Summer is prime time for vacation so if you’re looking for ideal ocean temps, national parks that shine in summer or iconic festivals in full swing, this is where to find them! The very best places to visit in August in the USA offer an eclectic mix of peaceful wilderness, vibrant city celebrations, and a compelling “I-could-live-here” vibe.
Read on for how to get the most out of your travel dollar in August!
- Best Places to Travel in August
- 1. Big Island, HI for Volcanos National Park
- 2. San Francisco, CA for Music Festivals
- 3. Asheville, NC for the Folk Festival
- Looking for other great places to travel in the USA by month?
- 4. Denali National Park, AK for Wildlife
- 5. Los Angeles, CA for So Cal Living
- 6. Petoskey, MI for Lake Life
- 7. Seattle, WA for Breezy Temps
- 8. Yellowstone National Park, MT for Wildflower Hikes
- 9. Martha’s Vineyard, MA for Quaint Cottages
- 10. Rocky Mountain National Park, CO for Fishing & Hikes
- 11. Outer Banks, NC for Nesting Sea Turtles
- 12. Redwoods National and State Parks to Step Back in Time
- 13. Gettysburg, PA for History
- 14. Mammoth Lakes, CA for Hot Springs
- 15. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND for Wild Horses
- 16. Stanley, ID for the Sawtooth Mountains
- 17. Fire Island, NY for Ocean Breezes
- 18. Acadia National Park, ME for Cycling the Carriage Roads
- 19. Lake Tahoe for Water Sports
- 20. Coastal Oregon for Stargazing
- 21. Wisconsin Dells for Waterparks
- 22. San Diego, CA for Beach Time
- 23. Glacier National Park for a Bucket List Drive
- 24. Door County, WI for Kayaking + Boating
- 25. Nantucket Island, MA for Sailboat Races
- 26. Mendocino, CA for Farm-to-Table Foodies
- 27. Great Smoky Mountains National Park for Rural Beauty
Best Places to Travel in August
1. Big Island, HI for Volcanos National Park
Weather average: 87° / 73° F
Why is Hawaii so popular to visit in August? The weather is gorgeous and the ocean water is sooo warm, around 80°, in fact! Hawaii is a great place to visit in the USA any time, but August ocean temps make it ideal.
But if you’re hoping to miss the crowds of families on summer break in August, head to Big Island (also known as the island of Hawaii).
It’s the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago but less visited than Maui, Oahu, and Kauai.
You’ll find the best beaches on the west side of the island near Kailua-Kona and great snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay.
But after a few beach days, head towards more rainforested Hilo on the east side of the island. That’s where the waterfalls are!
Everyone’s favorite Big Island activity? A night swim with manta rays! It’s one of the most popular tours for both snorkelers and divers on island.
Be sure to plan at least one full day at Volcanos National Park in the middle of the island. Lava flows on and off here, depending on what the volcanos are doing. You’ll find hikes for every activity level.
Travel tips: For best prices on flights and accommodations, time your August visit near the end of the month as kids head back to school. And when you pack for Hawaii, be sure to bring reef-safe sunscreen!
2. San Francisco, CA for Music Festivals
Weather average: 72° / 57° F
August is one of the best months to visit San Francisco due to the lovely weather and abundance of summer events.
While San Francisco is known for having many foggy, grey days, the weather in August is remarkably nice. It’s typically sunny and dry!
San Francisco is a worthwhile destination for its diverse range of attractions and landmarks, such as the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Painted Ladies.
Visitors can also explore the city’s cultural and historical sites, including the de Young Museum and Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.
Moreover, August in San Francisco is filled with exciting events. One of the most popular is the Outside Lands Music Festival.
This three-day event features live performances by world-renowned musicians and is held at Golden Gate Park.
The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, held in various parks across the city, is also on this month, showcasing free outdoor performances of Shakespeare’s plays.
Music lovers head to the Bay Area Blues Festival and the Bay Area Latin Jazz Festival.
With more time in the area, consider a road trip from the Bay Area.
From coastal Point Reyes or Big Sur to Lake Taho or Mendocino, there are so many unique and beautiful places to explore.
