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The 6 Best Places to Travel in August

August is the perfect time of the year to go traveling. School is out, the sunning is shining (in the Northern hemisphere, that is), and destinations around the globe are beckoning.

Because many travelers don’t consider places outside of the usual tropical beaches and adventures sold in the glossy magazines, there many underrated gems that make for amazing places to travel in August. If you are willing to forgo the beach resorts in order to beat the crowds, several of the best and most interesting places on earth have been overlooked for many years.

Whether you are looking to beat the heat by heading north or itching to find your own secret beach, here are six August travel ideas to inspire your summer vacation.

1. Edinburgh, Scotland

This medieval capital’s gloomy Gothic architecture and warrens of footpaths through shadowy stone corridors make for a striking background to what is one of the most fun-loving cities in Europe. A creative hub for musicians and artists as well as home to a renowned university, the many old-timey cafes and pubs in this gorgeous city are filled with lively and fascinating characters. Visitors will be thrilled by the climb from Waverley Train Station to the Royal Mile, up claustrophobic stone passageways with names like Fleshmarket Close. Renting an Airbnb in Edinburgh could mean staying in an abode that is hundreds of years old. August is a particularly good time to visit the city as it plays host to the Edinburgh Festival, and the notorious Festival Fringe. Edinburgh is without a doubt one of the best places to travel in August as it comes alive with buskers, street actors, and comedy shows.

best places to travel in august edinburgh


2. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

For those looking for a little taste of Scotland without crossing the Atlantic, look to one of Canadas most southeastern islands. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was a landing place for the people of Scotland still retains much Scottish charm. Not to mention, a breath-taking and pristine coastline that offers some of the world’s best sunrises in August. The wild seas of Nova Scotia are also an incredible sight, immortalized in songs like Barrett’s Privateers and Farewell to Nova Scotia. For those looking to beat the heat, a Nova Scotia ocean breeze is the perfect antidote. Plus, August is prime time for whale watching! Set up on the beach with your binoculars and you’ll be sure to catch glimpses of blue, fin, minke, humpback, pilot, and sei whales as well as dolphins, seabirds, and porpoises.

best places to travel in august cape breton nova scotia

Cape Breton and the surrounding islands are a wonderful Canadian hodgepodge of European ancestry. There are still kitchen parties and the odd Gaelic speaker on Cape Breton, and summertime means plenty of outdoor Celtic music festivals. The main city on the island, Sydney, offers a certain New England-style charm. It’s a fantastic destination for those who enjoy hiking and the countryside. For a truly delicious dining experience, try out a “hot lobster sandwich.” This creamy dish will have you dreaming about it for years to come.


3. Kiev, Ukraine

The capital and largest city in Ukraine, Kiev is a fascinating and beautiful city with a history as troubled as it is rich. A quick glance at the architecture of the city will show you layers of history: a thousand year-old cathedrals next to Soviet complexes next to colorful modern street art. For every winding cobble stone road lined with open-air flea markets there is an ultra-modern luxury shopping center. Visit the deeply moving and interactive Chernobyl Disaster museum, experience the hauntingly beautiful Saint Sophia Cathedral, and watch the Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations and Parade of Embroderies, both of which take place in August.

best places to visit in august kiev

One of the best places to visit in August, Kiev has very long summer daylight hours and blissfully warm weather. In a city where the winters are long and brutal, Kiev residents live for summertime and you’ll hardly catch anyone dining or drinking in doors. Speaking of drinking, Kiev has a booming nightlife scene that could rival the likes of Seoul, Berlin, and Barcelona.


4. Dublin, Ireland

As the light Irish rain falls on the emerald-green grass during Ireland’s summer, a visit to the capital city is a must. This is the perfect opportunity to spend an evening in Temple Bar soaking up the atmosphere. If you’re looking for excellent food, Dublin is the place; it has a fantastic variety of eateries throughout the city. There are speakeasies, canal dinner cruises and some of the oldest pubs in the world located in Dublin. If you’d like to venture further afield, trains leave the city to points all across the country. Try surfing at Tramore Beach in County Waterford, or joining a session in a Galway pub. The breathtaking Irish coastline isn’t far, and if you’re up for it, a dive into the icy waters will certainly make you feel alive.

best places to travel in august dublin


5. Duluth, Minnesota

This city’s claim to fame is usually its epic snowfall and mind-numbingly cold winters. During the summer, however, Duluth transforms into a beach town, making it one of the best places to travel in August. The shopping in the quaint waterside district of Canal Park is second to none, and a margarita at Grandma’s Saloon on the sundeck is the best way to watch the ships enter and exit the port. Just over the bridge, a gorgeous white-sand beach awaits, stretching several miles along the coast. Off in the distance you’ll notice the famous lighthouse. You may even see the aurora borealis. This phenomenon happens in Duluth during the summertime, so it may be one of the best opportunities to view the northern lights without needing to wear a parka. The friendliness of Duluth combined with its great nightlife make this city a great August travel idea.

best places to travel in august duluth

6. Helsinki, Finland

This magnificent city on the Baltic Bay may have some seriously frigid winters, but it makes up for it with gloriously mild and bright summers. During August, the sun rises as early as 5am and sets as late as 10pm. And August, in particular, is THE month for outdoor events in Helsinki, with dozens of open-air concerts, markets, and festivals taking place within its 31 days.

helsinki best places to travel in august

With a striking mix of ultra-modern Scandinavian and old-world architecture, there is something to admire on every street corner, from elaborate cathedrals to post-war innovations to adorable wooden huts. The lush Finnish forests also supply incredible produce and game to Helsinki’s thriving restaurant scene, from freshly picked mushrooms and berries to exotic meats like elk. And don’t forget to test out the world famous Finnish saunas!

helsinki best places to travel in august


When it comes to places off the beaten path, particularly in the north, finding tourists is much more rare. If you choose to follow the path less traveled, you may surprise yourself by discovering your own personal paradise. After all, exploration is what makes us human, and discovery is the way we find our favorite places, and if we’re lucky, ourselves.


Looking for more insider recommendations on the top places to travel? Check out our full collection of posts on the best places to travel by month!

Looking for more travel ideas to add to your bucket list? Check out our list of 17 extreme travel ideas for adrenaline junkies and 77 must-see international events and festivals.

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