By the time August rolls around, many people are prepping for back to school and back to work, so popular summer vacation destinations will begin to drop rates by the end of the month. This is a great month to remain flexible if you can and snatch up some of the last-minute vacation packages that often open to fill rooms and airline seats that did not sell at the end of this busy summer vacation period
Saafu Point Rd, Fuvahmulah, Maldives
Whatever you do, stay cool and get out there and dance like you were just named May Queen in Midsommar and all of your inhibitions have fallen to the wayside because you’re too hot to care or even comprehend what’s going on. Need some nuggets of inspiration? From the wilds of Costa Rica and the best road trip in Australia, here are our top 12 picks for where to go in August 2020
12 Best Places To Travel in August 2020
Fiji is an excellent place to visit in August 2020. Although August falls within Fiji's cooler, drier season, daytime temperatures commonly sit in the high 70s or low 80s, so you can spend the bulk of your vacation sunbathing on its white sand beaches and swimming in its vibrant blue water.
Plus, several of the country's 333 islands – including Taveuni, the Mamanucas and the Yasawas – offer ample opportunities for water sports like surfing and scuba diving. If you're a fan of culture, you're in luck: Fiji also features all kinds of unique traditions, such as kava and firewalking ceremonies
-> Read more: The Ultimate Travel Guide to Fiji 2020 Update
This former coconut plantation is now a highly regarded resort area on Mexico's Pacific coast. When you're not relaxing at an all-inclusive resort, venture off-site to sunbathe on one of Ixtapa's beautiful stretches of sand – Playa el Palmar and Playa Linda are two favorites – or practice your swing at a local golf course.
Sunset at Ixtapa, México
Or, travel 6 miles northwest to Isla Ixtapa, a small island known for its terrific snorkeling and scuba diving. Keep in mind, August is part of Ixtapa's rainy season but rarely experiences long downpours, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors
3. Portland, ME
For a quaint New England getaway in August, head to this coastal Maine city. Beach bums can take advantage of balmy temps at nearby shorelines, and foodies can stroll through the Old Port to sample some of the city's best restaurants. Meanwhile, art lovers can check out the Portland Museum of Art to see its collection of more than 18,000 works of art.
End your day at the Eastern Promenade or the Portland Observatory to enjoy breathtaking harbor views at sunset
Slovenia might just be Europe’s worst-kept secret. In August the capital Ljubljana and Lakes Bled and Bohinj are packed with locals and tourists alike, but there are still plenty of lesser-known corners of this compact country to explore.
Lake Bled, Bled, Slovenia on a Blue Night
As the holiday resorts sizzle, alpine regions offer respite from the heat, making it the perfect time to climb Mount Triglav. But if you really want to get off the beaten track, head east to wander pretty towns Maribor and Ptuj, or go wine tasting in the surrounding Styrian vineyards.
5. East Africa
All kinds of adventures await in East Africa in August. The Great Migration is in full swing, meaning wildlife spotting opportunities abound in Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, and it’s also one of the best times of year to track silverback gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda.
Beach bum? Weather is warm and dry and the waters around Pemba Island and Zanzibar are brimming with marine life, ideal for snorkeling or scuba diving.
Madeira’s mild temperatures make it a winner with travelers year-round, but summer is the best time to spot or swim with whales and dolphins, of which there are over 20 species around the island.
Crazy cliff of São Lourenço in Madeira, really impressive landscape
It’s also a fine time for scuba diving, canyoning, and coasteering, as well as hiking the interior’s rugged hillside trails, which follow a network of levadas, ingenious aqueducts constructed between the 16th and 20th centuries to transport water to communities living in the southeast.
7. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is easily one of Europe’s most underrated and affordable cities. From August 7-13, Sziget Festival is one of Europe’s largest music events and takes place on Óbudai-sziget, an island in the middle of the Danube River. The lineup this year ain’t too shabby, either -- Ed Sheeran, the Foo Fighters, Post Malone, and Florence + the Machine will all be in attendance.
While you’re in town, head to the Jewish Quarter where some of the city’s best ruin bars are located. Taste Hungary offers some of the most highly rated food tours, including their Jewish Cuisine and Culture walk where you’ll try everything from homemade cholent and chimney cake to sweet Hungarian wine and cocktails in a secret garden cocktail lounge.
8. Queensland, Australia
If the Great Barrier Reef has always been on your bucket list, well, there’s really no time like the present. Set in the heart of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, The Whitsundays consists of 74 freakishly beautiful islands with tropical year-round weather and powdery beaches. August is one of the best months to visit when the annual humpback whale migration goes down. Also worth a stop is the newly re-opened Daydream Island Resort and Spa, which offers a new underwater observatory complete with a 20-seat dining room looking into the Living Reef, one of the world’s largest man-made living coral reef lagoons.
