There are two types of summer travelers: those who want to escape the heat, and those for whom it can never be quite hot enough. This list of the 10 best August vacations is balanced accordingly, and it is written with both types of traveler in mind.
1. Chicago, Illinois
The 10 best August vacations aren’t necessarily beach vacations! Chicago’s winters are brutally cold; daytime temperatures below zero are not uncommon. Conversely, the city’s summers are mild compared to the mugginess of New York or New Orleans. Many Chicagoans suffer greatly in the rare years when the city experiences 100° summer heat, on account of the fact that many of them do not even own air conditioners. The practical upshot of this is that Chicago can be a fantastic escape from the sweltering summer heat that plagues most of the East Coast and the South.
2. Anchorage, Alaska
While Chicago is a good bet for an escape-the-heat getaway, there is no guarantee that travelers there will get the mild weather they may be hoping for. Those looking for a sure bet for mild weather should consider an August trip to Anchorage, Alaska, where the hottest temperature ever recorded was a mere 86°. Beautiful scenery and wildlife also abound, and it is not unusual to see bears and moose within the city limits.
3. Flagstaff, Arizona
If you’re one of those people who loves the heat, then Arizona may be for you. Flagstaff is probably the most charming major city in the state. The city is home to thriving communities of artists and musicians. To the south, Flagstaff is close to Sedona, one of the most picturesque cities in all of Arizona, and to the north quick trip away from Great Canyon.
4. Santa Monica, California
Southern California is famous for year-round perfect weather, and you would be hard-pressed to think of a more relaxing way to spend an afternoon than sipping cocktails on the patio of a Venice Beach vacation rental, watching Venice’s eccentric residents and tourists pass by. The people watching is second to none.
5. Miami, Florida
One way to cope with the August heat is to embrace it by going somewhere hot and humid like Miami. Spend the day swimming and sunning yourself, then go out at night and soak up the Cuban and Caribbean culture that permeates this South Florida city.
6. Denver, Colorado
What's the great thing about summer? Swimming! And there's no doubt that you'd be witness to the one of the largest water parks in America: Water World. This park is full of attractions including a hydromagnetic water coaster. Grab your towel and sunscreen—because your summer will end with a bang.
7. Orlando, Florida
Walt Disney World's obviously a great place to have a family vacation, but while we're on the subject of water parks, even though these may not be the biggest, you get something pretty good with Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, two water parks that have Mickey written all over them.
8. New Orleans, Louisiana
If you like jazz, there's no better place than New Orleans, a land where the jambalaya flows and Mardi Gras makes merry. Particularly early August, you've got the Satchmo Summerfest, an event held at the Old U.S. Mint at the edge of the French quarter, featuring the great Louis Armstrong.
9. Frankenmuth, Michigan
And speaking of music, if you're looking for the best family vacations in August, there's the Frankenmuth Summer Music Fest. When you get to celebrate everything from polka, folk, German, and Slovenian music, you've got a one-of-a-kind experience.
10. New York City, New York
August is a special time in the Big Apple specifically due to the fact that you get to experience theater the way it was traditionally experienced in Greek times: outdoors. Thanks to the event Shakespeare in the Park, the Delacorte Theatre and Turtle Pond give you that opportunity. Watch Romeo and Juliet while enjoying the outdoors and the great weather.