With balmy temperatures, long days, and endless hours of sunshine, the summer months in the USA are the best time to create some incredible memories.
Whether you’re into drinking craft beer alfresco in a hipster city or if you prefer a more traditional beach resort with a boardwalk, here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in August in the USA…
1. Half Moon Bay, Northern California – for a dreamy summer beach vacation
If you’re looking for places to go this summer, just south of San Francisco lies pretty Half Moon Bay. Like much of the California coast, it has a pleasant climate, although the nights can be cool, and it is often foggy, but August has some of the best weather.
Many of North California’s best beaches are to be found here, like Venice and Francis beaches. One of the biggest drawcards just north of the town, if you are a surfer, is Mavericks, famous for its waves that can reach 18m in height.
Half Moon Bay is only accessible via a small two-lane road, because it is situated in an area which is subject to geological stresses and has experienced many landslides.
Recently, the Devil’s Slide Trail was constructed, a 2-kilometer trail that has become very popular with walkers, presenting awesome views of the dramatic coastline.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 235 Main Street Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
- Average temperatures in Half Moon Bay in August – 19 degrees
My must-do highlights of Half Moon Bay, California
- Walk along the Coastside Trail which stretches nearly 5-miles long and offers gorgeous views overlooking the ocean.
- Wander along the Main Street to discover an array of shopping boutiques and fun dining options.
- Play a round of golf at the Half Moon Bay Old Course which hosts 18-holes in a stunning location.
How to get to Half Moon Bay
Located approximately 10-miles way is San Francisco (SFO) Airport. Being less than a 30-minute drive away from Half Moon Bay this is an ideal place to arrive into. Hiring a car from the airport is made easy with the array of companies situated within the airport to rent from or for a cheaper option, hopping on a bus is also possible.
The two main roads leading into the area surrounding this scenic location are Highway 92 and Highway 1. With no nearby public transport stations from many outside destinations arriving by car is a gorgeous way to travel.
2. Mackinac Island, Michigan – one of the best summer destinations for charming and quaint scenery
Maybe it is because there are no cars on the island or perhaps it is the beautifully maintained old buildings, but visiting Mackinac Island, situated in Lake Huron, is like time-traveling back into earlier days.
A preferred location for the indigenous tribes from the earliest days, it became a center for the fur trade in the 17th century.
The island also played a part in the War of Independence, when the British built Fort Mackinac, and there were two battles fought here.
Lovers of history can walk the towns streets and admire the Victorian buildings or visit the town’s 12 museums.
There are plenty of outdoor pursuits, from sailing to strolling along the beaches. And if you have a sweet tooth, try some local fudge. There is a 3-day event towards the end of August that celebrates this local sweet treat.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 7200 Lake Shore Dr, Mackinac Island, MI 49757, USA
- Average temperatures in Mackinac Island in August – 23 degrees
My must-do highlights of Mackinac Island
- Check out Fort Mackinac which was founded in 1870 and has 14 buildings around it.
- Discover the incredible 146-foot tall Arch Rock which is famous for having superpowers.
- Play a round at the Wawashkamo Golf Club, which features many unique natural hazards.
How to get to Mackinac Island
With the island being surrounded by water and no main road on or off, the most convenient way to travel from the mainland is by ferry via the Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry and Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry lines.
You are able to also fly over to Mackinac Island Airport which only takes 7-minutes. If there are no available flights from your location to the island you can first of all arrive at Michigan where you can then catch a direct flight.
3. Priest Lake, Idaho – a tranquil and beautiful place to visit in August
Priest Lake, and the State Park that adjoins it, is close to the Canadian border, surrounded by high mountains and fir and cedar forests, the home of black bears, a few grizzlies, moose, and whitetail deer, there are a variety of accommodation options, from resorts such as Hill’s and Elkin’s to do-it-yourself State camping grounds.
August is a great time to visit if you enjoy temperate weather (up to 29c) and want to hike, swim or fish. Fishermen always hoping to catch the Big One know that the biggest lake trout in the USA was caught here, a massive 27kg!
The beauty and clarity of this lake and the rivers that feed it, as well as the breathtaking scenery, make this lake one for the bucket list.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 174 Coolin, Idaho 83821
- Average temperatures in Priest Lake in August – 26 degrees
My must-do highlights of Priest Lake
- Go hiking along the trails of the Selkirk Mountains for breathtaking views overlooking the lake.
- Hire a kayak to go paddling across the water refreshing water on a hot summers day.
- For those who love to golf, play a fun round at the Priest Lake Golf Course.
How to get to Priest Lake
The nearest airport is located approximately 95 miles away from the lake. Spokane International Airport hosts domestic flights to 19 different cities across the USA. From here the easiest way to commute is by hiring a car, which you can then take on the ferry over to Priest Lake.
Another option, if you are not too far away, is to drive directly to the ferry which will take you over to the lake. You will need to head towards Vancouver which is the largest city neighbouring the town where the ferry terminal is situated.
4. Cambria, California – a gorgeous seaside village which is one of the best places to visit in August in the USA
California is one of the best states to visit in August and this relaxed and welcoming beach town is midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles and a great place for anyone who loves the outdoors.
Perfectly situated if you are traveling the iconic Highway One route, why not stop over here for a day or three?