Janelle | Make the Trip Matter
3. Asheville, NC for the Folk Festival
Weather average: 84° / 65° F
One of the best places to visit in the USA in August is Asheville, North Carolina. After all, this charming mountain town has stellar summer weather.
Admire the historic architecture of the Basilica of Saint Lawrence or the vast Biltmore Estate before heading into the Downtown Art District and exploring the many galleries and museums that make up some of the best things to do in Asheville.
With just a long weekend in Asheville, be sure to explore the great outdoors; Asheville is well-located near the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It’s easy to get out into the Great Smoky Mountains and see local landmarks like The Linn Cove Viaduct at Milepost 304.4 and Craggy Gardens at Milepost 364. (These are also some of the best places to see in the fall!)
Visitors will also love the many festivals that take over the city this month, like the famed Mountain Dance and Folk Festival.
It’s the country’s longest-running folk festival and embraces Southern Appalachian culture with authentic bluegrass music.
Travelers also love the Sourwood Festival celebrating the sourwood honey that the area is known for.
Victoria | Southern Trippers
Looking for other great places to travel in the USA by month?
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4. Denali National Park, AK for Wildlife
Weather average: 44° / 36° F
Denali National Park is an outdoor paradise. Hiking and wildlife shine this month so keep an eye out for black and grizzly bears.
Visit the sled dog kennels to learn how these working huskies perform essential work in the park. Or join one of the ranger-led tours to explore the backcountry safely.
Otherwise, board the park bus to head deep into the park. If weather permits, catch sight of the elusive Mt Denali, North America’s highest peak at 20,310 feet.
During the month of August, daylight lasts about 15 hours, offering plenty of time to enjoy outdoor activities and plan evening outings.
For those who love music, the Talkeetna Bluegrass Festival takes place this month.
The cute, historical city of Talkeetna is a former gold-mining center and still features log cabins and a roadhouse as it was in time past.
Its location close to Denali makes Talkeetna the ideal hub to visit the park if you prefer not to camp during your Alaska road trip itinerary.
Patricia | Ze Wandering Frogs
5. Los Angeles, CA for So Cal Living
Weather average: 82° / 61° F
Los Angeles is a city that has it all: stunning beaches, iconic landmarks, and a thriving entertainment industry.
One of the top things to do in Los Angeles is to visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame where you can see the stars of famous celebrities.
L.A. is also home to the Griffith Observatory where you can explore the wonders of the universe.
Are you a lover of dreamy beaches? Head to Santa Monica Beach and iconic Venice Beach.
Or enjoy a scenic drive along the world-famous Pacific Coast Highway, taking in the breathtaking views of the coastline. You can even see wild dolphins in Los Angeles!
Basketball, baseball & soccer are all in season, too, making it a great time to catch a game. Celebrate summer with a mountain hike or bike ride along the beach.
Megan | Traveller’s Elixir
6. Petoskey, MI for Lake Life
Weather average: 77° / 54° F
One of the best times to visit Petoskey, Michigan is in late summer.
The weather is gorgeous in Northern Michigan in August with plenty of blue skies and sunny, breezy temps.
Begin your day with a delicious specialty latte at Roast & Toast; then browse the unique boutiques of downtown Petoskey, and spend your afternoon at Petoskey State Park soaking up sun, looking for Petoskey stones, and hiking or kayaking.
Sneak out of the park by late afternoon with a pit stop at the Kilwin’s headquarters.
If you have time, check out the behind-the-scenes tour, or at least indulge in some of the decadent goodies.
The perfect end to this day? A cocktail and dinner on one of the downtown restaurants’ patios.
August weekends are full of festivals in Petoskey.
The Boyne Falls Polish Festival is typically held on the first weekend of the month with the annual Odawa Homecoming Pow Wow in Petoskey mid-month.
Pam | Our Adventure Is Everywhere
7. Seattle, WA for Breezy Temps
Weather average: 72° / 57° F
Another great place to visit during the month of August is Seattle, Washington. The city is known for its incredible scenery, thriving coffee culture, and its distinct art scene.
