Remember, friends, nothing lasts forever. This is especially important to remember as you bask in the late-summer sunshine this time of year, wondering how on earth the weather could ever be anything less than perfect. But give it a month or so, and you’ll start longing for the days of mid-70s sunshine, and wondering how you can get back to them.
The good news is, if you’ve got a ton of money and can be gone for an entire year, you can spend all of 2020 chasing ideal temperatures. Reservations.com mapped out an entire yearlong itinerary where you’ll get a week in 52 different destinations where the weather doesn’t go below 70 or above 76 degrees. It takes you through six continents to some places you never knew existed, and is about the most comfortable way you’ll ever see the world.
January 1 — Bariloche, Argentina
What better place to start 2020 than along the shores of stunning lakes in Patagonia? You’ll enjoy the mountain town’s best weather of the year, where you can sun yourself in the shadow of the Andes, or trek the epic 33-mile trail from Pampa Linda to Colonia Suiza. This time of year the mountain passes are all open, and you’ll encounter the least chance of wind and snow.
January 8 — Valparaiso, Chile
Chile’s vibrant port city sits right on the edge of Chilean wine country, meaning you can spend your afternoons lounging around the bohemian cafes near the water, then venture out to the countryside for an afternoon of wine tasting. You can also take the Peel Elevator to the top of Cerro Alegre, and enjoy spectacular views of the city and the ocean beyond.
January 15 — Arequipa, Peru
While Peruvian cities like Cusco are oft over-touristed, the capital of the mountainous Arequipa region is a colonial gem, surrounded by three towering volcanoes and void of visiting masses. Its arches and gothic cathedrals — like the Basilica Cathedral and the Santa Catalina Monastery — make it one of the most architecturally significant cities in the world. It’s also central to endless outdoor adventures, including hiking volcanoes and rafting the Rio Chili.
January 22 — Guatape, Colombia
Finding perfect, low-humidity weather in Colombia can be tough, what with the humid Caribbean beaches and wind-swept mountains. But this Andean resort town between Bogota and Medellin is a colorful, hidden gem that’s warmer than locales in the higher elevations, but still dry and pleasant. The city sits along a series of lakes, where water recreation abounds. In town, take time to examine the detailed frescoes depicting agricultural life in rural Colombia.
January 29 — Panajachel, Guatemala
Late January is the ideal time to visit the glittery waters of Lake Atitlán, and enjoy some of the most spectacular sunsets in Central America. Panajachel has avoided much of the tourism rush that’s affected larger towns on the lake, and taking a kayak on the water is every bit the serene experience people seek when coming to Central America. The Atitlán nature reserve is close by too, if you’re up for some zip lining or day hikes.
February 5 — La Paz, Mexico
Heading north to begin February, you’ll find yourself on the southern tip of Baja California enjoying the cool sea breeze in the hot Mexican desert. Whales like to come around La Paz this time of year too, so don’t be surprised if you see a tail flip in the distance while you’re enjoying tequila at sunset. If the Sea of Cortez looks inviting, the surfing here is some of the best in North America, and you may even find yourself swimming right next to a sea lion.
February 12 — Monterrey, Mexico
There’s a reason Mexico is one of the most popular winter destinations in the world, so spend an extra week there and explore this mountainous industrial hub. Get some exercise running around the Parque Fundidora, an old industrial park converted into green space, complete with an imposing steel museum. You might also want to run along the Paseo Santa Lucia, a path by an artificial teal lake that’s one of Mexico’s most impressive feats of engineering.
February 19 — Las Palmas, Spain
Late winter is the ideal time to hit North Africa, and while, yes, technically Las Palmas is part of Europe, geographically it feels distinctly African. Relax after your long journey across the Atlantic on Las Canteras Beach, or get under the sea and dive the Canary Islands’ famously clear water. The colorful city is also home to some unique neighborhoods, like the English-inspired Ciudad Jardin, or the hipster restaurants and bars along Plaza Cairasco.
February 26 — Marrakech, Morocco
The final week of February gets a little more Indiana Jones-ish as you delve deep into the bazaars and medinas of Marrakech. Though the city certainly has an Old World charm — eating kebabs and strolling the smoky stands of the old city is a must — you’ll find Marrakech also has a highly westernized side. And, if you don’t mind a little cigarette smoke, the nightlife can be better than a lot of places in Europe.
