The Best Places to Visit in the USA in August

Don’t Miss These Awesome Places to Visit in the USA in August!

Traveling in August means getting the most out of every minute of the end of summer. The days are growing shorter again. But for many parts of the country, it’s still hot and bright enough to spend the sunny hours of the day hiking scenic trails, relaxing on sun-soaked beaches, or cruising around on boat tours, the breeze from the water in your hair. 

While August is officially still part of summer, summer has already come to an end for some parts of the country. Once you hit mid-to-late August, you’ll find that many family-friendly destinations are growing quieter as the kids are back in school. Vacation spots are often less busy in August than in June or July, especially if you’re traveling after the middle of the month. 

Taking a US vacation in August? We’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in the US in August for you, from beaches where it’s a party every day to scenic mountain and lakeside destinations where you can take in the tranquility. Pick a destination from this list, and you’re bound to have an amazing time on your August vacation!

Awesome Places to Travel in the USA in August

Rockland, Maine

Best Cities to Visit in USA in August: Rockland, Maine

You can’t go to Maine without getting a famous Maine lobster. Luckily, Rockland, one of the best places to travel in the US in August, allows you to sink your teeth into them during a massive five-day festival.

The Maine Lobster Festival showcases the best in local seafood. Lobster is at the heart of the festival, and it’s served in every way imaginable, from lobster mac and cheese to lobster-stuffed risotto balls to lobster wontons. But other seafood and additional treats also get the spotlight here, including clams, chowders, mussels, cobblers, pancakes, and much more!

The festival also hosts a number of events throughout the five days. Check out top chefs competing at the Seafood Cooking Contest, watch competitors race across the water at the International Great Crate Race, see the newly-crowned Maine Sea Goddess at the parade, sip Maine-made wines at the Steins & Vines tasting event, participate in the fun run, or take your little one to do arts and crafts. 

The weather is also just right to spend some time on the water. Walk along the Rockland Breakwater to see the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, take a kayaking tour, or sail on a schooner!


Block Island, Rhode Island

Where to Vacation in USA in August: Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island is one of the best vacation spots in the US in August if you’re looking for a tranquil getaway. With warm days ahead, you can spend them on or in the water, enjoying the gentle ocean breeze.

Ride the waves at Mansion Beach or have a family day at Fred Benson Town Beach. But if you’re looking for more of a party scene than a relaxing day rocking in the waves, there’s no better party spot than Ballard’s Beach.

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in August: Block Island, Rhode Island

Speaking of parties, there are quite a few going on in August on Block Island, with many supporting great causes. Early August is when you can race in the Block Island Triathlon or attend the Mary D. Ball, an annual gala started by a retired nurse that supports those in need on the island. Later in the month, check out the talented artisans of the island at work at the Block Island Arts and Artisan Festival.


Leavenworth, Washington

Must Visit Places in USA in August: Leavenworth, Washington

Looking for a European vacation without having to leave the US? Leavenworth is an adorable village over in Washington that will make you feel like you traveled to Germany. Nestled in the Cascades, Leavenworth is a great choice for a summer destination if you enjoy warm afternoons spent exploring. 

Take in the views while hiking Icicle Ridge, take a rafting tour down the Wenatchee River, or head to the town gazebo on Saturday mornings to listen to the Saturday Serenade by the Leavenworth Alphorns. 

Best Cities to Visit in USA in August: Leavenworth, Washington

One of the biggest highlights of a Leavenworth vacation in August, aside from the Bavarian-style architecture that makes the whole town look like it came out of a storybook, is the food. In summer, you should spend your Saturdays and Wednesdays at the Leavenworth Farmers Market, where you’ll find everything from locally-made kombucha to traditional German treats. For even more German delights, stroll around the town to see the Bavarian bakeries, eateries, and beer gardens.


Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Best Places to Visit in USA in August: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

You might think vacationing in August at a lake means having a quiet getaway. And while you can spend your days relaxing on Lake Geneva’s beaches, there are also many ways to get your adrenaline pumping on your August vacation. From a safari park to a 50,000-square-foot water park to a one-of-a-kind adventure center, there’s a good reason why it’s ranked as one of the most adventurous small towns in the US!