And during August, it’s the perfect spot to escape the brutal heat that suffocates much of the U.S.
No trip to Seattle is complete without paying a visit to the iconic Space Needle.
From the top, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city from 500 feet in the air. Don’t miss Pike Place Market, one of the oldest open-air farmers’ markets in the United States!
Or if you’re flexible on your August travel dates, consider planning around the Day In Day Out Music Festival, which occurs the second weekend of August and features an eclectic mix of about a dozen different artists.
Visitors will also find food trucks, a beer garden, and lots of games on site.
With more time in the area, consider heading north to the incredible San Juan Islands.
8. Yellowstone National Park, MT for Wildflower Hikes
Weather average: 79° / 47° F
Did you know Yellowstone was the world’s first national park?
Its fantastical geographical features and diverse wildlife make it one of the best national parks in the country, particularly in August during the peak of summer if you rent a cabin near Yellowstone.
August weather in the rolling hills of Wyoming is nearly perfect, with warm days, cool evenings, and minimal rainfall. Pack in layers.
You’ll find many attractions along a figure 8-shaped road divided into Upper and Lower Loop.
On the lower loop, wait for the blast of Old Faithful and take in the rainbow colors of Grand Prismatic Hot Springs.
From the upper loop, take a wildlife tour to spot bison roaming in Lamar Valley, walk the boardwalk on Mammoth Hot Springs, and hear the thunderous waterfall on the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
In the month of August, Yellowstone’s meadows and foothills are carpeted in wildflowers, and the trails become more accessible as the snow melts away.
You also have plenty of opportunities to see wildlife in action.
Elk and bison start their mating season, and you may spot bears searching for berries and waterfowl in the park’s rivers and lakes.
Catherine | Nomadicated
9. Martha’s Vineyard, MA for Quaint Cottages
Weather average: 78° / 62° F
The island of Martha’s Vineyard, located on the southeastern tip of Massachusetts, is about seven miles south of Cape Cod. And the best way to get there is by ferry.
The weather is tops, with just six days of rain during the month of August.
While on Martha’s Vineyard, head over to the MV Museum in the village of Vineyard Haven to learn more about the island’s diverse history.
There are rare books, photographs, and exhibits about the indigenous and nautical history of the island to explore.
Next, visit the gingerbread cottages in the town of Oak Bluffs. It’s a National Historic Landmark and is spread over 34 acres.
There are over 300 cottages and each is unique with different colors and themes.
August visitors and film buffs will enjoy the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival also known as “The Summer’s Finest Film Festival” which has been taking place here for the last 20 years.
Other popular festivals include the Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest and the Vineyard Artisans’ 26th Annual Summer Festival.
Vicky | Buddy The Traveling Monkey
10. Rocky Mountain National Park, CO for Fishing & Hikes
Weather average: 66° / 45° F
In August, most of the snow at higher elevations in Rocky Mountain National Park—near Estes Park, CO—has melted, allowing visitors to enjoy the park’s most iconic hikes before a scenic drive along Trail Ridge Road.
Also, stunning wildflowers inundate the area at this time of year.
So, hikers will love seeing these incredible blooms as they tackle hikes to Sky Pond, Dream Lake, Emerald Lake, and Alberta Falls.
Other fun things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park in August include the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon and 5K, horseback riding, fishing, staying at Shadowcliff Mountain, and so much more.
However, the hot and dry weather conditions of late summer make this a perfect time for forest fires.
Be sure to monitor park conditions closely before setting out for the day.
Be aware that the park is also quite busy at this time of year.
To avoid crowds, you’ll want to get to the park early, use the Grand Lake entrance, and ride the shuttle bus into the park itself.
Megan | Fox in the Forest
11. Outer Banks, NC for Nesting Sea Turtles
Weather average: 86° F/ 73° F
Located off the coast of North Carolina, the Outer Banks in August promise the perfect blend of sun-soaked beaches, picturesque landscapes, and a vibrant coastal atmosphere.
With its pristine sandy shores stretching for miles, the 15 towns of the Outer Banks offer plenty of beachside bliss.