August is a great time to visit, the weather is pleasant, with low rainfall, and is perfect for hiking, cycling, and swimming. Moonstone Beach offers something from everyone, from beachcombing for moonstones in the sand to a chance encounter with otters or seals.
There is a mile-long boardwalk for a leisurely stroll. North of Cambria is Hearst Castle, the reason most people visit here. Close by is the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. While it is much quieter in August, this is when the bull seals finish their molting and are to be seen lolling on the beach.
Try the Coastal Bluff Trail for wonderful views of this scenic coastline and work up a hunger. Cambria is a foodie’s heaven, with every type of cuisine available and wineries a fifteen-minute drive away. Definitely, one of the best beaches to visit in summer!
- Visitor’s Center Address: 767 Main Street, Cambria, California 93428
- Average temperatures in Cambria in August – 17 degrees
My must-do highlights of Cambria
- Take a stroll across the gorgeous Moonstone Beach, well known for being one of California’s most beautiful beaches.
- Walk through the historic downtown of the town filled with shopping boutiques, restaurants and a micro-brewery.
- Discover the Bluff Trail at Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, the most scenic walk of the area.
How to get to Cambria
Located under an hours drive away from Cambria is San Luis Obispo airport, hosting non-stop flights from 8 different cities.
In the heart of Cambria is a bus and train station. This makes travelling by public transport very accessible from an array of areas surrounding the gorgeous seaside village.
If you are looking to drive, following the Highway 1 will offer one of the most scenic routes to take.
5. San Juan Islands, Washington – one of the best summer vacation spots which offers world-class whale watching and outdoor activities
For an awesome summer trip, head north from Seattle to Anacortes to catch one of the Washington State Ferries that will transport you to four of the 172 islands and islets of San Juan.
The weather in the islands is pretty temperate all year round, but at its best towards the end of summer.
Many people come to the islands to whale watch. This is one of the regions where orcas and other whales can be seen year-round via the boat tours that set off from Friday Harbour on San Juan.
Each of the four main islands have their own attractions, but Orcas and San Juan are musts if your time is limited.
San Juan is the busiest and most populated island, but still tranquil compared to the mainland. Visit the Whale Museum to learn more about these magnificent creatures, enjoy one of the local restaurants, and pick an outdoor activity, from hiking to kayaking to work those calories off.
Orcas Island is quieter and wilder, with amazing hikes, like the 6 km hike up Mt Constitution, from where, on a clear day, you can see Mt Rainier and even Vancouver.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 165 First Street South, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
- Average temperatures in San Juan Islands in August – 20 degrees
My must-do highlights of San Juan Islands
- Rent a bike and explore around the islands to discover all the beauty that it has to offer.
- Go on an adrenaline pumping 3-hour ziplining adventure that goes through forests, lakes and wetlands.
- Take the flavors of mouth watering local gin at the islands distillery.
How to get to San Juan Islands
If you are looking to travel by plane, flying to airports either in Seattle-Tacoma, Vancouver or Bellingham are the closest. From here, it is best to hire a car and drive down to Anacortes where you can then take the ferry over to San Juan Islands.
Travelling by public transport is also possible by train or bus to Anacortes, as well as driving via Highway 5, where you will then be able to take the ferry.
6. South Lake Tahoe, California – a fun summer vacation where you can hike or swim all day and party all night
While most of us think of Lake Tahoe as a winter sports destination, it has all-year round activities and fun to offer.
There are many trails, ranging from children- and dog-friendly paths, to more challenging routes, so you can opt for the flat and easy Spooner Lake Hike or the day-long Mt.Tallac Trail, just 5 miles, but rising 3 000 feet.
For the intrepid, there is the 265 kilometer Tahoe Rim Trail, which you can travel on foot, or even mountain bike, or enter for the Tahoe Triathlon at the end of August.
If you still have excess energy, you can spend the nights hitting Tahoe’s nightclubs and casinos.
Maybe you want something special in entertainment and Tahoe has much to offer, from Summer Concert performers like Lady Gaga at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena or the free concerts at Lakeview Commons.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 1901 Lisa Maloff Way, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
- Average temperatures in South Lake Tahoe in August – 26 degrees
My must-do highlights of South Lake Tahoe
- For those seeking some fun activities, have a go at the array of water sports available.
- Enjoy live music for a relaxing evening at one of the summer concerts.
- Cycle along the paved trails through the stunning mountain scenery and down to the gorgeous beaches.
How to get to South Lake Tahoe
Reno-Tahoe International Airport boasts 120 non-stop domestic flights daily. Being situated just under 60-miles away, it is the most convenient airport to fly into. From here you can hire a car and commute 1-hour or travel by bus which takes a bit longer.
Amtrak, Greyhound and Megabus offer public transport services from an array of cities.
Driving in is also a great option, travelling along Highway 50 will lead your directly to South Lake Tahoe.
7. Cannon Beach, Oregon – for a relaxed August beach location
Cannon Beach takes its name from a cannon washed ashore from the US schooner Shark that ran aground. in 1846. All of Oregon’s beaches are picturesque, surrounded by hills and with rocky outcrops offshore.
The most famous of these is the 72m Haystack, at Cannon Beach. The rock is home to many nesting seabirds, such as tufted puffins and murres. At low tide you can explore the tidal pools at the base of the rock.
