An August vacation is the perfect way to kiss summer good-bye. Spend some time soaking up the heat before cold weather comes to town by visiting one of our recommended August destinations. From beach towns and islands to lively summer-centric cities across the world, we’ve got the skinny on where to travel in August. For a chic late-summer escape,
Charming small towns and picturesque ocean beaches have made Cape Cod a top summer destination. With fifteen distinctive towns, miles and miles of beaches – many considered among the best in the world – and a plethora of land and seafaring activities, there is something for everyone. Warm August weather plays perfect accompaniment to the region’s myriad pleasures, whether you’re spending a day at the beach, strolling along the boardwalk, or dining on super-fresh seafood al fresco. There are a number of beaches to bike to on Cape Cod, in fact there are hundreds of miles of bike trails around the Cape; the Cape Cod Rail Trail originates in Dennis and passes thru Harwich, Brewster, Orleans and Eastham and ends in South Wellfleet.
Arguably Cade Cod’s main attraction – family or otherwise – is the National Seashore. Over 40 miles of beaches, marshlands and ponds, the Seashore is a favorite. An excellent day trip would be to hike one of many trails connecting Eastham to Provincetown. The most popular is the Pilgrim Spring Trail in Truro, which makes an excellent afternoon walk. The Cape has embraced both artisans and performing artists alike who have become an integral part of Cape Cod life. Galleries, workshops and studios dot the landscape. Venues such as the Cape Playhouse and the Cape Cod Melody Tent welcome world class entertainers. The Cape Cod Baseball league – recognized as the nation’s premier summer collegiate league – invites everyone to enjoy America’s favorite pastime while on the Cape.
From the buzzy beach town of Playa del Carmen to the tucked-away jungle village of Tulum, the various destinations along Mexico’s Caribbean Coast all boast beautiful white-sand beaches, crystalline seas, and verdant jungle scenery. Mix in great food and Mexican hospitality, and you’ve got a perfect summer escape. If you want to rent a hut on the beach, with the ocean lapping at your front door, you’ll love Paamul. Be sure to schedule a SCUBA trip for some of the very best diving on the entire coast. If you’re very lucky, you might even see a whale shark! When you’ve had enough hiding in your hut or wandering the beach head inland and visit some ruins. Chichen-Itza and Tulum are obvious and well touristed, but if you want a secluded, off the beaten track adventure, head for Coba, wander the jungle and climb to the top of the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan, Nohoc-Mul, one of the only pyramids you can still climb.
Though it is always a top destination for art, culture, and nightlife, the Dutch capital comes alive in the summer months, when the parks are filled with sunbathers and the streets are crammed with cyclists. In August, many festivals, markets, and music concerts make the city all the livelier. Uitmarkt, the opening of the cultural season takes place during the last weekend of August. The Old Center is a great place to admire the city’s architecture since many of the buildings and houses date back to medieval times. The Van Gogh Museum showcases many famous pieces by the infamous artist and the Anne Frank House is an incredible story and well worth a visit.
The majority of the tourist attractions fall within four distinct districts: The Old Center, which is the oldest and most visited area of the city; Canal Ring, the historical part of Amsterdam and labeled as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Jordaan, a working class neighborhood full of boutiques and galleries featuring the work of upcoming artists; and Plantage, a more residential area full of parks and gardens.
Whether you want to take advantage of the world-famous partying in the Red Light District, the many museums throughout the Museum Quarter, or the beautiful architecture in the Old Center, this Dutch gem has it all. Amsterdam is steeped in history, and it shows to this day. The city features several historic canals which are some of the best vacation experiences that Europe offers. The canals were built in the 1800s and offer a front-row seat to experience the beauty of Amsterdam. The city is easy to navigate on rental bikes, so explore a bit to find that perfect viewing bridge over the Amstel River.
Covering France’s southern Mediterranean coast, the Cote d’Azur—also known as the French Riviera—is a beloved summer escape. Join chic Parisians, European families, and international jetsetters for sunbathing and nightlife—and don’t forget to sample the region’s wonderful French wine and cuisine. With 300 days of sunshine a year, who wouldn’t want to visit this luxurious southeastern province of France? The beaches here are some of the most sought after in Europe, and for good reason: beautiful bodies line the crystal blue shores while the breeze rolls in off the ocean. One day in the sun here and you’ll be hooked.
With its close proximity to the Italian border, the French Riviera is truly a blend of cultures. Enjoy an authentic Italian dinner while inhaling the sweet jasmine scented breeze. Walk the sea-side boardwalk in Nice at sunset and watch the light dance off the ebbing tide, or take the train to Monaco, and walk the ancient streets of this glittering city-state. The Cote d’Azur is truly a magnificent coast with centuries of history embedded in the shores.