Go surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding with stunning sunrises and sunsets to bookend your day.
History lovers should head to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, where the first powered flight took place and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, a towering beacon that has guided ships for centuries.
Nature enthusiasts will also find solace in the Outer Banks’ diverse ecosystem, watching majestic sea turtles nesting along the shoreline or exploring wildlife refuges on the barrier islands. In the north, visitors can see wild horses roaming free.
From seafood festivals to live music performances, the Outer Banks comes alive this month with lively events and festivals that showcase local culture and traditions.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy and savor in Outer Barnks in August!
Pamela | The Directionally Challenged Traveler
12. Redwoods National and State Parks to Step Back in Time
Weather average: 68° F/ 47° F
Located in Northern California, the Redwoods National and State Parks are home to the tallest living species on the planet, the Redwoods.
Beyond these ancient giants, the parks also feature enormous primeval ferns, dramatic coastline, and abundant wildlife.
The best way to see the park is to check out some of the best hikes in the Redwoods. Hiking weather is ideal this month.
For example, in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, the incredible Fern Canyon trail, which, true to its name, features a canyon, drips with ferns and lichen.
It’s so otherworldly that it’s been used as a filming location in the Jurassic Park films!
For another awesome option in Prairie Creek, walk the Karl Knapp trail, where you’ll meander under a cathedral of redwoods stretching hundreds of feet overhead…and through two tunnels carved into fallen redwoods!
When visiting the Redwoods in August, leave time to hit some of the nearby beaches, too.
For example, Trinidad State Beach offers pine tree-topped sea stacks, jutting out of the turquoise water below.
This is also one of the best times to go paddling on the Russian River.
Keep a watchful eye as you glide across the water; you can often see bald eagles, great blue herons, and even otters here.
Jessica | Uprooted Traveler
13. Gettysburg, PA for History
Weather average: 85° F/ 62° F
Famous for the three day Battle of Gettysburg and the turning point of the US Civil War, Gettysburg is one of the top destinations to visit in Pennsylvania and August is the perfect time to see it.
Learning a bit about the history of Gettysburg is a must, starting with a stop at Gettysburg National Military Park.
However, before going straight to the battlefield, be sure to visit the museum and visitor’s center. It’s well worth a visit, especially for history buffs.
The battlefield is large so it’s best visited on a driving tour with an audio guide. Afterwards, take some time to learn about the civilian side of the battle with a visit to the Shriver House Museum.
While you can find some chain hotels in the outskirts of town, it’s definitely best to spend the night at one of the historical haunted hotels in Gettysburg; it will definitely be an experience you can’t forget!
August in Gettysburg is quite warm during the day, so be sure to start your outside exploring early.
Hit the battlefield first, especially if you plan on hiking any trails, then head inside to the air-conditioned museum.
For lunch, stop at the Mason Dixon Distillery; it’s hands down one of the best restaurants in the area.
One fun thing that can only be done in the summer months like August is the Crop Hop, which takes you not just through Gettysburg but the surrounding Adams County region as well, as you pick your own fruit, flowers, and seasonal produce.
Sky | Sky vs World
14. Mammoth Lakes, CA for Hot Springs
Weather average: 81°/ 43° F
Mammoth Lakes in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is known for its natural beauty, magnificent peaks, and breathtaking landscapes.
The magical hot springs in Mammoth Lakes are one of the most popular attractions among visitors.
These natural hot springs are nestled in the mountains and offer a unique experience to soak in warm, mineral-rich water while enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding wilderness.
Apart from the hot springs, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy scenic hikes, bike rides, or horseback riding in the stunning mountains.
There are many streams and lakes to explore, and the region is renowned for its world-class fishing.
In mid-August, don’t miss the Mammoth Wine Weekend. Visitors can sample wines from local wineries and featured food pairings.
The annual Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza this month also features over 70 breweries, live music, and delicious food.
Trijit | Budget Travel Buff
15. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND for Wild Horses
Weather average: 85°/ 57° F
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is known for its badlands formations, rocky terrains with heavy erosion patterns that are difficult to traverse. And August is the perfect time to visit.
