Summer is going to be in full swing soon enough, and for those that want to plan the ultimate trip to finish off the sunny season—August is the best time to visit countless destinations around the globe!
However, there are a few places that aren’t so ideal. Many European hotspots are abandoned in August while the locals go on holiday. In Paris, for example, small boutiques and restaurants often close as Parisians explore the countryside…so you really won’t get much of the local flair.
Meanwhile, other destinations come alive with sun-soaked festivals or rare opportunities to glimpse typically frozen-over terrains.
Where are you going to end your summer?
Here are the best destinations to visit in August!
Here’s a hidden gem for your bucket list! Newfoundland is full of small-town charm and incredible natural beauty. Explore the rolling green countryside, take in a festival or two, then set sail for whale watching.
August is the best time to see whales as thousands swim by the shores of Newfoundland. And it’s the nesting season for puffins, so you’ll see these cute little guys flapping around everywhere!
Meanwhile, the first week of August brings in the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, Royal St. John’s Regatta, and the George Street Festival. The festivals continue throughout the summer so be sure to look at the event calendar before you go.
Home is where the heart is! I’m a SoCal girl through and through, and as such, it’ll always be one of my fave spots to spend a long summer day. Just find the perfect beach, light a bonfire, and find out why the coast of California has stolen so many hearts.
Summer in SoCal starts later in the year, so August is when things really heat up!
Check out the surf competitions, movie nights, and cool art offerings like the Sawdust Art Festival and Pageant of the Masters.
The world famous Fringe Festival is something you have to see at least once!
Held yearly in August, this is the original Fringe Festival that inspired knockoffs around the globe. Every year is different and innovative so browse the calendar and see where the Fringe takes you.
It is also one of the few times when you get a glimpse of the sun in Scotland so don’t miss it (and bring your umbrella, just in case).
Looking for a chill getaway? If you love endless (brisk) summer days, Alaska is the place for you!
With the sun high in the sky for that long, you have more time to explore Alaska’s many natural wonders. And, it is probably not as cold as you think. Sunny afternoons will get into the mid-60s while overnight lows hit around 50° F.
For the foodies out there...
You’ll be happy to hear that blueberries are the star of August!
They are absolute perfection at the end of summer and widely celebrated at the Alyeska Resort Blueberry Festival and Blueberry Arts Festival.
For those who prefer their food fried and on a stick, visit the Alaska State Fair and, for you seafood lovers, you will find catch-your-own-salmon spots all over.
In early August, sunrise is at 5:30 am and sunset is at 10:30 pm!
The long days are perfect for whale watching tours and it’s the last month you can go hiking on a glacier before tours stop for the season. While it’s more common to see the Northern Lights in the winter (due to more dark hours), it is possible to get a glimpse of them in the summer!
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Goðafass Waterfall, Iceland
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that Iceland is one of my top destinations! That said, it can be quite pricey. You can explore Iceland on a budget, and getting in at the end of August will make it a bit easier to find deals.
Like Alaska and Newfoundland, you will have long days, a myriad of festivals, puffin migration, and a shot at seeing the Northern Lights!
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August is the warmest month of the year in Austria and you will find most days in the 70s. If you love music, this is the perfect time to come, so check the calendar before you go.
The hills are alive with the sound of music!
There is something for everyone and, of course, it is a mecca for opera lovers. The Salzburg Festival is a must-see, but just beware that this six-week classical music festival, is one of the biggest on the continent—so hotels book up quickly.
One of the most beautiful African countries (just check out these photos!), Botswana is at its best in August.
It’s the middle of the dry season and ideal for spotting wildlife as animals gather around the main water sources.
For the best view, I’d recommend taking a boat onto the lagoons in Okavango Delta. Also, the Kuru Dance Festival held near Ghanzi, Kuru is the prime place to experience the local culture!
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With Lollapalooza starting at the beginning of the month and the weather is just right, August is the prime time to visit Chicago!
Lake Michigan is sparkling as summer wraps up and the city is alive with energy. The famous Grant Park has so much to see and do and you can eat your way through food hotspots like Logan Square.
Be sure to get over to the Chicago Hot Dog Fest to experience the iconic Chicago Hot Dog at the largest hot dog festival on the planet.
While I had heard that Budapest is beautiful, it still took my breath away when I saw it in person. The architecture is so impressive and it has such a spectacular culture.
The annual Summer Festival is an ideal time to take in the performances, art, music, and local food of Budapest. The Festival of Crafts, St. Stephen’s Day celebrations, Sziget Festival, and the Hungary Grand Prix all take place during August, too!
And be sure to visit the Great Market Hall, which is a must at any time of year.
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August is an ideal month to travel to many places—lots of destinations aren’t too hot and some of the crowds have dissipated as it’s the tail end of summer vacation. Plus, many places have culture and art festivals going on.
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I am going to Victoria, BC in August
Have a fantastic time, Mary!!