March 5 — Tozeur, Tunisia
You won’t be hitting the Sahara Desert on an agenda of perfect-weather destinations, but Tozeur — an oasis city near the Sahara’s edge — is about as close as you’ll get. Hit the Chebika Mountain Oasis for some desert cliff diving (don’t worry, there’s water), then stroll through the medina in Ouled el Hadef. This medina is not nearly as chaotic as the ones you just saw in Marrakech, and may even feel a little more immersive.
March 12 — Cairo, Egypt
Though March temps here inch all the way to 75 degrees, it’s still a perfectly pleasant time to explore Egypt’s largest city. The famous pyramids are only about 11 miles away from downtown across the Nile, and while spring break crowds will definitely be there in full force, it’s still a heck of a lot better than dealing with summer crowds AND triple-digit temps.
March 19 — Tel Aviv, Israel
Venturing north from Africa into the Middle East, your first stop will be in Tel Aviv, a little slice of California at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The beaches here are the best in the region, and the city has become a top choice for food tourists in recent years. Tel Aviv might not be as historic as other parts of Israel, but it does have some fascinating museums like the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Eretz Museum, which tells the story of how this beachside metropolis came to be in under 100 years.
March 26 — Haifa, Israel
With postcard-worthy weather and clear blue waters, why not stay in Israel an extra week? Haifa, a port city about an hour north of Tel Aviv, is a relaxing place to unwind along the slopes of Mount Carmel. The city is home to the only Japanese art museum in the Middle East, as well as cable car rides to the top of Carmel Ridge, with panoramic views of the Med and beyond.
April 2 — Baalbek, Lebanon
One would think going from Northern Israel into neighboring Lebanon would be a simple little drive along the coast. Any maybe once upon a time it was, but in 2019, getting the 109 miles between these two cities involves driving to Tel Aviv, then taking two fights to Beirut, then driving another hour to historic Baalbek. Consider this leg your education in the complications of life in the Middle East. Once in Baalbek, though, the ancient Roman architecture will take your mind off your just-completed, cross-border trek.
April 9 — Antalya, Turkey
Your most Instagrammable moments of 2020 begin in April, when you tour ancient ruins and sun yourself on the not-yet-packed beaches of Antalya. Be sure to hit Hadrian’s Gate, a triple-arched entrance to what was once the walled city, dating back to the year 130. You can also take a short trip out to Duden or Kursunlu waterfalls, if a week in perfect beach weather grows tiresome.
April 16 — Larnaca, Cyprus
This island in the far-eastern Med is still largely undiscovered by Americans, and in mid-April Europeans won’t be flocking there quite yet either. You’ll have the sands at Finikoudes and Mackenzie beaches all to yourself, and it’ll be perfect weather to venture up into the Troodos Mountains. Make sure also to tour the ruins at the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, where you’ll find ancient Roman mansions with the mosaic floors still intact.
April 23 — Chania, Crete
Your European adventure continues on the Greek island of Crete, not quite yet in full summer insanity. This 14th century port city boasts one of the oldest lighthouses in the world, which was renovated for visitors in 2006. The waterfront along the old port is a must-visit too, not just for the colorful buildings but also for the restaurants and cafes ideal for al fresco dining.
April 30 — Catania, Italy
April closes out your first few weeks on the Med in the Sicilian port town of Catania, which dates back over 2,700 years. The island’s second-largest city is known for its ornate cathedrals, but also for sitting in the shadow of Mount Etna, an active volcano that somehow hasn’t destroyed Catania yet. A trip to the top lets you stare into its menacing caldera, and, at just over 10,000 feet, it’s actually doable in a day.
May 7 — Naples, Italy
After a week of trekking up Mount Etna it’s time to reward yourself with the best pizza in the world. Feel free to gorge yourself on Neapolitan-style pies, then burn them off walking through the ruins of cities that weren’t so lucky in the volcano department on tours of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
May 14 — Split, Croatia
Come here during yacht week and you’ll wonder why anyone would visit again. But come during May, and you might even get to take some Game of Thrones selfies without waiting for 100 people to get the same picture first. This historic seaside town might be the most scenic on the Adriatic, and was interestingly the retirement locale of the Emperor Diocletian.