The best viewpoints of the badlands are from Painted Canyon Overlook, and the Badlands Overlook, where ridge after ridge of striated hills are visible on the prairie.
A few great hikes include the Petrified Forest Trail, the Wind Canyon Trail, and the Painted Canyon Nature Trail.
Keep your eyes open for the bison, prairie dogs, elk, and wild horses (yes, wild horses!) that roam through the park.
Just outside of the park is the small town of Medora.
In the summertime months, the town puts on an incredibly professional and fun musical in an open-air amphitheater, that shares how Medora was founded, and honors Theodore Roosevelt’s life.
Before the show starts, you have to eat at the pitchfork dinner!
Cuts of steak are cooked to perfection on pitchforks over an open fire before being served with traditional barbecue fixings; it makes for a unique evening you won’t soon forget.
Stephanie | The Unknown Enthusiast
16. Stanley, ID for the Sawtooth Mountains
Weather average: 79°/ 34° F
Visiting Stanley, Idaho and the Sawtooths will open your eyes to an entirely new outdoor destination you’ll fall in love with!
August in the Sawtooths is pure perfection. It hardly rains but can still be slightly nippy in the morning.
This might require pants and a fleece to start the day, but you’ll quickly get into shorts and a t-shirt for your adventures.
The Sawtooths are a hiker’s playground, with countless trails, alpine lakes, and picturesque views which will draw you back again and again in the years to come.
Furthermore, for the backpackers out there, this is a an outdoor paradise.
Not only are the Sawtooths less crowded than other mountain ranges, but the night sky is also some of the darkest in the nation, giving you the ability to see the Milky Way with your naked eye. It’s truly a sight to see!
In addition to hikes and backpacking, the best things to do in August in Stanley include soaking in the numerous hot springs here and visiting Redfish Lodge for the views, swimming, and music concerts.
It’s an ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Alec | Explore with Alec
17. Fire Island, NY for Ocean Breezes
Weather average: 83° / 66° F
Fire Island is a barrier island just south of Long Island; It’s a one-hour drive east of Manhattan, includes 17 individual communities, and is a National Seashore.
Most of the island is only accessible by boat or ferry and once on island, all residential areas are accessible only by foot or bicycle.
If you live in or close to New York City, Fire Island makes a great day trip for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean, sunbathing, or people-watching at Robert Moses State Park.
Ocean breezes make it a great escape from NYC’s hottest, humid weather this month.
Stroll down the beach to visit the Fire Island Lighthouse.
The small museum focuses on local wildlife, fishing industry, and history of the lighthouse. Take the 182 steps to the top to see the skyline of New York City!
Or, book a longer vacation rental to fully absorb the laid-back beach culture.
The ocean side of the island is for beach activities, but be aware you’ll need to walk about a mile through the residential area to get there so pack light!
Dawn | Culture Feasting
18. Acadia National Park, ME for Cycling the Carriage Roads
Weather average: 72° / 60° F
Acadia National Park is one of the east coast’s most popular national parks to visit. Located off the shore of Maine, near Bar Harbor, it’s loved for its scenic carriage roads and hiking.
Most visitors cycle the carriage roads and drive Park Loop Road to explore all the viewpoints, relax by the beach, and watch the sun rise over Cadillac Mountain.
The best hikes in Acadia National Park? Try the North Bubble Hike, Beehive Trail, Jordan Cliffs Loop, and Precipice Trail.
Be aware that August is one of the busiest and most popular months to visit Acadia National Park due to pleasant weather and low rainfall. Hit popular trails early in the day for fewer crowds!
On the plus side, the park hosts two big festivals this month: The Maine Outdoor Film Festival and Welcome to the Milky Way events at Schoodic Institute.
Serena | Serena’s Lenses
19. Lake Tahoe for Water Sports
Weather average: 79° / 50° F
As the largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe sees many visitors in August with lovely weather.
The crystal waters and towering pines are striking, but there’s so much more to this spot beyond the beauty.
It’s the perfect destination this month for water sports enthusiasts. Boating, tubing, water skiing, kayaking or fishing; it’s all possible here.