Honolulu is a hopping town with a beautiful beach and a famously welcoming atmosphere. Honolulu, Hawaii is a vacationer’s paradise with its miles of picture-perfect coastline, majestically lush landscape and ideal weather year-round. During your stay, don a grass skirt and practice your hula moves at a traditional luau. You’ll feast on foods like succulent kalua pig, poke, poi and chicken long rice while glasses of fruity cocktails are constantly refilled and flower leis are distributed. Waikiki Beach is a popular place to soak up sun and catch a wave for both tourists and locals alike. Other can’t-miss attractions in Honolulu include the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor Monument, as well as Diamond Head, a volcanic crater worth hiking and Iolani Palace.While you will find some kitsch in Honolulu, you’ll also find art museums, bike paths, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. This is a great destination because you can choose to make your vacation as active or as relaxing as you’d like.
You’ll find that this bustling Scottish city is home to some of the most stunning architecture in the British Isles. Explore Edinburgh Old Town on foot and recognize the bit of historic charm at every corner. The streets in this neighborhood are lined with quaint shops, lively pubs, and lots of character. The Royal Mile is another street that you’ll want to make sure you walk around during your vacation in Edinburgh. For history buffs, take a tour of the National Museum of Scotland, a great free attraction, and then head to Edinburgh Castle to see the mighty fortress that is now home to multiple museums, exhibits, and Scotland’s Crown Jewels. The annual Edinburgh Festival, an international arts and music event, is in full swing in August. You’ll also love the Edinburgh Book Festival, have a browse through the festival’s book shop, see world-class authors and generally enjoy the tranquility from the rest of the city. Climb Arthur’s Seat to see the city’s views, stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden, or see the show at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
For both sunbathing and nightlife, Europeans flock to this party-centric Spanish island in the summertime. There are many historical and interesting sights to see in the area: at the Necròpolis del Puig des Molins you can peer into 7th century BC tombs and ruins or take a scooter tour to drive around the relaxing countryside. Seafood is a revelation on this island (especially at Comidas Bar San Juan and Ca n’Alfredo). During the day, be sure to spend some time exploring the inland hills and hiking the trails. See the churches and beautiful architecture downtown. If you’re traveling with children, be sure to check out the Aguamar Water Park and the famous pirate statue in the center of the Old City. Relax on the sugary soft sand of Cala Bassa and watch the blue waves roll in. This is just one of Ibiza’s legendary beaches where you can swim, surf, or simply enjoy the golden sun.
Clubbing season is end of May through early October, so if you’re going to party, August is right in the sweet spot. With over 40 DJs and 12,000 revelers in one place, the nightclub called Space is a major draw. The flagship club of Ibiza is definitely Pacha, which celebrated its 40th anniversary recently. Hop on the Discobus to be taken from club to club throughout the night or the Aquabus to go from beach to beach. For the beach goers, the Bora Bora Beach Club is an ideal place to soak up some sun.
One of the world’s most dramatic natural landscapes looks all the prettier in the rosy late-summer light. This magnificent American landmark needs no introduction. Over 270 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep, the Grand Canyon is known throughout the world for its overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape. Located in northern Arizona, the majestic vista is geologically important because the layers of ancient rocks so beautifully preserved and exposed in the walls of the canyon reveal a timeline of Earth’s history. Nearly five million people travel here each year; 90 percent first see the canyon from the South Rim with its dramatic views into the deep inner gorge of the Colorado River. Over 1,500 plant, 355 bird, 89 mammalian, 47 reptile, 9 amphibian, and 17 fish species are found in Grand Canyon National Park. You don’t need a ranger to guide you through the park, thanks to the cell phone audio tours available at popular sites throughout the park.
Catch a game at Wrigley Field, visit Millennium Park, or attend one of the city’s many summer concerts. If you’re a fan of blues, Chicago is the city to visit. This destination offers a unique style of blues and jazz and you can only get it once you’re there. Open 365 days a year and free to all visitors, the Lincoln Park Zoo is a lush oasis for animal lovers visiting and living in Chicago. Chicago is a premiere destination for travelers looking to navigate the city without the need to rent a car. Its bike-sharing program, Divvy Bikes, makes getting around easy and affordable, and the city boasts miles and miles of paths along the lakefront, past skyscrapers, and through city parks for all to enjoy. Take a photo of your reflection in Chicago’s Cloud Gate. Have some laughs at the iconic Second City, a world-premiere comedy theatre. Don’t leave without spending an afternoon at the Field Museum and indulging in a slice of famed deep dish pizza. Closer to downtown, you can stroll the Magnificent Mile, Chicago’s famous shopping district. Check out the nearby Art Institute of Chicago, with its world-class Impressionist collection and famous Chagall stained glass windows.
This tropical African city is a gateway to the island nation of Seychelles’s gorgeous ocean beaches. Because 50% of this island is considered protected land, this small African Republic has set the standard for ecotourism for other island nations. Travelers will have plenty of ways to experience the wildlife and nature on the island, from the sense of isolation in the local forests to swimming, kayaking, or snorkeling at the popular beaches. The Seychelles are composed of 155 islands that lie in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. Mahe, probably the most popular of the islands, is the home of the capital city of Victoria. The island of Mahe is bordered by more than 60 picturesque beaches, and Victoria is a bustling lively metropolis of cafes, restaurants, bars, casinos, and shopping districts. The coral reefs and preserved forests here have been called the Garden of Eden, and many of them are UNESCO world heritage sites that provide shelter to some of the rarest wildlife and plant species on earth.