Sunrise drone shot on the Gold Coast, Australia
If it’s the food you’re after, head over to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, a region that’s gaining a culinary reputation for its diverse food trails and home-grown organic cuisine. New this year is a four-day food festival called The Curated Plate which runs from August 8-11 in Maroochydore, a town that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue but promises to bring together the region’s best produce and chefs from around Australia.
Kazakhstan is climbing the ranks as a go-to destination for mountain climbers, with August being an ideal time to catch the country’s dry season. Hikers especially love Issyk Lake and the Big Almaty Lake, a natural reservoir in the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains.
On a short trip to Kazakhstan, I found the most beautiful place on Earth.
If you’re looking to join some like-minded travelers, join luxury tour operator Remote Lands, one of the most respected tour companies in the region. Another popular destination is the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve located in the far southern reaches of the country in the western Tien Shan mountains. The reserve is home to 44 endangered mammals including snow leopards, Himalayan brown bears, and Indian crested porcupines.
Almaty Region, Kazakhstan
Remote Lands organizes itineraries to Kazakhstan and in particular recommends their nine-day Cultural Highlights of Kazakhstan tour, which encompasses all of the history, culture, and spirituality the country has to offer, mixing in waterfalls, stunning vistas, and a falcon show in between.
August is one of Iceland’s warmest months, making it one of the best times to visit. And, you may just catch the tail end of the midnight-sun phenomenon. Although the full midnight sun is most visible around the summer solstice, at the beginning of August, the sun dips below the horizon for a very short period of darkness at midnight and then rises right back up. With only a few hours of darkness each evening, plan to pack your favorite eyemask! If you’re visiting at the end of the month and get lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights as the hours of darkness slowly increase.
Black sand beach, Iceland
The mild weather in August is ideal for getting outdoors and exploring the glaciers, black-sand beaches, waterfalls, hot springs, and more. You can even spot more than 20 species of whales migrating from the Atlantic to the Arctic, including orcas and humpbacks, white-beaked dolphins and porpoises. The puffin migration is also a sight to behold: Over half the world’s puffins reside in Iceland and the nation’s waters. These adorable birds spend most of the year at sea but return to Iceland in the summer.
Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland, on my recent trip to Iceland, I managed to capture the beauty of this amazing natural waterfall and nearby countryside. Praise God. The world is amazing
August in Iceland also sees its share of festivals in the capital, such as Reykjavík Pride (Aug. 8 to 17) and Reykjavík Culture Night (Aug. 24), the latter of which is a one-day festival with street food, performances and other events culminating with a fireworks display at midnight
The carefree island of Barbados is a popular Caribbean getaway, but not as much in the summer months as in winter, which means you can get a luxury vacation for about half of what it would cost you in the high tourist season. There are not as many all-inclusive resorts on this island as other Caribbean locations but there are plenty of hotels that slash their rates in August.
Enterprise beach, one of the calmest bathing areas in Barbados. This south coast location is popular with locals and tourists on vacation. With white sands and turquoise sea, it really is one of the most idyllic settings in the Caribbean
August is technically hurricane season in Barbados, but this island rarely sees hurricane activity. The most you are likely to experience is a brief downpour in the afternoons. The top activity in Barbados is enjoying the stunning beaches, like Bathsheba Beach and Carlisle Bay. For non-beach excursions, a trip to Harrison's Cove is always a fun place to experience or a snorkeling trip to see the island's sea turtles and shipwrecks.
12. Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Thanks to new connections between the US and Montreal and Toronto, as well as the Quebec Summer City festival. But the country’s most eastern province, Newfoundland, deserves to be on of our list of top August picks as well.
Topsail Beach, Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
One of the main reasons to visit during the late summer is to see one of the world’s largest populations of humpback whales migrate along the coast. They’re joined by 21 other species of whales, as well as dolphins. You can see the majestic animals ply the waters from the shore or book a whale-watching boat trip. If your trip to the region occurs at the beginning of August, you could be lucky enough to spot icebergs that have floated down from Greenland.
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
During your trip, had to Gros Morne National Park — one of the biggest lures to the region. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to fjords and waterfalls, many of which are accessible by boat or even kayak or canoe. And St. John’s, the capital of the region, may just be one of the most charming cities in the country. It’s famous for its colorful houses along Jellybean Row, though these vibrant, terraced houses can actually be found throughout the entire city.
For a unique accommodation experience, stay overnight at one of the four corners of the Earth at the Fogo Island Inn. Perched on rocks jutting out into the ocean, the hotel sports floor-to-ceiling windows that afford the contemporary and luxurious cabins incredible views of the ocean’s waves battering the coast.