August arrives with the feeling that summer is moving along too quickly, or for some who don’t enjoy the hot weather of their hometowns, too slowly. In either case, it could be time to plan a trip, even just a long weekend getaway. We’re suggesting here a few places with higher altitude and cooler temperatures as well as a few seaside spots where breezes provide relief from the heat. If time allows, you can even switch seasons and head for winter in the southern hemisphere.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island has been a popular summer destination for more than 100 years, since the time the country’s wealthiest families spent the season in their extravagant mansions. The weather is mild and sunny, the seaside is beautiful, and the breezes are refreshing. About 90 minutes from Boston and a few hours from New York City, Newport is convenient for travelers, and there’s so much to do in summer. The Newport Jazz Festival will be held this year from Aug. 2-4, or arrive a bit earlier for the Newport Folk Festival from July 16-28 if that’s more your style. Both events are held at Fort Adams State Park with views of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay along with boating, fishing, and picnic areas.
Laguna Beach, California
Halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego in California’s Orange County, Laguna Beach has its own convenient airport named for John Wayne, one of the area’s famous residents. The shorefront community’s seven miles of oceanfront includes sandy beaches, tide pools, and sea caves, while inland there are rolling hills, hiking paths, and mountain biking trails.
In central Oregon’s high desert with a backdrop of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains, Bend is a year-round destination. Summer temperatures reach the low 80s, ideal for outdoor activities, and the Deschutes River is the perfect place for fly-fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, whitewater rafting, or just enjoying the scenery. Hike through the hills, climb the rocks, or take advantage of mountain biking trails.
August is an exciting month in this city on the Danube. The annual Summer Festival from June to September features concerts, performances, art, and food stalls on the Open Air Stages of Margaret Island. The Festival of Crafts in Buda Castle will be held from Aug. 17-20 with craft demonstrations, street food, folk dance, and markets in the historic courtyards of the castle.
The weather is mild and relatively rain-free in August, ideal for taking in Mariners baseball or Sounders soccer along with the loyal local fans. The Space Needle, closed for a major renovation last year, has reopened with more glass and better views than ever. Even if you’ve been there before, you need to see the rotating glass floor, open air deck with glass walls, and virtual-reality bungee jump. At the nearby Chihuly Garden and Glass, you’ll see the work of Dale Chihuly — colorful glass sculptures incredibly displayed.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
It’s winter in the southern hemisphere, but in Brisbane, Queensland’s capital, the weather is mild, with days in the low 70s and cool, crisp nights. Humidity is low in August, typically the driest month of the year, making its myriad of outdoor activities even more attractive for visitors. In South Bank Parkland, residents and tourists enjoy swimming, walking, picnicking, and being outdoors along the Brisbane River.