26 Best Places To Visit In August In The U.S. in 2023 (SUMMER SPOTS!)
BY: Daniela Kaňková
We’re in the plain summer and you haven’t set your plans yet? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve hand-picked the best places in the US to visit this August, so you could just pack your bags and set off for your wanders.
No matter if you’re a solo traveler, a group of friends, or a family, we’ve got something for everybody on this list. So read on, there are plenty of exciting adventures waiting for you.
Here we go, Best Places to Visit in August:
BIG ISLAND, HAWAII for Remote Beaches
Do you want to visit Hawaii? If so, you have plenty to be looking forwards: it’s one of the most beautiful and diverse places on Earth.
Hawai’i is known across the globe for two things: hula and its beaches. And the Big Island has them in spades! Of course, snorkeling and diving are great options, but you can also do things like surfing and stand-up paddling.
There are gorgeous beaches that attract people to catch their waves and a variety of watersports facilities. Hiking through the tropical rainforests is a must-do, too.
The Big Island is truly a wonderful place and a must-see for anyone who likes nature, culture, wildlife, and stunning beaches.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK for Hiking and Natural Beauty
If you like hiking, August is the best time to visit Yellowstone. The weather is pleasant as it is one of the warmest and driest months with highs around 70. Most trails and all facilities are open. It’s also a good time to be out on the water.
You will still see a variety of wildlife, but not as often as in the spring or fall. Fortunately, if you want to avoid the crowds, there are over 1000 miles of hiking trails, and the farther out you go, the more solitude you’ll find. Just try to avoid the canyon area between noon and dusk.
Yellowstone National Park is home to more than 10,000 hydrothermal features – an extraordinary collection of hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles, travertine terraces and, of course, geysers. Microorganisms called thermophiles – meaning “heat-loving” – live in these environments and give the park its vibrant colors.
More than four million people visit Yellowstone each year for its geysers, hiking trails and natural attractions. Most of these visitors come during the summer.
GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK for Hiking
Glacier Bay National Park is one of the best places to visit in Alaska, especially for nature lovers, because it has over 200 glaciers, and 97% of the national park is covered with wild, untouched wilderness.
The scenery throughout Glacier Bay National Park is spectacular. The park features numerous waterfalls, ranging from small, easy-to-access falls to large cascades.
The most famous spot in Glacier Bay National Park is Icy Bay, named after the icebergs that calved off the Icy Island glacier and into the bay.
Tarr Inlet, on the other hand, is home to some of the most beautiful and easily accessible waterfalls in all of Alaska.
HALF MOON BAY for Golfin and Relaxing
Half Moon Bay, California, is one of the best locations in the world to visit.
You’ll have many choices, from hotels and resorts to secluded campgrounds and charming bed and breakfasts, and the price range will vary greatly.
The area is well known for its golf courses. Golfing here can be a relaxing and fun way to spend a long weekend or even a full week exploring the various tracks available in Half Moon Bay.
You’ll find many scenic views and challenging terrain, perfect for players of all skill levels.
From Half Moon Bay to Atherton, several beachside towns are perched on cliffs with white sand beaches and rocky seabeds views.
SAN DIEGO for Best Summer City Vibe
San Diego has beautiful beaches, parks, and museums to explore. The most famous beach in San Diego is Mission Beach.
This beach has several activities, including cycling, swimming, surfing, stand-up paddling, fishing, and kayaking.
San Diego has many venues with an assortment of shows and performances.
Some notable venues include San Diego Bayfront Convention Center, The Marina, Balboa Park, La Jolla Playhouse, and The Old Globe Theater.
Many attractions are located in Balboa Park, including the San Diego Museum of Art, House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, and the Natural History Museum.
Popular activities include hiking trails, yachting, boating, and horseback riding. There is also a playground area for children, including a carousel and miniature train.
PRIEST LAKE, IDAHO for Romantic Getaway
Priest Lake, Idaho, is a perfect place to visit. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or participate in some fun activities with the family, Priest Lake offers something special for all visitors.
Some of the activities offered are horseback riding, canoeing, swimming, and kayaking.
When you need to get away from the water for a little bit, there are some fun activities for every family member, such as the Heritage Museum, which is a great place for kids of all ages to learn about the history and culture of Priest Lake.
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA for Summer Snow
This park is a beautiful and diverse ecosystem filled with waterfalls, secluded lakes, and spruce forests. There are also many opportunities for outdoor recreation like hiking and glacier climbing.
There are many animals that you can spot in this national park, including bears, moose, elk, and bighorn sheep. The best time to see wildlife is at dawn or dusk when the animals are most active.
This park is home to over 400 glaciers, and they are located in all parts of the park.
The most popular glacier to visit is Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Mountain. Several hiking trails lead up to the glacier and a visitor center.
PARK CITY, UTAH for Nature
Park City is located just 40 miles from Salt Lake City and is a popular tourist destination for all of Utah.
Its residents enjoy the views of deer, coyotes, elk, moose in their natural habitat, and many other beautiful animals.
Deer are known to roam around freely in the town, and most people ignore them or even offer food that they find on their way to work.
