August is one of the busiest times of year for travelers, as families make their way across the globe to enjoy one last fun trip before school starts again in the fall. Airport’s hustle and bustle as people are either returning from a long summer getaway or are setting out on that last excursion before the return to school and work sets in with the autumn breeze.
If you are intending to travel in August, there are a myriad of good places to see both on your own or with your family. Some reside within the United States, while others are across the pond. Prepare to unwind one last time, as this article takes you through a list of the best places to visit in August.
This is a guest post by Catalin Geangos, Founder and Editor of TravelTrained
Please note, it is not possible still to visit some of these destinations in Summer 2021, keep these ideas in mind for planning your future travel in August
San Diego, California
San Diego is one of the most popular spots to travel to during the month of August. With over 70 miles of beautiful coastline, this is the premier destination for summer fun within the United States. The city also boasts one of the most popular zoos in the country in the form of the San Diego Zoo. Here you can see animals from all over the world and learn about their lives and habitats, all while enjoying the summer breeze.
One of the most popular beaches in the area is Coronado Beach, named for the Coronado islands that were first discovered off the shore of what would become San Diego in 1602. The name of these islands translates to the ‘Crowned Ones’ and is in honor of four ancient saints who died on the same day as the discovery of the islands several hundred years earlier.
Visiting the beach at sunset is said to be one of the best views one can find in San Diego. Another attraction in this coastal city is its Gaslamp Quarter, a historical section of the city. The blocks that make up this part of San Diego contain numerous Victorian-style buildings that are home to various art galleries, theatres, shops, and much more.
San Diego is a beautiful city and certainly one worth visiting if you have the chance.
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Staying within the United States for no.2, this National Park is a wonderful outdoor locale with opportunities for both exploration and learning. Situated within Arizona, and spanning over two hundred square miles, the Petrified Forest National Park has many fun and educational activities on offer.
The first place to visit, and the source of the park’s name, is the Rainbow Forest. This forest is composed entirely of petrified wood that gleams in a multitude of colors under the desert sun. A nearby building, the Rainbow Forest Museum, will teach you more about the petrified wood, how it came to be, and why it is so colorful despite being merely fossilized wood.
There is a myriad of ways to experience the views of this park, from hiking to cycling, and even traversing the park on horseback. Several field experts also work at the park and can take you on a guided tour of certain sections, allowing you to efficiently see the most beautiful sites offered by the park. There are also driving paths for those who would rather stay out of the heat.
It is advised to bring along a good sun hat if you intend to explore this park, as the lack of shade can be brutal on the skin if unprepared. Hillman offers great hats for both men and women, and their Super Wide Brim Sun Hat is one such offering. The fabric used in this hat has a sun protection rating equivalent to SPF 50, meaning that this hat both looks good and protects you from the harmful rays of the sun. Colors range from dark grey to army green, and to khaki for men, while women can pick between pink and light blue. There are even hat variants with extended rear flaps for even more enhanced sun protection.
Likely one of the most famous cities on the planet, and one that is steeped in history dating back thousands of years, Athens is a beautiful place to visit during the summer. History and culture combine here in front of the Saronic Gulf to make for one of the best travel destinations in all of Europe.
Any trip to Athens is incomplete without taking the time to visit the Acropolis, home to several ruins from the ancient past. The most iconic of these ruins is the Parthenon, a large temple that was dedicated to the Goddess Athena, the city’s namesake.
Other ruins include the Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, and the Porch of the Caryatids. There is also a museum complex located nearby, the aptly named Acropolis Museum. This museum is home to numerous artefacts from the civilizations of ancient Greece and even incorporates an ancient Athenian neighbourhood into its layout.
Moving forward in time from the ancient Greeks to those of the Byzantine era, there is also the Byzantine Museum, home to numerous pieces of art from that era. Over 25,000 artefacts stand on display to be viewed by those with a craving for history. Athens is steeped in such histories, and you could likely spend weeks exploring all the historical sites the city has to offer.
It would be advisable to bring a good backpack with wheels for travel to keep from wearing yourself out. High Sierra offers several quality backpacks that work well for regular commuting, while also being suited for traveling abroad. Their Chaser Wheeled Backpack is especially well suited for travel, as it has several organizing compartments as well as inline mounted wheels for smooth movement. The bag also has corner guards to prevent it from becoming damaged, as the guards prevent direct contact between the fabric of the bag and the ground. While less convenient on rugged terrain, this pack will not let you down as you comb the streets of Athens for ancient wonders.