Be sure to check out Sand Harbor. This park has beaches for swimming, kayak rentals, paddle boards, and hiking trails galore.
And after a long day of fun in the sun, stop into one of the many tasty restaurants in South Lake Tahoe.
Live music also gets Lake Tahoe moving in August!
The Valhalla Summer Concert Series and Live at Lakeview Summer Music Series offer free outdoor concerts throughout the month.
Plus, you won’t want to miss the seasonal produce at the local farmer’s market or the annual Bloody Mary Competition this month!
Candice | CS Ginger
20. Coastal Oregon for Stargazing
Weather average: 67° / 55° F
August is the warmest, driest, and clearest month on the Oregon Coast.
With its ancient sea stacks and jagged arches and rock formations, it’s unlike any other coast you’ve ever seen. And August is the best month to go!
For much of the year, the coast is hidden in fog, but this month offers the best chance of clear skies and warm temperatures.
If you get the chance, take a road trip down the entire Oregon Coast.
Some of the highlights from North to South include: Cannon Beach, Oswald West State Park, Cape Kiwanda, and the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor.
Take advantage of low rainfall this month and hit the trail. Head to Elk Flats in Oswald West State Park, God’s Thumb in Lincoln City, and Secret Beach in Samuel H. Boardman for hikes with big pay-offs.
In August, you’ll find the clearest skies of the year. It’s perfect for sunset lovers and stargazing.
Favorite festivals include the Tillamook County Fair and the Charleston Seafood, Beer, and Wine Festival.
Kate | Kate Roams the World
21. Wisconsin Dells for Waterparks
Weather average: 80° / 57°F
Wisconsin Dells is the waterpark capital of the world. And August is peak season here.
Home to more than 20 water parks and a variety of waterpark hotels, you’ll also find amusement parks, mini golf courses, and museums galore to escape summer humidity.
Be sure to check out Noah’s Ark Waterpark, Kalahari, Natura Treescape, and many more outdoor water parks featuring unique water activities including tube slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools.
Or enjoy the natural beauty of the area with hikes, zip lines, or cycling.
Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped
22. San Diego, CA for Beach Time
Weather average: 77°/ 67° F
San Diego’s warm, sunny days and mild evenings make it a delight in August.
One of the top things to do in San Diego in August is to hit the beaches.
With over 70 miles of coastline in San Diego County, you can find some of the best beaches in the country here for swimming sunbathing, surfing, or boating.
Head to famous La Jolla Cove, Mission Beach or Coronado Beach to soak up the scene.
For cultural and historical landmarks, visit Balboa Park, located in the heart of San Diego.
Larger than New York’s Central Park, Balboa Park is home to 18 world-class museums, including the San Diego Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum, not to mention the world-famous zoo!
For breathtaking views of San Diego’s coastline, take a hike in coastal Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Or book a kayaking tour in La Jolla Cove’s sea caves. Learn how to surf in Encinitas.
Hillcrest CityFest, San Diego’s ultimate summer art and music festival, occurs this month.
Plus, the annual Del Mar horse racing season is in full swing. Or, join the annual art walk in Liberty Station—don’t miss the epic food hall here—in early August.
Be sure to check San Diego’s event calendar before you arrive! From live music to sporting events, August is a happening month!
Sanne | Spend Life Traveling
23. Glacier National Park for a Bucket List Drive
Weather average: 70°/ 45° F
August is the best time to visit Glacier National Park with the best weather of any time of year. Bring layers as temperature and weather can change.
The park is famous for its alpine mountain ranges, glaciers, panoramic mountain views, and diverse wildlife.
The main attraction here? Drive going-to-the-sun road. With its vertigo-inducing corners, the 50-mile road gives offers a great overview of the park with most of the best overlooks.
However, you’ll need reservations in summer to enter the road between the hours of 6 am and 3 pm.
Beyond the auto tour, hiking, boating, and camping are also very popular this time of year here.
Some of the best hikes within Glacier National Park include the Highline Trail, Grinnell Glacier, Iceberg Lake, and Fire Tower, just for starters.