While surfing is a popular occupation along the Oregon coast, nature watchers are always to be found around Cannon Beach or the trails in nearby Ecola State Park, hoping to see Bald Eagles or Roosevelt Elk.
This relaxed resort should be on everyone’s bucket list, National Geographic named it as one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world in 2013.
The best weather and the most popular time to visit is towards the end of August.
- Visitor’s Center Address: Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce, 207 N Spruce | PO Box 64, Cannon Beach OR 97110
- Average temperatures in Cannon Beach in August – 20 degrees
My must-do highlights of Cannon Beach
- Go surfing in the fresh waters, there is even a chance for beginners to take lessons.
- Surrounded by a variety of restaurants and breweries, treat yourself to a delicious dining experience.
- Take a hike to admire unique and breathtaking views of the coastal forests and panoramic shorelines.
How to get to Cannon Beach
The biggest and most accessible city nearest to this gorgeous coastal destination is Portland. Here there is a major airport hosting 60 non-stop flights to an array of location across the USA. You can also travel to Portland via Greyhound bus services and the Amtrak trainline.
From Portland you can commute to Cannon Beach by driving or by bus, which both take approximately under 2-hours.
If you are driving from another city directly to the beach you will need to arrive along the Highway 101 which can be accessed through Highway 20, 26 and 30 depending on which direction you will be coming from.
8. Stonington, Maine – a beautiful and charming option for a cooler weather US summer vacation
With a population of only around 1040, an average temperature of about 19°C in August Stonington is a small but beautiful waterside city.
The coastal towns of Stonington and Deer Isle are both linked by bridges to the mainland and Stonington is a quaint, scenic, and charming place and makes a cooler weather summer break in August, perfect for those trying to escape the searing summer heat in other states.
Activities on offer include any water activity like boating, kayaking, and swimming, and also sampling locally sourced food.
Stonington also has numerous art galleries, a popular opera house, and plenty of cute gift shops.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 13 Atlantic Ave, Stonington, ME 04681, United States
- Average temperatures in Stonington in August – 27 degrees
My must-do highlights of Stonington
- Wander around the Main Street in Downtown where you can discover home design shops, galleries and boutiques.
- Spend the day relaxing, swimming and sunbathing at DuBois Beach.
- Check out the Mystic Seaport Museum where you can find interesting facts and features of Stonington.
How to get to Stonington
Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport is the nearest major airport located approximately 45-miles away. From here you can take a bus or hire a car to drive down to the small city.
Driving directly to Stonington is possible by following the State Route 15, or you can travel by bus to this location.
9. Portland, Oregon – one of the best US cities to visit in August
Portland is at its best in summer, which is also its peak tourist season. If you visit in August, this is one of the best times to sample the roses for which the city is famous, notably at the International Rose Test Garden, based in Washington Park, which also homes the Portland Japanese Garden.
There are also fun events, like the Pickathon Music Festival and the Soapbox Derby. The city prides itself on its bike-ability, and holds the annual Bridge Pedal in August, as one of the world’s largest group pedaling events, where families can pedal streets closed to motor traffic.
If the exercise has made you hungry, you can sample food and craft beers at one of the many farmers’ markets or street fairs that operate in summer.
- Visitor’s Centre Address: 877 SW Taylor St. Portland, OR 97204
- Average temperatures in Portland in August – 27 degrees
My must-do highlights of Portland
- Visit the beautiful and vibrant International Rose Test Garden to admire the wonderful array of colors.
- For those whose love nature, float along the breathtaking Willamette River surrounded by lush greenery.
- Check out what events are happening around the area and try to make it to a summer festival.
How to get to Portland
The main airport in the city is Portland International Airport (PDX), located 6-miles away from the center of Portland and hosting 60 non-stop destination flights across the USA. From here you can hop on the Red Line of the MAX Light Rail which will take you to downtown in 40 minutes.
If you are looking to take a road trip to this location, with the interstate road system being one of the best, travelling in from any direction is possible. Some route may take longer than other but the scenery along the way makes it worthwhile.
Greyhound bus service offers transport from across the West coast with its own stop located on Northwest Station Way and Marshall Street in Portland. Another option is Amtrak, this train service has three lines arriving into Union Station, the Cascades, the Coast Starlight and the Empire Builder.
10. Glacier National Park, Montana – a pristine wilderness perfect for exploring in August
This park is over 4000 square kilometers of forests and lakes, traversed by sub-ranges of the Rockies. It is at its busiest in August, but the sheer size of the Park and the ideal weather make it a great time to visit.
It has been a resort area for over a century; the original hotels are now National Historic Landmarks. They were built to accommodate tourists coming to the Park via the Great Northern Railroad and the later “Going-to-the-Sun” road.
Treat yourself to a night at one of these venerable resorts, like Many Glacier Hotel or Lake McDonald Lodge.
Once you are in the Park, you can indulge in your favorite nature-watching, whether it is wildlife, birding or identifying only some of over 1100 floral species.
If you are lucky, the beargrass lilies will be in bloom, their white, fragrant flowers borne on tall stalks.
Only to be seen in Montana and adjoining Canada, these plants still are used as medicine and for basket-making by the Blackfoot and other tribes.
