August is a beautiful time of year to travel. It’s the end of summer, and we are about to plunge into autumn, making this a good time to celebrate through exploration. Here are some of the best places in the world to travel to in August:
- Oslo, Norway: This is the best time to visit Norway thanks to the sunnier weather, long summer days thanks to the midnight sun, and plethora of festivals being celebrated. Oslo hosts events like a tomato festival and many music festivals during this month, so while this may be a busy tourist time for the country, there’s a reason why. Explore the city, enjoy the festival, and consider renting a car to take a long Nordic road trip to go hiking and swimming the mountain lakes further north.
- Newfoundland, Canada: This little-visited area of Canada is pristine with its icebergs and colorful coastal towns. August is a great time to visit thanks to longer days, warmer temperatures, and ideal camping conditions. Watch for whales off the coast, take long hikes through one of their three National Parks or 18 wilderness reserves, go sea kayaking, and get to know some locals (the culture of this place has been deemed one of the top 10 friendliest in the world). There are also more varieties of English spoken here than anywhere else in the world thanks to their many accents and unique words, so this is an exciting place for people who are passionate about language (the accents here date back 400 years to western England and southern Ireland).
- Medellin, Colombia: Visiting South America during June–August can be a gamble in certain areas since this time of year is the coldest and can be very rainy, but there are places around the continent where it’s actually the prime time to visit in August. Medellin is one of them. Known as the “City of the Eternal Spring,” this place is blooming and so colorful during August, and the temperatures generally never even get to the high 70s in Fahrenheit. The city is also home to the Feria de Flores so that is something not to miss if you love flowers! If you want to take a weekend trip from there, go to the Amazon, where it’s cool enough to enjoy but not as busy as the rest of the year!
- London, England: August is an ideal time to visit the U.K. in general since this is the sunnier and warmest time to visit, but London is an especially great choice. The weather in August allows for you to really enjoy all of the sites and walk all over the city—something that can be hard to do during the rest of the year, comfortably. Consider taking the train or renting a car to visit the English countryside if you want to explore places with a slower pace—just remember to pack a picnic!
- Masai Mara, Kenya: Chances are, when you think of the African continent, you picture landscapes from Kenya. The Masai Mara is famous for its savannah and acacia trees, as well as being one of the places on the planet with the highest concentration of wildlife. During August though, the Great Migration takes place, making it the prime time to visit. The reserve itself focuses on conservation and making sure these amazing African animals are safe to live their lives, which is something worth supporting. Visit the Masaai people with permission, take a guided hike through the bush, and enjoy accidentally vegan traditional cuisine over an open fire at one of the lodges. It’s a nature-lover’s heaven.
- Charmey, Switzerland: This is the most pristine mountain town in the country, with its Alpine meadows, sparkling lakes, and honoring of ancient customs. Take a dip in one of their wild thermal pools, marvel at views of the Alps, hike Vounetse Mountain, and swim under waterfalls! During August, their famous Swiss National Holiday is celebrated in Charmey in the most idyllic way with folk music, dancing, and lots of good food. This region is absolutely a dream during this month.
- Caraguatatuba, Brazil: I lived here when I was 19 years old, and it remains one of the most paradisiacal places I have ever been to. Watch the sunrise on the Praia das Palmeiras, look for dolphins while sipping on a cold beverage at one of the kiosks on the beach, get caldo de cana at one of the juice stands (make sure to get it with lime), hike through the jungle up the Morro de Santo Antonio, walk through Morro do Algodao and enjoy the views of the river Rio Juqueriquerê (named for the amount of gators who swim in it, so don’t get in), grab the best açaí of your life at Açai Formosa Caraguatatuba, and grab a snack at Padaria Pao d’Ouro. August in the southeast of Brazil is the beginning of their spring, with temperatures rarely rising above 70°F, making it the best time of year to visit!
- Rarotonga, Cook Islands: This is the perfect place for a Robinson Crusoe experience! While most of the area in the southern Pacific is in the middle of monsoon season during August, the Cook Islands are having perfect, sunny weather that never exceeds 80°F. This can be a more expensive trip for sure, but if you ever want to visit paradise, this country in August is it. Go snorkeling, relax on the beaches, learn about the local culture, whale watch on the shores of Rarotonga, and munch on tropical fruit at their Punanga Nui Markets!
- Leshan, China: Located in the west of China, the last half of August is a perfect time to visit this lush city thanks to the weather starting to cool down. Visit the famous Leshan Giant Buddha, hike around Mount Emei, meditate at the Buddhist Wannian Temple, marvel at relics from the Ming dynasty at The Baoguo Temple, visit Sichuan Heizhugou National Forest Park, and explore Ancient Town. If you have more time, do some hiking in the nearby Juizhaigou or Shangri-la. If you’re more of a city person, Chengdu is the closest large city and their panda conservation park is incredible, and ancient sites like Qingcheng Shan and the rope bridges at Dujiangyan Irrigation System offer incredible glimpses into the past.
- San Juan Islands, United States: As someone who grew up here, I can attest to the fact that not only does everyone need to visit this lush paradise in the north at least once in their lives, but that August is by far the best time of the year to visit. The blackberries are at their prime and grow in heavy bunches all over the islands; this is also the height of festival season, and the weather is at its best, generally sunny and around 70°F. Stay in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island and enjoy the Arts Festival (and incredible fresh food), gather berries, and island hop from there. Bike around Lopez Island, collect sea glass in East Sound on Orcas Island, swim at Grandma’s Cove on San Juan Island, camp in Moran State Park on Orcas Island, go to the Blue Fox Drive-In on Whidbey Island, listen to folk music at the general store on Guemes Island, and stargaze at Doe Bay.
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Photo: Emily Iris Degn