August is hot; we get it. It's tempting to spend all month indoors to avoid the heat. But our job here at Wide Open Roads is to help you fight that temptation! So we scoured the country for the best places to visit in August. Now, it's a big country. So there's an overwhelming number of places you could go in August. Plus, it's a country full of famous places. So there are many clichéd, easy places we could drop into a list like this. But you already know what you can do this time of year—kayaking, using hiking trails, whale watching. We're not here to regurgitate. Instead, we put together a list of places you should visit in August, one per U.S. region.
Northeast - Maine Lobster Festival
A seashore. Nice weather in the middle of summer. Beer. Seafood. The love for each of these individually is almost universal. So our deepest gratitude to whoever threw them all into one boiling pot for the Maine Lobster Festival.
For five days every year, people from the Northeast and the rest of the country flock to Rockland, a small fishing town on the southern coast of Maine. This lobster celebration began in 1947 when community leaders decided on the festival as a way to revive local summer fun lost in successive World Wars.
Dear reader, it got out of hand in the best way. Now, the Maine Lobster Festival is the state's biggest annual event. Aside from dining on the best lobster in the country, guests can take part in arts & crafts, parades & live entertainment. But we especially recommend the International Great Crate Race, where competitors try to run across a string of floating lobster crates without falling into the chilly harbor waters.
2022 Dates: August 3-7
Southeast - 127 Corridor Sale
Most of the spots on this list require traveling to a specific location. Not the 127 Corridor Sale, also known as The World's Longest Yard Sale. When visiting this event, you've got 690 miles to choose from.
Every year, people along U.S. Route 127 drag unwanted stuff for sale from their homes out to the highway and set up a roadside garage sale. Some post up as individuals, and others join neighbors or larger community groups. The result is an unbroken line of everyday Americans hawking their wares from Addison, Michigan, to Gadsden, Georgia.
The sale stretches through and touches the borders of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. Chattanooga and Cincinnati are on the route, making nice city day trips. And the southern part of the route cuts through Daniel Boone National Forest. You could map plenty of outdoorsy family vacations while visiting with sellers in the area.
2022 Dates: August 1-4
Midwest - Irish Fair in St. Paul
Did you know the Irish helped build St. Paul, Minnesota? Thousands of Irish settlers populated the early downtown, leading to a city infused with Irish culture through and through.
So it's only fitting that the grounds of Harriet Island give way to the annual Irish Fair of Minnesota. The yearly August celebration is one of the most family-friendly events in the Midwest, with plenty of outdoor games, dancing, and music to go with Irish cultural activities.
2022 Dates: August 12-14
Southwest - Prickly Pear Picking in Tucson
We love Tucson for its desert museums and scenic byways. The Greater Phoenix area gets all the love these days, but its cousin, full of natural beauty, near the Catalina Mountains, lives in a soft spot in our hearts. And it's absolutely one of the best places to visit in August.
One of our favorite Tuscon summer activities is at Tanque Verde Ranch. The historic local resort lies in a vast sea of prickly pear cacti. For two weekends in August, the ranch offers guests a Prickly Pear Harvest package. You can pick the pink fruit off prickly pears on horseback, dine on prickly pear pancakes for breakfast and drink prickly pear cocktails with dinner.
Man. We love you, Tuscon. Heart-eyes emoji.
2022 Dates: August 19-21 & 26-28
Rocky Mountain - Mount Evans Scenic Byway
We know what you're thinking. Mountains in the summer? In August? Too close to the sun, no thanks. Hear us out: what if we told you you could enjoy the most scenic views in America from the comfort of your A/C-cooled car?
We're talking about the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, a 28-mile drive in Colorado that climbs over 7,000 feet until it reaches an altitude of 14,130' feet near the summit of Mount Evans. That makes it the highest paved road in America!
You wouldn't want to be this high in winter, but this is a stunning drive in August. The byway begins in Idaho Springs and climbs to the top of Mount Evans in just over one hour. Take in the sights as you ascend, including the Continental Divide, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, and alpine wildflowers.
2022 Dates: All Month
Pacific - Seafair Seattle
Seafair and summer mean the same thing in Seattle. This is an annual, ten-week-long marathon of events put on by every Seattle community that celebrates summer in the city with food, music, and lots of parades.
The weather in Washington rarely reaches into the low-80s in August, meaning you literally won't sweat your decision no matter which week you decide to drop in on Seafair. Even though it's the last month of the celebration, there's plenty to do here. August kicks off Seattle Fleet Week with the Boeing Maritime Celebration, where you'll see and go aboard vessels from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy. There's a Weekend Festival on August 5 and a "birthday party" for Seattle at Cromwell Park on August 20.
I thought New Orleans or Miami were the party cities of America. Still, I think Seattle might have everyone else beat.
2022 Dates: All Month
This article was originally published on April 16, 2021.
Have you visited any of these places? Tell us about your trip on the Wide Open Roads Facebook Page!