France has always been a beautiful country, with Paris being one of the most visited cities in the world. While Paris is nice, it is also one of the first cities anyone thinks of when planning a trip to France. So instead, another city made it onto this list, Arcachon.
Located on the southwest shore of France, this beach resort has numerous attractions to visit for some summer fun. The city contains four districts, each named after one of the four seasons. The first one, La Ville d’Ete, is home to many of the waterfront activities on offer.
The main beach in the area is known as the Plage d’Arcachon, and it is a rather safe beach as the waves are weak due to the positioning of the beach within a large bay. The summer district is also home to a large marketplace that becomes even more active once the sun goes down, allowing for large throngs of people to pass through and look at the wares on offer.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from La Ville d’Ete is La Ville d’Hiver, also known as the winter city. This portion of Arcachon is home to numerous villas such as the Villa Toldeo, Villa Teresa, and Villa Alexandre Dumas. If you crave more beach action, the spring city La Ville de Printemps is likely to be up your alley.
The most well-known beach in the spring city is Plage Pereire, a three-kilometre-long beachfront home to white sands and several sports facilities. If you desire to see yet more sand then there is one more place you should stop at while in Arcachon. Europe’s largest sand dune, the Dune du Pilat is located near Arcachon and boasts over 60 million metric cubes of sand. Depending on when you visit, you will be able to climb all over the dune as the tide has receded from it, though be careful if you visit when the tide is high.
Gold Coast, Australia
Australia is home to many natural and manmade wonders, and the area of the Gold Coast in Queensland is no exception. The name of the area comes from the tendency for overpriced goods and real-estate to be sold in the area in the aftermath of the Second World War. Luckily that trend has since subsided, and Gold Coast has become a premier location for spending your summer days.
A beach bearing the name Surfer’s Paradise stretched out in front of the main city of Gold Coast, and the most popular activity there is, as you may have guessed, surfing. Lifeguards patrol the shore year-round, though caution should always be exercised when swimming, regardless of lifeguard presence.
Another locale to consider visiting while in Gold Coast is the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, a nonprofit run for the benefit of various animal species. Lorikeets are plentiful at this sanctuary, and some may eat out of your hands or even decide to perch on your head! There is also a high ropes course at the sanctuary for the more adventurous types, as well as a free bird show. Koalas and Kangaroos are also inhabiting the park and you can even pet them and feed them.
Should you want to experience a helping of marine life, Gold Coast is also home to the world-renowned Sea World. As the largest marine park in Australia, Sea World boasts numerous exhibits ranging from penguins to polar bears, and even sea lions. Rides rivaling those at a traditional amusement park are also present within Sea World, several roller coasters and water attractions are available for you to visit and cool off with.
As Australia occupies the southern hemisphere, its seasons are opposite those of the northern hemisphere, meaning that it is more likely to be mild weather if you plan to visit in August.
Norfolk, United Kingdom
August is the peak of the British festival season, making this a wonderful time to visit one of the more popular counties in the island kingdom. Several music festivals take place during the month in Norfolk, though the most notable one is known as Houghton. This is an electric musical event set up by famous London DJ Craig Richards and features several notable DJs each year, as well as spectacular sculptures and dazzling light shows.
This modern music mania is not the only thing this area has to offer. The county is also steeped in history, with some constructions dated back to the Roman Empire even! Burgh Castle, located near the coast of the United Kingdom, used to be a piece in a Roman network of fortifications and strongholds meant to help repel invaders from the sea. Only three walls still stand from the structure, though it is still a sight to behold for both commoners and history buffs alike.
Several other castles and manors also dot the Norfolk area such as Castle Rising, Baconsthorpe Castle, and Castle Acre Castle. The most iconic castle though would have to be Norwich Castle, built as a home and fortress for William the Conqueror, this castle is now home to museums and exhibits that display works of art, artefacts from days of old, and even some costumes worn during the time this castle was in use as a fortress. The Norfolk area is one that is rich in many cultural activities, so make sure to plan to hit all the ones you find interesting!
August is one of the busiest months for travel, so it is wise to be prepared and plan your trip in advance rather than trying to book flights and hotels last minute as you may be left empty-handed. As always, practice common sense when traveling abroad and make sure to stay safe while overseas. Since you are traveling during the summer, stocking up on plenty of water is the way to go, along with having weather-appropriate clothing. Travel safely!
About the Author
Catalin Geangos is the Founder and Editor of TravelTrained and a travel blogger who mainly focuses on nightlife, pub crawls and party experiences while travelling in Southeast Asia. He moved from Romania to the UK 6 years ago and since then he travelled to over 30 countries.
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