The best vacations are spent in a beautiful, fun locale. For many travelers, August is the last opportunity to schedule some downtime before summer ends. The ideal spots for many of us are those that have plenty of sunshine, not a lot of heat or humidity, and aren’t overly crowded. Luckily, there’s a long list of amazing U.S. destinations that fit easily within these categories.
Not only is Kauai the least commercially developed island in Hawaii, but it also has more than 60 beaches, world-renown waterfalls, and breathtaking vistas. Temperatures hover in the mid-80s during the summer here and only slightly higher in August. Although this island receives more rain than its neighboring isles, you’ll find dryer conditions in Kauai’s southern areas, around Poipu or in the west, in Kekaha and Waimea. The crowds start to diminish as August rolls around and prices are much better, too.
Although Steamboat Springs is a year-round destination, August is a perfect time of year to visit this quiet, laid-back in the Rocky Mountains. Not just one, but three state parks and their lakes surround this mountain playground. The city is famous for its hot springs, but there are countless ways to take in the area’s majestic natural gifts, including boating and rafting, waterskiing, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and backpacking. Expect summer highs in the 80s during the day and low humidity levels.
The northernmost of the three peninsulas on the Chesapeake Bay, Northern Neck is the perfect destination for foodies who adore seafood and sampling the local fare at farmers markets and roadside stands. There are wineries and cideries to explore as well. Travelers who love browsing antique stores, galleries, and artisan boutiques will find everything their heart desires in Northern Neck. Fishing, camping, and hiking opportunities, birdwatching, and even a sailing school make this locale a great place to exhale, let go of the doldrums, and have some fun before buckling down for the fall.
By the time August rolls around, the high-travel season is slowing down in Alaska. Around mid-month, the moisture levels start to increase and the dazzling fall foliage begins its radiant display. Denali National Park is just two hours from Fairbanks and four hours from Anchorage. It is, essentially, six million acres of pure, natural wonderment. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet and the chance to see wild animals against the magnificent backdrops of snow-capped mountains and thick forests, this is the place for you. Expect 22 hours of sunlight each day, with highs in the mid-60s, but bring some warmer clothes — the weather can turn chilly.
National Geographic once named this beach one of the world’s most beautiful places. Rock formations along its shoreline and a four-mile stretch of sandy beachfront make this a popular destination for visitors seeking some sunshine along the Oregon coast. At the end of the beach, venture into Tolovana State Recreation Site, the home of seabirds, tidepool creatures, and the famous Haystack Rock, a 235-foot basalt sea stack. Daily high temperatures stay between 67 and 72 degrees in August.
This beautiful group of four islands — St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little Simons Island, and Jekyll Island — and the port city of Brunswick sit along a 100-mile coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. There’s a variety of recreational choices here, including deep-sea fishing, golfing, and paddleboarding. Sea breezes keep the heat and humidity down at comfortable levels.
For such a small place, Bar Harbor is a romantic destination with lots of great seafood restaurants and other culinary delights to explore. Even in August, the weather is cool and inviting. The town is the gateway to the 47,000-acre Acadia National Park, a year-round destination. When the tide is low, you’ll discover a walking path from Bar Harbor to Bar Island. Once there, climb to the top of the island’s summit to see spectacular views of Bar Harbor and its mountainous backdrop.
While it may be famous for its healing hot springs, Jemez Springs is also a gathering place for artistic-minded, creative individuals seeking inspiration in the area’s natural beauty. The village hosts special events and festivals, but there are also important archeological sites and cultural histories to explore here. Just 20 miles north of the village is Valles Caldera National Preserve, the country’s newest national park, teeming with wildlife, hiking trails, and unparalleled vistas. Temperatures range from the low 50s to the upper 80s in August.
Cobblestone roads, fountains, a pedestrian mall, a thriving art scene, street performers, concerts, and historical architecture describe the delightful destination of Burlington. This vibrant city sits on the eastern shoreline of Lake Champlain. Relax on the beach, ride a bike, kayak, rollerblade, or take a cruise on the lake. You’ll find plenty of sunshine and low humidity levels in August, with highs of around 78 degrees.
Live-action roleplayers and history buffs of all ages can immerse themselves in the traditions, craftsmanship, and revelry of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival which begins the third week of August in Shakopee. Jousting, musical groups, a fairy wing forest, a Viking encampment, artisans, and a vast selection of delicious fare await you. Once you’ve conquered the festival, you’ll find horse racing at Canterbury Park, as well as a casino, a living history museum, and a huge amusement park nearby. Expect temperatures of around 82 degrees, with humidity levels of around 70%.
If you’re seeking a true wine vineyard experience, make plans to visit Sonoma, about an hour northeast of San Francisco. Explore the area aboard a trolley or try a guided bike tour of the vineyards. For those travelers whose idea of a getaway is great food, galleries, shopping, exploring new wines, and luxury accommodations, Sonoma may be the perfect match. The weather here can get quite hot in August, staying in the upper 80s.
Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Saugatuck is a destination offering something for everyone. August temps are warmer, averaging in the lower 70s, although they can soar into the mid-80s. You’ll discover six beautiful beaches here, as well as hiking trails that lead you over rolling dunes, along shorelines, and through forests. If you’re craving time on the water, consider a sailing cruise or a fishing excursion on Lake Michigan.
The history of this Victorian seaport alone makes it a worthwhile and fascinating destination, but there’s much more to this seaside village. It’s just 40 miles from Seattle, on the Quimper Peninsula and Architectural Digest listed it as having one of the most beautiful main streets in America. The scenic vistas here are magnificent, providing the perfect backdrop for kayaking, rowing, fishing, crabbing, and whale watching. Expect temperatures in the mid to upper 70s.
Imagine gazing across 988,000 acres of forests, lakes, and mountain ranges. Glacier National Park is vast, a true American wilderness and a hiker’s dream. Plan an excursion to the Grinnell Glacier, one of the park’s most iconic bodies of ice. Explore the 250-foot Ptarmigan Tunnel to catch awe-inspiring views of the Belly River. Daytime temperatures hover around the 80-degree mark.
This destination is relaxing, laid-back, and full of eye-pleasing scenery no matter where you look. Near the Sun Valley Resort and the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Ketchum is home to endless outdoor recreational choices. With an average temperature of 79 degrees in August, the pleasant climate makes it a superb August getaway. Foodies will love the farm-to-table way of life here, with an abundance of exciting culinary interpretations and innovations available at local restaurants.