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Where to Go in August: The Best Places to Travel

Wendy Perrin | June 27, 2016

A lot of people ask me where to go in August: It’s one of the few times of year when they can take a week or two off from work, yet it’s also when so many places are hot, crowded, filled with tourists, devoid of locals, and priced at their most expensive. If all you need is an easy beach escape with the family, consider the southeastern United States: Southeast kids are back in school by mid-August, which means lower rates at lovely, breezy, kid-friendly coastal resorts in places like Virginia’s Northern Neck and St. Simon’s and Sea Island, Georgia. If you’re itching for something more adventurous, though, consider these:

(If you prefer to know which destinations are ideal for booking in any given month, see our Where to Book Now series, and don’t miss our comprehensive guide to the benefits of booking early.)

Polar bear, Svalbard, Arctic

Polar bear, Sea Ice Svalbard, Arctic. Photo by Shelley Fry.

The Arctic

“Summer to early fall brings the best weather. Late summer is the best time to see whales in Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago. As for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Beluga whales—the beautiful all-white species known for their high pitched twitter—congregate by the hundreds there between July and mid-August.” –Ashton Palmer, Trusted Travel Expert for Small-Ship Expedition Cruises

Read Ashton’s Insider’s Guide to The Arctic, By Land & Sea, and reach out to Ashton to get the best possible trip.

Austria

“Sure, it’s crowded in August, but the days are relatively long, the weather is great, and there are music festivals—especially opera—all over Austria. You can usually find good hotel deals in August, except in Salzburg, which hosts its six-week classical music festival (one of the biggest in Europe).”  –Gwen Kozlowski, Trusted Travel Expert for Austria

Read Gwen’s Insider’s Guide to Austria, Including Vienna and the Danube, and reach out to Gwen to get the best possible trip.

Cheetah in Botswana's Okavango Delta

A cheetah in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Photo courtesy Wilderness Safaris/Dana Allen.

Botswana

“Anytime between June and October—the dry season—is excellent for seeing wildlife, since the animals congregate around a few main water sources. But for boating around the vast labyrinth of lagoons and channels that make up the Okavango Delta, no time is better than June, July, and August, when the water reaches its highest levels and the climate throughout Botswana is at its most pleasant (daytime temps during those months are usually in the mid 70s, though the mercury can drop into the low 40s at night).” –Julian Harrison, Trusted Travel Expert for South African Safaris

Read Julian’s Insider’s Guide to Botswana: Small Safari Camps and Vast Wilderness, and reach out to Julian to get the best possible trip.

British Columbia

“The days are usually clear and sunny (ideal for seaplane and helicopter flights) and the seasonal wilderness lodges, which typically open in mid-May, have been operating long enough to work out any kinks. August is also prime time for kayaking, hiking, fishing, and river rafting, not to mention bear- and whale-watching.”  –Marc Telio, Trusted Travel Expert for Western Canada

Read Marc’s Insider’s Guide to British Columbia, and reach out to Marc to get the best possible trip.

Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. Photo courtesy GreenSpot.

Cambodia

 “A lot of people can’t handle the heat of Cambodia, and I don’t blame them: It can hover between 95 and 100 degrees in some places for days on end. But if you’re not bothered by the heat, I highly recommend August, which was my favorite month when I lived in Cambodia: It’s the monsoon season, but the flooding usually isn’t bad, the country is green, and the evening brings cooler temps. Best of all, the crowds haven’t arrived yet, so you won’t have to jostle for position at the most popular sites.” –Andrea Ross, Trusted Travel Expert for Cambodia

Read Andrea’s Insider’s Guide to Cambodia, and reach out to Andrea to get the best possible trip.

The Caribbean for Diving and Snorkeling

Even, though it’s hurricane season, August and September are my favorite time to go to the Caribbean. The seas are generally the calmest, with good visibility, few crowds, and great value to be had. You should definitely buy insurance if you book a trip, though.

Contact Wendy to find the right Trusted Travel Expert for your trip.

Costa Rica

“Mid-June through midAugust is the middle of the rainy season, but prices are relatively low, everything is lush and green, and weather patterns are predictable: You get beautiful sunny mornings—for adventure activities—and the strong showers in the afternoon give you time to rest while listening to the tropical rain that cools things off for the evening.” –Irene Edwards, Trusted Travel Expert for Eco-Travel in Costa Rica

Read Irene’s Insider’s Guide to Costa Rica, and reach out to Irene to get the best possible trip.

Singita Grumeti reserve in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Photo by Nina Wennersten.

Singita Grumeti reserve in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Photo by Nina Wennersten.

East Africa

“August and September are the best times to see the annual migration, the ultimate wildlife spectacle, in which more than a million wildebeest and other animals pass through Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. July can be iffy for the herds, and October might be too late, but you can always count on August and September being terrific.” –Nina Wennersten and Dan Saperstein, Trusted Travel Experts for East African Safaris

Read Nina and Dan’s Insider’s Guide to East African Safaris, and reach out to them to get the best possible trip.

Great Barrier Reef Islands, Australia

“August brings warm weather, good visibility for divers and snorkelers, and calm seas (the wind dies down at the end of July). It’s also the best time to view whales—dwarf minke whales visiting the northern reefs and humpbacks on their annual migration to Antarctica.” –Stuart Rigg, Wendy’s Trusted Travel Expert for Australia

Read Stuart’s Insider’s Guide to the Great Barrier Reef, and reach out to Stuart to plan the best possible trip.

Jenny Lake Grand Teton National park

Jenny Lake in autumn, Grand Teton National Park. Photo courtesy Caroline Bach Wood.

Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons

July and August bring the best weather of the summer, with warm days and cool nights; wildflowers are blooming, hiking trails are usually free of snow, and rivers should be clear of spring runoff, making for perfect fly-fishing conditions. All other summer activities, such as biking, rock climbing, rafting, and horseback riding, are easily available. (Skies may be hazy from area wildfires in August.)

Contact Wendy to find the right Trusted Travel Expert for your trip.

New Zealand

Summer skiing, anyone? “August is the top month for skiing in New Zealand: You’ll get the most reliable (very high quality) heli-skiing conditions in August, and combining that with a tropical island can be fun.” –Jean-Michel Jefferson, Trusted Travel Expert for New Zealand 

Read Jean-Michel’s Insider’s Guides to New Zealand and Queenstown, and reach out to Jean-Michel to get the best possible trip to New Zealand.

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