- Visitor’s Center Address: West Glacier, MT 59936, United States
- Average temperatures in Glacier National Park in August – 21 degrees
My must-do highlights of Glacier National Park
- Drive along going-to-the-sun road, one of the most scenic journeys in the park that features an array of viewpoints.
- Catch a sunrise at the hidden Two Medicine landmark, an unforgettable experience.
- Dip your feet in Lake McDonald to cool down on a hot day, you can even take a kayak or paddleboard for a float on the lake.
How to get to Glacier National Park
Situated 30-miles from the West entrance of the park is Glacier Park International Airport. Boasting 6 major airlines flying in and out, it is a great way to arrive. From here you can either hire a car and drive 40-minutes or jump on the shuttle bus which will take you over to the park.
The easiest way to drive to the Glacier National Park is via U.S. 2 and U.S. 89. This is one of the best ways to visit as there are amazing roads to explore with a car whilst being surrounded by the most breathtaking landscape.
11. Berkshires, Massachusetts – for a summer vacation with emerald lawns, beautiful blossoms and humming bumblebees
Looking for summer vacation ideas? The Berkshires are an inviting melange of mountains, nature, and arts and make a great destination for a summer trip.
You can visit for a day or two, a month or even make them your home, for this location offers so much natural beauty intermingled with premier cultural events, such as Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for many years.
Artists of every genre have made appearances here, from Yo-yo Ma to Earth, Wind, and Fire. John Legend is expected in August 2021. Herman Melville loved the Berkshires; this is where he wrote “Moby Dick”.
There are important art museums, like the Clark, in Williamsburg, that have works by Rodin, Renoir, and Degas, to name a few, as well as silver and ceramic collections that are out of this world.
The natural beauty of the Berkshires can be explored via hiking trails, swimming in the numerous lakes, or whitewater rafting and ziplining to up your adrenaline levels.
- Visitors Center Address: 1Berkshire PO Box 4829. Pittsfield, MA 01202
- Average temperatures in Berkshires in August – 27 degrees
My must-do highlights of Berkshires
- Watch a concert whilst enjoying a picnic under the stars at the open-air venue, Tanglewood.
- Hike through Mount Greylock which features the highest point in the state and great observation points.
- Have some fun on one of the several lakes located across the area with pristine waters and gorgeous surroundings.
How to get to The Berkshires
It’s best to drive to The Berkshires but if you’re coming in from another part of the country then you can fly and the nearest airport Albany International Airport (ALB), which is about 60 miles away.
Alternatively, Peter Pan Bus Lines and Greyhound Lines served the area and the nearest Amtrak station is Pittsfield MA.
12. Blue Lakes, Colorado – for beautiful summer scenery and wildflowers
If you are a trail enthusiast, or love wildflowers, head for the Blue Lakes Trail in summer for a visual treat. Colorado is famous for its trails, notably the 900-km long Colorado Trail, the Blue Lakes trail is a separate route in the Mt Sneffels Wilderness area in Uncompahgre National Forest.
Even the drive to the trailhead is a worthy detour on its own with unforgettable views.
You can choose to traverse the whole trail or just try a short hike to the Lower Lake, which is 5 km from the trailhead and has campsites.
Reaching the other two lakes is more challenging, but you will be rewarded by the outstanding views, and by the wildflowers, you will encounter along the way.
Species such as Indian paintbrushes, campions, columbines, larkspur, and lupins grow along the trail from July to mid-August.
- Visitor’s Center Address: Telluride, CO 81435, United States
- Average temperatures in Blue Lakes in August – 19 degrees
My must-do highlights of Blue Lakes
- Capture Insta-worthy shots of the scenic views and lush surroundings.
- Soak up the gorgeous sights overlooking the breathtaking turquoise lakes.
- Choose the best trail most suited to you for hiking to have an adventure filled day.
How to get to Blue Lakes
Flying into Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ) is very popular, offering flights arriving from a few major cities across the US during the summer season. Located approximately 50-miles away, it is a gorgeous scenic journey from there to Blue Lakes. From the airport the most convenient way to make the commute is by hiring a car and driving 1.5 hours.
13. Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington – the best summer vacation for a peaceful break away from the crowds
The central commercial town of the San Juan Islands, where some of the major recreational activities are whale and wildlife watching, boating, kayaking, or off-water activities like biking and hiking.
It’s home to a small population of just 2,426 people and the locals are friendly and welcoming to both visitors and dogs too.
Average temperatures of 22 degrees keeps the weather warm but moderate in August. There are many scenic walks and cycling routes and cars do not frequently ride in Friday Harbour due to the walkable distances from the Ferry Landing.
Friday Harbour has a fascinating whale museum, a historical museum, and inter-island shuttles which take you around the small town for sightseeing and recreation.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 165 First Street South, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
- Average temperatures in Friday Harbor in August – 22 degrees
My must-do highlights of Friday Harbor
- For those who love food, grab some delicious locally sourced cuisine from one of the wonderful restaurants.
- Find all the adventure filled activities at Adventure Hub for a fun filled itinerary.
- Stroll through the boutiques, bookstores and galleries on the lovely Spring Street.
How to get to Friday Harbor
The easiest way to travel to Friday Harbor is by first arriving in Anacortes, from here you are then able to hop on a ferry over to the island.
Arriving in Anacortes is made possible by taking a bus, train or driving via the Highway 5.
If you are coming from outer state, flying into Seattle-Tacoma, Vancouver or Bellingham are the closest airports nearby depending on which city you are travelling from. From here you can hire a car and drive down to Anacortes to take the ferry.
The ferry from Anacortes will take approximately an hour before arriving to Friday Harbor.
14. Beavers Bend Resort Park, Oklahoma – offers a summer vacation with family-friendly fun
Beaver’s Bend is a favorite hangout for Oklahomans, with something for everyone in the family. Those who love the outdoors can kayak, hike, or ride bikes. Those who prefer more sedentary pursuits can attend arts and craft classes or even play bingo.
There is an 18-hole golf course, volleyball courts, and water skiing on Broken Bow Lake, also a favorite spot for scuba divers (water in this area rarely gets above a bracing 15c).
Nature documentaries are screened in the evenings and try some stargazing in the clear, unpolluted skies.
You can even take your furry friend; leashed pets are welcome and there are even some chalets that are pet-friendly. Easily one of the best places to visit in August in the USA.
- Visitor’s Center Address: Broken Bow, OK 74728, USA
- Average temperatures in Beavers Bend Resort Park in August – 24 degrees
My must-do highlights of Beavers Bend Resort Park
- Find the perfect trail for you to hike along, there is even an app to help you locate them.
- For those who love being out on the water, rent a kayak or paddleboat to paddle around on.
- Stop by the visitor center to discover all of the activities going on, this way you won’t miss out.
How to get to Beavers Bend Resort Park
With an extreme amount of land being covered by this state park, the best way to travel to this location is by car. There are several different areas to see making it a lot easier to explore around by driving. The road trip to Beavers Bend is a very scenic route.
There are three large airports surrounding Beavers Bend Resort Park, all located 3-hours away. Will Rogers Airport (OK), Northwest Arkansas National Airport (AR) and Dallas Fortworth International Airport (DTX) all host domestic non-stop flights from several cities. Getting from the airports is made easy by the car hire services available.
15. Chicago, Illinois – a city that really comes alive during the summer break
Many associate Chicago with winter trips but summer is really when the city comes alive. The weather in August is sunny and glorious although you will probably want to opt for accommodation with air conditioning as the summer temperatures often reach between 26 and 33 °C.
The ambiance is incredible in Chicago in the summer months and this is when the famously feisty locals have a much more upbeat and playful mood and this is evident everywhere you head from cafes to the buzzing outdoor events.
Head to the lakeside beaches for games of volleyball, dine alfresco on one of the many restaurant patios, experience one of the many magical outdoor candlelight concerts, and tour Chicago’s incredible Street Art and cool microbreweries with a craft beer in your hand. A perfect US August city trip!
- Visitors Center Address: 301 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616, United States
- Average temperatures in Chicago in August – 27 degrees
My must-do highlights of Chicago
- Hang out at one of the best spots in Chicago, the Riverwalk. Filled with bars, shops, restaurants and perfect places to people watch.
- Check out the famous silver mirrored bean to capture an Insta-worthy shot in Millennium Park.
- Visit a rooftop bar for breathtaking views overlooking this incredible city.
How to get to Chicago
To drive to Chicago take one of the many major highways: I-90 (Kennedy Expressway), I-94, I-55, I-290, or I-294. If you want to get there by bus then you can take a private charter bus from any Midwestern city, the Greyhound or the very budget-friendly Megabus.
Amtrak and Metra trains both come into Chicago’s famous Union Station and if you want to fly in there are two international airports that serve the city (both in convenient locations) and have inbound and outbound flights to over 240 destinations every day.
16. Hot Springs, Arkansas – a resort city which is perfect for visiting in August
Birthplace of Bill Clinton, while the name is not very original, it is very descriptive and it’s a great place to visit in August.
There are 47 springs on Hot Springs Mountain that provide the town below with 1 million gallons of water a day at a steaming 62c or 143F in temperature. This is fossil water, which is actually 4 400 years old sitting below the earth’s surface, and rainfall does not contribute.
Believing in the restorative value of the springs, the town was incorporated in 1851, and has 8 historic spas in Bathhouse Row, which are maintained by the National Park Service, together with their gardens. One of the loveliest gardens is Garvan Woodland Gardens, which has a Japanese section.
The popularity of the resort created something of a building boom, even during the Great Depression, and Hot Springs is nearly as famous as Miami for its Art Deco buildings.
Hot Springs is the US’s oldest park, being proclaimed in 1832.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 369 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901
- Average temperatures in Hot Springs in August – 34 degrees
My must-do highlights of Hot Springs
- Hop on the National Park Duck Tour, one of the most unique ways to explore around Hot Springs.
- Check out the entertainment filled T-Rex Fun Spot for an array of cool activities.
- Take a wine tour at one of the two wineries located in the park, The Winery of Hot Springs and Bathhouse Row Winery.
How to get to Hot Springs
The most convenient way to arrive here is by car. Depending on which direction you are travelling from, there are several major highways you can take.
There is a small commercial airport located in the town which hosts a handful of domestic flights daily.
Greyhound offer bus services directly into Central Avenue in the town or you can take the Amtrak trainline to Little Rock, where it is then an hours drive to Hot Springs.