For even more fun, you can get out on the water yourself, whether you want to go kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or riding on a guided boat tour, like a unique excursion on a US Mailboat Tour, complete with mail jumpers delivering to lakeside homes. There are also several historical sites to explore here, including a world-famous observatory.


Mackinac Island, Michigan

Must Visit Places in USA in August: Mackinac Island

While August is one of the busier times to visit Mackinac Island, you won’t find any traffic congestion here, thanks to the island being car-free. It’s also one of the warmest times to travel here, but it’s still likely to be significantly cooler than anywhere else in the Midwest. So, if you want to escape the heat and car-filled cities, Mackinac Island is one of the most fun vacation spots in the US in August.

While many of Mackinac Island’s attractions shut down when the weather gets cooler, you’ll find that everything is in full swing in August. From horse-drawn carriage tours and live demonstrations at the Mackinac State Historic Parks to boozy sunset cruises and watersports, you’ll enjoy incredible views, stepping back through history, and tons of fun. 

Got a sweet tooth? You couldn’t come to Mackinac Island at a better time. This island is known as the “Fudge Capital of the World,” and it celebrates its title in August every year with the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival. In addition to chowing down on the sweet stuff, you’ll be able to learn to make it yourself, play family games, and watch live performances.


Portland, Oregon

What Places to Visit in USA in August: Portland, Oregon

Over in Portland, August brings about one of the sunniest times of the year for this otherwise often rainy part of the country. So, visitors and locals alike go all out in August to get the most out of the end of the summer. That’s why there are quite a few events to enjoy this month, making Portland one of the best US cities to visit in August.

Head to the Pendarvis Farm just outside of the city to take part in the Pickathon Music Festival, a multi-stage folk festival that’s a true Portland tradition. Or, if you’re a bicyclist, you can join in on the annual Bridge Pedal, one of the largest community bike rides in the world. Though if you want another community bike ride that’s a bit more unconventional, you can try the World Naked Bike Ride.

Best Places to Visit in USA in August: Portland, Oregon

Many of the August events also celebrate the unique cultures of the city. Portland Hip Hop Week highlights the culture of hip-hop, while the Oregon Chinese Festival honors Chinese American food, art, and entertainment. For even more entertainment in August, check out the Hood to Coast Relay, which culminates in a massive beach party, or the Portland Adult Soapbox Derby.


Memphis, Tennessee

Where to Vacation in USA in August: Memphis, Tennessee
Images courtesy of Overton Park Shell

Got an Elvis fan in your life? Take them to Memphis, one of the best places to visit in the US in August. During August, you’ll be able to take part in Elvis Week, a huge city-wide celebration for the King!

Listen to conversations with those who knew Elvis best, see special screenings of his movies and concerts, and catch live renditions of Elvis’s shows. For one of the most unique contests around, the best of the best Elvis impersonators gather together to find out who is worthy of being the king of playing the King! The week concludes with a beautiful vigil in Elvis’s honor.

Music has long been at Memphis’s heart, so it’s no surprise that many of the best things to do in Memphis in August involve listening to tunes. In addition to Elvis Week, you can head to Peabody Memphis to listen to live DJ sets every Thursday night throughout the summer during their rooftop parties. Or go to the Overton Park Shell for the Orion Free Concert Series or the Memphis Botanic Garden for the Live at the Garden concert series. 

But if you’re more of a food festival fan than a music festival goer, check out the Memphis Chicken and Beer Festival in August. Local restaurants will be serving up special chicken dishes, while you can also enjoy beer and more from tons of different vendors.


Boston, Massachusetts

What Places to Visit in USA in August: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is a college town with dozens of schools in and around the city. So, unlike many major cities, Boston actually gets a little sleepy in the summer with all those college kids gone. While there will be an influx of students toward the end of the month, the beginning and middle of the month will still be fairly quiet, making Boston a great US city to visit in August. Plus, temperatures will begin cooling off after July.