Visitors can take advantage of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, golfing, fishing, hiking, camping and more within a short drive from the city because it is located in Utah’s best state parks.
The town is also known for its Alpine resorts with over 100 downhill skiing slopes, and various Park City houses over 2,500 skiers during peak season.
The city was selected by readers of Condé Nast Traveler as the “Best Mountain Resort” in both 2007 and 2011.
BOULDER, CO for Outdoor Activities
Here are some of the biggest reasons why everyone loves visiting Boulder.
Boulder offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities. It can meet your needs, whether you like hiking, golfing, fishing, or skiing.
The great weather attracts outdoor enthusiasts of all types, including campers, climbers, and mountain bikers.
One of the best places in the country to breathe clean air, Boulder is a great place to live because of its lack of pollution.
Boulder has numerous musical and visual art venues, including an opera company and a symphony orchestra.
There are awesome restaurants and bars in Boulder. It is actually home to some of the best restaurants in the country.
BEAVERS BEND STATE PARK for History & Nature
What makes Beaver Bend a unique place for an outdoor person to visit?
It is a state park with over 3,700 acres of property with 300 miles of hiking trails and it features natural springs, wetlands, creeks, scenic hillsides, and views.
The Beaver Bend State Park also has several historical attractions such as the living history museum, the Log Cabin Village, and the “Beaver Town” area.
There are also pavilions for special events and picnics. Another unique feature of Beaver Bend State Park is the numerous waterfalls found in various state park areas.
JEKYLL ISLAND, GEORGIA for East Coast Beach Vibe
Jekyll Island is often referred to as the crown jewel of Georgia’s natural beauty. Snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and bird watching are popular activities on this barrier island.
Visitors may be tempted to stay on the beach all day, yet there are still many opportunities to enjoy nature on this island paradise.
Jekyll Island also offers many hiking trails. The most popular is the 100-mile Jekyll Trail, which circles the island.
SANTA FE for Best Mexican Food
Here’s why you should visit Santa Fe. First of all, the food is excellent there, and there are many restaurants to choose from: Santa Fe is especially known for its authentic Mexican cuisines.
Shopping is excellent: Santa Fe is known for its unique and eclectic mix of art, jewelry, and gifts.
Also, Santa Fe is a small town where you won’t have to worry about encountering large crowds of people or aggressive panhandlers.
CANNON BEACH, OREGON for Wild Pacific
Cannon Beach is a city located in Oregon in the United States. It is a popular tourist destination known for its coastal bluffs and picturesque beaches.
Cannon Beach is also famous for offering public beach access, meaning that anyone and everyone is allowed to enjoy their beach without having to buy a membership.
Cannon Beach is a city that has many different activities to offer for its tourists. It provides all the basic facilities, including beach access, outdoor activities, lodging, and dining options.
The town dedicates to protecting its environment. It regularly organizes litter pick-ups and other clean-up events to keep its beautiful land unspoiled by nature’s filth and pollution.
CAMBRIA, CALIFORNIA for Outdoor Sports
Among the many things to do in Cambria are hiking, rock climbing, kayaking on the ocean, or beachcombing.
Cambria also has many restaurants, a few wineries, a brewery, art galleries, and historic sites.
You can access the trails from one parking lot at the Cambria Community Center with picnic areas, restrooms, water fountains, and showers.
SAN JUAN ISLANDS, WASHINGTON for Wildlife
The islands provide a sanctuary for wildlife, recreation, and relaxation – with wild, untamed shores, unspoiled natural beauty, abundant marine life, and beautiful sunsets.
Close to Seattle, the islands are surrounded by freshwater lakes, waterfalls, and streams. These inland waterways provide beautiful views of the islands from the water.
They offer residents a quiet rural atmosphere, diverse recreational and outdoor opportunities, numerous transportation methods, and easy access to the larger communities of Seattle, Bellingham, and Victoria, Vancouver Island.
Colonial heritage is evident in the area’s historic towns – Friday Harbor and Orcas Island. Quaint shops and cafés are set in buildings built by the early settlers.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE for Lake and Mountains
The city has a history of hosting the Winter Olympic Games and offers gorgeous views from the surrounding mountains.
It also has year-round outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, and camping. Plus, you can play in the hip downtown scene or visit its charming neighborhoods.
The crystal clear lakes offer the best in boating and sailing. It’s no wonder that Tahoe is consistently ranked as one of America’s favorite vacation destinations.
PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK for Remote Nature
If the heat doesn’t dissuade you, the Petrified Forest National Park is a very cool place to visit in August.
When you visit Petrified Forest National Park, it’s like going back in time. The petrified tree trunks date back hundreds of millions of years ago, when this land was lush and fertile. Even before dinosaurs inhabited the world, these trees fell and became mineralized copies of their former shapes.
Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona is definitely worth a visit. People are usually shocked at how much it has for families to see and do in a day there. The Painted Desert, Puerco Pueblo, and a hike to Blue Mesa are all worth seeing. And all of this is right by famous Route 66.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE for Best BBQ & Music
Memphis is a great summer getaway, known for its BBQ and music culture. The Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market and the downtown Memphis Farmers Market are both fantastic places to visit in August. When you have so many great things to do, like visit the Blues Hall of Fame or the beautiful Memphis Botanic Garden, the heat is not that bad.