17. Geneva-On-The-Lake, Ohio – well-known as “Ohio’s First Summer Resort”
The lake in the name, is Lake Erie, along which this small town sprawls. It has a very 50’s flavor, especially along the main drag, known as “the Strip”, where the legendary Eddie’s Grill has been since 1950.
Once a year, in September, the Strip becomes the home of “Thunder on the Strip”, when thousands of bikers congregate (and a good reason to visit in August, if you are looking for some peace and quiet).
There’s a boardwalk, mini-golf, and plenty of amusements and things to do, from visiting the nearby wineries to hanging loose on a zipline canopy tour. There are lots of other ways to get around that are not so adrenaline-packed, from walking to using one of the golf carts for hire.
Please note that some attractions only open on Saturday and Sunday. However, the Lake is there every day for swimming, or just walking along the beach.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 5540 Lake Rd E, Geneva, OH 44041, United States
- Average temperatures in Geneva-On-The-Lake in August – 27 degrees
My must-do highlights of Geneva-on-the-lake
- Have a go at the water sports offered, where you can rent jet skis, kayaks and paddleboards.
- For a slower paced activity, have some fun on Allison’s Mini Golf course, the oldest one in the United States.
- Take a trip to Madsen Donuts, well know for the delicious flavors and friendly customer service.
How to get to Geneva-on-the-lake
The biggest city to the town is Cleveland. This hosts an airport and Amtrak station. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is Ohio’s busiest airport hosting non-stop domestic and international flights to several destinations. Once arriving in Cleveland the best way to get to Geneva-on-the-lake is by car. This is made possible with many car rental agency being located within the city.
Another option to travel to this traditional vacation destination is by driving.
18. Seabrook, Washington – one of the best summer trips for peace and uncrowded beaches
Located in the North Beach area along the central Washington coast, Seabrook stands as one of the best vacation destination cities in Washington.
The New Beach Town on the Washington Coast has about 450 newly built homes and 12 businesses, so a small and pretty town without the bustle and rush of major city life.
The town itself is compact and walkable and was built to be a sustainable, urbanist community. Visitors often keep their cars parked and explore the rest of town on foot or on a bicycle. The temperature averages 22°C during the summer so the weather is fine and comfortable in August.
Take an excursion to the market where you can buy local crafts, Pacific Northwest food, and gifts items during your visit, or pay a visit to one of the numerous restaurants and bakeries for a foodie treat.
- Visitor’s Center Address: WA-109, Pacific Beach, WA 98571, United States
- Average temperatures in Seabrook in August – 31 degrees
My must-do highlights of Seabrook
- Explore through the many unique shops at the Saturday market in downtown.
- Go on a food tour around several of the incredible restaurants, cafes and bars.
- Relax along the beach, where you can also enjoy picturesque views overlooking the coastline.
How to get to Seabrook
Situated along the coast, the nearest major airports are located in Seattle and Portland. From both of these cities, it is possible to take a couple of buses which will commute you to Seabrook. Another option is to drive, by hiring a car from the airport.
A great option, is to drive direct to this gorgeous coastal town. With lovely scenic views along the way, it is worth the roadtrip.
19. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia – a fun place to go in the summer filled with festivals, live music, cruising along the rivers and riverfront trails
A place known as the “City of Steel” does not sound like much of a tourist attraction, but Pittsburgh has radically transformed from its heavy manufacturing and steelworks days.
Today it is a healthcare and education hub, with no less than 68 colleges and universities.
It has a venerable history, as evidenced by the Fort Pitt Blockhouse in Point State Park, built in 1764, and there over 30 museums that can keep a visitor absorbed for a month, from the Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology to a museum dedicated to the art of Pittsburgh’s favorite son, Andy Warhol.
The city is very walkable and attractive, with its location at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, where they merge to become Ohio and where many of the city’s attractions are located.
There are no less than 446 bridges in Pittsburgh, emphasizing how important the rivers are as part of the city’s infrastructure.
A bit out of town, but well worth the 90-minute drive, is Frank Lloyd Wright’s house, “Fallingwater”, named the most influential house of the 20th century, and a World Heritage Site.
While visiting here in August make the most of the outdoors, from enjoying the summer festivals, live music, open-air films to cruising along the rivers and the attractive riverfront trails.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15222
- Average temperatures in Pittsburgh in August – 28 degrees
My must-do highlights of Pittsburgh
- Be amazed by the live music events happening throughout the summer season.
- Walk around the streets of the city to explore through the culture.
- Take a tour down the river to discover the famous bridges situated throughout Pittsburgh.
How to get to Pittsburgh
Boasting 56-domestic flights, Pittsburgh Airport is located 19-miles away from the center of the city. Making it a great form of transportation if you are travelling in from outer state. There are then buses available to take you into the city.
Being a popular city, you can take both a bus and train with Greyhound or Amtrak services to travel to Pittsburgh, becoming a very accessible location to visit from surrounding areas.
20. The Finger Lakes, New York State – for a beautiful traditional summer vacation
Covering over 23 000 square kilometers, Finger Lakes is obviously too big to explore thoroughly in a weekend, which is why we recommend several visits.
The “fingers” are long, deep, and narrow glacial lakes, eleven in number (although Onondaga Lake is a 12th contender), and the region is very fertile, which has encouraged the development of many wine estates.