Spend your days immersed in the history of this truly American location. Take a walk along the famous Freedom Trail or take a more unique tour, like the Ghosts & Gravestones Tour, where you’ll learn about the darker side of the city. And you can’t go wrong with a classic Duck Tour, where you’ll travel through the city before you splash down in the Charles River in an amphibious vehicle. 

There are tons of beautiful locations to explore around Boston as well. Vacationing here in August puts you in a prime spot for many different day trips that will show you all the sides of Massachusetts. Spend a day in the water in Gloucester, immerse yourself in the witchy history of Salem, or travel back in time in Plymouth!


Aspen, Colorado

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in August: Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is one of the most famous skiing destinations in the world. The slopes are packed every winter, but the crowds disperse when the snow melts. But those who don’t visit Aspen in the summer are seriously missing out. Aspen is one of the best places to travel in the US in August if you’re looking for scenic beauty and incredible hiking trails.

For some of the most amazing views, head a bit outside the city and visit the Maroon Bells, two stunning bell-shaped peaks in the Elk Mountains. There are trails here for hikers of all experience levels, so everyone can take in the sights around these monumental peaks. 

If you’re a more experienced hiker, you may want to challenge yourself by visiting the secluded Conundrum Hot Springs. Because this trail is often snow-covered from October to June, August is the prime time to make this trek. Be advised that if you’re hiking in this region, bear canisters are required for your safety.

Not much of a hiker? You’ll still find plenty to do in Aspen in August, from the Aspen Saturday Market, where you’ll discover Colorado-grown produce and locally-made goods, to the Aspen Music Festival and School, which runs from late June to late August. You can also hitch a ride on the Silver Queen Gondola for an incredible panorama. At the top, there’s even more to do, including taking a mountaintop yoga class or listening to live music. 


Seattle, Washington

Best Places to Visit in USA in August: Seattle, Washington

The weather in Seattle is perfect for outdoor adventures during a vacation in August. It’s the month with the second-least amount of rainfall, and it’s warm enough without making you overheat. Plus, with Seattle being so far north, the days are particularly long in the summer.

On August 4, you can spend all day in the sun for no cost at all. It’s the anniversary of the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. In celebration, all entrance fees to national parks are waived. Three national parks are nearby Seattle: Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and North Cascades National Park. So, you have your choice of beautiful locations to explore!

Best Cities to Visit in USA in August: Seattle, Washington

Also in early August is the Seafair Weekend Festival, set on Lake Washington. Featuring boat races, air shows, and much more, it’s an event that’s exciting for all those big and small. 

For even more family fun, visit the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire during weekends throughout the month. From jousting knights to lyrical bards to circus performers of all kinds, there’s plenty of entertainment to keep you coming back weekend after weekend all August long.


Whitefish, Montana

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in August: Whitefish, Montana

Considered one of the best ski towns in the world, Whitefish is located on the shores of Whitefish Lake and is just a short trip away from Glacier National Park. But there’s more to Whitefish than its amazing winters. It’s also easily one of the coolest places to travel in the US in the summer!

In the summers, you can hike around Glacier National Park, go mountain biking around scenic trails, or embrace country living on a real dude ranch. Or get out on the lake and try your hand at kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing. 

What Places to Visit in USA in August: Whitefish, Montana

If you want to take a break from being out in the sun, there are many arts and culture centers to explore here as well. See a show at the Whitefish Theatre Company, or spend some time at the Stumptown Art Studio, where you can find exhibits from May to October during Whitefish First Thursday Gallery Nights. Also in the art studio is the ceramics annex, where you can make your own art. 


Lake Tahoe, California

Must Visit Places in USA in August: Lake Tahoe, California

During the winter, Lake Tahoe is filled with skiers and snowboarders hitting the famous slopes. Lake Tahoe is often considered one of the best places to go to see the snow in California, but it’s just as wonderful of a vacation destination in August. 

