Dudarev Mikhail / ShutterstockLions, Backpackers, & Shadow Puppets: 5 Awesome Places You Can’t Miss This June Hannah Winsten June 1, 2016 Adventure Travel, Interests Folks, June is here and SUMMER IS NEAR. Are you super excited? Because I am super excited. June marks the official beginning of summer, the official end of the school year, and the official commencement of all things happy and awesome. If you’re a resident of the United States or any other country in the Northern hemisphere, you’re breaking out your shorts, bathing suits, and sandals, and staying up super late every night because guess what! The sun doesn’t set until basically tomorrow morning. No sleep ‘til winter, people. Not only is June a super happy month because summer’s starting, it’s also a great month to be traveling. Where should you drop your bags this month? We’ve rounded up the best places to hit while you’re on the move. 1.) If You’ve Always Wanted to Go Backpacking Across Europe pisaphotography / Shutterstock Now is seriously the time, people. I could give you a few choice destinations that are absolutely perfect this time of year—say London, Paris, or Berlin, if you’re looking to hit the quintessential European cities, or the Scandinavian countries of Norway and Sweden, if you’re a fjord-loving nature nut with a penchant for midnight suns—but that’d be doing you a disservice. Because, literally, the entire continent of Europe is pure perfection this time of year. Every single European destination you could possibly want to visit will be flawless if you travel there in June. The weather is perfect, the days are long, the Mediterranean half of the continent is in full-swing beach season—it doesn’t get any better than this. Come July and August, the weather will still be gorgeous, but the tourist crowds will start filtering in en masse. June is really the sweet spot when it comes to European vacations. So what are you waiting for? Grab your backpack and get going. Bon voyage! 2.) If You’ve Got an African Safari on Your Bucket List tr3gin / Shutterstock Tanzania is the place to be. There’s no better time to visit this East African nation than June, when the weather is dry and cool (relatively speaking—this is still Africa, folks). Tanzania is home to a number of incredible national parks, known for their spectacular wildlife. Visiting during the dry season means the vegetation will be less lush—a possible downside for foliage fanatics—but the animals will be easier to spot. Tree-climbing lions are way more visible when the trees they’re climbing have fewer leaves. Makes sense! When you’ve had your fill of lions, zebras, and wildebeests—oh my!—head over to the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar, a gorgeous beach oasis. You’ll find powdery white sand, crystal clear waters, and a rich culture infused with Swahili, Islamic, and Portuguese influences. 3.) If You Love Street Food and Shadow Puppets r.nagy / Shutterstock Craving an Asian vacation? June is, for the most part, not the best time to visit, as the majority of the continent will be drowning in monsoons. But! Malaysia is an exception. June marks the beginning of the dry season in Malaysia, ushering in the kind of weather that’s just perfect for site seeing. Check out the architecture and the street food in Kuala Lumpur—the city you’ll inevitably fly into and out of—and then move on to see what else this split nation has to offer. If an island resort is what you seek, head over to Pulau Pangkor, a favorite relaxation spot among Malaysian families. If you’re more of a culture and history kind of traveler, stop in Penang and Kota Bharu to check out historic temples, streets, guildhalls, and—most interestingly—shadow puppet productions of Hindu epics. Want to enjoy the great outdoors? Head to Taman Negara, one of the world’s oldest rainforests, for trekking and wildlife experiences you won’t find anywhere else. 4.) If You’re a Marine Biology Nerd with an Adventurous Streak Dudarev Mikhail / Shutterstock If you’re obsessed with all things aquatic, Australia’s Ningaloo Reef is where you should be headed this June. June marks the beginning of the Australian winter—meaning smaller crowds and more moderate temperatures—so you’ll be able to enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage site in near perfect conditions. Fly into Perth, then rent a car and start your epic adventure around the reef. Along the way, you can lay in the sand, go surfing—traditional, kite, and wind, in case you were wondering—go fishing, and even swim with whale sharks. Now that’s something to add to your bucket list, mate! 5.) If You Love Skyscrapers and America dibrova / Shutterstock Last but not least, if you’re planning to stay in the good ol’ US of A, New York is a great place to visit in June. The weather is just right—a phenomenon that happens all of 2 months out of the entire year—the tourists haven’t quite arrived yet, and the days are long and sunny. It’s really a great month to hit the Big Apple. While you’re in NYC, you can check out Times Square, Chinatown, Little Italy, the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and so much more. You can even visit some of the weirdest museums you’ll probably find anywhere ever. There’s really no place like New York. And! You might be able to win some free tickets, tours, and eats along the way. Score! Where will you be headed this June? Let us know in the comments!