10Best: Top August Destinations

  • Taos Pueblo

    Taos, N.M

    August is one of the hottest months in the desert Southwest, and the charming town of Taos offers a cooler mountain retreat. Warm temperatures and plentiful sunshine make August an ideal month for hiking in the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains or tour the picturesque Taos Pueblo. If that occasional afternoon thunderstorm strikes, Taos has plenty of excellent galleries and restaurants for waiting out the rain.

    Photo courtesy of mtcurado/iStock

  • Cartagena, Colombia

    Cartagena de Indias, or Cartagena for short, is the jewel on Colombia's Caribbean coast, and with an average temperature of a balmy 86 degrees throughout the year, there's not really a bad month to visit. Cobbled streets wind through the old city center, each lined by colorful colonial buildings with bougainvillea cascading from the balconies and numerous open-air cafes serving locally caught seafood. Head to a nearby beach to cool off when the equatorial heat becomes too much.

    Photo courtesy of DC_Colombia/iStock

  • Montana

    If you're looking for a place to really get away from it all before bidding farewell to summer, you'll find big skies and wide open spaces throughout Montana. This beautiful state offers access to some of the country's top national parks, and it's an ideal state for savoring via the leisurely pace of an RV.

    Photo courtesy of Gregory Ritchie/iStock

  • New York City

    The U.S. Open kicks off in the Big Apple in August, bringing tennis's top fans and players to the city. Warm temperatures make summer in New York an ideal time for Yankees games, outdoor concerts, picnics in the park and alfresco entertainment at the Lincoln Center.

    Photo courtesy of Medioimages/Photodisc

  • Saugatuck, Mich.

    If you only have time for a quick weekend getaway this August, Saugatuck, Mich. is an ideal destination. Winner of the 10Best Readers' Choice award for "Best Summer Weekend Escape," Saugatuck enjoys beautiful, sandy lake shores, art galleries and antique shops, all within easy driving distance of Chicago.

    Photo courtesy of Brian Morrison/iStock

  • Banff, Canada

    For the best hiking and biking in the Canadian Rockies, head north to picturesque Banff. August brings some of the best weather to this quaint mountain town, perfect for heading out into Banff or Lake Louise National Parks.

    Photo courtesy of James Chang

  • Riga, Latvia

    August in the Baltics is a lovely time of year, so there's no better time to check out the city chosen by USA TODAY and 10Best readers as Europe's most beautiful, Riga. This Latvian city bustles in the summer months, when warmer temperatures draw locals and tourists alike out into the historic streets.

    Photo courtesy of Levranii/iStock

  • Key West, Fla.

    Make like Jimmy Buffett this August and head down to Key West, a slice of paradise off the coast of mainland Florida's southern tip. If you're there during the second weekend of the month, you can feast on everyone's favorite crustacean during the annual Key West LobsterFest.

    Photo courtesy of Cayobo

  • Chicago

    For the 56th year, the Chicago Air & Water Show will return to the shores of the Windy City, making August a great time to visit. Blue Angels aside, it's also a nice time of year for catching an outdoor game in Wrigley Field, relaxing at the beach or people watching in Millennium Park.

    Photo courtesy of City of Chicago

  • Sedona, Ariz.

    While many summer music festivals are loud, rowdy affairs, Sedona's Red Rocks Music Festival offers an August live music experience with a bit more sophistication. Even if classical music's not your thing, August is still a good time to come and enjoy the natural beauty of this Desert Southwest gem.

    Photo courtesy of FiledIMAGE/iStock