In mid-to-late August, California kids are back in school, making popular summer vacation spots quieter than in June and July. In addition to the drop-off in crowds, Lake Tahoe’s weather also makes it ideal for a late summer getaway.

Take a boat cruise or kayaking tour to explore the beautiful green waters of Emerald Bay. Or hit the beach and go for a swim in the clear blue waters of the other areas around Lake Tahoe. As an alpine lake, Lake Tahoe is always cold, so be prepared for some rather chilly water. But for those brave enough, it’s a refreshing dip. 

For those who aren’t fans of the cold water, take in the scenery around the lake. Lake Tahoe is an amazing hiking destination. You can even stroll on over to some historical sites, like Vikingsholm Castle. What was once a summer home is now a part of the Emerald Bay State Park, and you can tour this incredible example of Scandinavian architecture in the summer.


Route 127

Technically, this vacation destination isn’t much of a destination at all – it’s about the journey. Route 127 makes for a great vacation in August, especially if you’re a thrifter, as there’s a truly one-of-a-kind event happening along it.

The 127 Yard Sale is the world’s longest yard sale. Running 690 miles, this unique event lasts four days at the beginning of August. It runs through six states: Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. 

But this yard sale isn’t your run-of-the-mill sale. There are over 2,200 vendors setting up shop along the route, from flea markets to general stores to antique malls to farms. 

With so many different kinds of vendors, you never know what you’ll find on your journey through this beloved yard sale. For those who love finding unique items and hidden treasures, the 127 Yard Sale is where to go in August.


Jekyll Island, Georgia

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in August: Jekyll Island, Georgia

Although you may have to contend with a few rainy days and rather hot temperatures, Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia is one of the best vacation spots in the US in August for those who want to spend their days around and on the water. Relax on the shores of the Instagram-worthy Driftwood Beach, with its sun-bleached driftwood strewn across the sand. Or play in the sand at Great Dunes Beach Park.

August is also prime time to take a dolphin cruise, as Jekyll Island is home to one of the world’s largest populations of bottlenose dolphins. For another way to get up close to the beautiful wildlife of the area, check out the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, where you can learn about how the facility takes care of and protects sea turtles.

Looking for some water-filled adventures? Check out the Summer Waves Water Park. Race down Pirate’s Passage, play around the Splash Zone, or just relax in Turtle Creek. If you have a member of your party who gets overstimulated with crowds or noise, they can head to the Sensory Room for a more sensory-friendly time.


The Berkshires, Massachusetts

What Places to Visit in September: The Berkshires, Massachusetts & Connecticut

When many people think of a Massachusetts vacation, they picture the shores of Cape Cod or the historic locations around Boston. But the Berkshires has much to offer as well, and it’s one of the best places to travel in the US in August, especially for lovers of the arts.

For something truly unique that music lovers will especially enjoy, visit Tanglewood, where the Boston Symphony Orchestra spends its summers. Nestled in the Berkshire Hills, this scenic location is home to numerous concerts throughout the summer, with performances by some of the best classical artists in the world.

Meanwhile, if you’re more of a dance fan, you’ll want to head to Jacob’s Pillow, a dance school and performance center known best for its nine-week summer dance festival. From late June to late August, you can take in shows of all kinds, from ballet to tap to hip-hop, as well as listen to talks from some of the best dancers in the world and even take part in workshops yourself.

There you have it! The 15 best places to travel in the USA in August. What’s your favorite?


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Author

  • Jacqueline Gualtieri

    Jacqueline is a writer and editor pursuing the freelance life to explore the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, she spent her college years in Boston before settling down with her partner and puppy in Monterey, California.

    When she’s not writing, you can often find her planning her next trip. Road trips are her favorite, whether it’s driving across the country or simply exploring a new city in her own backyard. She loves uncovering the history of every new place she goes.

    Jacqueline has a restless passion for learning and makes it a goal to pick up a new skill every year. She’s picked up embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and cross-stitching, but she’s hoping to master more languages to help her in her travels. She’s also a published author, with short stories and poetry appearing in several anthologies.

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