August can be a tricky month to plan travel if you want to avoid large crowds, pricey rates, and sticky weather. Of course, there’s a few destinations that truly shine this month, and we’ve compiled a list of our top ten. Below are our favorite August destinations, from South America to Europe to everywhere in between!
Top 10 August Destinations
1. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is Travel and Leisure’s cheapest international destination of August, with hotel rates dropping around the $100 range. Take advantage of this cheap lodging and take part in the city’s famed International Beer Festival, happening from August 4-6! Spend the rest of your time exploring everything this historic city has to offer. From the Berlin Wall to the Holocaust Memorial to the Reichstag Building to the Brandenburg Gate, your itinerary will surely be full!
2. Big Bend National Park, TX
You don’t even have to leave the state to have the adventure of a lifetime! Big Bend National Park is a Texas gem, worthy of earning “International Dark Sky Park” status. With exceptionally low light pollution, you can witness the most magnificent starry nights you could ever dream of. Take a drive down Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive before hiking one of Big Bend’s many trails. Check out Emory Peak, the highest peak of the Chisos Mountains, and canoe through the Rio Grande River. We recommend ending your day with a sunset horseback ride before settling in for some legendary star gazing!
3. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The weather is cooling down a bit this month in one of the most biologically diverse areas of the world. 97% of the Galapagos Islands is designated as Galapagos National Park, Ecuador’s first national park and a UNESCO world heritage site. Before you enjoy the beach at Tortuga Bay, discovery what nature has to offer at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Marvel at turtles, tortoises, sea lions, and flamingos with a trip to Floreana Island. There’s endless natural wonders waiting to be discovered in the Galapagos Islands!
4. Vancouver, BC, Canada
Trade in the humid Texas heat for more pleasant summer days up in Vancouver. Wander through Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth Park before watching the sunset over the English Bay. Discover world arts and cultures at the Museum of Anthropology. Get lost in a hedge maze and discover nature’s beauty at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Transport to China at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first Chinese garden built outside of China. There’s no end to the magic you can find up in British Columbia!
5. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Take a trip into old Eastern Europe with a visit to Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana. Named the 2016 Europe Green Capital, this magical town will transport you back in time. To get to the modern side of the city, simple cross over the Triple Bridge and do a little time travel. Frolic through Tivoli Park, have some fun at the Museum of Illusions, and get interactive at the House of Experiments. Discover a bit of Slovenia at the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum and marvel at the Roman Catholic St. Nicholas’s Cathedral.
6. Portland, OR
This northwest city has so much more to offer than coffee and hipsters. Explore the sprawling Washington Park, home to the Portland Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden. Visit the largest Chinese garden outside of China at Portland’s Classical Chinese Garden. Spend a weekend afternoon picking out local foods and unique gifts at the Portland Saturday Market. Bookworms will rejoice at Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world! If you want to postpone your trip a bit, the Bite of Oregon festival will be held labor day weekend, September 1-4.
7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
August brings warm, dry weather to this Brazilian city, which will make your stay so much more enjoyable! Marvel at the iconic Art Deco Christ the Redeemer sculpture. Take a scenic cable car ride up to Sugarloaf Mountain, and go at sunset for a truly breathtaking panoramic of Rio de Janeiro. Explore Brazil’s natural beauty at Tijuca National Park rainforest and Jardim Botanico. Get lost in the neighborhoods of Santa Teresa and Lapa to discover art, architecture, restaurants, and nightlife.
8. Edinburgh, Scotland
Travel to this Scottish gem this month to take part in the world’s largest arts festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from August 4-28. Tour the 16th century Holyrood Palace, stand in awe of the Gothic St. Giles’s Cathedral, and discover Edinburgh Castle. Explore the Royal Botanic Garden, the Princes Street Gardens, and Arthur’s Seat. Learn all there is to know about Scotland’s national drink at the Scotch Whiskey Experience before you leave!
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam has so much to offer, from its quirky neighborhoods to its vast museum scene to its scenic buildings along the canal. See the city from the water with one of the city’s many canal cruises. Visit the historic Anne Frank House to get up close with a little bit of history. Explore the Rijksmuseum, stroll through the Van Gogh Museum, and see some Pollack and Warhol pieces at the Stedelijk Museum. Don’t miss a stroll through the Jordaan neighborhood, a real Amsterdam gem.
10. Bali, Indonesia
Travel to Bali this month to explore beautiful nature and serene temples, catch some waves, and find your zen. Explore the Tanah Lot rock formation, home to the Pura Tanah Lot Temple. Discover wildlife at the Bali Safari and Marine Park open zoo. Get lost among the Hindu sculptures of Garuda Wisnu Kencana park. Venture off to Uluwatu Island, where you can surf, enjoy the beach, practice yoga, and visit the Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple.
Working on planning your destination wedding? Check out our blog on the top 10 underrated beaches for your destination wedding!