills in mock fights (thus, the meaning of the holiday’s name) -- and the art of fire breathing, like here on a street in the northwest Indian state of Punjab. The spring festival is also a time when followers reaffirm their dedication to Khalsa Panth (the worldwide community of Sikhs). 960 1280

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Cimburijada (Festival of Scrambled Eggs)

Cimburijada (Festival of Scrambled Eggs)

Eggs, eggs and more eggs -- every year, at the crack of dawn, people from the Bosnian town of Zenica gather by the Bosna River to celebrate the first day of spring. Known as Ciumburijada, or “Festival of Scrambled Eggs,” the event begins with the preparation of a traditional breakfast -- or in this case, a super-sized bowl of eggs for the masses. 960 1280

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Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night

Named after the English missionary Saint Walpurga, this traditional spring festival is celebrated across Central and Northern Europe -- exactly 6 months after All Hallows’ Eve. Among the places that hold celebrations (which include dancing and bonfires) is the open-air museum of Skansen in Stockholm, pictured here.  960 1280

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Las Fallas

Las Fallas

Whimsical characters, known as fallas, are a familiar sight during this annual 5-day celebration. The origin of one of Spain’s most rowdy holidays is uncertain; some say Las Fallas began in the Middle Ages, when artisans burned pieces of wood they’d saved during the winter in celebration of the spring equinox. Over time, under the Catholic Church’s influence, the holiday has developed into a celebration to commemorate Saint Joseph. 960 1280

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Spring Equinox in Teotihuacán

Spring Equinox in Teotihuacán

Every year, on the 20th or 21st of March, thousands of people gather at this enormous, pre-Hispanic archeological site, roughly 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, to celebrate the spring equinox. Between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., many celebrants climb the 360 steps to the top of Pyramid of the Sun, the largest structure in the area, to get closer to portals of energy. 960 1280

REUTERS/Gerardo Garcia  

World Bodypainting Festival
World Bodypainting Festival

World Bodypainting Festival

Since 1998, Carinthia, Austria, has hosted the colorful World Bodypainting Festival. Artists from more than 40 different nations do their best to stun, entertain and win the title of “World’s Best Bodypainter.” In addition to workshops and demos, the 3-day festival also includes music concerts, a Runway & Body Art Fashion Show and fireworks synchronized to music. 960 1280

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Queenstown Winter Festival

Queenstown Winter Festival

More than 45,000 people flock to Queenstown, New Zealand, for perhaps the biggest winter celebration in the southern hemisphere -- the Queenstown Winter Festival. Since 1975, this gold mining camp, turned sophisticated city, comes alive during balmy, but cool temps (44°F - 46°F) in June. The 10-day celebration of winter has more than 75 events, including ski races, ski jumping, colorful parades and exhibitions. 960 1280

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Gay Pride Month

Gay Pride Month

June is Gay Pride Month. Make a trip out of the annual LGBT celebration and travel to World Gay Pride, held in a different location every year like Rome, London and Toronto. Head to San Francisco for the largest Pride festival and parade in the US, or save your money and pack your bags for Sao Paulo, which hosts the largest Gay Pride celebration in the world. 960 1280

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Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Soar to new heights in California’s beautiful Wine Country. The Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic draws thousands of people to this 2-day event in Windsor, CA. On Saturday and Sunday, set your alarm clock early to make sure you’re awake to catch approximately 30 colorful balloons launch around 6:30am. 960 1280

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Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago is the place to visit in June, especially if you’re a fan of the blues. The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues music festival in the world. During 3 days, more than 500,000 people converge on Grant Park to hear well-renown performers like B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, KoKo Taylor and Otis Rush (pictured) perform on the festival’s 5 stages. 960 1280

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Dragon Boat Races

Dragon Boat Races

Visit Hong Kong to experience the excitement of the Duanwu Festival, celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. The Festival includes dragon boat races in Aberdeen -- one of the first places to host these races in Hong Kong. Fishermen believe that rowing dragon boats during the Duanwu Festival will bring them luck. 960 1280

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Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