The Finger Lake inhabitants are very fond of other tipples; you can visit craft breweries, cideries (this is also a major apple-growing region), and distilleries.
As the region is so large, it is best to pick a central spot and travel from there. Maybe you can stay in Syracuse, Ithaca or Corning (America’s Crystal City and synonymous with all things glass), or you can opt to stay in one of the resorts or camp near one of the lakes.
There are lots of water activities, naturally, from canoeing to wakeboarding at a new resort near Canandaigua Lake.
Hikes to suit everyone can be found, many of which take you past the waterfalls in the region. And, for those who like their nightlife, there are casinos, music festivals, and theaters. Arts and craft galleries abound if you are looking for a souvenir or merely some quiet contemplation.
- Visitor’s Centre Address: 35 Lake Front Dr, Geneva, NY 14456, United States
- Average temperatures in The Finger Lakes in August – 28 degrees
My must-do highlights of The Finger Lakes
- Explore Watkins Glen State Park which features 18 stunning waterfalls.
- Enjoy an afternoon out on the waters with a Wine Tasting Boat Tour that visits several vineyards and wineries.
- Take a Sea Plane Tour for a unique and memorable experience flying over Watkins Glen, Seneca Lake, and Canandaigua Lake.
How to get to Finger Lakes
A popular way to arrive at Finger Lakes is by car. People are amazed along the way at the surrounding scenery and there is hardly ever any traffic jams on the road. This also means one you reach the lakes you are able to travel around and see as many as you can fit in.
The closest located airport is Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport, situated a 45-minute drive away from this destination, hosting only domestic flights from across the country. At the airport you are able to hire a car or book a taxi service.
Travelling via public transport is made possible with Amtrak Maple Leaf Train and Empire Service Train having stops in Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse stations.
21. Long Beach Island, New Jersey – a barrier island and summer colony along the Atlantic Ocean coast
Long Beach Island is part of a set of barrier islands that lie in front of the New Jersey coastline, along which Atlantic City can be found.
For those looking for a quieter and more relaxing holiday, Long Beach is very different from its brash southern neighbor. The island itself is about 30 km long and only accessible via Route 72 from the mainland which takes one through to Ship Bottom, roughly at the midpoint of the island.
Although there are only 10 000 people who reside there permanently, the population increases tenfold in the summer months. Many of these people are from the neighboring states or have vacation houses on the island.
Some of these homes are very grand, especially to the north of the island. The weather in August can be hot, but cool ocean breezes reduce the heat and humidity in the afternoons.
All the beaches are welcoming and beautiful, but make sure to visit Island Beach State Park, near the Barnegat Lighthouse. The Park protects one of the state’s remaining maritime forests, and is a great place for birding and experiencing Long Island as it must have been to earlier inhabitants.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 265 West 9th Street Ship Bottom NJ 08008
- Average temperatures in Long Beach Island in August – 27 degrees
My must-do highlights of Long Beach Island
- Have a unique experience by paragliding over the Atlantic Ocean, and make it more special by doing it when the sun goes down.
- Visit the beautiful Barnegat Lighthouse, well known for being a landmark symbol of New Jersey.
- Have some fun on a hot day at the Thundering Surf Water Park which features many exciting attractions.
How to get to Long Beach Island
The nearest airport is located 26-miles away. Atlantic City airport has non-stop flights from a few cities down the south end of America. From here you will then need to drive or book a taxi to arrive at Long Beach Island.
There is a bus service going from New York or Philadelphia with the islands own bus line which will take you directly to LBI.
A more convenient way is by car. Driving along the Highway 72 will take you onto LBI. Depending on where you are travelling from, arriving in Baltimore, Philadelphia or New York first is a great way to join the direct Highway.
22. Seneca, South Carolina – for an alternative lower prices summer vacation
Owing to its low cost of living and high quality of life, Seneca in South Carolina is a great choice for an alternative lower-priced summer vacation away from the crowds.
The city is situated in the northwestern corner of South Carolina and enjoys a gorgeous position in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It has a population of 8368 and a hot climate of 32°C in August.
Expect a stunning lake (where you can go kayaking, boating, etc.), cycle and hiking trails, historical museums, and even casinos if that’s your thing. Would suit couples, families, and friends seeking a different kind of vacation for the summer.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 221 E North 1st St. Seneca, SC 29678
- Average temperatures in Seneca in August – 31 degrees
My must-do highlights of Seneca
- Refresh with a mouth watering drink at one of the local bars on a hot summers day.
- Rent a boat or kayak for a fun day out on one of the lakes.
- Take a dip at the family-friendly and beautiful High Falls Country Park.
How to get to Seneca
Greenville/Spartanburg airport is located 45-miles from Seneca and is a popular choice to fly into as it boasts over 100 non-stop domestic flights daily. From here the best way to make the commute is to hire a car from the airport and drive just over an hour.
The nearest Amtrak station is located nearby in Clemson. You can then take a direct bus into Seneca or hop in a taxi.
Travelling here by bus is also an option with a station located in the city.
23. Block Island, Rhode Island – one of the best islands to visit in August which makes a great summer getaway
From the moment you step off the ferry on Block Island, you will feel all your tensions slip away. Located South of Rhode Island, The island is predominantly a nature reserve, with only 1000 residents, and even at the height of summer, the 25 km of beaches are relatively uncrowded.
