The warm and sunny days of late summer spell peak season for many destinations, but fewer crowds if you know where to go.
There’s no way around it: late summer is one of the most popular times to travel. The season may be entering its twilight phase, but the weather remains warm and balmy, the trees are green and lush, and the thought of another school year is still a distant reality. For many, August is the last chance to sneak in one final vacation before the warm weather draws to a close.
The month’s steadily comfortable temperatures and abundance of vegetation allows for some of the best opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural habitats.
As September—and fall—looms ever closer, many travelers scramble to pack in some last-minute summer fun. Luckily, August hosts some of the year’s most exciting events. Out west, Nevada’s third largest city rises from the dusty desert into Burning Man, a social gathering that lasts a week but draws thousands more attendees each year.
If it’s culture and cuisine you’re after, look to Santa Fe or Cajun Country in southeastern Louisiana.
Of course, there’s no better time than summer to take in the great outdoors. Few destinations offer as much versatility in the way of active adventure as Vancouver, from nature walks in Stanley Park to hiking, camping, and kayaking off Vancouver Island. Are you more of a night owl? Places with dark-sky-park status like Big Bend, Texas.
Itching to maximize your late summer exploits before the season transitions into fall? Take a look at the best places to see and be seen this August.
Mesa Verde, Spanish for “green table”, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people. More than 4,000 archaeological sites have been preserved, including hundreds of homes and villages that date back to the 12th century. These master builders constructed elaborate complexes tucked into sandstone cliffs. Some held just a few people, while others, such as the Cliff Palace and Long House, have 150 rooms and could have housed up to 100 people.
Bryce Canyon is world-famous for its vibrant red rock spires that shoot hundreds of feet into the air. Known as hoodoos, these totem pole-like formations are collected in a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters that are easily accessible and provide breathtaking views. While most visitors experience the scenery by car, Bryce Canyon’s magical beauty is best seen on foot. With eight marked trails, there are plenty of areas to explore from within.
Many towns in Amish Country date back 150 years or more. Among these is tiny Shipshewana known for an enormous flea market where 1,000 vendors peddle their wares twice a week. Due to the Amish lifestyle you can almost believe you’ve stepped back in time a century or more. To learn about Amish history, tour Menno-Hof. Through multi-image presentations and historical displays, you’ll travel back 500 years to the origins of the Amish-Mennonite story.
Established in 1926, Route 66 was one of the original highways in the U.S., stretching southwestward from Chicago out to California’s coastal city of Santa Monica. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran from Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to California, covering a total of 2,448 miles. Whether you are motivated by an interest in history or feel a nostalgic yearning for the “good old days”, Route 66 offers an unforgettable journey into America.
Lodi has all you need for an ideal wine country getaway. Wander historic downtown Lodi with century-old brick buildings, brick-cobbled streets lined with elm trees and turn-of-the-century light poles. You’ll love this area and the way the city has maintained its history and heritage. Many unique shops, restaurants, and more than a dozen wine tasting boutiques and exciting restaurants.
The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.
—Frank Lloyd Wright