August is usually the time of year when panic ensues. Maybe it's a relic of childhood years when carefree summer days slowly came to an end to make space for school supply runs. Or maybe it's just the notion that summer Fridays and afternoons sipping on Aperol spritzes are soon to make way for stressful holiday shopping and frigid temperatures. Whatever the reason, August is the perfect time to plan a last big hurrah to live summer to its fullest potential. But where to go?
The cliffs of Positano are swarming with tourists, the Hamptons experiences endless traffic, and the Croatian coast is packed with young yachters ready to get wild. Luckily, there are a ton of other beautiful, unspoiled summer destinations that are just waiting to be explored—think crystalline waters, cobblestoned streets, and dramatic coastlines. Are you in the mood for a rugged wilderness adventure, a sun-soaked beach holiday, or a culture rich city escape? Whatever you're looking for, you'll find it at one of these best places to travel in August.
Galápagos Islands, Equador
The Galápagos islands were voted one of the best places to travel in 2016 by Travel + Leisure, and for good reason: The flora is breathtaking and the wildlife is like something out of Planet Earth. Think sea lions, giant tortoises, penguins, dolphins, iguanas, and albatrosses all cohabitating in a rugged coastal landscape. August is the high season to spot most of these animals, so don't delay.
Stay at: Pikaia Lodge, a luxury eco-adventure resort perched high atop an extinct volcano crater on Santa Cruz island. The hotel has a small fleet of yachts to explore the islands' natural beauty.
Scotland can get dreary and gray in the winter months, but it comes alive in August, making it an ideal European summer destination. Walk along the cobbled street, experience the city's Festival Fringe, and explore the architectural beauty of this northern capital. You can even take a drive along Scotland's dramatic shoreline if you're craving ocean time.
Stay at: The Dunstane Houses, a pair of hip, independent, family-run luxury boutique hotels that showcase the best of Scottish lifestyle.
Adirondacks, New York
Any New Yorker knows that come August, the streets are melting, the sidewalks are radiating heat, and the city smells are at they most pungent. The solution: Escape to the Adirondacks in upstate New York for fresh air, crisp lakes, and expansive rolling hills. Stop by Lake George or Lake Placid to experience the quintessential charm of these remote northeastern country towns; go sailing, jet skiing, hiking—the sky is literally the limit.
Stay at: The Point in Saranac is a Forbes five-star resort, a Relais & Châteaux, and a quintessential lodge where mountains meet lake. It was built by William Avery Rockefeller a century ago and retains its historic charm.
Ibiza is great if you're looking for a party scene, but its Balearic sister island Mallorca has just as much to offer. Take a dip in the crystalline Mediterranean waters, nosh on pintxos and local wines, visit the studio of Catalan artist Joan Miró, or hike the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. You'll love exploring this quintessential Spanish summer destination.
Stay at: The brand-new Hotel Mamá in Palma, the capital. It was recently designed by famed French decorator Jacques Grange and features 32 rooms, a private cinema, and a lush rooftop pool.
Vancouver Island, Canada
Most people love to visit British Columbia in winter months for the unparalleled skiing, but summer is the perfect season to explore Vancouver Island, stretching across the Canadian west coast into the north of Washington state. Exploring this rugged island is the perfect opportunity to test out your outdoorsy side. Go horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, or take a helicopter ride. At the end of the day, unwind with a glass of Okanagan Valley wine.
Stay at: Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, a Relais & Châteaux UNESCO-designated property at the end of a deepwater fjord that provides wilderness adventures and luxury tented safaris.
Lake Koggala, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka comes alive in August when it's warm, dry, and sunny. Experience the pristine beaches and verdant rainforests, explore ancient temples, or learn how to cook the Sri Lankan way—this magnificent under-the-radar country is filled with wonder. From Galle Fort to the Koggala Sea Turtle Hatchery, you'll fall in love with this country's rich offerings.
Stay at: Tri, an eco-resort nestled among the banyans and frangipani above Lake Koggala. Attend a yoga retreat in the treetops, take local cooking classes, or cycle your way around the resort's beautiful grounds.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Though it's winter in South Africa in August, it's the best time to go to experience the Masai Mara migration. Stop over in Cape Town and head to Kruger National Park at the edge of the Sweni River to experience the wilderness at its most breathtaking. Bring layers for chilly mornings and nights, stargaze, take safari walks, cooking or photography classes, or simply have a glass of wine while staring into the horizon.
Where to stay: Sweni Lodge, a new eco-resort on a 33,000-acre concession with unparalleled local flair. Sleep in the glass-box suites that hover over the infinity pool, sign up for their many activities, or sample the world-class cuisine prepared by chef Liam Tomlin daily.
Lake Como, Italy
Escape the crowds of Positano and go laze around on Lake Como instead, where you can zip around the lake on classic wooden boats, sip on Aperol spritzes, and stare at the expansive views while carboloading on delicious pasta.
Stay at: The Grand Hotel Tremezzo, a timeless palazzo on the crystalline lake's shores complete with a floating swimming pool, exotic botanical gardens, and tennis courts.
Next up: 10 enchanting places with the clearest water in the world.