From indie rock to reggae, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, draws thousands of fans to hear notable acts like Bob Dylan, Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, Tool, The Beach Boys and The White Stripes. During this 4-day music festival, bands, rappers, musicians and singers perform from around noon until 4am or later at Great Stage Park, which is located on a 700-acre farm. 960 1280

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Midsummer Festival

Midsummer Festival

Apart from Christmas, the Midsummer Festival is the most important holiday on the Swedish calendar. Flowers in your hair, dancing around a maypole, singing songs while drinking schnapps and eating pickled herring is all part of this special celebration. We recommend visiting Leksand to experience the largest midsummer festival in Sweden. 960 1280

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Explore the incredible Inca ruins of Peru’s Machu Picchu, often called “Lost city of the Incas.” Take an adventurous climb to see the Temple of Condor and Sun Gate -- the end point for the Inca Trail. Visit in June to take advantage of the dry season and to avoid the heavy crowds in July and August. 960 1280

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Father's Day

Father's Day

Don’t forget about Dad this month. Spend some extra time with your father figure by planning a trip to go fly fishing, rock climbing or skydiving. For a getaway minus the adrenaline-pumping thrills, we have a few Father’s Day travel ideas like a brewery tour in Portland, OR, or game of golf in Myrtle Beach, SC. 960 1280

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Glastonbury Music Festival

Glastonbury Music Festival

Since 1970, music fans and art lovers have swarmed to Pilton, Somerset, England, to attend the Glastonbury Festival. Only 1,500 people attended the first festival, and today more than 170,000 people flock to Worthy Farm -- owned by festival organizer Michael Eavis -- to hear leading pop and rock artists as well as other forms of art, including dance, comedy, theater, circus and cabaret. 960 1280

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Gettysburg Fest

Gettysburg Fest

The Battle of Gettysburg -- the bloodiest battle in American history -- is known as the turning point in the American Civil War. Today, locals and tourists don’t have to be history buffs to enjoy the annual Gettysburg Fest. This 5-day festival has more than 50 live performances on 7 stages, 7 art shows, culinary experiences, movie premieres and more. Over the past 6 years, more than 3,000 artists, musicians and performers --The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, blues artist Robert Cray and world-renowned guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli -- have been featured at the festival. 960 1280

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Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

June marks the official start of summer, and what better way to welcome the Summer Solstice than by joining thousands of people at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. It’s not uncommon for groups to celebrate by performing impromptu ceremonies that include samba bands and drummers. No amplified music is allowed here. 960 1280

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Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world, the Wimbledon Championships have been played since 1877. Starting towards the end of June and lasting approximately 2 weeks, or until all events are complete, tickets for Wimbledon are always in fierce demand, especially with pro tennis players like Andy Murray competing. 960 1280

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Midnight Sun, Arctic Circle
Midnight Sun, Arctic Circle

Midnight Sun, Arctic Circle

The sun shines at … midnight. Take in the magical sight of the midnight sun this June in places like Hornstrandir, Iceland’s northernmost peninsula, just a few miles from the Arctic Circle. Here, the sun is visible for 24 consecutive hours, as the sun barely disappears below the horizon. 960 1280

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Nude Bathing, Iceland

Nude Bathing, Iceland

Keep Father Time -- and maybe a few wrinkles -- at bay with a nude dip in a balmy hot spring. That personal prescription for wellness comes straight from Icelandic lore, and true to form, Icelanders take a nude dip in hot springs and the surrounding sea every June 24. They also live long lives. Coincidence? 960 1280

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Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

See the Purple People Eater, Sushi the Flying Fish and other colorful balloon characters soar through the skies of California’s wine country. Since its start 23 years ago, this annual summer event in the town of Windsor, CA, has gone on to draw balloon pilots from all over the country. You can also enjoy a tethered ride, hovering 50 feet above the ground. 960 1280

star5112, flickr  

Destination Wedding in …

Destination Wedding in …

Getting married this month? Don’t just dream of being a June bride, make it a reality in some of the most weather-perfect places to tie the knot this month. Our friends at weathertrends360 have forecasted June’s top 5 clear-sky destinations: Bar Harbor, ME (best time June 21-30); Orlando (June 1-8); NYC (June 21-30); Napa Valley (June 9-16); and San Francisco (June 10-17). 960 1280

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Summer Holiday in Newquay, UK