There are over 700 miles of trails, including the opportunity to hike into Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park (the sister park that makes up the international peace park).
See popular Grinnell Glacier and swim at Lake MacDonald. (Boat rentals available.)
Anwar | Beyond My Door
24. Door County, WI for Kayaking + Boating
Weather average: 75°/ 60° F
This peninsula is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground, with five state parks and nineteen county parks.
Peninsula State Park receives about a million visitors each year, and its four campgrounds and lush forests make it one of the best places to stay in Door County.
The county has nearly 300 miles of coastline, making it perfect for anglers and boaters.
One of the best things to do here is to kayak to Cave Point, where you can float into a cave.
If you’re brave, you can climb to the bluff and jump into Lake Michigan. All that shoreline also meant lots of shipwrecks, and you can see many during a guided tour.
While the area’s great all summer long, it’s particularly fun in August due to Cherry Fest, an annual celebration of the fruit in Jacksonport.
Or embrace the Midwest vibe at the Door County Fair, complete with carnival rides and stock car races.
Sister Bay, one of the many charming towns on the peninsula, also hosts Door County Festival of Fine Arts.
Barbecue fans should head—by boat only—to Door County BBQ on Washington Island.
Theresa | The Local Tourist
25. Nantucket Island, MA for Sailboat Races
Weather average: 72°/ 68° F
Nantucket Island is a vibrant destination in August whether you spend one day in Nantucket or a week.
The island boasts wind-swept beaches, safe cycling paths across the island, and several interesting museums like the Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum, Nantucket Whaling Museum, and Museum of African American History.
Downtown is full of unique boutique shops, cute cafés, and restaurants.
August is an ideal month on Nantucket. It’s the last month before the weather cools to enjoy the sweeping beaches.
Plus, the Nantucket Race Week takes place this month with nine days of sailing events and races to celebrate the nautical heritage of Nantucket.
Special events during race week include the Rainbow Fleet Parade and the Shipwreck Ball. It’s a one-of-a-kind adventure!
Linn | Brainy Backpackers
26. Mendocino, CA for Farm-to-Table Foodies
Weather average: 57°/ 54° F
Mendocino, a bohemian coastal village on California’s Pacific Coast Highway, is a picture-perfect town with charming Victorian architecture, pretty gardens, and epic views; it’s been a magnet for artists for decades.
There are lots of galleries and boutiques to explore, plus it’s set in incredible nature with plenty of opportunity for hiking or simply enjoying the beaches.
Just outside of town, up the coast, you can visit the famous glass beach and the epic Avenue of the Giants.
It’s also fantastic for foodies with farm-to-table cuisine; head to Trillium. Mendocino also has a rich logging and shipping history and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
In August, the weather is sunny and dry (just a day or less of rain; it’s one of the most popular times to visit Mendocino.
Of course, that brings crowds, but you can easily avoid them in the area’s vast, peaceful wilderness.
The Mendocino National Forest is ideal for this as you shelter from the heat in the shade of the trees.
It’s also the perfect time to get in the ocean. And at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, you can visit the annual Art in the Gardens event.
This day of fun includes more than 80 artists, live art demonstrations, music, food, beer, and wine.
Victoria | Bridges and Balloons
27. Great Smoky Mountains National Park for Rural Beauty
The Great Smoky Mountains, in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, are renowned for their natural beauty, abundant wildlife, incredible diversity, and an abundance of things to do throughout the year.
Highlights of a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park include Cades Cove, Clingmans Dome Observation Tower, Fontana Lake, the Sugarlands, and Mount LeConte. The natural and manmade attractions here delight nature lovers.
The most visited national park in the USA encompasses a connected network of over 800 miles of scenic trails and hiking is one of the best activities in August.
Cades Cove Loop, Alum Cave Trail, and Rainbow Falls Trail are great options at this time of the year.
The month of August is also a great time to view the beauty and rich diversity of the surrounding area as temperatures rise to a level that is conducive to exploring, with many scenic overlooks.
Other popular things to do in August include river tubing, horseback riding, zip-lining, biking, and fly-fishing.
Rai | A Rai of Light