May 21 — Rabat, Malta
It seems like this little island between Sicily and Africa was the travel darling of 2017, with pictures of Arabic/Latinate Malta popping up all over your social media feeds. The “silent city” of Mdina was probably the most frequent image, a fortified village dating back nearly 4,000 years that’s been meticulously maintained. With summer crowds now in full effect, May is also an excellent time to dive wrecks off the coast.
May 28 — Barcelona, Spain
While it might be Memorial Day back home, it’s just the last weekend in May in Spain, and also the last weekend before hoards of Americans invade the city. So shop along the Rambla and grab some absinthe in the landmark dive Bar Marsella, the city’s oldest bar that serves the stuff out of a questionable-looking glass bottle. But for the love of all that’s holy, do not come back pronouncing this place with a lisp.
June 4 — Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is like the San Francisco of Europe, a cool coastal city built on seven hills where you’ll feel exhausted walking from dinner to your post-meal drinks. It’s also one of the most beautiful in Europe, the second-oldest capital, filled with stunning architecture and colorful ocean views. The food here is fantastic and cheap — but if the options are overwhelming head to the Time Out Market, which despite having an American name is loaded with some of the city’s best restaurants.
June 11 — Bordeaux, France
After a hectic week in Lisbon, venture inland to France’s most renowned wine region. You’ll have to hit the juicy highlights at Château La Dominique, Cheval Blanc, and Maison du Vin de Saint-Emilion, but the city has more to offer than just fermented grapes. You can cool off from the ideal weather in the world’s largest reflecting pool, visit the world’s top wine museum at La Cite du Vin, or hit Bordeaux’s only whiskey distillery at Moon Harbour.
June 18 — Geneva, Switzerland
If you’re taking a year to chase the perfect temperatures, hopefully you budgeted for it, too. Because while Geneva is one of the most picturesque cities in the world, set right on the shores of Lake Geneva, your morning coffee will likely cost you $8. Cost aside, if you have time jump on a train and spend a couple of days in Montreux, too. Its casino houses a pretty cool Queen museum, and it feels a little like New Orleans minus the humidity.
June 25 — Berlin, Germany
You’ll close out Europe just as the crowds are starting to get unmanageable, with a trip to the continent’s most fascinating city for modern history. The once-divided German capital is teeming with tributes to its turbulent 20th century, including the Topography of Terror — a museum dedicated to the Gestapo — and the Checkpoint Charlie museum, which tells the bizarre, terrible history of the Berlin Wall.
July 2 — Nairobi, Kenya
People rarely think of east-central Africa as being “temperate,” but Kenya in July is about as nice of weather as you’ll find on the planet. If you’ve got the time and money, it’s the perfect jumping-off point for a safari in Mount Kenya or Buffalo Springs national reserves. If you’d rather stay in town, you can still get a heavy dose of African nature at Nairobi National Park, or the Karura Forest Reserve.
July 9 — Monkey Bay, Malawi
The trip from Nairobi to Monkey Bay is certainly a lesson in African infrastructure. Theoretically, the two-hour flight from the Kenyan capital to Lilongwe is pretty straightforward, but airlines in Africa don’t exactly run on the regimented schedule we’re used to. Do yourself a favor and think of the trip as a cultural experience, as you should the three-hour drive from Lilongwe to this city on Lake Malawi. Clear your head at Lake Malawi National Park, a World Heritage site where the clear waters teem with fish.
July 14 — Siavonga, Zambia
Staying in the realm of perfect weather is not an easy task, as you navigate two buses and another intra-African flight to Siovonga. Once you’re there, however, it’s all relaxation and you’ll learn how this village on the shores of Lake Kariba earned its nickname as the “Riviera of Zambia.”
July 19 — Hwange, Zimbabwe
If you didn’t get your perfect weather safari fix in Kenya, all is not lost as game drives through Hwange National Park offer nearly nonstop viewings of elephants and lions. It’s also only about 65 miles from Victoria Falls, an easy day trip and an ideal activity when you start saying stuff like “Seen one cheetah, seen ‘em all.”
July 30 — Pretoria, South Africa
Lost between the coastal beauty of Cape Town and the wild animals of Kruger National Park is the South African administrative capital of Pretoria. It’s best known for its endless jacaranda trees, which give the city a purple tint — although it may be too early for them in July, as they start blooming in September. It’s also home to some of the most impressively tall buildings in South Africa, including the Shanghai-worthy Telkom Tower.
August 6 — Baie du Tombeau, Mauritius
For secluded paradise in Africa, it’s hard to top these tropical islands east of Madagascar. You won’t have to worry about much in the way of crowds or overtourism, and the white sandy beaches butt right up against beautiful light blue water. Visit some of the spas around the village for complete relaxation, then head to the northeast part of the island for one of the best skydiving views in the world.
August 13 — Darjeeling, India
The foothills to the Himalayas are another place not too many people would think of as “temperate,” but during mid-August this town in west Bengal is a comfortable 72 degrees. Take the Batasia Loop toy train through a 50,000-square-foot ecological garden, then head to Nightingale Park and meditate on the reflection of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain, in the park’s still lake.
August 18 — Paro, Bhutan
Delve a little deeper into the Himalayas and drive a day into Bhutan. Deep in a lush valley you’ll find the village of Paro, with ornate pagodas and colorful homes. The accommodating weather will be perfect for a hike to the Taktsang Monastery, a cliffside structure that makes you wonder how on earth it was ever built.
August 23 — Ulan-Ude, Russia
Saying you’re going to Siberia for the perfect weather sounds a little like going to Jakarta for the fresh air, but in late August this city in east Siberia, just north of Mongolia, clocks in at around 73 degrees. It’s the best place in the world to learn about the seldom-seen Buryat culture, its food, and its trademark throat singing.
September 1 — Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Late summer might be the best to try out a little yurt-camping in the Mongolian steppes, and while they won’t be as temperate at the capital they also won’t be as inhospitably awful as they might be in colder months. If yurting is not for you, Ulaanbaatar is surprisingly cosmopolitan, and you can learn how important Mongolia has been to world development at the National Museum.
September 8 — Sapporo, Japan
Before it was the beer you only order at sushi restaurants, Sapporo was the name of a city that hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics. It’ll be a little warm for ski season, but you can still get up into the surrounding mountains and enjoy the onsen spas. Then head back into town and venture to the top of the TV Tower for 360 degree views of the alpine scenery. Finally, make sure to visit the famous brewery so you can tell everyone back home how it “just tastes different in Japan.”
September 15 — Sokcho, South Korea
Sokcho may be the world’s only city to see a tourism boom from Pokemon Go, as a glitch in the system led literally thousands of people here chasing the game’s “monsters.” Once they arrived, they found a charming seaside town with one of the best beaches in the country, and the city’s secret was out. Sokcho is also close to Seoraksan National Park, where you can trek or cable car to the top of Ulsanbawi for sweeping views of the East Sea. Or enjoy a peaceful afternoon at Biryong Falls.
September 22 — Beijing, China
Thought it was a bit weird to go straight from India to Siberia, skipping one of the largest countries in the world? Sure, but when you’re chasing perfect weather sometimes the path isn’t necessarily efficient — and, if you’re trying to see Beijing, then late September is the best time to do it. The Great Wall will still have more people around it than you’d anticipated, but at least you’ll be fighting them for selfie space in 73-degree weather.
September 29 — Tokyo, Japan
The concrete canyons and bright lights of Tokyo can trap heat in ways almost nowhere else can, but in late September it’s typically a fairly manageable 73 degrees. You might take this opportunity to try and climb Mount Fuji, as it’ll be the easiest time of year to try. Or just post up in a cat cafe or karaoke bar and enjoy the city sans AC.
October 6 — Adelaide, Australia
October is Australia’s spring, which means the weather will be absolutely perfect for you to visit Adelaide’s landmark botanic garden or go wine tasting through Barossa. Since you’re this far south, you also might want to check out Kangaroo Island about 130 miles southwest. As the name might imply, it has some of the best concentrations of undisturbed Aussie wildlife with 23 trails crisscrossing the island to view them all.