Memphis is a city worth visiting this year for its distinctive and colorful neighborhoods, food, hospitality, and a wealth of museums and sites dedicated to its cultural and musical heritage. It also boasts one of the best zoos in the country.
Three days/nights would be plenty to explore the major sites, including Graceland Mansion and other Elvis attractions in the region.
BOSTON for History
Boston is one of the best places on the East Coast to visit in August. It gets miserably hot in August in most places, but not in Boston, where temperatures are in the high 70s or low 80s. However, pack an umbrella in case of a surprise thunderstorm – which usually passes quickly at this time of year.
Since it’s also off-season in Boston, you can find great travel deals. There’s plenty to do on the Greenway and in some seasonal beer gardens. And great news: Boston Restaurant Week is ON!
In August, you can take a day or weekend trip to the Massachusetts beaches north or south of the city, or even head to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket.
However, if you choose to stay overnight in a coastal destination, in many cases you will have to contend with peak season prices from Memorial Day Weekend all the way through October.
Olympia is the capital of Washington State. Located 60 miles south of Seattle and Bellevue, Olympia is known as a cultural center, seat of state government, and a popular destination for travelers on their way to the sea.
The city is also known for its legendary farmers market. There you will find the best handmade and local goods that you can buy directly from the source.
The city boasts numerous galleries, musical events and museums to offer. In addition, the city’s proximity to the coast, national parks and lush forests make it an ideal base for all kinds of outdoor adventures.
The city of Olympia is also home to a diverse population and culture, as the state government invests in community-based programs that address the needs of residents. In fact, Olympia’s powerful sustainability makes it not only an ideal place to visit, but also to live in.
August is a great time to visit Olympia because it is the warmest month of the year. Still, temperatures rarely exceed the mid-80s.
Door County, Wisconsin
Door County, Wisconsin is definitely one of the best places to visit in the USA in August. It’s known as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest” for its beautiful coastal communities, specialty stores, fishing, cherry and apple orchards, and scenic splendor.
With more than 300 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan, Door County, Wisconsin is a great vacation spot for the summer. Around the peninsula and islands, you’ll find numerous shipwrecks and lighthouses. A handful of small lakeside towns are worth visiting.
Door County has the most lighthouses and the most state parks of any county in the state. The County is also noted for its art galleries and performing arts, as well as outdoor leisure.
The architecture on almost every corner in the county reflects the area’s rich history, which dates back to the Belgian and Scandinavian settlers who first settled here.
PORTLAND, OREGON, For Music and Biking Events
Portland is at its best in the summer, which is also the time when most people visit the city. August is one of the best months to come if you want to experience the city’s famous roses, especially at the International Rose Test Garden, located in Washington Park and also houses the Portland Japanese Garden.
There are also fun events like the Pickathon Music Festival and the Soapbox Derby. The annual Bridge Pedal, one of the largest cycling events in the world where families can pedal on streets closed to car traffic, takes place in August and is a celebration of the city’s bike-friendliness.
If the exercise has made you hungry, you can sample food and craft beer at one of the many farmers markets or street fairs that take place during the summer.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – for Arts and Culture
One of the first places you should visit this August is San Francisco. Not only is it a fantastic vacation spot, but many of California’s national parks (and waterfalls) are nearby as well!
There’s still plenty to do, even if it’s a bit cool outside. Be sure to check out the Golden Gate Bridge, the bridge that is in most of the photos.
For those who want to take a stroll and discover some hidden gems, Golden Gate Park, where places like Shakespeare’s Garden, the Academy of Sciences and the Conservatory of Flowers are located, is the ideal place to start.
Do not forget to stop through Chinatown, the first settlement of Chinese immigrants outside Asia.
MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN – for charming and quaint scenery
A visit to Mackinac Island in Lake Huron is like a trip back in time, perhaps because there are no cars there or because of the immaculately preserved historic structures.
History buffs can stroll the city streets and admire the Victorian architecture or visit one of the city’s 12 museums.
There are various outdoor activities, such as sailing and beach walks. And if you like sweets, you should try homemade fudge. At the end of August, a 3-day festival is held in honor of this regional sweet delicacy.
While you are in town, visit the 14 structures that make up Fort Mackinac, founded in 1870, or take a look at the amazing 146-foot-tall Arch Rock, which is rumored to have superpowers. You can also play a round at Wawashkamo Golf Club.
Stonington, Maine for a Cooler Summer Vacation
Stonington is a little but lovely waterside community with a population of about 1040 and an average temperature of roughly 19°C (66F) in August.
Stonington is a small, quaint, and attractive village that offers a cooler summer retreat in August, ideal for visitors looking to escape the sweltering summer heat in other states. Stonington and Deer Isle are connected to the mainland by bridges.
Any type of water activity, such as boating, kayaking, and swimming, as well as sampling locally produced foods are possible activities.
During your visit, explore the galleries, boutiques and home design stores along Main Street downtown or spend the day swimming and sunbathing at DuBois Beach. You can also visit the Mystic Seaport Museum for more interesting details about Stonington.
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