( Tripsavvy ) – A Guide to Weather, Events and the Best Things to Do in July
The heat is on in July in New England! It’s the perfect month to head to one of New England’s splendid beaches. Favorites include the Narragansett Town Beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island; Maine’s Old Orchard Beach; and Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts’ unique Singing Beach, where the sand squeaks beneath your feet.
The week surrounding the 4th of July is one of the busiest tourism times of the year in New England, so lodgings can be scarce, with rates at a premium. Fireworks displays are held on the 4th and beyond, with several of the largest displays happening after the holiday.
While coastal areas like Cape Cod are crowded, you’ll find your best deals inland, particularly at ski resort properties, which try to attract out-of-season visitors with summertime activities and discounted rates. Mountain destinations have the advantage of staying cooler during July, so if you’re not a fan of the heat, consider this alternative.
New England Weather in July
New England’s average temperatures in July hover in the mid-80s Fahrenheit, with lows dipping in the mid-60s Fahrenheit (and occasionally the 50s, depending on how far north you go).
- Hartford, Connecticut: 65 / 84 F (19 / 29 C)
- Providence, Rhode Island: 64 / 83 F (18 / 28 C)
- Boston, Massachusetts: 65 / 82 F (18 / 28 C)
- Nantucket, Massachusetts: 62 / 75 F (17 / 24 C)
- Killington, Vermont: 55 / 76 F (13 / 24 C)
- North Conway, New Hampshire: 57 / 80 F (14 / 27 C)
- Portland, Maine: 59 / 79 F (15 / 26 C)
New England’s weather is notoriously volatile, and that doesn’t change just because it’s summertime. The sun cranks out rays, and the humidity can be sticky (be sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated), and thunderstorms can pop up, leaving the air refreshed and cool and chasing vacationers away from beaches and pools.
What to Pack
Be prepared for a variety of summer weather if you’re visiting New England in July. Most days, you’ll don shorts and a tank top or T-shirt for outdoor activities. Indoors? Air conditioning can make shopping malls and restaurants feel downright chilly, so it’s never a bad idea to have a light jacket or wrap with you. At night, temps do cool, so pack jeans or long pants and a sweatshirt just in case. Covering up helps to protect against ticks and other biting insects, too. Sneakers are ideal footwear for sightseeing; hiking boots are better for the woods. And flip-flops make sense for the beach, but don’t count on them to take you everywhere you’ll want to go.
July Events in New England
Celebrate the 4th of July in true patriotic style! And that’s just the beginning. July features fun-filled festivals and events all month long.
- July 1-4: America’s Oldest Fourth of July Celebration in Bristol, Rhode Island
- July 1-7: Boston Harborfest in Boston, Massachusetts
- July 9-14: Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, Massachusetts
- July 11-14: Hillsboro Fest and Fair in Hillsboro, New Hampshire
- July 12-14: Moxie Festival in Lisbon, Maine
- July 13: Riverfront Food Truck Festival and Fireworks in Hartford, Connecticut
- July 14-21: Hall of Fame Open at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island
- July 19-20: Vermont Brewers Festival in Burlington, Vermont
- July 19-21: Yarmouth Clam Festival in Yarmouth, Maine
- July 20: WaterFire in Providence, Rhode Island
- July 26-28: International Sand Sculpting Festival in Revere, Massachusetts
- July 26-28: Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell, Massachusetts
Best Destinations for July in New England
School’s out, and families flock to New England in July to combine fun in the sun with a side dish of education about the history, culture and ingenuity of our nation. Don’t worry: Your kids probably won’t even realize they’re learning something!
- Pack up your crew and head to Boston by car, plane or train. This easy-to-walk city has plenty of places to cool off when you tire of visiting top attractions and walking the Freedom Trail. It’s free to play in the random spray at Rings Fountain. After rumbling through the city, Boston Duck Tours plunge into the Charles River, and you’ll feel a breeze as you enjoy the view from the water. Codzilla generates even higher-speed gusts. And a night game at Fenway Park is a perfect way to end the day: Here’s how to get Red Sox tickets.
- Got preschoolers or little kids? Spend a memorable July vacation in the White Mountains of New Hampshire at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, which is home to the Kahuna Laguna indoor water park. A stay here is guaranteed fun: Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate! Take your little ones to Santa’s Village or to Story Land. Drive to the top of Mount Washington (if you dare), or take the Cog Railway to the summit and explore the Extreme Mount Washington interactive museum. Cool off in New Hampshire’s caves and waterpark waves. And get a jump start on back-to-school shopping at outlet stores, where you’ll enjoy bonus savings because New Hampshire has no state sales tax!
July Travel Tips
- July is National Blueberry Month! Look for New England-grown blueberries at farm stands and farmers’ markets. Maine’s tiny wild blueberries are particularly delicious and in demand.
- The Tanglewood summer concert season is in full swing in July, and nothing beats spreading out a blanket and savoring a gourmet picnic before a symphony or chamber ensemble performance or a memorable evening with a popular artist like James Taylor.
- If you’re heading north to Maine, check the schedule of free summer concerts at L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport.