1. Celebrate in San Francisco
June marks Pride Month in the U.S., and San Francisco’s celebrations can’t be beaten. Normally laid-back and relaxed enough to explore on bike, San Francisco is party central once June rolls around. As the festival days approach, the streets turn into a whirlwind of rainbow-colored activity (the best kind!). The highlight of the month is the parade, which kicks off on the morning of June 23. Traveling through the city and ending in the Financial District, the parade is cheered on by thousands of spectators and features over 200 contingents. If you’re headed to San Francisco for the celebration, make sure you explore the city’s diverse range of districts and even try out a themed tour and or two.
2. Enjoy endless sun in Helsinki
Want to enjoy as much summer sun as you literally can? Then head north to Finland, where the sun is up for almost 20 hours each day of June. Cities like Helsinki come out of hibernation with a bang (midsummer celebrations, anyone?). Options abound: whether you want to reconnect with nature after a winter of staying indoors or to just get out and about in this lively city. Travelers who enjoy a side of creative embellishment with their local history should head over to the Sipoonkorpi National Park — the renowned home of the Giant’s Kettles (and trolls!).
3. Hike around Cusco
Once dry season finally hits Peru, you’ll need to get in quick to beat the crowds that arrive in July and August. Just as visitors arrive in July, so do warmer temperatures — which means June is the perfect time to check out areas like Cusco. Put your sensible shoes on and head up the hills to Machu Picchu, or take the scenic route and explore the surrounding areas too. By beating the crowds, you’ll have time to take things at your own pace and there’s the added bonus of nobody ruining your profile pic with an accidental photobomb. Plus, we feel like the local llama population is friendlier this time of year. Just a hunch.
4. Learn about the past in Normandy
With the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings this year, it’s the perfect time to visit this culturally-rich area. History buffs will enjoy dedicated tours to learning about the history-changing event as well as visits to memorials where travelers can pay their respects. To bring a lighter note to your vacation, celebrate the broader culture of this area by heading over to the incredible Museum of Impressionism. If you have a little more time on your hands, it’s also worth making the trip out to Mont Saint Michel for some high caliber Kodak moments.
5. Snap away in Bali
As one of the driest and — very relatively speaking — coolest months, June is the perfect time to head to Bali. Although lots of other travelers will have the same idea, there are definitely enough Instagram must-snaps and poolside space for everyone. Our tip? Put one or two days aside to make your way out of the city and north to Ubud. Once famous for its hot springs and healthy population of monkeys, the area has recently transformed into a paradise for spa and nature lovers.
6. Join Berlin’s biggest party
By June, Berlin has well and truly completed its transition back into summer mode. The streets are populated again, beers clink merrily on outdoor terraces and beer gardens, and a general celebratory atmosphere fills the city. A date you can’t miss is the Fête de la Musique, one of the many summer solstice-themed parties. For the light sleepers among you, ear plugs might be necessary — or better yet, get in the Berlin spirit and skip bedtime altogether. When you’re ready to take a break, our tip is to hit the water and discover the city from the comfort of a deck chair.