City-Hopping and Nature-Spotting: Where to Travel in August for Every Type of TravelerBy Sharael Kolberg
Whether you want to dive into a busy city or spend your days snorkeling in warm water, there are activities around the globe for every type of traveler looking to get away in August.
This month offers endless opportunities for adventure or relaxation, depending on your travel goals. Expect buzzing metropolises with unmatched cultural institutions, as well as scenic locations with convenient access to the great outdoors.
As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.
The Food and Drinks Lover
Pizza, pasta, gelato! Florence is known for penne strascicate (a meat sauce over penne pasta) and Florentine steak (porterhouse). Wash down your meal with world-class dry red wines, such a Chianti, from nearby Tuscany. Aim to visit around August 10 so that you can enjoy the annual Feast of San Lorenzo, the co-patron saint of Florence. Festivities include a parade, mass at the basilica of San Lorenzo, music and lots of lasagna and watermelon.
If you like to road trip when you travel, you’ll be thrilled to use Florence as a launching point for drives to and around charming towns in the Tuscan region, which offer additional opportunities to eat and drink. Plus, there is typically a Perseid meteor shower visible in the region at this time of year — another reason to visit in early to mid-August.
An epicenter of Michelin-starred restaurants, Napa’s fine dining cuisine is exceptional. You’ll also find farm-to-table options with ingredients from local farms. Stop by the 40,000-square-foot Oxbow Public Market, featuring local food and wine vendors.
August is the start of the harvesting season, so you can expect wine tasting celebrations, annual food festivals and — perhaps most novel for visitors — grape stomping.
The Wellness Buff
Sedona is a magical place to focus on wellness. Venture into the calming red rock landscape and work up a sweat exploring the extensive network of hiking trails. The area is also known for its legendary energy vortexes, which are rumored to have special energetic qualities that some visitors say you can feel. August is a good time to visit to avoid the crowds — just hit the trails in the early morning before the weather heats up.
If you’re looking for assistance in directing your focus inward, you’ll find an abundance of healing practitioners, as well as yoga and meditation studios, in Sedona.
From lush landscapes and pristine beaches to fresh lobster and therapeutic volcanic mud, this Caribbean destination is a haven for wellness enthusiasts. Relax in a healing mineral spring, get pampered with restorative treatments or hike to the peak of Gros Piton.
You can avoid crowds by visiting in August, during the low season — ideally early in the month before the rainy season really sets in.
The Outdoor Enthusiast
Located on the west coast in British Columbia, Vancouver is a nature lover’s dream. Spend your days on the water or in the mountains — hiking, biking, boating, kayaking and more. The nearby Capilano Suspension Bridge and Treetops Adventure are popular with visitors.
August offers mild weather and little rain, so spend your evenings in Vancouver enjoying an outdoor concert or taking a stroll along the seawall.
Cape Town, South Africa
Located in the Southern Hemisphere, Cape Town can be cold and rainy in August — but that means you’ll find fewer tourists visiting the area. You can still expect T-shirt weather during the day. Just make sure to pack a raincoat and extra layers to add as needed.
August is one of the best times of year to go whale watching in Cape Town. Other outdoor activities you can explore in the area include walking the treetop canopy in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, kayaking with penguins at Boulders Beach, snorkeling with seals in Hout Bay or exploring Bloomslang Cave.
The Arts and Culture Seeker
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City was once home to world-renowned artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It is a mecca for art aficionados, with more than 150 museums, as well as numerous art galleries, stunning architecture, extraordinary murals and lively theater. Find culture at the indoor markets with local vendors selling flowers, produce, handicrafts, textiles and more. And make sure to check out archeological sites in and around the city, including canals, pyramids and other ruins.
August is in Mexico City’s rainy season, but you can expect comfortable weather and plenty of sunshine between rain showers. Plus, visiting during the shoulder season means the lines at museums and markets are typically shorter, the air quality better and the hotels less expensive.
In Kyoto, you will find many traditional Japanese art forms — tea ceremonies, calligraphy, woodblock printing, dyed textiles and flower arranging. There are also more than 2,000 temples and shrines that display impressive architecture and reflect the culture.
A visit in August can be hot and humid, but it’s a wonderful time for flower viewing, with beautiful and fragrant lotuses in full bloom.
The Sports Fan
Queens, New York City
A borough of New York City, Queens is an escape from the nearby summer crowds in Manhattan. In addition to easy access to the rest of the city, Queens boasts its own impressive museums, lively beaches and world-class sports venues, including Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
In August, you can watch the US Open tennis championship, which is held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.