October 13 — Perth, Australia
With most of October spent down under, you’d be remiss not to check out some of the lesser-visited cities in the country. Perth, which sits on Australia’s oft-forgotten west coast, has beaches just as lovely as you’d find on the other side of the country — with a fraction of the people. Hit up Cottesloe Beach for sunset, or for a full day adventure make the trip to Rottnest Island and bask in the white sand and turquoise water.
October 20 — Sydney, Australia
Close out your almost-month in Australia in its largest city, where the brutal summer humidity has yet to set in and you can enjoy Bondi Beach without having to perpetually jump in the ocean. If you’ve tired of the landmarks, delve into the city’s lesser-visited neighborhoods like Surry Hills, once a warehouse district transformed into a hotbed of restaurants and cocktail bars. Or Newtown, the de facto college district for Sydney University.
October 27 — Napa, California
Weather-wise, there’s never really a bad time to head to California wine country, but late October brings you here at the tail end of harvest season, with minimal heat and almost no chance of fires. Cheap Napa Valley will not be, so if you’re looking for something a little more cost-effective then Sonoma Valley is only a short drive away.
November 5 — Los Angeles, California
Say what you will about LA, nobody’s ever complained about the weather. November, however, is when the city cools to an ideal 74 degrees, and at night you may even need to pack a jacket. Conveniently, the pre-Thanksgiving weeks leave Disneyland with its shortest lines of the year. And you’ll have two football teams, two basketball teams, and two hockey teams to watch as well.
November 9 — Las Vegas, Nevada
Weather has never really been a factor in planning a Vegas vacation, since pretty much everything in the city is designed to keep you indoors. But maybe the pool party at Encore will be a little less dehydrating in November, and once you’ve tired of endless hedonism you can explore one of America’s best cities for outdoors in the fall.
November 15 — Austin, Texas
Though Austin lost its “keep it weird” reputation once half of California moved in, it’s still a fantastic place to spend a weekend in the fall. UT football is in full swing, and even if you’re not a big Longhorns fan you can still catch plenty of live music and barbecue everywhere in the city. It’s also an ideal time to visit Barton Springs, since kids are in school and locals think it’s too cold to swim.
November 22 — New Orleans, Louisiana
That Bourbon Street hangover will hurt a little less with the reduced humidity and 70-degree temperatures that come in late November. And we mean just that, a little less — the weather’s not an excuse to get carried away with the purple drink at Lafitte’s. Still, the cool temps afford the perfect opportunity to do something other than drink in the Big Easy, like taking a long run through City Park.
December 2 — Orlando, Florida
With school children squarely back in their desks after Thanksgiving, and parents burnt out on travel and feeling the holiday cash pinch, Orlando’s bevvy of theme parks are as empty as you’ll find them all year. You also won’t have to bring three changes of clothes or buy a Mickey Mouse poncho for the afternoon thunderstorms, as December weather in Orlando lends itself nicely to walking from ride to ride with minimal lines.
December 9 — Miami, Florida
Just after the rush of Art Basel but before the onslaught of New Year’s, mid-December might strike the perfect balance of ideal weather and thinned crowds in South Florida. It’s also a beautiful time of year to venture into the Everglades, where you can hike without constantly swatting mosquitoes, and enjoy a leisurely airboat ride through the mangroves minus the blistering heat.
December 15 — Mount Pleasant, Bermuda
Bermuda is sometimes confused with the Caribbean, what with its abundance of pink sand beaches and clear blue waters. But it is, in fact, due east of the Carolinas, and in December still boasts temperatures in the low 70s. That might be a little chilly for snorkeling around Horseshoe Bay, but still warm enough to kick back on the sand and Instagram the heck out of the mesmerizing rock formations.
December 25 — Nassau, Bahamas
Christmas in the Caribbean! There’s nothing quite like it, and while this island nation took a beating this month from Hurricane Dorian we have full faith by December it’ll be open and ready for us to finish our year of chasing perfect weather. Show up a little early and you can enjoy the novelty of watching college football on a tropical island at the Bahamas Bowl. Then maybe after Christmas head a little bit south and hit the best New Year’s party in the region at Foxy’s in the British Virgin Islands.
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