Summer Holiday in Newquay, UK

If you love to surf and travel, combine both passions with a trip to this seaside town in southwest England. June kicks off the best time of year to visit Newquay, widely touted as the surf capital of the UK. Situated on a gorgeous stretch of the Atlantic Coast, the town boasts 9 long and easily accessible beaches – head to Fistral Beach, home to some of the best breaks in the area. 960 1280

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Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez

If all things French are calling your name, book a trip to Saint Tropez. June is one of the best times of year to savor this glamorous seaside town on the French Riviera, home to beautiful beaches like the golden-sand stretch of Plage Port Grimaud. Plan your last-minute getaway with our travel deals experts. 960 1280

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Gay Pride Celebrations

Gay Pride Celebrations

Celebrate freedom (and some really wild getups) in month-long gay pride celebrations worldwide. LGBT pride parades from San Francisco to Sydney are the highlight of the festivities, which hearken back to the days of gay resistance to police aggression in June 1969 at NYC’s Stonewall Inn, now a National Historic Landmark. 960 1280

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Midsummer Festival, Sweden

Midsummer Festival, Sweden

Let the sun shine in! When the summer solstice arrives … and the Earth’s semi-axis is most inclined toward the sun … head to Sweden for the country’s traditional Midsummer Day, in late June. Here, locals carry heart-shaped wreaths as part of the festivities in the Swedish town of Leksand, about 150 miles from Stockholm. 960 1280

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Kamehameha Day

Kamehameha Day

Get out your grass skirt out … and get ready to hula! It’s Kamehameha Day! Each June, Hawaii honors the monarch -- depicted here in a towering bronze statue in downtown Honolulu -- who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawaii and brought coffee and pineapple to its shores. Plan your Hawaii getaway with our Big Island Weekend Guide. 960 1280

Daniel Ramirez, flickr   

Philippines Independence Day

Philippines Independence Day

Head to this archipelago of 7,107 islands in the western Pacific for the country’s national holiday marking its call for independence, first proclaimed in June 1898, and finally realized in 1946. Relax in a hillside villa on the small island of Boracay, or book a stay at El Nido Resorts, located on various islands in the area. 960 1280

REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo  

Katmai National Park, Alaska

Katmai National Park, Alaska

There’s only 1 place in the world to see this iconic image: Southern Alaska. And there’s only 1 time of year to see it: Late June through the end of July. Head to Katmai National Park to see some very hungry brown bears enjoy a feast of sockeye salmon that make their annual migratory run from the northern Pacific Ocean into park waters -- Brooks Camp is the place to the see this unrivaled nature show. 960 1280

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South Florida’s Summer Savings

South Florida’s Summer Savings

You can’t jump into June without jumping into South Florida. Seriously, now is the time to enjoy discounted rates (in some cases, up to 50%) at area hotels and resorts. See how to do Miami and Fort Lauderdale on a budget, and for popular, family-friendly beach vibes, check out our Delray Beach Guide. 960 1280

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National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

June kicks off hurricane season in the Caribbean, but don’t let that stop you from savoring Caribbean heritage … right here in America. President Obama has named it National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, and among the festivities happening nationwide is the DC Caribbean Carnival, an annual parade and festival held in late June. 960 1280

Alex Barth, flickr  

Queenstown Winter Festival

Queenstown Winter Festival

If you’re hungry for snow, hightail it to this annual festival in New Zealand, which attracts thousands of skiers and snowboarders to the blindingly white slopes surrounding the resort town of Queenstown. A big draw is Coronet Peak, located 12 miles north of town, where powdery terrain comes courtesy of some of the country’s best snowmaking facilities. 960 1280

Queenstown Winter Festival  

Spoleto Festival, Charleston

Spoleto Festival, Charleston

Enjoy one of the world’s major performing arts festivals this June in Charleston, SC. Founded in 1977, the Spoleto Festival was the brainchild of Pulitzer Prize-winning Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti. The 17-day-long fest, named in honor of the ancient Italian city of Spoleto, showcases established and emerging artists through more than 150 performances of jazz, theater, dance, opera and classical music. 960 1280

Julia Lynn  

Jump Into June  15 Photos