If you’re a hardcore summertime devotee, the start of August can test your “is the glass half-full or half-empty?” philosophy: You still have a month of “official” summer to enjoy, but you only have one month of summer left. However you look at it, if you haven’t taken a summer vacation yet, the clock is definitely ticking. In the spirit of assistance, we hereby offer you a few choice August vacation destinations across the country:
The Grand Canyon, Arizona. August in Grand Canyon National Park isn’t as hot as many people believe (besides, it’s a dry heat), and it’s a particularly family-friendly destination. If you want to avoid other visitors, head to the North Rim, which offers plenty of places to go but only 10% of Grand Canyon traffic. Whether you choose to camp or find lodging, you’ll never forget the vistas you’ll encounter.
- Memphis, Tennessee. Not only is Memphis “the birthplace of the blues, rock ‘n’ roll and soul music,” it also hosts Elvis Week every August, in recognition of the King’s passing on August 16, 1977. Make a pilgrimage to Graceland, perhaps enhanced by a night at Heartbreak Hotel across the street, and commemorate the occasion with a trip to Beale Street, where history and the blues walk hand-in-hand.
- Sturgis, South Dakota. In addition to Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, and Black Hills Caves, South Dakota is home to perhaps the premier biker rally in the United States, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which is celebrating its 73rd year this August 5-11. Within an hour’s drive of many of the state’s top attractions, the bike rally attracts hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts, so it’s best to plan ahead.
- Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Located about seven miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard offers laid-back summertime living at its finest. Accessible by ferry or plane, the 100-square-mile island features 20 beaches, over four dozen inns and B&Bs, dozens of vacation rentals, and hundreds of things to do in August. Just try not to time your vacation to coincide with President Obama’s; traffic can be an issue on the island, even without Secret Service and media entourages.
Wildwood, New Jersey. If you’re looking for an authentic “Jersey Shore” vacation, complete with beaches and a boardwalk (and without the saggy pants), head to Wildwood. Located in historic Cape May County in southern New Jersey, Wildwood offers beach fun, all sorts of nightlife, and, for those so inclined, quick, easy access to Atlantic City.
There are plenty of other great August vacation destinations across the United States; feel free to share your favorite spots in the Comments section. Wherever you go, be sure you make your plans early enough to find accommodations, of course. And be sure to book your travel through Travel Plus if you want to earn 5% cash back on reservations and enjoy cash-back rebates on airline, hotel, rental-car, and Wi-Fi services. Enjoy your final “official” month of summer!