In fact, outside of the tourist season, most of the restaurants and establishments are closed. Here is the perfect place to sail, fish, swim or just laze on the beach.
At the north of the island, there is a plaque at Settler’s Rock, naming the hardy settlers who swam from their ship to the island, along with the cows they would need, giving the beach its name of Cow Cove.
The dramatic Mohegan Bluffs at the south-east bear witness to a tragic event where the invading Mohegans and the Niantic inhabitants of the island clashed.
The Mohegans were forced off the cliffs and fell to their deaths below. Remember to book your ferry trip well ahead, especially if you plan to take your car, but rather leave it at the harbor and use bikes and your feet to explore this delightful and scenic spot.
- Visitor’s Center Address: 4 Center Rd, New Shoreham, RI 02807, United States
- Average temperatures in Block Island in August – 25 degrees
My must-do highlights of Block Island
- Hike up to Mohegan Bluffs for a magnificent view overlooking the beautiful ocean and landscape.
- Discover an array of unique and cool shops in the town, ranging from art galleries, clothes stores, jewellery boutiques and more.
- Hire a bike to explore around the island to see the famous lighthouses, Great Salt Pond and nature trails.
How to get to Block Island
Only accessible by ferry, this makes it an even more beautiful location to visit.
There is a year round ferry service which takes you from the main land over to the island which you can also take your car over via.
For a more fun and fast way to get over to the island, starting in May of each year through to October there is a hi-speed ferry operated.
24. Bar Harbor, Maine – a popular tourist destination for summer travel which makes a beautiful retreat
August is a great time to visit this tourist drawcard on Mount Desert Island. The main tourist times are around Labor Day and things start quietening down after that, but the weather is still great.
There are so many things to do, but why not start with a hike up Cadillac Mountain? From its top you can get a good impression of the layout of the island; you can see both Acadia National Park and Frenchman Bay, the next places you should visit.
If you start really early, you can watch the sun rising, you will be surprised to find you are not the only one up to do this, you might even be lucky enough to spot some whales.
There are whales, dolphins, seals, and puffins to be seen at this time of year; go for a trip on a catamaran for a good chance to see these animals in their natural habitat.
There are lots of tasty eateries and craft breweries to try, so make sure you make the most of them and make it your best summer yet!
- Visitor’s Centre Address: 2 Cottage St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: +1 207-288-5103
- Average temperatures in Bar Harbor in August – 25 degrees
My must-do highlights of Bar Harbor, Maine
- Stroll along the gorgeous Shore Path coastal trail, where you can see the surrounding small islands which are reached by boat.
- Admire the wonderful New England Historic Architecture that is filled with character and quirky features.
- Hop on a boat over to Mount Desert Island, which is home to Acadia National Park that has several outdoor activities to do.
How to get to Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor can be easily reached by car and is also served by the Bangor International Airport and the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport in nearby Trenton.
From the mainland, travellers can drive to Bar Harbor or sail on their own boat to the harbor.
25. Point Judith, Rhode Island – one of the best places to visit in the summer far away from the crowds
Point Judith is a small village on the coast of Narragansett, Rhode Island. It makes a low-key and tranquil summer getaway for those who don’t like large and crowded major tourist attractions.
The striking point Judy Lighthouse, an octagonal brick building erected in 1816, is a stand-out tourist attraction and other highlights include the coastal scenery, the historic Newport Mansions, Narragansett Beach, historic Thames Street, and Fort Adams State Park.
Other activities on offer include boating, enjoy swimming and sailing. More relaxing recreational activities include taking lunch in one of the many fine bistros.
The weather in August hovers around 24 degrees, a summertime visit will do you good so it’s a great choice for a summer vacation spot.
- Average temperatures in Point Judith in August – 24 degrees
My must-do highlights of Point Judtih
- Admire the historic Judy Lighthouse which is known for being a main tourist attraction.
- Cool down by going for a swim in the refreshing waters.
- Stop for a spot of lunch at the gorgeous bistros located around the area.
Frequently asked questions
What state is best to visit in August in US?
Washington is a great place to visit in the summer months for fantastic weather (weather averages around 31 degrees) and a gorgeous outdoor lifestyle and California is a great choice for fun, sun and surf.
Where in the US has the best weather in August?
Some of the US states which has the best weather in August include California, Nevada, Florida and Hawaii.
Does it start to get cold in August in US?
Generally states in the USA are very hot in August but some of the cooler places during this month include the state of Alaska and the city of San Francisco.
Is August the hottest month of the year in US?
Yes it’s definitely one of the hottest months of the year in the USA, for most of the US the warmest days occur between mid-July and mid-August.
Is August a good time to visit US?
August isn’t always the best month to travel to the US as this is when it’s at its most crowded in popular states, accommodation prices increase and the weather can almost be too hot in many places.
We also have posts on…
- Best place to travel in September
- Best places to visit in October in the USA
- Best places to visit in June
- Best places to visit in July in the USA
- Best places to visit in November
- Best places to visit in March
- Best places to visit in the autumn UK
Beth Pinches – writer and photographer
Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children’s theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa danced in Cuba and road tripped down America’s west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. Other places she loves include Croatia, Finland, Japan and India. In between adventures, travel writing and performing she resides peacefully with her family, cats and ukulele. Find Beth on Linkedin or Facebook.