The Best Beaches to Visit in July
The dog days of summer might not seem so ideal for spending grueling hours in the sun, but we found seven best beaches to visit in July—from sultry Jamaica to the South Pacific—where you can still enjoy breezes, cocktails, and ocean views without the triple-digit temps.
Malolo Island, Fiji
Finally ready to just bite the bullet and book a trip to the South Pacific? Without question, July is the opportune time to visit Fiji, whose dry season gets in full swing and the water is at its clearest and calmest. You won’t go wrong with any of the white-sand beaches here, but this year, all eyes are on Malolo Island’s just-opened Six Senses Fiji. Just 24 pool villas—all teak, wood-beamed ceilings, and white linens—sit at the cusp of the sea, separated by lush jungle gardens and shaded by palm trees. Of course, the renowned spa is worth a look, as are the restaurants, which serve fruit and vegetables grown on-site—but we won’t blame you for spending most of your time out on the sand or snorkeling the nearby Malolo Barrier Reef.
Known as “First Beach” to locals, Newport’s Easton’s Beach is the closest one you’ll find to downtown—ideal for popping by whether or not you decide to spend a full day there. Its proximity to the Cliff Walk means you can start or end your day with your toes in the sand between tours of Newport’s famous mansions and cliff views, while live band Tuesdays and Thursday Children’s Nights (July through August) make it a must for families. Keeping it casual? Grab a lobster roll from Easton’s Beach Snack Bar, then check in to Castle Hill Inn, a collection of cottages just a five minutes’ drive from downtown complete with lawn games, a private beach of its own, and a yacht for cruises nearby.
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Montego Bay, Jamaica
Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica’s biggest music event of the year, takes over the streets and sands of Montego Bay every July. Over six nights, you can catch reggae’s biggest acts (Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Beres Hammond, Maxi Priest) along with a few more well-known names like Shaggy and Snoop Lion (Snoop Dogg’s reggae album pseudonym) as they hit stages around town. After all that high-octane fun, retreat down the coast to Round Hill Hotel and Villas. Designed by none other than Ralph Lauren, it’s one of the most luxurious low-key escapes in all of the Caribbean, with a private beach, splurge-worthy spa, and themed dinners that keep the live music flowing.
Palm Beach, Aruba
By July, hurricane season is already well underway throughout the Caribbean—but Aruba, one of the region’s most southerly islands, remains below the hurricane belt, making it an easy (and safe) spot to get away. The tiny Dutch isle is famous for its sugar-white sands, gabled houses, and twisted divi-divi trees. Skip the rockier, rougher seas of the north for posh Palm Beach, in the west, where Aruba’s most luxurious sleep—The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba—makes for an impressive landmark with its multi-tiered saffron façade and sprawling pool area.
Shoal Bay East, Anguilla
Anguilla claims 33 beaches to its name, but Shoal Bay—a two-mile stretch of sand on the island’s Atlantic side—is by far its prettiest. The powder-fine white sand meeting crystal turquoise ocean is a sight to behold, the shallows extending farther out than usual thanks to a protective reef. You’ll find all amounts of authentic beach bars (like Gwen’s Reggae Bar and Grill) on both sides of “The Bend” (which divides the beach in two) as well as arguably Anguilla’s most luxurious resort,Zemi Beach House, on the eastern end. Drop your bags in one of the 69 tropical rooms—think rattan furniture, dark-wood accents, and floor-to-ceiling beach views—then check out the island’s only hammam.
Tsilivi Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
July spells high season for Greece’s famous isles, but there’s still glorious beaches to be found without so many crowds—if you know where to look. Despite being one of the largest Ionian Islands, Zakynthos welcomes fewer tourists and lower hotel rates than the likes of Mykonos and Santorini, and, as long as you avoid Shipwreck Beach, its sands are far less visited as well. This year, the all-new Olea All Suite Hotel opened its doors on the hilly outskirts of town. Its 93 cube-like villas come with all the bohemian trappings, including wicker hanging chairs, bamboo detailing, swim-up terraces, and (if you can splurge) private infinity pools. It’s worth checking out the three restaurants and yoga pavilion before heading to nearby Tsilivi Beach (just don't forget about sundowners at the poolside bar).
England might be the biggest surprise in any round-up of “best beaches,” but let us make a case for Cornwall. The UK sees its best weather patterns in July, when the sun is out consistently and the temperatures are warm and comfortable. Along the Cornish coast, you’ll find long, untouched beaches—Land’s End and Porthcurno among the best—shaped by turbulent waves and natural rock formations, which form calmer tidal pools . After checking into The Idle Rocks, a chic waterfront inn in St. Mawes known for its rustic, "collected" look (think antique wooden fishing boxes, African jewelry, and driftwood sculptures) and breezy terrace, head further west to St Ives, where artist studios, an outpost of the Tate, and historic seafood restaurants draw a cultured crowd of foodies and gallery-hoppers.