It’s the dog days of summer, and instead of hiding at home in the air conditioning, why not head out into the world and make the most of the sunshine? August is a popular month for travelers around the world, and it’s easy to see why. The days are long, the evenings are warm, and the kid inside each of us is full of wonder at the prospects of adventure. Here are our top picks for places to travel in August.
Brittany & Normandy
The northwest coast of France is a place where history is truly alive. From Bayeux, the first French town to be liberated after D-Day, to the castles where the Normans plotted their conquest of England, Brittany and Normandy make up a region where the past still lives and breathes. Add to that the area’s vibrant contemporary culture and cuisine, as well as its stunning windswept cliffs and sandy beaches, and you’ll see that every member of the family can find something to enjoy here. The area is famous for its oysters, cider and brandy—delicacies best paired with a view from the ramparts of a medieval castle. To experience the past while enjoying the present, consider a trip to Brittany and Normandy in August.
Discover Backroads’ Brittany & Normandy trips.
Tucked away in the upper-west corner of the United States, Oregon is an oft-overlooked destination for outdoor enthusiasts—but those who come to visit will find themselves falling in love. Cycling along deserted highways through lush coastal forests, enjoying the craft breweries and lively nightlife of Bend, visiting the high desert landscape of dramatic rock formations, and culminating with a visit to the stunning Crater Lake, a trip to Oregon will scratch the itch for anyone looking to challenge and surprise themselves in a new setting. The weather in August is warm and (relatively) dry, and communities around the state are celebrating with festivals of music and heritage, like the Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana and the Sunriver Music Festival. For biking in August, the Oregon roads offer a perfect combination of solitude and civilization, and the state’s many national parks and wilderness spaces don’t disappoint when it comes to hiking either.
Discover Backroads’ Oregon trips.
Berlin may be famous today for its art scene and hip nightlife, but the city and its surroundings are also a picturesque destination for lovers of nature—especially in August, when the warm weather and blooming vegetation make a pastoral scene you won’t forget. From lavish Prussian palaces to the peaceful vineyards on the banks of the Elbe River, the contrast between urban and rural will fascinate and stimulate. Where else could you learn about the complex history of the Berlin Wall, enjoy a peaceful hike in August along the placid river, and then go to a Michelin-star restaurant for dinner? Early August in Berlin also brings the city’s International Beer Festival, an event that aficionados of barley beverages will not want to miss—and the perfect way to cool off after a long day of biking or hiking through the beautiful German countryside.
Ireland is a country replete with magic. Tales of elves and fairies abound, and once you arrive here, it’s easy to see why. From the lush green landscapes, to the quaint villages and cottages, to the dramatic cliffs and sweeping ocean views, it all makes a bewitching backdrop for a cycling or hiking vacation. On top of that comes the legendary hospitality and affability of the Irish people, which will become apparent the first time you stop for a pint in the roadside pub and get to chatting with your neighbor on the next stool. August is the perfect month to visit: the country’s mild climate will help you dodge the heat of mainland Europe, while you’ll miss most of the rains and get to see many of the nation’s thousands of species of wildflower in bloom. Add that to the number of festivals going on, from big music festivals in Dublin to small folk art and literature conventions around the country, and you can see the appeal. For a hiking or biking vacation in August, Ireland is the gold at the end of the rainbow.
Discover Backroads’ Ireland trips.
Alaska is rugged and beautiful, a land still in the process of being discovered—and August is the perfect time to discover it. From towering active volcanoes to glaciers that expand and contract with the seasons, Alaska is a place where nature is alive. August brings warm weather, long days with enough hours of darkness to catch the Northern Lights, and the final weeks of Humpback whale season. For a rugged vacation of biking or hiking in August, Alaska is an adventurer’s paradise. And on top of all that, August is the season for salmon, blueberries and the Alaska State Fair—the perfect recipe for a great northern vacation.
Discover Backroads’ Alaska trips.
Want to see more tips for traveling to the right place at the right time? See our expert recommendations for every month of the year: